Home Improvement Info
One of my favorite things to do is cook myself a delicious meal. I have been cooking on my own since I was about ten years old. I could pretty much cook anything up without a problem. However, there was always one thing that I had trouble with. I always seemed to break the yolk when I made eggs over easy. It took me a long time, but I eventually figured out how to avoid this problem. In this article I will attempt to explain to you how to make over easy eggs without breaking the yolk, based on what I’ve figured out over the years.
Putting the eggs on the pan
There are two times during the process of cooking over easy eggs that the yolk is at the highest risk of breaking. One of those times is when you first put the eggs on the pan. A lot of times the pan will already be warm at this point. If it is too hot, this heat can actually cause the yolk to puncture. I always remove the pan from the heat before adding an egg. It is also vital that you are extra careful when cracking the egg and putting it in the pan.
The other time that the yolk is at high risk for breaking, is when you flip each egg. You need to be very careful and gentle when flipping. I like to remove the pan from the heat at this point as well. If you flip the egg and the yolk hits the pan when it is too hot, it will likely break open.
I mentioned a few times that during the cooking process it is wise to remove the pan from the heat temporarily. It is also very important to control the temperature while the pan is on the heat. You shouldn’t have the heat any higher than medium. You also don’t want to keep the eggs cooking for too long on either side. These things can lead to an over cooked yolk, which is just as bad as breaking the yolk during cooking.
I’m looking to build a compost bin out of re-purposed materials for my ‘country’ backyard gardening beds. Unlike my urban garden, where I have a commercially produced plastic model, I’m not concerned about it’s aesthetic appeal. It simply needs to work, and since my budget is $0, it needs to be free.
Build A Compost Bin From Old shipping pallets
Many neighborhood businesses and hardware stores have a selection of wooden pallets out back. However, before I go acquiring willy-nilly, I ask. Some shippers charge retail shops a rental fee for the pallet use, between $5-8 each. If a small store is losing pallets overnight to scavengers, that loss can add up. For the bin I’m planning on building, I need three pallets, four if I decide to make a front gate. I started by prepping the area by pulling weeds, then grading out the soil to lay a patio of reclaimed brick to rest the bin on. Then, I simply fastened the three pallets at the rear and sides with a combination of ‘L’ brackets, wood screws, and old clothes line rope. Easy as can be, and the bin is ready to create compost.
Free, Re-Purposed Plastic Storage Bins
There are, of course, other great ways to make compost for free. A re-purposed plastic storage bin works well for those with small garden plots. Use one of the 20 gallon plastic variety, and drill holes through out, including the bottom and lid, for air circulation. The compost mix is always the same, with 1/2 brown and 1/2 green. Keep this unit raised from the ground at least a couple of inches to aid drainage and air flow, and then turn as usual.
Backyard Gardening With Contractor’s Waste Bags
The suggestions for free compost bins are getting simpler, yes? Using heavy contractor’s waste bags can be perfect for the apartment dweller with a terrace that’s too small for the plastic storage tub. Use contractor bags not only for durability and strength, but for effeciency as well. The black plastic will super-heat the mix and there will be black gold in the bag before long. To turn the mix, simply lift, roll, and shake.
Direct Composting ‘How To’
The simplest form of composting there is, and nearly worry-free. Before planting a garden, dig at least 6″ below the soil and place the uncomposted material directly in the garden beds where the veggies will go in two weeks or so. This gives the material time to break down and be ready for any plants, but if the need for speed over takes patience, add some dry yeast to the deposit and water well. If the plants are already in, simply bury the material around them, again at least 6″ below the surface, to deter animals from digging up a free meal.
Paint is the finishing touch on creating the perfect home that combines both practicality and personal expression, and it can be the perfect Do-It-Yourself project with the proper planning. Whether your objective is a full house paint job or a smaller single room focused project, there is a correct paint for you.
Now let’s get down to a breakdown of the ever expansive world of paint that will make your DIY paint project look like a professional job!
Latex Paint vs. Oil Based Paint
For most DIY projects, latex paint is the best choice for several reasons. Latex paint is both thinner and easier to use than Oil Based paint. It also saves tons of time and money because it dries quickly, primer is most times not required, and it can be found at a lower price. Lastly, latex paints are not toxic and are less brittle than Oil based paints, making hazards to the family from fallen paint chips less likely.
Flat vs. Semi-Gloss vs. High Gloss Finish
If you’re looking for the lowest cost option on the market, Flat paint is the choice for you. It is totally shine free and available on a budget, however, this finish shows all marks, grease, and stains that make contact with it. Stick to selecting flat paint for ceilings or other low-traffic areas of the home.
Semi-Gloss paint can be more expensive, however, is useful for long-term wear and tear in rooms like the playroom, hallways, and living room because of the protective sheen of the paint. Most dirt and grease wipe up easily off of this surface because of the shiny finish.
High-Gloss paint provides the greatest shine on your surface. High-Gloss paint is the perfect choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and other high-humidity rooms since moisture and dirt that collects on the walls wipes off extremely easily and it takes a long time to permanently damage the surface from this grime.
Some other popular finishes include Eggshell and Satin.
Indoor vs. Outdoors
Indoor paint differs from outdoor paint in several areas that are important to consider including durability in extreme weather conditions and overall stain-resistance. However, most importantly, outdoor paint contains materials that are not approved for indoor use because of their discharge of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), which are emitted for up to 30 days after application and can affect those with sensitivities while breathing such as children or pregnant women.
A few years ago, a friend and I painted the entire interior of my house. It was an eye-opening experience to me about what kinds of interior paint there are and what works best for new walls, old walls, for trim, and more.
If you get headaches from painting, chances are you are feeling the affect of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) that are reacting in your home environment. Those are the chemicals that make paint smell. There are more of them in oil-based paints, so if you are sensitive, choose a low VOC paint, or at least choose water-based enamel paint that cleans up faster, in cool water, and the smell goes away faster. I do not recommend oil-based paints for interior use, for that reason.
Latex paints come in a variety of finishes: Flat enamel, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and glossy. My preference is for the flat enamel. It is washable. I prefer it because it shows flaws less than finishes that go up the shininess scale. In the glossy category, every stray cat hair, patch job, or other flaws will show as if they have a spotlight on them. If your house is new, and has few to no flaws, and you like glossy, go for it. The only other caution about glossy, as far as my experience goes, is that the greater the sheen, the more glare. If you are light sensitive, don’t go for that type of finish.
Depending on how much traffic your bathroom gets, and if your bathroom is prone to mold, you may choose a special mold inhibiting bathroom paint. Your paint specialist at the home building or paint store can discuss this with you. I used flat enamel for the bathrooms and have had no problems with mold or peeling paint. You can choose a semi-gloss for your kitchen, if you and others are messy and spatter on the walls, but if you are neat, you can use flat enamel there, too.
For trim, no matter what color you choose, you need to choose a semi-gloss or glossy finish. These are more durable than flat enamel, and the glossy look makes the trim paint easier to clean. Trim should not blend in with the walls, so semi glossy or glossy is what you want, and in a color that contrasts with your wall color. White is standard, and it always looks good. I love the white trim I have around my doors and windows, the white baseboards, as well as for the chair rail in the living room and dining room. It looks crisp and clean, and it accentuates the wall colors.
One last tip: painting should really be done about every ten years because paint does eventually fade and lose its good looks. Happy redecorating, everyone!
As winter approaches it is important to take some time to think about preparing for a snowstorm. By having the necessary supplies and with some proper planning, you will have fewer worries when a snowstorm does happen. Preparing for a snowstorm is easy. You just need to take the time to get things ready. Here are some things you can do to properly prepare for the next snowstorm to come your way.
According to FEMA having an emergency kit is one step in preparing for a snowstorm. An emergency kit should include essential items like a snow shovel and other items for the purpose of snow removal such as a snow blower. If you home has a fireplace or wood burning stove, keep an ample supply of seasoned firewood in a dry place. Rock salt should be kept on hand to keep walkways free of ice. You should also consider having sand in your emergency kit for maintaining traction.
You should also have a family communication plan when preparing for a snowstorm. Having a communication plan is essential so that each family member knows what to do in the event of an emergency. A family communication plan should include things like meeting places. Include a plan on how you will contact each other if you family becomes separated. By having a communication plan in place you will be able to reunite quicker if your family does become separated.
Another important thing to do when preparing for a snowstorm is to have a supply kit ready. According to the Red Cross some items to include is a three day supply of one gallon per person per day, a three day supply of non-perishable food, a hand crank radio, first aid kit, a seven day supply of all family member’s medications, copies of important personal documents such as passports, birth certificates, and insurance policies, extra cash, pet supplies, and family and emergency contact information. You should also include any other essential items specific to your family’s needs.
There are a few other general things you can do to prepare for a snowstorm. One thing to consider is keeping your gas tank full to prevent the fuel like from freezing, insulate windows and doors, and maintain your fireplaces and furnaces. Simple things like this will help you to be more prepared in the event of a snowstorm.
Preparing for a snowstorm is very important. When a snowstorm occurs chances are you may lose electricity or could be unable to leave your home for an extended period of time. By planning ahead of time you will be sure to have an ample supply of the things your family needs to get through more comfortably and safely.
Some people change their toilet handle because their current one has broken, while others change it because the current handle doesn’t match their faucet and shower handles. Whatever your reason for changing your toilet handle, there are a couple of things to know which can make the job easier.
Removing the Old Handle
You may have tried removing a toilet handle and noticed the nut seemed to get tighter, not looser. It’s not just your imagination – it probably did happen. That’s because a toilet handle has a left-handed thread. Most threads are right-handed and tighten with a clockwise turn. This means that to remove a toilet handle nut, you have to turn it clockwise to loosen, not counterclockwise. A pair of small pliers may be required, as there is usually not room in the area of the handle.
Installing the New Handle
As with the old handle, the new handle will most likely have a left-handed thread. The nut will need to be turned counterclockwise to tighten. Snug the nut with a pair of small pliers, but don’t over tighten it. The handle won’t work properly if it is over tightened.
We recently remodeled our 27-year old kitchen, with terrific results. There are many things I wish I had known going into this project that would have made the process easier. Let’s talk about preparation. Good prep can make the difference between getting through the project comfortably versus feeling constantly tense and cranky.
Here are five specific ways to reduce the stress of your kitchen remodel by being prepared.
Get ready to store huge boxes containing cabinets and accessories.
We put a few items in the garage, but most of the huge boxes were stowed in our dining room and living room for more than a month. The idea is to store wooden cabinets inside the house so they can “acclimate” to the temperature, humidity, etc. To make room, we removed some furniture and re-arranged the rest. Then we put down tarps as a surface to protect the carpet.
Plan for at least one month and probably two without a kitchen.
If you are doing a full kitchen renovation with new cabinets, counters, floor, and the whole nine yards, it will not be over in a flash! Your plan will work better and your mood will be better if you face up to that right up front. You need temporary arrangements that are good enough to support you for up to two months. (If it is a bit less, enjoy the pleasant surprise.)
Set up your temporary kitchen before the demo begins.
Everything will go better if you get your cats, dogs, and children used to being fed in a new location at least a few days in advance. As you unload your old kitchen, set aside those absolute musts you need for the temporary kitchen–paper plates and plastic utensils, an electric kettle, peanut butter and crackers, paper towels and napkins, and other non-perishable snacks. A small microwave is a must. And if you possibly can swing it, have your contractor allow you access to your refrigerator throughout the project as ours did. A minifridge is great if available.
Prepare to keep small children and pets out of the work zone.
We bought a 4′ x 8′ sheet of heavy vinyl lattice designed for use on decks (cost $29) and wrapped it around the bottom of the steps. We secured it by wedging heavy boxes against the ends. This humble solution worked beautifully to deter our three cats from venturing too far. This barrier was needed even when the workers were gone for the night. Power tools, boards, sawdust, stray nails, and more did not make for a safe environment. We did not figure all this out until about a week into the project; have yours ready in advance.
If you have a garage or porch, free up space for the contractor to store tools and equipment and to set up a workbench.
The kitchen remodel is a big production. The work team needs space to make it happen. If you live in an urban apartment, you will have a bigger challenge finding that work space, so talk to your contractor about it in advance.
The bottom line about preparation for a kitchen remodel is this: it will definitely go more smoothly if you are ready.
If your daughter’s twin bed does not have a headboard, do not spend money on a typical wooden or metal frame. They can be quite costly, some are dated, and they are completely unnecessary. Add style and color to her bedroom with homemade alternatives. Consider these four easy DIY headboards for girls, and give her something unique instead of typical furnishings. They will cost less than the cheapest ready-made options for beds.
Make a Vibrant Wall-Mounted Pool Noodle Headboard
Pool noodles are good for more than just floating around in a swimming pool on a hot summer day. They are colorful lightweight tubes that can be used to make a wall-mounted headboard that would be perfect for girls. When designing a twin pool noodle headboard, place the twin bed about a foot away from the wall. With help from an extra pair of hands, figure out how many you will need. Place them even across the bottom, and create a curved top using a sharp pair of utility scissors.
Wind Faux Flowering Vines around Lattice Panels
Lattice panels make wonderful bedroom decor for girls. To turn them into twin headboards, cut them to the appropriate length and width using a handsaw or a circular saw. Paint or stain them to coordinate with the other colors in the bedroom. Glue blocks of wood to the back to create approximately three inches of space in between the lattice boards and the wall. Attach the panels to the wall using small L brackets and wood screws. Weave faux flowering vines throughout the panels to finish the headboards.
Hang a White Picket Fence over Floral Wall Decals
A section of white picket fencing makes a fantastic headboard for a twin bed. Add color and beauty with floral wall decals. Consider adding peel-and-stick sunflowers or other blooms that will show between the slats. Consider tree and bird decals as well. They can be found online and in local craft and home improvement stores.
Use Console of the Appropriate Height
When a bedroom for girls is small and lacks storage space, a console with drawers makes a fantastic headboard. Keep in mind that it must be high enough for the drawers to open. Use the top to hold plush pets and/or books and an adjustable reading lamp. The area beneath the console can also be used for hidden storage. Use plastic containers with lids to store off-season clothing, seldom used toys, collectibles and more. No matter which DIY twin headboard you choose, your girls will love their new bedroom decor.
Source: Professional Home Decorating and Advanced Crafting Experience
You are enjoying the cool environment of your Sacramento home and all of a sudden the air conditioning system stops working. The unit is hot and does not want to start again. In this case, you will need Sacramento air conditioning repair. The important thing is not to get all fussy and frustrated but to take the right action. There are two main ways in which you can fix the problem. The first option is to take your toolbox out of the garage and try to repair the system yourself. The second option is to call a professional service to fix the issue for you. Consider a comparison between the two options to see which one is better. Professional Services vs. DIY Repairs
Professional Sacramento air conditioning repair
Immediate response – An operator will take your call right away and appointment will be arranged instantly. No time will be wasted.
Fast service – You can expect the technicians to come to your home in hours and not in days. They will identify the problem quickly and start working on fixing it right away.
Reliable results – Your AC system will be as good as new in a matter of minutes or a few hours. It will operate flawlessly and you will enjoy a cool home environment once again.
Perfect safety – There is no risk of injury for you or your family members and pets when the professionals are on the job.
No mess – The technicians will clean the entire work area and leave it as found after completing their task.
Short term and long term savings – When you get professional Sacramento air conditioning repair, your system will be operating perfectly for years to come. You will not have to invest money in further repairs or replacement.
DIY Sacramento air conditioning repair
You can start working right away – If you have technical skills, the owner’s manual and a set of appropriate tools plus the opportunity to buy spare parts, you will not have to wait even a minute for the repair work to begin. This is a great advantage, especially on a hot summer day.
You will not pay for a professional service – That way, you can generate some savings.
Considerable injury risk – You can get hurt while working on the AC system. Your family may be at risk as well if you miss to cut the power supply to the system.
Risk of further AC damage – If you are not particularly skillful or you make an error, you can cause even more damage to the system and be forced to put up with a hot home environment for longer.
Possibly higher cost – If you cause further damage to the system, this can increase the repair costs and even make a costly system replacement mandatory.
Possible damage to other systems and structures – You can easily cause damage to other fixtures and fittings and even to the other home systems if you are not careful.
Possible time waste – If you spend too much time repairing the AC system, the indoor environment can become unbearable for your loved ones.
As you can see, the benefits of professional Sacramento air conditioning repair outweigh the benefits of DIY repairs by far. The professional service has virtually no flaws while the DIY option poses serious risk to your health, home and pocket. You should definitely go for a professional service. You just need to know how to find it.
Sacramento Air Conditioning Repair Service Requirements
You need to hire a professional service which covers the part of Sacramento where you live. This is really important if you want to get your AC system repaired on time. It is essential for the service to be licensed and to have both indemnity insurance and public liability insurance. You can readily find out more about the quality of a service by looking at its reviews from customers.
The professional Sacramento air conditioning repair service should include the repair work and the spare parts. That way, you will get faster and perfectly reliable results. It is best if the provider offers AC maintenance as well. If you use such a service, you can save lots of money in the long term.
You have to ensure that the technicians have professional certification and license to work in California. They should have perfect technical skills and experience in working with AC systems like yours. You should check the guarantee on the service provided and make sure that it is comprehensive and reliable. The customer reviews will help you get an idea about the service quality as well.
The Sacramento air conditioning repair service that you hire should be affordably priced. The lower the rates are the better. Check what is included in the quoted price and confirm that there will be no unexpected extra costs.
Tips for Best Repair Results
Consider some practical advice on how to make full use of the professional AC repair service in Sacramento:
Turn the system off and disconnect it from the electrical grid of your home. This will prevent further damage and ensure the safety of everyone in the house.
Keep kids and pets away from the unit. This essential if the system has got too hot.
Call the AC repair service right away.
Use fans or other means for keeping your house cooler. That way, you will not be forced to use the AC system’s full capacity right after it gets repaired and ensure its smooth operation.
Sign up with the service to get your AC system regularly checked and maintained to prevent future damage and the associated repair costs.
Now you know how to select the best Sacramento air conditioning repair service and make the most out of it. You will enjoy a cool home environment in the summer for many years to come and save money too.