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03/03/15

  08:46:00 am by lawrence, Categories: Kitchen

The main concern when doing remodeling work is the cost. You do realize that you need to spend generous amount of money to get the work done, especially if you are going to involve experts in the business. That’s why most home owners are torn between the decisions whether they should do a DIY work or consult a pro.

Well, before you make any decisions, it is important for you to understand what common works you need to do in the remodeling project and what you can do to save up more money. You may be surprised to find out there are handy kitchen remodeling ideas that you can do economically and efficiently. After all, who says that you always need to spend a fortune just to change the look of the old and tired kitchen?

Painting the Cabinets

Painting the cabinets may seem like a very easy job – everyone can do it, but if you want to create a result as if everything were done by a pro, you will need to have loads of patience. The process isn’t difficult, but you will need patience to pull everything off. You see, prepping the cabinet is as important as the painting itself, so you need to follow the steps carefully and patiently so the result will be beautiful and flawless. You will deal with removing doors from the hinges, removing the hardware (masking it won’t be such a good idea), and sanding the wood grain.

You can always hire people to do the work, but imagine how much money you are going to save when you are able to do this work on your own. Again, the prepping may require detailed attention, but it will be much easier for you to paint the whole cabinet in the end. The problem is that most home owners don’t have the patience with the detailed preparation – they just want to get to the painting work.

If you have the patience and the virtue to do the work on your own, it will be a great solution! But if you are known as not the most patient person in the world and you can’t stand the thought of doing the detailed preparation, it is better to hire the pro than creating a mess. Keep in mind that you should paint in open or outdoor area with very good ventilation if you decide to do the work on your own.

Replacing the Faucets

This procedure is basically a no brainer, at all. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to replace the faucets; all you need is basin wrench to pull things off. Most home owners can do this work on their own, saving around $100 for the professional service. But keep in mind that you will have to spend around an hour or two lying on your back. Crawling underneath the sink and then lie to deal with the pipes that are dripping water on top of you isn’t exactly fun, but it can save you a lot of money in the end.

02/24/15

  06:06:00 pm by lawrence, Categories: Cakes

Preparing lunch for the kids may not be as difficult as you think. Yes, kids can be difficult sometimes, as they don’t really healthy ingredients like veggies or fruits. However, if you can come up with clever arrangement and smart way of cooking, you can show your kids that healthy substances can be tasty as well as healthy. Here are some creative ideas of healthy lunch recipes for kids, so you can pack up their lunch bag without fuss or hassle.

Arnold Palmer Sandwich
Who says sandwich is always a junk food? When you choose the right ingredients for the sandwich, it can be super fun and super healthy too. Simply chop pickles and a hard-boiled egg, combine it with mayo and mustard. Spread the mixture on a slice of wheat or multigrain bread. Meanwhile, you can make another mixture of chopped celery, canned tuna, mayo, onion, and lemon juice; apply it on another piece of sliced bread. Sprinkle both slices with torn basil leaves. It is super easy and yummy, and surprisingly fulfilling.

Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomatoes Wraps
Whole-wheat wrap is rich with fibers, which is good for your digestion system. Mash a pure avocado with lemon juice; apply the mix on top of the wheat wrap. Add chopped tomatoes, crumbled bacon, and romaine lettuces that are thinly sliced. Roll it up and it is ready to enjoy.

Turkey Salad and Rolls
It is a very easy recipe and it quite flexible too. Your kids can use hot dog bun or even hamburger bun to assemble everything. Mix toasted almonds, smoked turkey cut in dices, sliced celery, seedless red grapes, and mayo. You can keep it inside airtight container for later usage. Feel free to combine it with hamburger or hot dog bun. Or even if your kids don’t want to use the bun, they can eat it like that or use tortilla for alternative serving.

Zucchini and Corn Fritters
You can use whole wheat or multigrain pancake batter, if you want to. It will add the fiber and nutrients needed for your kids. Mix grated zucchini, sliced scallion, thawed frozen corn, and a handful Parmesan. The zucchini should make the mixture moist, but feel free to add moisture if you feel that the batter is too stiff. Cook it until it turns golden, around 3 minutes on each side. If you want to add dipping, pair it up with Greek yoghurt. It is fresh and tasty, and your kids are guaranteed to like it.

Elvis Burrito
It looks like a thinly crust pizza, so it can be a good alternative in case your kids are craving for a pizza. Use whole-wheat wrap, spread the surface with peanut butter. Add crumbled bacon on top of the peanut butter, drizzle the rest with honey. Then add a banana, roll the wrap, and you should come with cylinder form. If you don’t really like rolling the wrap, slice the banana, place the slices in between the bacon, and then roll. Whatever ways you use, it is tasty and fulfilling.

Pita Pockets with Turkey and Cheese
Use whole-wheat pita bread, and spread cream cheese all over it. Add baby spinach leaves, roasted turkey slices, and cucumber slices on top of the cream cheese evenly. It is creamy and fresh, and fulfilling.

Cucumber, Carrot, and Avocado Sushi
If you want to create sushi-like healthy meal that is filled with healthy substances, you can create this one. Toast a nori sheet and later on brush it with sesame oil; add salt for seasoning. Place cold sushi rice in thin layer and add shredded carrots, cucumber sticks, and avocados slices. Make sure to have them tightly arranged when rolling it. Once it is rolled, slice it and serve it with soy sauce. It is unique and the small form makes it easy to eat; simply pop the slice into the mouth and your kids will have a blast!

Gruyere and Asparagus Panini
Use whole-wheat tortilla; layer it with Gruyere cheese slices. If you want to, add black pepper for seasoning. Prepare steamed or roasted asparagus that have been prepared the night before, arrange the layers on top of the tortilla. Sprinkle lemon juice on top of it and fold it over. By using a Panini press, cook it until it turns golden and the cheese slices are melting.

Sloppy Joe Chicken Barbecue
If your kids are into burger so much, and you are worried about the nutritional value, this Sloppy Joe can be a very good and healthy alternative. Mix shredded chicken rotisserie, chopped tomatoes, and shredded carrots along with barbecue sauce. Heat it thoroughly. Add the mixture with chopped parsley or cilantro, and then keep it into an airtight container. Use whole-wheat bun (for burger or hot dog) for final assemble. It is healthy and still tasty, just like the regular burger.

Chips and Dips
Who says chips are always bad, packed with unhealthy substances like fat or salt? If you can make this chips and dips, it is guaranteed that your kids will realize healthy food can be tasty too. Mix limejuice, fresh chopped tomatoes, chopped cilantro, and chopped white onion together for the salsa. Use flaxseed tortilla chips with containers of avocado mash with lemon juice, the salsa, and Greek yoghurt. Your kids can use whichever dip they want to have, and they are all healthy!

Mini Bagel Sandwich
Toast mini bagel and then split it into two. Spread the bottom part with cream cheese, pancetta or Canadian bacon, tomato slice, and scrambled egg. You can add more cream cheese on the top slice before joining the bottom and top together.

Shrimp Rolls
Although it is perfect when used with whole-wheat bun for hot dog, you can also use the hamburger bun. Mix mayo, chopped cooked shrimp, chopped celery, lemon juice, black pepper, and fresh tarragon. Store it in airtight container.

Healthy Fried Rice
Sauté the white scallions with veggie oil. Add peas, frozen carrots, corn, soy sauce, and enough water into the mix. Make sure it is heated thoroughly before you add up leftover brown or red rice. To make it soft, add another soy sauce and water – but don’t overdo it or it will turn too mushy. Throw in chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, and green scallions before you prepare it for serving.

02/22/15

  02:29:00 pm by lawrence, Categories: Cakes

You probably have seen cake toppers …well, almost everywhere. When you attend birthday parties, when you go to a friend’s wedding event, or even when you buy a cupcake, you see the interesting and adorable cake toppers. Do you know that a cake topper can really make a difference in the atmosphere and total outcome of the cake? In case you are interested in planning your own wedding party, and you want to make a statement in an elegant but fun ways, you can always choose funny wedding cake toppers.

The cake toppers can be coming in various styles and shapes, such as text and photos, figurines (whether it is animal or human), flowers, and so many more. They can also be made from various materials, like acrylic, edible substance, and even metal. The cake toppers are quite affordable and they are unbelievably versatile; you can even have custom order if you want to. But keep in mind that custom requires extra spending and money, as well as extra effort, times, and energies.

Why Cake Toppers?

Of course you can always choose the wedding cake alone without the topper, but what’s the fun in it? After all, the cake topper makes a silent but strong statement about what kind of message you want to send to the guests. By choosing funny cake toppers, you can want to deliver a message that you are funny, whimsical, daring, and adventurous. You aren’t afraid in choosing something different; something that is unusual. In fact, you don’t really like something that is so ordinary and common like others.

The cake topper can be the entertainment part. You can amuse friends, families, and relatives – well, basically all your guests – while entertaining yourself. You can make the event memorable and unforgettable. The more unique the topper is, the more unforgettable your event will be. For instance, if you always dream of becoming a spy, you can have a cake topper depicting yourself as a spy, while protecting your loved one. This is witty, clever, and funny – not to mention also hilarious and right on spot.

One thing about wedding cake topper is the fact it is highly versatile and personalized. You can have the cake toppers with similar dress that you are wearing on the big day, for example, or you can choose a topper with the bride looking upset holding items that she dislikes while the groom looks guilty and scared. Even the smallest expressions can really imitate your personality and characteristics – which makes the wedding cake toppers very interesting and appealing.

Different Materials for the Cake Toppers

As it was mentioned before, the cake toppers can be made of different materials. Each one has their own perks and flaws, so it doesn’t hurt to learn about them so you know which one is higher in quality and which one is the most expensive.

• Acrylic. Disposable acrylic is the cheapest one, and it is quite long lasting – in case you decide that you want to keep it and have it wrapped within a box for memento. The most common types are the diamante or rhinestone toppers. Although most acrylic toppers are quite good, you can’t really depend on the quality since it can’t be considered high quality.

• Metal. Thanks to the durability and sturdiness, metal topper is generally more expensive. In case you want to keep the topper and then re-use it again (not for the purpose of safekeeping), this is the best option to make. Since there are so many different metals that you can use for the topper, just make sure that you choose food-safe and lead-free cake topper. If you want to keep it and re-use it, you want to choose a metal that won’t tarnish after a while.

• Glass. There are some perks of having glass toppers. They are inexpensive, elegant, and beautiful. They can also be kept and then be re-used. However, be sure to choose lead-free glass. Glass is mostly delicate and fragile, so you should handle it with care.

• Ceramic. This is one of the most expensive toppers, but it can be stored and treasured. They are high in quality, but since they are prone to break, you should be careful about it.

• Edible toppers. As the name suggests, you can eat the topper – well, if you don’t mind eating the figurines used to represent you. Edible toppers are generally made on two main substances: wafer paper and icing or sugar. These edible toppers can be shaped, printed, or even airbrushed to meet your requirements. Edible type is certainly whimsical and fun, but since it is not made for safekeeping, the quality isn’t too good or long lasting.

Different Types of Edible Cake Toppers

Edible cake topper can be made into different types and variants, covering:

• Clay cake topper. This kind of topper is generally handmade; not designed or shaped with machines. Most edible toppers are made of almost similar substances and ingredients, but one type has more of this, and the other one has more of that – simple tit and tat factor. Making clay cake topper seems easy, but it actually requires skills and expertise. The price of the cake toppers depend on the details of the finish. The more detailed it is, the more expensive it will be – especially if it is a custom order. However, clay cake topper is generally extra cute and adorable, so you can expect loads of fun when you choose one for your wedding cake.

• Gum Paste and Pastillage cake topper. Pastillage dries pretty quickly, so the maker should work fast to come up with perfect and flawless result. Gum paste is basically almost the same as the pastillage, but it dries rather slowly – not as fast as the pastillage. Gum paste is generally used in 3D design.

• Fondant cake topper. It is friendly to your taste palate and somewhat more pliable, but it can’t be as hard as pastillage or gum paste, so when the maker want the design to dries off quickly and stay rigid, they will add a little part of gum paste.

02/21/15

  11:50:00 am by lawrence, Categories: Tips

Setting up your own online business can be tough, but it is doable – with the right implementation and application. If you want to learn how to start an online business, you need to avoid making common mistakes that most people do. Not many people realize that they are doing these mistakes, which is the main reason why most businesses go bankrupt and not successful at all. If you want to have your own solid business, learn from these mistakes and avoid doing them.

Slow Launching

When people start their business, it is pretty normal if they are afraid that it won’t be successful – that people won’t be interested in hiring them or buying the products. They tend to wait too long for the launch, hoping that they should be able to see chances and signs that they are going to do well. If you want to start your business, launch it right away after you have planned and figured out everything. If you have planned out everything carefully, positive trends will go your way – although you can’t really expect something big as a starter. However, if you hesitate too long, you won’t be able to generate money. It is normal to be afraid about the prospect of your business, but if you wait too long, you are making silly mistakes that will only guarantee your failure.

Focus on Unimportant Matter

In business, you want to find the target market first, identify the condition and find out what people need. If you manage to identify it and then come up with the right solution, it is guaranteed that your business will go booming. The common mistake people make is to come up with a solution that no one needs. For instance, if you come up with a product for frizzy hair, and yet no one has this issue, you can’t really expect that your products will be sold out, can you? That’s why, doing your initial research is important and crucial for the business.

Not Focusing on Customers

It is related to the previous idea, where you need to focus on your customers. After all, you need customers to reach success in business, right? After sales, you can contact them, ask for their honest opinion about your products or services. What do they like? What do they dislike? Why they dislike it? What makes them uncomfortable? What they like the most? Getting feedbacks from customers is important if you want to have your business run for long time. Unfortunately, most business people don’t really care about after sales service and care.

Being Similar and Uniform with Others

If you want to sell clothing, for instance, granted that there will be millions of people selling out the same stuffs. However, you can differentiate your products. Instead of going the same, why not focusing on selling luxurious brands with lower price, for instance? You can go directly to the supplier to pull this through. Most people like the idea of being able to buy expensive stuffs without actually having to spend a fortune. If you are able to do this, your business will run for long time.