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Brian Thompson | In a Nutshell: The DIYer painting debacle

Brian Thompson
 |  St. Augustine Record

You get these ideas in your head. I don’t know where they come from. Maybe you saw a picture in a magazine of some celebrity showing off their digs. Maybe you just got tired of looking at the same four walls, or the color you picked years ago. Maybe you just figured it was time for a change, or to try to be more sophisticated, or to add something new to your domicile.

Or, maybe you thought: “Hey, my life is pretty easy right now. No major issues. No nagging headaches. Not a lot to do on the weekend except relax on the sofa with a beer and watch Formula 1 racing. How can I muck that up real bad with a house project?”

I got it: Why don’t I paint the front room?

Yeah! That sounds like a GREAT idea! (Cue music from

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Award-Winning Recipe Blog Shares 8 Dessert Ideas that Capture the Sweet & Signature Flavors of Fall


3 Artificial intelligence Stocks to Consider as the Trend Heats Up

Working the stock market is a data game. Getting the best information, in a timely way, and knowing how to use it, are keys to success. So, here are some numbers to think about. According to industry market research, artificial intelligence companies and products are on the verge of explosive growth. The sector totaled some $10 billion in 2018; by 2025, the companies, products, value-added, and marketing are expected to reach over $125 billion. You probably already are on it, even if you didn’t realize. AI tech lies behind the growth of digital personal assistants like Alexa and Siri. Most online advertising and pop-ups are powered by AI systems. All of these systems are going to improve, as engineers and developers fine-tune the coding, create new search apps, and update the underlying hardware. And those technological improvements are

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Nest Multi-Room Audio Controls Just Leveled Up Big Time

Nest today has introduced some improvements to its multi-room audio controls that really make it all worth while for users.

The control interface itself will be rolling out to smart displays like the Nest Hub, Nest Hub Max, and JBL Link View starting today. The major improvement though is how this new control interface works with Cast-enabled Nest devices in multiple rooms.

Overall it’ll make streaming music to more than one room a lot simpler. And that added convenience will do more than just make the user’s life easier. It should also open up the capabilities of what devices you can cast to.

New Nest multi-room audio controls link audio together in real-time

The biggest benefit here is that linking audio together in multiple rooms is now in real-time.

Google says this new set of multi-room audio controls for devices such as the Nest Hub Max will allow users to

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Millennial homeowners have done the most home improvement projects during extra time spent in the house

Millennials are getting handier around the home since lockdown measures began, according to new research.

In fact, a poll of 2,000 homeowners found that compared to other generations, millennials have been the busiest, with 81 percent having tackled a home improvement project since March.

Conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Bernzomatic, a manufacturer of handheld blowtorches, the survey examined the various home improvement projects American homeowners completed while stay-at-home orders have been in effect — and looked at why they’ve taken them on.


For 65 percent of those polled, a project was done to save money while 49 percent simply needed something to keep themselves busy while being in lockdown.

Overall, the average homeowner has already attempted four different home improvement projects since March — guesstimating a savings of over $160 just by trying a project themselves.

All this, without the help of an outside contractor (47 percent opted

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The Property Brothers Show Off Their Grandest Kitchen Upgrades

“Property Brothers” stars Drew and Jonathan Scott are at it again! On this season of “Brother vs. Brother,” they’re competing to see who can renovate the better home in Los Angeles. And in the latest episode, they’re facing off over (arguably) the most important part of the house: the kitchen.

In the episode “A Tale of Two Kitchens,” a lot is on the line. Drew hasn’t won a single kitchen challenge in all six seasons of “Brother vs. Brother,” so he’s determined to get lucky with No. 7.

However, his plans may be dashed since Jonathan has plans for some show-stopping features, including a custom barrel ceiling and double kitchen islands.

It’s up to judges Maureen McCormick and Dan Vickery from the HGTV show “Frozen in Time” to decide which brother’s kitchen and dining space is better—and they have a tough

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Gather Round the Fire! RB73 Quaruba Outdoor Fireplaces

The summer is drawing to a close, and with pandemic concerns, nothing is better than a cozy evening at home with family. Many of those evenings will call for a nice fire and to make this possible with timeless design from Holland company who produce modern wood burning outdoor fireplaces.

The RB73 company prides themselves on design in the realm of fireplaces, and offers solutions to enjoy a beautiful flame year round. Fireplaces like the Quaruba let you spend more time together outside without the fear of confined spaces. You can have a socially distanced gathering with a few close friends while the fire provides a conversational focal point.

RB73’s Quaruba comes as a 4-Sided glass fireplace that shares a good view from every angle. Its closed in design, and chimney keeps the smoke, ash, or sparks contained so the party continues comfortably. Coming in a stationary, and mobile versions,

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Common Home Repairs – Simple Fixes You Can Do on Your Own

If you’re looking to flex your DIY muscles, you’ve come to the right place. Here are detailed how-to instructions for tackling seven simple home repairs, ranging from unclogging sinks and silencing squeaky doors to cleaning moldy surfaces and soaking up oily stains.

And all you need are a few simple hand tools, a free afternoon, and the willingness to get things done. Okay, let’s get started!

Clogged Bathroom Sink

home repair   clogged sink

Jasmin MerdanGetty Images

The secret to unclogging a bathroom sink is to use a two-prong attack, starting with an ordinary sink plunger, which, despite its simplicity, is amazingly effective at dislodging clogs. However, to ensure that the plunger’s power is delivered directly to the clog, you must first cover the overflow hole on the side of the sink. Otherwise, when you begin plunging, the plunger will just suck air in and out of the overflow hole, delivering no pressure to

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Home Remodeling Done Right | Kiplinger

If you’ve been thinking about remodeling, you’ve probably found plenty of inspiration—other people’s projects, Web sites such as and, HGTV, and design magazines. Knowing what you like is a great first step. But when you’re ready to make a move, careful planning with the right contractor will help you match your wish list with your budget.

See Our Slide Show: Small Remodeling Budgets, Big Upgrades

With the economy improving and home values on the rise, homeowners increased their spending on home improvements by almost one-third from recession-era lows, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the U.S. Census. Through the recession, many homeowners repaired and maintained their homes but put off major projects for better times. Others had anticipated selling and moving on but, given the limited selection of homes for sale, are fixing up their homes instead.

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10 countries that have seen the largest GDP contractions

As per data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, India has recorded a GDP drop of 23.9 per cent, in the period April-June 2020. This is the worst contraction since India started reporting GDP data in 1996.

This has been corroborated by a graph that the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) chief economist, Gita Gopinath posted on Twitter, which shows that India saw the sharpest contraction among the G-20 nations.

India also saw one of the world’s strictest lockdown imposed in March, which has been extended multiple times since then. These have stalled economic activity and have led to the country’s economy being in the doldrums.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had earlier said that such a contraction is the result of an Act of God, inviting much trolling both from outside and within the party. India’s chief economic advisor, K Subramanian, however, has said that the contraction is

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This Google Home feature hiding in plain sight is one of the best — here’s how to use it


Yes, it’s smart, but a Google Home Mini or Nest Mini can also act as a basic Bluetooth speaker.

Josh Miller/CNET

One of the Google Home ($130 at QVC) features I use the most is also among the simplest. Yes, Google Home devices are great at calculating math problems, reporting the weather and serving up fun games. But they’re also bona fide Bluetooth speakers that let you beam whatever music, podcast or audiobook you want from your phone or tablet. 

Why does that matter? Well, maybe you listen to a service Google Home doesn’t support, like Apple Music or Audible. (Full disclosure: I have both.) Or when friends come over and one wants to DJ the party. Sometimes I simply prefer to control what’s playing on my speakers with my phone and not my voice.

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