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LIVING QUARTERS Disclaimer: The views or opinions presented in this publication are solely those of the writers and do not necessarily represent those of the company. Employees of ABSTRACT MEDIA GROUP COMPANY LIMITED are expressly required not to make defamatory statements and not to infringe or authorize any infringement of copyright or any other legal right. Any such article is contrary to company policy and is outside the scope of the employment of the individual writer concerned. The company will not accept any liability in respect of such article, and the employee responsible will be personally liable for any damages or other liability arising.

Faucets The main cause of leaky faucets is worn out washers. The washers inside of the faucet handles are rubber and tend to wear out quickly. Replace them by turning off the main water supply, unscrewing the leaky handle that controls the flow of water to the spout, removing the old washer, and dropping in the new one. Air Conditioning Air conditioners are among the most overlooked appliances when it comes to performing regular home maintenance. However, they can be one of the most costly appliances to repair. Regularly inspect the condensation hose to make sure that water can flow freely from the line. If there is standing water where your condensation line drains, create a drainage path using a small garden trowel and line the path with gravel to keep mold and algae from forming, which can be a serious health hazard when the spores are drawn into the appliance and blown into your home. Additionally, keep the screen around your air conditioner free from debris to keep air flowing easily. This will prevent your air conditioner from using more power than necessary to keep your house cool and keep the internal parts from wearing out too quickly. Refrigerators The main component of your refrigerator that should get your attention is the door seal. Keeping your door seals tight will

Quick And Easy Diy Home Fixes reduce the amount of energy it takes to keep your food cool or frozen, but will also keep your refrigerator working efficiently, preventing premature wear on internal parts. To test the door seals, close the door on a dollar bill and attempt to pull it out with the door closed. If you cannot easily pull the dollar bill out from the door, your seals are in good shape. However, if the bill slides out without much resistance, it’s time to replace the seals. You can purchase new seals from any home repair outlet store. Also, if you have a refrigerator that has coils along the back, periodically vacuum these coils to remove dirt and dust build up. These coils contain the coolant the refrigerator uses to keep the internal temperature cold. If they become dirty, they won’t work efficiently and your refrigerator may stop cooling altogether. As a general tip, keeping your refrigerator full uses less energy than trying to cool when it’s

empty. Therefore, keep as many items in your refrigerator as possible to help reduce energy costs. Plumbing Accumulation of fats and oils are the main cause for clogs, so never pour fats or other oils down your drains. This includes oils that are not solid at room temperature. If you accidentally spill oils or fats down the drain, run hot water down your drain along with a healthy serving of dishwashing w w w . a m g tt. c o m

liquid. The soap will emulsify the fat or oil and move it on down the pipe, preventing a clog. Get a hair strainer for the bathtub drain. If fats and oils are the main source of clogs in the kitchen, hair is the primary culprit in the bathroom. If you have a strainer, make sure that you remove any accumulated hair from it following each shower. This will reduce the amount of hair that finds its way through the strainer and into your plumbing. Skip the Drano. Though the acids it contains can help unclog a drain, they also cause significant damage to your plumbing, including premature leaking. This can lead to costly repairs later on. If your bathtub or toilet is completely clogged, use a small drain snake – which you can purchase at any hardware outlet – to pull the offending clog to the surface. If your kitchen sink is clogged, try plunging it before trying to snake the drain. If you cannot remove the clog using a drain snake, call a professional.

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Tips To building A Strong Foundation


ou cannot build anything long-lasting without the right foundation. This is especially true of your house. A strong foundation is necessary to ensure your family has a safe place to rest at night. Here are some tips to a strong foundation. Perform a Soil Evaluation Whether your new house is on pier and beam or concrete slab the foundation is its most important component. Do not try to save money by skimping on foundation construction. A soil evaluation must be performed before a proper foundation system can be designed. Keep the soil around your home foundation at a constant moisture level. The soils present throughout Trinidad have a tremendous capacity to absorb (and lose) wa-

Properly sized and installed gutters and downspouts direct water away from your home preventing heaving of the foundation which is caused by excess moisture. Downspouts should discharge water approximately 5 feet from the foundation built on sandy soil and 10 feet from foundations built on expansive soils.

ter. This means that the soil will swell when it is very wet and it will shrink when it is very dry. This creates significant stresses on the concrete slab which is resting on top of the soil. Keeping the soil around your home foundation at a constant moisture level with seepage water hoses will help reduce the chances of needing house leveling in the future.

Ensure Proper Grading Proper grade, with ground sloping away from your foundation is a must for a healthy house. Slope should be about 3 to 5 percent within 10-feet of the foundation. Monitor Drainage Gutters and downspouts are another critical factor in maintaining a solid foundation.

Inspect your Foundation Annually Conduct a yearly inspection of your foundation, driveway, and sidewalks. When drainage or other problems are detected correct them immediately. This is important especially during the first 6 – 10 years after the construction of a new house as it’s during this time the home experiences the greatest settling.

Time To Step Up Your Clock Game


locks are a functional aspect of this fast-paced world; but they can also add aesthetic quality to your home. Here are some tips on choosing a clock. Pick a statement-making clock. When you want to make a great impression on guests, friends and family who come to your home, decorative clocks hung in your entryway or living room will do the trick. Large rustic wall clocks with large numerals and faces will complement a shabby chic decor, while modern clocks with floating numbers and a monochromatic color scheme will look great in a living room decorated with angular chairs and simple furniture. Make sure that the decorative clocks you choose don't overwhelm your other home accessories. An oversized retro clock will look best on an empty wall uncluttered with other art pieces or photographs. 2

Buy atomic clocks for precise time. Never be late for an appointment again when you mount atomic clocks in your kitchen or another high-traffic room. Considered to be among the most accurate timepieces, atomic clocks are used for GPS navigation and Internet synchronization, too. Many of these modern clocks can also be used both indoors and outdoors.

Choose table clocks for a cozier setting. Make friends feel at home when you add a few table clocks to your family room or even your dining room. A boring side table gets new life from a funky round table clock, and glass table clocks can add elegance to even the most laidback room. Of course, these clocks don't have to be limited to tables; place your favorite traditional or retro clock on a float-

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ing shelf for an interesting look. These small timepieces can also dress up benches and shelves in the hallway or add a unique touch to a bathroom cabinet. Don't forget about your fireplace, either; a wooden mantel clock with Roman numerals and a pendulum can give your family room an old-fashioned feeling. You can also display a mantel clock in a hutch or curio if you don't have a fireplace.

Put digital clocks in your bedroom. When it's important to be on time for work or school, you'll want to place digital clocks where you can easily see them. Look for styles that include radio alarms so you're sure to wake up, or buy digital alarm clocks with an MP3 dock so you can set up custom playlists for a wakeup call. Digital clocks with bright displays are especially helpful in the early morning hours.


Citrus: Your Cleaning Friend


e use limes and lemons to remove the freshness of fish and add flavor to a variety of meals. However, there are a lot more uses to this beautiful citrus than just being the base in your glass of juice. Here are some more ways limes can come in handy even outside the kitchen. The Ultimate Deodorizer Lemon or Lime Juice in a little spray bottle will stop underarm smell all day and even after a late night at the gym...As a matter of fact, if you forget to shower you will still smell like lemon the next day. Bear in mind that we do not advocate non-showering. The thing is, lime is a great antifungal and the acid neutralizes odour causing bacteria. Why not spray lime/lemon juice in your shoes and let it air dry for a clean citrusy scent? You can even grind a whole lime in an

which have taken over the market.

electric garbage disposal to get rid of unpleasant odors.

As Homemade Furniture Polish In a glass jar with a tight fitting lid, mix 1/4 cup lemon juice or fresh squeezed lemon juice with 1/2 cup pure vegetable oil. Apply to wood furniture with a cotton cloth, rubbing in a small amount at a time. Kept out of direct sunlight, this mixture can be stored for several months.

For Removing Facial Blemishes Lemon juice can be applied directly onto freckles and dark blemishes to help lighten them. The high acidic content in limes helps exfoliate the top layer of skin, which increases new cell production, helping to lighten mild pigmentation over time. This is a much safer alternative to the skin bleaching products

As A Homemade Glass Cleaner 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 up isopropyl rubbing alcohol, 1/4 teaspoon dishwashing liquid. Add all ingredients in a spray bottle, then fill remainder of bottle with water, shake well to mix. Use as you would any commercial window cleaner. Be sure to clearly label the bottle before storing.

Doing Drying Right

Tips to better efficiency when drying laundry polyester; and low heat for delicate items like lingerie.


rinidadians have a history of drying clothing on lines. However, it is not always possible to get the sun-dried effect. If your option is the dryer, here are some tips for you. Choose the right setting for your clothes Different materials require different settings. In general, use high heat for jeans, towels, and other heavy fabrics; medium heat for synthetic materials like 4

Remove dry clothes from the dryer ASAP As soon as your clothes are dry, get them out of the dryer, shake them out, and fold or hang them to avoid wrinkles. Prevent Pilling Drying knits, sweaters and denims inside out can help prevent fading as well as pills developing on the clothes (especially helps with knits and t-shirts). If a garment is pilling, try firmly brushing a pumice stone across the garment to remove the pills. Extra Energy Saving Simply by placing your clothes in a plastic clothes basket a

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few hours before putting them in a dryer can reduce the drying time by 25 percent. Better yet, use a clothesline or indoor drying rack and REALLY save money! If you don't like clothes dried on a line due to stiffness, just place them in a dryer with a dryer sheet for 2-3 minutes to make them nice and soft after they are dry! Don't stop between loads If you have time, fill your dryer with a wet load immediately after you pull dry clothes out. This allows you to reuse the heat already in your dryer from previous loads. You should also set your dryer to a cool-down cycle if it has one; the dryer blows cool air instead of hot air to finish drying your clothes.

Don’t overload the dryer While you should dry full loads whenever possible, don’t overload the dryer. The clothes need room to tumble for faster drying and reduced wrinkles. Keep things clean One of the easiest ways to cut down on energy use is to clean your washer and dryer frequently. Emptying the lint filter after every load allows the air to circulate in the dryer more easily; it can also prevent your dryer from starting a fire. You should also clean the doors of the washer and dryer every so often to remove dirt, lint and other particles from falling into your loads of laundry. Finally, be sure to vacuum the floor beneath your dryer frequently.


Buying Outdoor Furniture Buy Weatherproof Outdoor Furniture It is essential to buy outdoor furniture that is weatherproof. Outdoor furniture is made from wood, metal, or plastic. Wood can weaken and rot from moisture. Consumers who choose this material should therefore look for treated wood or varieties that naturally resist the elements. Treated wood repels water, while a wood such as teak is nearly impermeable. Metals corrode from holding moisture on the surface. Galvanization makes metal rustproof, and aluminum is naturally resistant to corrosion. Moisture from rain does not degrade plastic outdoor furniture, but UV rays from the sun can change its colour. Plastic furniture should be therefore left in the shade while it is not being used. Look for Well-Constructed Outdoor Furniture Consumers should pay attention to how outdoor furniture is constructed if they want to buy durable pieces. Screws should be stainless steel or brass that can withstand rust. Durably constructed outdoor furniture may also feature wooden dowels and 6

ity in outdoor furniture. Even if outdoor furniture has qualities to make it last a while, it still requires care to keep it in good condition.

pegs to hold pieces together. Furniture held together by glue or staples tends to come apart over time. Buy Weatherproof Cushions and Pillows Cushions and pillows are susceptible to mildew from moisture and discolouration from exposure to sunlight. Synthetic fabrics, such as acrylic resist mildew, and ventilated fabrics help cushions and pillows dry more quickly to avoid water damage. Consumers can also look for cushions and fabrics that are treated to block UV rays. Tips on Maintaining Outdoor Furniture Maintenance is a significant aspect that contributes to durabil-

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Apply Oils, Sealers, and Stains to Wooden Outdoor Furniture Stains, sealers, and oils all help wooden outdoor furniture maintain its appearance. They make wood less porous so that raindrops bead up and roll off, preventing wood from rotting so that furniture lasts longer. Some stains, sealers, and oils also block UV rays to keep wood from discolouring. Many pieces of wooden outdoor furniture come pre-treated, but consumers should still oil these pieces seasonally to maintain their appearance. Clean and Treat Metal Outdoor Furniture Metal outdoor furniture is relatively low maintenance. Cleaning requires simply wiping it down with a damp cloth. Consumers should avoid pressure washing since this can damage the furniture. Aluminum is rustproof, but iron requires application of an anti-rust solution.

Protect Cushions and Pillows from Mildew and UV Rays If cushions and pillows do not come with fabric that blocks mildew and UV rays, the consumer can apply spray finishes to the fabric to protect it from these elements. Washing cushion and pillow fabric periodically keeps it clean and fresh-smelling. Most fabrics are safe for the washing machine. If cushions and pillows become stained, faded, or odorous, one should look into replacing just the fabric if possible. This should save money over buying completely new cushions and pillows. Cover or Store Furniture Although Trinidad has a suitable climate for using patio furniture year round, many places see a good deal of rain during certain months. Consumers should consider placing covers over their outdoor furniture at those times. The covers keep furniture dry, maintaining it until it is ready for use in sunnier weather. Those who prefer not to have covered furniture sitting outside may choose to store it away. A large shed creates the necessary space in the absence of a basement.

home office

Why An Accountant Is Important In Your Business


he accounting structure of a company is an essential component to business operations. After all, the role of a business is to make money. However, making all those dollars doesn’t make sense when the money isn’t properly managed. An accountant is especially important to a small business. Read on and you’ll find out why. One of the primary roles of an accountant usually involves the collection and maintenance of financial data, as it relates to a company or firm. The accountant ensures that financial records are maintained in compliance with lawful and accepted procedures and policies on the corporate level. The financial information for any organization should be kept in a pristine system because it is a key component used in operating and managing any business. Managing the financial data of an organization can also include more sophisticated duties, such as developing, implementing and maintaining financial data bases, as well as establishing and monitoring control procedures.


Another role is to give good personal financial advice. Usually the two go hand in hand as small businesses usually mirror the spending patterns of their owners. An efficient and good small business accountant would always have a holistic view of your small business finances as well as your personal finances. He would know that the good personal finances though ancillary to your business finances, would keep you in a good financial situation. Another way in which accounting is such an important aspect to any business is that accountants are responsible for providing information that is used to determine the present and future economic stability of the organization. It has been proven that companies that use good accounting practices have a competitive advantage over their opponents. Also they have the ability to improve their decision making abilities. Those that do not use these practices are unable to compete in the market and make their decisions simply on a hunch.

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Many accountants offer the ability to see after your taxes as well. Some people require specialized tax service providers, but in Trinidad, the average accountant can handle that for your small enterprise. With that said, accountants should be well informed and privy to any legal changes or implementations on your taxes. If tax issues are not dealt with from early on, you can find yourself in a lot of debt down the road and owing the government is not anyone’s cup of tea. Apart from warding off taxation troubles, accountants also know about various taxation breaks as they occur so that you can get the best value claim reward available. Whether you hire an accountant full time or on a task basis, there are many benefits to having a well known accountant with several previous or current clients. Of course if they have other current clients there may be a conflict of interest issue, but barring that you can see great dividends. Because of the respect that they receive in the business community, accountants can also

provide valuable networking contacts that can help to easily grow your business organically. Professional accountants have similar customers who can refer them to other clients. This also helps with networking for selling, buying and with potential business partnerships as well as other ventures. Then there is the issue of payroll. Payroll Accountants are to have a comprehensive understanding of fundamental tasks, such as paycheck calculations, taxation principles, preparing ledgers and journals, transfers and journal entries and deposits. Payroll Accountants is responsible for appropriate disbursement of funds, maintaining and updating employee leave balance information. In fact, most staff will only see the accountant for his/her role in that regard. Overall, an accountant is crucial to the success of a small business. The many roles that they undertake are important to the functioning of a business and it frees up the owners and other managers to fulfill other roles.

elegant ideas

Posh Patios And Porches

Imagine having an outdoor setting like this in your backyard w w w . a m g tt. c o m

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elegant ideas

Enjoy a beautiful view from an elevated patio


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elegant ideas

A large table can facilitate get-togethers in your backyard w w w . a m g tt. c o m

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elegant ideas

Weathered wooden furniture is given new life with soft, colourful cushion accents


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elegant ideas

This wrought iron set up perfectly complements a well-manicured outdoor setting w w w . a m g tt. c o m

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here’s nothing like a good cocktail to help you take the edge off. Whether it is for de-stressing after a long day of work or to help you break the ice at a house lime, cocktails do come in handy. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to create a good cocktail. All it takes is a little imagination and some good ingredients. Last issue we shared some scotch recipes. This week we’re throwing everything in the mixer.

Beach Bum 1 part orange juice 1 part Bacardi® Limon rum 1 part Sprite® soda Pour into a glass with ice. Stir.

Caribbean Bliss 1 part vodka 1 part tequila 4 parts orange juice

Cool Cocktails Alco Choco Milkshake 1 oz Kahlua® coffee liqueur 1 oz Bailey's® Irish cream 1 oz Hershey's® chocolate syrup 2 scoops chocolate ice cream 10 - 12 oz fresh milk Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend for 30 seconds. Add a few cubes of ice to the blend if you prefer a frozen drink. Pour contents into a tall glass and enjoy.

Amarula Colada 2 oz Amarula cream liqueur 1 oz rum 3 oz pineapple juice 1 oz coconut milk Blend all ingredients with crushed ice and pour into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry and serve.

Almond Soda Use chilled orange juice, but no ice.

2 oz Amaretto almond liqueur 6 oz cream soda 1 lemon wedge

Bahia Breeze

Shake everything twice with ice, pour into glasses with ice.

1 1/2 oz Jose Cuervo® Especial gold tequila 4 oz pineapple juice 1 1/2 oz cranberry juice Build, in order, in a highball glass over ice. Garnish with a wedge of lime, and serve. 16

cover and shake. Add ginger ale and stir. Chill and serve over ice in plastic beer cups.

Absolut Lemonade 1 oz Absolut® Citron vodka 1 oz Amaretto almond liqueur 2 oz sweet and sour mix ice Sprite® soda

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Dirty Sanchez 1/3 oz Bailey's® Irish cream 1/3 oz Jose Cuervo® Especial gold tequila 1/3 oz Kahlua® coffee liqueur

Affair 2 oz strawberry schnapps 2 oz orange juice 2 oz cranberry juice club soda

Brandy Squirt 1 1/2 oz brandy 4 1/2 oz club soda 1 tsp grenadine syrup 1 tbsp sugar Shake brandy, powdered sugar and grenadine in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a highball glass and fill with carbonated water. Stir and garnish with a pineapple stick and strawberries.

Pour the ingredients in equal parts into a cocktail shaker with some ice. Shake well, pour into shot glasses, and serve.

Hawaiian Passion 1/2 oz Hennessy® cognac 1 oz Hawaiian Punch® Stir both ingredients together in a mixing glass with a few ice cubes. Strain into a shot glass, and serve.

Hot Tequila 5 oz aged tequila 1 oz Tabasco® sauce 1/2 oz Worcestershire sauce Stir together in an old-fashioned glass, and serve.

Afternoon Delight

Brandy Milk Punch

3 oz Bacardi® 151 rum 3 oz Southern Comfort® peach liqueur 16 oz cranberry juice 16 oz Gatorade® energy drink 2 oz ginger ale

2 oz brandy 1 cup milk 1 tsp powdered sugar nutmeg

Add all ingredients except ginger ale to a pitcher. Add ice,

Shake brandy, milk, and powdered sugar with ice and strain into a Collins glass. Sprinkle nutmeg on top and serve.


Scrumptious Salads


alads are often overlooked as one of the least memorable additions to any meal. However, a good salad may not only be a healthier meal option, but one that can work as the perfect side dish to carry your meal over the top.

Cranberry Spinach Salad Ingredients 1 tablespoon butter 3/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered 1 pound spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces 1 cup dried cranberries 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds 1 tablespoon poppy seeds 1/2 cup white sugar 2 teaspoons minced onion 1/4 teaspoon paprika 1/4 cup white wine vinegar 1/4 cup cider vinegar 1/2 cup vegetable oil Directions In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook and stir almonds in butter until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and let cool. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, and vegetable oil. Toss with spinach just before serving. In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the toasted almonds and cranberries.

Cobb Salad Ingredients 6 slices bacon 3 eggs 18

1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded 3 cups chopped, cooked chicken meat 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped 3/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled 1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced 3 green onions, chopped 1 (8 ounce) bottle Ranch-style salad dressing

Directions Place eggs in a saucepan and cover completely with cold water. Bring water to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. Divide shredded lettuce among individual plates. Evenly divide and arrange chicken, eggs, tomatoes, blue cheese, bacon, avocado and green onions in a row on top of the lettuce. Drizzle with your favorite dressing and enjoy.

Broccoli Salad Ingredients 10 slices bacon 1 head fresh broccoli, cut into bite size pieces 1/4 cup red onion, chopped 1/2 cup raisins 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar 2 tablespoons white sugar 1 cup mayonnaise 1 cup sunflower seeds Directions Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and

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Combine quinoa, tomatoes, black beans, and green onions together in a bowl. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture; toss to coat. Stir in cilantro; season with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator. set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the broccoli, onion and raisins. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar and mayonnaise. Pour over broccoli mixture, and toss until well mixed. Refrigerate for at least two hours. Before serving, toss salad with crumbled bacon and sunflower seeds.

Zesty Quinoa Salad Ingredients 1 cup quinoa 2 cups water 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 limes, juiced 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed 5 green onions, finely chopped 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro Salt and ground black pepper to taste Directions Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. Whisk olive oil, lime juice, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes together in a bowl.

Beet Salad with Goat Cheese Ingredients 4medium beets - scrubbed, trimmed and cut in half 1/3 cup chopped walnuts 3 tablespoons maple syrup 1 (10 ounce) package mixed baby salad greens 1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 ounces goat cheese Directions Place beets into a saucepan, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender. Drain and cool, then cut in to cubes. While the beets are cooking, place the walnuts in a skillet over medium-low heat. Heat until warm and starting to toast, then stir in the maple syrup. Cook and stir until evenly coated, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice concentrate, balsamic vinegar and olive oil to make the dressing. Place a large helping of baby greens onto each of four salad plates, divide candied walnuts equally and sprinkle over the greens. Place equal amounts of beets over the greens, and top with dabs of goat cheese. Drizzle each plate with some of the dressing.


Shopping Tips To End Wedding Dress Woes


very bride to be envisions the perfect wedding day and having the perfect wedding dress is a major part of what makes that dream day flawless. The problem is, getting the ideal wedding dress can be somewhat of a hassle and can heighten your stress leading up to that date. Here, we share some information that will help brides as they shop for the right dress. The first thing to take into account is the style of the dress and finding an appropriate style to suit the ceremony. For a formal evening wedding, a floorlength dress in ivory, white, cream or champagne, often worn with gloves and a train, is an elegant choice. Semiformal ballerina-length dresses can be also in pastels, with a short veil and no train. For less-formal nuptials, the bride has a choice of a long or short dress, or even a two-piece suit. A short veil may be very stylish paired with a clas-


sic pillbox hat. This is common in many second weddings. Apart from the general look of the dress, your silhouette should also influence what type of dress you purchase. There are five major types of dress and each should be chosen according to body type. The Princess Dress is fitted in the body, then flows out toward the ground. Ball Gowns are fitted in the body with a full skirt. Mermaid Dresses contour the body from the chest to knee, then flow to the hem. A Sheath

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Dress is straight and form-fitted from the shoulders to the hem. The Empire style has a raised waist line that sits below the bust. Find out which suits you best. A sheath dress, which hugs every curve, would not flatter a full-figured woman. A ball gown, which bells at the bottom, might overwhelm a petite woman's figure. The next thing to consider is your budget. Just because it’s a once in a lifetime spend doesn’t mean you should spend a life-

time’s worth of money. Off the rack dresses can be relatively cheap while custom made dresses can be very expensive according to the designer. Buy according to what looks good on you and what you can afford. Don’t let brand names dictate your buying. Also, budget for alterations, which can add significant bucks to the price. Be sure to ask if pressing is included and if they'll store your dress until the big day. Finally, don’t rush into buying anything. Bring the entourage when you go dress shopping. Your friends, sister or mom can help with your choice and help you avert the pressures of overzealous store clerks. It is important to have a clear head. The vast majority of dresses are non-returnable, so when you've bought it, you've bought it. Carry a digital camera and have a friend take notes while you shop, to help you remember each gown.



Being A Better Role Model To Your Kids

arents are the most important members of the socialization chain. Parents are the first people kids look up to and they should be the most important persons in the lives of their kids. If you aren’t sure you are making the grade, here are some tips to be a better role model.

Accept Your Status Before you can follow any of these tips, you have to realize you’re a role model. We are all role models in some capacity but we have a choice on whether or not we want to make a positive or negative impact on the lives of our youth. Unfortunately, a good percentage of kids are probably following reality TV celebrities and pop singers who promote sex, drugs and violence. That is why it is important for us to make an effort to play a role in the lives of our children and other young ones. Make Mature and Informed Life Choices Make positive choices for yourself and for others. The choic22

es you make affect both you and those who look up to you. Someone might be in a sticky situation and think about your choices, wondering, “What would s/he do in this situation?” When you make positive choices, you teach positive values and ways of thinking to others.

street. If you want a child who is polite to others, show them how to do it in your interactions with others.

Refrain From Being ‘Always Right’ The best quality a role model can have is the ability to swallow their pride. Yes, we may have a lot of answers, but we have to admit when we don’t. Too often we put a lot of pressure on ourselves with trying to have the right answer all the time and it’s not necessary. The best thing you can do is be honest and let them know that you will find someone that does have the answer. That earns you respect and respect is vital in becoming a role model.

continue to become. It may have been a long and difficult road, but commemorate the lessons you learned, the strength you've amassed, and the character you've developed.

Reflect Positivity Demonstrate confidence in yourself. Whatever you choose to do with your life, be proud of the person you’ve become and

Be Polite There isn’t any reason you can’t say “please” and “thank you” to your teenagers just like you would to any stranger on the

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Fight Fair There will always be times when parents and teenagers will clash and when that happens the thing that will matters most is how you fight with them. Name calling, cursing, and shaming are all things adults do when they fight with others but these tactics are never the right way to resolve conflict. Show your teenager how to deal with differences of opinion and disagreements by using healthy conflict resolution strategies rather than going toe to toe and matching blow with blow. Be An Abundance of Love Show your love with hugs and kisses. Comfort with hugs and talks. Choose not to offer sweets as rewards. It lets your child think sweets or dessert foods are better than other foods. When meals are not eaten, kids do not need “extras”—such as candy or cookies—as replacement foods.



It’s Graduation Season

The Keys To Beautiful Eyes


hen people say they want more beautiful eyes, the first thing many people rush to do is show them the latest eye makeup tip. However, makeup is merely creating a facade around the actual eye to distract people from your eyes’ true beauty. These tips show you how to keep healthier, more beautiful eyes without doing anything special. Deficiency of vitamins and minerals in the body can make eyes puffy, reduce eye vision, and lead to dark circles. Foods rich in vitamin A are helpful for getting perfect vision. Lack of vitamin K can lead to dark circles and puffy eyes. Hence eat fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, eggs and milk to provide complete nourishment to eyes. It is also necessary to drink 10 glasses of water to keep the body moisturized from inside so that whenever our eyes need moisture our body is able to provide it. Dehydrating drinks like coffee, tea and alcohol should not be taken in excess. Maintaining a healthy diet will always keep your eyes beautiful and glowing. The key to looking fresh and having beautiful eyes is get-

ting proper sleep. If you are not getting enough sleep, your eyes may look dull, puffy and red. Lack of sleep can also give you raccoon eyes – dark circles all around the eye area. How much sleep you should get varies from person to person. Protect your eyes from the sun. Eyes that aren't protected from the sun get damaged just like skin does and with the same dire consequences. If you don't protect your eyes from sun exposure all year long you can end up with chronic red eyes as well as the many sun-related eye diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. This can all be avoided by wearing sunglasses that have a sticker showing they are rated UV400.


adies, you’ve graduated and it’s time for the ball/ after party. As you rummage through your closet you start thinking about the desired “look” that you want to achieve. You can either choose the classy and formal look and run the risk of you being overdressed or the simple and polished which, by comparison to the other guests, may make you look dull or boring. In any event, there are simple looks that, when accessorized can look great for any occasion. The little black dress- The saying ‘every girl should have one’ is true a black dress when subtly accessorized can create quite a stir at any social gathering. Black works when matched with any colour works so a pair of red pumps with subtle red accessories or pearls can bring about elegance to this look, while keeping it pretty simple. The baby doll dress- The pattern of this dress will often determine the range of casual to sexy to chic. For a graduation dinner party, the best material to wear would be silk or satin mixed with chiffon. The top part of the dress that’s covering the breast can be bejeweled or pleated. Another option would be a floral pattern simple, but w w w . a m g tt. c o m

with plenty of red and green as to not be mistaken for too carefree an ensemble. Top this look off with a pair of strappy heels or pumps and a clutch. The halter dress- These can either be long or short; the short look is more casual while the long look is more formal but the look can be reversed depending on the shoes that are chosen to match these outfits. For dinner parties, a formfitting, knee-length halter can be accompanied with pumps or if the longer dress option is chosen, these too can be matched with pumps or strappy heels. The Mini dress- These can be a bit tricky as they run the risk of being a bit too sexy. Depending on the type of dinner party, they can be worn with a jacket to make the outfit seem a bit casual and strappy heels are preferred to modulate the sexy factor. In the end, you get a polished, chic look that works better for the graduation. The list above should be used as a guide when making your final selection. The important thing to remember is to choose something that you’re comfortable wearing, depending on the graduation ball format. MAY 2014





Weight Loss Liquids

eople who are dieting are told about the benefits of drinking water to aid in weight loss, as it speeds up metabolism and controls appetite. But there are other liquids that can help with this process. Liquids can provide the right balance between foods and help reduce your caloric intake. Remember you need to find the right balance; a liquid-diet and drinking liquids while dieting are two different weight loss options. You should always consult with your doctor first before trying either one. See below several liquids that can help you lose weight.


Ice cold water. Your body needs to use heat to convert the cold water you drink to hot water. By doing this, you body can burn approximately 250-300 calories per day, depending on the amount of water you drink, ideally 8 glasses a day.


Fat-free milk. Milk is high in calcium and calcium has been known to break down fat in fat cells. This does not mean that you should go gulping down gallons of milk as this can actually cause the reverse. But adding milk to your diet in moderation is great for weight loss.

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Green tea. The benefits of green tea as a weightloss supplement are end-

less. They can stimulate metabolism, increase weight loss and when used with exercising can double the weight that you lose.


Vegetable juice. Vegetables are packed with plenty proteins and nutrients that can help you feel full faster. In its purest form and when liquefied, if drunk before meals, vegetable juice may cause you to eat 135 calories less.


Whey protein. They can help you curb your cravings so that you don’t feel the need to constantly snack during the day. People who drink either whey or casein eat significantly less food than others.


Yogurt-based smoothies. The thickness of the smoothie will help control your appetite and yogurt contains milk which breaks down the fat in cells. The calcium also limits the amount of fat your body can make, but reach for Greek yogurt as this is healthier, and try adding whey or fruit to give your smoothie more richness.


Coconut water. This is best used when exercising as it gives you more energy to burn more calories. It also contains more electrolytes than juices without the added sugars or artificial flavorings.

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Make Your Workouts More Efficient


veryone is on some kind of time constraint these days with work, family time, and friends so it is important to know how to maximize your time in the gym. These tips will help you sculpt your time in the gym to be more efficient: • Come prepared with knowing what you are going to do. Have a notepad if necessary so you can bang out set after set. • Bring a water bottle so you can avoid frequent trips to that water fountain. • Stay away from all the social butterflies that like to talk in between sets. Stay off your phone and stop texting or checking Facebook. Wear headphones so you can stay “in the zone.” • Go to the gym early in the morning or later in the evening. Beat the 9-5 crowd. • Don’t take too long of a break in between sets. You don’t want to let your heart

rate lower too much. For example if you just finished a bicep set, jump right on over and get on a triceps machine. • If you are in a hurry, do not focus on isolating one muscle at a time like your biceps or triceps. Work on larger muscle groups that day. For example; pull-ups, squats, flat bench target more than just one muscle. • Change up your routine every 4-6 weeks. Your body will adjust to your current work load. Try changing up your workout and intensity for maximum results.



Driver Security Tips


ome people actually feel safer in their cars than they do in their homes. The control and power one gets from being behind the wheel can lead one into a false sense of security. However, it is important to be vigilant and maintain your safety in your car as well. Pay attention to your surroundings Don't get distracted by talking on your cellphone or texting when you're walking into the service center or walking back to your car. If you do, you'll be less aware of what's going on around you, and you'll be a perfect target for someone who wants to rob you — or worse. Keep Vehicle Locked Whilst driving, ensure the vehicle is locked. Some of the newer vehicles lock automatically when you drive off. Some vehicles have this feature but it may not be activated. See your local garage if you think your car may have this feature. If Being Followed… If you suspect that you are being followed, make several turns down active streets. If the vehicle continues to follow, head for the nearest police station or 26

large open store. Stop in a heavily frequented parking space and call the police. Never drive home! Don’t Keep Valuables Visible Valuables belong in the (covered) trunk! Don't put your purse on the passenger seat! Put your purse on the floor in front of the passenger seat. Don't put your purse on the floor in front of the driver's seat! It might get tangled up with the break and gas pedals. Reduce Bad Opportunities Keep your car tuned up, check your tires and keep your gas tank full. Reduce your vulnerability. Carry a cellphone and a car charger, but don’t talk on your phone, even hands-free. A working GPS is a must in this time. Always know where you are going and how to get out of sticky situations. Above all, take advantage of roadside assistance provided by insurance.

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Dog Training Don’ts

et training is more difficult than you think. However, a patient and thoughtful trainer can get results easily. It is important to know what to do, but it is equally important to know what not to do. Don’t go crazy with your commands Watch how you talk to your dog. Do not nag your dog by repeating commands. Dogs are pretty much like humans in the sense that nagging teaches them to ignore you. Similarly, refrain from yelling at your dog. He's not deaf. Raising your voice doesn't improve understanding. Don't plan on sessions longer than 20 minutes Expecting a young dog to focus on learning for longer than 20 minutes is unfair. Instead, try to find 20 minutes to work with your dog each day. As your dog reaches maturity, her attention

span will grow, allowing you to extend sessions if you wish. Don’t use confrontational methods that may frighten your dog. Avoid aversive equipment like choke collars or shock collars when training. This may be painful and scary for your pet. Positive reinforcement is much more fun for both owner and dog.



What To Wear When Flying?

ir-travel has become more difficult with the implementation of new laws and regulations governing Airports worldwide. As such, travel can be quite a hassle especially when going through the airport. For this reason, it is easier to ensure that you dress as comfortable and light as possible so that your encounter with airport security can be hassle-free. Depending on the country you are travelling to, the weather should determine your dress code. Ultimately, unnecessary pieces should be left in the carry-on luggage, until you reach your destination. You can wear layers of clothing, but keep it at a minimum. Maybe 2 or 3 jackets on your person as the temperature on the aircraft can change periodically and it is always better to be prepared for the weather in the visiting country. Wearing less clothing also means fewer pieces to remove when going through the scanners. A basic cotton tshirt worn under the jacket is recommended as cotton keeps 28

you cool when necessary and will not give a bulky look if a jacket or overcoat is worn over it. The best footwear is low heel shoes or flat, comfortable covered slip-ons. If the weather in the country that you are flying to is warm; open-toed slipsons or sandals are preferred. For those wearing covered flats or sneakers, wear a pair of socks as your footwear needs to be removed before going through security. For this reason, wear loose-fitting shoes so that there is no difficulty when removing them. A pair of socks can prevent your bare-feet from touching the ground after your shoes have been removed. If the socks are to be worn with a pair of sneakers, a pair of cotton athletic socks should be used in order to keep your feet moisture-free. Remember to leave enough room in the shoe to accommodate the socks. Airline travel tips recommend wearing long-sleeve shirts and long pants when flying. Not only does it keep you

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warm, but it is the best choice in case of an emergency. If there was an accident on board, certain materials are highly flammable such as nylon, polyester, rayon or panty-hose, therefore these should not be worn. Instead, they suggest clothes made of cotton, wool, denim, or leather. For overnight flights, dark colours are recommended as they trap heat and can provide an ample amount of warmth when the aircraft gets cold. Materials made from lycra and cotton materials provide sufficient insulation, but do not wear too many pieces for they can provide too much heat. Wrinkle-free clothing is highly recommended (especially shirts) because you will be moving around and shuffling about from time to time. This happens from the moment you exit the taxi in one country and enter a taxi in another. Also, you may shift a bit in your seat during your flight. After all, some flights can last for over 10 hours and during that time you

may have to visit the washroom a couple times or walk around the aircraft a bit to prevent restlessness. There is a product known as skins that increases circulation and lowers the risks of leg pain during long flights. Some athletes swear by this product as it keeps the muscles free which results in less discomfort and pain. It also increases energy levels. Stock up on some skins before your next flight Pockets should be emptied of all loose metal-like items such as loose change, jewelry, metal belts and buckles. These should be left in your carry-on luggage until you arrive at your destination or until you clear the security area. Wearing the right clothing when flying can make you better prepared for long flights or the dreaded delayed or layover flights. It can also ensure maximum comfort during the flight and can curb the effects of jetlag ensuring that you are full of energy and ready to go, when you arrive at your destination.

Abstract Home Is Published By Abstract Media Group, Premium Commercial Complex, San Juan, Trinidad, W.I. • Tel: (868) 638 1156/9 • Fax: (868) 638 1160. Printed By The Office Authority - Printing Division And Distributed By AMG

Abstract Home Vol.5 Issue 10 2014  
Abstract Home Vol.5 Issue 10 2014  

In this issue: Posh Patios and more Create your own cocktails at home Tips to improve your living quarters