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Toys R Us stores across the United States have been holding going-out-of-business sales as part of a liquidation process after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year. All Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores will close by the end of the day on Friday, June 29.
The company struggled to keep up with competitors and was burdened with over $5 billion worth of debt.
Over its more than 60 years in business, Toys R Us gained lots of fans, many of whom are now mourning the death of the store and remembering their favorite childhood memories there.
As Toys R Us nears its end, fans of the store are lamenting its demise.
The retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September and officially filed for liquidation in March. As a result, more than 700 Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores across the United States will be closing for good by Friday, June 29.
Though many Toys R Us fans were aware of this, they’re still heartbroken to see it go.
In 1948 in Washington, DC, Charles Lazarus opened a baby-furniture store that would become the first Toys R Us after expanding into toys in 1957.
In the 1990s, Toys R Us was the biggest toy seller in the US, expanding rapidly as it pushed out smaller chains. But by 1998, things had changed, and Walmart began selling more toys than Toys R Us in the US — a signal of more trouble ahead.
Take a look back at what Toys R Us was like in its heyday:
As Toys R Us prepares to close its doors for good, fans are lamenting the death of the chain and looking back on their favorite childhood memories.
AP Photo/Richard Drew
This is what a store in New Jersey looked like in 1996.
AP Photo/Daniel Hulshizer
It had everything a kid could want. This photo from 2001 shows the Imaginarium section of a New Jersey store.
AP Photo/Jeff Zelevansky
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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Installing kitchen cabinets isn’t a job for your average homeowner. Think about the total weight of all the ceramics, glassware, and appliances stored in your wall-mounted cabinets—and how disastrous it would be if those cabinets came tumbling down. Enough said? Let’s leave installation to the pros.
But if you’re planning a major kitchen remodel, trying your hand at designing your kitchen yourself, or just want to be in the know when talking with the contractors, it helps to have some basic cabinet info. We asked Scott Bird of Danish company Reform, which makes custom cabinet fronts for Ikea cabinets (and now has a Brooklyn showroom), for a cabinet cheat sheet, everything from how much of a gap to leave between the upper cabinets and the counter, to where not to install drawers. Scott emphasizes that a lot of cabinet decisions depend on the style you’re going for. But at Reform, he says, they like to have the upper cabinets mirror the dimensions of the lower cabinets, because, as he says, “symmetry is good.”
Here are some rules of thumb to keep in mind when it comes to kitchen cabinets.
Above: Reform outfitted a Copenhagen apartment with mint-green base cabinets; see Kitchen of the Week: A Copenhagen Stylist Reinvents Her Kitchen, Ikea Hack Included for a full look.
How deep should the cabinet boxes be?
Standard wall cabinets (sometimes referred to as “upper cabinets”) are 12 inches deep; standard base (below-counter) cabinets are 24 inches deep. But these days, says Scott, more companies are making wall cabinets 15 inches deep, which gives more storage space.
What’s the optimum cabinet width?
A wider cabinet means a wider door, which takes up more space when it swings open—something to consider if your kitchen isn’t roomy. “You’ll see wider cabinets in bigger homes, with a more open setting,” says Scott. “The most common width we do is 24 inches, which could either have one 24-inch door or two 12-inch doors,” a workaround for those who want wide cabinet units in a smaller space. Scott says Reform sometimes installs 36-inch-wide cabinets; these could have two 18-inch doors that open from the middle out. Another space-saving idea: installing a door with a hinge on the top, rather than on the side, can work in smaller clearances for a wider wall cabinet.
Above: A well-proportioned countertop and base cabinets. Note also: the cabinetry with doors hinged on top that stash small appliances. Photograph from Kitchen of the Week: Practicality in White Marble.
How high should the base cabinets be?
The standard height for base cabinets, including the countertop and the toe kick underneath, is 36 inches. But it depends on the different components: countertop, base cabinets, and toe kick. “Our cabinet frames are 30 inches high, and the countertop varies—we like a ¾-inch countertop for a more modern look, and that allows for a taller toe kick. Most of the toe kicks we do are 4½ inches.”
Above: The couple in this New York apartment took their double cabinet doors off of one unit. Fortunately, the cabinet boxes are frameless—no framework or center panel divides the cabinet space. See Small-Space Solutions: 17 Affordable Tips from a NYC Creative Couple for a full look.
What’s the difference between framed and frameless cabinets?
Something you might not think about when shopping for cabinets, or having custom ones built: Some cabinets have a frame around the open portion that can get in the way of reaching in. “Reform uses European cabinets that are frameless—that is, without an interior wood frame—which gives you more storage space,” Scott says. Look for frameless cabinets for a more streamlined, roomy option.
Cabinet Installation and Placement
Above: Leave enough space between the countertop and wall cabinets to work, but not so much that you can’t reach the upper cabinets. Photograph from A Food Blogger’s Rustic DIY Renovation in Portland, OR, Dark and Moody Edition.
How high should wall cabinets be hung above the counter?
“The standard distance is 18 inches” from the top of the counter to the bottom of the wall cabinet, Scott says. “But we subscribe to the Scandinavian design aesthetic, and we often put cabinets higher—say, 24 inches above the counter, or even more. That creates a sense of openness and light.”
Of course, you want to be sure the cabinets are easy to access; Reform will put them lower so the height works for the client. But cabinets less than 18 inches above the countertop won’t give you enough space to work underneath. And, a cabinet above a cooktop must leave the required amount of space for the range hood to work properly.
And keep in mind: During an installation, the cabinets go in before the countertop, so the installer has to take into consideration the thickness of the countertop when measuring the position of the wall cabinets.
Above: Drew Lang of Lang Architecture installed two levels of wall cabinets to take advantage of the tall ceilings in a Brooklyn brownstone kitchen. Note also: the concealed dishwasher. See more of this project at A House United: Reimagining a Brooklyn Brownstone.
Should wall cabinets go all the way to the ceiling?
“In places like New York, where storage is at a premium, you often see cabinets that go up to the ceiling,” says Scott. “It does give a nice clean look, and you don’t have that area up top that’s hard to reach for cleaning.” We’ve been seeing the (almost) floor-to-ceiling cabinet trend take off lately; take a look at Trend Alert: 9 Kitchens with Floor-to-Ceiling Cabinetry.
But Reform does many kitchens with wall cabinets that aren’t that tall. “If you have the space and want to create a more open feel, you can do shorter wall cabinets—or in some cases, no wall cabinets at all. A lot of our kitchens in Europe have only base cabinets; they’re incredibly open.”
Still, wall cabinets do put things within easy reach. “And they don’t have to go wall-to-wall,” says Scott. “You can have a mix—perhaps some floating wall cabinets, some open space, and some open shelves.”
What to Know About Drawers
“Drawers look great, and if your drawers are neatly organized, it’s so easy to get access to what’s inside,” Scott says. “Even if something is way in the back, you can easily grab it.”
But drawers do cost more than doors. “A door just needs two hinges, but a drawer has to have drawer slides, and they must be heavy-duty to handle the potential weight of the stuff inside.”
Where should I opt for drawers (and where should I avoid them)?
The only place you might not want a drawer is if you’re doing a cooktop: You’ll need to see how much clearance the cooktop takes up in the cabinet unit below. The same goes for under the sink. And for obvious reasons, you don’t want drawers in wall (or upper) cabinets.
Installing Cabinets in Tricky Places
Above: A solution for awkward corners: a one-door cabinet on one side, flush drawers on the other. See more of this kitchen at Kitchen of the Week: A Hamptons Kitchen with a Custom Island Sourced on Etsy.
Are there places where cabinets shouldn’t be installed?
Only for aesthetic reasons, says Scott. For instance, you might not want wall cabinets around a window, because they cut off light.
What’s the best solution for a corner?
For an L-shaped corner, Scott finds a single door easiest and recommends a wall cabinet on one side (with a small gap of a half-inch or so at the corner, for the door to open) and open shelves on the other side. But other solutions exist for corner base cabinets: Ikea makes a corner cabinet with one door that has attached semi-circular shelves (they call it a pullout carousel) and another with two doors that fold at a hinge.
Above: A slim Reform cabinet makes use of a tight spot; see Kitchen of the Week: A Sixties-Inspired Danish Ikea Hack, Now Coming to America.
What should I know about installing cabinets in an island?
“Islands have to be appropriately scaled for the size of the kitchen,” Scott says. “Along with that, you must plan carefully to ensure there’s enough clearance between the cabinets and the appliances around them.”
Above: Toe kicks can also be an opportunity for clever added storage, as seen in A Tiny Kitchen Made for Cooking: Everything You Need in 26 Square Feet over on The Organized Home.
What should I know about the toe kick?
The toe kick—the recessed bottom part of the base cabinet unit, where your toes can tuck underneath while you’re cooking—may just be the unsung hero of the whole kitchen cabinet. “Our toe kicks aren’t an afterthought, they’re part of the design aesthetic,” says Scott; they tend to leave about 4½ inches for toe kicks. “They’re a bit more recessed than normal, and usually exposed at the corner. Instead of having the cover panel on the side go from the top of the cabinet to the floor, we install a panel that only covers the cabinet, leaving the toe kick exposed on the side. It makes the cabinet look more like a piece of furniture.” The material is also part of the design—Reform might use laminate, aluminum, brass, black waxed MDF, or a natural oak for an extra detail.
What’s one tip to keep in mind when installing cabinets?
Invest in appliances that can be disguised by cabinetry. “A panel-ready dishwasher is one of my favorite upgrades,” says Scott. “You get a nice sense of simplicity from what looks like a matching row of cabinets, not broken up by a stainless steel dishwasher door.”
A panel-ready fridge also looks good but will be more expensive. “Since we like big fridges in America, that can cost as much as $5,000 extra. But you can upgrade to a panel-ready dishwasher for a few hundred bucks.”
For more on Reform (and some other custom-front favorites), see Ikea Kitchen Upgrade: 8 Custom Cabinet Companies for the Ultimate Kitchen Hack. Choosing a cabinet style? Consult Remodeling 101: A Guide to the Only 6 Kitchen Cabinet Styles You Need to Know.
And for questions answered when it comes to remodeling the kitchen, see:
Read more: remodelista.com
Buying certain items used can be a great way to save money. But there are some things that you should never get used, for safety and health reasons.
From baby cribs to sheets and bedding, here are nine things you should always buy new.
1. Bike helmets
Bicycle helmets are only designed to protect you from one accident, and you have no idea what that used Craigslist helmet has already gone through.
Eric Richter of helmet manufacturing brand Giro recommends getting a new helmet every three to five years.
“This is based on observation of the average user and factors like wear over time, weather, handling, the potential for degradation from personal care products like sunscreen or bug spray, and the simple fact that helmet technology does improve over time,” Richter told online cycling news site Road.
Using cosmetic products and tools that someone else has is a bad idea.
You can probably guess that you’ll likely get a breakout. But even worse, you’re risking cold sores, eye infections, or staph infections, according to Westlake Dermatology.
So although we know it can be pricey, you should stick to buying your makeup new and not sharing it with anyone. Or, you can always try making your own.
3. Cribs and children’s furniture
Multiple cribs have been recalled in recent years for various potential hazards to children that include suffocation and entrapment.
If you buy secondhand without checking for a recall history first, you could be purchasing a potentially dangerous piece of furniture without knowing it.
And it’s not just cribs. Eight toddlers were killed by an Ikea dresser that tipped over on them, according to Business Insider.
For your kids’ safety, these are items that you should always try to buy new.
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The beauty of SUP is that speed is often optional. In many case, simply being on the water is pleasure enough. In fact, many paddlers feel the slower you go, the more you can enjoy your surroundings. The more meaningful the experience becomes.
That being said, there are times when you’re trying to cover a large distance in a limited time and faster speeds are needed. Competitive races are the obvious examples of this, but it could also be as simple as trying to paddle back to your car in time to make it to your best friend’s wedding ceremony (we’ve all been in situations like this).
Inexperienced paddlers sometimes think that speed comes from churning the water with rapid paddle strokes. In reality, this just tires you out and doesn’t necessarily get you anywhere faster.
To really boost your speed, you need to experiment with both your stroke distance and stroke rate. Depending on your build, board and paddle, there will be a combination of those two factors that will achieve the best results.
Here are some other tips that can help you refine your technique and get the best results.
Avoid wide paddle turns
You’ve probably been driving around town and seen trucks that warn, “Caution: makes wide turns.” When big, lumbering trucks turn, they lose most of their speed and take up a large area in the process.
The same can be said for paddling. When you’re bringing your paddle forward from the back of your stroke, time is of the essence. Every second that passes will cause your board to lose momentum. Plus, a wide swinging motion will consume extra energy and tire you out quicker.
Remedy this by keeping your paddle closer to the board. It’s more efficient all around, so you can move faster in the water and conserve precious energy.
Maximize your strokes
Remember how important stroke distance is? Focus on extending your reach or you could be shortchanging yourself with every stroke. The caveat here is that you shouldn’t reach further than is comfortable. You don’t want to injure yourself.
Once you’ve reached the front of your stroke and your paddle hits the water, dig deep. Use your whole body to power the paddle, not simply your arms. This is where you take full advantage of your reach and really see results.
Know your surroundings
It always helps to get the lay of the land (even on water). Identify landmarks and keep your eyes peeled for hazards. Talk to someone who is familiar with the area. If you’re racing, preview the course on your board before the action begins. The more intel you have, the more you can focus on your paddling and play to the strengths of the specific water you’ll be paddling.
Plan a course
Once you’re familiar with the area, it’s important to decide on your route. This is most important with racing, but also applies to any time when you want to improve your speed. All the advanced techniques in the world won’t help you if you don’t know where you’re going and the best way to get there.
There you have it – four simple tips to increase your paddling speed. For more tips, subscribe to our monthly newsletter!
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Some of the best things about IKEA products are their versatility and endless storage capabilities.
The benefit of such radical architectural designs is that they allow you to achieve more while doing less when it comes to storage. To keep it all contained (and stylish), check out the IKEA storage hacks below to add a little extra storage to every room in the house.
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– Top 12 IKEA Organization Ideas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HV0TMHrTq9s&feature=youtu.be
– 11 Insanely Smart DIY Kitchen Storage Ideas:
– Creative DIY Hacks To Improve Your Home:
– IKEA Items for a Stylish Home on a Budget: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLyEFVkg52M
– IKEA HACKS That You Cannot Afford To Miss: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-F8BLKzgYdc
– Storage IKEA Hack Ideas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_YKdWalxHE
– IKEA Kallax Hacks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmg7Vgg_U9o
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Oil surged Wednesday after a report said that OPEC will likely keep output cuts through the end of the year.
Prices had been falling last week after reports said the cartel could increase output before then.
Follow oil prices in real time here.
Oil rallied more than 2% Wednesday after a report said that OPEC could extend supply cuts through the end of the year.
West Texas Intermediate rose 2.2% to $68.35 a barrel at 12:15 p.m. ET. Brent, the international benchmark, was up 2.72% to $77.45 a barrel. Prices had been sliding last week after OPEC signaled it could raise output amid supply disruptions in Venezuela. See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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Costco and Boxed are both bulk retailers that sell pretty much everything.
Boxed has been called the “Costco for millennials” because it’s an online-exclusive store with mobile ordering and speedy delivery. Costco also has an online store and mobile ordering, but its prices can be as much as 20% more there than in the physical warehouse stores.
Costco shoppers can shop online without a membership, but a 5% surcharge is applied at checkout.
The websites themselves have some obvious differences, and we found that one was much easier to use than the other.
Unlike Costco, Boxed is digitally native. It has mobile ordering and one-to-three-day delivery. It also offers free two-day shipping if you spend more than $49, and it doesn’t require a membership to make a purchase.
Costco has an online store in addition to its physical warehouses, but products across all categories tend to cost more online than in stores. Though the website allows shoppers to order from Costco without paying for a $60 annual membership, a 5% surcharge is applied at checkout. However, Costco has been taking some steps to reach more millennial shoppers, like offering two-day delivery through Costco Grocery and one-day delivery through a partnership with Instacart.
One of the most clear differences between Costco and Boxed is that Boxed members don’t need to pay an annual fee to access the savings. But the company did recently launch Boxed Up, a premium service that costs $49 a year and provides shoppers with perks like free shipping on orders over $20, 2% cashback rewards, and price matching with competitors.
Both websites offer major savings for bulk shoppers, but upon trying both, I found one was easier to use than the other. See what it’s like to shop at each:
Costco was the first site I went to. On the homepage were members-only savings deals, buyers’ picks, and a selection of different featured products in a variety of categories.
It was hugely different from the Boxed homepage, which was very simple and sleek. Scrolling down on the Boxed homepage, there were links leading to more information about bow Boxed gives back to different causes.
Costco had far more departments on its website, but it was cluttered and hard to navigate compared to Boxed.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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