Vineyard on Mount Etna

Experience the Gambino Vineyard on Mount Etna

Gambino Vini is the highest vineyard on Mount Etna in Sicily where volcanic activity first took place about 500,000 years ago.

The Phoenicians, and later the Greeks, were the first to cultivate and produce wine throughout the Mediterranean region.

Volcanic ground, which is rich in mineral salts, creates a grape with the perfect balance of sugar, acid and alcohol for the production of wine.

About the Vineyard

One of the most interesting aspects of growing wine grapes was demonstrated as we toured the vineyard.

The secret of success lies in the degree to which the grapes are exposed to the sun.

The direct exposure to the rising sun from the east in the morning promotes healthy growth whereas the burning afternoon sun from the west demands that the grapes are sheltered by a covering of leaves.

So the pruning of the leaves takes place on the east facing side of the vine.

Seven different wines, using a combination of seven different grapes from Nerello Mascalese to Catarratto are produced at Gambino Vini.

From the stand alone Alicante Rosso wine to the Cantari, Feu d’O and Tifeo varients, which come in both Bianco (White) and Rosso (Red) form, the wines are designed to accompany all food types from fish to spicy meat and vegetables.

We sampled them all alongside the lovingly prepared food.

The menu included classic Italian antipasti comprising mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, salami and olives.

Locally baked yellow flour bread was the perfect accompaniment for a thick chick pea soup, while the highlight proved to be the pork and freshly picked herb sausages made to a secret family recipe.

Smash.  Then silence.

Uproarious laughter followed as a raucous group of American diners greeted the shattering of the wine glass as it fell to the stone floor.

We, a rather more sedate English party, looked on in quiet amusement.

The glass had been in the possession of an elderly American lady who clearly found the heady cocktail of ‘Gambino’ wines and spicy Sicilian foods overwhelming.

Pouring Glass of Red Wine

Our Hosts

The enthusiasm and passion of our genial ‘Gambino Vini’ host Francesco Raciti contributed to a memorable vineyard experience.

Francesco greeted all his guests as if they were his family and his guided tour of the growing vines and wine production facility was both informative and entertaining.

As a widely travelled man, Francesco was also able to draw on his knowledge of wine growing across the continents of North and South America, Australasia and Europe.

Wine production in Sicily has a chequered history.

In Roman times, the Sicilian wines of Manertinum, Tauromenitanum and Populatum were all celebrated for their quality, as was Marsala in the late 18th century by the British sea admiral Horatio Nelson.

However, by the 1970s, the bulk production of wine by co-operatives, mostly from bland white grapes, shifted the focus from quality to quantity.

In more recent times though, thanks to growers like Francesco, Sicily has regained its reputation for producing quality wines.

The tall, wavy haired Francesco came into his own when regaling us with his intimate knowledge of the seven wines that we’d tasted with each of our luncheon courses.

It is rare that you’ll speak to an Italian without reference to family members.

Francesco was no exception as the vineyard had been created by his grandparents and passed through the generations.

He was particularly proud of his children who were set to continue the legacy.

Stone Building on Mount Etna

The Tour

Our tour of Mount Etna, which culminated in the visit to ‘Gambino Vini’, was organised by ‘Wild Wide Sicily’ who specialise in nature excursions.

The morning had been spent viewing the effects of numerous volcanic eruptions.

The 1928 eruption created a  flow that saw the so far, only destruction of an inhabited area, including the train station at Mascali.

The 1971 eruption buried the newly built Etna Observatory and cable car.

All this information was expertly conveyed by our Sicilian guide.

At 3300 metres high Mount Etna is the biggest active volcano in Europe.

In June 2013 it was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Whilst in a constant state of activity its last major eruption was in the winter of 2008/9.

A more recent eruption on 16 March 2017 injured 10 people, including a BBC News television crew, after magma exploded upon contact with snow.

After plenty of trekking in seasonally hot temperatures we were ready for lunch.

As we rolled out of the vineyard and piled into our 4×4 vehicle one of our party expressed a concern about potential travel sickness as we descended the steep, winding roads.

The driver informed us that paper receptacles were available if the worst happened.

We couldn’t resist enquiring as to which nationality were the worst at holding their drink.

The driver was far too polite to say, offering us the classic diplomatic line, “I couldn’t possibly comment”.

However, we arrived safely at our hotel with none of our wine or sausage going to waste.

About the Author

Paul Ashton is a UK resident who loves travelling in Italy, usually via the reliable Italian rail network.  He and his wife enjoy regular trips to their holiday apartment in Marina di Caulonia on the southern Ionian coastline of Italy.

Taking a Walk During Autumn

Top 4 Travel Ideas for the Autumn Season

It’s never too late to take a vacation even if Labour Day is just around the corner.

Fall is a great time to seize the day and some great travel opportunities.

It might all be at last minute, but if there’s a chance for you to go, take it and have the time of your life!

In late summer and early fall things get much cheaper than during the summer season and if you want to get a piece of that cake, keep reading to get some ideas where you might travel this fall.

Before You Go

There are some great advantages in travelling in the post-summer season, especially if you have been on the road already.

In that case, you might have some miles piled up and many airlines will offer off-peak fares and reward-qualifying seats in the period between September and November.

However, be careful to calculate what your ticket is worth both in miles and money so you don’t get the worse part of the deal.

Also, bear in mind that early fall is the storm and hurricane season in the Gulf Coast, Caribbean and East Coast so you could reschedule and reconsider your travel insurance.

Get apolicy that covers all those expenses and check your medical coverage as well.

Also, check what your credit card offers as well, as it may include benefits such as trip interruption, trip cancellation and baggage delay.

Finally, many areas in the U.S and around the world host various festivals in the fall so the prices around this time of the year might be higher.

Disneyland Castle Florida

Visit Warm Parts of the USA

Disneyland is always a great idea for a vacation, whether you have youngsters or not.

The park tickets stay the same throughout the year but accommodation on and around the property can be up to 30% or less.

Florida has amazing weather this time of the year with cooler temperatures and fewer crowds and California won’t disappoint with numerous attractions for the entire family in Napa Valley, Sonoma and the Central Coast.

Times Square New York

Visit the Big Apple

Fall in New York with mild temperatures and gorgeous colours of changing leaves is a perfect destination for any enthusiastic tourist.

Whether you’re flying in or you’ve decided to take a bus from Montreal to New York, you’ll have many great things to see and do both outdoors and indoors.

Firstly, New Yorkers love Halloween so you’ll be able to enjoy Halloween festivals and events in every borough.

In addition to pumpkins and scary costumes, you’ll get the chance to slurp down some oysters during Oyster Week, and get the latest fashion report at the NY Fashion Week.

You might prefer to warm up with some quality whiskey at the Irish Whiskey Festival, attend several NYC street fairs and parades, wave to 40,000 marathoners running through the city streets and enjoy the best beers during the Oktoberfest.

See Europe

Most of Europe is seasonal and the prices can go down as much as 40%.

It’s also a very diverse region, both in terms of geography and climate so plan your visit according to the local weather and characteristics.

For instance, late October can be quite chilly and rainy, especially in northern parts of Europe but as there are many fantastic restaurants, art venues, museums and other indoor facilities, the weather probably won’t be much of an issue.

Southern Europe, which includes Croatia, Italy and Greece, has amazing weather through early November so you’ll have the opportunity to bask in the sun and even catch a few waves.

Coastline of Puerto Rico

Enjoy Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a land of many beauties, delicious food and great beaches.

With the hurricane season ending towards December, your fall vacation can be a pure joy with prices down by 30 to 40% than during the summer season.

As this country is a part of the U.S, you won’t need your passports or shots, but as the weather can be unpredictable at times, do pick up your insurance and have a contingency plan.

The end of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of your travels.

On the contrary, pick a destination or a few from the list of suggestions here and head off to new adventures!

Under Ferrari Bonnet

4 Essential Car Maintenance Tips

As of recently, there has been much talk about car safety.

Talking into consideration that, in spite of all the measures and awareness campaigns, the number of car accidents is on the rise, these concerns are more than reasonable.

So, the question remains, what can we do to improve these numbers?

Enforcing penalties, working on improving drivers’ skills, and making the signs more distinct are all workable solutions.

But, the fact remains that all these mentions are worth very little if the vehicles we are driving are in poor shape.

Let us then take a look at some of the essential car maintenance tips that will move this basic issue off the table.

Check the Tyres

Being mounted on the wheels, tyres have a tremendous impact on the performance of your vehicle.

Be sure then to do frequent safety checks and cut all the possible problems in the root.

  • First, check the tyre depth. If you have a problem determining are they ok, you can use a penny coin as a reference point. The tyre should cover at least the third of the coin.
  • Second, do a quick pressure check. Remove the cap, press the gauge, wait for the hissing to stop, and then read the pressure. Compare this reading to the recommended numbers you can find in the manual.
  • Finally, give the tires close visual inspection and look for any signs of damage, scrapes, cuts, and punctures.

Checking Tyre Tread with Penny

Inspect the Engine

Since it’s a far more complicated component than a tire, major engine interventions should be left to professionals.

However, there are some small fixes you can do for yourself.

For instance, most of the Check Engine alerts occur due to problems with components like camshafts.

Getting premium brands like Crow Cams from T.I. Performance and similar suppliers is relatively easy, and installing new camshafts is even easier.

So, in cases like this, you can avoid expansive interventions at your mechanic.

Replace the Fluids

Although they sound relatively menial in the grand scheme of an intricate car mechanic, various fluids play a huge role in making this whole system work.

Do your best to give them a check at least once a month.

Let’s take a look at the top three solutions you should keep in focus:

  • Engine Oil – In most of the cars, this check is performed by using a dipstick. If you are losing oil faster than expected, visit a mechanic. Otherwise, the oil should replace every 3000 miles of six months.
  • Coolants – Coolants can be easily inspected if you simply remove the radiator cap. The current liquid level is measured against the internal indicator. The coolants should be completely replaced every two years.
  • Power steering fluid – Just pop the hood and do a quick visual check by looking at the reservoir. In this case, you won’t need to replace the fluid on a regular basis, but make sure to constantly keep it topped.

Other important mentions you should keep in mind are brake fluid, transmission fluid, and windshield washer.

Working Under a VW Beetle

Keep the Brake System in Shape

First and foremost, you will need to frequently inspect the brake discs and make sure they are fully functional.

The more often you do it, the better, but let’s say every three months is an acceptable frequency.

Second, make sure the brakes are well-lubricated and resistant to rust.

Finally, use brakes properly to extend their lifespan and efficiency.

If you can, rely on the slowdowns rather than immediate stops and avoid cadence breaking.

Instead apply the pressure gradually, release it and apply again until the vehicle is brought to a halt.

Of course, the issue of road safety and car maintenance is far more complicated than these couple of mentions and even extends to ancillary systems like air-conditioning.

But, all these things are important up to an extent.

The four maintenance tips we gave you are absolutely crucial for any semblance of safe driving.

Be sure to always keep them in mind and do your best to keep your four-wheeler in good shape.

All of your efforts will be well-rewarded.

Reviewing Investment Portfolio Performance

How to Grow Your Wealth for the Future

Figuring out how to grow your wealth for the future isn’t easy.

No one can disagree that there is no shortage of information on investing available over the Internet.

However, too much data can be overwhelming.

Thankfully, this post should help you get a solid understanding of the basics of investing.

Outlined below, you will find everything you might require to start investing and prepare yourself financially for the future.

You Have To Earn Your Wealth

So, you want to grow wealth and get rich.

Well, you have to earn it.

With cash, this is pretty damn straightforward.

Do you want it?

Get out there and start making it.

Find a job. Find a second one. Maybe even a third.

Start side hustling or side projects to earn more cash.

Even if you’re in a college, you can still have a side job to pay for it.

The point being, if you wish to grow wealth, there must be an income to back it.

There are literally thousands of ways to earn income, and you have to find the one that you can do – and get to work!

No one is stopping you.

The only obstacle between you and your wealth is your own willingness to work for it.

Confused Looking Woman Using Laptop

Short-Term Investment Opportunities – Fixed Interest

Fixed interest investments (also called bonds or fixed income) typically have a set investment period (five years, for instance), and give predictable income in the form of consistent interest payments.

They are often less risky when compared to other kinds of investments, so you can use to have a balance and diversity in an investment portfolio.

Fixed interest investments are issued by companies and governments both internationally and in Australia.

For example, a government bond is a fixed interest investment.

It gives the holder regular interest payments, and once it matures, the amount you originally invested (called the principal) can be returned back.

Although the value of the investment doesn’t increase with inflation.

Long-Term Investment Opportunities – Self-Managed Superannuation Fund

A self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) is a superannuation trust structure that offers benefits to you upon retirement.

The major contrast between SMSF and other super funds is that SMSF members are also the trustees of the fund.

One of its main advantages is the level of control you can have when it comes to tailoring the fund to meet your personal needs.

In other words, if you decide to use a self managed super fund, you will have the power to choose from an almost limitless range of investments, which is unrivalled when compared to other types of superannuation funds.

Some of the more common types of investments available within SMSFs include:

  • Cash and term deposits.
  • Managed wraps and funds.
  • International and Australian listed securities (shares).
  • Real estates.
  • Unlisted shares and collectibles.

Define Your Investment Objectives

Investing means putting your cash to work to accomplish your personal goals, so begin by defining what you wish to accomplish by when.

When you set goals, they will force you to plan, and when you have a clear goal – ideally one put on paper – it will motivate you to stick to the plan.

Reflect on your objectives first.

Maybe you’re saving for a holiday, for a child’s education or for a home deposit.

Perhaps you want to boost retirement savings.

Different objectives have different timeframes.

You likely only have a couple of months or a year to save for a holiday, but, if you’re saving for retirement, you might have 30 or 50 years.

Assigning a timeframe to each investment objective will allow you to think about how much you can afford to invest and how long it will actually take you to reach it.

Financial independence is the objective most of us have in mind when we consider building wealth.

It isn’t about the mindless hoarding of cash, but rather using it to buy our freedom.

And that’s what growing your wealth enables you to do. Stop planning and start building.

Major Social Media Brands

How to Correctly Rollout a Company Rebrand

There are a number of things you have to think about when starting a rebrand project.

Are you doing it for the right reasons?

Do you know what exactly you want to achieve?

Do you have the right team?

Only once you have answers to all of these questions should you embark on a rebrand.

However, even if you do, it doesn’t mean your rebrand will turn out to be a success.

The only way to make sure you roll it out properly is to plan everything through.

With that said, here are a few things you can do to make your rebrand rollout the way you intend it to.

Prepare Touchpoints

There’s no point in uploading the new company logo to your website but still hand out business cards with the old one.

The last thing you want to do is confuse your customers which is why you want your rebrand to be effective immediately, with absolutely everything boasting the new look of your brand.

Also, you want your rebrand reveal to create some noise and nothing can make it less effective than visual inconsistencies.

Of course, your logo isn’t the only thing that might need a new look.

Everything from your email signature to business cards needs updating.

If you tackle it in phases, make it very clear what changes are yet to take place.

Pantone Colour Swatches

Get Your Style Guide Ready

People in general, try to resist change as much as possible.

This is why your team members might need all the help you can provide when it comes to understanding the new look of your brand.

The best way to make sure the change goes smooth for them is to prepare a style guide.

As long as your guide is comprehensive and easy to navigate, they’ll know how to represent the company the right way.

Make all assets such as fonts, logos, and colour schemes available with your style guide.

Another good idea is to have someone in charge and have team members come to them in case they have any questions about your rebrand.

Start By Launching Internally

A style guide can help employees grasp the new look of your brand easier but it doesn’t give them time to adjust to the changes.

It’s critical to bring everyone in the office into the brand story and make sure they know exactly how to represent it.

Launching the new brand design internally is the perfect way to do it as it leaves plenty of room for questions and approvals.

To make it more official, you can even think about hosting a special unveiling event where the creative team can walk everyone through the rebrand.

You can rely on videos and games to help your employees adjust to the rebrand faster.

Business Planning Essentials

Host An Event For Your Customers

We’ve talked about hosting an internal unveiling event but there’s more you need to do if you want to make adjusting smooth for your customers as well.

Making the rebrand official is even more crucial while launching it externally and hosting an event is extremely important.

The best part of it is that the event isn’t only going to help your customers understand the new look of your brand but it might help you make more sales as well.

Promote your event by creating promo assets for every platform your brand is on.

Another thing you can do is hand out promotional products with your new colour scheme and logo.

Tell Your Rebrand Story

There’s a story behind every rebrand including reasons for tackling the project and everything that the new brand design brings.

The story about your rebrand can do wonders for your business but it’s up to you to tell it right.

This means you should use every opportunity to tell all about it on a more detailed level.

What this does is add a human element to the whole project which can be a huge plus.

When unveiling the rebrand on your website, make sure it’s followed by a detailed explanation of why you changed your logo or how you came up with the new name.

You can also use these stories to give your email and social media marketing a slight boost.

Not a single brand out there has been built overnight.

A rebrand sure is an exciting endeavour but it’s not the end.

Once the entire project has been completed, it’s time to start looking for what further updates you can make to your brand and help your business grow even more.

Cottages in Autumn

The 5 Most Important Maintenance Tips for Your Home This Fall

In order for your home to be functional for years to come, it needs to be well maintained – and every season comes with its own maintenance tasks you should complete.

Doing some maintenance in fall will prepare your home for the harsher weather that is yet to come, so you should set aside a few days just for this.

With that in mind, here are five maintenance tips for your home this season.

1. Clean Your Gutters

Clogged gutters can lead to roof leaks, because they would prevent water from flowing freely.

Eventually, that water would build up and seep through your walls, roof, and even your basement.

Plus, when the temperatures drop below zero, not cleaning your gutters can result in ice damming, which can damage your gutters.

In short, not cleaning your gutters on time can lead to some costly necessary repairs later.

So, even if you’re not that experienced in this field, you can hire somebody to help you, but don’t skip this step.

Smoke Detector

2. Test Your Smoke Detectors

This is a task that only takes a few minutes, and it can save lives.

Test your smoke detectors to make sure they are working properly, and change the batteries.

After all, whether you have a fireplace or an electric heater, you will be heating your home much more during fall and winter, so the risk of fires is a bit higher than usual.

Plus, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and you don’t want your detectors to malfunction when you need them the most.

3. Check Your Drains

Clogged drains can lead to all kinds of problems, from bad smells to mould and floods.

So, if you notice that water seems to be going down too slowly, check your drains.

Australians, for example, know that preserving water is more important now than ever before, and for that, your drains need to be in good shape.

Not to mention that preventing plumbing issues in Australia is much cheaper than fixing them.

So, don’t hesitate to call and consult the professionals in blocked drains from Sydney who will gladly check your drains, fix any potential issues, and give you tips on how to prevent any problems as well.

4. Have Your Chimney & Heating System Inspected

If you have a fireplace, you should inspect your chimney before you actually need to use it.

If you don’t know whether it should be cleaned, you can always consult professionals.

On the other hand, if you happen to have a central heating system, you should also make sure everything is ready for the cold days of fall and winter.

This is not only to keep your family safe but also to ensure that everything is working efficiently, so you don’t waste more money than necessary on your energy bills.

And don’t forget to change the air filters every month, or as often as the manufacturer instructed.

Raking Autumn Leaves

5. Rake The Leaves & Trim The Branches

This is something you can do near the end of the season – rake your leaves and trim the trees.

Raking your leaves is important, but not just because your lawn would look better; it’s also because it allows your lawn to breathe.

This is especially important if you want to have a nice garden in the spring.

Moreover, raking the leaves also reduces the chances of your yard becoming infested with pests.

As for the trees, considering how windy and stormy this season can get, use the opportunity when the leaves have fallen to trim any dead branches, especially those hanging over your house and pathways.

Taking care of these few tasks can make your life much easier when the winter comes.

So, follow the listed tips, take care of any issues that you notice right away, and you will have much less to worry about.

Baby in Cot

How to Prepare a Baby Nursery for a Newborn Baby’s Arrival

Once you find out you’re expecting a baby, there are so many things that need to be done, and one of them is preparing the nursery room!

This particular activity takes a lot of time and steps, so it’s a good thing you have nine months to do everything right.

In order not to miss anything important, read about all the things you should do when preparing a room for your new little family member.

Dedicate a Room to Your Baby & Prepare It

Whatever room you choose to turn into the nursery, the very first thing you’ll have to do is the thorough cleaning.

First empty the room completely, even if you plan to keep some furniture and items in it, because this is the most effective way to clean everything perfectly, without missing a spot.

When cleaning all the surfaces, include walls and the floor as well.

You should do this because babies are known to be susceptible to allergens like dust, mold, and pet hair.

If the room is too bright, consider adding a dimmer switch.

Follow these instructions, if you aren’t sure how to do it.

It’s a simple project you can do yourself, without having to rely on the help of a professional.

Another simple activity you can cover is oiling the door hinges, if you don’t want to hear the sound of creaking all the time.

Just use a common household lubricant like WD-40 and apply a little oil to each hinge on the nursery door.

You can get these lubricants from any home improvement store, or check out if you can find them in supermarkets.

Lastly, don’t forget about safety features!

You can start by installing a smoke and carbon monoxide detector, and then see what else you can do.

It’s very important, so this is a step you shouldn’t miss in any case. After doing all this, you can paint the room.

Cute Baby Slippers & Clothing

Purchase Essential Furniture & Items

This is a more exciting and fun step!

From the essentials like the crib, sheets, drawers and dressers to tiny details like a pacifier, there are many things you will need, so it’s a good idea to make a list and put it on the paper.

The most important items are definitely the ones regarding the baby’s sleep – the crib and everything that is a part of it: the mattress, blankets and sheets.

Check out the amazing Bubba Blue products to find something you’ll like for your little bundle of joy.

They offer things like charming and luxurious cot and bassinet sheets, swaddling wraps, blankets and towels and everything is designed in Australia and crafted from breathable, natural fabrics like organic cotton and bamboo.

If you want to keep your child cozy and comfortable, you’ll be satisfied with their incredible range of gorgeous designs.

Decorate & Organise the Room Well

We can finally mention the most thrilling part of the whole process!

Once you are done with buying things you need and picking the theme, it’s time to decorate the room and organise everything.

The most important items should be the most visible and always at the reach.

Moreover, you should start with the basic colors, because babies are drawn to high-contrast, black-and-white objects, and not brightly coloured items.

If you are going to become a mommy and daddy, it’s time to plan how you will prepare the nursery room and begin with all that has to be done.

From making it clean and safe and setting the perfect lightning to picking beautiful furniture and items and decorating and organizing everything to look well and be practical for you, it’s going to be an exciting little adventure.

Remember, your baby deserves the best, so go wild if you can afford it.

Beautiful Home with Side Extension

Home Upgrades That Are Totally Worth It

It’s time for a home renovation, yet you don’t know where to start?

Quite often you need to renovate more things at once, especially if nothing has ever been renovated in your home.

However, some things are more essentials than others, and those mostly regard your safety and hygiene.

If you’re planning on renting the place at some point, it would also be thoughtful of you to calculate in advance and predict what your future occupants might need, as well.

Here are some crafty innovations you can add to your home that are certainly going to pay off.

A Functional Kitchen is a Happy One

Kitchens that have never been renovated tend to have layers of dirt hidden in every corner, and don’t lie that this is not the case at your home.

Kitchen elements are heavy and tough to move, which is why we rarely bother giving the kitchen a deep cleaning session.

However, such neglect can cause you more problems than you might think.

Rats and cockroaches are only some of the most common ones, but all kinds of allergens can start growing in your unclean kitchen, as well as potentially harmful bacteria.

What you need to do first is thoroughly clean every bit of the kitchen until it shines spotlessly, and afterwards check all the electrical devices.

If all of them are working efficiently, think about investing in some new kitchen gadgets and decorations.

Taller cabinets, a kitchen island and LED strip cabinet lights are only some of the ways to make your kitchen interior truly pop.

American Home at Sunset

Let the Light Enter & Shine

You can never have enough light in a home, and there are few reasons why that is so.

Lighter homes make all the occupants feel better since sun rays enhance the production of serotonin and vitamin D, as well as help you maintain a healthy biorhythm.

Furthermore, all the best features of your home’s furniture and décor elements can be better seen in a room with more light, making the home as a whole more appealing.

The key rooms which you should light up are the kitchen and the bathroom.

Since these are the rooms that most often don’t have windows, try installing them.

If this is not an option, then go with daylight replacement lights in order to mimic the light that would naturally come from the sun.

Get Your Home an Extra Floor

Adding an extra floor to your home is the absolute best way to get more space and some better window views.

Having more square meters in your home increases its resale value, so if you’re looking for a worthy investment, then dazzling second storey additions are just what you need.

You can even add two storeys at once, which is a cheaper way to go since the average cost per square meters added is reduced when it comes to installing multiple floors.

It’s important that these additions are done safely, which is why you need to hire an experienced team to do the job.

Things that must be considered are structural requirements (since the foundation has to carry more weight), as well as mechanical issues, such as plumbing, chimneys and electrical panels.

Invest in Energy Savers

Overall, the best investments you can make are the ones regarding energy-saving upgrades.

Your home spends a lot, and you will see how much you can save on a monthly basis as soon as you start installing these upgrades.

The difference is very noticeable, especially when it comes to saving money from heat and cooling devices thanks to energy-efficient windows, as well as eco-friendly electrical appliances.

The more energy-efficient you make your home, the more easily it will sell, as well.

Another great thing about making your home into a fully energy functional one is that you are doing what’s best for the environment, which is a goal all of us should strive for.

If we don’t look out for the environment, none of our houses are going to be good places to live in.

So, make sure that your eco-friendly investments go along with all the other ones and you will significantly upgrade the worth of your home.

Phone Live on Instagram

Top 6 Ideas for Brands to Increase Audience Engagement on Instagram

In recent times the visibility of brands has increased on Instagram for the growth of their businesses.

Instagram has about 1 million active users every month out of which, 67% of adults age between 18 to 29.

Out of these 67% active users, 60% login Instagram multiple times a day.

Due to this huge number of active users every day Instagram offers a platform to brands for the promotion and growth of their business.

In this article top 6 ideas are mentioned which would help brands to make their presence reach to a maximum of the audience; get more Instagram likes and potential buyers.

1. Blend into the Instagram Format

Yes, to blend in the format of visual content on Instagram is the best way to promote yourself positively.

You have to show your brand to the audience and not just tell them about it.

The photos or videos should look very native to the platform.

One more reason to still maintain visual content as the primary feature of Instagram is to prevent it to get converted into a social billboard for promotion.

2. Create Episodic Content

Episodic content is a significant way to engage more audience.

It can convert your one-time visitors to account re-visitors or permanent followers.

The episode does not need to be a 30 minutes video, but any content which would make the audience curious to know what would be the next content.

It could be a photo, an Instagram story or a short video of just 6 seconds.

Girl Taking Photo Using Instagram

3. Use Nostalgic Content

Nostalgic emotion leads to aspirations and engages most of the audience.

Throwback pictures are in trend on Instagram.

Brands can share the pictures of their old products or milestones achieved by them in past.

They can also show the throwbacks of their employees and a now and then comparison of their company and their brand.

4. Diversify Your Content

Brands should use diversified content on their Instagram profile.

Visual content feature of Instagram is not limited till photos now.

Videos, IGTV, Instagram stories and many other ways are available to present their content in a more involved way to the audience and potential customers.

Diversified content makes your profile look fresh as well.

5. Say No to Over Filter Content

Instagram has filters option to edit their visual content.

A filter could be used to edit light in content, to balance or enhance colours.

These are available to make the picture look good but overuse of filters could make the photo look grainy and artificially constructed.

Such photos on your profile would not reflect a good image of your brand in the audience’s mind.

Camera Lens Filter

6. Create a Storyline

Visual stories get consumed by human mind quickly compared to a written story.

Instagram too has a story feature which appears as a timeline for 24 hours and disappears automatically afterwards.

Brands should always post content in a storytelling way so it can involve the audience completely into it.

They could use their content to tell the story of their product, effects of their products, efforts of employees to enhance customer experience, inside stories and even new products launches too.

Stories educate, reveal and delight audience which itself is an engaged process for them.

If any brand wants to make them popular and successfully marketed on Instagram they need to engage as much audience as possible.

Above mentioned are some tips for brands about how to use Instagram for high engagement of the audience.

Brands can design their Instagram marketing strategy as per these tips to get newfollowers on Instagram and to engage them continuously.

Cleaning Inside a Toilet Rim

5 Easy to Follow Toilet Cleaning Tips

Most homes are reasonably clean, but there is always the possibility of germs hanging around.

This is especially true about the toilets in our homes.

This tiny room needs to be cleaned as often as possible to keep the germs at bay. Here are a few tips and ideas on toilet cleaning.

Regular Flushing

In general, even though water conservation is important, you should try and flush the toilet as often as possible.

This will keep the toilet clean for longer even if you do not have any toilet bowl cleaner in the bowl or cistern.

It will also prevent a smelly toilet.

Make sure that you place a toilet bowl cleaner on the inside of the toilet bowl or in the cistern to assist with daily cleaning.

This will help with keeping the bowl clean for a lot longer between deep cleaning.

As you flush, it will clean and release a clean-smelling and fresh fragrance as well.

When you do flush, you should close the lid so that the germs do not spread around.

The lid should be kept closed for the same reason.

It is therefore important to ensure that you clean the lid thoroughly on the top and on the inside as well.

Frequency of Cleaning

Deep toilet cleaning should happen at least twice a week.

If you have a busy life, once a week would be fine, as long as you have the toilet bowl cleaner inserted.

However, using a brush and chemicals should get rid of any stubborn dirt inside and outside the bowl.

Cleaning Products

Use Appropriate Chemicals

It is best to use chemicals that are specifically designed for toilet cleaning.

You will discover that other chemicals may be too harsh and can scratch the ceramic bowl.

It could also react adversely to the germs, dirt, and smell in your toilet and you do want a toilet that smells fresh and clean.

As a first step, you should squirt the toilet bowl cleaning product under the rim (that is if your toilet does have a rim), and let it sit for a while.

This will loosen all the grime underneath.

That will make it easier to scrub out with a toilet brush.

Should this be a separate toilet, it is important to clean the window on the inside as well as on the outside.

Make this a part of your deep toilet cleaning routine.

This will ensure that there is no build-up of dirt and germs.

If the toilet is part of a bathroom, you should clean the bath and the basin first so that the germs are not transferred from the toilet to these items.

In this instance, the window or windows will need cleaning as well as the mirrors.

You should always do the toilet cleaning before you clean the floors.

The reason is that, while cleaning the toilet, the dirt and germs will inevitably land on the floor.

You, therefore, need to clean it at the end of the cleaning regime.

It is vital that you use clean brushes and cloths for this purpose.

You are already battling germs and you do not want to add to the ones already present by using dirty cleaning equipment.

Always Clean the Walls

Another aspect of deep cleaning, especially in a smaller space, is to clean the walls as well.

It is an easy task if the walls are tiled.

You should clean the walls before you do the floors as well.

You should use a tile cleaner for the floor preferably with the same fragrance as the other cleaning products.

This will enhance the fragrance and create a sweet-smelling space.

Any decor in the toilet should be thoroughly cleaned as well, especially during the deep clean process.

It is necessary to clean anything that you perceive that can collect germs.

Cleaning Bathroom Floor Tiles

Don’t Forget the Floors

The last step is to clean the floor.

The floors should be part of the daily cleaning routine.

For the deep cleaning regime, a good scrub is necessary as well because the grout would have picked up dirt and germs along the way.

Final Tips

Germs are a common occurrence in toilets, hence, when toilet cleaning, you need to wear clean rubber gloves at all times.

If possible, you should cover your feet as well. A quick spray of air freshener would complete the task.