Success in Learning

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Variety of Nuts is the Spice of Life

Since the earliest of time and even before agriculture was used by the Greeks to have better food resources, `Nuts’ have been a stable food and nutritional source in the diet of manhood since the dark ages. During those times, nuts were plentiful, as there were much more forests as today, and well liked for their easy storage, which enabled people to keep them for times in which food was hard to find. (Winter, rainy season, etc).

There is evidence that as far back as the second century B.C., the Romans distributed sugar almonds on special occasions such as marriages and births.

Nuts have their place in all cultures and through almost all cuisine around the world. Nuts are liked by people of all ages for their subtle taste and high fat and carbohydrate content. It is this subtle taste that Chefs like when creating new dishes and variations.

DESCRIPTION & SPECIES

Under the category nuts, we understand anything from a seed to a legume or tuber. The peanut, as an example, is a legume, the Brazil nut and macadamia nut are seeds and almonds are the seed of a fruit similar to a peach.

Botanically nuts are single seeded fruits with a hard or leathery shell that contain an edible kernel, which is enclosed in a soft inner skin.

Generally, all nut trees grow slowly but live long. Trees of walnut, chestnut or pecan continue to produce nuts, often more than hundred years after planting.

Nut trees of any species are found all over the world. Almonds for example are found in California, Spain, Morocco, Italy and even Australia, where as the walnut can be found anywhere from North America to the Andes and Persia to Australia. Asia also has a great variety of nuts. Ginkgo nuts in China, candle nuts in Indonesia and Malaysia, coconut in throughout southern Asia, cashew nuts in India and Malaysia and the Philippines, chestnuts in China and Japan, and the water chestnut which is found in China, Japan, Korea and the East Indies.

SOME OF THE BETTER KNOWN NUTS :

ALMOND

Scientist consider the almond as a stone fruit, much like cherries, peaches and prunes.

Because most people only know the seed (stone) of this fruit, it is generally accepted as a nut.

Almond on the tree, look like small green peaches. When ripe the shell will open and reveal the nut in its shell.

There are various varieties of almonds.

The bitter almond is in fact the kernel of the apricot, which was found growing wild in China as far back as the late Tang Dynasty (AD 619-907).

This same apricot was taken to Europe and became the apricot fruit, which is now enjoyed all over the world. The bitter almond kernel is toxic in its raw state and must be boiled quickly and poached in a oven before being further used. It is primarily used in Chinese desserts like the almond bean curd.

The sweet almond is generally confined for fresh consumption. In 1986, California alone produced 70,000 tons of almonds, which is half of the world’s production. The almond has been cultivated around the Mediterranean since ancient times and can still be found wild in Algeria and around the black sea. Sweet almonds can be bought whole, shelled, cut in 1/2 with skin, without skin, flaked, blanched, slivered ground roasted or salted. they are used for snacks, marzipan, confectionery, and desserts as well as for the production of liqueur essence, oil and cosmetic products.

BUNYA BUNYA PINE NUT

The bunya bunya tree is a member of the pine family and grows almost everywhere in Australia. Originally the trees originated in the area of Brisbane and Rockhampton in Queensland Australia. Only the female trees are producing a 2cm x 2.5cm nut in the pinecone.

In the old days, the bunya bunya pine nuts were stable food for the aborigines and also used in ceremonials. These days, the nuts gain in popularity through the trend of native food in Australia (bush food) in recent years.

The nut is rich is carbohydrate, similar to the chestnut, and therefore used more like a potato than a nut. the bunya bunya nuts can be eaten raw but are usually boiled for easy removing of the skin. Shelled nuts are then butter fried and flavored with pepper or sugar, or added to stews and soups.

RED BOPPLE NUT

The red bopple nuts are a relative of the macadamia nut, and native to the tropical rain forest of the East Coast of Australia.

The nut is about the same size as a hazelnut and has a thick (0.5cm 0 1cm), woody husk with a bright red outer skin, which only appears if the nut is fully ripe.

In contrary to most other nuts, the red bopple nut is very low on fat, but very high in calcium and potassium. the low fat content make this nut very easy digestible. The nuts are eaten raw or toasted.

COCONUT

“He who plants a coconut tree”, the saying goes, “plants food and drink, vessels and clothing, a habitation for himself and a heritage for his children”. Indeed every part of the coconut is used, but only the coconut milk and the coconut meat are foods. The shell is used as charcoal, the husk is used to make ropes, clothing and brushes, and the trunk of the tree and leaves are used for roofs of houses and building material respectively.

The fruit of the palm `cocos nucifera’ has an edible kernel and therefore qualifies as a nut. The palm tree is native to the Philippines, Malaysia, Brazil and Indonesia, and can produce 50 – 100 nuts a year, over a life span of 70 years. Coconut palms grow best close to the seaside but have been proven to withstand high altitude, although the production rate is diminishing as further away from the sea the tree grows.

The large thick green pod encloses a brown fibrous husk around a brown shell , which contains a layer of soft white flesh and the clear water in the center. Sub-species found only on one island of the Seychelles, in the Indian Ocean, produces a nut often weighing more than 20 kg, which needs 10 years to ripen.

Coconuts are the worlds most commercially used nuts. Especially the meat, or copra, as it is called after sun drying, is vital for the export industries, in coconut growing countries. The coconut is a important food source especially in South East Asia, India, Brazil and the South Pacific Islands.

The copra can be brought shredded or desiccated and is used in confectioneries, ice creams and to coat chicken or fish for frying. However much of it is pressed for its oil also called coconut butter as it is white and fatty at room temperature. Not only is it used for cooking and to make margarine, but it also goes into soaps, detergents, shampoos, face cream, perfumes and candles.

It is also a major ingredient in glycerin, synthetic rubber, safety glass and hydraulic brake fluid. Coconut juice or milk is the natural juice of the nut, but not the water inside the coconut. It is won by shredding the raw coconut meat, then adding water and straining the mixture through a cotton cloth. The coconut milk has then the consistency and color of skim milk and is available canned or frozen.

CANDLE NUT

The candle nut gets her name, from when threaded tightly on the midrib of a palm leaf it has been used a primitive candle. More recently, the nuts were grounded to a paste, mixed with copra (grated coconut meat) and ten formed into a candle.

Candlenuts are the seed of the candle berry tree native to Indonesia and Malaysia but widely spread throughout south East Asia, the South Pacific and Sri Lanka.

The nut has a very high content on fat and is valued for the extracted oil for lighting as well as cooking. The nut is colored gray to black, about 5cm in diameter, with a thin, papery husk containing one or two nuts.

Candlenut oil for lighting purposes is extracted by roasting the nuts when they are only half ripe as oil for cooking is extracted by roasting the nuts when they are fully ripe. For human consumption, the nuts have to be roasted as raw once have been causing sicknesses.

Ripe candle nuts are roasted, then pounded into a meal and mixed with salt, chilies or shrimp paste for usage in curries or as a spicy condiment to curries. Traditionally, the Javanese have roasted the nuts for eating in the whole.

PALM NUT

The palmyra palm native to most South East Asian Countries produces a hard, shiny nut, from which a sweetish sap or gel is extracted. While this sap is used in the Indonesian cuisine for soups and desserts, it is on other well known product that is begin produced out of the palmyra palm – The Palm Sugar (gula melacca).

There are not reliable data available on the nutritional value of the palm nut, but it is widely known that the fat is saturated.

MACADAMIA NUT

Native to Queensland and New South Wales in Australia, the macadamia nut takes its name from Dr John McAdam, a scientist and early promoter of the cultivation Australia.

The macadamia trees are evergreen and reach a height of up to 20 meters. The edible seed of the silk oat tree has a very hard, light brown shell, 2 – 3cm in diameter.

In 1888, macadamia trees have been planted in Hawaii where through careful cloning and hybridization, it became an important commercial product.

Today, macadamia nuts are also cultivated in South Africa, Zimbabwe, California and parts of South and Central America.

It is very difficult to crack the macadamia nut as it’s shell is very hard and so tight to the kernel that when cracked the nut is smashed. In Hawaii, American scientist developed a way of separating the kernel from the shell by shrinking them in drying bins. They then developed the first commercial cracker. It was through these two developments that the macadamia nut could be formed to the commercial importance it has today.

This is also the reason why macadamia nuts are only available already de-shelled. Macadamia nuts also are valued for their oil and the macadamia nut butter.

They are available roasted and salted. When buying macadamia nuts, give care that they are packed in a air tight or vacuum bags, as they become easily rancid once opened.

Macadamia nuts are used for confectioneries or as snacks, but also gain in popularity in the kitchen as they have a very mild and subtle taste and add texture to salads, and hot dishes. It’s oil makes excellent vinaigrette and cold sauces.

WATER CHESTNUTS

The name refers to a nut like tuber of a aquatic plant called Trapa. The plants are common to several parts of the world, but are mainly used in Japan, China and Thailand where it is also a sought after ingredient in it’s cuisines.

The trapa plant roots in ponds and lakes and sends, its’ leaves to the surface, similar to a water lily. The water chestnut grows on the roots underneath the water surface. Water chestnuts are flat and round with a diameter of 5 – 7cm. They have a soft black skin and white flesh similar to the flesh of a coconut. Once peeled, they can be eaten raw, or dried and are a well liked ingredient because its crunchy texture, and sweet subtle taste. Water chestnuts are also boiled and made into flour, which is used for thickening of sauces and dishes, much like cornstarch.

CHESTNUT

Chestnuts are thought to have originated in Southern Europe and Persia even though they are also found in China, Japan and Northern America.

The nuts of the chestnut tree have a brown shiny color and leathery shell. they can be eaten raw, but mostly are consume boiled, baked or roasted or as a chestnut puree sweetened or unsweetened. They are also sold in syrup as marron glaces.

Chestnuts are the only nuts, which are treated like a vegetable because they contain more starch (30%) and less fat 3%.

Chestnuts are also made into a flour high on fiber and starch.

CASHEW NUT

Originating in the West Indies and native to the north of Brazil, Portuguese explorers introduced the nut to India and Malaysia as well as parts of Africa.

The hard-shelled nut grows inside the cashew apple. When mature the cashew nut appears at the end of the red or yellow apple. The cashew tree is a member of the poison ivy family and farmers must take great precautions when extracting the nuts. The hard shell contains an oil, which irritates the skin, so the nuts are heated to extract the kernel. The smoke and steam, which occurs however may still be harmful to skin and eyes. When heated the cashew nuts are harmless and may be extracted.

GINKGO NUT

The ginkgo is the prehistoric maidenhair tree, which survives as a wild tree only in China.

The fruit looks like a tiny plum but has a foul and bitter shell. the Chinese wait for the smelly hull to full off, then paint the nuts and use them for festive decorations, before they crack them open to eat the nut. In Japan and Korea, ginkgo nuts are skewered and then grilled, which turns the nuts color from yellow to green. In China, the ginkgo nut is a popular ingredient to vegetarian dishes. The nuts can be obtained fresh or canned.

HAZELNUT/FILBERTS

The nut of the hazel bush is native to Europe and North America and was mentioned in writings as far back as 2838 B.C., and was credited of currying many human ills as well as being considered excellent for Boldness and use as a hair tonic. Some say that the name filbert comes from Saint Philibert, a French abbot whose feast day on 22 August coincides with the ripening of the first nuts in the Northern hemisphere.

Hazelnuts have a very hard shell, which has to be cracked by a nutcracker before getting to the kernel. Hazelnuts are available, raw, blanched, or toasted, chopped, ground, cooking as well as hazelnut liquor.

PEANUT

The peanut is not a true nut. It is the seed of a leguminous plant with a soft, brownish colored brittle shell and belong to the Botanical family of beans and peas. But they are usually considered along with the nuts because of their physical characteristics and nutritional value. The nuts grow on the long roots of the plant and below the ground. The peanut is native to Brazil and has been found there ever since the first recording in 950 B.C..

Today, peanuts are cultivated throughout the tropics all over the world (India, China, West Africa, Australia and the USA are the largest peanut growing countries). Peanuts produce excellent oil, which is used for salads and cold dishes as well as for frying. Peanuts also produce peanut butter, margarine, and also used in canning of sardines. Peanuts are available whole, de-shelled and de-skinned and raw or toasted. Peanuts are used in all different varieties in everything from salads to main courses and desserts.

PINENUT

These are the edible seed of the pine tree and grow in the cone. Pine trees are found in the Southern USA, Mexico and around the Mediterranean sea. It is very difficult to establish a pinenut industry as the trees are growing very slow and don’t carry a lot of fruits until they’re 75 years old.

Pine nuts are mostly obtained raw and then toasted, fried or grilled. Pine nut oil is used for the cosmetic industry. Pine nut flour is used in confectionery.

PISTACHIO NUT

The pistachio nut is a small green kernel, which grows on the pistachio tree originating in Syria, Palestine and Persia.

The natural color of the shell is grayish white, but some times the nuts are dyed red to cover up some of the staining.

The pistachio nut is now cultivated in India, Europe, North Africa, Mexico, the USA and the Far East. Pistachios are usually sold in their shell or shelled and blanched.

The greenish seed is used as flavoring in cooking, candies and ice cream.

WALNUT

The walnut is related to the hickory and pecan tree and grows anywhere from North America to the Andes and Europe to China. English walnuts, butternuts and hickory nuts are all walnuts, botanical speaking. All those walnuts have different shells and kernels but the English walnut with it’s rough, rippled shell and yellow brown kernel is the most popular and popularly referred to as `The Walnut’.

Walnuts are bought in the shell or de-shelled and are sought after for their oil, which is used for cooking as well as for salads and dressing.

OTHER COMMONLY USED NUTS INCLUDE :

Macadamia Nuts )
Bunya Bunya Pine Nuts ) Australia
Red Bobble Nut )

Candle Nut ) Malaysia
Palm Nut ) Philippines, Brazil

Coconut ) Indonesia,China
Water Chestnut )

Brazil Nuts ) South America

Beech Nuts ) USA
Pecan Nuts ) North America

NUTRITIONAL VALUE AND INFORMATION

Nuts are rich in fat (40-60%) and dietary fiber (5-15%) with moderate amount of protein (2-25%) and small amounts of starch (up to 10%). As mentioned above chestnuts are an exemption to this general rule.

The fats in nuts are mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated and contain no cholesterol as nuts are harvested from plants. Only the coconut and palm nut contain saturated fats.

Significant amounts of minerals can be found in nuts, including zinc, calcium, iron, phosphorus and magnesium.

They also contain some provitamins and vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin E & C.

Nuts contain very little natural sodium and have a high amount of potassium, which in this constellation is recommended for the control of blood pressure.

Unfortunately nuts are often sold salted as snacks, which upsets this natural balance, and by a over consummation of salted nuts people take in a lot of fat and salt.

Nuts are also a great source of energy and often used in diets for athletes.

Used in moderate amounts, nuts in unsalted forms are nutritionally valuable food.

USAGE OF NUTS FOR THE PROFESSIONAL CHEF

One does not know where to start where to compile information about the usage of nuts and nut related product in today’s hospitality. In the kitchens, there is no limit on the amount of dishes and creations a Chef can use nuts or nut products for. From appetizers to salads, soups and desserts, with cheese, fish, pasta, meats and vegetables, nuts are very versatile and do not have a over powering flavor, and its subtle taste and crunchy texture adopt early to almost all given products as a supplement.

Nut oils are also widely used for dressings, frying and flavoring of hot and cold dishes. Nut liqueurs can be a welcome supplement to savory sauces as well as pastry sauces and creams, marzipan and other nut pastes are often used to produced chocolates and confectionery items. In the Indian cuisine, a cashew nut paste is often used for the thickening of curries and sauces. Through the wide spread of different nuts around the world, nuts are used in almost all cuisines known and its nutritional value make it an asset to so many diets since the ancient days.

In the beverage outlets, nuts are used in form of lacquers (Hazelnut, Almond) and liquid (coconut Milk), and as snacks served with drinks (Salted Nuts)

Overcoming Addiction

Life is experience. Substance dependence overtakes a person’s ability to make her own decisions to experience life, and life is no longer actively participated in. Therefore, in overcoming addiction, it is vital to learn to re-experience life. This lesson helps a treatment center resident reintegrate into the world after therapy is through. Experiential therapy is this bridge to leaving a life of substance dependency and commencing a life of health, both physical and mental. Experiential therapy is a necessary component in the steps towards a complete therapy. In addition to counseling and more traditional therapies, experiential is the door to the world – it forces the patient to test herself, to get up when she falls, to learn that giving up is not an option. This is a vital lesson to learn when overcoming addiction, as when problems arise after therapy, the former patient will remember that there are other means of dealing with problems than turning back to addiction.

Experiential therapy includes many various forms, and can be divided into two main categories: outdoor experiential therapy and indoor experiential therapy. Both aim at physical and mental challenges in order to succeed. Equine therapy, which falls within the category of outdoor experiential therapy, is worth reviewing on its own due to its uniqueness and successful results. Research supports the use of experiential therapy, as motivation increases and social integration is easier through the experience of such therapy.

The great outdoors is well known for its healing abilities, and exercise in itself releases the same good-feeling endorphins as a high does. There we have it: the high that is healthy. Outdoor experiential therapy utilizes nature to help residents work through their problems and free themselves from dependency through the physical challenges offered in nature. Activities can include winter sports like snowshoeing, and summer sports like hiking. More radical activities, like a heli-experience, are also possible. The heli-experience takes people to literally previously unknown heights. In opening new worlds, these experiences reconnect residences to their world, which is so important to eventually helping them reconnect with the people who live in this world. While outdoor activities are beneficial for the social aspect of interacting with other residents, their main achievement is to make the resident introspect and put a perspective on the resident’s own life in the context of the towering natural world.

Indoor experiential therapy can be based on an indoor ropes and challenge course. While also containing the aspect of physical challenge, indoor experiential therapy is a greater internal challenge. The resident must mentally prepare herself for the challenges that come at such heights. Also, trust is an invaluable lesson learned in indoor therapy. Partners rely on each other to succeed in these activities, thus learning to communicate effectively and learning to trust another. This can be an especially difficult aspect of healing from addiction, as for so many, trust is not a part of a life of addiction. Learning to rebuild personal self-confidence and trust in others is vital for a successful recovery from substance dependence. Reintegrating into society after therapy is one of the most difficult aspects of recovery, so having a treatment program that rebuilds the elements of trust and confidence, needed for a successful life in our society, is especially beneficial.

Equine therapy, a certain highlight of the outdoor experiential therapy, combines aspects used both in outdoor and indoor therapy. From the aspect of the outdoors, equine therapy offers the chance to be with, in and beyond nature, with a living being that sees us only for who we are. Horses are extremely intelligent creatures, having a special history with the human race. So vital in the development of the modern world, horses were the first vehicles for transporting messengers and mail efficiently, as the Pony Express reminds us, and were man’s trusted guides in exploration and on battlefields. And, while a horse does not judge mankind, it certainly can read a character and will cleverly use a human’s personality to its advantage. Trust is an essential element of equine therapy, and it is a relationship with a creature that will not lie about its feelings. When a genuine friendship is formed between horse and man, it is a lifelong bond. Equine therapy combines the power of nature and a physical challenge with the need to build a trusting relationship with a fellow living creature and increase self-confidence. In this manner, equine therapy is especially helpful for residents of treatment centers, as it combines all elements so beneficial to recovery in one activity.

Experiential therapy teaches lessons of confidence in the self as well as in others, and teaches facing challenges and overcoming them. Motivation is of prime importance in overcoming an addiction, and what better place to find motivation than where we naturally seek it: in situations that encourage us to aim higher than we imagine is possible. Through the motivation that appears in the physical activities, treatment center residents learn to carry it over to their own lives, and find the necessary motivation to deal with personal issues. Simultaneously building confidence and trust in themselves and others only strengthens the desire for motivation. The added health benefits of partaking in physical exercise show themselves both on the bodies and minds of patients. Getting the body into shape helps stabilize the mind, and helps lead a generally healthier life. There is never an easy cure to addiction, and many paths and steps must be followed to guide to a better life. The step of experiential therapy is one of the most rewarding steps in treatment, as the treatment resident is aware first-hand of its results. This personal feeling of achievement in overcoming challenges makes great headway in the recovery process from addiction.

Problems with Painted Concrete


The biggest problem with painted concrete is its ability to chip and flake, known as spalling. Sadly once this starts, there is nothing you can do to stop it. The primary perpetrator of spalling is water.

Well-laid concrete bases will have a plastic vapor barrier laid down first before pouring. This is simply to stop the moisture from rising up through the solid concrete to come out on top. The paint cannot cope with this effect and falls apart in chips and flakes.

Water will always try and migrate up through the earth to the surface. So unless there is a vapor barrier in the way, it will always get through. No matter how thick the concrete, the water will always get through. Even studies on painted concrete bunkers laid down in the Second World War, have shown signs of vapor penetration, due to capillary action. Any chemical bond between the paint and the concrete will be broken, due to the baking effect of sunlight upon the paint surface.

The best guarantee of success is to have the concrete foundation laid by a professional. Most staining on painted concrete, and the subsequent failure of the material, is do to the concrete foundation never having had a water barrier.

Another problem, with painted concrete, is the safety hazard it might pose. The surface becomes very slippery, and can give concern from health and safety quarters, on behalf of the public.

One method of counter acting this, is to mix the paint with fine sand or other crushed materials. However, this is not easy to do and it is hard to achieve a uniform finish across the whole surface area of the concrete.

Manufacturers have tried to combat this with various products, and some degrees of success have been achieved. This results in textured epoxy paints. Solving some, but not all of the problems.

Painted concrete walls can be achieved by preparing the surface first, and cleaning it of any grease and dirt, which might break the bond. One of the best methods of preparing a painted concrete wall, is to let nature take its course and leave it to weathering. This is to reduce surface alkalinity.

But this is not always practical, for new constructions. So one solution is to use 100% acrylic latex paint. This only requires 4 weeks of aging, due to the resistance to surface alkalinity.

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Granite Countertops Offer Elegance and Style

Kitchen granite countertops — created by nature and fashioned by man are a beautiful, durable and cost effective choice for kitchens and baths.

Granite is often imported from Europe, Africa, Brazil and other regions of the world rich in natural stone. Granite is an attractive natural stone that will add color and warmth to your kitchen. Granite is an extremely hard material that will not blister, scratch or crack.

Over the last 10 years kitchen granite countertops have become popular with homeowners, after first being popular with designers for decades. Granite is available in hundreds of colors, from various shades of white to browns, reds, greens, blues, and black. The most popular tones are brown and beige.

As well as being hard kitchen granite countertops can take hot items, like pots and pans, and is very stain resistant to hot grease and oil if it is sealed with a silicone-based impregnator. It can easily be cleaned and cut for a basin. Granite has a cool polished surface that makes it an excellent surface for rolling out pastry dough. The polished finish of granite will not wear off.

Kitchen granite countertops are unique because no two pieces of granite are exactly the same, therefore granite provides an interesting design element and adds certain richness and texture to your kitchen not found in other surfaces. Kitchen granite countertops can create a brilliance and elegance that is only found in nature. Granite adds a personality and character to kitchen countertops that is unsurpassed. Kitchen granite countertops have a natural beauty that is capable of complementing any tone of wood or style of cabinets.

It doesn’t matter if you are planning a new home or remodeling an existing kitchen, with granite kitchen countertops you can be sure that you will add to value of your home.

Kitchen remodelers and home builders have experienced a boom in the demand for kitchen granite countertops. Although it can be more expensive to put in granite countertops, they remain the odds on favorite choice for more upscale homes, since they keep their value better than most home improvements

The investment you make in kitchen granite countertops should pay you back at least three times what you invested. If you are selling your home you will find that home buyers wanting kitchen granite countertops will be willing to pay more for your home than if you have ceramic tile or plastic laminate.

Planning out your kitchen granite countertop first involves selecting the right granite color. You should concentrate on the most popular colors. Even though granite tones are usually neutral, you may find that a certain color goes well for your kitchen design.

If you are replacing the old countertop material in your kitchen with granite, carefully diagram all the measurements for the granite installer. If installing new cabinets is part of your kitchen remodel ask the granite fabricator what they recommend for cabinetry.

Since you are using such a superior product as granite, you should think about the right type of sink to go with your new kitchen granite countertop. You should definitely consider going with an undermount stainless steel sink, as opposed to an overmount sink that would be difficult to clean around.

In addition to getting the right kind of sink installed, it is also important to select the just the right faucet to go with the sink. A stainless steel faucet would go well with the looks of a rich kitchen granite countertop.

The next important area is upgrading your cabinet hardware. The handles and knobs should also be of high quality in order to provide good accent to the overall look of the kitchen. Even if you are not replacing the cabinetry having high quality hardware with make those cabinets and the whole kitchen
stand out.

So in planning your kitchen remodeling, just remember that kitchen granite or quartz countertops will make a provide a world-class addition and increase the re-sale value of your home.

Inexpensive Home Decorating Ideas

Home decorating is not something that requires a vast fortune in order to do. Nor is it something that must be accomplished all at once. The ideal manner to decorate a home is one step at a time, one room at a time. This makes the process much less stressful, more enjoyable, and imminently more affordable. Some great ideas are to start small then work your way up.

Paint is one of the least expensive things you can do to a room that will have the most immediate and profound impact on the overall look and feel of the room in question. By selecting the paint colors and painting the walls before anything else is done everything else can be done in order to match the colors you have placed on the walls. More importantly, paint is something that the average person is capable of doing on their own rather than being forced to hire experts in order to get it done. Any home improvement project that you can do yourself will save more money than you can imagine along the way.

Once you’ve managed changing your walls, you may wish to change your window treatments. Roman shades are an excellent choice as they are rather simple to make (which would leave you only the cost of the fabric and supplies) but they are not the only option. I would recommend some sort of curtains as a form of window treatment as they are much more personal than the typical mini blinds found in so many homes today. Curtains or Roman shades can be purchased to match the colors on your walls and should not be a terribly expensive investment.

Flooring has in the past often been out of reach of those seeking to casually improve the look of a room. New technology and materials have made new flooring a valid option even for those who are on seriously limited home decorating budgets. Laminates are a good option for those who love the look of hardwood but cannot afford the expense of materials and/or labor for these floors in their homes. Laminates can often be installed by even those with limited skills and make a very noticeable change in the look and feel of a room. Peel and stick tile is another option for those whose budgets will not accommodate laminate flooring. Check out the options and the prices at your local home improvement store. You just might be amazed at what you can afford.

Rather than purchasing new furniture to make an impressive impact on the look of your living area, try furniture covers. These can often be purchased in shades that will match your new decor and are much less expensive than new furniture leaving money for the little touches that matter so much in the overall look of the room. Besides, when friends and family walk in and see the changes they will be shocked and amazed. They may even be convinced that you do in fact have new furniture.

Mirrors are excellent tools to use when decorating a home. More importantly, they are rather inexpensive for the most part. Mirrors also lend the appearance of a much more wide-open space than having no mirrors would accomplish. If you have a fire place, strategically located mirrors can spread the warmth and coziness (if not the heat) of a fire throughout the room making the room as a whole seem like a much more enjoyable place to escape the winter “blahs”.

Artwork, candles, vases, and floral arrangements can be purchased one piece at a time in order to give the room a more polished look. Once you’ve decorated one room in your home with these budget tips in mind you can move on to other rooms in your home and incorporate the same ideals as you go. Remember that decorating your home doesn’t have to cost a fortune but it will require some patience and planning on your part. With this in mind, there should be nothing to stop you from heading out today and getting to work on your new home decorating plans.

These tips on low cost home décor come from Dewalt and Sons. If you’re interested in bigger jobs or kitchen and Bath remodeling.. Dewalt and Sons has you covered.

Where Do Toxic Chemicals Hide?

It’s not a shock to many of you that the world we live in is rife with toxic chemicals. What you may not know is that toxic chemicals live in nearly every thing that you have in your home, including those things that you expected would be the safest for your baby and your family.

CNN has an outstanding video that serves to underscore some of the comments and statements that SleepMadetoMeasure has been making about the level of toxins with which we live. Take a look and see for yourself why Sleep Made to Measure is the most up and coming new mattress and pillow company in the area. Low residue, no footprint and better for your health. Sleep Made to Measure is the right answer.

3 Modern Bathroom Remodeling Trends

bath-426383__340One of the best ways to increase your home’s value is giving your master bedroom a makeover. You have nothing to lose as you get to enjoy the comfort and convenience of a renovated master bathroom.
The renovation may be as simple as adding extra shelves, racks, mirrors, towels or other accessories, painting the bathroom walls or something more extensive like replacing your bathtub with a modern walk-in shower and changing the cabinets, lights, fixtures and flooring.
You can maximize your investment for good returns if you know all about the latest available designs, options and materials.
1. More of soft than loud colors
Modern bathroom renovations involve making the bathroom look attractive within a small space. Loud, harsh, dark and bright colors are not suggested for small bathrooms as it makes the bathroom look stuffy. Instead, soft and neutral colors give your bathroom a fresh and bright look.
2. Tiles are replacing carpets
Carpets are no longer preferred for bathrooms as mold and bacteria breed on it, and there’s the risk of tripping and falling on it. Tiling your bathroom to make it look stylish is a better option.
There are tiles of so many shapes, styles and colors to choose and use to reflect your bathroom’s style and make. You have conventional subway tiles, the latest metallic design tiles or something unique like faux-wood tiles.
3. Showers are replacing tubs
Showers now replace tubs for its practicality and many designs. Moreover, showers are made from various materials like marble, glass, tile and granite, making porcelain bathtubs look boring.
Your bathroom can also be customized to look fresh, elegant and spacious with a walk-in shower. Though families with smaller children may need a bathtub, older children are quite comfortable with walk-in showers.
You can choose between these 3 latest bathroom remodeling designs to convert your bathroom into your personal space. It’s better hiring professional bathroom remodelers for your bathroom renovation as they have the expertise and knowledge to choose the best designs and materials within your budget!

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