The cinema is a good place to watch movies and relax. This is because you watch the movie in a wide screen with sound that can make you easily get lost in the movie scene. The picture and the sound is the most entertaining part of the cinema experience. However, if you can bring this technology home and with lesser expense, this is definitely something you will enjoy. This is the concept only a few American homes acquire in the past years. Lately late, however, a good number of American homes are starting to be less interested in going out of their abode to watch movies. This is due to the evolution of home theater system.

A simple home theater is easy to set up. All you need is a television set that measure bigger than 27 inches, a DVD player and three speakers. These are the basic components of a home theater. This may already give you the home entertainment you can enjoy with the almost theatrical experience. Why do I say almost, when I am sure you want the perfect feeling of a movie theater. This is because there are other equipments you might add to complete the home theater experience that will ensure a cinematic experience right in your own living room. As mentioned already, you may still enhance the three basic components by adding home entertainment furniture; however, everything is dependent on the budget you set for your home theater. The size of the room is another consideration of the complete package of your home theater.

A neat advice however by home theater experts is that you need to find a good size television set for you home theater set up. A good size does not mean the biggest you can find in the store. A good size television is dependent on the place in your house where you will set up the home theater. Big is not always good for you home entertainment system. It is a recommendation, however, that the television set should not be smaller than 27 inches. This is because the projection on a smaller television might be too inferior for your home theater.

Another recommendation is for you to find speakers that will give you the surround sound from high quality brand of speakers. In addition, you need to be sure that if you do not find the speaker that gives you enough surround sound, you need to be able to return it. There are speakers that sound good in the store but when you put it in a room, it may not sound well enough that will satisfy your requirement. If the store allows replacement, then that is a good deal. In addition, you may need to choose a good quality DVD player. It is however a belief by home theater experts that all DVD players deliver clear and crisp images, although there are those that promise a flicker-free picture, almost all DVD players provide this feature.

Knowing how big the room where you will set up your home theater will be the basis of how big the television needs to be. The size of the room is another consideration for the number of speakers. If the room is somewhat big, you may need more than the basic three speakers. Adding a subwoofer may also do good to achieve the best surround sound if your home theater is place on a huge room.

All these will give you the best home theater experience only a few in the earlier year’s experience. A home theater designer may be of big help in ensuring you will have the best home theater set up that will give you the best possible movie experience right in your own living room.

Microsoft Office 2007 (previously known as Office 12) is Microsoft’s newest productivity suite and was made available to the public on 30th January 2007. Office 2007 contains numerous improvements over the previous Microsoft Office 2003, including new server-side tools, enhanced reliability and security, and an entirely different user interface called the “Ribbon” – replacing the aging menus and tools bars in previous Office versions.

Microsoft Office 2007 runs on either Windows XP (with Service Pack 2), Windows Server 2003 or Windows Vista and has the following hardware requirements:
– 500MHz processor or higher
– 256MB memory or higher
– 2GB hard disk
– CD-ROM or DVD-ROM
– 1024×768 monitor

It pays to understand the options available for a smooth upgrade to Microsoft Office 2007. Essentially, you should know the different product editions, versions and corresponding retail prices.

There are 8 editions of Microsoft Office 2007 altogether but only 5 editions are available for retail purchase. The various editions differ by their bundled applications, i.e. Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook (with Business Contact Manager), Accounting Express, Publisher, Access, Infopath, Groove, OneNote and Communicator.

The suggested retail prices and bundled applications for the 5 product editions are listed below:

a) Office 2007 Ultimate Edition
MSRP: $679 (Full), $539 (Upgrade)
Applications: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook with Business Contact Manager, Accounting Express, Publisher, Access, InfoPath, Groove, OneNote, Content Management, Intergrated Forms and Rights Management.

b) Office 2007 Professional Edition
MSRP: $499 (Full), $329 (Upgrade)
Applications: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook with Business Contact Manager, Accounting Express, Publisher and Access.

c) Office 2007 Small Business Edition
MSRP: $449 (Full), $279 (Upgrade)
Applications: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook with Business Contact Manager, Accounting Express and Publisher.

d) Office 2007 Standard Edition
MSRP: $399 (Full), $239 (Upgrade)
Applications: Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook.

e) Office 2007 Home & Student Edition
MSRP: $149 (Full)
Applications: Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote.

Besides understanding the different product editions, you should know the different versions available and their limitations:

a) OEM Version – you need to purchase new hardware to qualify for this version. However, the license lives and dies with that specific system and is non-transferable.

b) Upgrade Version – more expensive than OEM but cheaper than a Full version. The license is transferable but you need to be upgrading from a previous Office suite to qualify, i.e. Microsoft Works Suite 2000, Office 2003 or Office XP.

c) Full Version – the most expensive version and hence, has the least limitation.

Selling your house is a major decision. You want to do it efficiently, and you want to do it right. There are many things to consider when you have made up your mind that you want to sell. Here are some of the things that you should keep in mind as you are preparing for your sale.

If there are items in your home that you do not want to sell with your home, be sure to remove them before showing your home. If a potential buyer loves an appliance or chandelier that you have, they will want it to come with the house. When you say no, they may decide against purchasing the home. If it is not selling with the home, remove it.

Before putting your home on the market, ask a trusted friend to walk through as if they were a buyer. Have them look at everything, and point out every flaw to you. You might be able to fix some of these flaws before the real potential buyer comes through. This can be a great way to get staging ideas and a home improvement check list too.

If your home has hardwood flooring hidden beneath carpet, you should consider removing the carpet before you begin showing your home. Most buyers will prefer hardwood over carpeting. If you pay to remove your carpet and have the hardwood floors refinished, you can expect to make your money back, and maybe a little extra.

Small kitchen updates can have big returns in the value and appeal of your home. Consider switching out just one appliance to become a focus piece and update the look. Adding a wood block island fixture and hanging storage is also a popular kitchen upgrade. Changing the cabinetry is expensive, consider a paint job first to a fresh look.

Use the internet to your advantage. Post as many pictures as you can of the inside of your home as well as the landscaping, yard, and amenities. Buyers are using the internet now more than ever to make quick decisions on what houses to visit. If you don’t have an online presence you may be hurting your chances.

When you are ready to show your house to prospective buyers, make sure that your entryway is in top condition. A messy, unkempt entry, or a sticky door lock can send a negative message to the buyer. A newly polished door fixture and a new doormat, are little details that can make a big difference.

It is probably not a good idea to install an in-ground pool if you live in an area that is notorious for having cold weather. The fact that it is not going to be used a lot of the year will make many potential buyers see it as a negative thing.

These are some suggestions that will make the selling process a little easier. The important thing to remember is that selling your house will take time. So, give yourself a lot of time to plan ahead for it. Apply the tips that you have learned, and you will be prepared.

So, time arrived for replacing the living room furniture. Grandpa and I had our same sofa, loveseat, extra chair, tables, and lamps from our thirty-five years of marriage. Still leaning toward denial, we agreed blue remains our favorite color, not one person has fallen all the way to the floor in our chair yet, and parts of the lampshades still block the view of the bare GE 100 watt lightbulbs. Besides, right before the delivery men appeared at my fingerprint-smudged storm door with newly purchased pieces, I had a moment to examine our old stuff and found unexpected reminders of times gone by such as marbles, crayons, Barbie arms, Chapstick tops, and chewing gum wrappers.

After I turned one of the seat cushions on the loveseat over, I discovered a dim outline of our daughter’s first post-potty training accident. Of course, under that same cushion, as well as the others, I collected treasures I thought were forever gone. The first to catch my eye was the yellow edge peeping out from the upholstery of grandbaby’s last pacifier. How well I remembered searching house, yard, and car for that life-giving piece of equipment.

In fact, I can still imagine Grandpa heaves and sighs when he pulled at the carpet edges searching for the prize. After that, he removed the slats off every bed in the house and disassembled the complete frames. About to attack our living room furniture, he paused when our daughter emphatically assured him the baby had gone nowhere near that room. Instead, he turned his attention to the kitchen and hauled out the stove, refrigerator, and cabinets from the wall. There he found nothing more substantial than the only known copy of Great-Great Granny’s famous teacakes recipe that had landed on Plymouth Rock with the Pilgrims, which was buried among artsy dust bunnies that had self-formed, waiting to petrify into immortality. However, just before Grandpa started to peel the wallpaper in the bathroom, Grandbaby went to sleep for the first time without her snookie overhanging the corner of her lips. Her mother insisted the pacifier as no longer needed and threatened to have Grandpa committed if he continued his manic search.

Ahh, such memories. And then there are the tables. Oh, the tables. One big long scratched outline creeping toward a heart shape rested right in the middle of the coffee table. That blemish Grandbaby created proved to me, “Grandpa luvs Grandma now and forever.” Yet, since I interrupted the meant-to-be eternal sculpture, we were forced to live with the half-heart over the years. Another of Grandbaby’s canvases originated on the end table surface where she used the edge of her Fourth of July flag pole to etch a sunflower so that we would always have fresh flowers in our living room.

Before I could continue my walk down memory lane via the Sears Roebuck special deal of thirty-five years ago, the movers began replacing my lifetime of picture backgrounds, Good Housekeeping display tables, permanent grape juice rings, and foot propping coffee table with clean untarnished wooden pieces of beautifully upholstered fabric. Nostalgically, my only hope springs from an image of a great grandbaby of the future sneaking her yellow snookie through the cracks before Grandpa forgets how to handle his trusty Craftsman tools.

The bingo game is one of the most popular games in the world today. Most people are familiar with bingo games in town halls. Now there is a relatively new trend – the online bingo game.

Have you ever wondered where it all started?

The modern day bingo game was originally a form of lottery. When Italy was united in 1530, the government instituted the Italian National Lottery. The Lottery has been held almost every week since then. Today the Lottery is absolutely indispensable to the Italian government – earning more than $75 million yearly!

In 1778 Lotto caught the attention of the intellectuals. The classic Lotto game consisted out of a card that was divided into three horizontal and nine vertical rows. Each horizontal row had five numbered and four blank squares in a random arrangement. The vertical rows contained numbers from 1 to 10, the second numbers from 11 to 20, continuing up to 90. All the Lotto cards were unique. Players would be dealt a single lotto card, whilst someone would draw chips, marked from 1 to 90, from a bag and read the number aloud. Players covered the numbers on their cards if it were read. The first player to cover a complete horizontal row was the winner. In the 1800’s educational games became popular. Lotto games were adapted to teach children spelling, multiplication tables, animals and history. Even today, in the very competitive toy and game market, similar games are popular.

One evening in December 1929, toy salesman Edwin S. Lowe stopped at a carnival a few miles outside Jacksonville. Everything was closed except for one booth. The booth was packed with people. Someone would draw numbers from a bag and read it aloud. The players would all check their cards to see whether they got the number. The winner was the first person who filled a horizontal, vertical or diagonal row of numbers and yelled “Beano”. The winner would than receive a small Kewpie doll as price. As you can guess, this game was called Beano.

Lowe, who has owned his own toy store for about a year, saw the potential of the game immediately. Back home he bought some card and a rubber number stamp and produced his own beano game. Testing it on his friends he soon realized that the game was almost addictive and lots of fun. When one of his friends yelled Bingo instead of beano he knew he had found the name of his new game!

The first Lowe bingo game had two variations – a 12 card set for one dollar and a 24 card set for two dollar. The game was an instant success and soon became popular. Of course he was not the only one to recognize the potential of the bingo game. Many imitators soon tried to market the game. Lowe could not patent the game, but offered to pay his competitors $1 if they would call it Bingo.

A few months later Lowe was approached by a priest from a small parish. Someone in his parish suggested that they use the bingo game as a fundraiser to help the church out of its financial trouble. The priest bought a few sets of Lowe’s bingo game, but unfortunately always had six or more winners.

Lowe immediately saw the potential expansion of the game, but also knew that a huge variation of numbers for the bingo cards will have to be developed. He asked an elderly mathematics professor at Columbia University, Carl Leffler, to devise 6,000 new cards with non-repeating numbers. The professor agreed for a fee for each new card. But, as the professor continued, he found that it became increasingly difficult to produce new bingo cards. Lowe was impatient and at the end he paid Leffler more than $100 per new bingo card. Finally the task was completed, but rumor had it that the professor lost his sanity!

Soon the bingo game was one of the most popular games in North America, and it remains so until today. Many associate it with fundraising, but today Bingo is much more than a fundraiser in church halls.

About ten years ago the online bingo game was developed. Within five years it became even more popular than going to the movies or concerts! Many would agree that online bingo games are the best thing since sliced bread.

Of course online bingo is much more than just a game. It is a place to be with friends and to relax. Who would have guessed that one of the best games ever had such a long history?

Gone are the days when bathrooms were cramped, no-frills spaces with a simple toilet, sink and standard-size tub/shower combination. Today’s homeowners want spa-like bathrooms that offer beauty as well as function. One of the emerging trends is the stand-alone shower enclosure with crystal-clear glass that shows off the elegant fixtures and rich materials of the shower, such as marble, soapstone and granite.

Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that ordinary glass is porous. When hard water, soap and even household cleaners are combined with the heat and humidity typical of shower environments, glass can corrode and no amount of scrubbing will remove the staining and scale that result.

One remedy that homeowners can turn to is spray-on or wipe-on treatments to protect the glass. But when these coatings wear off, staining, streaking and corrosion can occur. Another solution, ShowerGuard™ glass from Guardian Industries, uses a patented ion beam technology to permanently seal the surface of the glass during manufacturing. With this new product, there is never a need to reapply the protection and the appearance can be maintained with a soft cloth or wet sponge and most common household cleaners.

If you’re in the market for a shower enclosure, here are tips on what to ask the bath dealer or the professionals handling your remodeling project:

• Is the shower glass protected? First, ask if the surface of the shower glass has a sealant or other protective treatment. Standard glass can become streaked and stained quickly.

• When and how is the sealant applied? If the shower glass is protected, find out what type of sealant is used and when it is applied. Some glass coatings are applied after the glass is manufactured, which could result in their wearing off in a relatively short period of time.

• Are there special cleaners that must be used? Some glass treatments require special cleaners and techniques rather than ordinary household cleaners.

• How long will the protection last? Some spray-on or wipe-on glass treatments can cease to protect the glass after two or three years and reapplication can be messy.

Have you recently made the decisions to remodel your own kitchen? Do it yourself kitchen remodeling has rapidly increased in popularity over the past few years. One of the reasons for that is because of the internet. Online, you can not only find the materials, supplies, and tools that you need to remodel your kitchen, but you can also find detailed instructions on how to remodel your kitchen, whether it be all of it or just a part of it. For that reason, if you are looking to remodel your own kitchen, it may be a good idea to take advantage of the internet.

One of the many reasons why you should use the internet, to obtain a detailed set of directions on how to remodel your kitchen, is because it is free to use. When purchasing materials at your local home improvement store, you may not be provided with a set of directions. While many kitchen cabinets sets come with a set of directions, not everything else does. If you are purchasing a set of something, such as cabinets, you are more likely to get a set of directions than you were if you were just purchasing supplies. For instance, if you are interested in retiling your kitchen floor or installing new lighting in your kitchen, you may need to find directions elsewhere. It is always possible to purchase how-to books, but why would you want to, especially when you can get the same information for free online?

In addition to being free, you will also find the amount of information amazing. As previously mentioned, whether you are looking to remodeling your entire kitchen or just a part of it, you can easily find the directions or instructions that you were looking for online. For example, online, you should be able to find instructions on how to reinstall a kitchen countertop, install a set of kitchen cabinets, replace your kitchen flooring, as well as install new light fixtures. Essentially, whatever you are looking to do, you can find a detailed set of instructions online. You may also enjoy the fact that many of these directions comes with step-by-step drawings or pictures.

Now that you know why you should find kitchen remodeling instructions online, you may be wondering how you can do so. Online, there are, literally, an unlimited number of websites that offer you information, as well as instructions for most kitchen remodeling projects. One of those websites is likely to be a home improvement store. If you know the online website of one of your local home improvement stores, you are advised to visit it and look around. In addition to finding a detailed set of directions on how to remodel a particular part of your kitchen, such as your sink, you may also find the products, supplies, and tools that you may need or want to have.

If you are unable to find one of your local home improvement store’s online websites or if they did not have the information that you were looking for, you are advised to perform a standard internet search. That search should produce a number of results; results that you may have been hoping for. When using an internet search, to find kitchen remodeling instructions, it is best to tailor your search to exactly what you need. For instance, if you are looking for instructions on how to install a marble kitchen countertop, you may want to search using the words marble kitchen countertop installation. As previously mentioned, countertop installations instructions are just one of the many sets of kitchen remodeling instructions that you can find online.

In addition to being free and full of information, the internet is also easy to use. That is why you are advised to get the information that you need, as well as instructions, for you next kitchen remodeling project online. Why guess or pay may money for a how-to book, when you can get exactly what you need free, with the click of a mouse?

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Despite being the first room that most homeowners see when they enter their houses, the garage is probably the most ignored and least talked-about room when it comes to home improvement.

The typical bland and stained concrete garage floor suffers from years of heavy foot and car traffic. Fortunately, there are ways to make even the most beat-up garages look great-and homeowners can do it themselves. Professional concrete epoxy coatings can revitalize a garage floor, make garage cleanup easier and help prevent the need for future costly floor repairs. Here’s how to restore your floor.

Tools Of The Trade

To restore your garage floor, homeowners will need Quikrete Epoxy Garage Floor Coating Kit (including instructional DVD). This all-in-one, easy-to-use kit beautifies and protects concrete garage floors from hot tires, gasoline, oil, scuffs and wear and tear with a coating twice as strong as concrete. You’ll also need a flat, stiff bristle brush, plastic watering can, garden hose, push broom, a 3/8-inch roller with extension handle, roller tray and a 2-inch, solvent-resistant brush.

What To Do

• Careful preparation of the garage floor is essential for positive end results. Using a push broom, sweep entire area to remove all dust and debris.

• Wet concrete surface, add Bond-Lok concentrate to 3 quarts of water in watering can to degrease, clean and etch in one step.

• Working in sections, sweep watering can back and forth while pouring to ensure proper coverage. Use bristle brush to thoroughly scrub stains and spread cleaner.

• Once each section is cleaned, rinse away dirt with a garden hose. Repeat process until entire surface has been cleaned, following with a final hose down of the garage.

• Wait until concrete is completely dry (at least 4 hours) before epoxy application.

• Combine Part A of product with Part B and allow epoxy to sit for 30 minutes before use.

• Starting at the back of the garage, spread epoxy coating in smooth, even strokes across a 2-by-6-foot area.

• If using color flakes, they must be applied to wet paint. After covering each 2-by-6-foot section with the epoxy coating, lightly sprinkle flakes onto concrete.

• Continue process, working in sections, until entire garage surface is covered.

• Allow epoxy to harden for 12 to 24 hours before light foot traffic and 72 hours for automobile traffic.

There are many reasons to learn how to do your own home improvements, including that it’s cost effective. If you know how to do things right, making your own improvements can save you money on things that will increase the value of your house. Here are some smart ideas for doing your own home improvement projects.

To cut down your home’s energy costs, replace your current thermostat with one that can be programmed. Many families save close to $200 yearly through programmable thermostat use. A programmable thermostat can be set to change when your family is sleeping or out of the house, keeping you from paying for heating and cooling you don’t need. They’re also inexpensive, and can be picked up for less than $40.

To save on energy costs, consider adding a series of small fluorescent lighting fixtures under your cabinetry. These lights consume less energy than your overhead light and can cast a glowing light on the counter surface that is ideal for preparing food or illuminating a richly colored counter top or decorative back splash area.

If your living room and dining room area are combined with no doorway, a great way to define both spaces and keep them separate is by painting both areas a different color. Color serves as a great separator for spaces and you don’t need a doorway or door to be able to keep the two places functioning separately.

Use a cleat on the wall as you are installing the upper cabinets in your kitchen. A simple board that is screwed into the wall and is level will save you a great deal of time when hanging them. It will keep the cabinet from slipping as you are screwing it in and it will make it so you do not have to check your level with each unit.

If you have the space and it is allowed under city ordinances, consider adding an extension to your home. The extra space can be used as an office, den or family room. Consider putting a skylight in your addition. These add ons will increase the value of your home considerably.

If considering a home improvement project first clean every nook and cranny of your home. This will let you inspect your home in entirety so you can determine where you want to focus your efforts. This will also make your home feel more comfortable and look great at the same time.

Improve the resale value of your home, by remodeling the kitchen. Modern appliances, quality counter-tops and plenty of cabinet space gives the kitchen a better selling point. Families congregate in the kitchen, as it’s one of the most used areas of the home.

Knowing simple tips like these is half the battle of doing all the home improvement projects you have in mind. With a little time, effort and knowledge you’ll be able to do a professional-quality job at do-it-yourself prices, and that’s just one of the beautiful things about making your own home improvements.

Are you and your partner in need of a romantic getaway? If you are, you may want to take the time to examine Maui. Maui is known as a popular vacation destination, as well as a popular destination for romantic getaways. With the beauty of the island, as well as a lot of fun, romantic things to do and see, achieving romance on your next Maui trip shouldn’t be a problem.

Although the beauty of Maui is often enough to create romance on its own, you may be looking for additional ways. The good news is that there are a number of different steps that you can take to up the romance levels for your next Maui trip. Five approaches that you will want to take are outlined below for your convenience.

1 – Book a Stay at a Maui Vacation Rental

Booking a stay at a Maui vacation rental is one of the easiest ways to add romance to your next Maui trip. Maui vacation rentals, especially when compared to traditional hotels and vacation resorts, provide you with an unlimited number of romantic opportunities. When examining Maui vacation rentals, you will find that you have a number of different options. These options include Maui villas, condos, homes, cottages, and apartment rentals.

2 – Choose a Beautiful Vacation Rental

When it comes to booking a stay at a Maui vacation rental, like a Maui villa, you will find that they come in all different formats. The beauty of a Maui villa and other vacation rentals, both inside and out, can play a huge role in the romance factor.

When examining your options, in terms of available Maui vacation rentals, it is important to examine pictures. You will want to look at the Maui rental pictures to see if the rental property in question is beautiful or elegant in nature. In addition to examining the inside of a Maui rental, you will also want to examine the outside as well. The view of which you are provided with can also help to add romance to your next Maui trip. Look for Maui vacation rentals that provide you with ocean or mountain views.

3 – Choose a Vacation Rental That is Private

As previously stated, Maui vacation rentals come in a number of different formats, such as Maui villas, condos, apartment rentals, cottages, and homes. While each of these rental property types do boast a little bit of privacy, some are more private than others. For example, when you rent a Maui villa, cottage, or home, you are renting the whole establishment, not just a few rooms. This allows you to have the utmost level of privacy and romance on your next Maui trip.

4 – Choose a Vacation Rental that Offers Convenience

Convenience is also an important component of creating romance on a romantic getaway. In terms of your Maui vacation rental, you will want to book a stay at a rental that simplifies your vacation. For instance, spending your vacation doing laundry at a local laundromat or doing a sink full of dishes by hand is likely to send the romance flying right out the window. That is why you may want to closely examine all Maui rental features and amenities. A Maui villa or another vacation rental that comes equipped with a laundry room, as well as a dishwasher is likely to simplify your vacation, giving you more room for romance.

5 – Plan Ahead, But Be Spontaneous At the Same Time

When it comes to planning a romantic Maui trip, there are certain portions of your trip that should be planned well in advance, like travel arrangements. Once you have made your airline reservations or booked a stay at a Maui rental, you may want to take the time to examine nearby attractions and activities. You will want to focus on those that may be fun and romantic at the same time. While you do not have to create a full schedule for your next Maui trip, having an idea of what you can do and see while on the island of Maui is likely to increase the happiness and romance factors for your next Maui trip.

The above mentioned ways are just a few of the many ways that you can go about ensuring your next romantic Maui getaway is just that, romantic. As a reminder, Maui, alone, is able to create romance, but the previously mentioned tips can help to maximize the romance for you and your partner.