The chef’s knife is the single most important tool in the kitchen. It is used in the creation of virtually every dish, from preparing meat to slicing freshly baked bread. Whether you decide to chop, slice or dice vegetables, it can make a noticeable difference to the flavor they add to a meal, and if your technique can have such a marked effect, then so can your tool of choice.
That is why getting the right kitchen knife is so important. When you are creating dishes, the knife is the connection between you and your food, carrying out your minds will on the ingredients on the table in front of you.
Up until recently, a high-quality knife was a costly expense and often the purveyor of only professional cooks, but advances in technology have driven prices down, and even the best knives are now well within the price range of the home chef – you can pick up a high-quality knife for under £40.
With so many different knives out there, buying the right one might seem like a daunting task. Here are four features to consider when purchasing the perfect kitchen knife for you.
A comfortable handle
The single most important factor in choosing a knife is that it has to be comfortable. A good knife will feel light and balanced and fit in your hand when you hold it in a proper pinch grip. Textured handles give more grip which is especially helpful if you like to wash your hands frequently while cooking.
The right weight and length
A heavier knife always used to be equated with quality, but you don’t want a knife that is so heavy you have to put in a real effort to fight against gravity every time you use it. Pick a knife that feels reasonably light in your hand and doesn’t make maneuvering tricky. The blade length is also important. If it is too short, you’ll be leaning into your work, and if it is too long, you’ll be too far away from it.
Make sure it is sharp
The sharper the knife, the better the cut. Part of that sharpness comes down to the blade material which we will come to a minute. Knives will naturally go blunt over time and while sharpening them used to be a costly task involving sending the item off to an expert, there are all kinds of tools on the market these days such as electric knife sharpeners listed by knifeista.com that allow you to do it from the comfort of your own kitchen.
Get the right blade
There are many different metals that are used in the blades of cooking knives. If you want to keep costs down, go for stainless steel which is the cheapest, but as a result, it requires regular sharpening. Carbon steel is more expensive but harder and doesn’t lose its sharpness as quickly while Damascus steel provides a mixture of both, having a carbon core surrounded by layers of stainless. There are also ceramic blades which are ten times harder than carbon, yet so much lighter. The downside to them? They are prone to chipping.
Designing your baby’s nursery is really exciting, especially when it comes to choosing all of the gorgeous furniture pieces that you’re going to include, and you want to make sure you do it right. It can be so easy to go crazy when it comes to the designing stages, buying every cute furniture item you see without really thinking about how practical or necessary it may be. The best thing to do is focus on the essential furniture pieces, and then you can add a few decorative touches to enhance the décor and create the perfect space for your little one.
Investing your money in the right places is important with your child’s nursery, as you want to know that the products you are purchasing are safe, reliable and durable. Starting with your baby’s cot, you need to find a design and style that works for you. There are lots of different cots available, from chic wooden designs with a slide down side, to chunkier designs that have a half-side to prevent your little one from escaping at any time. Look for your favourite design, with the right colour and style to suit the nursery décor to ensure you’re keeping to the décor style you want to achieve. Once you’ve decided on your cot, you can start to look at other items including a wardrobe to keep all of the little clothing hanging ready for use. Wardrobes are great for adding character to the room and maintaining the style that your cot has introduced. Try to keep the furniture pieces similar, whether that’s from the same range or using the same material to keep the décor within the nursery flowing smoothly.
Even though your baby is only going to have small clothes, you’d be surprised just how much room they take up. Investing in some simple storage items such as a chest of drawers and an oak blanket box will help you to keep the nursery clean and tidy, with everything stored away safely. Whether you decide to stock the chest of drawers up with essential nappy changing products, or your blanket box is actually used to keep the teddy bears neat and out of the way, these stylish furniture pieces will help to keep the nursery organised and fresh with no clutter.
Whilst these features may not necessarily be furniture pieces, they work hand in hand with furniture pieces to keep your little ones safe and content. One of the most important things to include in your baby’s nursery is a set of blinds or curtains. Once you put your little one down for a nap mid-afternoon, you want to know they have a dark space to snuggle down and sleep, and blinds or curtains are ideal for this. The last thing you want is the sunshine shining through and interrupting your little one’s nap. Similarly, you may want to look at including a colourful lightshade, a soft rug and a calming mobile to help them drift off to sleep peacefully.
Once you’ve chosen all of your essential furniture pieces, you can look at the traditional touches that most nurseries have today. From a talk oak bookcase with a selection of classic nursery rhymes and stories, to a delicate trinket box on the windowsill and some cute teddy bears sat in the corner, you can create a special space for your baby to grow up and enjoy.
Just because you’ve become parents, doesn’t mean your adventurous streak has diminished — do you find yourself reading your child a bedtime story about far-flung lands and the great outdoors, only to wish you could pack up your bags and leave as a family tomorrow?
A lot of parents would say that while your child is still toddling, that’s the best time to take them on the road; once they’re of the age to go to school, you’re limited to official vacation times, which can make traveling as a family more expensive. As such, you may be thinking about taking your toddler on a family adventure soon.
Why you should travel with your toddler
Little people benefit from travel in all the same ways that adults do; it’s great for their development to explore new places and take in new experiences, especially if you can expose them to cultures and languages they don’t encounter at home. Of course, it’s also advised to try and maintain some of their daily routine, especially if you’re trying to potty train or encourage a new behavior. Attempt to wake them at the same time every day, regardless of where you are on the road, and get them settled in bed at a reasonable time too.
What you’ll need to pack
You may be aghast to discover how much more luggage you’ll need when you’re packing for a toddler too — from toys to bath products and spare clothes, you’ll soon fill up the bags! If your little one is yet to be potty trained, make sure you’ve packed some swim diapers if you’re going anywhere with water. If you’re in the process of potty training, you’ll be relieved to learn there are lots of travel size models available, including fold-up and disposable potties. Check out a parent guide to see which one is best for you and your toddler.
Depending on your child’s temperament, you may decide that taking a road trip is preferential to flying with the family, as such you should look for an adventure that’s closer to your doorstep. If you do opt for a flight, check with your air carrier to see what their policy is on traveling with strollers. Either way, make sure you’ve packed a lot of patience — as well as toys and games to keep the little one entertained!
Do your research, and see what child-friendly activities will be available on your destination. Remember that toddlers will want to move around and be stimulated constantly, so if your ideal vacation involves a lot of relaxation you may need to make some sacrifices! If you’re seeking some peace and tranquility, manage your expectations and make sure you place your child’s favorite toy at the top of the ‘must pack’ list!
There’s no time like the present…
While your child is still too young for formal schooling, you’ve got the freedom to take longer trips, at a time in the year that works for you. So, as long as you plan ahead and pack your bags properly, there should be nothing stopping you traveling with your toddler.
Dogs make wonderful pets and companions, and each and every one of us has a favourite breed that we enjoy the most. For many people, bigger dogs make the best friends: the likes of German Shepherds and Labradors are wonderful family pets, but they do take a lot of looking after!
For others, it’s the smaller breeds that make more sense, especially in homes where there is limited space. Cute, miniature dogs are wonderful to have around the home, and who can resist the glorious cheeky face of a Miniature Schnauzer?
Friendly, charming and a great friend for everyone in the family, these little and lively dogs are a truly wonderful pet. The problem is this: what can you buy as a gift for your Miniature Schnauzer-owning friend? The answer is there are many gift ideas out there – you just have to look a little bit deeper for some ideas!
Let’s have a look at why these lovely dogs are a great choice, and what you can buy as a gift for your friend.
Some Great Gift Ideas
So, you’re looking for gifts for your Miniature Schnauzer-owner friend? There’s plenty of choice, and some very simple ideas among them too. You might think first of all of a photo frame, into which you can put a favourite photo of the dog; this one always goes down well, as pet owners do like to keep pictures of their pets.
Or perhaps you could choose from one of the many examples of fridge magnets – popular with lots of people – and we have seen some excellent miniature schnauzer versions! We also found mugs, a great and practical idea that will certainly be used, plus a great choice of small schnauzer toys for all ages. These are not expensive, are great fun, and will certainly bring a smile to your dog-owning friend’s face.
We found everything from wall plaques to cushions, clocks and calendars, and even keyrings and more small and inexpensive items that would make a great gift for your dog loving friends, and it’s worth looking for the most original ideas – and none of them will break the bank!
If you’re looking for a great tip for buying gifts, check out what your friend already has next time you are at their house. You might see they already have some of the things we have mentioned, so you can choose something different. There are plenty of original gift ideas for dog lovers out there, and you will be able to find something that costs very little and yet will be appreciated by your friend.
Check out the many ideas and reviews on the website we linked to and you’ll find some really great ideas, and all at sensible prices, plus plenty more that may interest your dog-owning friends. Your gift will be one that goes down very well, as everyone knows that for dog owners, the dog is the biggest thing in their life!
Cosmetics products are an absolutely massive industry raking in approximately $445 billion in sales. It’s made up of big brands, smaller indie companies, and everything in between – all of which are trying to convince consumers that their products are the best and most revolutionary.
The cosmetics industry encompasses not just makeup, but also skincare products such as lotions, creams, gels, powders – any of which can be applied to the skin. Now, here’s another interesting fact, according to the Healthy Skin Solutions website, these cosmetic products are the second largest contributing factor when it comes to acne in adult men and women? That’s right, those same products you’re using to perhaps cover up blemishes and acne could be the cause of it.
So, how can you ensure that you are picking cosmetic products that won’t cause more harm than good? Let’s take a closer look.
Do You Have Cosmetic Acne?
The first thing you will want to determine is if you have cosmetic acne. Cosmetic acne looks different than the traditional form of acne. It is made up of small bumps that are pink in color. They are usually found on the forehead, chin, and cheeks and looks more like a rash. They tend to pop up rather quickly and will remain until the product that is causing it is removed from your routine.
What Ingredients Cause Cosmetic Acne?
While people can have sensitivities to all kinds of ingredients, there are a few that are commonly known to cause cosmetic acne. They tend to be those that clog pores, which is the start of acne. The most common offenders include the following ingredients:
Lanolin – This is an oil you will find in various lotions and sunscreens. Unlike many other oils that are used, lanolin is able to penetrate the skin, which can cause it to clog up.
Also in the same category, meaning it is an oil that penetrates the skin, is isopropyl myristate. This particular oil is meant to help smooth out the skin and is often found in liquid foundations. This ingredient is also found in products meant to remove rust and clear out drains, which tells you just how potent it is.
Ideally, you want to be looking for products that are oil-free or are non-comedogenic. This means they won’t clog up your pores.
Red Dyes – Here’s another ingredient that can lead to your pores becoming clogged. These dyes are produced from coal tar, which often clogs pores. When shopping for blush, which is where you will often find this dye, opt for mineral-free powder or gel blushes.
Fragrance – Fragrances can most certainly lead to a reaction on your skin, so products should be fragrance-free.
Minerals – Another common ingredient in a wide variety of makeup products are minerals usually in the form of mica particles. These too can clog pores.
Being an Informed Consumer
By being aware of the ingredients that are known to cause skin issues and acne, you’ll be able to pick products that are much gentler and safer to your skin.
Some of the Most Famous People Who Call Hampstead Home
For many years, Hampstead Heath has been a magnet for the great and the good. Why not join them in London’s exclusive rural village?
North London is without doubt growing in popularity among young professionals as one by one, districts that were once run down, receive the money and attention of developers. Yet while areas such as Finsbury Park, Dalston and Shoreditch have redefined themselves, there are some locations that have always been near the top of the list for property hunters in North London.
Ask any Hampstead estate agents and they will tell you that this is an area that sells itself. The ancient high street with its regular market, the exclusive properties and, of course, the beautiful rugged heath with its uninterrupted views across the city, just four miles to the south. Hampstead has it all – no wonder it is has been the home of choice for so many famous people over the years. Here are just a few of the people you might bump into when taking a weekend stroll on Hampstead Heath.
John Le Carré
The author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, along with numerous other works of spy fiction is well-known for his love of Cornwall, and owns a mile of cliff close to Land’s End. But his main residence is in Hampstead, and if you spend some time in the Kenwood House café or the Wells pub, keep a look out for a distinguished-looking gentleman in his 80s.
When Gervais moved into his £10 million home in 2016, the press arrived en masse to witness the wealth of home gym equipment that came with him. But the comedian’s favourite way of keeping fit is with a weekend amble on Hampstead Heath. Perhaps it makes him feel less guilty about those Sunday roasts at the Angel Inn in nearby Highgate, where he and his partner Jane Fallon are regular customers.
One of the most highly acclaimed directors of the late 20th century, Ridley Scott turned 80 last year, but still divides his time between London, Los Angeles and Paris. He has owned his Hampstead home for almost 30 years, and his daughter, Jordan Scott, attended South Hampstead High School in the 1990s.
The French football legend bought his £10 million Highgate home at the height of his prowess in 2001 with model Nicole Merry, two years before they tied the knot. It is fair to say that his love affair with Hampstead lasted longer than his marriage, and today, you might see him strolling the village with the new lady in his life, Bosnian model Andrea Rajačić.
The Culture Club frontman was one of the most recognisable characters in pop in the 1980s, and cuts a similarly unmistakable figure in the quiet streets of Hampstead. His singing career might have tailed off, but he still manages to grab the headlines. In 2013, he caused controversy by seeking to build a glazed extension on his grade two-listed mansion that overlooks Hampstead Heath. The local council rejected the application, saying it would be detrimental to the character and historical interest of the building.
Adopting is not only a great way to give a pet in need a second chance, it’s also the only way many families can get a new pet when they can’t afford to buy a pedigree puppy. While adopting a pet can be a great thing, it’s also a big commitment. You also have to understand that adopting a dog is not exactly like buying a dog and raising it and you’ll have to make some adjustments. Here are some of the things you’ll have to take into consideration before you adopt a pet.
If you’re going to adopt a pup, you have to know how big it’ll be once it grows to adulthood. Big dogs need more space, and this could be a recipe for disaster if you live in a small apartment or you don’t have sufficient yard space. If you have limited space, go for a smaller dog breed that does well in secluded areas, like a Basenji or a Bichon Frise.
Be Prepared to Commit
You also have to be prepared to make a commitment to this dog who, in many cases, may have been neglected in the past. They might be difficult at first, but you have to take the time to let them adapt to their new environment. This could be a great time to retrain them if they haven’t been trained properly or at all. Sites like ourpetspot.com can teach you several training techniques you can use on adopted dogs that will work fast on any type of dog.
Check if Your Neighborhood is Dog-Friendly
Not only does your house have to be dog-friendly, but your neighborhood as well. If you don’t live in a neighborhood with plenty of green space for your dog to exercise, you might end up with a very sad puppy on your hands. Make sure you also understand the laws in your area; certain breeds might not be allowed or there might be some important municipal laws that you should be aware of.
You should also check which types of dogs are in the neighborhood; you don’t want to have to go to war every time you go to the dog park. You should also make sure that you’re close to a vet clinic in case of emergency.
Make Sure You Pick a Dog that Fits Your Lifestyle
You should never pick a dog that can’t keep up with you or you can’t up with. If you have a low energy lifestyle, then you might have issues with your dog. He might grow restless, destructive or develop behavioral issues.
You might also get disappointed if the dog you pick doesn’t enjoy the great outdoors as much as you do if you were looking for a partner for your morning jogs. Make sure that you do your research and ask about the dog’s temperament before you pick one.
Adopting a dog is one of the best gifts you can make to a pet in need. But it’s also a huge responsibility, so make sure that you know exactly what you’re signing up for before you make a decision.
You might have a part-time job by choice or out of circumstance, but either way you can still make things work if you are a single parent. Those who are high income earners might get to go on expensive yearly vacations, but the other 51 weeks of the year they will be missing their family. Read the job descriptions website to find positions that won’t limit your time with your family and will still pay you handsomely. A part-time income can be plenty enough to care for your family if you follow these five helpful tips.
- Live Off the Land
Just by growing a few staple vegetables, like tomatoes, lettuce, and cabbage, you could save hundreds on your grocery bills. If you have space in your backyard to erect a chicken coop, you could completely eliminate the need to purchase eggs. Some families have gone as far as raising their own cattle and planting full sized gardens so that they can live in a more cost-effective manner.
- Start a Family Based Business
Do you and your family make beaded jewelry for fun? Have you received oodles of compliments every time you bring your apple pie to work based events? Consider creating a family based business that can help you to pay the bills while getting in some extra quality time with your kids simultaneously. Chances are that your kids would love to help and having the chance to contribute would make them feel quite proud of their efforts.
- Cut Out All the Extras
If you pay for basic cable you could spend more than $1,200 a year on in-home entertainment. Ordering pizza for dinner once a week can add up to another $1,000 a year wasted. Monthly car payments are another splurge that your family can avoid if you elect to walk, use public transportation, or ride a bike to local places. There are also car sharing services available for longer trips that can be way more cost-effective than buying and maintaining a vehicle year after year. Parents who believe that being there for their kids is more important than working full-time have to find other ways to decrease their family’s living expenses.
- Share Your Home with Another Single Parent
It might not be reasonable for you to invite a single, childless roommate in your home if you have children, but sharing a space with another single parent can help both of your families to flourish. You would have to spend less money on babysitting services and you and your single parent roommate could take turns cooking dinner and cleaning. As long as you both have similar lifestyles, you might find that your new roommate becomes like another member of your family.
- Coupon Constantly
Whether it’s time for back to school shopping or you’re getting ready to embark on your weekly grocery shopping trip, there’s literally a coupon for everything available nowadays. Want to rent a new movie over the weekend? Look for a coupon that will make your family’s entertainment choices cheaper, or perhaps even free. Cut the cost that you pay for shampoo, on afterschool snacks, and for every other tangible good that you and your family regularly enjoy.
Remember that families make up communities. Moreover, involvement in your community will make you feel even more capable of raising your family on limited funds. Attend local activities where you can find other like-minded parents and your income can go even further.
As a parent, it’s up to you to teach your child important skills that will help them to be successful in life. In today’s digital age, one of those skills they absolutely must learn to master is how to use the Internet. And it’s not just about how to perform searches and find funny videos, it’s about teaching them how to use the Internet in a safe and responsible manner. They also need to be able to identify which sites and what content is trustworthy.
So where do you begin in teaching your child how to use the Internet? At what age should you introduce them to the Internet? Should you give them free rein of it? Here are some tips and advice that should make the teaching process as smooth as possible.
Introduce Them to the Internet at a Young Age
Because society is so heavily reliant on digital tools such as the Internet, the fact is that your kids will need to know how to use it. With that in mind, it’s best to introduce them to it at a fairly young age. That doesn’t mean you hand them a tablet and walk away, instead the experience can begin more as a mentoring type of relationship.
You can be the one who is actually using the Internet but have them watch what you are doing. You can perform searches for content that relates to their age group and would be interesting to them. Take for example a toddler, you can be showing them educational content online, including videos and games. They aren’t going to understand the “Internet” or how you are making these things appear on the screen, but it does act as an introduction that there is this tool that can be used to find information.
If your child is a little older, perhaps just entering school, then it can be used for more age appropriate content. After watching you perform searches and navigation exercises, you can let them give it a go.
Discuss Online Safety
Once kids are old enough that they are showing interest in the Internet on their own, meaning they know the basics so they could technically find their way around, then it’s time to discuss Internet safety. There are some basic rules you can teach them, which are:
- If you come across a site that seems inappropriate, turn off the screen immediately and tell an adult.
- Don’t click on links to outside pages.
- Learn to question content you read and look for reliable websites and sources.
- Everything that is posted online is permanent so give thought to what you post.
- Don’t chat with people you don’t know, and don’t respond to emails if you don’t know the person.
Find that Middle Ground
While it’s certainly important to be aware of your child’s online activities, it’s also okay to give them a bit of independence. Let them explore and get creative. The Internet can be a great source of fun and entertainment, such as the Rage Maker site which allows users to create their very own memes, which is the big trend nowadays.
Preparing and Educating Your Kids in a Fun and Engaging Way
Teaching your kids how to use the Internet is a reality of today’s times, so doing so in a way that is safe, fun, and engaging is always the best plan.
Infertility has become more and more common problem among couples all over the world. It is estimated that even one out of every five couples cannot conceive within a year of trying. In Vitro Fertilization is the most effective method of infertility treatment, yet it is also most expensive one. Especially in the Western countries the costs of even one cycle of the procedure can be far too high for an average couple. What to do when the treatment seems to be your only option? Here is how to reduce the costs of IVF.
Costs of IVF
In Vitro Fertilization is a procedure in which the egg cell obtained from woman’s body is combined with sperm cells in laboratory conditions. It is usually preceded with diagnosis, tests, preparation involving premedication and hormonally stimulated ovulation as well as actual collection of cells. The cells are genetically tested both before and after fertilization. After that the laboratory specialists conduct further examination of resulting embryos, later transferred to woman’s uterus or cryopreserved. The doctors monitor results throughout the whole process and at the end verify whether the pregnancy occurred. It is visible that In Vitro Fertilization is a complex procedure requiring high precision, much effort and scrutiny. It needs to be performed in well-equipped laboratory by experienced specialists. Therefore the financial value of the service is advanced hence the high price. What needs to be taken into consideration when estimating cost of the procedure is the total price of comprehensive treatment including tests, medications and control visits and unfortunately you ought to prepare to pay a lot. However the total cost that needs to be paid for the full procedure vary significantly from clinic to clinic and, what’s more important, from country to country.
Thankfully there is a possibility to find clinics in other locations that offer high-quality procedures of IVF treatment for prices few times lower than in Western countries. For those couples who are willing to travel for the IVF and combine the treatment with well-deserved vacation there are number of destinations available. The most popular countries that are visited in order to undergo In Vitro Fertilization are Cyprus, Greece, Czech Republic, Poland or Spain. For example the Polish clinics are chosen by the growing number of couples from Germany, England, Russia, Scandinavia, Australia and USA. The extremely low costs comparing to their countries of origin are not the only incentive to visit Poland for IVF. Polish facilities offer high quality of procedures and care exceeding European standards and very high success rates. Number one Polish IVF clinics INVICTA can successfully compete with best Western facilities in cutting-edge procedures with even higher efficacy and all of in for just a fraction of the price (to find out more visit hinvictaclinics.com/ivf-abroad/).
How to choose the clinic?
The low cost of the treatment cannot be the only thing we look into when deciding on a clinic for In Vitro Fertilization. It is possible to find a place with very low prices but with not necessarily good quality or without satisfactory success rates. Also there are facilities that can hide some costs of treatment and for example advertise with just the cost of fertilization without collection of cells or transfer of embryo. The hidden costs may be the medication, the tests or there is another fee that need to be pay for any other service required for the success of IVF. Therefore it is important to choose the clinic with transparent data on total costs of comprehensive treatment. Also some facilities offer all inclusive programs in which you pay one, usually discount price for having the whole treatment in the clinic. Also you need to seek the centre of a high reputation with necessary certificates and healthcare standards as well as with established high efficacy rates. With those taken into account you are able to find the facility performing top-quality procedures of infertility treatment with best chances of success for the price that is more than affordable.