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Tips for Renovating Your Kitchen

kitchen-renovationThinking of revamping a rustic kitchen? Here are 7 tips to modernize it.

Your old oak kitchen is totally outdated and you do not want to undertake heavy work to change it? Follow this guide for an express makeover. Do you see your 80s oak kitchen? It is time to react!

The kitchen is a living space for the whole family and it is important to feel good there. But rest assured, no need to invest a colossal amount to change it! Indeed, all you need is a good coat of paint to give a new life to your rustic kitchen, all at a lower cost!

How to revamp a rustic oak kitchen? How to transform a rustic kitchen into a modern kitchen? How to modernize a rustic kitchen without changing it? Rustic kitchens are completely old-fashioned today, but we have to admit that oak remains a quality material nonetheless. Indeed, solid and durable over time, these wooden kitchens that impose some still offer certain advantages. This is why it is better not to part with it, but rather to offer your kitchen a good makeover to rejuvenate it!

A full kitchen renovation can be costly and create a lot of disturbance. A big renovation may create a lot of construction debris, junk and old apparels and furniture to discard. You my even have to rent a dumpster to remove all this mess. And of course the budget is to take into consideration as well. Therefore it is often more logical to do a simpler kitchen renovation following the steps we list below.

Below we list 7 steps for an express makeover of a rustic cuisine. To effectively renovate your rustic kitchen, we apply the home staging technique. An economic operation which consists in renovating by touching only the decoration rather than undertaking heavy work.

1. Prepare the kitchen for its renovation

After emptying the cupboards and drawers, it’s time to prepare your kitchen for a makeover. Clean the furniture: use a mixture of a little detergent and lukewarm water to clean the cupboards and drawers. Dismantle furniture: remove drawers, cupboard doors and handles. Sand the furniture and dust it

2. Paint the furniture to remove the rustic effect

Use special paint for kitchen furniture to paint the wood and remove the rustic effect. Paint all of the furniture the same color for a nice look. Also paint the oak table and chairs and other rustic furniture in the room. The before/after the makeover of a rustic kitchen should be stunning.

3. Modernize the handles of doors and drawers

The knobs and handles that accompany the oak drawers and cupboards are nothing modern. Go to your favorite furniture store or DIY store to buy new ones!

4. Paint the credenza

The floral patterns on the tiling of your credenza no longer have a place in this kitchen! To give it a makeover, don’t hesitate to paint it with a special tile paint. Take the time to choose the right color by going to DIY stores.

5. Replace the sink

The sinks that accompany rustic kitchens are definitely too old to be kept in the event of a makeover. Your best option is to change it to a more modern one.

6. Lay out a new work plan

The worktop is undeniably the central element of the kitchen, both visually but also for the preparation of meals. To bring a real modern touch, changing this element is essential. Now there are many different models and material effects for a worktop: wood, quartz, granite worktops, etc. You choose !

7. Refreshing the floor and walls

It is not enough to pamper the kitchen furniture to modernize it, you have to take into account the room as a whole. Refresh your walls with a good coat of paint and change your floor if necessary.

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 real estate Comments Off on Tips for Renovating Your Kitchen

How to Deal with a Home Inspector

Contractor checking the fondation on a home.Though the services of a home inspector are absolutely essential when it come to managing your real estate, you should be able to ask him the right questions before hiring him. This article will list out a few questions that you should ask a home inspector before hiring him.

1. Does your home inspector perform repairs?

Ask your home inspector if he does repairs or only provides home inspections. While a home inspector can check the house appliances, a general contractor only tells you about repairs that need to be done in the house. Thus, to get a true picture about the repairs and upgrades to be done, ask your home inspector upfront as to whether he gives advice about these things too, and then ask for a quote accordingly.

2. Is your home inspector insured?

Ask your home inspector if he has insurance and a workers’ compensation scheme, and whether he is insured against errors and omissions. If the inspector meets with an accident while working on your house, and if he doesn’t have insurance coverage, then it might lead to heavy litigation or create liens on the property. Thus, if you want to avoid being personally liable, then you must insist that your home inspector is insured.

3. Can your home inspector provide you with references?

You should ask your home inspector to provide you with references so that you can gauge if he is really up to the mark. Ask his previous clients if they are happy with his work, if he was punctual, courteous, efficient, and consistent and had inspected their house thoroughly. Or ask references from professionals in the real estate business, as real estate brokers often work with home inspectors.

If he was lazy or not punctual, then you can make a more informed decision regarding his suitability for the job, especially if you have a time crunch.

4. Will he take you along on the inspections

Make sure that your inspector allows you to be hands-on and takes you along for inspections. Make sure that he gives you the opportunity to walk around with him and you are at liberty to ask as many questions as you please. Ask him questions about electricity, the cooling and heating systems and see if he answers them comfortably.

5. The Details of the Inspection

You should also have a very clear idea about what inspection include. The inspection should be thorough and he should check out doors, windows, heating devices and all appliances for you so that you know what repairs are to be done. Ask the inspector to check out the irrigation systems, the swimming pools and so on, so that you do not have to spend too much on repairs. After you are done, ask the inspector to send you a detailed report of the inspection so that you can deliberate and make an informed decision.

6. Special skills of the Home Inspector

Make sure that the inspector knows what to do with special kind of properties like old or historic properties and he possesses the skills required for the same. Homes with swimming pools, free-standing home etc. need a lot of special skills so you need to watch out.

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019 real estate Comments Off on How to Deal with a Home Inspector

Turmeric curcumin Asian spices


If you collect all the Asian spices and herbs, your pantry will be full of it instantly. These are the must-haves of any Asian cuisine enthusiast. These exotic ingredients make the foods more distinctive and palatable.

Bay leaf is a very common ingredient among Indonesian, Pakistani and Indian dishes. This is a type of laurel leaf that can add flavor and spice to any food.

This is the key ingredient in garam masala, which is an infamous Indian curry spice blend. Bay leaves have a bitter taste that can be diffused by cooking.

When cooking, cloves are used in moderate amount. These dried buds of the flowering evergreen tree have very strong taste that can easily overpower a dish. You can both use these for spicy and sweet dishes. Cloves are very popular in teas and curries. These are oftentimes used in the whole form to give a wonderful flavor to a dish. Remove it before the food gets cooked. You can substitute it with mace or nutmeg.

Asafoetida is another famous Asian spice used to add taste and aroma. This pungent-smelling spice is comparable to sauteed onions, leeks and garlic. This is part of many Southern Asian cuisines, especially in Indian dals and vegetarian curries. Check this link for more information about India: https://india.gov.in/my-government/government-directory

Cardamom has a powerful, minty and flowery taste. Its small black round seeds are typically ground to make Indian cooking more flavorful. If you want its taste added to your food, but there is no available supply of cardamon, replace it with a mixture of half nutmeg and half cinnamon.

One of the most commonly used Asian spices is the curry leaf. The leaves of the curry tree are often mixed in coconut milk and fish curries. Curry leaf has a powerful bitter taste that turns subtle with cooking. This is a favorite addition to Pakistani, Indian and Sri Lankan dishes.

Lemon grass is present in teas, curries, and soups all throughout Southern and Eastern Asia. In some traditions, it is bruised and crushed, then combined to put flavor to the dish. You should remove it before the food is served because of its unpleasant fibrous texture. You can replace two (2) stalks of lemongrass with zest of one lemon.

On the other hand, the Chinese cuisine uses a lot of five spice powder. It is a fantastic combination of equal parts of cassia, cloves, fennel, cinnamon and SzeChuan pepper. You can use this to make stews, greasy meat dishes and fries more tasteful. Cassia, also known as Chinese cinnamon is a common Indian ingredient use to substitute common cinnamon.

The kaffir lime leaves taste and smell like citrus. Thi is considered as one of the favorite spices among Thais. These are mixed in Thai soups and curries. You can add them in a whole form, cok and then remove. You can also chop the kaffir lime leaves, cook and then eat. You can use lemon leaves or lime zest as an alternative.

Vietnamese cuisine is a huge fan of laksa leaves, which is also known as Vietnamese coriander, Vietnamese cilantro or rau ram. They typically crush these leaves and sprinkle on top of laksa soup. Laksa leaves present peppery taste with some hints of cilantro and mint. You can substitute it with equal amount of cilantro and mint.

Mitsuba is a widely used Japanese spice present in their salads and soups. Some people call it Japanese honewort, which also looks like cilantro. Use watercress if it’s unavailable.

Pippali or long pepper is a relative of white or black pepper, but a lot hotter. This long, thin, black fruit consists plenty of tiny black beads, which bear a resemblance of poppy seeds. Pippali is also an Ayurvedic herb used for Indonesian, Indian and Malaysian cooking. If you have no supply in the pantry, substitute it with peppercorns.

A stigma of the flower crocus sativus, saffron is the world’s priciest spice. It is a key ingredient to a variety of Indian and Central Asian luxury dishes. Saffron offers sweet flavor and golden color to foods. It is believed to make any dish taste extraordinary. No spice can ever replace the excellence of saffron.

Belong to the ginger family, turmeric has earthy, peppery spicy flavor. It is also used as a supplement for pain relief as in this product https://www.amazon.com/Turmeric-Curcumin-Extract-Standardized-Curcuminoids/dp/B00HNVB3Y6. Its yellow color makes it a favorite addition to almost any kind of curry. Many would dry and ground turmeric into powder form before mixing it with any dishes.

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016 health Comments Off on Turmeric curcumin Asian spices

Low risk fixed income investments

low riskIf you have made good profits playing online poker or through other means, you should save a part of it in a low-risk vehicle so that it is still there when you retire.

High risk investments are exactly as the name implies, very risky. Yet they also have the potential to payback large earnings if purchased and sold correctly. High-risk investments require that the trader be very smart and learn the right timing involved for buying and then selling those stocks.

Conversely, low-risk investments carry little or no risk and are typically held onto for the long term. Additionally, low risk investments produce smaller yields but they do display steady growth patterns.

What types of investments are considered low-risk?

There are six types of investments which we have categorized as being low-risk fixed income investments and should be considered for your investment portfolio. These include bonds, CD’s (Certificates of Deposit), ETF’s (Exchange Traded Funds), real estate, standard passbook savings accounts, and US savings bonds.

Bonds – these are considered to be one of the less risky ways of investing in a business because should the company fail and declare bankruptcy, the corporation must attempt to pay off its lenders first. When purchasing bonds, you are basically lending your money to a corporation. In return for lending that business the money, you are paid dividends or a set rate of interest.

CD’s – CD’s can be held for as short a time period as 90 days up to 5 years. You are investing your money into an account that is going to pay you back at a rate of interest that is agreed upon prior to opening the account.

ETF’s – although these are viewed as stock funds, they are considerably less risky so they are considered a viable type of low-risk investment. Additionally, ETF’s track the three major stock indexes – the DOW, NASDAQ, and the S&P 500.

Real estate – purchasing a home or property has always been considered to be a very wise low-risk investment and has been for decades. For all intensive purposes, real estate is one of the most practical and safest ways to invest your money.

Standard passbook savings accounts – despite the fact that interest rates have slightly rebounded from all-time lows, this is still one of the safest ways to invest your money. Plus, your funds are insured by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) for up to $250,000 per depositor.

US savings bonds – considered as another low-risk, safe investment and are issued by the US Treasury. Just like with CD’s or savings accounts, the money you invest is protected by the Federal Government.


Thursday, March 7th, 2013 online gambling Comments Off on Low risk fixed income investments

The Full Tilt saga

After more than one year of equivocation, it seems that the end is near for the Full Tilt saga.

Indeed official rumors have been circulating for a few days indicating that the site will be back online before the end of the year, probably next month.

Pokerstars the new owner of FT poker is actively recruiting key staff in preparation for the relaunch. All pundits are waiting for that day to see if the site can regain its former glory. But this should be an uphill battle.

On one hand thousands if not millions of players have been unable to access their cash balance for more than one year. It is expected that once they get their money back (normally in the next few weeks), many will take their cash and run. Just because they have been upset with the Full Tilt fiasco for such a long time, waiting for this moment. But others may choose to stay if the traffic is reasonable.

The positive aspect is that Full Tilt will be run by pokerstars, and as the current global leader of online poker they have demonstrated that when it comes to deliver and please their players, there are second to none. So some players may think that the new Full Tilt will be well managed as far as players’ balances are concerned, and decide to stay. Given that pokerstars was able to convince the US Department of Justice to take the company over, despite being indicted themselves, this is a big confidence boost for the public, no doubt.

And new players may deposit too, simply because now there is practically no risk at all for their poker bankroll to get in some sort of trouble. After all pokerstars reimbursed all their US players just a few weeks after Black Friday.

Two of the unique features at Full Tilt were their software and their pro team. Regarding the former, it is still one of the best online poker software on the market, so reintroducing it as such will be a major attraction. In respect to the pros, pokerstars will probably not renew any contract, but they may decide to rehire a few of them. And some high stake players may want to sit at some of the nosebleed tables, just for the nostalgia of it.

The Full Tilt saga is almost over but not yet. Keep posted as this story will keep on filling the gossip columns to the foreseeable future.

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Sunday, September 16th, 2012 online poker Comments Off on The Full Tilt saga

Online Flash casinos

Online Flash casinos give a new look to playing casino games!

Online flash casinos have taken the internet gambling market by storm, and so they may in full force subdue physical casinos to a position of second role. Contrarily to the earlier systems, if you wanted to play any game of chance, you would have to download and install the software and then play from the client as the user interface is called.

This method apparently consumed a lot of time, and it did not matter whatsoever what the internet connection speed could be. Then if your hard disk is not compatible with the required space, it is again a big problem. So what is the surefire way out of this problem? Well, the answer is simple, take cue of no-download casinos such as William Hill and you will be free of these usual hassles. The no-download casinos do not require any storage space and you can actually play a casino game directly from the site through your browser.

This Flash mode is loved by most modern generation players in there too busy routine life where none has so much time to download the game first and then play. So, now it’s just very simple, select a particular casino site, sign up and spend the total available time for a fun-filled playing enjoyment.

Online flash casinos also work out the technical incompatibility of some users. For example, a user having Windows operating system could only be sociable with the download able casino games, while the users having other operating systems have to be compatible with certain extra facilities for the online playing to be available. Hardly few users ever need Plug-in for Flash viewing. It is freely downloadable from the Macro media website yet, in general, it is already installed in your computer when it is shipped to you.

Online flash casino games are played both as a way to experience fun or thrill and/or earning real bucks for some of the most savvy players. Thanks to modern technology for such a drop-dead invention and progress does not stop for players who love online gaming!

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Friday, May 11th, 2012 online gambling Comments Off on Online Flash casinos

Gambling SEO

Poker SEO and casino SEO are getting harder. Reaching page one on Google or Bing for a gambling site is hard for any competitive and profitable query. And it is going to get even harder.

The reason is simple: there are only ten spots available for natural free rankings on page one (which gets most of the traffic), but the number of competitors keeps on increasing. Market participants are getting more and more knowledgeable about SEO, so what was enough two years ago to land on the prime page one will not make the cut today and even less tomorrow. As webmasters have more content, more links, more know-how and more experience, and more SEO companies offer such services to the online gambling community, this is only going to get tougher.

So the only way to maintain or gain top rankings is by using top gambling SEO methods and by working harder and smarter then the competition. SEO is an art and a science. An art because it is based on a lot of empirical evidence and creativity is often what makes the difference between page one and page two. A science because the people with a scientific mind and scientific tools have an advantage over other folks who lack them. “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”

Absolutety. Because search engines do not reveal the secrets of their algorithms, no one knows for sure the best way to rank at the top of the SERPs. Even within Google, only a handful of people have access to the entire code, and it is so complex anyway that they cannot know everything about it at one single point. So almost everyone is blind to how the page one results are produced, but the best SEO practitioners are the ones who can see enough to reap the fortunes available to savvy poker or casino webmasters.

The beauty of poker SEO is that there are so many misconceptions and myths which do not seem to disappear. The good news for some is that the webmasters who have such flawed understanding of SEO are doing something wrong, which gives others a competitive advantage. As in Davis Sklansky’s ‘Theory of Poker’, the fundamental theorem of poker says that each time you could play with more knowledge than your opponents, you have positive expected value. This is true in poker SEO as well. Each time you know more or better than other webmasters, you have gained.

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Saturday, February 4th, 2012 online gambling Comments Off on Gambling SEO

Carbon back in USA

In an interesting move in online gambling, Carbon Poker just announced that they are welcoming American players again. This new development occurs exactly six months after the US Government started to indict online gaming operators believed to be breaking online gambling laws while offering real money poker games to US based players.

Five operators were banned at the time (pokerstars, full tilt poker, absolute poker, UB Poker and Doyle’s Room), but smaller ones such as Carbon Poker were not accused of any wrong doing. One question is why.

Is it because the DOJ chose to focus on the bigger players and did not build a case against Carbon? Is it because Carbon Poker did not break the law (this seems hard to believe as the law practically forbids any form of gambling related fund transfer through the banking system). Or is it because they cannot at this time find any evidence proving their point (as the April indictment were possible thanks to an insider’s revelations).

Is it hard to tell, but if Carbon Poker has decided to come back, they must strongly believe that it is safe for them. Anyway this is a great news for American online poker players who now have one more option to play their favorite card game on the Web.

Unfortunately all current poker rooms participating in the US market are rather small, compared to the rooms that were shut down such as Pokerstars. These rooms offer good micro-limit or low-limit games, but high stake games have totally disappeared in America as well as large tournaments. So all pros for the most part cannot do much at this time, and their only choice if they want to continue their profession is to move to another country. And some do, to Canada, Costa Rica or Europe.

When will US online poker get finally properly regulated, that is the one million dollar question. And it is not expected to be happening until next year or maybe 2012. Congress should move a bit faster as the major benefit of such a new law would be to raise well needed taxes in a time of double dip recession. This will also create new jobs. So if France or Italy can regulate their own online gambling markets, it is time for the USA to do the same, is it not?

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Saturday, October 15th, 2011 online gambling Comments Off on Carbon back in USA

The rise of mobile gaming

Mobile phones, iphones and all sorts of smart phones are now becoming as popular as tattoos, even though they were rarely seen a few years ago. Now they are all over the place, I mean the smart phones, and the tattoos too by the way. This is a true revolution for how people communicate and behave socially and one industry that is shaken by it is online gaming. Yes online gambling was a revolution from brick and mortar casino entertainment, and now the new wave is mobile gambling.

So if you like to play blackjack online or online roulette or many other fun games, then now you can play them almost anywhere as long as you get a signal to your iphone or mobile device. In other words in most urban areas in the developed world and in some in developing countries too. Most airports have free wifi, so even if you are traveling in some remote areas of the world such as the Tonga Islands for example (recommended by the way), then chances are you will be able to play a few hands against the blackjack dealer at some point during your trip and hit a few twenty-ones.

This is still a revolution in progress so do not expect to get all the convenience for playing games that you are used to from your computer. First of all there are less games available. Most online casinos offer ten to twenty games for now as they are working on developing these applications. Roulette, Blackjack as well as some slot machines are the games first offered. Also note that UK online casinos are ahead of the game compared to US online casinos as the latter are struggling with the difficulties of running their business stemming from the infamous UIGEA anti-gambling law.

Online poker rooms also offer a mobile format, but if you are serious about the game of Texas Hold’em, use this sparingly for the entertainment value only. First of all you cannot multi-table and most serious players do. Also you will probably get distracted when you are using your smart phone on the road, and poker requires concentration. But for all other casino games, this will be a lot of fun. So try mobile gambling today.

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Monday, June 20th, 2011 online gambling Comments Off on The rise of mobile gaming

Tricky poker

Often the hand you get in Texas Holdem Poker determines how you should play it.

If you have A-rag suited on a board A-rags with two cards of your suit giving you the nuts flush draw, you have flopped a monster. Technically, you only have a weak ace if the hand was to go to showdown without catching anything else, but this type of hand is the perfect spot that you can choose how to play it, making your opponent believe that you flopped strong, flopped weak, protecting your hand or just flopped and ace.

Out of position you can check-raise the flop, which looks very strong. Though you only have one pair on the flop, the draw makes this hand the statistical favorite over many hands and you can play it aggressively, knowing you have many outs. Often a check-raise will take the pot down.

Betting out on this flop is deceptive as well as your opponents do not expect you to show strength with a drawing hand. They would think that you are protecting a hand like a medium to strong top pair or two pairs. This line might lead to extra value later in the hand if you hit your draw, then check to feign weakness, like you are afraid of the draw hitting someone.

Some the ABC way is the trickiest way. Say you call out of position with a pair or sevens. And the flop is 47Q rainbow. An opponent checks over to you or bets with a queen and you raise. On a dry textured board like that, he would never put you on a set as he figures you would slow play such a monster on such a flop.

One favorite move used by the pros is to three-bet shove pre flop with a monster. As online players love to three-bet late position raisers from the blinds, this is very deceptive. You are likely to get called with hands such as 99 and better. As your opponent would be thinking that you would not be betting that much if you wanted a caller. Reverse psychology!

Add these plays to your game to mix it up and the table will fear you.

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Friday, March 25th, 2011 online poker Comments Off on Tricky poker