Tuesday, October 27, 2020

3 Benefits of Stainless Steel Appliances


There are many ways to revamp the look of a kitchen without completely remodeling it. Installing stainless steel appliances can be a great way to update the room without having to change the theme of the décor. The shiny metal is durable and easy to clean, as well as modern and attractive.

1. Durable

Many people spend a lot of time in their kitchen. Stainless steel is resistant to scratches, rust and stains, allowing cooks of all levels to enjoy their time creating culinary delights without worrying about damaging their appliances. Should damage occur over time, metal refinishing Manhattan NY can be performed to extend the useful life of appliances.

2. Easily Cleaned

Spills can usually be cleaned up using a clean cloth. Mild soap and water may be used after cooking or during a normal cleaning session to remove dust, dirt and food. For more stubborn messes, specialized cleaners can be used to remove grime and restore the clean, shiny appearances of appliances. As stainless steel is non-porous, it better resists the growth of germs and bacteria that types of surfaces such as wood and plastic.

3. Complements Décor

Because stainless steel appliances are neutral in color, they can complement many different styles of décor. Since they are currently popular, many different companies produce stainless steel kitchen appliances and décor items. Homeowners can mix and match items from different brands and still create a theme that looks harmonious and cohesive. People are able to use as much stainless steel as they want. They can limit their use of the material to appliances, or add sinks, countertops or backsplashes for a bolder look.

Anyone who is thinking about updating their kitchen should consider purchasing stainless steel appliances or accessories. Used and new models can be found in a variety of price ranges, which can make them easier to purchase on a budget.

Monday, October 19, 2020

3 Things To Remember When Catering An Event


Whether you're just starting out as a caterer or are no stranger to a hot food merchandiser and big events, catering can be a demanding line of work. It takes a lot of time and preparation to do your job well. Here are tips to remember when catering your next event.

Go for Finger Foods

When in doubt, finger foods are a win for almost any event; they're easier to eat, kid-friendly, and keep portion sizes controlled. Along with this, finger foods eliminate the need for silverware, which can increase your overall budget. If you are serving finger foods, make sure they're appropriate for the type of event you're catering. Namely, don't serve something like hot wings at a wedding unless they're specifically requested by your client!

Serve a Diverse Menu

It's impossible to know what every single guest likes before an event, so your best bet is to offer a diverse menu that caters to many tastes. If you're offering exotic or especially spicy dishes, serve alternatives that are simpler and milder as well. No matter what kind of dessert you're offering, have a chocolate option available. Above all, don't neglect your vegetarian or vegan guests!

Think About Backups

Make sure you've got enough replenishment to feed everyone at least twice over — people love going back for seconds, especially if the event is offering buffet-style service. Consider what will be the most popular items of the night and make a few extra batches of these items. Remember: it's always better to have a little too much than not enough to go around!

When catering an event, it ultimately comes down to your guests. Get as much insight as you can on what the event will be and who you'll be serving on the day of; the more you know, the better you can serve them!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Need to Get Your Windows Winter Ready


As cooler temperatures settle in, it’s a good time to go over your winter prep checklist. Many homeowners inspect their gutters, drain their water pipes, and so on. Be sure to include maintenance of your Denver Windows while you’re preparing for the frigid months ahead. Here’s why it’s important to do so.

Reason #1: The Window Trim Won’t Rot Away

Exterior wood on roofs and siding is treated for wood rot, but not so much for the wood on window trim. Excess moisture from rain and wet snow can perpetuate trim wood rot, leading to damaged windows and moldy siding. Paint and repair the wood on your window trim as needed to prevent further headaches in the coming winter. Exterior wood stains are an attractive and durable protective option. 

Reason #2: Fewer Bugs and Critters Can Get in

As windows age, the gaps and cracks can get bigger with each year. Critters look for warm sheltered nooks and crannies when cold weather strikes, and that includes your windows. If the thought of spiders and mice in your house creeps you out, that alone should motivate you to get insulation strips for your windows!

Reason #3: You’ll Save More on Your Heating Bill

At some point, you have probably heard this phrase before: “windows that perform better help you save more on your heating bill.” But how much energy can you really save with regular upkeep on your windows? Well, it turns out to be a lot… 25 to 30 percent! 

Reason #4: It’s Cheaper Than Replacing the Whole Window

Regular maintenance on your windows helps them to last longer, and it’s simple too. A fresh caulk or weatherstrip job is much cheaper than a window replacement. If you do end up replacing your window, use the opportunity to purchase an energy-efficient model to save money on maintenance in the future.

Reason #5: You’re Better Prepared for Winter Storms

Think of your windows as a shield. They’re the only barrier that keeps your home safe from the elements during a storm. Do you want to take your chances with a window that’s in iffy condition? Check the storm rating on your windows, and plan accordingly. 

Reason #6: They Simply Look Better

Let’s face it, well-kept windows have better curb appeal. You also get a better view from the inside when you’re cooped up indoors. Regular cleaning of your windows and siding helps control the growth of mildew, particularly in shady spots. Window sills are sometimes overlooked, but important to wash too. Clean window sills help improve indoor air quality.

These reasons alone provide good motivation for the regular maintenance of your windows. Doing most of the work yourself is simple and doesn’t cost much. By taking action now, your windows will last longer and you won’t have to handle emergency repairs out in the cold. You can relax by the fireplace knowing that your windows are already taken care of for next year.

Monday, September 21, 2020

5 Creative Vacation Ideas for Families

 Every family needs a break from work and school now and again. Family vacations are a great opportunity to relax, let off steam and enjoy making new memories with those you love. It also gives you and your family members a chance to branch out and see new and exciting parts of the world. The best part is that you do not even have to go too far to have a good time! If you are looking to plan a family vacation, consider these unique ideas.

Whitewater Rafting

For those looking for an exciting and engaging adventure, consider whitewater rafting. This thrilling getaway can last one day or one week, depending on where you go and what your family wants to explore. These rafting tours are led by professionals who will help you learn the tools of the trade and lead you on a trip down some of the country’s most beautiful waterways.

Camping on the Beach

When most people think of camping, they picture thickly wooded areas. But have you considered camping on a sandy beach right next to the ocean? There are several campground destinations along the coast that let you and your family combine the joy of camping with the fun of the beach. These camping areas are often suitable for tents and RVs alike.

Historic Sites and Towns

Visiting a place that is important to your state or country’s history can be a rewarding experience for all ages! Many historic sites included guided tours and attractions that are fun and educational. Consider asking your children what historic topics they are studying in school or ask your partner about their favorite moment in history. This may give you some excellent ideas for locations.

Your next vacation could be one for the record books. Consider using one of the ideas presented in this guide when organizing the next big trip for you and your family!

Friday, September 11, 2020

Home Renovations Under Quarantine

 Why is it that so many of my blog posts recently have been about doing things in quarantine? It seems like our way of doing things has changed in so many aspects since the beginning of this year, from shopping, to eating, to visiting with friends, to attending Church...not much is the same simple, everyday life we had just six months ago! Thankfully, we are slowly returning to a semblance of normality, but "everyday life" still looks so different in 2020 than it did in 2019. One bonus that did come out of the lockdown period for our family was having the time to actually get some of those home repairs done. You know, the kind that have been on a to-do list for  forever, but we never have the time to get around to them? We did hours and hours of cleaning, clearing out, redecorating, and repairing the home during quarantine and the house looks much better for it!

One of my ongoing pet projects is the kitchen. We had new wooden cabinets put in several years ago, but to be honest, they already need some repair. Knobs have come off, a couple have been damaged, and they definitely need a new paint job. We were able to get the bigger work taken care of a couple months ago, but we still need to do the paint and knobs. I recently found an incredible deal online for beautiful bronze knobs that I just love and they match our kitchen color perfectly! I also looked at some lovely backsplash tile for the kitchen that I will be keeping an eye on. I hate how messy the sink area gets, and backsplash makes it so much easier to keep clean. Plus, backsplash just looks so bright and cheery!

Another room we've been doing work on is the guest bathroom. Repainting, hanging new mirrors and medicine cabinets; we even put a new bathroom vanity and shelf in. All of these are items we could have gotten some great savings on if I had known about Build.com a few months ago!

One biggie in the home that we just have not found the time to do yet is replacing the bi-fold door to our entertainment room. Our house is an older farmhouse, and trying to find just the right door has been difficult in the area we live. The closest home improvement store is 45 minutes away, so online shopping is a huge plus, especially when it comes to something like this. I have been able to find so many beautiful doors, just the right size, and we can match it to the room colors and decor. I am especially loving the barn-door look of this one pictured below. I can not wait until we find the time (and hopefully a coupon or sale) to get this door replaced!

As I mentioned earlier, unfortunately I didn't know about Build.com and the deals you can get online for home repair. Now that I do, I think it's time we tackle the rest of our to-do list, starting with the aforementioned bi-fold door. Not having to drive 45 minutes to shop, plus adding in the home repair discounts you can find at Slickdeals means we can get the rest of our house in tip-top shape much easier and at less cost. Let's do this!

Friday, August 28, 2020

Tool Sets For Everyday Use

 Over the past several months (during quarantine or whatever you'd like to call it), I've been doing a lot of thorough housework. This means clearing out junk that has accumulated that we don't need, making any small repairs I find, adding some new home decor - basically giving our home a facelift, so to speak! It was a great opportunity to get so many little things done that I've had on a mental checklist for forever but never could find time to accomplish. One thing I found absolutely necessary for so many of these home projects is a good tool set

One of the main projects I had was finally hanging up all those family pictures and cute or inspirational quotes we had sitting around the house. Hobby Lobby is one of our favorite stores to just spend a couple hours wandering, so of course we end up with a lot of wall decor that somehow usually just sits in the back room gathering dust until the time some brave soul ventures in to find a piece they'd like to hang. There are a couple tools necessary for this; the first and most obvious being a hammer. I'm rather picky about my hammer; I don't like the overly big, designed-for-major-construction-projects hammers. Something small, light, and easy to wield in small areas, such as if I'm hanging a picture in a corner and don't have room to maneuver a larger hammer. In addition, I like to use a tape measure or ruler to make sure that everything is level and even. Some larger pictures have two hooks on the back for hanging, so it's especially important with these. But even to just make sure your entire decor is not going to look sloppy and haphazard, it's a good idea to use a tape measure before driving those nails in!

A screwdriver is another must-have for frequent use around the house. Whether it's hanging a set of wall shelves, fixing a cupboard door, or putting a new door handle on, screwdrivers are essential. Some people prefer the traditional separate flat and phillips heads; I have a kit with the bits in different sizes and heads. This make it super simple to swap from project to project without needing to carry multiple screwdrivers around. Mine even has the bits tucked neatly into a carrier inside the handle of the screwdriver, so it's super easy!

One other item you'll want in a home tool kit is a wrench. This probably won't receive as much use as the hammer and screwdriver, but it's still common enough use that having one handy is important. Tightening nuts and bolts won't come up as often around the house, but just when you think a wrench isn't important, you'll find yourself needing one! Of course, what you need/use most often will determine what you want in your tool kit. I like to keep a pair of scissors, some pliers, wire cutters, and some nails and screws in varying sizes in my kit so I'm prepared for whatever the day and project may require. What does your home tool kit have?

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Components of a Business Plan

 Hey, friends! Are any of my readers business owners? Small business, home business, or maybe a booming online enterprise? I'm not, but I have to admit, the thought has crossed my mind numerous times how much I would love to open a bakery and coffee shop. Making a limited amount of fresh baked goods every day (cinnamon rolls would be the cafe's #1 menu item since they're my specialty) and serving all sorts of coffee beverages to go with the sweets. It's not something I really think I'll ever do simply because I know the statistics about restaurants failing as well as not having the capital to start something like that, but it's nice to dream. 

I was reading recently about what are considered the top 10 components of a business plan, and found some helpful and extremely useful information. So, in case any of my readers are business owners or are contemplating starting a business, I thought I'd discuss a couple areas I thought especially important.

First, the customer analysis. Who are the people your business will appeal to? What specific group of customers will you be targeting? Are you going to attract moms and families? Is it something that young people will be drawn to? Maybe senior citizens? Singles or couples? I feel like figuring out who you are trying to bring into your business is a huge part of making sure your enterprise gets off the ground and running smoothly.

A second point I thought was very helpful was discussing the marketing, sales, and product plan. If you don't have a plan in place to market your product/service/business, you are pretty much guaranteed to fail. Social media marketing is almost a must in our day and age, but there's so much more than just starting a Facebook page for your biz. Do you know how to use social media effectively? Are you familiar with what hashtags and headlines will catch the eye of potential customers? Do you have an eye for photography to present your products in the best light? Moving away from social media, what is the image you want for your business/brand? Are you going for a hip look? Do you want something traditional and trustworthy, maybe the "family-owned-and-operated" image? Or do you have a unique thought in mind that you want your brand to convey? The possibilities are endless, but it's important to have these questions answered before you open a business, whether it's online or a brick-and-mortar store.

Lastly, having a solid financial plan in place is of the utmost importance. Do you know what it will cost to get your business up and running? How long will it take before you start to see profits? What is the minimum you need to make to cover day-to-day costs? Finance is, without a doubt, the one thing you MUST have calculated and arranged long before opening day.

Cool Craft Project #Crafting #QuarantineActivities

 Hey, y'all! I don't know about anyone else, but during the quarantine/stay-at-home/whatever you'd like to call it, I got bored pretty quickly. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the extra time with family, but with most of our normal day-to-day life shut down, I knew I had to find something to keep myself occupied. I was very thankful when craft stores opened back up, and spent numerous hours wandering trying to find projects to work on. I finished one just recently, and I absolutely love how it turned out! I got the inspiration from a project guide in the store, but I didn't follow their specific instructions; I struck out on my own and put together what I thought would work best for my needs. 

Most of my room is done in a western theme; I've always loved horses, western style clothing, cactus, Texas...you get the idea. The colors are pretty much a sky blue to turquoise color, all complimenting each other and keeping with a western look. I'm not really sure what this project would be called, but it's a magnet board, necklace hanger, and assorted catch-all in one single piece. I started off with an unfinished wood plaque from the craft store that already had a metal sheet in one section. Obviously painting was the first step; I opted for a chalky blue that gives it a sort of rustic feel. Along the top section, I used a piece of leather and attached it with cactus-shaped thumb tacks. Then I found some turquoise mini clothespins that work perfectly to hang necklaces from the leather strip.

The second part, the magnet board, was pretty much all set. So the next step was painting a dowel rod and some caps for it, then finding hooks that were just the right size to hang the dowel from. It took some doing, but we finally discovered some decorative hooks that worked well. After sliding the rod in, I found some metal hanging buckets to attach onto the rod. The rod will hold three of these cups, and this is what I call the catch-all part. I can stash my sunglasses, leather bracelets, pens, and many other little extras that never seem to find an actual home. 

I have to admit, before this project, I never would have considered myself any sort of craft/artsy person. This is honestly the first crafting-type project I've ever completed that I actually felt proud of! It's obviously homemade, but I think it has the perfect rustic look, and fits perfectly with a western theme. The best part is, no matter what theme/style your room is, you can change it up to work. Different board, different colors, different materials...this is just an idea of what you can do with a few craft supplies and some spare time!