All-time Favorite Holiday Flavors for Desserts and Drinks

As soon as the pumpkin season comes and goes, it is time to start thinking about all of the winter flavors that will soon be filling your kitchen and home. Sure, not all of what winter holds can be pleasant, but the fact remains that the many holiday flavors continue to be the year’s best.

With that, we have listed the all-time favorite holiday flavors for desserts and drinks that you can easily add to make delicious holiday fare.

Monin Ginger

With Monin ginger, you get one of the best Monin flavours around. With Monin ginger, it is traditionally used in Asian cooking, although it can be utilized to fulfill many other recipes in other cultures as well.

Now, ginger can be used in syrup during the holidays, which can instill a full body of flavor combined with a spice that gives a subtle bite and a touch of sweet. With a spicy aroma, it conveys an exoticness that easily takes your holiday cocktails and chocolate desserts to a new level.

Creamy Eggnog

Holiday cupcakes can be created by using nutmeg and eggnog. With eggnog, your cupcakes will be significantly soft and mouthwatering. These treats are perfect for any holiday gathering and will become a perfect addition to your sweet tooth.

A great way to use eggnog is in rice pudding. With the eggnog, it replaces the milk and makes a nice breakfast alternative. You can also use eggnog to create French toast that has a nice punch to it.

If baking is a huge part of your holidays, then you can easily make frosting with it. This frosting can be applied to many different treats and keeping them festive.

Gingerbread

It would never be the holidays if there was no gingerbread in the mix. The good thing is that gingerbread is able to last a long time without going bad. A delicious treat to try is pumpkin gingerbread and is perfect for times when guests come over.

Similar to a pumpkin spice, a gingerbread flavor consists of a multitude of spices that are made up of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and allspice. Besides the normal cookies and bread, you can mix the flavor into a cheesecake or even a recipe for waffles.

If indulging is your concern, then you can make a nice zucchini gingerbread by adding apple sauce or yogurt. These additions will also allow you to enjoy guilt-free snacking.

Cinnamon

With cinnamon, the sky is the limit when it comes to using this great holiday flavor. You can put a dash of it on all of your desserts and drinks. With cinnamon rolls being a well-known item to make with cinnamon, it can be a very good flavor enhancement for meals too.

Peppermint

Peppermint is another all-time holiday favorite that can be used in many treats such as a latte, ice cream, patties, and candy bark. You may think that peppermint may be the number one spice for the holiday season. It may also be thought of as a flavor that has multi-use. The makeup of peppermint consists of spearmint and water mint, which is why it has more of a sweeter consistency.

Chestnut

When “The Christmas Song” debuted, it put the chestnut on the map as a holiday flavor that is used to this day. Besides being used as a flavorful spice, it can be included in many varieties such as a marron glace or paste. Many chefs will agree that chestnut is a great flavor choice and a chestnut cake will be able to provide a lot of spice while making a nice contribution as a dessert choice.

The chestnut flavor also brings out the savory aromas that can be found in stuffings, soups, or Italian cooking. If you are thinking of adding chocolate to your holiday desserts, then a mix of chestnut in the ingredients will give an extra flavor that all will enjoy.

Cranberry

The cranberry can be easily overlooked during holiday cooking; however, with its tartness and sweet flavor, it can be a great choice to add a savory touch to your holiday meals. Cranberry can be easily coupled with tangerine oranges or as a succulent glaze. Sure, cranberry is able to work with just about everything. This is why other flavors can be used to simply intensify the overall flavor.

 

How to Get the Best Deal on Your House Move

You may become excited to become a homebuyer. Who will not be? This can be everyone’s dream. One thing that you may not realize is that there are different things that you can do so that you can do the house move easily.

Moving is considered to be one of the most stressful things that you may encounter. There are different things that may go wrong such as the following:

  • You may not pack your items correctly so you may end up not knowing where the items are.
  • You may not pack your items properly so you would end up with broken stuff.
  • There is a possibility that you will not hire the right movers to help you out.

Some people think that they can do the move on their own. They can seek help from their family members and friends. This is not very advisable right now. Aside from the pandemic which may limit the number of people that you can become exposed to, there is also a chance that people will be too busy to help you.

Plan Ahead

This is one of the best ways to make sure that you will be able to get the best deals before you move houses. When you are rushing, you will have the tendency to spend more on items that you could have gotten for a much lower price. You need to plan your move a few weeks before the actual moving date. There are two good things that may happen because of this:

  • You will feel less stressed because you know that you are doing things ahead of time.
  • You can also spend less money that way.

It might not seem easy to plan ahead or you may think that it is pointless in the beginning. Yet, the more that you know, the better you can be in making decisions.

Always Do Enough Research

One of the things that you can do is to get quotes from at least three moving companies. You need to make sure that you are getting the best deals too from the same services that you are aiming to get. For example, one company may have lower rates simply because you did not include a specific type of service that you need to get from the company.

If you see a quote that is so much lower than the quotes of other companies, this might not mean that you are getting the best deal. Rather, this might mean that the company may have forgotten to include one of the services that you have required for the quotation. You do not want to end up paying for some add−ons.

There are also some moving companies that will be more than willing to provide deals. You can just ask for some of their packages and choose from those packages. Remember to ask for a discount too because some may be willing to provide that if your moving in dates are flexible. With the right moving service, moving in does not have to be very problematic.

 

How To Build A Strong Fence That Looks Great Too!

When you’re putting up a fence you need to ensure that it’s strong enough to withstand any extreme winter weather and that it’s high and deep enough to keep any unwanted critters out of your carefully cultivated garden!

Done right, a fence can also be an extra way for you to be creative and add a gorgeous extra touch to your garden.

The Essentials

Before we talk about making your fence beautiful, let’s talk about making it sturdy. After all, it doesn’t matter how beautiful it is if it won’t stand up!

  • Choose a rot and corrosion resistant material. If you are using wood, cedar is an excellent choice.
  • Sink your fence posts into concrete to ensure that they remain standing in the wind. The concrete should be three times the diameter of the post. In general, a third of the total length of the post should be sunk to below ground level.
  • Build your fence in such a way that it doesn’t allow any water to pool, and that rain runs off it as quickly as possible.
  • Use suitable screws for building a fence that are heavy duty and the right length.
  • Be sure to make strong joints. A pegged mortise and tenon joint will keep your fence from sagging, or alternatively a dovetail joint will do the trick. Be sure that once it is built the structure is rigid.
  • Treat any wood to protect it from the rain. Whitewash and transparent stain are good choices because they can be easily touched up and they don’t peel.

Making It Look Good

Now onto the fun part! When you are thinking about what you want your fence to look like, it’s important that you consider what kind of feeling you are aiming to create when you are in your garden, as well as what you can reasonably do with the space and with any existing walls or fences.

For example, if you would like your garden to look rustic and inviting, then using a dark coloured wood with vertical slats will create a great rustic look.

If you are concerned about privacy but still want to create a natural look in your garden, then constructing a privacy fence out of bamboo is the way to go. Bamboo is at home in any kind of garden, and construction is relatively easy.

Concrete and brick fences are arguably the most sturdy type of fence, but they aren’t typically thought of as the most attractive. However, if you have been left with a concrete fence or you have a real need for security, concrete and brick can look incredibly chic and modern. Simply tear down sections of the solid concrete or brick and replace them with vertical metal slats, and you’ll create a stylish look that allows a little light to come through as well. Another way to make a concrete fence look the way you want it to is to add in etched metal screen panels, to add a delicate touch to your fence without compromising on security.

3 Interior Design Tricks That Will Help Keep Your Home Cooler

While everyone knows that turning on your fans and air conditioner will serve to keep your home cool, what many people don’t know is that they way you decorate and set up the interior of your home can play a big role in how often your air conditioner will need to kick on in order to cool down your home. So if you’re looking for a way to save you your monthly cooling bill, or you’re just wanting to save your air conditioner from working too hard and needing frequent repairs, here are three interior design tricks that will help keep your home cooler.

Choose The Right Window Treatments

The windows of your home are one of the biggest ways that heat can enter your space. Even if your windows themselves are closed, the heat from the sun can penetrate through your windows and cause your rooms to rise in temperature.

To combat this, Alexa Erickson, a contributor to Reader’s Digest Canada, recommends that you think strategically about the shades, blinds, or curtains that you put over your windows to help block out the maximum amount of sun. Ideally, you’ll want something that’s a little on the thicker side so that the sun’s rays won’t easily go through the material and heat up the room. You should also try to find something that is white on the side that faces your window so that it can reflect the maximum amount of light back outside rather than soaking it in.

Avoid Dark Accessories

Although most people know that it’s a bad idea to wear dark colors when they’re outside in the heat, as it will soak up the heat of the sun and cause you to get warmer, this principle can apply for the furniture and other accessories inside of your home as well.

According to Morgan Greenwald and Sarah Crow, contributors to BestLifeOnline.com, filling your rooms with lighter colored accessories will help those rooms to stay cooler than if you had decorated with darker accessories. Especially in areas where you want things to stay cool, like around your bed, choosing white or lighter colors will help keep you from overheating while you sleep.

Keep Your Floors Bare

While it can feel nice and luxurious to have thick, fuzzy rugs padding the floors of your home, these types of coverings can also cause your rooms to be warmer than they otherwise would have been on their own.

Knowing this, Katie Holdefehr, a contributor to Real Simple, advises that you keep your floors bare, especially if you have hardwood or tile floors, in order to keep the rooms feeling cooler. And, for areas where you do want or need a rug, choose one with a lower profile.

If you’ve never thought about how your decor and design choices can affect the temperature of your home, consider implementing some of the tips above to help you keep things cooler in the future.

Four renovations that make your house more environmentally friendly

Living a more sustainable and environmentally aware lifestyle is a preoccupation for many people at the minute who are seeking ways to lessen their impact on the world around them. You might, for instance, have already switched to a plant-based diet and removed all unnecessary plastic from your lifestyle. However, did you know that there are also ways that you can make your house itself that bit greener? Take a look at this article for four renovation ideas that make your house more environmentally friendly.

  • Solar panels

Perhaps the first thing that most people think of when making green renovations to their homes is adding solar panels to their roof. Solar panels absorb sunlight, which is then converted into electricity, providing an excellent renewable energy source for your home. Although every home can benefit from solar panels, they are, of course, especially effective for houses that see a lot of sunlight for most of the year; if you live in a warmer state such Florida, it’s worth considering investing in solar panels. California has already mandated that all new houses are built with solar panels, suggesting that this is an eco-friendly trend that isn’t likely to go away.

  • Green roofing materials

Your roof must be strong enough to withstand regular weather extremes, from wind and rain to scorching hot temperatures, even if you live in a generally temperate climate. However, there are many green roofing materials and contractors on the market; for instance, New Wave Roofing identifies green roofing in Denver to ensure that your roof is both protective and environmentally friendly. For instance, choose shingles for your roof made from an eco-friendly material such as clay, slate, wood, or fully synthetic shingles made from recyclable thermoplastic.

  • Eco-friendly insulation

Having a properly insulated home can in itself lessen your house’s carbon footprint, as you are less likely to need to switch the central heating on whenever there is a drop in the temperature. However, as with roofing materials, there are many eco-friendly insulation materials for you to choose from. For instance, cotton batts made from recycled blue jeans, scraps are among the most eco-friendly insulation materials available. Or, for a completely natural option, you could get home insulation made from sheep’s wool, which not only helps to regulate the temperature of your home but is also fire retardant.

  • Use reclaimed lumber

Your home renovation might involve structural alterations, such as splitting a room in two or building an extension. When doing this, use reclaimed lumber for woodwork. Using reclaimed lumber decreases the demand for newly sourced lumber, which not only decreases deforestation; it also decreases the use of environmentally hazardous materials used to manufacture new products. Using reclaimed lumber can also give additional interest and history to your home, making it unique in every way. Reclaimed lumber can be found from many different sources, from railway sleepers and old barns to decommissioned buildings, schools, and other homes going through renovations.

 

How to Source Firewood for Your Stove This Winter

Getting warm and toasty by a wood-burning stove in the deep mid-winter is one of the most satisfying parts of the long cold months that lie ahead. And yet, putting fuel into these stoves is expensive, especially if you’re buying chopped wood from a local supplier. It’s far better to find your own wood supply and create your own firewood free of charge. In this short guide, we’ll explain how to source and chop good, reliable firewood as the winter of 2020 draws in.

Finding Fallen Trees

With so many storms happening across the country, and trees regularly falling of their own accord, it’s rare that you’ll take a turn around your local woods or forest without coming across a recently downed tree. This is always an opportunity to cut and chop some firewood: and it’s something you should take advantage of if you want to save cash on your wood-burning stove this winter. Make sure the fallen tree isn’t damp and rotting and that it’s a good wood to burn in your stove. Then return to it with your cutting and chopping equipment.

Chopping Wood

With all fallen trees, you’re going to need two key items of equipment to help you cut it down to size. One of them is a chainsaw and the other a well-sharpened wood-splitting axe. Both can be found from online stores as well as your local hardware or garden center. Check out the article titled, The Best Chainsaw Money Can Buy in 2020 – FULL BUYER’S GUIDE on Farming Hobby in order to understand the best chainsaws for the job at hand, and look out for smart, long-handled axes to help you chop the wood that you cut with your new chainsaw.

Labor

It’s admittedly tiring and time-consuming to chop up a tree at the site that it fell. But that’s something you’re going to have to take into account in order to save on firewood this winter. Treat it as a fun excursion, and as exercise, to enjoy the process more. And remember: he who chops his own firewood warms himself twice. Do all of the cutting and chopping right by the fallen tree and use wheelbarrows to transport the chopped wood to and from your vehicle. This is the quickest way to harvest a fallen tree of its wood.

Drying

Finally, much of the wood that you’ll find out ‘in the wild’ is likely a little damp or saturated with water. This kind of wood creates a lot of soot and smoke in your chimney and is generally considered to be of poor burning quality. As such, it’s imperative that you create a wood store for your new collection of wood where it can dry over the weeks and months ahead. Try burning a piece from this woodpile on occasion to see if it’s ready to use in your stove in the coming weeks.

There you have it: a simple guide to finding, chopping, drying, and burning your very own firewood for the coming winter.

 

3 Ways COVID-19 Will Impact Interior Design

Since COVID-19 appeared in the United States in early 2020, our way of life changed drastically. Homes became classrooms and offices, and we spent more time in our living rooms, bedroom and family rooms than ever before.

A room filled with furniture and a large window

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Interestingly, all of this “at home” time is already having an impact on interior design. More than ever, people have realized how things like color, layout, functionality and more have an impact not only on their mood, but also on their productivity.

With this in mind, let’s look at some of the ways that interior design has changed, and will continue to change, post-COVID-19.

Colors That Mimic Mother Nature

The pandemic has understandably left many people feeling anxious, stressed and grief stricken. As Architectural Digest notes, these unsettled emotions are inspiring a desire to paint our homes in shades that make us feel like we are outside among nature. Instead of fire engine red accent walls or electric purple wallpaper, expect to see calmer and more relaxing shades like sky blue, sea glass green, putty gray, creamy off-white, olive green and turquoise. In addition to the walls, furniture that is upholstered with these same shades will undoubtedly be quite popular, as will accessories like throws, pillows and artwork.

Security Cameras That Instill a Sense of Well-Being

Prior to COVID-19, most people would usually answer the door every time the bell rang. As we continue to social distance, we are less likely to want to come face to face with a delivery person, door-to-door salesman or other stranger. At the same time, people want to protect their homes more than ever, which have literally become their safe haven. In order to do that quite effectively, homeowners are predicted to embrace security camera systems more than ever. For instance, Lorex’s Wi-Fi security cameras link to the Lorex Home app, so you can remotely monitor the footage. If you install a camera near your front door, when the doorbell rings, you can see who is there from the comfort of your couch and convenience of your smartphone. These cameras also have a two-way talk feature that allows you to interact with the person at the door. If you opt for a wire-free version, you can place the security cameras anywhere in or around your home.

Home Offices Will Take Center Stage

Traditionally, home offices were often an afterthought, or maybe a space that was shared with a guest room, or tucked into a corner of the family room. Instead of having a home office, people will now desire an office at home. These spaces will be functional, attractive and designed to handle full-time teleworkers. As a side note, with the recent increase in video conferencing, these work spaces will be designed with Zoom in mind — lighting will be selected to make virtual meetings easier to see for everyone, plush throw rugs will be placed on top of tile or hardwood to help with acoustics and what we display on the bookcases behind us will be carefully chosen to make a personal and fun statement for others to see.

Home, Sweet Comfortable and Relaxing Home

When we first bought our homes, we might have been more focused on the number of bedrooms, or the roomy master bath with the jetted tub, but now that we’ve spent more time in our casas than ever, we are starting to think in other ways about what makes a house a home. COVID-19 is making a long-lasting impact on our abodes, from the colors we will choose and the cameras we install to feel more safe, to creating a fully functional space to work remotely.

 

How to change the look of your home and make it last

Redecorating your house is great and it can be very rewarding, but it can also be costly and time consuming, this is why it is a good idea to redecorate your home, so it can last for as long as you want it to last for. This article will also discuss why it is important to invest in high quality furniture and furnishings as this will last longer than cheaper worse quality items. The article also gives an insight into how your pre-loved items can be upcycled and the general benefits of looking after your furniture and furnishings.

Invest in good quality lasting furniture

The best way to ensure your furniture lasts for as long as you wish it last for, is to invest in furniture of good quality, which looks sturdy and is made of durable materials. For instance, leather sofas are very durable, and families keep leather sofas in their homes for years because they last so long. A Chesterfield leather sofa is a good example of a leather sofa which is not only durable, but it also has a timeless yet glamourous look to it.

A above standard quality bed is also important as we spend on average a third of our lives sleeping. So, in order to get a good night’s sleep, we need to make sure we are comfortable and that our bedroom furniture is something that can be relied on to not break so quickly and to hopefully last for years. This is why it is important to invest money into types of furniture that is of good quality, because you are going to get lots of use out of your home furniture.

Consider upcycling preloved items

On the other hand, whilst it is great and fun to purchase lots of new furniture, not everyone has the budget to buy lots of new furniture at once, so upcycling your older but loved items is a good way of making those items last a bit longer. For example, an old dining room chair can be reupholstered, and the colour of the chair can be completely changed. Wooden bedframes can also be repainted to give it a fresh newer look, any wooden items can be rejuvenated with a lick of paint.

Soft furnishings such as duvets and blankets can be tie-dyed as a way of adding a creative flair to older tired looking furnishings. This is also a fun activity to participate in if you have children.

Conside the use of neutral colour schemes

When redecorating a home which you don’t want to keep redecorating, it is a good idea to keep your colour schemes neutrals as neutral colours do not go in and out of fashion. Avoid using colours and patterns of current trends, it is easy to get caught up in fashion fads, but this will only lead to frequent redecorating and it could lead to you not wanting to own certain furniture for the time period that was previously expected. Lastly, look back in history of vintage styles which will give your home a timeless vintage look, which will never go out of fashion.

Invest in hardwearing flooring or good quality carpet

By hardwearing, it is meant that you choose flooring which is durable and isn’t likely to get marked, stained or damaged easily. Hard wood flooring tends to last for decades, however if you are looking for a cosier type of flooring carpet can be used, the quality of carpet can vary depending on the types of carpet that is purchased. A good quality carpet is usually costlier than its cheaper lower quality alternatives, however with carpets you do get what you pay for and an investment in a good quality carpet will make the carpet last for years.

Invest in products which help to keep the quality of your furnishings

Carpet cleaners and vacuum cleaners are essential items for keeping carpet in the best possible condition. If an item is looked after properly, this can help to extend its lifespan. If you have furniture which is made of fabric, for example a fabric material armchair it may be a good idea to put throws on top of the armchair in order to prevent wear and tear and any preventable damages.

If you have a leather sofa, then leather protector will work well to help protecting the sofa from any scuffs or stains.

5 Great Ideas to Modernise Your Living Room

Regardless of how many years you have been in your property, there may come a time when it’s ready for a revamp. Your living room should be the one area of the home where you can relax and destress after a busy day, so if it’s starting to look tired and outdated, it may be the perfect time to bring your living room into a more modern era. To give you inspiration, here are 5 great ideas that will modernise your living room.

Add More Windows

The majority of modern properties have numerous windows in the living area, which allows more natural light to pour in. There are several health benefits that you can gain from natural light as well, such as improving your sleep and boosting vitamin D. If your living room is feeling old and stuffy, but you don’t have the funds to add new windows, updating your window treatments can transform your space and make your living room feel alive. As you won’t need to turn the lights on as much, you will be able to save on your energy bills too.

Purchase New Furniture

If you have the funds to do so, buying new furniture for your living room is one of the best ways to modernise your space. Whether you purchase a new sofa, rug, or coffee table, buying items in a modern style will add a contemporary touch and bring your living room up to date. There is also lots of second-hand furniture that you can buy on platforms like eBay, many of which are as good as new.

Install a Fireplace

Whether you want extra warmth in your living room, or to boost its aesthetic appeal, installing a modern fireplace can be another great way to improve your living space. A contemporary gas fireplace may be best suited for you, especially as they provide more flexibility in regard to materials and design of a traditional wood burner. You can visit sites like stonewoods.co.uk where you will find gas fires that may be right for your living room.

Add Artwork

If your walls are looking a little bare, you may want to consider adding artwork that can make your living room look more appealing and pleasing on the eye. We all have different artistic tastes, so you should choose artwork that reflects your personality and style. You may even want to purchase a sculpture that can be a great talking point for guests.

A Lick of Paint

If you have wallpaper in your living room that has been in place for longer than you can imagine, stripping your walls and giving them a lick of paint can help modernise your space. It’s best to stick with neutral colours like white and beige, especially as they are trendy and popular with most homeowners.

Whether you’re on a strict budget or you can splash out, there are lots of tips and techniques that you can use to transform your living room and bring it up to date. If your plan is to put your home on the market, a modern living space will appeal to potential homebuyers.

 

Four Reasons to Upgrade Your Living Space This Year

Every property can become your dream home. It isn’t easy, but with the right design tips and tricks under your sleeve, you can improve its overall look and function. You can transform a space entirely so that your property’s value is exponentially improved, and your overall satisfaction is at its peak.

There are so many reasons to invest and upgrade your living space this year. Focus on the reason that applies most to your situation and start there and work your way through the rest of the list. Before you know it, you will have a beautifully designed and functioning home.

Heatwaves are Becoming More Common

For those of you who have either small, window-mounted air conditioning units or don’t have any AC at all, now is the time to invest in a proper HVAC system. Heatwaves are only going to become more common as the years go by and to stay healthy and productive throughout these periods you will need additional help in staying cool.

When looking for a new HVAC installation, always make sure that the company in question also provides maintenance and repair services, like this company which boasts the best AC repair Atlanta services to their customers. Choosing an installer who also provides maintenance and repair is imperative, especially if your HVAC system had to be custom designed for your property.

Upgrading Early Means Recouping the Costs Over Time

Anything to do with your home’s efficiency should be done ASAP from improving the installation to investing in new energy-efficient appliances. The reason why you don’t want to wait is that the savings they offer will help you recoup the money you have spent over time. By upgrading as early as possible, you will save more as the years go by, allowing you to not just recover the money you spent, but boost your home’s value as well.

Homes are Increasingly Becoming Multi-Generational

In the past homes held grandparents, parents, and children. They were multi-generational properties that carried legacies within them. Decades have gone by where this wasn’t the case, but we are slowly returning to these routes as the housing market gets increasingly expensive and young people are making the decision to stay at home instead of moving out on their own.

To facilitate this, upgrades are an absolute must. Think integrated storage solutions, improved energy efficiency, and even just a shower that can take everyone’s morning routines without running cold.

Your Dream Home is Built

Finally, it is time to forget about the dream house fantasy. You need to instead think of your dream house as a project. You don’t find the perfect property. You upgrade the one you have until it is perfect. This means updating the design or functionality. It means converting the attic space to a whole other floor or even expanding your home into your backyard for space instead of packing up and moving.

Invest the time and energy into the design and function, and you will have a home for a lifetime.