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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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inally, the living room is almost complete! Months of plastering and molding have ended, and the awesome hues look as splendid as they did in the pages you clipped out of the Home magazine. The windows do look somewhat mundane don’t they? The room’s windows are the portals of light, natural light that is, much different to and cheaper than your fanciful ambience light. Other than its practical use of fresh air, hopefully, it’s an immediate attention grabber, the larger the better. You can instantly transform the look of your living room with new window treatments. Find the one that best complements your taste and the style of your space. There are regular curtain styles such as the ‘swag window treatment’ - a semicircular piece of pleated fabric attached above a window, usually paired with a cascade and jabot. The swag fits best in traditional, timeless rooms. There are also the billowing balloon shades, which give the effect of graceful, flowing draperies while remaining enclosed in the window frame. Kick it up a notch. Illuminating Curtain Rods: While traditional rods and finials have been around for years, new twists on old favorites can instantly light up a lackluster window. This couldn't be more literal than with the "LED" curtain rod collection. The rods come with built-in lights that are lit from an external source, illuminating draperies from above.

Get Excited About

Your Windows Energy efficient LED lighting is definitely an eco-friendly option and your windows will shine no matter the time of day

Extraordinary Curtains: Window trends today mix the traditional with the unexpected. Dressing up your window with unusual hardware takes your window treatment to new heights. Ceiling-Mount Hardware is an unexpected way to hang a window treatment that gives great results. The eye is drawn upward, making squat windows appear taller, and the finishes (bronze or pewter) are completely modern. Modern Tension Rods: This is industrial design giving way to futuristic convenience in cozy living spaces—that means clean lines and high-tech metals mixing with fabrics and textures that make you feel comfortable. The sleek tension rod comes in three lengths, three colors (an-

tique gold, black and pewter) and it almost invisibly holds up a window covering. Tension rods can also be used outdoors due to its rustproof steel. Decorative Window Decals: Seen on cars but never in the slightest have you considered them for your living room? Window decals and adhesives are a quick fix for a window that requires privacy, but still needs to let light through. These films can be cut to fit any window shape and are easily removed, plus all you need for ‘application’ is water to apply these translucent patterns: Moroccan tile, flowers & lace, pixels and clover. Panel for Windows: Putting a panel meant for a wall inside your window is crazy talk; it also happens to be an extremely easy way to accessorize a window. Wall panels ideal for windows are those that are transparent or w w w . a b s tr a c th o m e . c o m

translucent, have some sort of graphic element or pattern and, most importantly, fit inside the window frame. Adding an urban edge to any window, the panel lets light through while slightly obscuring the view. Hands Free Control: Dusk rolls around and the daily "closing of the window blinds" ritual has begun. Manually closing certain window treatments can cause wear and tear to the strings, eventually ending in frustration or new blinds. Enter the collection of electrical-powered motorized shades and blinds. These come in many sizes and types to suit whatever window treatment you choose to motorize. These are operated via remote control or a light switch and the window treatments are set to open to a predetermined length. A sensor prevents the window treatment from folding up past its height; let’s hope the power doesn’t go off!

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LIVING QUARTERS

Easy And Effective Ways To

Add Colour To Your Home

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dding colour to your home does not have to be an expensive project. You don’t need yellow or green walls to make a statement. There are simpler ways to add a splash of pizazz to your palace.

thing you already own, or find a small, inexpensive piece from a used furniture store. A console table is a good piece to start with. Paint in a color that makes you happy and it'll make you happy every time you see it.

Look For Colorful Accent Pieces Accent pieces are easier to adjust to, cost less than furniture and are less of a permanent commitment than paint. Get a lamp in a bright color—be it the post or the shade—and don't worry about matching it with anything else.

Bright Patterned Pillows Pillows are an easy way to add accent colors and can be changed according to seasons, or to your heart's content. By adding a few colorful, patterned pillows to your space, you'll also add personality. Buy a common size pillow so you can find prints at any price range and swap the covers as often as you like.

Paint Small Furniture Give a small piece of furniture a new paint job—either some-

Frame Your Photos With Color You can either add a colorful

frame to your photos or add colored mats with simple black or white frames. Even if you only add one color, it'll make the photos pop. Multiple mat colors are best used on black and white photographs.

Fine Natural Fertilizers For Your Garden

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ou may have a small kitchen garden or even a slightly bigger backyard garden. Heck, you may even have a whole plot where you grow your own produce. Whatever the case, fertilizer is a must. These organic options are great for making your natural garden or grass greener. Animal Manure Animal manure has been used for thousands of years as a natural fertilizer. Manure is rich in moisture content, nitrogen and potassium. Beneficial soil micro-nutrients which include copper, iron, calcium and magnesium are also found in animal manure. The safest form of animal manure is ‘hot compost’ manure which has been heated and aged to destroy any possible harmful components in the manure, and the most common types of animal manure used as natural fertilizers are collected from veg2

Seaweed Seaweed fertilizers are loaded with nitrogen and minerals and they may be used to fertilize gardens and lawns. Highly concentrated seaweed fertilizer extracts should only be used by those experienced with concentrated fertilizers; the mild forms of seaweed products which include solid meal pellets and diluted ready-to-use liquids are more applicable to new gardeners.

etarian animals such as horses, cattle and sheep. Fish Emulsion Fish emulsion is a liquid natural fertilizer that is diluted and then used to fertilize gardens and lawns. The diluted fish emulsion mixture is often applied to newly sprouting plants and lawns to

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improve the health of burgeoning green leafy growth. The emulsion itself is the liquid waste that is left over from fish products which are used to create fish oil and fish meal. Fish emulsion can leave behind a temporary fishy odor, but some emulsion products are deodorized to reduce the smell.

Wood Ash Wood ash is a rich source of potassium – an important soil nutrient that is needed for healthy plant growth. Ash fertilizer may be blended with other types of nitrogen rich fertilizers to help restore soil health a few weeks before planting; a small barrier of ash can also be applied around garden plants to ward off pests. Ash may be purchased through a gardening facility or even collected from home fire bins.


LIVING QUARTERS

Home Building Must Haves Outlets and covert conduits As flat-screen televisions become ubiquitous, homes are changing to accommodate sleek, high-tech models. Often, that means hanging TVs on the wall. But who wants to see electrical and cable cords running down the wall to the entertainment system? If you want to avoid another costly wall project, plan for where cords and outlets will sit. A conduit is a pipe in the wall that lets homeowners keep wires out of sight.

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any of you are just building your first home or trying to renovate that pre-constructed house to your liking. If you are one of these people, there are some things you must consider for a successful build.

Wide-enough hallways and rooms Many new homes are open and airy, with roomy hallways and stairwells. But not all are, at least not throughout the entire house. The accepted standard for hallways is a requirement of 3 feet wide. Many modern design-

ways, between bedrooms and in closets with vaulted ceilings. In the kitchen, it's important to have space for large kitchen appliances such as food processors, stand mixers and bread machines, so they don't have to live on the counter. ers prefer a width of 4 feet, however, especially for homes larger than 2,000 square feet. This helps more than one person pass through the corridors at once and in moving large furniture through the home, in addition to adding bookcases or other design elements to the side. Ample storage Some people lack space in which to put all the great and not so great stuff they have. When planning your home, look for framing pockets that are wasted space and put in a door to create a storage nook or utility closet. These spaces can be under stair-

Outside outlets and faucets Electricity can be important for a backyard, for entertaining and for holiday lights at Christmas. Exterior outlets also come in handy for corded tools to keep your backyard looking great. Access to water is essential, as well. You must place hose spigots away from the main walking path, so no one trips over loose hoses. One option is a pipe that sits flush against the wall. It can be placed right on your patio where you need it. This makes it easier to turn on the hose and sprinklers.

Furniture Moving Tips

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hether moving items out of the house or just doing a bit of rearranging, it is essential to have proper knowledge about moving the furniture in order to avoid injury or product damage. These tips can help. Get Some Help Before you try to move large furniture on your own, make a few calls and see who you can recruit to help. Another set of hands or two can mean the difference between a strained back or damaged furniture! Take Measurements Using a tape measure, make a note of the size of the item you wish to move as well as the size of the doorways and openings you are planning to carry it through. If you are planning to move an item with a truck, you will also

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need to know the size and length of the truck. In the case of sectional sofas, desks and other awkward items, you may have to partially disassemble them before attempting to move them. Not only will this make it easier to navigate tight corners but it will also prevent sections from being damaged or breaking off. Gather Supplies Affix felt pads or commercial sliders to the feet and bottom edges of furniture to avoid scratching and tearing the flooring. Old rags, towels, throw rugs or blankets can also serve as a buffer to protect the floor from damage. Empty Everything Before you move furniture items like dressers, make sure to take out the drawers to make it lighter. When moving a sofa, take

off the cushions, the feet and the mattress too, in the case of a sofa bed. You can transport these lighter items separately, and it will lighten your load and make moving the large item less cumbersome. Rock, Slide, Push, Pull or Twist When you are finally ready to move the item, be sure to position the weight. Place an arm on either side of the piece of furniture and brace with your arms and lower body. Try rocking and sliding, pushing and pulling, tipping and twisting or even ‘walking’ the item by leaning it on its’ back legs and then moving it left side, then right side towards your destination. If you do need to lift a heavy item, keep your upper back straight and bend at the knees, using them to lift to avoid damage to your back.


LIVING QUARTERS

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Taking Care Of Tiles

iles help add to the beauty of a home. They create a wonderful drawing board for home owners to decorate. Tiles are essential in every home in some form or fashion. They can be found in all different sizes, colors, shapes and textures. When added to a home they improve the ambience of it. However they must be taken care of to help them to continue to look as wonderful as the day they were installed. Ceramic tiles are stain resistant so they do not require much maintenance. The basic care tips would be to dust, spot mop and mop. A basic soap and water solution can be used to keep the floor clean. For grouts a solution of water and chlorine bleach can be used. The solution should be left to stand for about twenty minutes, after which the surface should be rinsed and then dried. Tiles with multiple colors and textures will hide dirt better than smooth tiles of one color so they would need less cleaning. Mopping and sweeping should be done on a weekly basis 6

to help the tiles look their best. Abrasive particles hiding in dirt can scratch and damage tiles, so sweeping them regularly can help alleviate the problem. The type of mops used can also help with maintaining the appearance of the tiles. Sponge mops are not recommended for use on tiles as they can streak the floor. A cloth type or string mop should be used. There are tiles that are placed in locations that are used regularly such as the kitchen and bathroom. In the kitchen, tiles must be wiped and cleaned daily. This helps eliminate bacteria from a place where food is prepared. So tile in the kitchen must always be kept clean. The bathroom should be sprayed weekly

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with a spray on cleanser and left to stand for about ten minutes. It should then be rinsed off. If there are hard water stains a vinegar solution should be used to remove it. To help with the removal of mildew a tile cleaner, fungicide, chlorine bleach or ammonia is recommended. As we all know at some point in time, tiles get damaged and they need to be replaced. For this instance extra tiles must always be bought. This is especially so if you have decorative tiles. Some designs would be harder to get so it is recommended that extras be kept. This can help alleviate the disappointing situation of finding out that the tile is no longer in stock. Also all tile repairs must be done by a certified tradesman. This ensures that you get good quality work and your money’s worth. With that said here are some dos and don’ts on tile care Tile care don’ts. 1. Don’t use vinegar and bleach to clean tile regularly. Yes they can help take away

streaks but when used often they can have adverse effects on the tile and grout. 2. Never seal or wax ceramic tile floors. The coatings are unnecessary and can cause extra dirt to cling and be attracted to the surface. 3. Don’t combine ammonia and bleach as we all know the fumes that come from a solution like that can knock you out. 4. Don’t use hydrofluoric or muriatic acid on tile or grout. 5. Don’t used colored cleansing agents to clean tile. Tile care dos 1. Do regularly maintain tiles by cleaning them. 2. Do test cleansing agents on a small space before using them on the entire tile artwork. 3. Do read all instructions before using cleansing products 4. Do use clean clear water to clean tiled surfaces 5. Do apply grout sealer after the grout has cured which takes approximately fourteen days.


home office

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Tips To Lower House-Hold Expenses

e’ve all been there: after paying our monthly household bills we’re left wondering “when is the next pay day?” It can be frustrating living from ‘pay cheque to pay cheque’ but there are steps that one can take to break this cycle and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle with limited funds. It may not be a substantial amount but you must ensure that you have a little extra to put towards savings and some money that you can call your own. It only takes a little effort on your part but it can work wonders.

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Make a budget. A budget is an ideal method that can be done to keep your spending on track as your expenses are clearly listed. A budget can be done for longterm or short-term periods and can be drawn up according to your salary distributions: weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

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Bundle your services. Do you have internet, cable and phone services to pay at the end of each month? Try paying one service provider for all your services as companies 8

who offer these, provide one low monthly rate to the customer which they can pay each month.

cost effective and guarantees full coverage.

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Be energy conscious. Do you stand in front of the refrigerator for minutes with the door wide open, peering inside as you wonder what to eat? This can cause the refrigerator to burn more energy as it needs to convert the room temperature air that accumulated inside the refrigerator to the chilled air inside the refrigerator. Be conscious of this; open it to about a 45 degree angle or get what you need quickly and close the door. Take off the lights when you leave a room, purchase energy saving appliances or, and some might think this to be a bit drastic, unplug electronic appliances when leaving the house.

Cut out extras. How much extra are you paying for sport or movie packages on cable? Those channels can be enjoyed but they aren’t necessary. When deciding to make cuts these extras should be the first on the list. How about phone charges? If you have internet access at your home or office, then having full internet access on your mobile phone may not be necessary. Try a cheaper package which may offer the service but with reduced access.

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Lower your insurance premiums. There are several ways to lower your auto insurance premiums such as equipping your car with safety devices or taking defensive driving classes. For life insurance and medical insurance, be sure to fill out your claim forms for cash back services. Also, talk to your insurance agents about any discounts that you may be missing out on. If these fail, do not be afraid to shop around for cheaper insurance that is both

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Enjoy cheap forms of entertainment. This can prove to be exciting as you can add variety to your social life. Try watching DVD’s at home rather than going to the cinema or have a picnic rather than going to the restaurant. You love outdoors? Organize a hike or plan a beach lime where

you can prepare snacks and lunch at home instead of buying stuff to eat.

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Carry lunch. If you were to calculate how much money is spent on lunch during the week, the figure will shock you. Plus some persons purchase food every day and if you multiply that figure by the number of weeks in the month, that figure can go towards your grocery shopping money at the end of the month. Make groceries at the end of every month and stock up on non-perishable items such as canned tuna or processed peas so that you can have a variety of food choices to prepare for lunch during the week.

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Pay your bills on time. It might be difficult to make monthly bill payments but failure to pay bills on time can result in late charges. Some financial experts say pay your bills first then save, while others advise that you set aside your savings first and then pay bills. Whatever your strategy, pay your bills on time to avoid accumulation of fees.


elegant ideas

Express Your Carnival Colours

This room’s furniture and accessories make it okay to feel blue w w w . a b s tr a c th o m e . c o m

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elegant ideas

Gorgeous golden design features will make you feel like royalty 12

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elegant ideas

Would you try this unconventional colour in your kitchen? w w w . a b s tr a c th o m e . c o m

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elegant ideas

A yellow and blue sofa with an additionally colourful backdrop to enhance your carnival vibe

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elegant ideas

Any children’s room would be a failure without vibrant colour additions

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KITCHEN

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Kitchen Safety For Seniors

itchen safety is a must for the entire family, not only the children. However, be sure that you place special emphasis on the seniors who inhabit your home as well. The elderly are as much at risk of accident and injury as your kids may be so follow these steps to safety. Tackle the kitchen one layer at a time: floors, cupboards, counter tops, appliances, overhead cupboards, etc. Look at the kitchen with a critical eye and realize that what may seem perfectly harmless to you may be a potential threat to your elderly father, who uses a cane, or your Mom, who's suffering from a cognitive disorder like Alzheimer's or dementia. Be wary of dangerous objects and substances that you take for granted. This can mean anything from the blender on your counter to the cleaning supplies stored under the sink. Instead of 'baby-proofing' your 16

kitchen, consider elderly parent - 'proofing' it. Safety is the key issue. As most caregivers of elderly parents know, it is often very difficult to convince your Mom or Dad to change things. However, stress the importance of safety whenever possible. If your parent is suffering from a cognitive disorder, reminding him or her not to place canned goods in the microwave or be careful with the knives just doesn't work. It's up to you to

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unplug the microwave and to place the kitchen knives in a secured drawer. Make sure all electrical cords are covered or securely tacked down to prevent accidents – Place socket covers over electrical sockets that are not in use. Make sure that electrical cords don't dangle over the edge of the counter or lie on the floor, creating a potential elderly fall hazard. Keep flammable liquids (such as lighter fluid) out of the kitchen and store in a safe location out of doors – Check under the sink and in the utility room. You'd be surprised how many items stored under the kitchen sink are flammable. Get rid of the 'junk drawer' - (Many elderly parents with various forms of dementia or Alzheimer's will often eat matches, plastic, washers, erasers and other objects). Think about disengaging the garbage disposal - That's an

accident just waiting to happen. Install child-proof locks or latches to cupboards that contain knives, cooking utensils and other objects that may break or cause injury. Keep medications in a secured location - ask your health care professional for advice. Consider removing the knobs from the stove, or installing a gas shut- off valve that may be turned off when the stove is not in use. Install a nightlight in the kitchen. If necessary, remove counter top appliances such as blenders, mixers, toasters or coffee makers to prevent potential accidents. Move cords out of the way of other appliances and keep away from sinks and stove tops. These are some vital tips to ensuring the elderly remain safe in your home. After all, if you can’t feel safe at home with family, then nowhere is safe.


RECIPES

Moroccan Recipes

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orth African cuisine has made strides tantalizing taste buds around the world. The Moroccan influence in particular is a favourite of many even in the Caribbean. Here are some recipes from that region that aren’t that hard to make, but are as authentic as they come.

Moroccan Lamb Kabobs Ingredients 2 pounds ground lamb 1 cup raisins 5 ounces goat cheese 1/3 cup mayonnaise 1 red onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 3/4 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander Salt to taste Coarsely ground black pepper to taste Directions Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate. In a medium bowl, mix together ground lamb, raisins, goat cheese, mayonnaise, red onion, garlic, cilantro, cayenne pepper, cumin, ground coriander, salt and black pepper. Divide the mixture into approximately 6 even portions, and press around skewers. Place skewers on the grill. Cook approximately 4 minutes per side, or until the cheese has melted, the raisins are tender and lamb has reached desired doneness. 18

Moroccan Couscous Ingredients 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced 1 red, green, or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces 2 zucchinis, halved lengthwise and cut into 3/4 inch pieces 1/2 cup golden raisins 1 teaspoon kosher salt Grated zest of one orange 1 (14.5 ounce) can low sodium garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained 1 1/2 cups chicken broth 1/2 cup orange juice 1 1/2 cups couscous 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint Directions Place a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Stir in the cumin, ginger, cloves, cayenne, cardamom, coriander, and allspice; gently toast until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in oil and onion, cook until softened. Stir in the bell pepper, and zucchini; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the raisins, salt, zest, and garbanzos. Pour in the chicken broth and orange juice; turn heat to high and bring to a boil. When the mixture is boiling, stir in the couscous and remove from heat; cover, and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and fold in chopped mint.

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Moroccan Spicy Carrot Salad Ingredients 1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds 2 cups water 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste Salt and ground black pepper to taste 1 tablespoon wine vinegar 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 cup cilantro leaves Directions Combine carrots, water, garlic, olive oil, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper in a shallow pan; bring to a boil over mediumhigh heat and cook until carrots are tender and water evaporates, about 20 minutes. Stir vinegar and cumin through the carrot mixture. Remove the pan from heat and set aside to allow salad to cool to room temperature. Garnish with cilantro to serve.

Spanish Moroccan Tilapia Ingredients 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 medium onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 2 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips 1 large carrot, thinly sliced 3 tomatoes, chopped 4 olives, chopped 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped 3 tablespoons paprika 4 tablespoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules Salt to taste 5 pounds tilapia fillets Directions Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, olives, and garbanzo beans and continue to cook until the peppers are slightly tender, about 5 minutes more. Sprinkle the parsley, paprika, cumin, cayenne, and chicken bouillon over the vegetables. Season with salt to taste. Stir to incorporate. Place the fish on top of the vegetables and add enough water to cover the vegetables. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until fish flakes easily with a fork and juices run clear, about 40 minutes.

Arabian Rose Water pudding Ingredients 3 1/2 cups water 1/2 cup rose water 1/2 cup dry milk powder 1/2 cup white sugar 5 tablespoons cornstarch Directions Whisk water, rose water, milk powder, sugar, and cornstarch together in a saucepan until smooth. Place over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, and cook until it begins to boil; cook at a boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat immediately; stir a few times to help it cool. Divide the mixture between 8 small serving glasses; refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.


BRIDAL

Long Distance Marriage Tips

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arriage is supposed to be an eternal bond. However, there are times this bond can truly be tested, for instance when one spouse has to travel abroad due to school or work. A long distance relationship can lead to many issues especially where kids are involved. Here are tips to get through this phase. Try to talk to each other about your fears and all the things that you think could go wrong after the long distance begins. If there is anything that will help you save your marriage, it is proper communication. Try to chalk out a daily routine together, wherein the two of you can get to spend quality time speaking to each other over the phone, or through chat and video conferencing. It is important that the two of you keep in touch and communicate as often as possible. In order to maintain a long distance relationship with your spouse, you must try not to pass judgments and make accusations without valid proof. Garner respect for each other, and treat one another with affection. Trust is very essential. There20

fore, make sure that you do not indulge in activities, which may cause the other to feel suspicious or cheated. Similarly, do not accuse each other of misdemeanor without knowing the complete truth. Try not to feel unnecessarily possessive, as that will suffocate the other person and make them wish for space. Remember, the two of you are already away from each other, possessiveness will increase the distance between you even further. This distance however will be more difficult to deal with as it was created due to emotional and mental unhappiness. Make the best of the time devoted for each other by sharing a sense of humor, naughtiness, and love. Let your spouse know how much you miss them and how you wish to see them sooner rather than later. Do fun things together even when you're apart, such as watching a favorite movie/show from your respective homes. Playing online games together and keep a tab on the score. If possible try to visit your spouse every once in a while. If not, send cards, letters, emails,

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and small gifts such as photos of you and the children. This is to show you miss them and are constantly thinking of them. Do not use the time you spend talking to each other to complain about all that is going wrong. Tell them that everything will be fine and that both of you can deal with it as long as you're together. There is not much that the other person can do to make your situation better, while being so far away. A few words of love and care are all that is needed to make anyone feel stronger to deal with life's hurdles! So be there for one another. Just because you are not geographically in the same place, does not mean that you have to make up for lost time by speaking on the phone a lot. When there isn't much left to talk about, don't drag the conversation on as it might lead into an argument. Just say what you need to, listen to whatever your spouse has to say and thereafter affectionately hang up. There will be times when one of you or both of you have had a particularly hard day and are feeling put off and cranky. In such situations, it is better to

avoid a prolonged conversation and sleep it off. If your spouse has been looking forward all day to speaking to you, entertain them a while and be happy with the thought that you're still needed and cared for. Which is why you must treat them with the same affection and care. Never think that you're the lone warrior in the relationship and the only one suffering or taking the chunk of stress. We all have our own side to a story, and you'd be surprised how much the other person is dealing with on the other side home. It is easy to think that the ones left at home with the family have it easier, or the spouse living in a hotel and meeting new people and seeing new places has it better. However, if a third party were to ask, each spouse would have a different perspective on the situation. Think about it. Who would want to sleep in a lonely bed in an unknown hotel room, or be alone at a home, which was once bustling with activity, when you could be with your spouse enjoying a nice time together? Do not play the blame game and remember that a relationship is about 'Us' and not solitary individuals.


FAMILY

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Helping Children Overcome Learning Obstacles

or parents with a child diagnosed with a learning disability, it becomes too easy to latch on to the child's feelings of inadequacy and then feel bad as a parent. Parenting approaches that include clear, concise instructions; structure without rigidity; nurturing a child's gifts and interests; and constant approval of positive behavior help parents and children feel better. As a parent you think about the challenges your child will face and worry abut what you can do to make sure your child has the best chance to reach his or her full potential. As a parent, your influence on your child outweighs that of any teacher, tutor, therapist or counselor. If your child has a learning disability, your love, encouragement, and support can make all the difference because you’ll be helping him or her emerge with a strong sense of self-confidence and the determination to succeed. Most parents use almost every resource they have to help their children flourish, and still, they worry they are not doing a good enough job, when in fact they usually are. In searching for ways to help children with learning disabilities, remember that you are looking for ways to help them help themselves. A child with a learning disability grows up to be an adult with a learning disability; your job is not to “cure”

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them, but to give your child the tools he or she needs to work through challenges. Healthy lifestyle habits Your child’s eating, sleep, and exercise habits play a very major role. Diet - Your child should have a diet full of whole grains, fruits and vegetables and lean protein. Sleep - Make their sleep schedule (bedtime and wake time) consistent. Exercise - Regular exercise can help your child stay alert and attentive throughout the day. Exercise can also be a great antidote to stress and frustration caused by a learning disability. Take charge of your child’s education As the parent of a child with learning disability, you can take the lead in researching effective treatments and services. Learn about your child’s learning disability. Read and learn about your child’s type of learning disability. Research. Learn about the most effective treatment options available Pursue treatment and services at home. Even if the school

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doesn’t have the resources to treat your child’s learning disability, you can pursue these options on your own at home or with a therapist. Work with the school. Your child may be eligible for many kinds of accommodations and support services, but the school might not provide services unless you ask for them. Think life success, rather than school success Success means different things to different people, but your hopes and dreams for your child may include a fulfilling job, loving relationships, a family and a sense of contentment. Your child’s life success depends, not on academics, but on things like a healthy sense of self, the willingness to ask for and accept help, the determination to keep trying in spite of challenges, the ability to have healthy relationships with others, and other qualities that aren’t as easy to quantify as grades and first class degrees. Self-awareness and self-confidence For children with learning disabilities, self-awareness (knowledge about their strengths, weaknesses and special talents) and self-confidence are very important. Struggles in the classroom can cause children to doubt their abilities and ques-

tion their strengths. Help your child nurture and develop good relationships. Model what it means to be a good friend and relative so your child knows what it means to help and support others. Being proactive Help your child develop into a proactive person, one who has the ability to make decisions and take action to resolve problems or achieve goals. This may involve self-advocacy (for example, asking for a seat at the front of the classroom) and the willingness to take responsibility for choices. Perseverance Help your children develop the drive to keep going despite challenges and failures, and the flexibility to change plans if things aren’t working. Children (or adults) with learning disabilities may need to work harder and longer because of their disability. Discuss what it means to keep going even when things are not easy. The ability to handle stress If children with learning disabilities learn how to regulate stress and calm themselves, they will be much better equipped to overcome challenges. Encourage your child to identify activities that help reduce stress such as sports, games, music, or writing in a journal.


WARDROBE

POWDER ROOM

How To Choose The Curvy Couture Tips Right Body Wash

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aking a hot shower at the end of a long day is a relaxing way to unwind. Chances are that you use some type of body wash in the shower. However, choosing a body wash isn’t as simple as walking into a store and buying whatever is on sale just because it seems good. Instead, buy a body wash that works for your skin as well as your senses to make you feel refreshed and renewed. When choosing a body wash, one of the first things to do is look at the ingredients to be sure you are not allergic to any of them. This is very important to do. Also make sure that anyone else who may inadvertently pick it up in your home can use the same product or similar products. Also look at the name of the product and ask yourself: Is it a name I can trust? Is the cost within the budget? Will it make me feel as good as the product says it will? Well that question can only be determined after using it. There are some body washes out there that really stink. And there are some that

do just what they say they will. So you have to buy some and try them and see what works best for you. Read the label for what type of skin the body wash is meant for. Some people never even read the label at all and end up buying the wrong kind. If you have sensitive skin, make sure that you get a body wash meant specifically for sensitive skin. If you have dry, itchy skin, then you may be interested in getting a moisturizing body wash. Whatever your skin type may be, a body wash can be quite beneficial for you if you get the correct one. Choose a scented body wash depending on when you take a shower. If you shower at night, consider getting a lavender body wash as lavender is thought to have calming properties. It may make you feel peaceful and help you to relax before bed. If you shower during the day, you may want to choose a body wash that leaves a nice fragrance. The scent will stay on your skin for hours and you won’t have to worry about putting on perfume.

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he Caribbean woman is naturally curvy (unlike those rail-thin European models in the mainstream media). Some women even have a little extra poundage on their frames and we aren’t talking British bucks. It’s ok though, because you can still look hot to trot with these fashion tips for the full-figured. Forget the mainstream media because plus sized can be hot too.

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Dress from head to toe in one tone - clothes which are a dark color like black, dark navy or dark red to aubergine give the illusion of a slimmer figure because dark colours absorb light. Don't wear shiny material in dark colors.

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Get A Fashionable Fit - Do not pick clothes based on the size you wish you were or think you might be. Always try on clothes, and be willing to try on a variety of sizes. Sizes vary by store and brand, so a size that fits you in one store may not in another store. Make sure the clothes fit your body well and are not too tight or too loose. Clothes that w w w . a b s tr a c th o m e . c o m

fit well always look fashionable. Find your style - Just because its popular doesn’t mean you have to wear it or add it to your wardrobe. Finding your individual style is very difficult for plus sizes but not impossible and with the increase in the number of stores dedicated to plus size fashion it’s getting easier.

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Avoid stretchy fabrics except for intimates - these cling to all the wrong places like boobs and sticking out bellies. Lycra in outer clothes, silk, rayon, and other jersey fabrics that have a sheen are the worst offenders. Look for tailored clothing: well cut pants, for example, are a great investment and it’s worth it to have them made to measure.

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If you must wear stripes, vertical rather than horizontal for a plus size dress, but the other way around if you are wearing a striped top over big bottomed pants. Make sure the top is broader shouldered, and that the stripes are wide rather than narrow.

MARCH 2014

ABSTRACT HOME

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MEDICINE CABINET

home gym

Home Fixes For Mosquito Bite Try Working Out Itches with Homemade P Weights

eople in Trinidad and Tobago (or anywhere in the tropics for that matter) will be familiar with mosquitoes and what their bites can do. Pretty much everyone has had an itchy and uncomfortable mosquito bite before, but there are ways to reduce its effects. These simple home remedies will reduce your urge to scratch. Toothpaste For quick relief from mosquito bites, try applying a small amount of all-natural peppermint or neem-based toothpaste. Allow the paste to dry and leave for as long as desired. Aloe Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory properties, so this could help the itch. For even more relief, stash your aloe vera gel in the fridge, since the cold will also help with the itchiness. Vinegar When you first notice the itchy bite, try applying a small amount of vinegar directly to the bump. If you have many bites, you may want to take a very hot bath in 24

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a tub filled with water and 2 1/2 cups of vinegar. Rubbing Alcohol Rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, and tea tree oil have antiseptic properties, so they could help prevent bites from getting infected. And their stinging sensation helps distract you from the itch. Hand sanitizers with alcohol will act in the same way. Lemon Lemon can work well in the fight against mosquito bites as well. Cut a lemon in half and scratch your itch with the soft pulpy side of it. This will reduce the chances of getting an infection from scratching with your fingernails. However, note that lemons are fruity and may attract more mosquitos.

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here is a misconception that you have to spend wads of cash at a gym or fitness facility to get buff or sculpted. All you have to do is use your creativity and get in DIY mode. Forget the fancy equipment and get buff around the house.

fer adjustable weights), fill the containers with sand or water instead. In fact, a half-full container is a more challenging weight because it adds instability as the contents slosh around with your movement. This calls your stabilizer muscles into play and will teach muscle control.

Random Objects Anything heavy can be a weight. Strongman competitors lift non-dumbbell objects in competition all the time, so there’s no reason random objects can’t help you get stronger. Heavy logs, barrels, and boulders give a great workout, and they’re free. Look around outside. If you would prefer something a bit more manageable, fill containers with concrete - use a bathroom scale if you want a specific weight. Gallon milk jugs work well because they have handles, but any hard container will do. If concrete’s too heavy (or if you just pre-

Sandbags Do you have an old duffel bag or backpack lying around? Put it to work for you. Fill a garbage bag with sand, duct tape it shut, and stuff it into the bag - voila, your new big challenge. The floppiness of the bag makes it more difficult to manage than a dumbbell of similar weight, and it’s so much more versatile. Lift it, yes - but also put it on your back when you do push-ups, sling it across your shoulders when you lunge, and strap it to your back when you run hill sprints. You will grow to hate it or love it - depending upon your disposition at any given moment.


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GARAGE

PETS

Four Things That May Cause Overheating Without A Leak

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n overheating car is both frustrating and embarrassing; not to mention costly and time consuming. You may automatically think a bad (leaking) radiator is the cause, but there are other issues to look at. Improper timing and low oil levels are a couple, but here are four more. The thermostat is bad Most of the time when thermostats fail, they fail to open. This means that the thermostat acts like a plug in the cooling system and keeps the antifreeze from circulating through the radiator to cool down. The result is that the vehicle overheats. When there are no system leaks and the water pump is not bad, the culprit is usually the thermostat. The water pump is failing If the water pump does not circulate the coolant, your car will overheat. Water pumps usually signal their impending demise. Most water pumps will emit a high pitched squeaking sound that is hard to miss. When you start to hear the squeak, you will only have a few days to fix the problem or risk being stranded. The second symptom is the

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water pump starts to leak fluid from the weep hole at the bottom of the pump. This is a sign that the internal seal is failing. When this sign shows up, get the car fixed quickly because it will continue to get worse. The radiator cooling fan is not working Check for this problem by starting the car and turning the air conditioner on while the car idles. The cooling fan should come on within a short time of enabling the air conditioner. If it does not come on, you need to make a repair. This repair might be replacing the fan. You may also have a cooling fan relay that has failed. The third possibility is a blown fuse or other electrical problem. The radiator core has become clogged This is a problem for older and high mileage vehicles. Oxidation, scale, and sludge can conspire to clog the radiator core. It can even be the result of adding too much stop leak to the system. Using a good quality radiator flush in the cooling system may help, but probably you are headed for a radiator replacement.

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Developing A Pet First Aid Kit

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n case you didn’t know pets get sick and injured too. That is why you should always be ready to deal with a medical emergency for your pet. Having a proper first aid kit is the first step. Here is what you need in one. Scissors - for cutting out things matted in fur, freeing your pet from entanglements Sterile eye wash - make sure it is eye wash, not contact lens solution. Tweezers - to remove splinters, or other foreign materials from wounds Toenail trimmer and styptic pencil - for torn toenails. Cornstarch also works for torn nails, but not for skin wounds. Tape - preferably the 1" white medical tape It’s easy to tear off and holds well. Roll Gauze - used for bandaging, an aid to stop bleeding, and padding for splints. Bandage Scissors - these scissors have a blunted blade to easily slip between skin and bandage material without cutting the patient's skin. Antiseptic wash or wipes - look for non-stinging preparations such as chlorhexidine or betadine. Rubbing alcohol is not good for open sores or wounds. Antibiotic ointment - overthe-counter "general purpose" antibiotic ointment for light use

with minor skin wounds. Not for eye use. Caution is advised for animals that may ingest by licking. The antibiotics are absorbed via the skin and remaining ointment may collect debris or actually slow healing in some cases. Use with discretion. Latex or plastic exam gloves - for your protection and your pet's protection - use when the situation is messy. A muzzle - or materials to make a muzzle, even the most well-trained animals may bite when injured or afraid. Thermometer - know the normal levels for dog and cat vital signs and how to use the thermometer. Water-based lubricating jelly - for use with rectal thermometers Ice and hot packs - cool down skin after a burn or keep an animal warm if hypothermic. Always use a cloth between the pack and skin and check frequently for redness or irritation. Extra towels, wash cloths and a blanket - use for washing, keeping warm/cool, and if necessary, as a way to transport the injured pet (sling). Syringe or large eye dropper - to flush wounds or administer fluids by mouth A list of phone numbers your regular vet, the emergency vet, and animal control numbers.


TRAVEL

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Historic Restaurants From Around The World

onventional knowledge would suggest that everybody likes food (barring a few Hollywood leading ladies and thousands of models; but who’s counting?). Anyway, good food is normally that much more memorable when it is consumed in the presence of good company and great ambiance. Abstract Home went searching around the globe to find some of the most historic restaurants that are known for providing both the ambiance and service that has kept them on top of their game for so many years. Here is a look at some of that history. The Sobrino de Botín The Sobrino de Botin (Calle de Cuchilleros 17, 28005 Madrid, Spain) is a restaurant established in 1725. It is listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest eatery currently in existence. Part of the restaurant's folklore has it that a young Francisco Goya (considered to be the father of modern art) worked there as a waiter whilst he was waiting to get a place at Madrid's "Royal Academy of Fine Art". The restaurant is decorated in the old Madrileño style, with dark wooden panels carrying elegant gilt designs. The exterior is done entirely in beautiful, old wood. There are two floors and a small room to dine in. The fact that you have to pass through the kitchen to get to the small room adds to the experience more than it takes away. Traditional Madrileño food with lots of variety is served at the Sobrino de Botin (meat, game and seafood). If you have the appetite, you could have a traditional seven course meal (starter, soup, egg course, vegetable, seafood, meat and dessert). Excellent wines and service ac28

company the good food there. The Sobrino and its specialty of cochinillo asado ("roasted suckling pig") are mentioned in the closing pages of Ernest Hemingway's novel, The Sun Also Rises. Its other signature dish is sopa de ajo (an egg, poached in chicken broth, and laced with sherry and garlic) a favourite pick-me-up with Madrileño revellers. THE CAFFÈ TOMMASEO The Caffè Tommaseo in Piazza Tommaseo 4/c lies close to the famous Piazza Unità d'Italia and the Communal Theatre Giuseppe Verdi in one of the most prestigious areas of Trieste. It is the oldest coffee-house in Trieste and belongs to the Association of the Italian historical inns. Opened in 1830 by the Paduan Tommaso Marcato, it was decorated by the painter Gatteri and furnished with large mirrors, purposely brought from Belgium. On behalf of the new owner Society, in December 1997 the café was restored and renewed in the traditional style of the Vienna cafés. The Caffe Tommaseo is the ideal blend of traditional and modern dining. Here you can purchase specialties such as Tagliatelle with Mushroom Boletus, Fiorentine steak and Spaghetti with mussels, meat and caviar. Open from 8 a.m. to 00.30 a.m. The services are: pastry shop-cafeteria, buffet, restaurant, American bar specializing in cocktails and tropical long drinks, live music every evening and concerts every Sunday morning from 11 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. The restaurant also offers the possibility of refreshments, banquets, cocktail parties, inside and on the terrace of the café. The facilities include audio and video devices for debates and screen presentations, and computer capabilities.

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The café’s new hall has 60 seats for exhibitions, banquets and congresses, and is equipped with modern audio- and video devices (also computer ready). MÁTYÁS PINCE RESTAURANT The restaurant named after the Hungarian king of Matthias opened in 1904 in the centre, at the side of the Elisabeth Bridge. The name of the cellar is one of the most famous types of wine. The Hungarian sophisticated wine lovers and the gourmands coming from distant areas both know what this name means in the Hungarian gastronomy. In the noble sense of the word it means real Hungarian hospitality. During its more than one hundred century long existence, generations of regular customers visited the restaurant that offered traditional Hungarian specialties. Beginning with the great statesmen through to the world of arts, everyone who ever came to Hungary visited the Matthias Cellar. The furniture of the inn and the three halls, the frescos and the lead-glass windows that remind us of the time of King Matthias, are the work of Haranghy Jenő and his student Bozó Gyula. They represent such valuable art that in 1973 the Matthias Cellar was pronounced protected. Some examples of the Hungarian dishes served are: fishsoup in cup and carp of Dorozsma, both favourites of King Matthias, and apple-sour cherry strudel. Those who prefer vegetarian or international dishes will also be satisfied. At lunchtime and in the evenings, the delicious dishes and the superb wines from the wine regions of Hungary are accompanied by the gypsy music of the Déki-Lakatos “dynasty” of musicians. From 30 April each year, the

Matthias Cellar welcomes its guests with an open-air terrace. Those who want to take a rest in a relaxing environment, after a pleasant walk, can choose from a variety of sandwiches alongside cool beverages, iced tea or iced coffee. MANKAME-RO The famous Mankame-Ro in Kyoto, Tokyo is one of the oldest restaurants in the world. It was established in 1702 and is still operating under most of the traditional standards as before. Mankame-Ro holds its staff to extremely high traditional Japanese standards and food preparation standards. The current proprietor of Mankame Ro is Masayasu Ikama, the 29th in his line to preserve the family’s traditions. With more than 270 years of history, Mankame-Ro began as a Yusoku restaurant, but today it is best known for its original lkama-school cuisine. Enjoy the finest of Kyoto beauty and taste in this genuine Kyoto sukiya-style building. On the second floor of Mankame Ro's traditional Japanese structure is a spacious tatami-matted room reserved for private banquets and demonstrations of shiki-bocho, a ritual performed since the 10th century for nobility, in which swordlike blades are used to fillet fish and fowl. Downstairs, Mankame Ro's signature lunch menu is the takekago bento, named after the lidded, lattice-work basket in which seasonal delicacies are artfully presented. Another notable delicacy is domyojiko (crushed, dried rice) served up with a pair of two-toned eel and burdock root rolls. It is not unusual to spend over TT$3000 on a meal at this restaurant.


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 5 2014  

In this issue: Express your Carnival Colours with Decor Tips to take care of your tiles Recipes: Fancy a Moroccan Morsel?

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