Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Why You Should Consider Home Renovations Before Moving

There are a plethora of reasons why you may want to move out of your current house. Needing extra space, layout and location are only a few of the most common. Although you might not be able to do much about changing the location of your home, most other reasons can be averted through renovations. If your current property allows various modifications, you can virtually build the house of your dreams from any home.

Lower Costs

If you need more space in your current home, adding an extra room can be done quite easily. These add-ons can be done in a way that looks natural for the rest of the hoouse giving it an even symmetry. This may be a much better use of funds than to pay for buying a new home, paying movers and changing services because you needed more space. One thing that may prevent these kinds of additions is the layout of the land itself. Some homes sit relatively close to property lines. If this is the case, there is nothing wrong with building up to add more rooms and levels.

Build What You Want

Renovations allow you to design and build rooms to your specifications. Professional renovators can work with you to create rooms that you may only dream about. Although some structures may be limiting when it comes to things like load-bearing walls, and experienced contractor may have alternatives that can still deliver an alluring presence to the house. The contractor's ideas may be better than your own. Never assume that a home's layout cannot be modified in terms of the floor plan.

Adding to Your Equity

Many people would rather build onto a house and improve it's overall value. In many cases, additions such as these can enhance the selling price of the property more than the construction costs. Instead of selling a two-bedroom and one bath small home, you could sell a three-bedroom and two-bath family dwelling for far more later on. In the meantime, you can be living in a home that would have been well beyond your financial means by simply adding on extra rooms.

Before you start looking for a larger home, get your free quote for renovations and additions today. Having a professional contractor add more to your house may be a better use of time and money than trying to find a place large enough for your needs. It requires nothing more than your time to explore the possibilities of building the house of your dreams one room at a time.

An Autumn Musing

The cold days are now slowly creeping in. I can still recall the not so distant days when the vineyards look so full and lush, with the Lembergers and Trollingers heavy with fruits, ready for the harvest season. 

Lembergers in all its glorious, ripe beauty.
Taken at the Weinberge Am Schnarrenberg in Stuttgart.
The autumn season has many a meanings for me. It marks the end of summer, yes. But it means a bountiful harvest, and of preparing for the new life that spring brings. It allows us to slowly get used to the mild, chilly and sometimes wintry breeze. 

As the leaves turn from green to hundreds of different hues of yellows,  oranges, and reds and then finally to brown, it brings in an air of sadness. And yet you smile because despite this oh so natural phenomenon, innocent children shriek with laughter at the sight of piles of fallen leaves and at the crunchy sound of the leaves crushing beneath their covered feet.   

Friday, October 23, 2015

Four Handy Suggestions That Can Help You Select an Appropriate Size for a Commercial Refrigerator for Your Restaurant

Most commercial refrigerators are available in various sizes. Choosing one of these sizes can be difficult because most restaurant kitchens have limited space and limited location options.

Here are four handy suggestions for selecting a size for a commercial fridge that can help you choose the right sized refrigerator for your restaurant's kitchen:

Consider Your Food Storage Needs 
Most restaurant owners should consider purchasing a commercial refrigerator that offers enough space to store properly the amount of food you use on a regular basis. This is a good idea because it can help you select a refrigerator that offers enough space to prevent unwanted spoilage of foods that you use on a regular basis.

Pick a Suitable Place for Your Fridge 
Most restaurant kitchens have odd-shaped designs that make installing a commercial refrigerator challenging. One way to get around this problem is to pick a suitable place for your fridge in advance. 

If you need help choosing a suitable place for your fridge, why not consider using the following locations to install your refrigerators:
  • Areas near corners.
  • The area near food preparation areas.
  • Areas near meat freezers and dishwashers.
  • Area that have suitable power sources that are easy to find. 
  • Areas near ice machines. 
Measure the Size of Your Kitchen's Entrance 
Measuring the size of your kitchen's entrance is worthwhile because it can make selecting a refrigerate that will fit inside your kitchen easier. This should not be surprising because most commercial-grade refrigerators are designed to fit neatly inside most restaurants' kitchen entrances. 

Choose a Storage Volume 
Most commercial refrigerators that are used in restaurants have interior storage volumes that typically range between 20-70 cubic feet. Choosing one of these storage volumes is simple if you remember to use the following suggestions:
  • Consider how much produce you will store inside the refrigerator
  • Consider how often you will need to store dairy products.
  • Choose a storage size that offers extra space for excess inventory and odd-shaped foods.
  • Choose a volume that cools foods evenly without causing condensation.
As you can see, choosing the right size for a commercial refrigerator is easy if you remember to choose a refrigerator that is large enough to keep food fresh without overwhelming your kitchen's layout. Feel free to use these tips to choose a size for your restaurant's next commercial refrigerator that offers these useful benefits

Crafts Day: Colorful & Soft Felt Owls

So my daughter's girl friend came last weekend for a pyjama party. The girls were pretty excited to spend the night together since it has been a while since they last saw each other. We decided to do crafts in the evening and made felt owl softies. It was a good thing that we had a fresh supply of craft felt. We searched through the internet and found a pattern which I modified to suit the girls' taste.

It was pretty simple and easy to do. For the materials, you would need craft felt in various colors, a pair of scissors, board paper for the pattern, thread and needle, some cotton for the filling. We printed out the pattern and then I modified some of the parts, traced it on the board paper and cut it. I let the girls choose the colors for their owls and then cut the owl pieces accordingly. I just placed the board paper on the craft felt and cut my way through following the edges since the pattern is pretty small.

Then it was time for the girls to do the sewing in between watching the cartoon series Winx. I had to show them first how to do it and then they sewed up the parts together. The difficult and small parts like the eyes and beak, I volunteered to sew on for them. 

The owls were so cute and sweet and soft! And the girls loved it! They named both owls Meggie. Aren't they adorable? Try making this simple craft with your children too! They will definitely love it and it also helps develop their fine motor skills too!

P.S. Since Christmas is coming this could also be a good custom gift idea for your loved ones. Instead of owls, you can make other animal figures or Christmas symbols to give to your loved ones. It also makes a good idea for a customized Christmas tree decor. You can use high quality felt so they don't fuzz too much.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Let The Music Take Your Soul

The title sounds familiar right? I can't quite point my finger on the title of the song... but I know it must have been the lines from one of the songs that I have heard on the radio. For those who love music and are in the industry, they would know what it is all about. For those who appreciate it, like I do, they could in one way or another relate.

Let the music take your soul.

I guess amplification and effects play an important role to get this result. Any musical perfrmance - a concert, a dance recital, a musical, a play, an opera, an orchestra - all of these would be dull without the right musical direction. Who wouldn't want to be taken away while watching their favorite rock star strumming his guitar at a concert? Did you see those crate amplifier parts on stage while they were performing? Or be stirred with emotions evoked by the drum rolls while watching a theater performance? Or be proud because you know one of the artists performing on stage?

Let the music take your soul... and come back relaxed and happy. :)

DIY Modeling Clay Project

There are so many modeling clay products out there in the market today. In different sizes and colors. Many of them claim to be non-toxic but if you want to be safe and sure, might as well make your own clay right? It is easy to do and your kids will also love it knowing that if they run out, you can always make them using ingredients from the kitchen.

If you want to make your own clay, here is a recipe that I got from one of our family excursions during our summer holiday:

I know it is in German, so here is the translation:

Our recipe:

400 grams flour
200 grams salt
2 packs of citric acid powder (I used the one from Dr. Oetker)
3 tablespoons oil (vegetable)
500 milliliters boiling water

Mix everything and then knead in the desired food color (until the color has well blended).
-But be careful: HOT!-

You can ask your little ones to do the kneading once the temperature of the dough has cooled down. I am sure they would enjoy adding in the different food colors into the dough and knead them, and also learn how to mix them (food colors are mostly available in primary colors red, blue and yellow) to create other colors.

So there! Easy peasy right?

And here's my not so little girl S showing off her tiny creation she made from our excursion.

I just made a batch of clay today using twice the recipe to make 6 colors for my not so little girl. I will try to update this post once I get the chance to take photos of the finished batch that I made.

How about you? Do you have your own clay recipe too? I would love to learn more about it. The more variations, the better. And if you made your little ones clay using this recipe, please tell me about it too. I would love to hear about your DIY experience.

Happy crafting!

Required Safety Equipment for Recreational Boats

Nothing can take the fun out of boating faster than an unexpected accident or emergency. What's even worse is to be caught unprepared. Making sure that you have all the proper safety equipment onboard is the best way to ensure that an unfortunate boating incident doesn't turn into a disaster. Here's what you will need based upon the U.S. Coast Guard’s Federal Requirements Brochure for Recreational Boaters:

Displaying Numbers

It's hard to get help in an emergency if you can't identify your boat. That's why every boat is required to have its registration numbers attached to the boat in a prominent location and on both sides. The numbers should be at least three inches in height. You should also be carrying onboard paper documentation verifying the registration numbers and the boat's legal name. 

Personal Flotation Devices

More commonly known as life jackets, personal floatation devices must be of a model that has been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and in good condition. The sizes must be appropriate for all passengers, which means smaller sizes for children. The life jackets must be kept in a place on the boat where they can be quickly accessed in time of need. 

Visual Distress Signals 

Large boats of more than 16 feet are required to have pyrotechnic devices onboard that can be used to attract help in an emergency. Smaller boats are also recommended to have such devices, but it is not required. Flares can be a good choice for smaller boats. Often there are different requirements and different products designed for different size boats, with larger boats generally requiring more safety features. To learn more about the variety and availability of safety equipment for larger boats click here

Fire Extinguishers

You may be floating in a setting surrounded by water, but that doesn't stop boats from catching on fire. Even the smallest boats should have an extinguisher aboard, with larger boats requiring more, especially if there is an enclosed living space or if your boat has permanently installed fuel tanks. Again, the extinguisher must be somewhere that is readily accessible. 

If you have these safety items on your boat, then you are at least minimally prepared for a boating emergency. However, additional safety features may be required by states or counties, so know the requirements where you are to ensure legal and safe boating. 

Thank You For Being Born

I owe what I am today partly because of my parents. They have in their own ways raised me to become the person that I am today. The lessons and wisdom they have taught us, especially my Mom will always be in my heart and mind. My mother is not a perfect person. She also has her flaws but I will always be thankful and grateful to her for being a great mother to me and my three siblings. I never realized before how much sacrifice she has done for us but NOW I know -  now that I too have my own family and a child (and hopefully this will turn into "children" in the near future) of my own.

My Mama with her granddaughters A, S and N. 
So as you celebrate your birthday on the 4th of September, I thank you for being born. Thank you for loving, caring and nurturing our different interests. For always making sure our meals are warm and ready to fill our tummies when we get home from school and from work or from just a day out with friends. I may miss another of your birthdays by your side but my thoughts are with you on this day. May our good Lord continue to bless you with good health and the time and resources to enjoy your senior years with Papa, your children and your grandchildren.

I love you Ma. Have a wonderful and blessed birthday.
Thank you for being born. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Time for Summer Vacation! Tips for Having the Best Trip Ever

Summer vacation with the family can be a whole lot of fun, but planning a vacation and getting there isn’t always easy. You’ve got to deal with schedules and all sorts of things, and simply packing can be a challenge.

This year, use these tips to make sure that you have as much fun as you possibly can while you’re out of town with your family.

Dreaming of summer on the beach... Already on vacation mode! 

1. Buy Tickets Early

If you’re going to be flying this summer, you need to make sure you get your tickets in advance so you don’t pay a fortune. However, that doesn’t mean you should be buying six months before your trip.

Why not? Because when you buy tickets too far in advance the airlines have no reason to give you any sort of discount. For the best prices, look for tickets about 45 to 60 days before you’re going on your trip.

You may need to book earlier if you’re going to popular destinations like the 4th of July though, so keep that in mind.

2. Reserve Your Hotel

One of the hardest and most expensive things for families when it comes to travel is reserving the right hotel. Ideally, you want a hotel that’s as close to your destinations as possible so you don’t have to rent a car. For example, when you play at the Marriott Singer Island or another all-inclusive destination resort, you won’t have to leave to have a lot of fun.

Just make sure you book early – just about as early as when you buy your airplane tickets.

3. Pack Days Before

If you’re traveling with children you need to make packing less of a big ordeal. Every parent knows that packing with a child the night before a trip can be pretty exhausting, and chances are you won’t get much sleep.

That’s why you should start a couple of days ahead of time. Let your child pack some items on their and then check up on their work. That way they’ll learn to pack and you can work on your own luggage.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Choose the Perfect Florida Destination for You

Florida offers a variety of different distinctive vacation spots to choose from. Each area has its own unique characteristics and attractions that meet the needs and desires of different travelers. As such, when picking your perfect Florida destination there are a few things that you should do to make sure that you secure the best option for you.

First, you should do your research. When choosing your destination you want to make a knowledgeable decision. The proper research can save you a lot of headache or help to create the perfect vacation. For instance, individuals looking for a family vacation would probably be most interested in Sanibel Beach, which is noted for its family friendly atmosphere, rather than South Beach, also known as party city. Second, you want to consider the attractions and activities that you are interested in seeing, as well as things that you may want to avoid. With these lists established it can help you to narrow down the list into the perfect choice. Third and finally, you should book your trip. It is best to book well in advance to take advantage of special deals.

By keeping the aforementioned things in mind you can be sure to choose the perfect Florida destination spot for you and your guests to enjoy. View the infographic below for specific details about common destinations in Florida.

Happy Mother's Day!

To all my Mommy friends out there, here's wishing you all a Happy Mother's Day! Always remember that motherhood is a blessing and always be thankful for the gift of being called a Mommy, Mama, Mutter, Nanay, Inay...

My Mama with her granddaughters.
This equally goes to my mother for unconditionally loving me and my siblings all these years. Thank you for your guidance, for the lessons in life, for sacrificing for us and always finding ways to somehow make ends meet. We may not get or have everything while we were growing up but you taught us how to be diligent and resourceful and to strive for the things that we want in life so that we may one day be able to live the life that you have dreamed for us. Thank you for instilling us the value of having our own faith in our God. Before I did not understand how and why you did what you needed to do but now I guess I am beginning to understand. I know I still have a long way to go in this journey called motherhood but I count myself very lucky to have a mother like you who is with me and my siblings every step of the way. Thank you for being a good mother to me. The example you showed us will be my guide as I raise my own children.  

My only prayer is that you realize that you have done a great job as a mother. I wish only that you may live a longer and healthy life so that you grandchildren too may be able to enjoy you.

I love you Ma... and I miss you. Happy Mother's Day! 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Finding The Best Deals On London Hotels

The great city of London, capital of the United Kingdom, is a perennial destination for recreational tourism and international business. When you're booking your hotel room in London, you'll need to make sure you're getting the very best possible deal for your money. This is one vital area in which you simply can't afford to make a mistake.

Book Your Visit In Style

When it comes to finding the best possible deals on London hotels, you've got your work cut out for you. Luckily, your path to the best discounts on great hotel rooms shouldn't have to be all that hard. But you'll need to put in the time and effort to do a bit of research on the best possible hotel room deal. But, since this is the 21st century era of Internet technology, even that won't be so hard. In fact, it's easier now than it's ever been. 

The Secret Of The Ultimate Hotel Room Discount

Of course, the secret of the ultimate hotel room deal has a lot to do with the Internet. Specifically, while you used to have to call up a whole host of travel agents or read through a thousand brochures to find even a hint of where to get the best travel deal, today you can get all of the latest and most accurate information straight from a mere 15 minute search through a few websites on the Internet. 

The Best Place On The Web For Great Deals

But the absolute best place on the Internet won't be found by just anyone. You'll be happy to know that, just by reading this article, you're gaining some rather privileged information! The truth of the matter is that there really is a website where you can get all the latest and most accurate information on cheap hotel rooms in London. And that place is Hipmunk.com.

The Latest Hotel Room Deals Are At Hipmunk

Hipmunk has an excellent guide to UK hotels available on its official company website at Hipmunk.com. Log on today to discover excellent deals on London hotel rooms, as well as hotel, motel, and travel package guides to plenty more of the world's most exciting and desirable locations. With the help of this handy travel guide, you'll soon be navigating the city like a natural born citizen. For all the latest information, log on to Hipmunk.com today.

Re-Growing Vegetables from Scrap

I particularly love cooking Pakchoi or Bok Choy. It tastes great in soups or simply sauteed. However, it is not everyday that this heavenly green goodness is available in the supermarket. Plus, they are expensive. I learned however that it can be easily regrown in the kitchen using the bottom part that is normally just discarded in the organic bin.

My pakchoi and scallions after a week! Now the are ready for planting.
So one day, after making beef soup with pakchoi, instead of throwing out the bottom cut part, I decided to place it in a small shallow dish filled with water, with the cut side up. A tip: it is essential that you change the water daily to keep it fresh. I included the bottom part of the scallions or spring onions which I also put in the soup.

My pakchoi is happy now that is in planted in soil! :)
The scallions look happy too! Now their roots can spread and they more room to grow.
In just a couple of days, the leaves began to grow. After a week, my pakchoi already has lots of leaves and the roots have also come out. More so with my scallions. I decided to transfer them in soil today so that they have more room to grow and get the essential nourishment that water cannot give.

Now, they are sitting prettily in my kitchen, very close to the window, so they can get lots of warmth and light. Maybe in another two weeks, I get to have a taste of my very own home-grown pakchoi. :)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Planning an Ideal Vacation

Many people use vacations to step away from the stress in their lives. Spending some time in a new destination can result in a feeling of peace and allow a chance to return to the real world with a refreshed attitude. Some people prefer to relax by a pool for the duration of their time away. This can be an ideal way to relax. Vacations are also an opportunity to try new adventures. Hobbies and activities are often available that offer a chance to see a new place or develop a new skill.

Explore the Outdoors
Many popular vacation destinations have breathtaking views. Be sure to take time to enjoy the scenery. Hiking is a great activity that can be a fun way to spend time enjoying the outdoors. The feeling of completing a challenging hiking trail can be rewarding, and the view from the peak of a mountain can be magnificent. Other vacation destinations may have historical buildings that offer tours or activities. There are usually plenty of sights to be seen.

Take Time to Relax
After a day full of sightseeing and adventure, be sure to take some time to relax. Consider booking a spa treatment or taking a yoga class. Spas often offer massages, steam showers, saunas and other specialty services. These services are designed to put clients at ease so that they can feel rejuvenated. A swim in the pool can also be a fun way to relax. Spending time in the fitness center and pool can be a great way to unwind without distractions.

Find Themed Activities
If the usual selections are not appealing, consider trying something unique. Many resorts also offer some type of sport activity, such as golf or ice-skating. Some resorts may also offer activities that are part of a theme. For example, New York's Mohonk Mountain House has hosted weekend events with jazz and ballroom dancing themes. These events offer an entertainment experience to enjoy a special activity. Other themes, such as dining events, are also popular.

Try to consider the goals of a vacation while planning the trip. If relaxation is the primary focus, then be sure to select a resort with spa services. Vacations that feature more activities will be better at resorts that have a wide range of offerings. A mix of relaxation and action can be the perfect solution for stepping away from stress and enjoying a break from life.

Goodbye Hugendubel Stuttgart

I have seen some small shops and even big department store chains along the Königstrasse closing down because of low profit and clientele but I never thought I would see the day when one of my favorite book stores, which is really a haven for book lovers out there, would also close its doors. Whether you fancy reading a book and decide to buy one, grab a cup of coffee in their cafe, look for some gift ideas or just relax and window shop, this is one of the places to be.

My little girl trying to look what's still inside the bookstore
through a small gap between the glass doors.
She was of course sad when she heard the news.
HUGENDUBEL. If you have never been to this book haven before, then it is too late. Their branch along Königstrasse (beside Müller) closed last April 4th 2015. There are still other branches all over Germany though and you can still purchase books from their online shop at Hugendubel.de.

Interior of the bookstore on the 2nd floor. These comfy lounges are so relaxing.
Photo © Pagolux Interieur
There's even a play area in the children's section of the bookstore where
children can play while their mommies browse through children's books.
Photo © Pagolux Interieur.
The bookstore front along Königstrasse taken a year and a half ago (October 2013).

Blog Archive

Disclosure Policy

This policy is valid from 05 September 2008.

Just About Anything | Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial License | Ferris Wheel Fantasy Designed by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates