Category Archives: tips

Passport Photo Tips

Having your passport photos rejected when applying for a new passport is a frustrating experience, which will cost you time and money. It is for this reason that if you are in a hurry for your passport, that you should look to use a passport photo delivery service.

The passport photo has to be perfect because this is what the customs officials will be using to allow you into a country. Around the world some border officials are stricter than others, and this is why it is critical that you get the photo correct. The Australian government has provided a set of rules regarding this, and if you are not using a service then it is essential that you understand these rules before you take your photo.


Firstly, you will have to provide 2 passport pictures which are identical, they should have been taken in the last 6 months and they have to have been produced using dye sublimation. This means that they cannot have been printed from an inkjet printer.

Conditions of the Images

The image has to be absolutely clear without any blurring at all. There can be no marks on the image and your eyes must be visible, any red eyed images will be rejected instantly. The background should be white or light grey, and it should contrast with your face. If the image features any shadows then it will also be rejected.


For the passport photo your head should be in the center of the image, it must be at a height of 45mm-50mm and a width of 35mm-40mm, within this your head should be no higher than 36mm in the image itself.

Expression and Features

When you are taking your passport pictures you need to have your hair completely off your face, and you cannot wear any jewelry or accessories on your face. If you have to wear glasses for medical reasons then you can leave these on for the photograph, but the frames cannot be obscured and you have to make sure there is no reflection from the lenses.

You must have a neutral expression on your face for your passport photo, this means no smiling or frowning, and your mouth should be closed.

Best Course of Action

There really isn’t much reason as to why you should be taking these images on your own. For example, there isn’t much cost saving from taking the photos yourself and if the images are rejected, it will only mean that it takes more time and costs more money. A quick search for ‘passport photos near me’ will bring up many services which you can use to have your image taken, and they will guarantee that it meets requirements.

For your passport photos it is always better to use a proper professional service. This option is also quicker, easier and much cheaper in the long run. You can find all of this information and more on passport photos on the Australian government website. Happy snapping!

How to Protect Your Home When You Live in a Windy City

Wind can be one of the most damaging things for a home. It’s important to remember that protecting your home means protecting every aspect of it, not just investing in waterproofing or anti-infestation measures. You also need to protect it from wind. The good news is that you can combat wind damage in your home, even if you live in one of the windiest cities in the United States.

The 20 Windiest Cities in the United States

There are certain cities that are windier than others. Here are the 20 windiest cities in the United States on average.

  1. Mt. Washington, NH: 35.7
  2. Dodge City, KS: 13.1
  3. Amarillo, TX: 12.9
  4. Cheyenne, WY: 12.3
  5. Goodland, KS: 12.1
  6. Rochester, MN: 12.1
  7. Clayton, NM: 12.1
  8. Lubbock, TX: 12.0
  9. Casper, WY: 12.0
  10. Corpus Christie, TX: 11.7
  11. Wichita, KS: 11.5
  12. Boston, MA: 11.5
  13. Great Falls, MT: 11.4
  14. New York, NY: 11.3
  15. Oklahoma City, OK: 11.3
  16. Wichita Falls, TX: 11.2
  17. Grand Island, NE: 11.2
  18. Fargo, ND: 11.1
  19. Galveston, TX: 11.1
  20. Concordia, KS: 11.0

This information comes from the National Centers for Environmental Information, which has catalogued wind speed data since 1984. You can see that absolutely nothing comes close to Mount Washington, which is far and away the windiest place in the United States.

Other Reasons for Windiness

When looking at the list of windiest cities, you may have noticed that some cities like Chicago aren’t present. This is because the official wind speed of the city only accounts for natural wind. Many cities are much windier than their “official” rating because of wind tunnels.

Wind tunnels happen when a city’s wind becomes squeezed between skyscrapers. This makes the wind speed on the ground much higher than the wind speed above the skyscrapers. Cities like Chicago, which only has an average wind speed of 9.9 MPH, can feel much windier than they are due to this wind effect.

Methods to Protect Your Home From Wind Damage

Protecting your home from wind damage should be a crucial part of keeping your home safe in general. If you’re weatherproofing your house in other ways, you should also be windproofing your house. This way, you can avoid debris problems, shingles and siding coming off, and even your whole roof coming off.

The best way to protect your home from wind damage is to talk to an expert who’s good at windproofing. Many basement and foundation repair experts also know how wind damage works. They can assess the wind damage probabilities of your local area and suggest preventative measures.


Wind damage is definitely serious, but it doesn’t have to negatively impact your home. If you’re willing to take steps before the wind damage occurs, you can stave it off effectively. Just make sure you talk to an expert if you’re worried about the possibility for wind damage in your own home.

Have an Unforgettable Summer By Planning Ahead

Can you remember what you did last summer? Maybe you went on the trip of a lifetime or had a summer romance. I recall purchasing my favorite summer dress from charlotte russe and learning to surf at the beach in my home town. If you are planning to stay around this summer in order to spend time with family and friends, I’ve got some tips that will allow you to make the most of those sweet summer days and will leave you feeling motivated to start preparing for the beloved season that’s just around the corner.

Save on Summer Essentials By Starting Now

Load up on summer essentials and keep them on hand as soon as you feel those summer vibes coming in off the coast. What are some products that come to mind when you think of summer? Depending on what region of the country you live in, it could be a bikini, hiking boots or possibly a wakeboard. Whatever it is that a summer at home means to you, make a list. Keep the list with you so that when you’re roaming around Target or the outlets, you can keep an eye out for deals on things like sunscreen, granola bars, a new beach towel and maybe a cooler. That way, you can save a little here and there instead of buying it all at one place and robbing yourself of the savings that you can discover by bargain shopping around. If you are a Target shopper like me, you probably just have fun roaming the aisles and shuffling around the discount shelves. But with the Cartwheel app by Target, you can discover secret discounts that are only available on the app, you won’t find them in person. If you see a product on secret sale on the app, simply save it on the app, find the product in the store and when you check out, have the cashier scan your Cartwheel barcode. Another tip is to keep watch for pre-summer sales, where things like beach towels, umbrellas and coolers are often sold at discounted prices.

Clean Out Your Fridge

Spring is the perfect time to clean out your fridge and replace processed foods with fresh spring ingredients, getting your body ready and fueled with vitamins for those long summer days awaiting. Incorporate spring produce like artichokes, asparagus and avocados into your meals and garnish your morning parfaits and desserts with fresh apricots and cherries. These vitamin rich foods will give you that extra boost to make it to summertime and in good shape. Don’t forget to incorporate at least 20 minutes a day of physical activity to make the most of the nutrients entering your body.

Save Big on Summer Outings through Groupon

If you are hoping to engage in your local surrounding this summer, you must check out the wide variety of activities at special prices on Groupon. Get promo codes and discounts on things like wine tasting, spa days, pedicures, tours and yoga classes, to mention just a few.

Love saving money on traveling? Then read on my friends!

Who doesn’t like  to save some money when buying virtually anything? Many people try and stretch their dinero to the max when it comes to booking their next trip, so here’s a good tip to give you a little more wiggle room. Whether you’re looking for a fantastic hotel in Mexico or that dream trip to Niagara Falls, saving money is important.

We’ve got a great tip today on Hometown Travel Gides today for you which will save you big time cash on your next travel bookings. Groupon Coupons has more than 70,000+  active online coupons available, and a large percentage of them deal with travel providers like Travelocity or travel related essentials from companies like Bose. Check them out and start saving more money today!

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