Why We Love and How We Use Fresh Produce

Why We Love and How We Use Fresh Produce

Summer time brings so many opportunities for cook outs and picnics with family and friends, and one thing that makes these events even more special is that we can use fresh ingredients.  When you get ready to make a salad or a homemade fruit pie, do you ever think about where your ingredients come from? [Read more…]

Every Beautiful Family Kitchen Needs These 4 Important Features

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Developing the homes we love is both an effort in love and labor. Love, because developing the home space for our family to make memories together and commune over the day experienced doesn’t need its appealing nature explained. Labor, because the kitchen is the most difficult, and the most necessary place in your family home to get right.

Your kitchen is the heart of the home. It is where the meals that sustain the family are made. It’s likely where you all enter to commune after coming in from your outside errands and duties. It’s important to make this place a beautiful place for you, your children and any extended family members who come to visit.

Remember, you’ll spend a lot of time here, so make sure that you stock it with the following four tips to complete the space.

A Sizeable Pantry

Every good familial cook, be that the father, mother or even child, requires a place to store all of their cooking equipment. Shoot for a pantry larger than that you’d originally think you might need. This will allow you to collect various items over the years, and also fill the pantry with non-perishable goods for months that can be used in a pinch when you really need them.

Storage spaces are necessary, and when your family increases in size, you can be sure to understand just how increasingly necessary they can be.

A Liquor Cabinet

A good family kitchen is never complete without a classy liquor cabinet. This can serve as an area where you can mix cocktails for your family friends as a go-to party trick. For the most refined liquor cabinet, order alcohol online that adheres to your tastes. If nothing else, the liquor cabinet will serve as a place to store bottles gifted to you as part of anniversaries or other celebratory milestones. You’ll never know when you desire a quick nightcap.

A Familial Reminder

A kitchen should be considered the most important place in the family home. This will only be exemplified if you make a habit out of decorating its display areas with pictures, drawings, and achievements your family have been involved with. As this grows and develops over time, you will have a clear mural dedicated to the family that you couldn’t do without.

A Place To Organize

A good kitchen also serves as the focal point for a family’s responsibilities. Placing a calendar with important dates laid out on a fridge or free wall space can help you and your family keep track of their duties in synchronicity. Also, consider crafting an area dedicated to the safe storage of important family documents, such as bills, gas readings, etc. A large wall divider can serve to keep the whole family on track with their goals, and you as the head of the family aware of all their ongoings.

These four features, when implemented well, can really round off a beautiful kitchen design. A family kitchen is only complete when it feels lived in, when the family members use it often, and the space develops as the family does.

With these tips, you’ll be off to a great start.

Choosing the Best Mattress Topper for your Bed – PROs and CONs of each topper type

The bed is the centerpiece of your room, the one place you make a beeline for at the end of a long day.

It only makes sense to make it as comfortable as possible. If you own and old thrifty mattress and the money it tight the best way to freshen it up is adding a good mattress topper.

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Mattress toppers vs. pads and protectors

A mattress topper is an extra layer you roll onto your bed for added comfort. They provide additional support and help keep you nice and cozy in those cold winter months.

Just to be clear, a mattress topper is not the same thing as a mattress protector – the latter being a thin cover meant to keep out moisture, mildew, allergens, dust, and pests.

It’s also not quite the same as a mattress pad. Pads are usually thinner and perform much the same function as the mattress protector while still providing some comfort.

This is the first decision you’ll have to make – which of these is the best option for you, a topper or a pad? We found the dilemma clarified in detail in this topper and pad guide on TheSleepStudies.com.

How to Choose the Best Mattress Topper for your money

At any bed store, you’ll find hundreds of mattress toppers to choose from. They come in all sizes and “flavors”, which can be quite confusing.

To save time, effort, and money on your part, let’s address the advantages and shortcoming of each type.

Latex Toppers A form of rubber, latex can either be synthetic or natural Talalay (made from Hevea Brasiliensis tree sap).

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Pros

· Latex toppers can be very firm. This gives them high durability and can provide good support (especially useful for people who have joint or back problems).

· Despite its firmness, latex has low transfer motion. This simply means you won’t be disturbed by your bedmate moving around.

· Latex is also anti-microbial and for the most part, anti-allergenic.

Cons

· A latex surface can trap heat, so lying down on it for a long time might feel very warm.

· It may also feel too firm or too bouncy to some people’s tastes.

· It won’t work for people allergic to rubber or latex.

· For those concerned with green living, natural latex can be costly.

Memory Foam Mattress Toppers

This chemically-enhance polyurethane returns to its shape after use. Because it conforms to your body it provides ample support and comfort. It also comes in a variety of densities and, opposed to what most people think, it’s very different from latex.

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Pros

· Never wrinkles or gets bent out of shape.

· Soft surface for added comfort.

· Provides ample support for arthritic joints and similar problems.

· Memory foam reduces motion, so you won’t be bothered by your bedmate’s movement.

Cons

· Over time, it may start feeling hot.

· Memory foam is more expensive than other materials.

· You may have a hard time turning or moving around in bed.

Polyester Blends

Also known as fiberfill, this is a synthetic material but feels like feather or down.

Pros

· Very affordable.

· Unlike other materials, does not carry an odor.

· Feels like feathers but is non-allergenic.

Cons

· Does not provide much support or cushioning.

· Over time, it can feel hot.

· It may get lumpy through use.

· It may also flatten over time.

Feathers and down toppers These are much like feather duvets, and while they are incredibly soft and will have you sleep like a baby they do not offer much support.

down-mattress-topper

Pros

· Feathers feel very soft and comfortable

· Because of the air in between them they do not trap heat.

· Easy to move around in bed or turn over.

· Feather toppers do not cost as much as latex or memory foam.

Cons

· Feathers can cause allergic reactions

· You will need to occasionally fluff them up as they tend to flatten over time.

· Feather make noise when you move on them and can wake up a bedmate.

· Watch out for feather shafts sticking out of the cover.

Wool

Made from the fleece of sheep, wool toppers are rarer but provide an outstanding level of comfort.

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Pros

· Wool toppers are soft and comfy.

· Provide the right amount of temperature regardless of weather. They feel cool in summer yet warm in winter.

· Easy to move around in bed.

· Wool is a highly durable material and wool toppers can last years.

· Wool is antimicrobial. It is also hypoallergenic except for those allergic to wool.

Cons

· Wool toppers are expensive and difficult to find.

· New toppers may smell like sheep, at least at first.

In conclusion

While purely optional, mattress toppers are a great way to bring additional comfort to your bed. Hopefully this list gave you an idea of what topper best suits your taste. It’s a relatively small expense for the essential need of a good night’s rest.

Tips to Make DIY Projects Safer

Tips to make diy projects safer

As you know, I always love a good DIY project. Any time my husband and I can fix or build something ourselves, we try to do it, and since we live in an older house, it seems like there is always something to do.  In the past few years, we’ve replaced light fixtures, painted and replaced porch rails, had plumbing repairs and installation, assembled furniture, upcycled old furniture, and started a bathroom remodel.

Anytime we start a new project, there are a number of things to consider: What does the project involve?  What are the materials needed?  How much will it cost?  How long will the project take?  What are the potential roadblocks to the project? Answering all of these questions can help us to better plan the project and ensure that the project is completed in a timely and efficient manner.

But beyond these questions, you should also consider the risks associated with the project.  Does the project involve any health risks?  What safety precautions should be taken to avoid injury or other bodily harm?  As an expectant parent and a pet owner, I have to take extra precautions to make sure everyone in our home is protected.  The following infographic gives us a a little insight into the views of fellow DIYers and it details some of the risks involved with home improvement and do-it-yourself projects.  Check it out! [Read more…]

Our Nursery Furniture – Preview and Products

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The opinions are my own.

As many of you know, I’m getting ready to welcome a new little one into the world.  HE is scheduled to arrive on November 17, and I’m currently in the process of getting the nursery decorated.  Today I’m sharing the nursery furniture that has been purchased.

Chest and Changing Table

First we have the South Shore Fundy Tide Changing Table and 4-Drawer Chest.  I purchased these on Amazon.  The set is available on other websites, but Amazon had the best pricing.

This is a great looking set. The color is espresso, but I think there are other colors available. It was very important to me to find a changing table with drawers, because I like to have things stored so that they are hidden.  The South Shore Fundy Tide Changing table has two drawers, plus a shelf for storing items.  And another great thing about this item is that we can still use it in the baby’s room long after a changing table is no longer needed.  I figure I could use for toys, extra clothes, art supplies, or anything else in his room, and then I just have to remove the changing pad, and there is a place to display items.   [Read more…]

Dirty Little Secrets with BIZ

Disclosure: I am a Biz Ambassador, and this is a sponsored post written in partnership with the brand. All opinions are my own.

Dirty Little Secrets with BIZ

Of all the chores in our house, laundry is the one I am most particular about. I have to have everything sorted properly and washed in the proper cycles that will get everything clean, while also preserving the clothes to keep them looking great. (No fading and absolutely NO fuzz balls here.)  Luckily I can count on BIZ® to help me fight stains!

[Read more…]

Is an earring dropped down a basin drain gone forever?

All it takes is the slightest twitch of the fingers, and an earring can be dropped down a basin drain in an instant. As you watch, horrified, it disappears down that hole, possibly vanishing forever. Don’t worry; plumbers in Lane Cove can help you get it back with a few tips.

Don’t Run Any Water

You do have a chance to save your earring, or any other small item that has gone down the drain. It just needs to be done before any water is run down that drain. If you don’t have time to get it out immediately, make sure everyone in the house knows not to use that sink until you do.

Get Under the Sink

Now you actually have to get to work. You’ll need a bucket and some sort of large adjustable wrench (also known as a plumber’s wrench). Not all sinks have precisely the same plumbing, but this is the general technique for getting things apart.

Once you’re in the cabinet, you’ll notice that there is a bend or J shape to the pipe. Known to most lay-people as a trap, that bend is where your earring is. Small objects that fall down the drain land in the bend, and can be retrieved by taking the pipe apart. But with a strong current of water, an object can be forced past the bend and away down the pipe. This is why you need to do your retrieval before the sink is used again.

Set your bucket under the trap, and see if there is a drainage bolt at the very bottom of the bend. If there is, open that up and let out the water that is currently sitting in the trap. A small enough object may drain right out at this point and you’re done. Just put the bolt back on.

If nothing has come out, you have to remove the bend. The trap portion should be attached to the rest of the pipe in two places, as it is intended to be removable for this very reason. There should be bolts or sleeves at either end of the trap that can be turned like screws to loosen the section of pipe. Plastic pipes may have flanges that can be turned by hand, but most will require a wrench.

Once the pipe is removed, just give it a shake or use your fingers to fish out the earring from the trap. You might want to wash it off at this point since the trap likely has hair and soap residue in it too.

Put It Back

Now you just need to put the trap back into place and tighten up the bolts again. There aren’t any tricks to it, just make sure the fasteners are tight enough to prevent any leaks. If this is your first time doing this chore, leave the bucket under the pipe when you run the taps next.

A Little Prevention

If you often change earrings over a sink, you should consider getting a mesh cover or insert for the drain. Not only would such a device prevent more fallen earrings, but it would also keep hair and other debris out of the pipes. And since it stays in the drain all the time, you don’t have to remember to put it in. Or you could simply put the plug in the drain each time, if you think of it.

All You Need To Know About Air Duct Cleaning

Do you happen to own a home? Are you entirely familiar with your home’s heating and cooling system? A lot of consumers familiarize themselves with the thermostat and HVAC unit itself, but few rarely see the ductwork. This can be a major problem, because your home’s ductwork requires maintenance too! In fact, you need to make sure that you carry out an air vent cleaning at least once or twice a year. Air duct cleaning services are specifically designed for this purpose. Below, you will learn a great deal more about the practice of home air duct cleaning, its purpose and the necessity.

What Is Air Duct Cleaning?

A lot of homeowners have never even heard of air duct cleaners. They’re not entirely sure what these companies do. So, what exactly is home air duct cleaning and how does it work? As the name suggest, vent cleaning is nothing more than cleaning out the ducts inside of your home. Air duct cleaning companies utilize a lot of high-tech gear to extract the dirt and debris from your home’s duct network. Once this is finished, the duct will be free of dirt, debris and dust. This might not seem like a big deal, but the benefits are surprisingly enormous.

How Often Should I Pay For Vent Cleaning?

When it comes down to it, most consumers believe they’ll never have to worry about vent cleaners. They mistakenly believe that air duct cleaning is not that big of a deal. This is not the case. The truth of the matter is that duct cleaning is incredibly important and it should become a habitual maintenance practice for all homeowners. While the price of a vent cleaning service might be a tad expensive, the benefits delivered will make it well worth it in the long run.

On average, consumers should pay for air duct cleaning services at least once or twice a year. Using duct cleaning services at this frequency will help to keep your home’s ducts clean, while simultaneously allowing your HVAC unit to work more efficiently.

How Much Will Air Duct Cleaning Companies Charge?

When it comes to vent cleaning, most companies will be worried about the cost. This is entirely understandable. However, it is essential to remember that the price will differ depending on a number of different factors. First and foremost, you need to realize that different air duct cleaning companies will all charge different prices for their labor. Also, the size of your home can be very important in determining the price. A bigger home will have more duct to clean and vice versa. With this in mind, the best way to determine the price of air duct cleaning for your home is by obtaining a quote from a professional.

What Is The Impact Of Air Vent Cleaning On My HVAC Unit?

In all likelihood, you’ve heard that vent cleaners are capable of making your HVAC unit work more efficiently. This is not a myth. The truth of the matter is that a good vent cleaning service will be able to greatly improve the performance of your HVAC system, while simultaneously removing the burden placed on it. Air duct cleaners will remove the dirt and debris inside of the ducts and in return, this will greatly improve the efficiency and performance of your HVAC system. Once the debris is extracted, your HVAC system will be able to keep your home cool while working a little easier.

Also, the home air duct cleaning will remove stress on the unit itself and this will ultimately increase its service life.

How Long Does Air Vent Cleaning Take?

A lot of consumers will be worried about the period of time that the air duct cleaners will be in their home. Nobody wants to let strangers in their home in the first place. The good news is that air duct cleaning services can be carried out fairly quickly. While it depends solely on the vent cleaners in question, most will be able to get the job done within a few hours at most. Once the crew has entered the home, they’ll create and access point and an exit point. The other vents will be sealed off. Then, the team will connect a vacuum to the exit point and a blower to the entry point.

In this type of scenario, the vent cleaning service providers are capable of extracting the debris without causing a major mess.

What Are The Cost Benefits Of Duct Cleaning Services?

Many people absolutely refuse to pay for duct cleaning services, due to the costs involved. This is truly a major mistake, since these services will ultimately pay for themselves over a period of time. It is pertinent to realize that your HVAC system can operate at maximum efficiency when the ducts are clogged with dirt and debris. Instead, the HVAC system will be required to work harder and longer to keep your home cool. This will ultimately increase your electric bill by a noticeable amount. With this in mind, getting your ducts cleaned can have cost-saving effects in the long run.

Plus, this service is capable of expanding the service life of your HVAC unit and this will help you avoid purchasing a new one in the future.

Is Duct Cleaning Really A Must?

Finally, you should ask yourself whether or not duct cleaning is really a necessity. While it is possible to find conflicting answers out there, there is a simple answer to the question. That answer is yes. All homes and businesses have ductwork. That ductwork is going to become filled with dirt, dust and debris over a period of time. And of course, the only way to remove that debris is by hiring a professional. If you do not clean your ducts on a regular basis, your HVAC unit will work harder, your electric bill will increase, and your home’s air quality will become tumultuous.

When taking this into mind, you should realize right away that duct cleaning is definitely a necessity. All homeowners should make sure that their ducts are cleaned at least annually!

Decorating an Outdoor Area for Summer

Summer weather can be harsh, which means your outdoor area, furnishings and décor need to be able to handle the heat as well as the thunderstorms. This can be a tricky combination as you need to prepare for all weather events, both wet and very, very dry depending on the year. Here are some top tips for decorating your outdoor area this summer.

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Make Room for Guests

One of the most important aspects of an outdoor area is its entertaining capabilities. We just love to entertain, especially outdoors. Barbeques are a way of life so you’ll need a good range to cater for a large crowd and the seating and dining to match. If you only have a small space, put your spend into the barbecue and host informal get-togethers, buffet style.

Weather Proof Everything

You’ll need to consider your specific area when decorating your outdoor living space but it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll experience both wet and dry conditions. Pick fabrics that are weather proof whenever possible. Cushions should be able to handle wet weather while their colour needs to stand up to the harsh sun. Don’t spend a fortune on rain-proof fabrics if the colours are going to fade in the sun after only one season or you’ll be buying again next year.

Likewise, choose sun proof fabrics if you can. If they’re not all weather wear then you’ll need somewhere to keep them when it inevitably rains. If you don’t have the space to store your outdoor

supplies in your indoor linen cupboard or similar, invest in an outdoor chest and storage compartment that doubles as extra seating for your guests.

Lisa Green, Editor in Chief of Australian House & Garden had this to say in an interview with hipages: “Choose furniture that will age gracefully – i.e. aged metal finishes which will patina over time. Or look to the hi-tech weatherproof synthetics that now come in many more sculptural forms, with soft cushioning to match.”

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Durability Over Design

You shouldn’t have to compromise but if your budget doesn’t make room for your favorite design in a durable material, always, always choose durability over design elements. If your chosen design isn’t durable enough to face numerous summers, simply don’t make the purchase. You’ll enjoy one summer only, before you need to buy again. This is especially important when making big purchase decisions, such as your outdoor table and chairs. Certain woods require a lot of maintenance to hold up under the harsh sun, so forego the wooden dining if you’re not up to the task. Instead, opt for metal and glass tabletops that will last many years to come.

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Shading

While certain dining suites require regular maintenance, you can help your aging furnishings by shading your outdoor living area well. You’ll need at least enough shade for you and your guests to enjoy on hot summer days. Whether you choose large table top umbrellas to keep you and your guests cool while you entertain, or invest in canopies to cover your entire outdoor living space, your décor and outdoor furniture will hold up much better in the shade than in constant sunshine.

Biz: Eliminating Stains and Odors

Disclosure: I am a Biz Ambassador, and this is a sponsored post written in partnership with the brand. All opinions are my own.

Biz Eliminating stains and odors

As a wife and mom I find myself doing laundry almost daily!  To make sure our clothes look their best, I like to use high quality products.  One product that I use is BIZ®..  It is a stain remover and laundry booster and the first enzyme based pre-soak and color-safe bleach.

[Read more…]