Our Last Fishing Adventure With the Family

our fly fishing pic

The one… FOUR that got away!!

First off – I have to give a shout out and big THANK YOU to The Hatch Fly Shop, their shop manager Kenny Galvin and my hilarious and patient guide Scott Thompson for the absolutely epic and amazing fly fishing weekend!!

I had a guide trip planned for Saturday. I didn’t really know what to expect. This was my 4th trip out since I took up fly fishing up in August, so the only thing I knew for certain was that there was a 100% chance of me learning something new!

I arrived at the shop at 7:30 and met my guide – Scott Thompson. He turned out to be a real class act ~ a great personality – patient and also funny as all get out. He asked what kind of fishing I was looking for. I decided that after the last 3 weekends it was time to hook into some real BIG fish. He said he had the perfect spot….and he couldn’t have been more right. What an adventure it turned into.

I’m not exactly sure what direction we headed – we were too busy laughing and talking it up. We hiked and bushwhacked for awhile and got to a pretty little section on the river. Scott set up my rod and went over some casting techniques. We also roll-played some scenarios of how to set and ‘play’ a big fish if I were to actually hook into one.

We got in the water. We were using a method with 3 flies and an indicator. This was the first time I had fished with an indicator – so I found it to be a little different and more challenging than what I was used to with just the dry flies. I tried my hand at some casting and learned to ‘mend the line’ – all new techniques, so I was excited to be learning!

Scott started to look around and try to spot fish. He was pretty sure he spotted what appeared to be a ‘pretty big one’ in a seam area coming off some rocky water. He instructed me where to cast to have my line float down past this fish and give me the best chance of hooking onto it. After what seemed about 4 casts – I  got the chance to SET THE HOOK – and WHOA – it felt like I had snagged into a moving log! This Rainbow was huge. Definitely the fish of a lifetime. In these situations I definitely recommend getting the best fishing sling pack you can find. 

Luckily she was pretty nice to me. My heart was pounding – adrenaline was rushing. I took a deep breath – Scott had mentioned to me something about that earlier. I let her run once or twice and I managed to keep tension on the line and get her steadily over to the shoreline. I had her in inches deep water, in the sand, at Scott’s feet – when….


  1. a) the tip of my rod was brushing up against a tree – so keeping tension was proving to be difficult
  2. b) Scott reached down with the net and she somehow darted to the side and as that happened, I must have not had enough tension on and the hook slipped out


She was a solid 24-25″, 7-8lb massive Rainbow. I’ll never forget that moment, the imagery of looking down and seeing that there was in fact, a ginormous fish on the end of my line. The sheer weight, the rod bent over – pure muscle & strength. Crazy – nothing like it!!

Even though I don’t have a picture – Scott says I need to count that as landing a big fish. I hooked her, I fought her all the way up – I totally had her – and then she got away. ;(

What do you think? Does it ‘count’ if I didn’t touch the fish? Does it count if I didn’t get the picture?

Home Business: How to Increase The Value of Your House

ideas on home improvementPerhaps, you have been planning to put your house on sale or maybe, you just want to give it some improvements for your own enjoyment; either way, there are effective and inexpensive ways on how to increase your home’s value.

Personal Intentions and For Sale

As homeowners, it’s not surprising if we want to give our house an upgrade even if it’s for our own entertainment and benefit. In fact, in Ireland, the demand for home improvement bank loans have been on the rise. Of course, no one would want to live in a place that’s rotting away. The same goes if you’re planning to put your house on the list of homes for sale. Potential buyers will definitely have your house appraised and so, the best thing to do is to up the value of the home before actually selling it.

Increasing the Value

  • Plan it out.

The most important step in increasing your home’s value is by planning out the specific modifications you’ll do for your home. Planning will cover estimates of the expenses as well so you can easily adjust accordingly.

  • Expand the space.

Potential home buyers definitely want a place that screams “space”. A spacious place will mean that they can design it on their own; however, you should also present a house that’s 90% empty, unless they asked for that. So, if there might be some extra spaces that are divided by walls; you may opt to tear those walls down to give your place a bigger appearance as well.

  • Invest in lighting.

No one wants to live in a house that looks haunted; with super dim lights that are just not attractive to the eyes. You might want to invest in lights with great quality; lights that will give your place justice. Furthermore, you may also install lights in places where it is necessary (e.g. corridors, storage areas, garage, etc.)

increase the value of your house

  • Add new features.

A great way to up the value is by adding awesome features to your house. For instance, you may want to add a mini home theater (check out http://outdoormoviehq.com/outdoor-movie-screens/ for more info),, a gaming room, or even an extra bedroom. You could also invest in a regular-sized pool as this would definitely give potential home buyers something to think about.

  • Give it a proper fix.

If there is anything that’s broken, worn out, or needs some replacing, you should get these done by professional handymen who will leave your place with quality work. When it comes to dealing with water damage, plumbing problems, electrical issues, etc., make sure you invest in it so that your potential buyers would know that your place is actually well-taken care of.

  • Take care of the exteriors.

Lastly, don’t forget about the exterior look and features of your home. From the curb, to the walls, and to the doorstep, small details that make the place look attractive, like a lovely garden or attractive floor tiles for the walkway, etc., will be considered as extra good points for buyers.


Top 4 Advantages in Hiring Professional Cleaners for Your Home

benefits of hiring cleaning services

As homeowners, a clean home is essential for us and our family to live comfortably. Understandably, no one wants to go home to cluttered place that looks like it just got hit by a hurricane. For many of us, cleaning the house by ourselves is the way to go; however, some may prefer to hire professional cleaners instead for various reasons.

Just as there are many reasons not to hire cleaners, there are also a number of justifications as to why we should hire professionals to take care of the cleaning business at home. Here, we will look into the advantages brought about by leaving the dirty work on the hands of these professional cleaning services.

Advantages of Hiring Professional Cleaners

  • Experience and Expertise

Unlike us amateurs, these cleaners have been professionally taught and trained to clean living spaces. They already know the many effective techniques in cleaning. Furthermore, their experience in cleaning previous homes will play a big role in how they will go about our homes. That being said, these professional cleaners are more equipped with knowledge in cleaning.

  • Cleaning Schedule

So many homeowners have planned dates for general cleaning in their own homes; but almost always, the plan fails to take place because other priorities arise out of nowhere. With the help of professional cleaners, scheduled cleaning would become more attainable.

Your home would be cleaned according to when you want it to be cleaned. As the homeowner, all the choice is yours.

best carpet cleaners

  • Quality of Results

As previously discussed, professional cleaners are experts in cleaning and so, it is only natural for us to expect and receive great quality when it comes to cleaning performances.  Indeed, it is safe to say that compared to cleaning our dirty carpet by ourselves, hiring home carpet cleaning services would definitely give us a much cleaner carpet as a result.

  • More Free Time

Instead of spending our free time on cleaning the entire home, we would now be able to spend our free time for ourselves or with our family; perhaps, a trip to the mall or a family outing would now be possible with the help of cleaning services. Saving time is a huge concern for most homeowners, especially when it comes to shopping. My advice is to always look for great online vouchers as they can save you not only time and money but you sanity!

The Bottom Line

Overall, hiring professional cleaning services is truly a cost-efficient and effective method in so many ways. And although it may seem to be costly, initially, we can also see that the return on this type of investment is evident when the cleaning results finally kick in.

We cannot deny the convenience these cleaning services offer us and our entire family. Not only will it help us save money and time, in the long run, it also saves us from breaking our backs trying to reach the cobwebs in the nooks and corners of our homes.
And so, before making the choice of not hiring professional cleaners, try to do a cost-benefit analysis first. Try to list down the advantages and disadvantages as these will help you in making the right decision.

Steps in Preparing for Parenthood: What Mothers and Fathers Should Do

how to be parents

There is nothing more exciting and nerve-wracking than the news of a baby coming your way. Immediately, soon-to-be parents would start wondering how their lives would change when the baby finally arrives. Having a baby is no joke, we all know that—and with that in mind, there are so many preparations needed to be done mentally and physically.

The Preparations

  • Prepare yourself for changes in your sleeping pattern.

With babies around, alarms and snoozes become your best friends. It is best to mentally prepare yourself ahead with the idea that there will be days and nights where you may only have 2 hours of sleep.

  • Prepare for changes in the time devoted to your spouse.

Importantly, you will have to talk with your spouse about this. You want both of you to really devote time to the baby—however; despite your hectic schedules, plan out some ways in order for both of you to have time together.

  • Prepare to get help from a nanny or another caregiver.

Whether you will ask assistance from a nanny or the baby’s grandmother, it does not matter as long as you can trust them. Some parents like to think that they won’t be needing much help but trust this article—you will need extra help. Especially if you are a working mom with a working husband as well.

baby essentials

  • Research about ways to put babies to sleep.

Once you have done your research in this, you might want to make a list which you can follow when the baby finally arrives. With the tips you have listed, it may be easier for your baby to doze off—and in turn, you may be able to have more hours to sleep. You may also download ahead lullabies, story-telling recordings, white noise and whatever else may serve useful in helping babies sleep.

  • Prepare clothing, diapers and bibs.

It is always best to prepare these ahead at least around the second trimester of the pregnancy. You would not want to rush in buying baby clothes on the day of the labor. It is always best to prepare so there would be not much problems anymore. Of course, you can buy ahead those which are most essential such as the diapers, clothes, mittens and socks—bibs, small towels, etc. may follow after.

  • Prepare the crib or the baby’s room.

For some parents, they prefer to sleep with their babies in the same bed. However, it is also best to prepare the baby’s own crib for them to have a more comfortable sleep. You may also want to start preparing or, at least, planning about the baby’s room.

  • Prepare carriers and strollers.

Eventually, you will have to go to places outside your home with your baby and this is why it is important to purchase ahead baby carriers and/or strollers. There are carriers made especially for new born babies and when they’re a little bit bigger, you can check out some hoodie baby carriers for a more fashionable approach—see the top baby carrier hoodie reviews for more ideas. As for the stroller, you can buy this when the baby is a bit older.

The Bottom Line

Discussed above are only very few of the many preparations that should be made as there are so many changes that will occur in the lives of new parents. Truly, caring for a baby is quite scary and frustrating. However, the happiness you will feel when the baby is finally in your arms is priceless. With proper communication and preparations, new parents will survive this challenge, for sure.


Useful Tips When Buying a Sewing Machine

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tips in sewingPerhaps many of us have witnessed our mothers and grandmothers dealing with sewing machines back when we were growing up. As kids, many of us may have found these sewing devices rather interesting that we even dared to touch it or try it even when the grown-ups clearly forbade us to go near it. Although we may have seen the machine as something cool and easy to operate when we were little kids, it is more complicated than we actually think it is.

Now that we find ourselves in the age of wanting to actually purchase a sewing machine, there are several factors that come into play.

Especially for beginners, there are questions that have to be answered before actually buying the machine. Some of these important considerations are the following:

The Questions to Ask

  • What is your budget?

First and foremost, ask yourself how much you are willing to spend for this machine. Fortunately, there are good quality sewing machines for beginners that are priced lower than $100; take a look at Grandma Likes To Sew for more information regarding the best sewing machines at the most reasonable prices.

However, if you are not a beginner, you may be willing to spend more for the sewing device especially if you want to do an upgrade from your current machine. Determine first the price range which you are willing to negotiate with.

  • Which is better for you, mechanical or electrical?

The modern computerized or electrical sewing machines will obviously come with a much greater price and so for those beginners, it may be more clever to start with mechanical or manual machines since they can stand more abuse compared to the ones that come with touch screens and other modern features.

If the budget is not quite out there then mechanical machines are the best option as they will still do well the basic sewing tasks.

different sewing stitches

  • How many stitches do you need?

You actually have the choice of purchasing a sewing machine that accommodates a lot of stitching types or going for something that has those stitching types which are necessary. Do not tempted to purchase a machine just because it has so many stitching choices; chances are, you will not even use most of the stitches available in your device. So, decide on this aspect wisely by knowing which stitches will be useful for you and which stitches you do not really need.

  • What are the attachments and feet?

Depending on what you will be trying to make, those who are trying to make garments would work well with zipper foot, buttonhole foot and button attaching foot. However, if you are into making quilt, you might want to look for sewing machines with spring action foot or walking foot. Although many machines may actually come with all of these different foot types, the lower priced ones are an exemption as they may only feature limited types of foot.

Final Say

Answer these questions thoroughly first as you narrow down your choices. Furthermore, you might want to ask recommendations from expert sewing machine users in order to make an informed decision.


Why Everyone Should Try Acupuncture – Acupuncture Advice in Miami

acupuncture in miami

Many patients turn to acupuncture as a last resort when allopathic medicine fails them. Others give it shot when their insurance plans are exhausted after the prescribed number of visits. And then there are those who have found the treatment to be highly effective and affordable and turn to acupuncture to fix the root cause of a health problem (rather than just address the symptom which is what most Western medicine does) so that it does not come back.

That being said, we strongly recommend that everyone should try acupuncture at least a few times to know for yourself how it can benefit your body and whether it is worth your time and money.

Here are some reasons that should spike your curiosity and hopefully get you to give this form of alternative therapy a go.

  • It’s a completely customized kind of healthcare

The major differentiation with acupuncture in comparison to other forms of treatment is that acupuncturists treat patients and not the disease. This means that the treatment differs for each patient even though they may be suffering from the same ailments or discomforts.

Trained therapists provide acupuncture advice in Miami after understanding every detail of your body and your life. This even covers general aspects like the sound of your voice or the quality of your skin.

Their recommendations are based on your lifestyle in the present and in the past. In this form of therapy, the body is considered as a system made up of interdependent parts: muscle, bones, fascia, blood, organs, and meridians make up this network. Their advice and treatments are thus based on the self healing mechanism of the body after identifying your mental as well as physical deficiencies by unblocking them and making adjustments.

  • It does not hurt

You may be afraid of needles, but trust us acupuncture therapy is nothing to be afraid of. The needles are sterile and hair-thin and their pricks are subtle enough not to get you anxious. Besides, just think of the relief you will get from the chronic pains and aches you suffer every day.

  • The side effects are lovely

One of the biggest reasons why everyone should try acupuncture is to witness for yourself how fast chronic aches and pains diminish. Mostly patients that undergo treatment for neck and shoulder pain also experience better quality of sleep, reduced stress levels and a much balanced overall frame of mind. Best of all, the therapy is all natural and no drugs are used in the process.

where to find acupuncture in miami

  • It addresses the root of the problem

One of the principles of acupuncture therapy is to identify and treat the underlying root cause of a problem rather than focusing on the patient’s current condition.

  • It has excellent results

Acupuncture is an age old form of therapy that can be traced back thousands of years. The fact that it is being used to treat patients even today speaks volumes about its effectiveness.

In Miami, acupressure advice and treatment is highly sought after for treating sore necks, back aches, shoulder pains, sport related muscle injuries, accident injuries and also for recovery from drug, alcohol and smoking addictions.

How to Deal With Water Damage In Your Home

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san diego water damage

Last week my husband and I came home to find that not only had our basement flooded with an inch of water but also that the electrical system had short circuited as a result as well.  It was devastating news and I wasn’t sure what to do.

I’m not sure if anyone else has ever experienced that but I can tell you to say it was a “nightmare” would be a gross understatement.  Our insurance company came through in the end and in about five or six months time we might actually be happy for this terrible misfortunate (hey we get a free basement redo out of it), but I wouldn’t say by any means that it’s “worth it”.

Having your home destroy by water damage is basically on par with having it destroyed by a hurricane or a tornado.  While you might still have your roof intact, water eats away at nearly everything that makes a house strong and lasting.

We’re talking:

  • Insulation
  • Wiring
  • Floorboards
  • Encourage mold growth.
  • Damages the home’s structure

Best Solution for Water Damage? Find someone in your area – like San Diego.

We live in the San Diego area and we weren’t exactly who to call right away.  We spoke to Thurodry a local business that handles water damage in San Diego.  They send over some people right away and helped us clean up the mess.

A couple of tips for dealing with a serious water leak

I’ll break this down into a couple of big takeaways we learned:

  1. Ask your insurance company specifically about water damage and their policies about it. Luckily my husband Bill is a pretty thorough investigator of any purchase and he made sure we were covered.
  2. Stay somewhere else while they are fixing your place up. It’s just not worth is subjecting your family to all of the cleanup and construction.
  3. Contact a professional company right away. Don’t just call your local handy man.

Hope that helps everyone and I truly hope this doesn’t happen to you!

My Favorite Posts of 2016

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Hey guys,

So this is just a big list of some of my favorite posts for 2016. They are in no particular order. Some of the content was contributed to me via some guest posts. If you have anything you want to share email me at [email protected]

Three Tips To Keep Your Kids Teeth Clean and Health – Via Austin Dental 

How I Find the Best Skates for my Kids