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Infrastructure Guide for Your Life

How to File Taxes – A Beginner’s Guide to Taxes

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Tax season – it’s the time where you can see adult people sitting at their working table and preparing their financial statements to file their annual tax returns. It could be considered as one of the busiest seasons of the year, and probably the most stressful and intimidating season for adults. This is particularly true for newbies, who do not have any idea yet how to file their own taxes. If you’re a newbie, here is a simple guide to help you get started.

Figure out if you have to file.

Not every adult person has to file a tax return. If you were under the age of 24 in 2014 tax year, and a full-time student being supported by your parents, you don’t have to file a tax return because your parents can still claim you as a dependent. But if you’re already on the right age and earning an income, you should file – even if you’re not required to! Most people are encouraged to file their own taxes even if they don’t want to because of the many tax benefits that they can get, including tax refunds and tax credits. Aside from that, no one would want to get in trouble with the IRS, because that’s just so frightening.

tax filing

Know about taxes and tax requirements.

You should also educate yourself about taxes and things involving financial matters to get yourself, at least, be familiarized with these stuff. Remember, tax laws are complicated issues. If you don’t know how they work or even understand their purpose, you might get too overwhelmed by the process. Read materials on the web and talk with an expert to get some knowledge. As for the requirements, you’ll commonly receive tax forms in the mail coming from your employer and any banks you do business with – you have to fill up these forms to report your income. Some of the most common forms that you will receive are W-2 forms for employed individuals and 1099-MISC for freelancers.

File your tax return.

Once you received your tax forms, you have to fill them up and file. When it comes to filing, you have three common options to choose from.

  • The first one is the old school way to do your taxes, which is with a pen and paper. All you need to do here is download all the necessary documents you need from the IRS website, fill up the forms including your W-2, or 1099 MISC, and/or other documents, and then once you’re done, mail them to the appropriate location.
  • The second option is by using software. Well, if you’re truly confused about the process, this can be your life-saver, as they are truly designed to help people get their job done easier. Most of the software programs available today even have added features, where you can ask series of questions, and automatically check errors before the file is sent to the IRS.
  • The third option is by paying someone to do the job for you, such as a certified public accountant or an expert tax consultant. This is particularly useful when you have complicated finances to file or you’re running your own company. When you hire a professional, you no longer need to worry about learning tax laws, calculating income, and many more as this professional will do all those tasks. It’s a great relief for people who are not well-versed in the field of accounting and finances. But of course, hiring a professional will cost you from a couple of hundreds to a few thousands of dollars.

How to Find the Perfect Plus-Size Wedding Dress

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Shopping for a wedding dress can be an exciting and amazing experience for brides-to-be. But for women who wear a size 14 or higher, this process can be daunting. It can be more frustrating if you go to a store that doesn’t carry your size or only provide limited choices for plus-size wedding gowns. If you’re worried that you might not find that perfect wedding dress for your wedding, follow these simple steps. These will help you find that perfect gown that you’re looking for, whether you’re looking for plus-size wedding dresses Canada or Australia.

Best Plus-Size Wedding Dress

Educate yourself.

Remember that there are different types of gowns for a specific body shape, so the first thing that you need to do to find that perfect dress is to familiarize yourself about body shapes and sizes. This will also help you determine your own body figure, which is crucial for selecting the right dress. It’s also important to learn the techniques behind dress shopping, such as learning the types of dress and neckline cut that are flattering in a specific figure. Know what types of necklines, silhouettes, and fabric can complement your body.

Determine your budget.

When it comes to finding a perfect gown, one of the first things to also consider is to determine your budget. This is especially true when your shopping for plus-size gowns, since these tend to be more expensive compared to other sizes. Manufacturers charge higher rates for these types of dresses because they need more material, beading, and other decorations. If you only have small budget, look for a gown with simpler design and fewer embellishments, or a dress that is made with a less expensive fabric.

Know where to shop.

The truth is, there’s no need to worry about where to find your wedding dress, because it’s just out there! With more and more women getting married today, more and more wedding salons and boutiques are also opening up and offering plus-size wedding gowns. All you need is to visit these places and try your choices. You can look at small shops near your area, and at the nearest department stores. You can also ask your designer and some designers out there who specialize in plus-size weddings dresses. And finally, you can check out online retail shops such as David’s Bridal, eBay, and The Knot.

Don’t be afraid; be confident!

When you see a beautiful dress that you want to wear, try it on and don’t get shy! But make sure that the garment fits well, and it’s comfortable to wear. If you want to make some alterations or adjustments, tell the sales person or the designer. Tell that person exactly what you want without hesitation or fear. After all, it’s your dress, so you can do whatever you want to it. Just make sure that it’s comfortable, so you’ll feel more beautiful on your big day. When you try a dress and it sings to you, that means that it’s the perfect dress to wear.

Remember, whatever your size, there will always be that perfect wedding gown for you! Every bride is beautiful so worry no more, and enjoy your special day!

How a sewing machine operates

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Although sewing machines come with a vast variance in options, the basic operation of a sewing machine is the same from machine to machine. However once you know the very basics of rotating a sewing machine, you will require the manual for your specific machine so that you can use every posed option that your sewing machine offers.

Remember a new machine don’t have to be necessarily brand new out of the box but new to you. Therefore it is very important to obtain a sewing machine manual for your sewing machine. The manual is not only going tell you how to operate the machine but also teach you how to care for your machine and uncover tips and tricks you might not learn anywhere else.

operating sewing machines

Companies that are associated with some of the best sewing machine brands are:

  1. Baby Lock – Tacony
  2. Bernina USA
  3. Brother Company
  4. Elna USA
  5. Husquavarna Viking
  6. Janome
  7. Sears – Kenmore
  8. Pfaff
  9. Riccar
  10. Singer Company
  11. White Sewing Machines
  12. Toyota Sewing Machines

However it is important to look at sewing machines reviews online since out of them you will get the reactions of various people who have worked with specific machines and given their comment depending on how the machines have served them. Actually it is from those reviews that you can acquire some of the details that the seller will not revel to you. With that you will have an upper hand when choosing a sewing machine.

General sewing procedure is as below:

  1. Turn on the sewing machine. For the manual machines this is after you have set up the needle and the fabric and it is done by pressing the foot presser.
  2. Select the stitch.
  3. Attach the presser foot appropriate for the stitch.
  4. Position the fabric, and then start sewing. When sewing is finished, cut the threads.

Sewing machine requires some maintenance operations so as to ensure it is in good working condition. One of the most important maintenance practices are cleaning the machine surface. If the surface of the machine is dirty, lightly soak a cloth in neutral detergent, squeeze it out firmly, and then wipe the surface of the machine. After cleaning it once with a wet cloth, wipe it again with a dry cloth. The other is cleaning the bobbin case. Sewing performance will suffer if dust collects in the bobbin case; therefore, it should be cleaned periodically. Unplug the power supply cord before cleaning the machine, otherwise injuries or an electric shock may occur.

Many times we overlooked simple problem that may cost you at some stage of your project. Here is a simple checklist for such machine problems Rather than taking unnecessary trips to the repair shop and a load of frustration.

  • Skipped stitches

The most likely cause for your machine to skip stitches is the machine needle. If your machine was sewing fine and suddenly decides to skip stitches, change your sewing machine needle. If you find yourself changing the needle often, be sure you are allowing the feed dog to feed the fabric through the machine and that you are not forcing the fabric which can lead to bent needles. Even slightly forcing the fabric can bend the machine needle.

  • Knotting or breaking thread

Check the way your machine is threaded. Completely un-thread your sewing machine and re-thread it. Remember to always thread your machine with the presser foot up. Knotting thread on the bottom side is usually caused by upper threading errors. Check the bobbin and be sure the bobbin is threaded correctly and that the bobbin case is correctly threaded. Be sure the bobbin is in the bobbin case in the correct direction.


How to Protect Your Home from Flooding

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So, you have finally bought that dream house and even hired a decorator to spruce up the place. You have invested a lot of money and time in decorating and settling in with your family. Then, the rainy season comes and you realize that the location of your home is prone to flooding. What a nightmare this would be! But don’t despair as there are still solutions to your dilemma. Read on below to learn more about protecting your home from flooding:

flood prevention

  1. Determine the elevation of the house.

If you have access to the information about the construction or structure of the house, study it or ask help from the architect. If you are on a street with low elevation, there’s a big chance of flood waters entering your house. Most modern houses will have a waterproofing system readily installed in the house but if you end up with an old house with no kind of flood protection, you might need to do some reconstruction or dry proofing. This, however, can be very expensive as walls may need to come down and pipes re-fitted or re-installed.

  1. Be prepared.

When you have determined that the house is indeed in a flood-prone area, you also need to do some safeguarding inside the house. Electrocution is one of the worst things that can happen when flood water gets in, so ensure you modify sockets, wiring and circuit breakers. Before the rainy season starts, do some last minute maintenance. This includes cleaning the gutters and drains around the house to ensure water can flow out smoothly. Additionally, elevate appliances and move furniture and carpets if you feel flood waters are rising above your floor.

  1. Invest in anti-flood systems.

While flooding can be very annoying and also dangerous, there are anti-flood systems that you can install to protect your home. Sump pumps, for example, are widely-used in low lying areas to keep the basement dry and flood free. This mechanical basement fixture has a pumping system that drains the excess water out through the pipes, keeping your home safe from flood and moisture. Choosing what kind of sump pump to purchase can be quite a challenging task. Before deciding what to buy, take some time to read sump pump reviews online. There are several websites that offer in-depth reviews of the best and worst sump pumps available in the market. It would always help to know what your options are so you can make an informed decision. More information about sump pumps here.

When all else fails, it might be time to call your realtor and move to a new place. You also have to consider the total of all the expenses you have to shell out from doing the renovations, installations and fixing the damages if you stay in a flood-prone house. If the added expenses are too unbearable, it will be smarter to find a new place where you won’t have to worry about flooding anymore. You will not just be able to save money, there’s also that precious peace of mind from knowing you and your family will be safe.

What Consider When Buying Shower Head

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Let’s be honest that having rain shower heads in a bathroom is definitely attractive. The shower head adds elegance to a bathroom. Because it is very fashionable and in demand these days, to change the shower head does not need any complete renovation of the bathroom. It also does not require a household owner to spend huge money. But if you are considering of doing a bathroom renovation or some sort of fixture upgrade, a couple of rain shower heads are available in the market. The usual price range can start from $30 and up to as much as $1500 per piece of stainless steel unit. Of course, when you are in the look with your budget, there is no need to settle for the most expensive ones. The result can be a disaster because your allocated budget to buy other fixtures can be less. It may also be not appealing for the eyes to blend expensive and cheap fixtures.  Below are some of the things to take into account:

shower head


The majority of fittings for rain shower to be found on the market are stainless steel. These can be in colors of nickel, white and bronze. So depending on your bathroom theme, you can find the one that will suit your preference.


When considering about the shape, make sure to take into account the size of the bath room. See if round or square would be best suited for it. As for round shaped of shower heads, the diameter can range from about 6 to 16 inches. Square shower heads can be anywhere from 8-20 inches.

Ceiling, Hand held or Wall

With the modern world, shower heads are not just found in the ceiling. It can also be hand held and of course can be mounted in the wall. If you are only looking to improve or upgrade the look of your shower head, it can be advisable to simply live with the existing setup. Otherwise, there may be a need to reroute the piping and it can mean more expenses and more work. On the other hand, when you are having a complete renovation of the bathroom, then you are free to reroute the pipes and have a brand new setup for your shower. The use of handheld shower head is best suited for bathtubs. Though, even if you do not have any bathtub, you are free to opt for handheld shower.

Pressure of the water

Water pressure is an essential aspect to regard when in the look to change the showerhead. Remember that when you would like large finest shower head, it can also mean greater requirements for water pressure. This is for the shower to provide efficient water supply. Hence, if the water pressure is not sufficient for large shower head, buying smaller shower head will do. There is no need to worry because the rain effect can still be achieved even the shower head is not that big.

One good website to check out when looking to buy high quality shower heads is at They offer the best and most economical shower heads to suit your unique taste.

Wonderful Places Worth Visiting in Sabah

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Situated in the easternmost section of Malaysia, Sabah is the bigger of the two states making up the Malaysian Borneo. Someone with little knowledge about this state may not think it somewhere worth visiting at all. However, Sabah has just about everything a tourist could expect of a top holiday destination – from stunning beaches to amazing jungles. This is why interest in Sabah tourism has grown in recent years. We present some of the great places you should consider visiting in Sabah.

Kinabalu National Park

If you are looking for a place to get closer to nature in Sabah, this is one of the nice places you want to head to. The main attraction in the Kinabalu National Park is the 4,095-metre high Mount Kinabalu, a mountain which is very easy to conquer, even without specialized equipment. Another nearby attraction is the Poring Hot Springs, whose sulfurous water has curative powers attributed to it. The park, located less than 140 kilometers from Sabah’s capital city of Kota Kinabalu, boasts amazing natural diversity and stunning views of surrounding areas.

wonderful in Sabah


The name of this place should ring a bell, especially to scuba diving enthusiasts. The diving experience around Sipadan and neighboring Mabu ranks among the best around the world. This Indo-Pacific Basin location has reefs which provide a great habitat for diverse marine animals. The popularity of Sipadan is such that you will find it difficult to get a diving permit and/or accommodation if you do not make necessary arrangements early enough.

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Are you a lover of animals, particularly orangutans? Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre (SORC) is a must-visit, even if you do not consider yourself that much into these animals. You will simply be awed when you visit this place. Located around 40 minutes away from Sabah’s second largest city of Sandakan, SORC is the world’s leading rehabilitation center for orphaned orangutans. Several hundreds of visitors check out the center on a daily basis. The hours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. are great for watching these primates.

Gomantong Caves

These caves are renowned for playing hosts to swiftlet nests, which are very expensive things in this part of the world. Every year, from February-April and July-September, local men can be observed as they try to harvest these nests from the roof of the Madai Caves – a very risky thing to do. The nests are used to prepare Chinese bird’s nest soup. Every evening, you can also enjoy the sight of numerous bats (estimated at around two million) coming out of the caves.

Turtle Island Park

Comprising three islands, Turtle Island Marine Park is an expansive area situated north of Sandakan. Also called Pulau Penyu in Malay, this park was established in 1977 to protect endangered species of turtles. The main attractions of Turtle Island Park are endangered green turtles and hawksbill turtles which come out to lay eggs on the shore from July to October every year. It is not just about turtle watching only around here. The park offers a great location for snorkeling, swimming and scuba diving with its amazing coral reefs.

These are only a few of the great places worth seeing in Sabah. A visit is enough to convince you, particularly if you are highly enthusiastic about the beauty of nature.

10 Tips To Live A Happier Life

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Scientific research has shown that by following these 10 tips given below, we can all lead an enriched and happier life:

  1. Give and give some more

When we help others, we not only make their lives better, we are also becoming happier ourselves. By giving, we create a sense of belonging in a community. The society becomes stronger and happier which in turn creates an environment that is more conducive to ideas, health, wealth and prosperity.

  1. Connect

Elderly people who maintain strong friendships and continue to create bonds with others in their old age are actually proven to live longer. With closer relationships, we not only get love and support, we also increase our self worth through broader networking and a sense of belonging. Hence, the key to a happier life is to connect with those around us or even those far away.

happier life

  1. Exercise

A stronger mind is obtained only through a strong body. Hence exercise is a must and one must at least indulge in physical activities for 30 minutes daily. You need not participate in marathon; even simple things like taking the stairs, parking further away from the store or office or even playing with a pet or children can be great forms of exercise. It is also essential to sleep well and unplug technology from time to time.

  1. Be aware and grateful

The key to happiness is to stay in the present moment instead of having hang ups about the past or worrying about the future. When you are grateful for nature as well as the people around you, you are in a better position to live happily and satisfactorily.

  1. Continue learning and enriching the mind

Many adults in their 60s are re-enrolling in college to learn a new language or polish their skills. This is a great way of staying young by keeping the mind sharp. Every New Year, resolve to learn something new: like playing the piano, or learning a foreign language etc.

  1. Plan for the future

This is where life insurance at LIIC can help. People who plan a better life for their loved ones after they have passed on are likelier to feel happier and not worry as much as those who do not. Similarly, one can make and set goals as this gives one something to look forward to. Choosing ambitious yet realisable goals can help bring a sense of fulfilment in life.

  1. Get back on track

There will be times when life gets difficult and stress, illness, death etc set one back. The key is to bounce back with resilience and not let these events impact life negatively. Instead of turning to substances that only give temporary happiness, choose meditation, Yoga or Tai Chi and look inwards for enlightenment.

  1. Always be positive

Optimism is the key to remaining happy and one can use motivational self help books, music, dance, or even positive life stories and movies to remain upbeat.

  1. Accept things

When you choose to accept your circumstances, situations, yourself as well as your loved ones, you are in a better position to be kinder to them and this emotion also helps increase one’s appreciation of life.

  1. Find your purpose

People having a deeper meaning to their life, a sense of purpose such as being a teacher, a parent or even a volunteer to those less fortunate, tend to be happier. They also tend to have lesser anxiety and depression as they often realize that their problems are much smaller than others.


Things You Need to Know About Power Factor

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Energy efficiency is something that is increasingly being emphasized for diverse reasons, including costs and environmental considerations. If you are interested in knowing how efficiently you are using electric power, you should take interest in knowing more about power factor. The aim here is to help you in that regard because chances are that you know little or nothing about this electrical phenomenon.


What is Power Factor?

Power factor can simply be described as the ratio of the working power to the apparent power in a circuit. There are three types of power in an AC electrical system, namely: working, reactive and apparent powers.

Working power – Also known as real or actual power, this is the power that generates mechanical action in a motor. Working power, expressed as kilowatts (kW), is used by electrical appliances to perform a variety of functions, including heating and lighting.

Reactive power – This is not directly responsible for producing any action. It is required to produce and sustain a magnetic field needed for the operation of a motor or a compressor. Described as Volt-Amperes-Reactive (VAR), reactive power is also called kilovolt-amperes-reactive (kVAR).

Apparent power – This is the combination of both working power and reactive power. It is expressed as kilovolt-amperes (kVA).

To arrive at power factor (PF), the working power is divided by apparent power. This gives the formula:

PF = kW/kVA

A low power factor is indicative of inefficiency in energy utilization, something power factor calculator can help in identifying and guarding against.

Why Attention Should be Paid to Power Factor

Low power factor can cause energy loss in that it is indicative of higher current than needed flowing through a power line. This greater current contributes to worsen the problem of voltage drop, as energy is lost because of heat dissipation.

Electric companies do supply their customers with both their kW and kVA needs. As previously noted, reactive power is only required to provide a magnetic field for motors to operate. If you rely on your electricity company to supply this, you stand to pay more in electricity bills. More of this power is also lost the longer the distance it has to travel from the supplying company. This contributes to lower your power factor since reactive power is part of apparent power (kVA).

Low power factor can cause you problems in other ways as well. If you run a production plant, your equipment may become increasingly susceptible to breakdowns. Poor power factor shortens the useful life of motors and equipment. It can also result in heat generation, which could lead to fire incidents.

How to Improve Power Factor

Power factor can be enhanced through installation of capacitors. By having capacitors in place, you are able to meet your reactive power needs on your own. This virtually eliminates need to get this from your electricity supplier, thereby boosting your power factor and lowering bills.

Power factor can also be greatly improved by operating a motor close to its rated capacity. You should endeavor to refrain from operating motors that are not well loaded. Equipment should also not be operated above the voltage level stipulated for it.

Firm grasp of power factor and its calculation can help improve energy efficiency. More importantly, you will thus be able to save on your electricity bills.

Indoor Exercise

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If you are a couch potato or find yourself lounging around wasting your time, then you might have heard people asking you to go out and get some exercise. The term ‘exercise’ has been used so much that we have seemed to almost change its meaning. In its truest essence, an exercise can be any sort of physical activity that is burning unused calories in your body. This of course means that you necessarily do not need to go outside your home to get this specific physical activity done (though it is recommended). Thanks to the advent of modern technology and a few simple tricks, exercises can be done anywhere and at any time.


Believe it or not, the original of treadmills date back to way before we can imagine. The first idea of a treadmill appeared in mills to grind grain, which was run by animals. Later on, they were used as punishment devices. So it is truly a surprise that the treadmills used then has turned into the useful machines of today.

treadmill exercise

It will not be a stretch to deem treadmills as life-saving inventions. Exercises that keep the body healthy and in tip-top shape are easily accomplished, even inside the comfort of one’s home, thanks to treadmills. The basic structure would include a stationary platform upon which a conveyor belt can be tread upon. This allows the user to walk on a seemingly infinite road, with the treadmill itself keeping a digital track of the distance covered. The home treadmill machines of 2015 also check heart beat rate and ensures a seamless and certainly enjoyable way of getting rid of that extra fat.

Jump Rope

Are treadmills too expensive for you? Nothing to worry about! Jump ropes are super cheap and almost as efficient if used properly. The basic idea is to hold the two ends of the rope with each hand, to twirl the rest of the rope, and to skip so the rope never touches your feet. While jump ropes are actually geared towards children, it is an extremely helpful indoor exercise for adults as well. By continuously and successfully doing multiple skips in this manner, the body is able to get an efficient cardio exercise, all the while sweating to burn the calories away.


As silly as it sounds, moving your body to a specific rhythm for a long period of time is one of the best forms of indoor exercise. Just play a really groovy song that you like, and let your feet do the talking. Dancing releases a lot of built up stress in the joints and loosens the tight muscle fibers to give your body a sense of relaxation. Stretching, jumping, twirling and even tiptoeing during the dance will help shake the unused corners even more, serving as an effective form of physical activity. If random dancing is not your forte, then you can always look up workout videos in the internet. These will motivate you into moving the exact way that is the most beneficial for your overall health.

If you want to read more about indoor exercises, then be sure to check out:

Key Things To Consider Before Becoming A Landlord

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Most people dream of becoming a landlord, collecting month every month from responsible tenants is a wonderful concept but there are many things you need to consider before making any long term commitments. As a landlord you will need to deal with a variety of professionals including electricians. These suggestions will help you locate the right electrician to take good care of your property.


The first step is to get the names of all the electricians in your area by visiting websites like When you have the names of these local electricians you should find out whether they are licensed to provide these services. This is a very important question to address since there are some individuals who are freelancing as electricians and if they are not licensed your property insurance will not protect you in the event of fire. After you have confirmed these firms are licensed you will need to look into their individual backgrounds to try and identify the one who is clearly the best choice overall.


Screening Questions To Ask When Sourcing For A Suitable Electrical Contractor

Once you have confirmed these professionals are licensed you should find out whether they are registered with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). If they are registered you should look into their individual track records to try and identify the organization that has the best reputation overall. You should never deal with a firm that does not have a great reputation on the BBB but having a good rating does not mean they are suitable for your needs.

You need to find out whether the organization offers 24/7 service and if they do what are the rates they charge. There are some electrical contractors who will have a low price during traditional business hours but will charge more when you call them after 5pm or over the weekend. If possible you should try to get quotes in writing from each of these electrical contractors that will clearly define how much they will charge you for each and every service call provided there are no major overhauls to be performed.

The last thing you should do before hiring this particular electrical contractor is to go on the Internet and do a background search just to be extra sure this particular contractor is viable. Only when you have addressed all of these items will you be in a position of confidence. These are just some of the things you have to deal with when being a landlord so it would weigh all of the benefits before you make any decisions on how to proceed.