Getting organized often seems like a daunting, as well as expensive, task. However, just a few quick changes can make your life more efficient, freeing up more time to relax with a pitcher of lemonade or iced tea. LTD’s Product Picks of the Week get you started without breaking your budget.
Summer is a wonderful time to give your home a new look. Whether you fill your weekends with DIY projects or just want to add a little color to a room, improving your space has never been simpler. Start out with LTD’s Product Picks for the Week, and you will be done in no time!
PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride. It’s a polymer commonly used for pipes in construction because it’s strong, lightweight and inexpensive. But it’s not just for piping your bathroom or kitchen; there are many ways the creative layperson can use PVC pipe – it’s the DIY material of the moment. Some might say PVC is the new wood. Here are some ideas on how PVC pipe can simplify your home.
Make space in your kitchen by pulling pans out of the cupboard and hanging them on the wall. This PVC pipe was cut short enough to fit a pan handle and then mounted on the wall for easy storage. Develop this idea into other simplifying methods around the house – this idea would work as a wall mount to sort cords behind an entertainment or computer console or to keep hair dryer and curling iron cords in the bathroom.
This caddy keeps your cotton balls, q-tips and toothpaste tidy on the bathroom vanity. It’s brilliant with simplicity. Use this idea and expand it into the play room where it’s used as an art station organizer or keep pens and pencils neat in your home office. The possibilities with this idea practically come up with themselves.
How great is this coffee table? It may not simplify the living room, but it looks really cool. You can get so many PVC furniture ideas you can come up with from this table: an end table, a kitchen table, bedside table. You can make just about any kind of table using the exact same idea.
This is probably the most useful idea for PVC pipe. The bunk bed is a complicated piece of furniture to put together with wood, hammer and nails, but it’s a fairly simple structure using PVC pipe and glue. Shrink the plans down and you can construct a bed closer to the ground or even make a dog bed. Anyway you spin it, a basic bed for children to grow out of for little money = simplified gold.
The backyard sprinkler doesn’t need to be simplified, but it can be amplified. This one is built for fun, but the idea can certainly be manipulated to make a practical garden watering system. What’s so useful about making a sprinkler with PVC pipe is you can design it to fit any garden of any shape.
PVC pipe as a shoe rack, but it screams to be so much more. It can bring order to the bathroom for towel storage. It can easily work in a child’s bedroom to sort t-shirts, socks and underwear. As a shelf in the office it can keep bills and mail straight. If there’s stacking to be done, this storage idea can be the receptacle.
There are so many clever ways to use a PVC pipe it’s hard to believe it’s not more common. Though Polyvinyl Chloride isn’t a simple word or a simple polymer, simplify is what it does best.
It’s the first weekend in May and we are so excited to enjoy the weather and two days away from the office. Here are our product picks for the week we think will inspire fun and productive weekend activities.
Cooking is fun to do at home, but there are a lot of risks that come with preparing food. Microorganisms grow quickly in food and can make people sick, but you can prevent them from becoming a problem in your kitchen. Here are 5 things you need to remember to keep your food safe.
Microorganisms grow very quickly in foods that don’t contain much acid. Items like egg salad or tuna salad contain very little acid so, left in the wrong conditions, they can spoil very quickly. By adding acid like lemon juice or vinegar to low-acid foods, you can reduce the risk of microorganisms spreading.
Microorganisms develop fastest when food temperature is between 40°F and 140°F. This range is considered the temperature danger zone. Refrigerators are typically set at less than 40°F and most food is cooked to a temperature higher than 140°F. Your biggest concerns would be for food left out at room temperature (about 60°F to 90°F). Tip: keep the hot stuff hot and the cold stuff cold.
Microorganisms require time to flourish. When food is left in the temperature danger zone, it grows quickly – multiplying every minute it’s left out. After four hours, microorganisms can grow to levels high enough to make someone sick.
Most microorganisms need oxygen to grow. Keeping food sealed in plastic and glass containers helps keep oxygen out and prevent bacteria from growing.
Microorganisms need water to grow. Many microorganisms die in dry conditions, so spoilage can be controlled by dehydration.
Foods most likely to spoil:
- Milk and dairy products
- Cooked rice, beans and vegetables
- Baked potatoes
- Soy products
- Sliced melons and cut tomatoes
There are also some foods that won’t spoil easily. Food like bread can be left out at room temperature because it contains little acid, but it contains moisture so it will spoil eventually. Cookies and crackers don’t have much acid in them and contain little moisture, so they can be left out at room temperature for extended periods without spoiling. Most fruit have acid in them so they can be left at room temperature for a period as well, but both bread and fruit won’t spoil as quickly if they are refrigerated.
Food is fickle. While you can manage all of the factors that cause food to spoil, the only two things you can control are time and temperature. So if something is sitting on the counter and you didn’t put it there remember one thing: when in doubt, throw it out.
Granite countertops are a luxurious and functional addition to any kitchen or bath. In the past, installing granite was a job for the pros, with custom fabrication and installation costs running to thousands of dollars. Now, however, several companies offer do?it yourself granite countertop kits that you can install yourself, achieving professional results at a fraction of the cost. This step-by-step installation guide will help you get?expert results with your granite countertops.
Measure and Order Your Countertops
Before you start, make sure your cabinets are level, and securely anchored to the floor and walls. If your walls aren’t square, you’ll need to make allowances in your measurements. Use craft paper to make an exact template of your countertops, including lines for the sink and any other custom cutouts you need. Be sure to include a one to one and a half-inch overhang for the edges facing the cabinets. Select your granite color, and place your order based on your template.
Prepare Your Cabinets for the Granite
You’ll need to install a ? inch sheet of plywood on your cabinet tops to support the weight of the granite. Cut the plywood so that it lies even with the edge of the cabinet face; you do not want any overhang. Make sure wood is square and level. Screw the plywood in place using pilot holes?to prevent cracking the wood.
Working with the Granite Slabs
Find a safe place to store the granite slabs upright while you work, and find a partner to help?granite is very heavy and breakable. Carefully set the granite in place to make sure the pieces fit properly. Trace the sink hole and any other custom cuts onto the plywood sub-counter. Remove the granite, and use a drill to create a pilot hole in the marked sink cutout. Using a jigsaw, cut out from the pilot hole to create a hole for the sink. Drop in and install the sink.
Replace the Granite and Prepare to Glue
Place the granite slabs on the counter, and press any seams tightly together. Fine-tune the leveling, since all the seams must be absolutely level before gluing. Use 1-1/2 inch screws beneath the plywood to make minute adjustments to the height of the granite, and measure continuously until the seams are smooth and level.
Glue the Granite in Place
Have your helpers lift the granite up, and apply silicone around the edges of the plywood using one-inch dollops every six to 12 inches around the perimeter. Lay a bead of caulk around the outer edge of the sink, and another bead on top of the sink to seal the granite side. Lower the granite slabs into place and make sure they are level and the seams are tightly matched.
Glue the Seams
Tape around either side of the seams with blue painter’s tape. Choose at least three colors to match the granite, and mix a little of each into separate dollops of resin. Mix with a putty knife, continually checking the resin color against the granite. When you have three satisfactory shades, add hardener to a mixture of three percent hardener and 97 percent resin. Using your putty knife, work quickly to dab and smooth the resin into the seams; you will only have about five minutes before the resin starts to harden. Start with the medium-hued shade, and then add dabs of the lighter color, using the darkest color last until you have a natural-looking match.
Immediately remove the tape so it doesn’t dry into the resin. After about an hour, smooth out the seams using a seam stone. Rub the stone in small circles using firm, steady pressure until the seams are sleek and smooth. Wipe the countertops down with warm soapy water to remove any grit. Protect your investment with a stone care system like Rock Doctor.
Use only granite-friendly cleaning products, and don’t expose your countertops to extreme temperatures. Granite countertops are a beautiful, durable way to update your home.
There are thousands of kitchen gadgets on the market, and plenty of people hoard these single-use items like it is their job. Any visit to a home with fun gadgets will make you wonder why you don?t have them all! Well, we?re here to help. We?ve got a list of 5 fun kitchen gadgets you didn?t know you need (and where to find them!).
5-Piece Corn Accessory Set?
Barbecue season is right around the corner, and with copious amounts of grilled meat as the entr?e, you?re sure to have a lot of corn on the cob on the side. We love this corn accessory set for everything from huge barbecues to simple family dinners. You can easily de-kernel the cob to eat with a fork, serve to the kids, or mix into a fun corn salsa or salad. These butter spreaders are perfect for keeping your hands clean while getting just the right amount of butter on your corn! Butter the cob, remove the kernels, and enjoy. Everyone should have this great kitchen accessory.
Ice Cream Sliders Makers
Another great addition to your summer menu, ice cream is an American pastime. These slider makers take it to the next level. Rather than buying an ice cream sandwich from the ice cream truck, you can make your own with your favorite homemade cookies and ice cream! You simply place one cookie in the bottom of the slider-maker, add ice cream, top with the other cookie, and press all the ingredients together. Pop them out and you?ve got the perfect summer snack!
Electric Hands-Free Can Opener
This can-opener is especially good for those of you who hate struggling with those manual openers. Simply place the opener on the top of the can and press start. Watch it spin around to open the can, and pull the lid away using small magnets. So easy! Whether you?ve got arthritis, carpal tunnel, limited dexterity, or none of the above, this electric opener is the perfect simple solution.
Onion and Potato Cutter
When you?re cooking for a crowd, cutting ten pounds of potatoes is sure to give you a hand cramp, and if you?ll been cutting onions, you?ll be crying all over yourself. To avoid this tragedy, check out this great onion and potato cutter! You simply push the food down through the stainless steel blade and it?s sliced! It is so simple, and with a container on the bottom to catch the sliced pieces, you won?t even need to dirty a cutting board.
One of the reasons we don?t eat as much fruit as we should often has to do with the difficulty of preparing it. Well, when it comes to pineapple, this great slicer removes all impediments, making it easy to enjoy this great tropical fruit all year! This great gadget peels, cores, and slices a fresh pineapple in less than one minute! Now you can make pineapple salsa, fruit salad, or even pineapple Hawaiian Sloppy Joes!
Another week over, so we?re highlighting some of our favorite picks this week! It may be warming up in some places around the globe, but it?s the very beginning of the 2014 Winter Olympics. We?ve decided to compile a list that combines patriotism, Olympic-watching parties, and a little inspiration to host your own family Olympics in the next few weeks.
Glass Spinner Stakes ? Patriotic Heart
Get your patriotism off to a strong start with this fun red-white-and-blue glass spinner heart. With 230 Americans off to the Winter Olympics, this is the time to show your American pride, watch today?s opening ceremony, and do so by displaying our nation?s colors and flag!
Set of 4 Tumblers
Coming in four different colors, including red, white, and blue, this set of 4 tumblers is the perfect addition to any Winter Olympics celebration. Serve cocktails and kids? drinks in these great insulated mugs to enjoy the games, no matter where you are!
Handled Casserole Dishes
Again, if you?re entertaining for this year?s Winter Games, make sure your tools are up to the task. We like this three-piece round casserole dish set for both cooking and serving. You can make warm Kale-Artichoke Dip in one, and serve cool pita chips and baby carrots in the other.? With three sizes, these multi-purpose dishes are ideal for serving up a storm! Stay warm together watching the Olympics and enjoy dips, soups, casseroles, and more!
Giddy Up Racing Horse Hoppers
There may not be any horse-related events in the Wither Olympics, but that doesn?t mean you can?t create your own backyard competition with these kids? horse hoppers! If you want to make it similar to traditional Steeplechase, consider adding hula-hoops the kids have to hop into and cones they must hop around. Other easy ideas for backyard Olympics events include running races, egg toss, obstacle courses, and shortened variations of croquet or mini golf.
Sports Superstar Gold Cards
And finally, now that you?ve got your own Olympic Games in your home or living room, you need to have some sort of medal or prize, right? We think these collectible gold trading cards are perfect. Honoring sports icons like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, they certainly fit in with the sports theme! Use the same medal for each event, or get the whole set.
The prices of everything are gone up in recent years. Many people find it very difficult to manage their primary and other expenses. But the desire to renovate home is never suppressed. If you want to improve your kitchen with small budget do the following things. I am sure it won’t be heavy on your pocketbook.Just be sure to set your priorities and stick to them.
If you hate the overhead fixture, simply change it. Changing is not difficult; just buy a vintage light fixture at a low price. And also add small lights under the cabinets. You will really fell your kitchen glittering.
Update the hardware
Buy paint and do it yourself on cabinets. Use spray paints for the handles and knobs. It will glorify their look. Spray paint gives smooth touch and is durable.
Use small subway tiles for simple back-splash.
Clear the clutter
Messed up kitchen with small stuff on counters will cause your blood pressure to rise. Clean all the clutter and don’t place not in use items on the counters.
Place a rug
If your flooring has gown down and you don’t have enough money to replace it, simply buy a 4’x6’ rug. This will add comfort and decoration at the same time.
You can do something very easy to give new look to your kitchen.
- Frame pictures from favorite recipes on canvas and hang them on front wall.
- Use mason jars to store utensils and cutlery. Paint the jar with your favorite color. But keep everything harmonized.
- Re-purpose an old table as Kitchen Island. Keep a flowerpot in the center of the island.
- Use salvaged floors, pottery and pallets to create new furniture.
Use energy efficient appliances
Change your energy consuming devices with energy efficient ones. They will reduce the cost of your utility bills.
Highlight open shelves
Add accent on the wall behind the shelves with bold color. And keep the items tidy on open shelves.
Replace a faucet
This is very straight forward step to remodel your kitchen. You can get a single hand faucet at reasonable price. Make this small investment for the thing which you use many times a day.
Get a big dish rack
Replace your small dish rack with the larger one. Steel rack will be best. It is available at low price.
Cover ugly counter tops
Cover your dirty counter tops with a spared cutting board. You can paint this in beautiful color and make a superb covering.
These are few tips which can save your money as they are not so expensive.
Ramkhan is professional writer. She writes about home decoration ideas with small budget. She also shares her ideas to make your own canvas prints.
Image Credit: apartmenttherapy.com
It seems there’s a gadget for pretty much anything and everything these days, and whilst tons of gadgets serve useful purposes to make life easier, there are plenty more which are nothing but a waste of space. Here’s a rundown of the most useless kitchen gadgets that you should avoid owning.
You’d have to be a hardcore avocado fan to even consider buying one of these gadgets, as they really only serve a purpose of taking up space in your kitchen drawer. Surely a knife or spoon would be enough to easily do the job of slicing your avocado for you?
Pasta measuring tool
This is a really over-the-top gadget for any kitchen, unless you are a stickler for precision. The pasta measuring tool allows you to measure how much pasta you will need per serving, by slotting the pasta through the different shaped holes.
Hands up who owns one of these gadgets? You may well have convinced yourself that you needed one of these things when you saw it in the shop, but once you got it home, do you actually ever use it? Spoon rests are one of those gadgets that seem to lie around the kitchen and don’t really get used for the purpose they were set out to. If you do need to let your spoon rest for a minute, then surely a saucer would be just as good?
Musical cake slice
This novelty cake slicer that plays four tunes including happy birthday and jingle bells should not be taken seriously as a chic kitchen gadget. But it may well come in handy if nobody can make your party, at least that way you wouldn’t need to sing to yourself.
Banana handle gripper
What do you do when you’re cooking and the handle of the pan gets too hot to touch? Easy. Simply put the banana handle gripper on the end of the handle. It’s made of silicone so you won’t suffer from burnt fingers ever again. But surely having one of these gadgets is going to send your street credibility down the pan? Are bananas really designed to be stuck on pan handles anyway?
If you buy a decent bottle of wine in the first place, then using a wine aerator is probably surplus to requirements. This gadget is supposed to enhance the flavor of the wine and soften its tannins, but after a couple of glasses, would anyone be able to tell the difference anyway? If you’re a wine buff, or profess to your friends that you’re a connoisseur, then you’ll probably love this gadget.
It can be hugely frustrating when your pickles or olives just won’t come out of the jar. What you need is a pickle picker to make life much easier. The pickle picker can easily grab your pickles without you needing to push it around effortlessly to get it out of the jar. Seriously, if you have one of these gadgets in your home then you have far too much time on your hands!
These gadgets highlight the importance of thinking twice when making purchases and avoiding impulse buys as much as possible. Kitchen Appliance Centre chose these gadgets, feel free to let us know your most useless kitchen gadgets.