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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.

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ittle messes have a tendency to add up over time. When this continues for a while, things tend to get almost unbearable and it is difficult to clean in just one day. Besides, who has an entire day to devote to cleaning? People are just too busy. One way to tackle your house cleaning so it doesn’t become overbearing is to create a checklist. This helps you reduce your stress and split up cleaning into manageable tasks you can accomplish during the week. Try printing one and placing it on your refrigerator. To make things easier, you can get the entire family involved by delegating various tasks. Assess the Situation Begin by creating a master task list. Analyze the job before you and work toward cutting it down. Before you can decide when to clean you must first know what to clean, and how often. This assessment should revolve around you and how you will manage the tasks along with your regular routine. Of course differently sized homes and families will have different checklists. Don’t expect the studio bachelor pad to have the same steps as a four bedroom six person home. Write It Out Much like you would a school study timetable, you actually have to draw up a list and separate it by days, weeks or however long your cleaning routine lasts for. You can choose to separate your tasks by room or the actual

Creating Lists To Make

Home Spic N Span job itself. To ensure you maximize efficiency, include a time for each task. That way you will finish your cleaning on time and you won’t feel overworked. Be Tactical In order for the list to work your plan of action must be implemented in such a way as to get results from the onset. If you do a great job the first time, it reduces the amount of work you have to do for follow up cleanings. Below are some steps to help you do the job without cleaning the same thing twice or missing anything.

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Start at the top of the room and work down. Begin using your dust cloths on ceiling fans, window casings, and blinds.

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Tackle screens and windows next. Use mild detergent,

such as soapy water.

used, buff the finish.

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Next, get started on the walls, including moldings and woodwork, by using a vacuum to remove dust first. Do the kitchen walls with a solvent-free de-greaser. Make a note to start at the bottom of walls to avoid streaks.

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Disinfect cupboards and remove refrigerator drawers and shelves, wiping each clean. Wipe the outside of the fridge, pull it out from the wall, and vacuum the coils. Use warm, soapy water to spruce up the stove, oven and microwave.

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Sanitize the bathrooms, toilets, counters, stalls, and walls. Remember to check outof-date medicines and throw expired drugs away.

Beat cushions and rugs. Do this outside so you won’t raise dust indoors. Get into the chairs and couches with a vacuum crevice tool and tend to stains by following manufacturer directions. At that point, move couches and chairs, and clean behind.

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Wipe wooden furniture, surfaces, moldings, and handrails with a damp folded cloth, and then polish with a cotton cloth. Where wax is w w w . a m g tt. c o m

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Finally, do the basic cleaning duties to add the finishing touch to your cleaning such as sweeping all the floors, mopping, and vacuuming, even under the beds. Your house will be spic and span in no time and you will be able to follow up effectively with your new checklist. JULY 2014

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LIVING QUARTERS

Not All Fungi Are Bad: Mycorrhizal Fungi – Perfect For Your Plant

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ycorrhizal fungi are tiny, harmless critters that attach themselves to plant roots and actually help plants to make use of water and organic nu-

trients in the soil. They live on the roots of roughly 95% of all earth’s plant species. In exchange for what they provide the plant, the plant offers the fungi a meal of sugars (fixed carbon) produced by the photosynthesis process. These fungi populate the area around a plant’s roots and form very thin filaments, adding to the length and efficiency of a plant’s roots. This is like having a second set of roots for the plants. Thus, plants, trees, and shrubs with a wellestablished mycorrhizal fungal root system are better able to survive droughts and transplant shock. They also absorb more nutrients from the soil. Plants with mycorrhizal fungi can survive better in their

non-native environments, or that is to say, environments that don’t necessarily reflect the ideal environments for their survival, such as urban areas and home gardens. Mycorrhizal fungi also boost a plant’s immune system, making them resistant to soil-borne pathogens. In addition, they help to keep parasites such as nematodes away. A lack of mycorrhizal fungi can create problems with trees, shrubs and plants when they are growing in our gardens. Unfortunately, our day to day gardening tasks can negatively affect these delicate mycorrhizal fungi. For example, the use of chemical fertilizers, tilling, and hoeing can disrupt or even destroy the mycorrhizal fungi

found in your soil. Additionally, many of the plants we purchase and grow in the garden lack the necessary mycorrhizal fungi growing on their roots when we plant them. Furthermore, our home garden soils may lack enough mycorrhizal fungi to truly benefit our plants. However, the good news is that you can stimulate the growth of mycorrhizal fungi and get them to work more efficiently with a mycorrhizal fungi root builder. You can find them in your neighbourhood agri store. By using this product, you can restore or create the necessary presence of mycorrhizal fungi in your garden. It will work great on all the plants in your garden, including turf grass.

Building A New House? Select One Of These Roofing Options

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electing the right roof for your home is not an easy choice, especially given the number of options available today. Certain considerations need to be made before building such as climate conditions and the durability of materials. Technological advancements have lead to roofing materials being more environmentally friendly and more long lasting as compared to 50 years ago. See below several roofing options that are ideal for homes. Asphalt roofing shingles are one of the most long lasting roofing options and are available in different colours and styles. Another advantage to this type of roofing is that it can be selfapplied or done by a contractor. When applied with the proper roofing felt paper, this type of roof ensures a durable, leak-free 2

roof. Wood roofing shingles give the home a natural look and offers lots of insulation. It is easy to repair and maintain and can give at least 50 years durability if carefully maintained. It is however, very expensive and requires professional installation. Because it is made from wood, it can fall prey to mildew and can rot or split. Metal roofing is also very

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long lasting and comes in a variety of colours that will make your house look great. It is lightweight, takes little to no maintenance and can insulate your homes. It is environmentally friendly and can combat harsh weather conditions such as strong winds or rain. From time to time, it may need painting and may be a bit difficult to install. Slate is strong, long lasting and looks good on any house. It

has a very beautiful and distinctive appearance but it is very expensive. It is very heavy, yet fragile and is high maintenance. For this reason, some owners choose not to go with this option, especially if they are working on a strict or low budget. Terracotta tiles are probably the prettiest as there are different, colours, styles and patterns to choose from. They are fireproof, last long when maintained but they are also very expensive so not many people choose this option. Concrete roofing is very light weight and is fire and insect resistant. It is one of the most durable types of roofing available and is very low maintenance. Not recommended for persons working on a low budget as it is very expensive to maintain and to install.


LIVING QUARTERS

Ant Prevention Tips

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hen it comes to ants in the home, there is never just one! So if you see one, it might just be a lonely ant that has lost its way and made it into your home; but it's more likely that its family members are somewhere close by in your home, too! If you've had an ant problem or just have some ants that have made their way in a few times, then you know how unpleasant it can be. And if you haven't had any visiting ants then consider yourself lucky, and keep reading below to learn helpful tips for preventing ants from entering your home in the future.

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Never leave food out. This takes discipline, but it's well worth it. Closing a cracker box sometimes isn't enough to keep ants away. You'll

ants. They won't be able to smell it, which means they won't come that way.

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Clean spills immediately. I once left some spilled chicken grease on the counter while I ran out for a quick errand. Just 10 minutes later I returned to hundreds of ants crawling all over the chicken gravy/grease spill.

actually need to put it in a sealed bag in a cabinet.

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Store food that you leave on the counter in airtight containers. If you like keeping coffee, sugar or flour containers on your counter, then make sure they are stored in airtight containers that will deter

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Make sure the bottom of your garbage can stays dirt-free, as dirt can attract ants. It is especially important to take the garbage out every day.

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Keep pet bowls and dishes clean by changing the food frequently and check to make sure small ants haven't invaded the bowl.

Five Mistakes To Avoid

When Buying A Sofa wrong size or style is one of the biggest mistakes that many first time buyers or bargain-hunters commit. Although we are only able to pinpoint 5 of these mistakes here, these are the most crucial and should be avoided at all costs. Remember a sofa is bought with the intention to be used and enjoyed for a period of years, so be careful to avoid these.

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here are many common mistakes that people make when purchasing a sofa. Apart from choosing a poor-quality sofa, choosing the 4

Purchasing the wrong size. Even before you visit the store, you should know the size of the sofa you want, meaning that you should have an idea of the available free space in your room. When you don’t measure the available space you can end up with a sofa that is too big or small for your room. The sofa should also be

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of the same scale (size, height) as your other furniture so that it does seem too big or small when placed alongside it.

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Purchasing a sofa without trying it out. Sit in the sofa before purchasing it; just as a sofa shouldn’t be too big or small, you should be able to fit in it comfortably. If you are tall, make sure that the seat is deep enough so that you are able to sit in it comfortably. If you are not very tall, or have bad knees, look for a shallow seat that lets you rise out of it easily.

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Buying the wrong style of sofa. Your sofa should complement the style of your living room and match as far as possible the style of the furniture. It should blend in

with the décor and not stand out as if it doesn’t belong.

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Purchasing a sofa in the wrong fabric. You need to remember the purpose of your sofa and what it will be used for. Also be wary of the colour and the pattern that you choose; remember this is a piece of furniture that you may have to live with for a long time.

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Buying a poor-quality sofa. If a sofa that should be worth more is now priced at a lesser value, warning signs should off in your head. Be sure to budget enough for a good quality sofa even if it means having to spend a few extra dollars. This could save you from repair and upholstering costs in the future.


LIVING QUARTERS

2014 Custom Home Building Trends

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e know how hard it is to get a government home. So chances are designing and building a custom home is the option you chose. If you are considering building, here are some of the most recent building trends to consider. Throughout the whole home • Environmentally friendly. Nearly all newly built homes are incorporating several “green” features. New trends for 2014 include tankless water heaters, solar panels, and ENERGY STAR-qualified windows and doors. • Open floor plans. This trend has been popular for several years, but it continues to be the preferred kind of interior for homeowners building custom homes. Great rooms are replacing separate living rooms and dining rooms to bring eve6

ryone together and make entertaining easier. In the Bathroom • Air jetted tubs. Unlike water jetted tubs, air jets allow you to use oils and bath salts in the tub. There is also no opportunity for bath product build-up in the jets because only air travels through the jets. • Large showers with spa

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showerheads. The bathroom is your space of rejuvenation. A 2014 trend is to give yourself plenty of room to move under a rain showerhead, body sprayer, or other spa showerhead in your spacious, custom shower. In The Kitchen • Custom islands. An island is the hub of any kitchen and the main location where

pre-cooking preparations take place. Standard-sized islands can be replaced by longer, thinner islands that come with one or more levels. The surface of the island can match the other countertops in the kitchen, or you can make it stand out with a surface of a different material. • Showcase. Cupboards are not just for storing your cooking equipment in custom kitchens. Decorative, glass cabinets can be used to showcase fine china, antique tools, and other trinkets that serve as conversation pieces. • Decorative wood oven hoods. Oven hoods are a functional piece of your kitchen, but that doesn’t mean they have to look utilitarian! Oven hoods can match your cabinets and trim so they become a part of the kitchen décor, instead of fighting it.


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Should Couples Have Joint Or Separate Accounts?

here is no right or wrong answer to this question and even if the couple receives financial advice on the issue, the final decision is left up to them. A number of factors should be considered before going into such an agreement such as the length of the relationship, the status of the relationship and the money that is to be contributed. Some say yes, while others say no and as with everything there will be certain benefits and drawbacks. If you and your partner are thinking about having a joint account, consider these points first.

and you would be able to have a certain level of privacy on what you purchase.

cisions as a team and can help you to achieve goals faster.

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There is no ‘your’ or ‘mine’ bank account. It is clear that the account is to be used for all the needs of the couple and the household, such as bills, groceries, miscellaneous items, forming a bond and togetherness within the union.

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No conflict. Similar to number four, there will be no misunderstandings as to whose turn it was to pay, for example, the electricity bill, as the joint account takes care of all the couple’s and household needs.

often seeking advice from your spouse, but not awaiting his/her approval

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Gift-buying is easier especially if purchasing a gift for your spouse. Because there is no one else to track the activity on the account, your spouse won’t be aware of any deductions.

Advantages of having a joint account Encourages regular communication about finances. If you’re not yet married or just planning a wedding, a joint account will help to foster discussions about money management and plans for your money.

Advantages of having a separate account Financial book-keeping depends on one person. It is your account and you will be able to manage your spending, making records of your deposits and expenditure.

No need to discuss finance regularly. Each person is in charge of their own account and its spending patterns. Therefore they won’t need to constantly consult each other on money matters.

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Accountability for one’s actions. Not so much as in ‘keeping tabs’ but you will be able to track your spending and keep a closer eye on financial decisions, now that you are sharing the account with someone else.

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You can spend the money as you please without consulting someone else. You can also place limits on your spending if need be and prioritize your spending in terms of importance.

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Promotes unity in money matters. Having a joint account can help you to make de8

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You can create your own saving goals and identify ways on how to achieve these,

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Each spouse can have an allocated amount for themselves. If each person has the responsibility to pay a certain number of bills or contribute a certain amount to grocery buying, the rest can be used at their disposal.

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Having your own account generates independence

As mentioned above, the decision is based solely on you and your mate and the type of relationship that you enjoy. There is a difference between having a separate account and separate finances. Separate finances mean that you spend your income on what you want as an individual, while setting aside a certain amount to handle the needs of the house. A separate account can be had in connection with an individual account, but the finances in the joint account are spent on the home. The latter works well with most marriages as it gives each individual independence while still working as a team. The key is to maintain financial unity at all times, through constant communication and honesty. Some married couples have revealed that they have separate accounts that their spouses are unaware of; this is not recommended. Ultimately, although you have a separate account your partner should have access to that account as well to prevent too much independence. Remember a marriage is a union and as such all matters should be treated as a partnership.


elegant ideas

Beautiful Bedroom Accessories

A collection of wall art and bedside chairs adds rich character to this sleep space

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elegant ideas

This modern bedroom stands out thanks to the painted blue accent on the ceiling and metallic chest of drawers with large mirror

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elegant ideas

Indoor plants and lounge furniture make this room more than just a full-sized bed 14

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elegant ideas

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KITCHEN

Are You Underusing Utensils?

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ome people develop an overreliance on some things when it comes to the kitchen. Others have a bounty of products that they seldom use. While some kitchen appliances and utensils are quite unnecessary, others are great, but end up being underutilized. Here’s a list of those gadgets chefs of all levels should know and use. Some gadgets are a bit lesser known while others have no place in the kitchen… ever. Underused: Microplane Everyone has used a grater to shred cheese over food, but how many have used the grater’s more intricate cousin, the microplane? Appearing in many forms; stand-up, hand-held and somewhere in between… the microplane is used to more finely

shred, or zest, anything from nutmeg and cheese to the rind of any citrus fruit. Meat tenderizer No one wants to wait overnight

for steaks to marinate. For great meats fast, use a meat tenderizer. There are two kinds. The first is the mallet, which looks like it sounds. Simply pound a piece of meat while

pulling outward on its edges. Eventually, the meat will become softer and cook up nice and juicy. The second is a tenderizer with sharpened columns that act as little needles, puncturing the meat and allowing for marinades to soak in. The device looks like a hand-held stamp used on postal or legal documents. On the other hand, some products are downright unnecessary such as Dash Pinch Smidgen measuring spoons. These novelty spoons are ridiculous. Dashes, pinches and smidgens are negligible measurements that are better made by feel, sight and taste. And while the three spoons aren’t really expensive, your money would be better spent onto something else.

Things To Consider When

Installing A Kitchen Range Hood

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kitchen range hood is designed to catch and remove smoke and fumes from the kitchen, especially those that occur while cooking. Range hoods are available with various features and come in different types and sizes. Here are some things to consider when installing a range hood. Size - For efficiency, the hood needs to be at least as wide as the range or cooktop. Units will mount either on the wall or under the cabinet — some are adaptable to mount either way. Measure your cooking surface before selecting a range hood and always read the specified requirements for the proper mounting height. Exhaust - Since the idea is to remove air, the best range hood

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is only as good as its exhaust system. There are three configurations:

Vented or Ducted - Requiring ductwork to channel the exhaust outdoors.

the hood on an interior wall or island, keep in mind the longer distance and consider a more powerful unit.

Combination - Can be used with or without ducts.

Ductwork - Proper installation of ductwork is critical to the efficiency of the range hood. While many individuals choose to hire a professional to install their ductwork, you can purchase materials and accessories to do it yourself. Always read the manufacturer's specifications carefully.

Location - Where will the range hood be located? If you select a ducted unit, the exhaust must be vented to the outside, never directed to the attic or basement. If your range hood will be mounted on an exterior wall, the exhaust ducts will be shorter and therefore more efficient. If you plan to install

Design - Range hoods are available in many styles, from hideaway models to brushed metal units. The type of range you have, gas or electric will require different types of hoods. Look for models that are easy to clean, some have parts that can be put in your dishwasher to be cleaned.

Non-vented or Duct-free -With washable and replaceable filter(s) to clean and return the air to the kitchen.


RECIPES

Scintillating Spicy Cuisine

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t’s no secret that a great deal of Caribbean cuisine favours spicy flavours. It does not necessarily need to contain scorching hot peppers, but just the right spice blend to add that extra kick to your dish. These recipes provide just that.

Spicy Ginger Chicken Wings Ingredients 3 pounds chicken wings 2 eggs, beaten 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup margarine 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 3 tablespoons soy sauce 3 tablespoons water 1 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon monosodium glutamate (MSG) (optional) 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 serrano chile peppers, minced (optional) 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted Directions Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Blot chicken wings dry with a paper towel. Beat the eggs in a bowl, and place the flour in another bowl. Dip chicken wings into the egg, then into the flour to lightly coat, shaking off the excess. Melt the margarine in a large skillet over medium high heat. Pan fry the chicken wings until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, gently boil the ci18

der vinegar, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, monosodium glutamate, Salt, serrano chile peppers, and ginger in a saucepan over medium heat until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Toss the browned chicken wings in the sauce to coat, then transfer the wings to large baking dish with a slotted spoon. Reserve remaining sauce. Bake in the preheated oven until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 30 minutes, rotating and basting with the reserved sauce after 15 minutes. Sprinkle sesame seeds on the chicken wings before serving.

Spicy Grilled Shrimp Ingredients 1 large clove garlic 1 tablespoon coarse salt 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon paprika 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons lemon juice 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined 8 wedges lemon, for garnish Directions Preheat grill for medium heat. In a small bowl, crush the garlic with the salt. Mix in cayenne pepper and paprika, and then stir in olive oil and lemon juice to form a paste. In a large bowl, toss shrimp with garlic paste until evenly coated. Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with lemon wedges, and serve.

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Spicy Black Bean Salad Ingredients 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed 1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained 1 red onion, diced 3/4 cup salsa, or as desired 1/2 cup olive oil 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper Directions Mix black beans, corn, red onion, salsa, olive oil, cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, cumin, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to 2 days. Serve chilled.

Sweet and Spicy Green Beans Ingredients 3/4 pound fresh green beans, trimmed 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 clove garlic, minced 1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce 1 teaspoon honey 2 teaspoons canola oil Directions Arrange a steamer basket in a pot over boiling water, and steam the green beans 3 to 4 minutes.

In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, garlic, garlic chili sauce, and honey. Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the green beans, and fry for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in the soy sauce mixture. Continue cooking and stirring 2 minutes, or until the liquid is nearly evaporated. Serve immediately.

Spicy Pasta Ingredients 1 (12 ounce) package rotini pasta 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 clove garlic, crushed 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 1 onion, diced 2 red chile peppers, seeded and chopped 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes 3 drops hot pepper sauce Salt and ground black pepper to taste Directions Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain. Meanwhile, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute garlic with basil and Italian seasoning for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in onion and chiles; cook until onion is tender. Stir in tomatoes and hot sauce; simmer for 5 minutes, or until heated through. Toss with the cooked pasta, and season with salt and pepper.


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Three Tips For Renewing Your Vows

enewing wedding vows can be a special occasion. It is usually done to mark special occasions like anniversaries. Most importantly, it is a time to enforce the love shared between husband and wife. It also offers the opportunity for spouses to make up for elements of their actual wedding that may have been missed. Didn’t go on honeymoon? Do so after the renewal. Got married at a JP’s office? Do it in a lavish hall this time. When it’s all said and done, you should consider that there are tips to ensure that all goes well. Keep It Personal Vow renewals are usually much more intimate and personal than a traditional wedding, so you may not have many guests or any at all. If you two had children together, you may want to include them in the ceremony, or other close friends and family. If you choose to renew your 20

and inexpensive. Then again, it is common for a married couple to renew vows for a marked anniversary. In this case, new rings seal the new “marriage” but the rings are also a great gift in recognition of the milestone reached.

vows over the holidays it may include more people as extended family comes together at those times. Seek New Bling While buying new wedding rings is not expected, it is a

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wonderful gesture. Couples renewing wedding vows make the decision to present each other with new rings for several reasons. For instance, the couple might have eloped and never had rings at all or, it could be that the initial rings were simple

Write your Vows You don't have to do this, but this is a vow renewal ceremony, with the focus on your continued love for your spouse, so writing your own vows is a nice touch. If your officiant is a clergyman, ask if you can write something to say in addition to the traditional ceremony readings. If your officiant is a friend or family member, you will need to figure out what he will say as well, since he will have no experience in leading this kind of ceremony. There you have it. Not too much info, but ideal info to help you renew your wedding vows.


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Helping Children Identify Human Dangers

elling children not to talk to strangers in order to safeguard them from dangers is no longer enough. As parents you should ensure that you teach them basic skills about identifying child predators and what they should do if they ever encounter one. Parents must also ensure that they do so without frightening the child, as this can cause a breakdown in social relationships with adults as the child matures. See tips below that can be used to teach children about strangers.

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Explain to children that a stranger can be anyone, even someone they may see on a regular basis but may not interact with.

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Children are more intuitive than adults and can sense when something isn’t right. Tell them to walk away if ever in doubt.

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Develop code words between you and your child so that, in the event of an

them that they are not allowed to accept toys, money or treats from any stranger unless the stranger uses the accepted code word.

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If your child is old enough, give him a cell phone that is easily accessible so that they can call a parent or guardian if ever in danger. Teach them emergency numbers such as the police emergency number, so that they can call in an emergency as soon as it occurs.

7 emergency, you would be aware that they are in danger. Develop a separate code word so that if someone unknown has to interact with your child, they will be able to use the word, informing your child that it’s okay.

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If your child travels or walks home from school, ensure that they do so in pairs or groups. Also, alternate

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the routes that they take in case predators may be monitoring their routine.

Tell your kids to stay put if they get lost. They will have a better chance of being found rather than wandering. The cell phone will be essential in a situation such as this.

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Teach your children about acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Inform them that strangers are not allowed to touch private areas and that if this happens they should inform their parents immediately. Also, tell

Do not make your child’s name outwardly visible as predators can use that to lure your child. When called by name, a child may feel a sense of familiarity and may be more inclined to wander off with a stranger.


WARDROBE

POWDER ROOM

Blemishes Be Gone: Covering Up With Concealer

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ake-up is the perfect solution to cover blemishes on the face but the technique used is equally important. There are natural ways to promote a flawless complexion such as drinking plenty of water and maintaining a cleanse-moisturize-tone system. But for the dark circles under eyes or puffiness from a late night out, try these quick solutions to add a fresh glow to your face. Under eye-circles- whether genetically inherited or caused by a lack of sleep, these unsightly marks can add years to your face. These can be covered by concealer, which is available in many trusted and preferred brands. Make-up artistes suggest purchasing one lighter than your skin and gently rubbing it in before applying make-up. Acne blemishes- the best solution for acne blemishes is using a concealer that does 2 jobs: cover the acne and treat and prevent future breakouts. One that is oil-free with blemish-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid or tea tree oil. Stick formulas are the recommended choice because they are thicker and drier, so they tend to offer better coverage. Scars- the stick concealer is the perfect choice for this as it is light and won’t move around on the skin, exposing the scars. However, for raised scars, make-

up artistes suggest the concealer pen because the light texture gives smoother coverage. Fine lines and wrinkles- before you apply any powder or foundation, apply a concealer to cover up any noticeable lines after cleansing and moisturizing your face. The moisturizer should contain hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which will fill lines, reducing the need for a heavy concealer. Your concealer should also contain moisturizing properties, as any other will give a matted effect. Uneven skin tone- although a concealer would hide the blotchiness of uneven skin tone, it is better to treat this gradually to ensure that your skin looks flawless naturally. In the mean time, use a primer before adding moisturizer as this helps to make the perfect concealer. Then use a tinted moisturizer or light foundation to create an even base. The foundation will provide further coverage to the areas that need it. Redness and Rosacea- more than concealing this, the idea is not to irritate the skin to cause any redness or rosacea flares. Sensitive skin formulas as well as formulas with SPF-15 can help to keep these at bay. There are some concealers that contain aloe and honey and these treat irritated skin while hiding red patches. These are the best options.

A Girl's Guide To Buying Jeans

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very woman’s closet should have a couple pieces of denim. The problem is, some women find it really difficult to buy a good pair of jeans. This guide will help you get the perfect pair. Be Open-minded Very often you think you know your shape and what suits you, but always be open to trying new things. Many women think certain jeans don’t suit them (especially skinny jeans) but with the right styling, a woman can wear different styles. Watch The Size Carefully If you have a short-waist, go for low-slung jeans with hip hugger styles. This creates the illusion of having a longer torso. If you aren’t too sure about the style, just make sure to abstain from baggy jeans. Look for jeans with “low-rise” or “boot-cut” labels as they will balance your hips. Plus sized women should also avoid baggy jeans. They w w w . a m g tt. c o m

should also avoid tight jeans as they may show off all the wrong curves. Wide-leg, mediumraise jeans will balance your proportions. Make sure it is a relaxed fit. Lastly, when it comes to girls with long torsos, go for the high-raised jeans that will make your legs look longer and leaner. Do avoid super low-raise jeans as this will only make your torso look even longer. Find Quality Fabric Of course we know that no one is going to buy poor quality clothing on purpose. However, it may be difficult for the untrained eye to tell what's good quality from what isn’t. The best bet is to invest in premium brands that specialize in denim. Feel the fabric closely – if it has too much stretch to it, it will likely give way too quickly and lose shape after a few washes. To choose quality denim, find one that has some stretch, but not too much. JULY 2014

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MEDICINE CABINET

home gym

Spin Your Way Into Shape

Medication Mistakes To Avoid

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f you’ve never skipped a dose of medication then you’ve probably never needed any because you’re not human. For the humans out there, there would be times when you would have taken mediation in a way that could potentially be hazardous to you. There are some things to be considered if you are to prevent these mistakes. Taking the Wrong Dosage Missing doses matters. Taking too little of your meds can reduce their effectiveness and may cause flare-ups of the condition they’re supposed to treat. Similarly, taking too much drugs can have adverse effects. Overdoses are the number one cause of medication fatalities and the most common medication error. Prescription drugs that have abuse potential are the most common culprits. Not Reading Instructions People rarely read the pamphlet that comes with a prescription medication. This is no shock since it is usually cluttered with scientific language. However, it contains vital information

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that’s worth the slog. Be sure to get instructions from the pharmacist, but also read up on the correct dosage, whether to take the medication with or without food, and if you should always use it at a certain time of day. The pamphlet will also tell you about common side effects, whether it’s OK to drink alcohol, and what to do if you forget to take a dose. Bad Food and Drug Interactions Another common mistake is bad drug interactions, where more than one type of medication is used simultaneously with negative effects. However, that is not as common as bad food interactions. While it’s common knowledge that certain medications ought not to be taken at the same time, the issue of foods interacting with drugs is less commonly discussed. For instance, grapefruit juice can cause potentially dangerous interactions with at least 85 medications because it contains a compound that affects the way medications are metabolized by the liver.

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T

rue commitment is a treasured and difficult attribute to possess. This can be expounded in great detail when it comes to following a fitness plan. It seems as though the only time Trinbagonians take fitness seriously is leading up to Carnival Monday and Tuesday. Even then, fitness is hardly the true goal, but more so aesthetic impact. If you are one of the few who need little motivation to reach your fitness goals, then what you may be looking for is a fun new way to get fit. If you haven’t tried spinning before, don’t hesitate to start. One of the most beneficial effects of spinning is that it helps burn calories and is a good form of cardio. Mr. Sam, a front desk attendant at Life Fitness Gym in Arima said “it tones the legs; with consistent training for about a month you could see change”. There are special packages geared towards persons with different lifestyles starting from $170… per month and a quarterly rate (4 months) of $400.00. Spinning uses large muscle groups in the legs and therefore, over time you will notice your thighs, calves and hamstrings getting into perfect shape A representative of a popu-

lar gym who chose to remain nameless said “spinning is a fat burning and cardio endurance exercise”. This gym also offers many spinning classes for both the morning and evening workout buffs. Adding to the fat burning advantages, with spinning you can burn 500 plus calories per class; it tones muscles, shapes your body as it helps lose inches and decreases body fat. Had a stressful day at work? Spinning is an instant stress reliever. For those of you suffering from knee and joint pain or arthritis, this is the perfect workout. The class does not put any pressure on the knees and joints and therefore, allows you to not only work hard but also does not stress you out due to the pain. Spinning also encourages persons to work at their own pace, even when following a gym instructor or work-out DVD. You can adjust the resistance levels for your comfort and you are never left behind; as compared to aerobics, where missing one step can spoil your whole workout routine. As a good source of mental health, spinning teaches us self discipline in putting our bodies through the workout. It also helps us to relax our minds by helping us release tension through exercise.


GARAGE

PETS

Secure Your Car

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here was a time when investing in a vehicle was considered a luxury. These days, considering our hectic lives and transportation woes, most people have come to see vehicle acquisition as a necessity. But the statistics haunt us. They remind us daily that we no longer live in an environment where the average man is free to enjoy the fruits of his labour. Vehicle theft is an annoyingly major occurrence in our shopping malls and major cities. The scourge has also crept into our rural communities where our property used to seem more secure. • When parking at home always use your garage if you have one. Always lock both your car and your garage. If you don't have a garage, always try to park in a well-lit, open place. • If you can afford it, install an electronic gate so that you don’t have to get out of your vehicle to open up. When you drive in, wait until the gate is closed before you switch off your car. • Minimize the number of places a burglar can hide in your yard so that you’re less likely to be ambushed. Always be wary of strange characters lurking around the area. • Always make sure that your doors are locked and your windows turned up when you stop at a traffic light. If you are accosted while in traffic, sound your horn to alert oth-

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ers of what is taking place. • If you think you’re being followed, never drive to your home. Go to the nearest Police Station. • Never exit your car if someone rear-ends you late at night. Just have them follow you to the police station. • Never leave anything on display when you park your car. Do not put valuables in the glove box or under the seat, thieves know the hiding places, take them with you or lock them securely in your boot. Remove all valuables even if you are parking your car in your garage. • Use a steering lock every time you leave your car. • When parking outside always try and park your car in an attended car park. • Locking wheel nuts are cheap and easy to install plus they stop thieves stealing your wheels. • Get a car alarm fitted by a pro. They not only deter a thief from taking your car but also its contents. • Always keep up to date insurance. • When you leave your car, always take the ignition key with you. Don't pop back into the house, leaving the engine running. At home, never leave your car keys, or house keys, near a door or window. Some thieves use a fishing rod or magnet on a stick to steal them through the letterbox.

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Why Training Is A Must For Your Mutt

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et’s face it! Over the years the crime rate in Trinidad and Tobago has escalated to startling levels. In order for citizens to feel safe they have employed different methods of security in their homes. While some tend to gravitate to security devices or community crime watch, others have decided to take matters into their own hands by purchasing and breeding dogs. Some persons believe the scarier the dog, the better defense they have against burglars and thieves. While this may be true, careful training of the dog is necessary to ward off unforeseen accidents such as the dog attacking civilians or harmless passer-bys. See below four reasons why dogs should be trained.

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A dog should be trained so that it can act appropriately in various environments. A dog needs to learn how to act in certain situations, to realize when an action is accepted and when it is not. Training helps to give this balance.

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An untrained dog can put a strain on the relationship between the dog and his owner and the dog and the community. If a dog misbehaves, taking it for walks or trips in public can be a strain, as you would always have to keep a close eye on its every move. Playtime may now be seen as a chore and it would not listen

to your commands. This is especially dangerous if there are children in the home or neighbourhood. The dog may tend to bark unnecessarily or try to bite neighbours if not properly trained. Training also helps the owner and dog communicate in a language that they both understand thereby making communication simpler

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A well- trained dog will save you from unwanted stress in your life. Dogs have been known to chew on shoes, furniture and rugs. If properly trained, they will know that this type of behavior is unacceptable. When guests arrive, they will refrain from jumping on their backs or licking their feet as this behaviour is unacceptable and warrants punishment.

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A properly trained dog can fend for itself and protect itself and its owner from danger. A dog will know what to do if it senses a possible burglary or if an unwanted person is in the house. Fending for itself also means staying put and not wandering in the streets, particularly without its owner. Depending on the breed of dog and where you choose to house it (indoors or outdoors) the training methods would be different. But training develops a sense of pride both in your dog and you.


TRAVEL

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Getting Road Trip Ready

lanning a road trip can be very time consuming, but it can be beneficial to the outcome of the trip in the long-run. Careful planning can ensure that all aspects of the trip have been considered such as sufficient finances, a clear route and a set destination. Even as you plan your road trip, leave room for disappointments, knowing that everything may not go as planned. When this happens, and it will, you would be able to handle it the best way possible.

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Identify your trip’s purpose. Are you taking a road trip to get to a certain destination or are you going sight-seeing for a couple of days. This will determine the level of planning needed.

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Know your preference. Are you willing to sleep in your car along the way or do you want to stop at a hotel to shower and change? 28

vehicle is functioning properly. Take along energy bars, water, first-aid kits, even a tent. Always be prepared.

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Set the right mood in your car. This is where you will be spending most of your time so ensure that it is comfortable and to your liking. Maybe add a cushion to make the seat softer and stock up on your favourite music.

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Research- Don’t just count on the GPS to chart your trip. Find a map and learn the different streets that can take you to your destination. What about safety? Is it wise to travel through the streets at night? Do in-depth research.

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Put it together- After you’ve done all the background research, it’s time

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to put everything together. List exactly which destinations you’ll be checking along the way, how long you intend to stay at any one location and the estimated length of the journey.

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Ensure that your vehicle is fully equipped with all the necessities. These include a check-up by the mechanic to ensure that no parts need to be replaced and that the

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Keep a journal- Most persons take pictures but a journal can help keep track of expenses and mileage which can be useful when planning other road trips.

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Have an open mind. Even though you plan down to the very last detail, have an open mind to new adventures. Maybe along the way you notice a building that looks interesting or a restaurant that looks inviting. Never be shy to try new things.


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

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Abstract Home Vol 5 Issue13 2014  

In this issue: Behold the key to bedroom design bliss Recipes: Add some spice to your life Steps to keep your kids safe

Abstract Home Vol 5 Issue13 2014  

In this issue: Behold the key to bedroom design bliss Recipes: Add some spice to your life Steps to keep your kids safe

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