Monthly Archives: February 2015

Create Your Dream Garden With These Handy Tips.

Horticulture has been an enjoyable activity for centuries. It can be something that springs from a need to feed a growing family, or simply out of the joy of cultivating life and good nutrition. This article will shed some light on the horticulture process, and the many rewards it reaps.

When you mow your lawn, do not mow it close to the ground. By leaving your grass a little taller, you are allowing it to become stronger, as the roots grow stronger and deeper. If the grass is too short that will lead to shallow roots, which will cause a brown and dried-out lawn.

Coffee Grounds

TIP! Consider starting your plants in pots and then planting the seedlings in your garden. They are then more likely to survive and to become thriving, mature plants.

If you discover that your soil is very alkaline, take used coffee grounds and mix them thoroughly with your soil. Coffee grounds are an inexpensive way to increase the acid level in your soil. When you can eliminate excess alkaline from the soil, it makes what you are growing much healthier. This means your veggies will taste better, and your flowers will be more vibrant than ever.

Make a plan for your garden. This will assist you in recognizing your tiny plants when they start to pop up. In addition, some plants are so small you might forget you planted them once all your plants sprout. Planning stops these plants from getting lost in the crowd.

If you want to effectively weed out young plants, you can try “boiling” away the weeds. A pot full of boiling water is an effective herbicide, yet it is, chemically speaking, completely harmless. Douse the weeds with this pot, just avoid the nearby plants. Boiling water will actually hurt the roots, and it will prevent the weeds from growing.

TIP! Fight pests before you even plant, by getting your soil in shape. If your plants are healthy, they can more easily resist insects and disease.

To give them a boost, pour out any leftover water from steaming or boiling vegetables on the plants or soil around them. Used teabags or grounds from coffee are a great way to add acid to the soil. Chamomile tea is a good remedy against fungus.

Plant with autumn colors in mind. That doesn’t have to be it though. The brightest season of the year when it comes to foliage is fall. There are a number of trees that provide exuberant displays of color, such as Dogwood, Beech and Maple. Consider hydrangea, barberry and cotoneaster when considering purchasing a shrub.

As noted previously, people have enjoyed horticulture for many centuries. It used to be a way of subsistence. In modern times, however, horticulture is done for primarily three reasons: profit, pleasure or necessity. The stuff from this article can make your horticulture experience more enjoyable. Gardening is rewarding both for you and all those who see your creations.

TIP! For a garden that thrives, choose the right type of soil. What plants you desire determines what type of soil you need in your garden, and whether or not it needs to be amended.

Gearing up for the Oscars: Night of the Exploding Egos

Ugh. The Oscars. Self-congratulatory ego wank.

— Jason Jordan(@jasonjordan) February 23, 2013

Heh. In case you hadn’t heard, Hollywood’s annual spectacle of self-indulgence takes place Sunday evening. One thing observers of all political stripes can agree on: Tinseltown’s egotism is out of control.

Can’t wait to see who wins for Best Performance by a Bloated Ego. There are 245 up for it this year #Oscars

— Jay M (@candide37) February 23, 2013

I have a really unnatural hatred of the Oscars. Just a whole show of back-patting and self-love.

— Big Big Ben(@BigBigBen) February 23, 2013

Gah. And tomorrow is Smugsterbation Day aka Liberal Xmas aka Oscars.

— Lulu Lapin (@Lulu_Lapin) February 24, 2013

Yeah just self important people yacking At least that’s what we get RT @britt_w: I wish the Oscars coverage was actually about… the films.

— Amanda (@amandafclark) February 22, 2013

I gotta say, I hate award shows like the #oscars , a room full of people patting themselves in the back for deluded self-importance #barf

— Ian RGV (@IanFromTheRGV) February 24, 2013

There is no group more deserving of snark than the bloated, self-important, vacuous-minded Hollywood un-intelligentsia: Oscars, here I come

— Ben Whitney (@notsupergrover) February 23, 2013

I used to like the Oscars. Now all the excess/vanity seems a bit obscene.

— Laura R. McGee (@DeepSouthAKGirl) February 24, 2013

Writer David Edelstein sums up the cinema circus well:

These days, Oscar season is practically 365 days a year, but there is still plenty of time for other prizes, from the Golden Globes to the Emmys, Grammys, and even the featherbrained People’s and Critics’ Choice awards. Once you could be an indie maverick—but indie movies now have their own competitions, one of which takes place on the eve of the Academy Awards, allowing winners to console each other over Oscar snubs. Film festivals in cities large and small inject suspense with jury and audience ­prizes. By the time a winner stands at the Oscars podium, he or she might have given the same acceptance speech a dozen times. And it’s not just movies that have been transformed by competition. Can you imagine an Ed Sullivan–like variety show nowadays without a contest in which one performer is ultimately declared the tiptop X-factored idol?

Yes, to some degree, it has always been so. In ancient Greece, playwrights competed. Artists and composers competed for patrons. All works of art compete in the collective memory, with time the ultimate arbiter. Shakespeare lives, Henleyrood not so much. (I made up Henleyrood—he stands for the ones you’ve never heard of.)

But it has gotten way out of hand.

Well, here’s a thought:

Twitchy will have comprehensive coverage of the Night of the Exploding Egos. We watch and curate…so you don’t have to!


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Cooking Information You Can No Longer Live Without

There are dozens of different ways that you can improve your cooking. The following advice is going to provide you with advice that will help you to become one of the best cooks possible. Read on and take note of these tips so that you can cultivate your cooking prowess.

When you are making stir-fry dishes, make certain the meat is thinly sliced on the bias. This can take up much time and is also somewhat tricky. You should take the meat out when it reaches a firm state yet not frozen, and slice across the grain at an angle of 45 degrees.

When this happens, it’s still possible to salvage it. Mix two spoons of water and one spoon of corn starch in a bowl. Stir the mixture into a warm thin sauce to thicken it. For a sauce that’s too thick, add more liquid.

TIP! Make sure to keep your spices and herbs sealed in airtight containers, protected in a dark, cool place. Elements such as light and heat can cause your herbs to lose flavor quickly, resulting in less taste being added to your favorite dishes.

If you are cooking for an important event, it is a good idea to make a meal that you have made before. Avoid any new recipes or ones that rely on unfamiliar ingredients or techniques. This can lessen the stress of your cooking.

People mainly use plenty of apples in cooking during the winter and fall months, but if not stored properly they quickly go bad. Apples tend to rot in warm dry air, so tie them up loosely in plastic bags and store in a refrigerator or cool basement. One rotten apple will spoil the whole bunch, so check each one occasionally to see if you should throw any away.

Adding cauliflower to your mashed potatoes is a great way to reduce the amount of fat and calories they contain. You should use equal portions of potatoes and cauliflower when making this delicious side. Cauliflower has little taste of its own, so it will blend right into your potatoes and pick up flavors from whatever other ingredients you use. Cauliflower mixes easily with potatoes and will become hard to notice while reducing your intake of carbs.

TIP! If you have decided that you might like to cook more food at home, look for a great book that can help you. These books can be found in many places: the library, online or even a family member.

Fresh Ingredients

Use fresh ingredients instead of frozen or dried ones for your cooking for the best results. Fresh ingredients can really enhance the flavor of your meal, as well as be more economical to prepare.

Make your meal preparation go more quickly by preparing some of the ingredients ahead of time. Check the recipe you’re using to see if some preparation can be done without the partially prepared dish spoiling. Much of the preparations can be finished one day prior to cooking. This can make harder recipes easy, and complicated ones a fun, fast experience.

TIP! A good tip when cooking with oil is to put it on the sides of the pan so it’s already hot when it slides down into the food. This also maximizes the flavor of whatever you are cooking.

Garlic is just one of many tasty ingredients whose flavor has a downside; it transfers to your hands. After you have finished doing your prep work with the garlic, run your hands along the stainless steel interior of your sink. This process removes the odors from your hands and keeps you from transferring them to the next piece of food you work with.

When burgers and other foods become stuck to the grill grates, it can be hard to loosen them without damaging the food. Try brushing the grill using vegetable oil prior to cooking so you can avoid sticking.

When you want to add a bit of protein to your diet, tofu and beans are a great source of it. It is possible to buy both at most supermarkets. Tofu can be fried in a pan with just a few seasonings. It is a tasty and healthy meat alternative. Beans may be boiled with herbs for a delicious protein source.

TIP! Having knives that are very sharp is essential when cooking. Dull knives make cutting very difficult, and this makes them much more dangerous than sharp knives.

Measure the amount of cooking oil you use! To lower the fat you use when cooking, make sure to measure the oil you use as opposed to just pouring it straight into the pan. If you know exactly how much oil you’re using, you know exactly how much fat has been added.

Becoming a better cook will require you to take the time to learn more about this activity. As with any other skill, it will come naturally for some people, while others will need more practice and advice. If you follow the advice in this article, you will be that much closer to becoming that great cook that was always hiding inside.

How To Make A Delicious Creme Brulee

Not everyone knows how to cook, but everyone eats! The advice in this piece offers some great ways to prepare delicious food at home. Don’t let your kitchen, ingredients or recipes intimidate you. Cooking can be a very good skill to have. Take this advice to heart, and you will be enthusiastic about whipping up something special with greater regularity.

Store herbs and spices in an area that is cool and dark. Exposure to humidity, light and heat all affect the flavor of your spices. Ground spices, when stored correctly, can retain flavor for up to a year. Spices that come in the whole form will keep their flavor for around 3-5 years. If you store them the right way, they will be fresher.

Save yourself some time and stress by doing prep work a day ahead. This will simplify matters when you are cooking your meals. That way, when you’re ready to cook, it takes some of the stress out of it, especially if you have a deadline to meet. Prepare early to avoid later stress.

TIP! If you are seasoning meat, cook a little piece of it to test the seasoning before cooking it all. Certain foods require special care when seasoning.

If using oil in your cooking, pour it in the pan in an area away from the food. By the time the oil reaches the food it has been heated up and is ready to roll. Having the oil at the right temperature when you cook with it will make the flavors pop.

Boiling and other lengthy cooking processes remove some of the vital nutrients contained in vegetables. To retain their nutritional value, saute or steam them. Better yet, eat them raw.

For crispier French fries, put raw potatoes into cold water and let them sit there for about half an hour before frying. Allowing the sliced potatoes to soak up more cold fluids helps to reinforce the fibers that are in the vegetable, that way when they are deep fried, they are better able to stand up to the heat and won’t completely break down.

TIP! For healthier, lower-calorie mashed potatoes, add some cooked cauliflower to your tubers. Cauliflower does not have a strong taste and will be virtually undetectable when mixed with the potatoes and other ingredients.

It has a wide variety of cooking uses, even outside the combination with meat. Seasoned salt can be added to a variety of dishes and snacks, from popcorn and pumpkin seeds to scrambled eggs and vegetables. It will be hard for people to guess where the flavor is coming from!

You can prepare a lot prior to cooking to streamline your cooking process. Complete as many steps in advance as you can without risking spoilage. There are many recipes where you can do the prep work the day before you start cooking. This can make it even easier to cook complicated dishes and make them more enjoyable.

A super healthy, and tasty, veggie dish is simply sauteed veggies in some chicken broth. The broth adds flavor to them, while reducing oil that is usually used for sauteing. Do this and you will find that your vegetables are delicious and easy to prepare.

TIP! The quality of vegetables improves when cooked. If you cook your vegetables for a long period of time, they might not be as nutritious.

Baking Sheet

Before cooking pumpkins, cut them up and place them on a baking sheet flesh side up. On a baking sheet, put one of the halves face down. Use a different baking sheet for the other half. On both sheets put a tiny amount of water, then at a temperature of 350 degrees bake the pumpkin for about an hour.

There is no need to be afraid of cooking. Cooking is fun, helps you eat better and saves you money. Utilize the knowledge shared in this article on your next grocery shopping trip, in the cooking you do in your kitchen, and in the balanced meals you set on the dinner table for your family. Celebrate your accomplishment and stick with cooking at home!

TIP! By doing so, the mushrooms will absorb the water like a sponge. So, in order to clean them, wipe off each mushroom with a clean, wet cloth.

What Is The Difference In Air Conditioning Prices?

If you have been shopping for something to cool off your house, you will have noticed that there is a great deal of difference in air conditioning prices. While any air conditioner is going to be moderately expensive, not all of the low cost or all of the very high cost air conditioners are cost

To read more on this topic What Is The Difference In Air Conditioning Prices?

Need To Find Out About Hobbies? Read This

Do you want to add fun, relaxation or even contentment to your daily life? Then you’re definitely looking for a cool hobby. If you are searching for good hobby tips, then read on for different ways to get more out of the hobbies you love.

Reading is an excellent hobby. Reading is great because you are transported to different worlds. You can read just about anywhere, as long as you are in a quiet spot. Choose a genre you like and begin this hobby today.

TIP! If you want a great, relaxing hobby, try fishing. All you have to do is find a place to fish and fishing supplies.

If you want to relax, give fishing a try. You just need a quiet fishing hole and a few supplies. Keep it legal and always check whether fishing is allowed in a certain area, or you may need a permit. After you begin fishing, you are going to see how it can take you away from your busy day.

If you have a hobby that you’re going to use scissors for, be sure they’re cleaned off first. Wipe them after you are done using them to keep them clean. Soap and water are good enough to wash them. You should then dry them. If you have really sticky scissors, then nail polish remover can be used to get them really clean.

Talk to others who share similar interests as you. After all, not everybody is going to have the same interests as you. Meet new people who will share your passion. Join online forums or support groups offline made of people that love what you do.

TIP! For anyone looking to turn a hobby into a money-making business, first you will need a name. Your company name is a key part of your business.

It isn’t expensive to enjoy photography today. If you already have a digital camera and perhaps a tripod, you can get started already. Remember that you don’t have to be a great artist to take a great shot, and if you read a bit, you can turn into a good photographer.

Don’t allow your hobby to distract you from the more important things in life. Allow yourself the time to work, rest AND play. If your hobby is taking away from family time or other responsibilities, limit the time you spend on it.

If you have a hobby, search online to see the variety of content that exists regarding this pastime. If there aren’t a lot of sites, create one. You do your hobby because you love it, of course, but if a website about it can make you a little money, that’s more you have to spend on your passion.

TIP! Surfing can be fun if you want to get in the water. Get a used surfboard to begin with.

For people who live in certain areas, spelunking can be an option. You really need to know what you’re doing, though. A guide might be the safest way to go when it comes to exploring the deep, dark caves below.

Horseback riding is a great hobby if you like to be outdoors. You can explore trails that are off road and see animals and places that you would have not seen if not on horseback. Additionally, your horse can become a good friend and bring you much closer to nature.

Online gaming can be a fun hobby for lots of people. It’s too easy to lose a sense of reality when you enter online games these days. Gaming is a great way to inexpensively fill your time.

TIP! Check online to find how much information there is about the hobby you choose. If it is a specialized niche, you may be able to start a blog about it and dominate search engines with little effort.

Sewing as a hobby can be rewarding. When you begin sewing, it is possible to start making lots of decorative items such as pillow and drapes or even clothing. Many find that sewing is a great hobby idea.

Hobbies offer you a way to relieve your stress. It can also keep you from getting burnt out from your job. Therefore, after you have had a hard day, you need a fun hobby that you can look forward to coming home to. Pick a relaxing hobby you can enjoy.

Puzzle Board

TIP! If you love the outdoors, consider horseback riding. You can enjoy trails, deal with animals and be outside.

You can enjoy your large jigsaw puzzles without using your dining room table by purchasing a jigsaw puzzle board that’s foldable. The puzzle board can be kept out or hidden away in a closet when not in use. The board holds the pieces in place for you.

Think about being a sports fan. To maximize your experience, it pays to spend some time studying up on the sport or a favorite team. You’re also going to have to like watching the sport. This is a great way to meet up with other fans, and also a fun way to spend your time throughout the year.

Baking represents a hobby that entire families may enjoy. There are many things you can bake like breads, cupcakes, muffins, etc. There are many baked goods that can be used as a complete, nutritious meal.

TIP! One addicting hobby is shopping at garage sales and estate sales. Many interesting finds can be had an estate sale.

A gun safe should be purchased to increase safety if you are a hunter. That way, your shotguns and rifles are able to be securely stored so that kids and intruders cannot access them. You ought not be afraid to have guns in the house as long as they are kept safely.

Watch your money when you are getting into a hobby. It’s easy to get carried away when you’re enjoying yourself. Make sure you establish a budget so that you avoid spending too much. You need to support whatever it is you want to do.

Hobbies are great fun, and a nice way to fill some free time. There are virtually countless hobbies out there, and there’s something for everyone. Follow the tips presented here to maximize your hobby experience.

People Heard A Strange Sound Coming From The Sewer… And I Can’t Believe What They Found. What The?!

It was a normal day in China’s Guangxi province… that is, until people heard a strange sound coming from the sewer. It wasn’t a dog or a cat. It sounded much bigger. A rescue team was called in to check on the animal in distress down in the sewers. Something must have fallen down into a drainage area and wasn’t able to climb back out. To everyone’s surprise, when the firefighters opened up the grate, they saw something they didn’t expect.

The noises were odd. The creature wasn’t barking or whining.

That’s because it was mooing.

It was a cow.

The little cow was safely rescued and trotted away (presumably completely embarrassed).

Watch the rescue yourself in the video below.

The cow’s owner, Mr. Huang, said the calf ran away from his farm. It’s not completely unheard of for the animals to get stuck in drainage ditches or wells… but a sewer? Holy cow.

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Confused About Furniture? Top Tips On Furniture Buying And Care.

When you move into a new place, the first thing you get to do is furnish it. If you are downsizing, you may need to get rid of larger items in favor of smaller ones. Whatever the reason is for you needing new furniture, this article is going to teach you what to look for.

Make color choice a priority when looking for furniture. Bold colors might not be right for your decor. Buy furniture in colors that are neutral so you can keep the items if you decide to redecorate.

You need to give careful thought to any new piece of furniture that you wish to buy. You might be tempted to order a new sofa online, but it is best to go to a store so you can actually sit on the sofa instead of taking the risk to be disappointed once the sofa is delivered. You may not like the firmness or the way the material feels. Therefore, you should always purchase furniture only when you know it is going to suit you.

TIP! When you are purchasing older furniture, make sure to look on the under side of it to make sure that it is stable. Sometimes, the furniture appears to exhibit quality and a great condition, but often this isn’t the case.

Don’t think twice about haggling with someone selling furniture. The majority of furniture stores mark up their furniture significantly; by negotiating, you can get a discount as high as twenty percent. If this idea doesn’t appeal to you, see if someone you trust will accompany you to the store to help out.

Inquire about the spring system when purchasing a sofa. If the staff don’t know, find someone who does. Push on the couch to see if you’re able to feel springs and ensure they run front to back.

Any furniture you buy should be constructed from strong materials. You need to get the most from your money. The cost of furniture is high, so buy pieces that last. Metal and hard wood items will last over a long period of time so they are worthy of consideration.

TIP! When wooden furniture is what you seek, especially antiques, take your inspection deeper than the exterior surfaces. Check bottom to top, inside and out, including drawers.

Don’t buy all of your furniture at one time unless you must. It may be best to buy pieces individually so that this doesn’t break your budget. But, you can still acquire great furniture piece by piece as you budget allows, if you make wise choices.

Pay for your furniture immediately if you are using a credit card to avoid interest. If you don’t you will have to pay a big chunk of interest retroactively. Check out the fine print ahead of your purchase.

If you’re buying furnishings that you’ll sit or sleep on, find out if it’s comfortable. You are going to spend a third of your entire life in your bed and many hours on your couch. You need to make sure you are comfortable on your furniture, and you need to invest well.

TIP! Furniture is expensive a lot of times. Therefore, you should not neglect the possibility of used furniture.

Free furniture can sometimes be found in online classifieds. High quality pieces are often given away. Many people get rid of their old furniture when it just needs a little cleaning or a new finish. A bit of elbow grease could give you an amazing piece.

Try all the drawers on a piece before purchasing. If the item is of good quality, you will be able to tell. The door should not wiggle and should be even when you open or close it. When the fit is right, your furniture will last longer. Cheap furniture is not worth it in the long run.

The information presented here will assist you in making smart choices in furniture. These tips will help you find the pieces you need. Don’t rush when purchasing furniture. Shop slowly and be sure to get input from your entire household.

TIP! When buying home office furniture, search for items that can be used for several purposes. For instance, you can purchase an armoire to hold your printing supplies and printer.