Page 1


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.


hristmas cleaning is probably the most dreaded part of the Christmas period. However, it is one of the most necessary parts of the process for getting the perfect finished look. This is a great guide to going about your Christmas prep. Fix For A First Impression Anyone who comes over to celebrate or drop in with gifts has to come in through your entry way, so make a good impression here and it’ll have a knock-on effect throughout your house. It doesn’t need to be clean enough to eat off, just neat and tidy, so even 5 minutes spare will do the trick. Remove all cobwebs with a flat mop or broom and quickly wipe down dusty surfaces on the door and any windowsills with an all-purpose cloth. For an extra welcome, hang a wreath on the door by fixing the hook to the top of the inside of the door and attaching the wreath using a ribbon. Work On Walls Whether from greasy hair behind sofas or handprints near light switches, dubious stains on your walls need to be removed. Most stains will wash off painted walls, or if it simply won’t shift, you can always paint over the offending area. Wallpaper is potentially trickier, as you would have to re-paper at least one drop, but many papers are wipeable. Remember to vacuum the wall before washing it, so you don’t add a great dirty smear to the existing problem.

Quick Ways To Boost Your Christmas Prep Destroy Dirty Scents Most unsavoury scents emanate from the kitchen. The sink and dishwasher are the most common culprits. In order to freshen up the dishwasher, there is a nice tip that can do the trick perfectly. Run a cupful of clear vinegar through a cycle of the dishwasher (empty and without detergent). It'll remove grease, limescale and soap scum, leaving it clean and fresh. Wipe around the door seals and hinges with the vinegar. While you're at it, do the spray arms: food and limescale can get clogged in the jets. Most can be unscrewed and removed for cleaning; wash in hot soapy water and give them a scrub with a nylon brush. Empty the filter and wash in hot soapy water. Now place half a spent lemon on the top rack before turning on. Similarly, you can clean smelly sinks with vinegar. Slowly pour some baking soda followed by vinegar down the drain. When that is done, pour some boiling hot water down the drain.

No Dirty Decorations Few days before you start your Christmas decorations, bring all of it down and check if the lights work and there are no broken decorations. If needed, you still have time to dash to the shops to buy some more decorations. Before you spread dust all over your house try cleaning and dusting your decorations first. Spread a sheet on a large table and inspect your w w w . a m g tt. c o m

ornaments, garland, and lights for dirt. A little time now to clean them up will spare your home and guest a whole lot of exposure to dust! Most decorations are very delicate, so take your time and clean them carefully. Tenderly clean each piece one by one. Lightly brush intricate ornaments with a soft bristle artist’s brush to remove dust and dirt without damaging them.





Floral Arrangement Tips


ancy yourself as a floral arranger? If you aren’t utilizing these tips, you may be making a fool of yourself. Here are some tips to get your floral arrangement skills where they need to be. Cut stems of flowers one at a time so that they can be trimmed cleanly and at an angle. This will help the blooms to suck up the water from the vase and the blooms will last longer. Always cut the stems longer than you need to begin with so that there is plenty of room for error when you begin to make your arrangement. You may find that you need longer stems or shorter so a long stem to begin with will help you to maintain that capability. Use flowers that complement one another in both size

and shape. For instance, a floral arrangement that features pink gerbera daisies can be complemented with smaller dahlias or boldly colored pink and white lilies. The use of complementary colors such as darker shades paired with slightly lighter tones or similar colors is a very common theme in the way florists create floral arrangements. Make your bouquet taller than its container by about one and a half times. Also, make the width balance the height. Use florist's foam to keep flowers in place and constantly hydrated so they last longer. Soak the foam for 15 minutes before cutting it to fit the container. Water the foam every couple of days. Keep the scent of flowers in mind when you are making

arrangements. Several horror stories about flowers and entertaining come from scented blooms. There have been times where the table centerpiece was so strongly scented that every dish tasted like the flowers at dinner parties. Some guests have been made sick by the strong scents of gardenias or lilies in a small or hot room. Remember that even pleasantly scented flowers can be problematic in tight quarters, hot rooms, or on the dinner table. Also, some flowers just don't smell good, or don't smell good to other people. A flower that smells mildly unpleasant in the garden or florists shop might smell very unpleasant when arranged in a small room or when all you can smell is the flower arrangement.

Home Fire Hazards


ousehold fire hazards can lurk in just about any area of the home. Therefore it is important to be wary of anything that may become a potential danger to you and your family. Here are some fire hazards that are often overlooked. Dust and Lint There’s no shame in having a few dust bunnies around the house, but they can cause problems if they build up next to heaters or other electronics. Large 2

amounts of dust and lint near sockets or power strips can act like kindling if sparks fly. They can also clog electrical outlets or heater intake valves, eventually getting hot enough to combust. Even if your appliances are new and properly spaced, it’s still not a guarantee against electrical fires. Twice as many electrical fires are started by old or faulty wiring than by the appliances themselves. Although vacuuming is already time consuming, it is worth spending a few extra minutes behind entertainment centers to clear out any dust or hair that’s accumulated on the floor near cords and power supplies. Using a hose or crevice tool, it’s also a good idea to pass over outlets and power strips to remove any dust that’s settled into the holes. Storage of Flammable Products Getting anything flammable

ABSTRACT HOME NOVEMBER 2014 w w w . a mg t t. c o m

home fire deaths in Trinidad. Never smoke in bed. Always look under cushions and in trashcans for burning cigarettes before going to bed. Check carpeting where ashtrays have been used. If you can stop smoking, then by all means do so. No addiction is worth the loss of your property, life or family.

near a source of heat is a quick way to start a fire. Fire prevention does not just mean keeping pressurized aerosol cans in cool cupboards. You’d be surprised at what usually gets overlooked. Some dangerous examples include lamp shades that rest too close to the bulb, clothes or curtains too close to a radiator, or any flammable material close to a space heater. Smoking Smoking is the leading cause of

Here are some additional tips for fire prevention: • Get rid of stored newspaper or other unnecessary materials. Newspapers stored in a damp, warm place may ignite spontaneously. • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and outside of sleeping areas. • Mount a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, garage and workshop. • Agree in advance on an escape plan. There should be at least two exits in every room.


Home Construction Safety Tips


hearing to continued "unprotected" high decibel noise levels - there's a good chance that you are going to incur permanent damage and hearing loss. Wear good quality hearing protection.

ome construction and renovation projects can be challenging for professionals – far more so for the Do-It-Yourselfers. Though knowledge and skill of the trade is important to success, general safety is also integral to completion of any project. Here are some home construction safety must haves. Gloves - There are different work-glove materials for different jobs. For example, latex, canvas and rubber gloves for working with chemicals and solvents. There are other work glove types for working with metals and woods which range from lightweight to heavy duty. Head Gear - Hard Hats are essential once your home converts into a construction site. They are also useful when assessing rooms with low ceilings during conversions - before the work even starts. Always protect your head. Consider getting a hard hat with full face mask once the job requires it. Respirators - Inhaling dust and particles is a real hazard


and wearing the right type of face mask or respirator is an important part of home renovation safety. As soon as you start to use the hammer and chisel or plug in electrical equipment - the first thing to rise is the dust. Basic disposable nose and mouth dust and mist masks are vital, but remember that they are only going to protect you against solid particles and those that are non-oil based. It is highly unlikely that you will need a full respirator mask. However, it is a necessity for hot and humid environments especially when using chemicals. Ear Plugs - if you subject your

ABSTRACT HOME NOVEMBER 2014 w w w . a mg t t. c o m

Body Wear - Don’t take the risk of getting burns and rashes when you could be wearing the right sort of protective clothing that is especially designed to protect you from chemicals and/or getting caught up in machinery. Work Boots - sometimes what really helps you get through a long day on site - safely - is wearing the right kind of work boots, and not just trainers etc. While personal protective equipment is a vital part of home renovation safety. Good project planning also plays an important role in knowing what you are doing before you start and giving yourself enough time so that you are not rushing to finish. More accidents happen when people are under the pressure of time; it's easier when

you are in a hurry to forget vital steps, turning off valves, stabilizing equipment, wearing your home renovation equipment. Unfortunately accidents do happen and that is why the following is so important: First Aid Supplies - not only should you have a properly and fully stocked first aid supply box - but it should always be easily accessible. Imagine if something happened and noone on site could find the first aid supplies because they were buried under a pile of materials that had just arrived! Keep your first aid supply kit well stocked and accessible at all times and tell everyone on site where it is located. An Extra Pair of Hands - It is important not to over extend yourself or go beyond the capabilities of what one person can do. An extra pair of hands is important when lifting heavy objects, helping you secure a ladder, reaching difficult-toget-to areas, supporting materials while you bolt them together - you get the idea.

Up to

8 times your


Weekly cash prizes


Grand prize


Everything you want this Christmas and more

Get everything you want this Christmas and more with a loan from RBC! Let RBC make all your Christmas wishes a reality.

You’ll also get:

family… just any family. t o n e r ’ ur They ld be yo for they cou to vote

> Secured and unsecu red loans > Reduced interest rates on all loans > Lower monthly installments > A $6,000 pre-approved credit card*

bbean, d for om/cari an will be use ! .c c rb it lo lets Vis ir b e a T th Galaxy u think what yo 1 of 3 Samsung and win

RULES: • Only clients approved for a loan during the promotion get a chance to win the weekly $5,000 prize plus a chance at the Grand Prize of $20,000 • Promotion runs from October 6th to December 31st, 2014 • Winners will be selected by random draw • Employees of RBC Royal Bank and its advertising agencies are not eligible to enter • Promotion is approved by the NLCB • Subject to normal lending criteria. Special conditions apply • The cost of borrowing will be made available upon application *Applicable only to the Visa Classic credit card. Special conditions apply.

® /™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence.

Call 625-4722, visit any RBC Royal Bank branch or go online at


You May Be Wasting Energy


ven in Trinidad and Tobago inflating energy-related costs as well as issues of global warming and pollution have led to calls for alternative means of energy. While the world’s superpowers are in space coming up with solutions, there are simpler plans we can initiate do our part in curbing these problems. This is to reduce the amount of energy we use on a daily basis. There are a number of things homeowners can do to make significant reductions in their energy consumption. The first tip is one which is so easy that it is almost always overlooked: turn lights off when you leave a room - instant energy consumption reduction. It’s a Trinidadian habit to have the house all lit up (at Christmas it’s totally overboard), every room warm and welcoming. Maintain this warmth and add a sense of elegance with the use of table

lamps instead. Pop in energy efficient light bulbs. These also last up to 12 times longer than ordinary bulbs. A standard incandescent light bulb wastes 90% of its energy giving off heat and only 10% of this is to light. By comparison Compact Fluorescent light bulbs are nearly three times as efficient and produce far less heat to a cooler home, in this time of fluctuating temperatures in Trinidad.

Always try to run the washing machine or dishwasher with a full load. If you are not filling up the washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher, use the half-load or economy programme to avoid wasting water and energy. Don’t leave plugs inserted into outlets when they are not being used. Appliances, cell phones and the like should not be charged unnecessarily. And appliances should not be left on

standby. Regulating thermostats in the home is a good energy saving tip. Refrigerators should not be set too cold, but should be just cold enough to do the job. If your refrigerator is making ice in the non-freezer section then the thermostat has to be readjusted. Similarly, water heaters need not waste energy by heating water too hot. Buying energy efficient appliances greatly reduces energy consumption. Look for appliances with the Energy Star label. The Energy Star is one certification that the product is in fact energy efficient. Homes which use Energy Star appliances on average save more than 30% of the energy that was used with normal appliances. If these tips are considered, not only can we look forward to a better future, but we will save some bucks along the way.

Removing Stains From Clothing


his is always a tricky subject since there are various ways of removing different types of stains from clothing. From the traditional methods to innovative ideas that are being used to remove stains, the ones that suffice especially when needed the most, are the easiest ones. Different stains require different methods of removal. Although there are myriads of different stains we were only able to address the ones that are the most difficult to remove. Blood- Soak and rub the area in cold water, then wash with soap in warm water. Other methods include soaking in cold water and 2 tablespoons of salt before rinsing, applying hydrogen peroxide (only to fabrics that can be bleached) and soaking in ammonia. 6

Chewing gum- freeze the area, as is, by applying ice to the surface of clothing. If the piece of fabric is small enough, put it in the freezer. The gum will become brittle and will be easy to remove only after a few minutes in the cold.

plied to the area and rinsed with water to remove the stain. Other options include soaking in soda water or applying vinegar to the area as a pre-soak before washing. Cooking and vegetable oilremove the excess oil with a spoon or dull knife and apply liquid detergent to the area. Allow to pre-soak for approximately 10-15 minutes then wash in warm or hot water or as prescribed by the washing directions on the fabric. Before drying, ensure that the stain has been completely removed.

Lipstick stain- rub with vaseline and wash in hot soapy water. The Vaseline helps to stop the stain from spreading along the fabric, when removing it from the area. Ink stains- soak the material with rubbing alcohol and wash as usual. You may have to apply rubbing alcohol on the spot more than once to totally get rid of the stain, but after a few times the area should be spotless. Coffee and tea- there are different ways to remove these

ABSTRACT HOME NOVEMBER 2014 w w w . a mg t t. c o m

stains; the first being to soak in cold water before washing with any laundry detergent. Another option is to apply a paste, made from baking soda and water to the area before rinsing. Lime or saline solution can also be ap-

Syrup stain- wash the area thoroughly with cold water; this should remove most of the stain. Then apply liquid detergent to the area and let soak for approximately five minutes. Rinse with hot or warm water.



Is Your Small Business Expansion Ready?

usiness expansion can offer the business owner a path to even greater fortune, and provide that next level of excitement and rededication of purpose. Besides, sometimes it becomes obvious that you have outgrown your current market. However, expansion is not an easy decision. There are still things to consider before deciding to expand. Is Demand For Your Product/ Service Growing? Your business could be doing great, with customers lined up out the door. But if the reason you're so successful is that you run the only sewing machine repair shop within 30 kilometers, you likely don't have a rosy future branching out. It's also important to understand the geographic side of your industry and how that breaks down both in terms of demand and of the labour market. There may be great demand for an all-night convenience store in a wealthy suburb populated by senior citizens, but finding the people to staff it might pose an insurmountable challenge. 8

Are Your Competitors Expanding? It is always a good idea to keep up with what your competitors are doing. If you find that your current status is equal to theirs, you may be okay for a while without having to expand. However, if you notice that they are growing and adding new features while you are remaining the same, without expanding, you may run the risk of becoming obsolete. Don’t misunderstand this. It is important "NOT" to overreact to every little thing the competition does. It is advisable that you "evaluate" the situation thoroughly first. Is Expansion Within Your Budget? Getting a business loan can be difficult. If your profits are so through the roof that you don’t require financial help at all then you definitely should not be wondering if to expand anyway. You should have already started the process. However, for the others, there is a lot of calculation and risk involved. A loan may require you to leverage large pieces of collateral, like your

ABSTRACT HOME NOVEMBER 2014 w w w . a mg t t. c o m

house. Do you want to lose a healthy business and a house for a chance to make more money? It is important to consider how the expansion you are going to undertake will be funded? How Does the Future look For Your Product or Service? Expanding a business is a logical choice if you're working in an industry where consumer interest is high and you're keeping pace with your industry's technology. However, if new technology is slowly making your business obsolete and you aren't planning to phase out the old to make room for the new, you shouldn't be thinking about expansion. Neither should you consider expanding while your industry's experiencing a temporary downturn. Wait for the upswing before moving forward with your expansion plans. Do You Have the Right Team to make It Work? If you've got a strong team of employees and you can leverage their skills and abilities to grow your business, you'll have the resources you need to expand.

If you don't have a strong team in place, you'll need to recruit them before you expand, unless your business is truly a one-person operation. Recruitment can be tricky though. Your business may not have had to go through a lot of HR trouble to get it off the ground, but moving forward could pose a serious problem. Are There Changes in the Marketplace or Industry? Your business is affected by many factors. One of those factors is the very industry you are in. Government regulations may force additional equipment or other costly changes. New products or services might force you to change the way you do business. How are these affecting you? Do the new requirements imposed lead you to believe you need to grow? Will the Necessary Resources Still be Available? Can you still acquire the quantity of material needed as easily as before? Can you meet output demands? Is transportation an issue? These need to be factored in before expansion takes place.


Terrific Tree Ideas

Shimmering lights play off of gold accents to create a glowing spectacle. w w w . a m g tt. c o m





This tall, slender tree is a good option for homes that feature high ceilings.


ABSTRACT HOME NOVEMBER 2014 w w w . a mg t t. c o m


Flip the script by using a white tree and surrounding it with all your favourite Christmas colours.

w w w . a m g tt. c o m





Go crazy with colour on your tree with the presents at the base to match.


ABSTRACT HOME NOVEMBER 2014 w w w . a mg t t. c o m


Sometimes, less is more, but this time more works.

w w w . a m g tt. c o m





5 Easy Homemade Spice Mixes


resh ingredients are not always easy to come by. Sometimes we have to use dehydrated and powdered herbs in our dishes. When we do, we try to find the right combination of herbs and spices to make our meals pop. These spice mixes go really well together to help in the creation of different types of cuisine. They may be simple, but they pack quite a punch when used as a seasoning or rub.

Five Spice Powder 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp groung cloves 1 tsp fennel seed 1 tsp star anise 1 tsp peppercorns Italian Herb Seasoning 1tsp oregano 1 tsp marjoram 1 tsp thyme 1 tsp basil 1 tsp rosemary 1 tsp sage

Chili Powder 3 tbsp paprika 1 tabsp ground cumin 2 tbsp oregano 1 tsp cayenne pepper ½ tsp garlic powder Tamarind Paste 1 tsp dates 1 tsp prunes 1 tsp dried apricots 1 tsp lemon juice

Cinnamon Sugar 7/8 cup granulated sugr 2 tbsp ground cinnamon Tamarind Paste 1 tsp dates 1 tsp prunes 1 tsp dried apricots 1 tsp lemon juice

Three Strange Spices That Are Exotic Even to Trinidad


rinidad and Tobago has a way of incorporating spiciness into everything thing we do (especially how we prepare our food). Salt and black pepper just isn’t enough. Our spice rack must be endless and everything green must be pulverized in order to make a beautiful meat rub. However, there are some spices that even the seasoned seasoners don’t use. Here are three of those exotic spices that you may or may not have heard of and probably will never use. Balsam Seeds Rare even in its native range, balsam seeds are virtually impossible to find in the West. Sometimes called Carpobalsamum, it is a fragrant fruit harvested from the balsam of the Gilead shrub. Used as a flavoring for hippocras, a type of mulled wine, its use is restricted to times of celebration


ABSTRACT HOME NOVEMBER 2014 w w w . a mg t t. c o m

due to its scarcity and high cost.

Sumac Sumac comes from the dried berries of the plant Rhus coriaria also known as Sicilian Sumac or the North American Sumac Rhus aromatica. There are many varieties of Sumac and some are poisonous so care must be taken to avoid those varieties .The berry or the powder is used as a souring agent. It imparts a sour lemony flavor and complements fish and red meat nicely. It is widely used in North African, Middle Eastern and Southern Mediterranean cooking. Spanish Fly Spanish fly is an insect. It’s a shiny, iridescent, green beetle to be specific. Evidently, its little body can contain up to 5 percent of a substance that is an irritant to animal tissues. Think inflam-

mation (swelling) of key body parts and…well, you know. This is exactly why Spanish fly has been historically used as an aphrodisiac. Why a spice? Insects definitely don’t qualify in any typical definition of spices. But this one is used as an ingredient in some blends for ras al hanout, a Morrocan spice blend that means “head of shop.” When ground up and powdered Spanish fly is yellow to olive-brown with a iridescent hue and bitter flavor. Today, the use of Spanish fly in is banned in several countries across the globe.



Glorious Ginger Recipes

rinbagonians love cooking with ginger. Why not? Ginger is a wonderful root that can really bring a dish to life. It is especially popular at Christmas time in stuff like ginger beer or gingerbread. Here are some more ways to spice up your cuisine with ginger.

GINGER LEMONADE Ingredients 3 cups white sugar 4 quarts water 14 slices fresh ginger root 4 cups fresh lemon juice 2 lemons, sliced Directions In an 8-quart saucepan combine sugar, water and ginger root. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice. Cool 15 minutes. Remove ginger. Refrigerate lemonade at least 1 hour, or until chilled. Serve over ice, and garnish with lemon slices.

GINGER SCALLOPS Ingredients 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion 2 tablespoons butter 1 large carrot, julienned 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root 1/2 cup white wine 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream Salt and pepper to taste 1 1/4 pounds scallops 2 tablespoons butter 18

Directions In a medium skillet sautĂŠ the green onions in 2 tablespoons of the butter. Stir in the carrots and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the ginger and the wine. Once hot add the cream, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, over high heat until the sauce is reduced by half. Stir in the scallops and cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining butter and stir until melted. Serve.

GINGER DIPPING SAUCE Ingredients 1/4 cup chopped onion 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root 1/2 lemon, juiced 1/4 cup soy sauce 1/4 teaspoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar Directions In a blender, combine onion, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar. Process until smooth. Serve at room temperature.

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

ABSTRACT HOME NOVEMBER 2014 w w w . a mg t t. c o m

1 teaspoon monosodium glutamate (MSG) (optional) 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 scotch bonnet peppers minced 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 cider 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.

WHOLE WHEAT GINGER SNAPS Ingredients 1 cup butter or margarine 1 1/2 cups white sugar 2 eggs, beaten 1 cup molasses 4 cups whole wheat flour 1 tablespoon baking soda 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 tablespoon ground ginger 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice 1 cup white sugar for decoration Directions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar until smooth. Mix in the eggs, and then the molasses. Combine the whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice, heaping the measures if you like a lot of spice. Stir the dry ingredients into the molasses mixture just until blended. Roll the dough into small balls, and dip the top of each ball into the remaining white sugar. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until the tops are cracked. Bake longer for crispy cookies, less time for chewy cookies. Cool on wire racks.


What You Should Know About An Overseas Wedding


aving a wedding overseas is fun! Not only is it adventurous, but it gives the bride and groom a chance to do something truly unique for their wedding. A destination wedding certainly provides that ‘once in a lifetime’ stamp that most married couples strive to have. But, have you fully weighed your options? Have you considered what may go wrong and do you have a backup plan just in case? See below the advantages and disadvantages of having a wedding abroad.

ADVANTAGES Different environment. Couples choose a destination wedding as a way to escape the norm and the mundane environment. By doing this, their wedding can be more laid-back and both would be able to enjoy it fully.



One package. All activities can be hosted in one place rather than visiting different places for different activities. Instead of having the wedding ceremony at one location and visiting another for the reception, wedding, reception, honeymoon even other activities such as shopping and sight-seeing, can be done in one country.


Wedding and vacation in one. Apart from the bride and groom benefitting from vis20

CONS Planning from abroad. If you are a hands-on person who needs to be physically involved in planning a wedding, then this might be a problem for you. Plus you need to ensure that you cover all the details because everything needs to be done weeks in advance to ensure its availability for your big day.



Very intimate. Not everyone who is invited would attend; after-all a destination wedding is costly with booking hotel accommodation and tickets. Plus, the couple could invite only their closest friends and family and could be saved the pressure of having to invite someone they don’t particularly want to.

It is very costly. Some resorts may offer packages that include the wedding ceremony, reception and accommodation for you and guests. But in addition to those costs, you and your fiancé will still need to book transportation costs, travel fees, and separate costs for caterers and photographers if you are requesting their services from your home country. Additionally, depending on where you intend to travel, these fees may need to be paid in the visiting country’s currency, which means you may need to spend more when converting the money.



iting another country, guests can plan their vacation around the trip and take advantage of the opportunity with a planned family vacation.


Creates a home base. This is especially useful for couples who’ve lived in separate countries but have family members still residing there. Choosing a destination that is close to both and is budget-friendly, would ensure that families from both sides would be able to visit for the wedding, making it easier for both parties.

ABSTRACT HOME NOVEMBER 2014 w w w . a mg t t. c o m

Challenging. If you are not familiar with the destination, planning and organizing you and your guests can be challenging. Especially for a bride and groom who may be planning everything, the pressure of organizing transportation for everyone and ensuring that they reach to the wedding on time and that they know where the

wedding is can be stressful.


Communication barriers. You may want to get married in Costa Rica but can you speak Spanish? If using a wedding planner in that country, how would you communicate your needs to her? What about the country’s culture and customs? Remember their business hours may differ; carefully research any upcoming holidays and how they celebrate them.


Guests need to travel. The idea of a destination wedding sounds fun but the reality is that many of your guests may not have the money to spend on a trip or even the free-time to travel. Unless you can sponsor their trip, hotel accommodation and plead with their boss to give them the time to attend the wedding, then chances are some of the most important people may be absent on your big day.


Legal challenges. Some countries do not recognize marriages done abroad due to legalities. Check with your local Legal Affairs Department to ensure that your marriage will be approved and recognized if done in a foreign country. It would be unfortunate to get married abroad only to be told that your marriage is not legal and has to be re-done before a Justice of the Peace.


Weaning Your Baby From Breast Milk To Cup Or Bottle


t’s probably one of the hardest processes to endure as a mother. It involves preventing your child from breast-feeding and can be done for a number for reasons. Most children are eager to make the transition from breast-feeding to drinking independently but for some this can be a very painful process. The key is to take things slowly and gradually, allowing your child time to desire drinking from a cup or bottle. See tips below on how easily this can be done.


Take it slowly. It may take some time for your child to get accustomed to a change in routine or diet: breast milk to formula or breast-fed to being fed from a cup or bottle. If your child has not been exposed 22

and should be interchanged with breastfeeding. For example, replace one session of breast-feeding with using a bottle or cup to feed the child. This should be done once every week.


to a bottle or cup, gradually introduce the use of the bottle or cup in place of breastfeeding. Ensure that the process is comfortable for the baby so that there will be no opposition.


Decide between bottle and cup. This depends on the age of your child

ABSTRACT HOME NOVEMBER 2014 w w w . a mg t t. c o m

Express when needed. If you stop breastfeeding suddenly your breast may engorge and become painful. But if you express too much it may stimulate an increase in the supply of breast milk and cause your breast to fill faster. Express just enough for comfort.


Whenever you are feeding the baby, put the liquid in a bottle or cup. This would cause the baby to become accustomed to using the new replacement and com-

fortable enough to use it.


Watch out for lumpy breasts. After your baby has stopped breastfeeding, you might have lumpy breasts for about 5 to 10 days which might indicate a blocked duct or the beginnings of mastitis. If this occurs, massage your lumps or express as necessary. You can feed your child the expressed milk through any one of the replacements: bottle or cup.


At this point, you can decide if your baby will be fed formula or breast milk. Gradually feed your child formula, skipping the breast milk until he/she is comfortable drinking the formula. That way, you can cease breast feeding altogether.



Is Mineral Makeup

Really Healthier For Skin? Some considerations before you thrash years of regular makeup


ineral makeup, once used by ancient Egyptians, is now the hottest trend in cosmetics. Instant radiance, quick and easy, you’ll glow! Makeup that’s good for your skin. So pure you can sleep in it! Who wouldn’t want to try it with advertising tags like these? But, is mineral makeup really better for your skin? In its purest form, mineral makeup is exactly what it says — makeup made from pure minerals found in the earth. Companies claim that 1 “Mineral makeup contains only natural ingredients” and 2 “Mineral makeup will have beneficial effects on your skin.” However, not all mineral makeup is the same. While most mineral makeup is free from artificial colors, preservatives, talc, and other chemicals, not all companies stick to this formula, hence there are some people who claim that mineral makeup is essentially no different from traditional makeup formulas. Now with regard to the first claim, there is no regulation for what constitutes a mineral makeup. Even makeup labeled “all natural minerals” rarely is. A company can put artificial fillers, preservatives, or dyes in makeup, and as long as it contains minerals, they can claim it is mineral makeup. The FDA only monitors the makeup to ensure it is not harmful. There is no requirement for a company to validate claims that its makeup is natural. Since mineral makeup is usually in powder form, it does not usually contain

the preservatives which are needed for cream or liquid makeup and this might be beneficial since these preservatives can cause irritation or allergies. With regard to the second claim, there is no published evidence that mineral makeup has health benefits for your skin. Claims that makeup nourishes your skin are unsubstantiated and unlikely. Because the minerals in makeup do not penetrate your skin, they cannot have any effect. There is one ingredient in particular found in most mineral makeup that gives pause. Bismuth Oxychloride, the compound that gives mineral makeup its shimmer, can lead to allergic reactions, skin irritation, and breakouts in a percentage of women who use makeup containing that ingredient. Not all brands of mineral makeup contain this ingredient. Companies also claim that mineral makeup is a good sunscreen. It’s true that titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which are often found in mineral makeup, are good physical sunscreens. However, because they’re in powder form, they do not adhere to the skin and are easily brushed off. As a result, your actual ultraviolet light sun protection is less uniform and less effective than it would be with a cream. Mineral makeup might be a great cosmetic — many women like the look and feel of these products. If you do too, then by all means use them. If you don’t use mineral makeup, then don’t worry, you’re apparently not missing anything.

Tips For Choosing The Right Hat


ou may not have plans to visit the Royal Oak Derby or even an oldfashioned Easter Bonnet parade, but there may be times you are required to wear a hat. Several churches require one for the ladies. Choosing a hat can be problematic though. The hat that looks great in the store window may not look quite as spectacular on your head. Here’s how to pick one that really does suit you well. Figure in Your Face A hat can lengthen a neck or shorten a nose, so take all your facial characteristics into consideration. Let’s face it (no pun intended), the right hat can add to, or detract, from those special features of yours. Find the Right Fit Make sure the hat you buy fits you correctly. Loose hats might just fall off with a gust of tropical breeze, whereas tight ones will make you feel uncomfortable. Some hats are so tight they leave ridiculous lines on your head when you take them off. Others can give you a headache. Consider Colour A hat does not have to match your outfit perfectly. You can w w w . a m g tt. c o m

wear a bright purple hat with a neutral beige outfit. If your suit is navy, you could wear a beige hat with navy trim on it. Some colours just work well with each other. They don’t have to be identical. Speaking of colour, wear a hat that is complimentary to your skin tone. Not everyone looks good in black or dark colors. If you are wearing a black hat, try to get one with some sort of coloured trim or design to complement your colour. As a bonus, here are some don’ts to consider:


Don’t wear a hat that is too big for you. Petite women look good with smaller hats. The woman should wear the hat, not the other way around!


Never wear the hat too far back on the head. When putting it on, make sure that it is no more than 2 inches above the eyebrows.


Don’t wear a hat with lots of flowers on it with a floral dress. This would be too busy. If the dress has a bold or busy print on it, wear a simpler hat.






Are You Sleep Deprived? you more likely to feel depressed, anxious and frustrated. You're sore or nursing an injury Whether you're sore from overworked muscles or an injury, your body needs more energy to put toward repair, lengthening total recovery time.


here’s an old adage that says there’s no rest for the wicked. If that proves to be true, there are a lot of little devils running around, because few people are getting their required amount of sleep. Sleep is important to us in more ways than we have the time to tell you here. However, if you are not getting the right amount of sleep, you may be experiencing these symptoms and sideeffects. Your energy level is low If your energy level is low, there's something amiss. The key is honesty. Some people think they can block out signs of fatigue to push through it, thinking it will make them stronger. It won't always work that way. You’re cranky, snippy and irritable. Being tired can have a negative effect on your moods. It makes 24

You feel sick—and you never get sick. Your immune system repairs and strengthens while you sleep. So in addition to eating flufighting foods, log at least seven hours a night to stay healthy all season. You’re dependent on an alarm clock. If you’re getting enough sleep, then you should be able to wake up on time without a morning alarm. Hitting the snooze button a couple times before getting up is a clear sign of sleep loss. You're not hungry for lunch. A lack of sleep can make you constantly want to eat more, or persistently feel like you're not hungry. It throws off your internal clock resulting in abnormal feelings—which is why so many people lose or gain weight during periods of sleeplessness.

ABSTRACT HOME NOVEMBER 2014 w w w . a mg t t. c o m

Three Steps To Sculpt Sexy, Slender Arms


ou can tell a lot about a woman by her arms, particularly her age and for most women they wish to keep that intimate detail a secret. For this reason, it is important to work on maintaining strong, yet slender arms that can be flaunted in sleeveless and halter-tops. It’s not as hard as it seems and these steps can be started at any stage during a woman’s life but the earlier you start the better your chances of getting quick and positive results.


Build the muscle- cardio work-outs are great as they help to maintain your weight and tone the body. But for sculpted arms, your focus should be to build and sculpt the muscles in your arms. Start a strength-training program that emphasizes building, toning, and defining the muscles in your arms before you do anything else. These can be done by performing three sets of dumbbell curls and three sets of triceps dumbbell extensions.


Remove the fat- If you do not remove the layer of fat that has built up on your upper arms, toning and

sculpting won’t get you the desired look. Total body cardio workout can help you lose the fat before muscle training and toning are done. Your arms may look skinny or droopy after the weight is lost but when the muscle training begins, your arms will begin to take shape.


Burn calories- After you get the sculpted arms that you’ve always wanted, you need to work on maintaining the shape. This can be done by burning calories or monitoring your caloric intake. The fact is, the slightest increase in body fat will show up on your arms so you need to be aware of what you eat and how often you work out to maintain your body fat and weight. When used together, this 3-step programme is an easy way to get a pair of sexy, slender and coveted arms. The key is to maintain the training so that your arms always look sculpted and well toned. Remember, while sculpting and toning the arms is important, it is also advised that you give some attention to other parts of the body, as any increase in weight will show up on the arms instantly.



The Benefits Of Having A To Owning Detached Garage AAGuide Pet Guinea Pig


he primary function of a garage is to store and protect automobiles. An enclosed structure such as a garage can protect the family cars from the elements preventing hail or sun damage. It will also protect your vehicles from falling tree limbs and other debris during stormy weather. Not to mention, it offers protection from a safety stand point. It’s harder to steal a car that’s locked in a garage. However, detached garages are also becoming popular. Here’s why. Sometimes, building a garage adds a special workspace in the form of a workshop or a hobby room you might not have space for in your attached garage or in your home. Some garage plans include special spaces like a workshop or craft room in addition to parking bays giving the garage another function in addition to auto storage. A normal garage can facilitate a workshop, but it poses the problem of excess noise to the home it is attached to. Many people build detached garages to add extra storage 26

space to their homes. In the instance of a 3-car garage, perhaps just two bays are used for parking. The third bay could be used to stash boxes or for storage of the family bikes, outdoor sporting equipment or even the riding mower and other lawn and garden tools. How about storage for seasonal items like holiday decorations? Other home owners might build a detached garage to store motorized items, like ATVS, motorcycles or a golf cart, that do not fit in their attached garages. Storage possibilities are endless with a detached garage. Don’t forget about the added value a new detached garage will contribute to your home. When you add a practical and useful structure, such as a garage, to your backyard, it will increase the value of your home. Should you ever have to sell your house, you’ll see a nice return on your investment. Lastly, a detached garage can more easily reduce or even eliminate the garage-dominated facade that many find so unattractive.

ABSTRACT HOME NOVEMBER 2014 w w w . a mg t t. c o m


wning a guinea pig for the very first time can be quite an experience, as not many people are familiar with the life of the cavy. As a result, the new owner is often times left with a lot of questions about their new pet, such as what they should and should not do, or whether or not certain behaviors are normal. Listed below are some things you should know about owning a guinea pig. The average life span for a guinea pig, barring accidents, illness and disease, is roughly 5 to 7 years, though some guinea pigs do live as long as 10. Guinea pigs don't normally bite. In fact, they will rarely bite, even in self-defense (their primary defense mechanisms being "run and hide" and "be fruitful and multiply"). However, they do like to nibble and chew, and may nibble once or twice on your finger, particularly if they smell food on it or are hungry. They also may nibble if they are trying to tell you something, for example if they don't like how they are being handled, or that

they want to get down so they can pee. Guinea pigs are not extremely intelligent animals, like rats, but they are trainable. In particular, you can train them to pee only on their bedding if you desire to give them run of the house. By leaving a pan of litter in the corners of the rooms where they are allowed to roam, you can train the guinea pig to use these pans instead of your carpet. Guinea pigs practice coprophagy, which is a fancy way of saying that they regularly eat their own droppings. It is important to know that this behavior is completely normal for cavies; in fact, it is an essential source of protein for them. Do not assume that, because they eat their own droppings, the animals are ill or unclean; they do not eat the dry droppings from the floor of the cage, but rather pull moist ones directly from the anus (though they may occasionally drop these on the floor of the cage, then nibble on them before they dry out).


LEADERSHIP Applications Now Open For: JANUARY 2015

International MBA

Master of Institutional Innovation & Effectiveness

International Master of Business Development & Innovation ew

Master of Small & Medium Enterprise Management (Blended) N

International Master of Strategic Marketing

MAY 2015 ew N

Master of Information Systems & Technology Management

Executive MBA

Master of Port & Maritime Management (Blended)

MBA in International Trade, Logistics and Procurement

Register Now

For more information contact our Student Recruitment Centre at or 1(868) 645-6700 (ext. 200) |


Choosing The Right Hotel Option


hoosing the right hotel accommodation can be a bit tough, especially with all the promotions and deals that are available at present. To woo prospective customers, hotels post misleading pictures of attractive hotel rooms or offer special packages that are not available when you visit. The key to choosing the right hotel is to identify your needs; is luxury important to you or is comfort your main concern? What about price? Are you working with a budget? Is the hotel close to the airport or to your destination? By answering these questions, you can make choosing a hotel a simple task. Price- Price is a very important deciding factor when choosing a hotel as you may want a comfortable stay without a 5-star price. The key to this is to shop around; many search engines provide and compare prices, helping you to choose the hotel which is most cost effective. Location- Most booking sites allow you to see beforehand how close the hotel is to various tourist attractions, shopping malls 28

and restaurants. If you are a foreigner to the country, it may be a good idea to get a hotel that is as close to your points of interest as possible, so that you can spend less time travelling and more time enjoying your stay. Luxury- Maybe you want to splurge or treat yourself to a fancy hotel accommodation. No problem; just ensure that you get what you paid for. Too often hotels guarantee luxury treatment and disappoint customers when it’s time to deliver. Search for reviews on websites; ask a friend or someone who may have visited the hotel that you wish to stay in, about their experience. Also, do research on their 4-star or 5-star rating to ensure that they have been approved. Amenities- Most persons want the basics: swimming pool, gym or restaurants, but what do you want? What about the extras, such as a room with an oceanfront view or scented candles in the bath? Maybe a well-stocked mini bar with drinks of your choice? You should call ahead to ensure that these services and

ABSTRACT HOME NOVEMBER 2014 w w w . a mg t t. c o m

others are offered, before booking your spot. Family-Friendly- If you are taking the entire family on the trip, including your children, you will need to look out for packages, deals and activities for kids. Children tend to get bored or irritated if there is nothing to keep them entertained; ensure that there are fun activities that can hold their interest during your stay. You also need to ensure that the hotel makes special arrangements in certain rooms of the house or has certain amenities available for your children, such as high chairs and play areas. Decor- Most companies purchase the franchise to manage a particular brand of hotel in several countries. Although most

rules and regulations are standard, the country the hotel is located in could manipulate the dĂŠcor a bit to represent the culture of the country and is a good way for tourists to learn about the country. If you are looking for more intimate settings, there are several Guesthouses, Inns or Bed and Breakfasts that offer the same service, without the hype and more importantly at a reduced cost. Loyalty programmes- If you visit one particular hotel regularly ask if they have any loyalty programmes or frequent flyer specials that you can benefit from. The points that you generate from these promotions can help pay for future visits or help knock off a couple extra dollars from airline tickets. Eco-friendly- Many people want to reduce their carbon footprint and usually choose hotels and restaurants that are eco-friendly. You can search for eco-friendly restaurants through a number of organizations, which help to ensure that they are doing their part to protect the environment.

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 18 2014  
Abstract Home Vol. 5 Issue 18 2014  

In this issue Get your Christmas prep in gear Spice up your kitchen with these recipes Delightful tree decorating treats