Wednesday, 26 December 2012

How to Upgrade Your Kitchen

About once every 10 years or so most of us look at our kitchens and think, “There has to be a better way”. Kitchens often look cluttered, a bit too dirty, and too small, and are usually emitting some sort of unidentifiable smell. Our first instinct on as to how we could fix this is to tear the entire thing out and start over from scratch. Most of the time that’s totally unnecessary and could be resolved by a variety of smaller, and much cheaper upgrades.

Indoor Herb Garden

Why herbs? Besides being vast improvement over the dried stuff sitting in your spice drawer growing fresh herbs (or any other plants) can help to pull bad smells and a variety of other pollutants out of the air. They also add a splash of color to an otherwise stark environment. Besides, growing herbs is easy and makes you look like you know what you’re doing.


The biggest problem in most kitchens is the amount of clutter that you need to deal with and the filth that seems to permeate every crevice of your kitchen. After years of use your kitchen probably sports a large and varied collection of mismatched pots and pans liberally encrusted with burnt oil residue that is virtually impossible to remove without a jackhammer. Every time that you cook with these you’ll release a bit more of the stuff into the air and contribute to the unidentifiable kitchen odor. Getting a new cookware set can help you deal with this because it’ll easily stack inside itself and let you start fresh on your dishwashing habits (this time I’ll keep them clean for real!... yea…).

Counter Space

Another major issue with kitchens everywhere is the lack of usable counter space. An easy way to remedy this is to add work-space  Of course this is limited by the size and layout of your kitchen. If you have the necessary floor space you can simply put a table inside your kitchen to act as extra counter space. I have a conveniently narrow table that now serves as a kitchen island in my house, however a small round table could already be enough to reduce the strain on the rest of your kitchen.

Storage Spaces

A good way to clear counter space that is being used for storage instead of work is to build more storage space. If you have any unused wall space, go ahead and add more cabinets. To make your existing storage space more efficient, add extra shelves so that you have more surfaces to put things on.

Heat Sources

Is your cooking range out of date or damaged? Cooking on open coils is extremely inefficient and a major fire hazard. The ovens that typically go with this style typically don’t have any form of convection and may be prone to burning the top of your turkey while leaving the bottom raw. Besides being more efficient and cooking food more evenly, a range with a flat glass surface will be much easier to keep clean, and will be less prone to setting things on fire.

Felix Laurent has been cooking since the age of 4 when he burnt his first piece of toast. He currently blogs for the cookware distributor

Thursday, 13 December 2012

How to Maintain Your Fresh Cut Flowers

Everyone loves keeping fresh flowers in their homes. They brighten up the place and are great to look at. The additional bonus is provided by the fragrance released from them, making your house not only nicer to look at, but to smell too. Fresh flowers can be purchased from many different locations, from florists specializing in fresh flowers, department stores and even petrol stations! On the other hand, if you are a gardener, you may even have the opportunity of getting fresh cut flowers straight from your garden. No matter how you get a hold of these fresh cut flowers, you want to ensure that they stay healthy and alive for as long as possible. This requires a little attention, time and care from your side.

This article aims to provide you with hints and tips which are guaranteed to prolong the life of your fresh cut flowers.

In order to get the most from your flowers, you need to ensure that you start off with the freshest flowers possible. If you are planning on purchasing flowers, make sure you buy them straight form a florist or market and try to stay away from the petrol station, since those are least likely to be fresh. The additional exposure to petrol fumes will further jeopardise the health of your flowers.

If you are cutting the flowers yourself from your garden, ensure that you have a pre prepares vase at the ready so that you can instantly transfer them.

Having the right storage container is essential in prolonging the life of your flowers. The appropriate container for flowers is a vase. Do not use a plastic box or a jar. A vase is best. The vase should be all enough to cover the first three to four inches of the stems. A few additional inches are advisable, since they will provide your flowers with more support. Before placing your flowers into the vase, ensure that it is thoroughly cleaned. Any bacteria left in your vase will instantly attack your flowers, decreasing their lifespan.

When preparing your vase, ensure to fill it with warm water. You should not overfill the vase – add enough water to cover four to five inches of them stem. To this, you can add plant food which can be bought or is sometimes provided by florists in addition to your flowers. This will increase the life of your flowers. A cheaper alternative is to use Aspirin. Many of us have Aspirin lying around the house, which makes it more convenient than purchasing plant food.

Next, it is time to prepare your flowers. Fill your sink or a large container such as a washing up bowl with cold water. Hold the stems under the water and then you are ready to trim the stems. Ensure that you use sharp scissors so that you get neat, clean edges. It also means that you avoid crushing your edges, which will affect the water and nutrient uptake and will also make your flowers more susceptible to diseases.

When cutting your flower stems, ensure that you cut them at an angle. This is done to increase the surface area over which your flower stems are exposed to water, allowing them to take up more water.

Overlapping leaves need to be removed. Additionally, any leaves submerged in the water need to be removed since these are the ones that harbor most of the bacteria that cause plant diseases.

Finally, the water should be changed on a daily basis. If you are using plant food or Aspirin, this should also be added to the fresh water on a daily basis.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Tips to Give Your Bedroom An Elegant Look

Sleeping chamber has its own prominence amongst the other rooms in a house. It is the place that melts your worries and makes you to be yourself when you enter inside. Everyone has own choices to style their bedroom. Here are few tips which help you to enrich your bedroom even it is small.

Lights: Using soft lights gives a different texture and elegant look to your bedroom. For light and royal fixture you can use ceiling, pendant, cove and recessed illuminates. Use low-powered bulbs; overhead lamps to give a slight natural feel to your room.

Colors: Be particular about choosing the colors as it makes the illusion of spaciousness. Pick the right colors according to your taste that also resembles your personality. You can choose lighter shades as they give a spacious mien to your bedroom. Use the bright and light colors such as pink, blue, white and yellow to paint your wall which can alter overall look of the chamber.

Themes: There are various themes which can be used such as modern, antique older, color and others. Design your room with the theme that emanate your personality. Organize cases of pillows and sheets with the wall paint color as to make elegance and balance sense.

Furnishing: Emphasize your chamber with lavish fabrics and furniture which give a graceful look. To make it grand, add the silk curtains that also bring a charm of fairy tale. Display the paintings, pictures and posters on your walls with a little artistry. Organize the shelves in a proper way which includes grace to the room.

Usage of space: Arrange your furniture in a good manner. Categorise things to essentials and unwanted. Dispose the unnecessary things and give importance to the needs. Shape the room with the furnishing according to importance and efficiency. The best Sense of organising aid you with the space to essentials.

Decors: Decorations such as tunnel or oval shaped lamps, antique vases, hangings, carpets, wallpapers, designer arts and so on can be used. Make sure to choose the color of the window curtains that doesn’t contrast your bedroom color theme. Keep the fresh flower on the top of your table as to give a natural and stylish gesture to your chamber.

Flooring: Based on the theme which you choose the flooring will be done accordingly. There are various flooring that can be chosen such as cork, vinyl, bamboo, natural-hardwood, marble, linoleum and many others.  Vinyl flooring can be used throughout the house as it is manufactured with the synthetic materials which protect the surface prominently. The other flooring also has its own significance's that enhance your bedroom mien. Pick the best one which comforts you.

Use the decors, lights, themes, furnishing and other which express your individual style. You can make a contract with the renovation experts or you can do yourself by taking advice from professionals. Make a list and buy the accessories that give a graceful look. Use credit cards and savings to make to pay the outlays. In case, if the expenditure of renovation ends up with the amount which is beyond your budget, you can opt for same day cash loans which are short-term credits that can be paid on your next pay cheque.

About the Guest Author: 

My name is Emily Roberts.  I am a tech writer from UK.  I am into Finance.  Catch me