May 24, 2016

Giving to Charity 101: You Can Make a Difference

Everybody knows there are people in worse financial and life situations than themselves. Even if you don’t feel like you’ve reached your goals in life, chances are you’re relatively comfortable compared to some people out there.

The fact is that most people want to give to charity to help others, but they don’t know exactly how to do it. After all, when you’re strapped for cash to pay the bills and just stay afloat, giving money to others can feel tough. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do.

Use this guide to learn more about how you can give to charity without breaking the bank. Everything you do will make a difference in the lives of someone less fortunate than you.

Give Used Items

Even if you can’t afford to give money to charitable organizations, you likely have old items that you can donate. For example, clothing that you no longer wear can be very helpful for people who really can’t afford to buy new items.

Furniture that you no longer use can also be extremely helpful for those in need. Buying furniture can be expensive, so donate instead of putting items in the trash. Somebody will use the things you no longer have room for or simply don’t want.

Donate Canned Goods

Food is obviously something that you can donate, but it has to be the right type of food. If you’re giving to a charitable organization, canned goods are always the way to go.

When you go food shopping for yourself, look for items that are one sale. Things like canned beans, beets, tomatoes or even meats and fish like tuna can be great to donate. Look for good values and mix and match what you donate.

Even a few cans per month really can go a long way toward feeding the people who need it.

Small Change Matters

Donating cash to charities, even dropping a dollar or two on the people playing street pianos in New York, can make a difference. You don’t have to give a check for $100, $200 or a yearly donation of $1,000 if you can’t afford it.

The next time you see a reputable charitable organization taking donations, give them a few bucks and skip that expensive latte. You’ll feel better about yourself at the end of the day.

May 10, 2016

What can you do if your dishwasher does not drain as it should?

A dishwasher is a wonderful appliance to have in your home, as long as it’s working properly. If you start to have problems with your dishwasher you need to get them fixed as soon as possible or it can end up being more of a headache than a help. There are several problems that can happen with a dishwasher and one of the most common is the failure to drain properly.

It’s normal to have a little clean water in the tub of a dishwasher at the end of a wash cycle but of a fair amount of water is present you know there is a problem. It’s a good idea to get help with the issue. There is plenty of information online if you’re looking for plumbers in Sydney. The professionals can help you with all of your dishwasher problems. In the meantime, if your dishwasher is not emptying as it should here is some information you may find useful.

Cleaning the air gap and strainer

If you notice that there is dirty water spewing out of the drain of the dishwasher it could be that there is a blockage somewhere from the air gap along the drain pipe. You should take the cover off the air gap which is usually located at the top back of the sink. You should the clean this thoroughly with a wire brush. It’s also a good idea to clean the strainer which is located at the bottom of the dishwasher.
It’s worth noting that you cannot do this with every make of dishwasher. If you are able to remove the strainer, which you will find under the spray arm at the base of the dishwasher, you should not do so until the dishwasher is completely cool. Once this is the case you need to unscrew the hubcap and remove the spray arm. Then you need to unclip the strainer and clean it with a brush before replacing it. If cleaning these items does not solve the problem then there may be a problem with the drain hose.

Checking the drain hose

Problems with the drain hose can cause your dishwasher to not drain properly which presents a real problem when using your dishwasher. If you are experiencing this problem then checking the drain hose for obstructions is a good idea. The best way to do this is to pull the dishwasher out from under the counter and detach the hose. Then you should flush out the hose using a tap or a garden house. This should clear any blockages.
It may be that the house needs to be replaced. If you want to check if this is the case then it’s a good idea to speak to a professional plumber who can help you resolve your dishwasher drainage problem as quickly as possible. This means that you can get back to having the convenience of using a fully functioning dishwasher to clean your dishes.

April 11, 2016

Three Inventive Ways to Use a Meat Mallet

A meat mallet is a simple tool found in most kitchens. It usually has a wood handle with a metal end that looks similar to a handle. Your mallet may have just one flat end or an end that has a textured side and a flat side. Meat mallets are perfect for tenderizing thick cuts of meat before using a marinade and cooking those meats. If you have one that you keep tucked away in a drawer because you never use it, now is the time to pull it out and use that mallet in a few inventive ways.

Crack Through Bones and Claws

Cracking stone crab claws is a lot easier when you have a meat mallet on hand. Many of the claw crackers on the market today are so flimsy that you can barely get the claws cracked. To use a mallet, simple place the claw on a flat surface and strike down with the mallet. Apply enough force that the shell breaks away from the meat. You can also use one of these mallets to crush or break up bones when making your own stocks and broths at home.

Crush Garlic

Trying to chop garlic into uniform pieces at home can sometimes feel like an impossible task. Instead of using a knife and going over the pieces several times, simply remove the outer layer of skin and set the garlic cloves on a chopping board. Place the mallet directly on top of the cloves and press down with your hand to crush the garlic into a fine paste. This might go a little easier if you apply a sprinkle of salt to the top. You can also place plastic wrap on top to keep the crushed garlic from rolling off your cutting board.

Make Desserts

A clean meat mallet can help you whip up delicious desserts for your family too. Transfer your favorite cookies into a plastic bag, seal the top and pound with the mallet until the cookies because a fine powder. Use the cookie crumbs with a little butter to make a crust or as a topping for ice cream or pudding. Meat mallets also help you break up large chocolate bars and crush nuts for dessert recipes too. Instead of using your meat mallet to tenderize thick cuts of meat, look for some fun new ways to use this kitchen tool.

April 7, 2016

It's amazing how a meal can bring together people.  If it's working in the kitchen together to create the perfect ending for the day or a meal prepared with love for a special occasion or holiday.  For whatever reason you are cooking....we all speak the language of food.

Today's kitchen is so very different from days of the past.  The technology and the options we have when cooking creates a fun work space for even the most novice chef among us.  As a child I remember my grandmother having drawers filled with pot holders and mittens that looked like something that had been drug through the mud as well as a few that were created by grand kids using the little weaving looms.  As a mom now I know how when using on of those, while created with love, one has to be careful because there can be holes placed where a hot baking dish can remind you that you are cooking with heat.

No matter what your cooking style is there are a countless tools, gadgets and accessories to make your kitchen a great chefs work space.  A great place to start your shopping trip is online..while there make sure to stop by Chef Works which carries a huge selection.  There are a few staples that I find necessary in my kitchen.  One is an apron that is going to find it's fair share of use.  A messy apron is a sign that an amazing meal is being prepared.  Which means quality is very important because no one wants a carefully crafted red sauce to bleed through onto you outfit,...if so then that apron gets fired.  Also, since there will be others in my kitchen the need to have more then one is a must.

If you have your apron then the next thing you need is a quality set of chef knives.  Since you will spend a lot of time dicing and cutting you want something that is going to hold up time and time again.  My two favorites are a boning knife and a Santoku Knife.   I am willing to spend a little extra on quality knives because they will see a lot of use and I want them to last a long time.  You get what you spend when it comes to knives and you don't want to spend the money on something that  you will have to replace in a short time. 

April 3, 2016

The Benefits Of Using Boat Lifts

There are many benefits and advantages to using a boat lift at your dock. Lifts are only a small amount of your boating expense and can save you money in the long run after the initial investment. Not only can it reduce maintenance, it can also pay for itself in time and will add more enjoyment to your overall boating experience. Below are some of the top benefits of using boat dock lifts.

Less Worry

Most boats that end up sinking do so at the dock. For many boat losses, all it takes is a failed bilge pump or a dead battery to lose your boat. With a boat lift, you will spend less time worrying about your boat sinking when it's not in use. 

Less Cleaning

When you use a lift and keep your boat out of the water longer, there will be less scrubbing of the bottom of your boat. The lift will keep the bottom cleaner longer so you will spend more time boating and less time cleaning. Additionally, if you add a canopy you will also spend less time cleaning bird droppings and grime from the top of your boat as well. 

More Fun

Because a boat lift keeps your boat cleaner and safer, you will be able to launch your boat in seconds and will be able to use your boat more often. There will be less time spent cleaning and preparing your boat for a day out and more time actually out having fun. 

Save Money

In the long run, using a boat dock lift can save you money and help increase your resale value. Keeping the bottom of your boat clean can enhance performance, increase range, save fuel and eliminates the need to repaint the bottom as often as when the boat is stored in the water. 

Prevent Damage

Storing your boat in the water is the main cause of hull blisters. Wet storage can also lead to the damage of props, outdrives and shafts. Storing your boat above the water line can greatly reduce wear and tear. 

Boat lifts are a safe and easy way to keep your boat safe and clean while you are not using it. Using a lift like the ones found at will protect your investment and save you a lot of money in the long run. They can also cut down cleaning time so you will be able to enjoy your boat more often. 

March 3, 2016

Improve the Value of Your Home with a Kitchen Makeover

Your home is your escape from the rest of the world, a haven that welcomes you with open arms after a long day. In order to get the most enjoyment out of your living space, you need to consider ways to breathe new life into it from time to time. Not only will a kitchen remodeling job give you pleasure, it can also increase the value of your home. If you plan on moving one day in the future or leave your home to a family member, you can have the peace of mind that comes with making improvements in your living space. The heart of the home, where you cook good things for your loved ones and gather together, is a great place to start.

You Need a Plan

Before you dive into your project, you need to have a plan of action. Do an image search online. Pick up some home improvement magazines. Scope out the possibilities when you are visiting with friends and family. Form a clear vision of what you want. Remember that this is the room that you love to spend time in, whether you are whipping up a culinary delight or having guests for dinner. You want it to be a warm, inviting place. Wood cabinets and a wood floor go well together. Think about bringing in granite countertops. You might like to change things up and put in an island where you can have additional workspace and casual dining. Update your appliances for a polished look. Give yourself the kitchen you've always wanted.

Make Your Vision Become a Reality

The next step is to hire kitchen remodeling contractors who will get the job done to your satisfaction. You can get extra help from where you can tap into an extensive network of contractors. You fill in your basic information online, such as your budget and what kind of job you have in mind. From that point, contractors in the area will contact you. You'll be provided with a free estimate. Do your homework about your top picks and compare estimates. Choose the contractor that works for you and move forward. When your kitchen remodeling job is completed, you will be able to reap the benefits of all of your planning. You'll also have the satisfaction of knowing your home is worth more because you gave it some extra attention.

February 18, 2016

Making Your Next Worksite a Safer Place

As anyone who’s worked in the industry can confirm, construction is a dangerous business. Nearly every longtime construction worker or project foreman has witnessed or been the victim of at least one on-site accident. Fortunately, a substantial percentage of construction site accidents are easily avoidable. If you’re determined to make your next long-term worksite an accident-free zone, consider the following tips.

Have Crane Mats in Place
With all the heavy machinery that’s operated on worksites, it’s important to reduce the threat of grooves and potholes. Using crane mats to create makeshift roadways for cranes, supply trucks, and other construction vehicles to be driven on will increase worker safety and reduce wear-and-tear on the worksite’s natural surface. When looking for a reliable crane mat rental business, you can’t go wrong with Quality Mat Company.

Be Strict About Wearing Safety Gear
Many seasoned construction workers, particularly those who have never fallen victim to an accident, have a tendency to wear safety gear sparingly. If someone has never suffered a serious accident, he or she may grow complacent and feel no need to take the necessary precautions. Since hard hats, goggles, and facial masks can be rather uncomfortable, a number of construction veterans and greenhorns won’t hesitate to shed them at their earliest convenience. However, since construction accidents often strike without warning, it’s imperative that you require your crew to wear their protective gear on worksites at all times. 

Don’t Overtax Heavy Machinery
Many construction workers won’t hesitate to push heavy machinery beyond its limits if it means getting a job done faster. Unfortunately, this can have a number of undesirable consequences. For starters, habitual overtaxing can lead to problems with expensive machinery, giving way to costly repairs and ultimately reducing its life span. Secondly, it can result in dropped materials and potentially fatal accidents.

With all the heavy-duty equipment, heights, and potholes found on many construction sites, these environments are rife with potential accidents. However, by putting the previously discussed pointers into practice, you dramatically reduce the likelihood of on-site accidents, much to the delight of your clients and employees.