Refresh And Reposition

My interest for decorating has fueled me to get my hands on every decorating book that gets my fancy. For as long as it is easy to understand and not very technical I go for it.

Having said that, I have learned that in decorating you don’t have to keep acquiring new stuff to change the look or refresh a room. You can always work with what you’ve got. It’s so much like dressing up or putting together an outfit. Affordable alterations can bring a lift of an extreme makeover to any room of your home.

A new coat of paint for instance is an inexpensive way to transform a room. So is reupholstering a well made sofa. Perhaps, refinishing a cabinet from its old color to a different color. Or one of the things that can be done which is less likely to pop on once mind is to replace those old ugly legs of a dresser, or a sofa. Imagine swapping them to modern chrome or pretty wooden spindles. Lastly how about replacing that old entertainment center to a more sleek tv stand.

Your new television for sure deserves a more modern piece. This you may say is not updating but replacing, but if you just got that new TV it does call for a new TV stand.

Actively Hunting For Gifts

Father’s day is right around the corner. Are you ready with presents for the wonderful men in your life to make their day truly memorable?

While Father’s day is not that big of a celebration in our household simply because we are a childless couple, we always make sure that we honor our fathers, and all the fathers in our lives that are fathers to their children, and those we look up to and consider as our second father and have touched and continue to be part of our lives.

Having said that, there are a few musically inclined among the men in our gift list. If I were to consider any musical instrument or anything that revolves around music, I better make sure I look for the  source that offers the lowest price.

So much to do, yet too little time. But this one needs to be done the soonest. Before I know it, Father’s Day will be here and I don’t want to get caught empty handed.

When Is The Perfect Time To Switch?

Many perfume experts believe and recommend that we should change our fragrance every few years. We, on the other hand think, it’s just a sales ploy. But no, it really is worth looking into because studies revealed that after a few weeks, that favorite bottle of scent has already lost some of its mojo. The people around us and even ourselves become desensitized to the same scent.

Reality is that a lot of us wear the same scent year in and year out. But as the perfume experts say, we wouldn’t be wearing the same outfit that we wore many years ago the same way. We would normally give it some modern twist.

I think the best gauge is, if it’s been a long time since we got a compliment on the scent we’re wearing, then it’s time to take the leap and switch.

Pesto Making Guide

Do you love pesto? I sure do. And when I make pesto, I wish I have the patience and time to make it the good old fashioned method. That’s none other than using a mortar and pestle. We’re now so accustomed to use our “mighty helpers” in our kitchen; in this case we love the ease of a blender or a food processor.

Here’s some pointers to have the best tasting pesto:

  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese and Romano cheese is prime. Make sure to use the freshly grated variety all the time.
  • Spin dry or pat dry basil after rinsing. This will ensure that the sauce is not diluted.
  • If pesto is to be tossed with pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water and gradually adding to pesto just before serving will help to thin the sauce slightly.
  • Should you make a lot of pesto, it can be kept fresh in the refrigerator for 1 week. Store in an airtight container with plastic wrap pressed into the surface of the sauce to prevent the top from darkening.
  • Pesto can be frozen for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before using.

The Type Of Light Bulb Matters

When we gutted and renovated our place more than ten years ago, I chose lighting and ceiling fixtures with the aid of a design professional without taking into consideration the ease of replacing the bulbs.

Fast forward, it’s been almost eleven years, and needless to say,we’ve had several occasions wherein a busted bulb here and there needs replacement. Having aesthetically proper lights in every room of the house is important to each and every homeowner. It helps create a cozy ambience, and the general mood of the room.

I, however learned the hard way. In one of our rooms, I picked track lighting requiring GU10 bulbs. Yes, track lighting are utilitarian, and exudes a modern twist. The kind of light emitted is vibrant and clear. From a layman’s point of view, there is no reason why I wouldn’t love the kind of light emitted from a GU10 bulb.

However, when it was time for us to replace a busted bulb, it was a real pain to get it in place. With the number of bulbs that we will replace in the future, I’m not sure if I can keep up with it. I predict that when it’s time to replace the next two, maybe it will be wiser for us to buy and install a different fixture altogether.

Lesson learned: pick a light fixture that is not only beautiful and design appropriate to your room. Pay attention to the bulb requirement and before making a purchase, ensure that you will not need a handyman to help you replace a bulb.

For Your Mane Only

We are all aware about the importance of brushing our mane to keep them healthy. Which hairbrush bristles are better: is it the natural or synthetic type?

As far as styling results are concerned, the same result is obtained from both type of bristles. Although, if hair health is considered, natural boar’s hair bristles are known as the best. This type of bristle won’t tear up the cuticle layer of the hair because it is very gentle yet durable.

Nylon bristles come in as second. They are more affordable than boar’s and are also strong and long- lasting. One caveat: this type of bristle is not that gentle thus, when brushing your hair, use less force.

If at all possible, stay away from metal bristles because they are hard on the hair.

Thread Count : Does It Matter?

Many years ago, I used to struggle in buying bed sheets. How much more with a more major purchase such as  yamaha keyboards ? I know, right? That is if, I’m considering to buy one.

Anyway, the ‘thread count thing’ was confusing to me thus, I would always end up buying higher thread count sheets and still wound up not so pleased with my purchase. I learned through the years that when buying sheets, the thread count is not all that matters, it certainly does not tell us the whole story. Why? Because it does not always indicate softness and durability. The quality and length of a yarn as well as the type of fiber and the origin of the cotton used also contribute to the texture. Hence, two 400 thread count sheets may feel very different. In fact, many experts suggest that when we buy sheets we should consider yarn quality and cotton type before the thread count.

We all know that poly blends are cheaper and lasts longer and they are also more stiff and less comfortable than 100% cotton. Supima cotton which has long and soft fibers and Egyptian cotton(the mix of short and long fibers makes it soft and durable) are excellent choices.

As for the fiber, ring spun cotton fibers are twisted to make the yarn stronger while combed cotton are the best because the process of combing leaves will leave the softer and longer ones.

Sateen sheets are the softest. If you prefer the plain weave it is coarser. Twill and oxford are slightly softer.

And the thread count? If money is no object, you can go as high as 1,200. But based on experience, when I touch my sheets which are at 800TC (my preferred thread count because I’m not willing to splurge any more than they costs) and compare it with those that I own at 600TC (and that is after many years of use) I can not really tell the difference. I just rely on my sense of touch and since then, I’ve been happy with my sheets purchase all the time. I always go for ring spun, combed, sateen, Egyptian cotton sheets at 800TC depending on the feel.