23Aug/17

Cover me?

If you have a pool you really do need a pool cover. They provide safety, convenience and energy efficiency. The safety issue is a big one because you don’t want any one or any animal accidentally drowning. As far as maintenance, it cuts down on that immensely by keeping debris out of your pool. But, if you’re looking for the main reason to get one it would be for safety and everything else is just gravy.

It can definitely be overwhelming to decide on the cover and its many options. Here we’ll break down the different types of pool covers and give you the info you need to decide which is the best swimming pool cover for you.

There are three basic types of pool covers: mesh, solid and automatic. Mesh covers allow sunlight and water to filter through, while solid covers completely block sunlight, water, and debris from getting in your pool. And an automatic swimming pool cover can be opened or closed with just the push of a button or a flip of a switch.

Here are some pros and cons of each.

Mesh pool covers are a lighter weight than the other covers which allows them to easily fold up for storage when not in use. They can also be custom fit to the shape of your pool. The holes in the mesh pool allow water to filter through, which eliminates the need to remove standing water from the pool cover. However, it also allows in the light and that keeps the water warm which means algae can grow on the pool walls and that will require more effort into getting your pool ready for the next season.

Solid pool covers also can be custom-fit to the shape of your pool and are secured to the deck with anchors and springs. They are usually made of vinyl, which makes them heavier than mesh, but they still can be folded up and stored when not being used, just not as easily. The solid material prevents any debris, water or sunlight from entering the pool. This means no algae growth or dirty water when you open your pool the next season, which equates to less maintenance. However, the water that accumulates on the cover will need to be pumped off, as well as any leaves or debris. But for a little extra an automatic cover pump can be placed on the cover, which will turn on and off when water is detected.

Automatic pool covers are also sturdy like the solid pool covers. They offer the same benefits as well, while also providing the most safety of the three. Like the solid cover the auto cover also requires a cover pump to remove accumulating water and debris. An auto pool cover is retractable and rolls up into itself which eliminates the need to store it. It opens and closes with either a key, button/switch or touchpad, making it the most convenient selection.

Although this is the most expensive option, for my money, the sheer ease outweighs the monetary difference.

22Aug/17

Tanning ledges are not just for tanning

Photo: Calm Water Pools

Tanning ledges are quickly becoming one of the most popular features today while also fitting into the mainstay or “classic” category.

Yes you can lounge there. Yes you can bask in the sun for a tan while being just inches deep in water to cool you off, but ledges are for much more than just tanning.

They’re a great splash area for toddlers, a platform for the kid’s floating toys (they can climb on the toys a lot easier from the ledge and then push off into the pool), and a place for non-swimmers to rest their feet in the water while still lazing by the pool, a gathering/conversation area and so much more.

This design element allows you to install it purposefully near shade if you like, or in full sun next to the pool and just add an umbrella for shade. My favorite is to set low chairs or a chaise lounge in the shallow water to keep cool while reading a book, or working on the lap top or having a bite to eat.

If you’re short on space for the pool itself you can always install a ledge off to the side instead of putting it inside the pool, so it won’t cut down the size of the swim lane.

They serve as the ultimate addition to any Pool. The versatile ledge maintains a shallow, consistent depth, and is simply a great way to customize your pool and your backyard. The ledge alone needs no accoutrements in order to be spectacular, but you can add a water fall or bubbles or foam jets and jazz it up with lights. You can even put a fire pit next to it for those cooler nights.

They’re a real treat for not a lot of cost. They’re one of those items that give you a lot of bang for your buck.

Your ledge can be the luxurious centerpiece of your in-ground pool.

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19Aug/17

The swimming idea of a swim-up bar

It seems one of the most sought after features for a hotel or casino pool these days is their swim-up bar. And, now for a lot of millenials, it’s one of the most sought after features for their own private backyard pool as well.

But, when exactly did people decide they wanted to sip a dirty martini with their legs submerged in water?

Where else? Vegas baby. As architect Stefan Al explains in his recent book The Strip: Las Vegas and the Architecture of the American Dream, the primary goal of Las Vegas developers was “to seep gambling into a suburban vacation.” Swimming pools were increasing by the numbers in America during the early1950s not just at hotels, but homes as well and it was only a matter of time before some genius decided it’d be a great idea to combine legalized gambling and swimming. Who knew?

In the 1950s when the Tropicana opened, the pool area quickly added “swim-up” blackjack tables and tiki drinks to try to off-set the loss of summer revenue from guests hanging out in the pool as opposed to the casino floor. And it worked.

At first they were a novelty, but now families and singles alike are installing them in their own backyard pools. Creating an area not just for drinks as it was first inspired to do, but for family dinners, cool non-alcoholic drinks and even games. And everyone wants to be the bartender du jour.

Swim-up bars have quickly become a memorable part of the chill culture, spreading well beyond exotic vacation resorts.

It’s caught on to all areas of the country too. From Iowa to Nebraska to Wisconsin, the Jersey Shore (of course) and even Manhattan, hotels across the country are getting in on the fun. So, why shouldn’t you?

And, don’t worry… if you can’t afford the built-in kind you can spring for the inflatable kind. Just be careful…one broken martini glass and it’s a goner. Beyond that, drink up and happy dining.

18Aug/17

Revvvv up your workout with pool exercises!

You’re in the pool, you’re flailing around, maybe even doing some laps, but can you be doing more? Absolutely! Here are five pool exercises that will make you enjoy your pool even more and get that bikini bod you’ve been craving.

Start by warming-up. Jog in place for about 5 minutes keeping your hands in a fist under-water and bend at the elbow, straighten and repeat as you jog.

Ok, you’re ready. Let’s get this going:

#1 Targets shoulders, arms, abs, and hips

  •  Standing in the shallow end, simultaneously sit back into the water, treading with hands out to sides. Now lift both legs together so that you fold at hips with your head and toes just above the surface.
  •  Quickly bring knees to chest — or bring legs as straight as you can toward chest to make V less wide — then extend legs to return to V position.
  •  Do 15 to 20 reps. Continue treading with hands for 1 minute.

#2 Targets arms

Place palms flat on pool edge or grab gutter. Do a little hop and raise yourself up as high as you can by straightening arms. Hold the position for a few seconds. Keeping elbows close to your body, lower yourself until elbows form 90-degree angles. Don’t let feet touch the bottom of the pool. Raise and lower yourself for 10 to 20 reps.

#3 Firms thighs and butt

Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Squat low enough so shoulders are under water. Keep arms out to sides for balance. Jump straight up, lowering arms and squeezing butt as you go, and bring legs together at top of jump. Land in starting position. Do 20 reps.

#4 Tones abs

Sit on edge of pool with legs straight down. (Water should come to about mid-thigh.) Lean back slightly, with hands behind body for support. Keeping legs straight, lift them above surface to form a V with your body. Point toes and keep legs together at all times. Lower legs to starting position. Do 10 to 20 reps.

#5 Firms thighs, hips, abs

Lean back against pool wall, grasping edge for support. Raise legs so they’re parallel to pool bottom, then spread legs as wide as possible. Squeezing inner thighs, bring legs together, crossing left leg over right. Contracting outer thighs, open back up to starting position. Repeat, crossing right leg over left, to complete one rep. Do 20 reps.

Do 2-3 sets of these a day and you should feel and see the difference in no time. And, don’t forget your sunscreen!

 

 

 

Photo: Pinterest

15Aug/17

AFTER swimming protect your hair

 

In the previous article, we’ve discussed how to take care of hair before swimming, but that just not enough. After swimming care is just as important. Here are more tips:

Tip #1Rinse it

As soon as you get out of the pool or ocean rinse your hair with fresh water. Letting the chlorine sit for hours in your hair will likely double the damaging effect of the sun rays and chemicals. Salt water can bleach out hair, so if you want to avoid lightened, dry locks, it is better to rinse your hair as soon as possible.

Tip #2 Condition it

Provide your mane with the moisture and lasting love by applying a leave-in conditioner. You can choose a product designed for your hair type or the one suitable for any hair. If you’re into DIY and you’re the type of person that likes to know exactly what’s in your conditioner then try an avocado/yogurt treatment. Mash the avocado well and stir in the yogurt. You can even add honey if it’s raw organic. Then apply in sections. If you can Cover your head with a plastic cap or towel it will help even more by creating heat and allowing the conditioner to soak in even deeper. Leave on for at least 30 minutes and behold the softness.

Tip #3 Comb it

Don’t brush wet hair! Especially if you have a mane prone to tangling. However, if you use a wide toothed comb, you can quickly work your way through tangled locks.

Tip #4 Clarify it

After a long day at the beach or swimming pool, it’s time to clear away all residue build up (chlorine, sea salt, bits of lake life, etc). Provide your hair with clarifying treatment by using a clarifying shampoo or apple cider vinegar rinse. Clarifying your mane at least once a week is a good idea.

 

 

Photo: Pinterest

14Aug/17

Before swimming protect your hair!

 

 

 

 

 

We’re in full swing of summer and we’ve been hitting the beach, pool, or local watering hole for fun and to get away from the heat.

Have you been protecting your hair? Women and men alike need to pay attention to their locks. Brittle ends, frizziness, or uneven color after dunking in chlorinated or salt water is a result of not protecting your hair.

We’ve put together a list to assist in protecting before and tomorrow we’ll have another article about how to protect after swimming.

#1 Braid it

If you don’t want a tangled mess braid your hair…but not too tight because that will have a counter-effect. If you are going to sunbathe, wear a hat and use a product with SPF.

Tip #2 Rinse it

A sure-bet way to fight damage is to prevent it. Your hair will soak chlorinated water and get brittle. Prevent and protect it by rinsing your hair before swimming with non-chlorinated fresh water. It’ll create a protective layer and prevent hair from soaking up every single chemical in the pool.

Tip #3 Oil it

Use olive oil or coconut oil. Apply a small amount of oil to your strands before swimming in a chlorinated pool or ocean, and you’ll provide your locks with a protective layer that keeps salt out.

Tip #4 Cap it

The tried and true method is to wear a swimming cap. I find it’s best to wet hair with a drop of oil so you don’t tear it while trying to protect when you’re putting on the cap. Plus, this will protect you in case water does get in.

 

 

 

Photo: Pinterest

11Aug/17

Decorate your pool for a party…

There’s something so festive about a decorated pool. For a party or just for the fun of it.

Some of my favorite decor ideas are candles, balloons, twinkle lights on the surrounding trees, fountains, flower petals floating everywhere and of course fireworks.

I’ve even seen some floating letters with the names of a newly engaged couple or the name of the birthday boy or girl, or a new graduate spelled out and it’s lovely

Or, how about bouquets of flowers gently kissing the pool’s surface.

Another beautiful statement would be to set up a votive-lit tent near the pool with some path candles leading the way to door decorated with flowers and the trees filled  with twinkle lights.

Sounds magical.

I think it’s time to throw another party!

 

Photos: google image, pinterest

10Aug/17

High-end pool toys

 

Wanna have more fun in your pool? (As if it wasn’t fun enough on its own… right??) Well we found tons of pool toys on the market and narrowed it down to this high-end list for you, so you can go to that next level of pool enjoyment.

The Aqua sofa. It’s a luxury floating lounger that you can use on a deck or in the pool. Sofa includes 3 matching pillows, a deluxe air pump and a carrying bag. It’s actually fabric covered which makes it even more comfortable than lying hot and sweaty on vinyl or plastic. It can hold up to 3 adults.

How about an underwater propulsion scooter. Kids can enjoy a whole new style of waterborne fun with the Underwater Propulsion Scooter. It features a lightweight, child-friendly design with protective grilles, auto shutoff, dual-trigger controls and positive buoyancy. Propels swimmers around the pool or lake at up to two miles an hour, and can dive down to 15 feet.

The Wireless Bluetooth Outdoor Party Speaker is a must-have for every backyard get-together. This weather-resistant indoor/outdoor speaker packs a powerful 10 Watt punch, plus multiple LED lighting modes to set the mood. Pairs easily with all iPhones, iPads, Samsung Galaxies and all other Android devices for over 12 hours of wireless music on a full charge.

Then there’s the waterproof action camera: Bring your music out on the water… without using a phone or a standard camera.s The Waterproof Action Camera and Music Player is the only speaker that can play all of your music, completely independent of your phone. Simply connect it via Wi-Fi and download your music onto the speaker. Then, take the speaker out to the pool or lake while your phone stays safely behind. It even has a built in 5MP camera to make cool videos and selfies of your adventures.

Make a splash with this rechargeable pool fountain with light show. It reflects vivid colors that can enhance any pool. The pool floor is illuminated while water gracefully projects out of the unit as it floats above the water and throws light and color onto the bottom and sides of the pool while shooting colored lit water into the air. The lighting coverage ranges from 10 to 15 feet.

Bring the waterpark to your back yard with the G-Force 2 Super Pool Slide. It stands 6 ft. 6 inches tall and gives you all the fun of the water park experience without the long lines. It features a one of a kind 360 degree design that delivers a fast and fun ride. Powered by the revolutionary “Zoom Flume” water delivery system that creates 35 gallons per minute of water flow. Safety minded design incorporates a runway with extra high sidewalls, and five oversize treaded safety steps for easy accessibility. It comes with a do-it-yourself installation kit, including concrete deck anchors, plumbing and hardware.

You’re all set. Now go have (more) fun.

 

 

Photos: Pinterest