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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.


aster time is just around the corner. Now that Carnival is over, you can spend some time catching up on the latest home décor trends for 2014 and brightening up your home with some pretty pastel colors combined with familiar Easter motifs will add whimsy and charm to your space. Say Goodbye to Beige Move over grey, beige and white walls, rooms in 2014 favor more drama and glamour. Dark, moody walls in deeplysaturated hues like navy and plum add the perfect backdrop to any room. Mark D. Sikes of Chic People, Glamorous Places, Stylish Things says that "Navy blue is a big trend for 2014. I'm seeing a lot of the shade on the runways, on the streets, in editorials and in chic interiors.” Navy is considered a new neutral for its ability to blend with other colors and styles. If a darker shade on the wall scares you, there are other ways to incorporate it into your décor and make it a focal point. You could start with a piece of furniture like a sofa or sectional, do an accent wall or use dark colored cushion covers and curtains. Easter decorating idea: Do a table centerpiece of pastel colored spring flowers and butterflies and display it against a dark colored table runner. You can even do a mix of pastel and dark colored flowers or sprigs to add contrast in the arrangement.

Establish Your Easter Décor Mix and match metallics Decadent gold, demure bronze, lavish silver, refined nickel and copper are bringing a warmth and regality that just can't be achieved by their matte counterparts. Metallic accessories can completely change the look of a space, once it is not overdone. Trending now is the use of few pieces throughout the room in different metallics. Try incorporating the glamour by adding a sunburst mirror, a bold metallic centerpiece or vases of varying heights and metallics. An easy update could be replacing existing fixtures with copper pendant lights or painting an old table using silver metallic spray paint. Easter decorating idea: Use gold, silver or bronze spray paint to spruce up an inexpensive wreath, which you can decorate with pastel colored painted eggs and hang in the kitchen or front door. The contrast of rich metallic against pastel hues

will bring a touch of whimsy. You can also use metallic candle holders with pastel colored candles, or fill a metallic bowl with pastel colored painted eggs as a centerpiece. Interchangeable accents Design blogger Arianna Vargas says that "In 2014, we'll see a trend towards chameleon decor. Instead of settling on one fixed look, people will opt for a versatile neutral base and use big-impact accents to easily change their decor." So always leave room for change. Paint your rooms in colors that can accommodate a wide range of color palettes and accessories, so that your home can be easily updated or decorated for special occasions. Also, less is more when it comes to decorative objects around the house. Leave behind tacky, purposeless accessories and instead choose objects, artwork and photos with personal significance to keep your decorative collection w w w . a m g tt. c o m

from getting out of hand. Easter decorating idea: Invest in a statement vase that can stand alone or be used to hold different pieces as the seasons change. Start with your Easter floral arrangement! Blossoming Prints Popping up everywhere in fashion and décor are florals and chintz. These blossoming prints can be mixed with other graphic patterns like stripes for a modern look. Try incorporating these prints for cushion covers, table cloths or table runners, curtains or upholstery. Easter decorating idea: Use a floral table cloth and accessorize with a monochromatic Easter-themed centerpiece. In 2014, don’t be afraid to bring different colors, textures and finishes into your space. You’ll be surprised at how far you can push the boundaries and still create a cohesive look. APRIL 2014





reepy, crawly insects like spiders can freak you out and leave your home filled with messy webs. If you want to get rid of them, there are a few simple measures to consider.

Spider Proof Your Home The most organic way to ensure a safe environment when you get rid of spiders is to simply maintain a clean home. An untidy place with too many things lying around is an inviting breeding ground for spiders. To prevent or to get rid of a spider infestation, regularly clean your rooms and remove clutter. Seal tiny openings and crevices in your doors and windows. Vacuum your rooms regularly and clear spider webs and spider-egg colonies. Food attracts spiders and other insects. Keep your food and leftovers always covered. Also maintain your garden and lawn with care. Unkempt vegetation can breed spiders. To get rid of spiders, keep your trees and bushes trimmed and dead vegetation away from you home.

A vinegar spray can serve as an organic pest control to get rid of spiders. Vinegar is harmless to humans. It contains acetic acid which gives it its sour taste and odor. Spiders are highly vulnerable to acetic acid. Simply mix water and vinegar in equal proportions and spray around your home to kill the pests. Many scented natural oils

like eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, tea tree oil, neem oil and rose oil kill spiders. Mix 20-30 drops of an aromatic essential oil in one quart of water and spray infested areas to get rid of spiders organically. You can also use the spray periodically as a preventive measure. Exterminate other flies and insects in your home. Spiders feed on them. If they do not find enough food, they cannot thrive in your home. While the aromatic oil spray also targets other insects, you can use turmeric even more effectively. Powdered turmeric is sold as a spice in most grocery stores. Add some powdered turmeric to water and make a paste. Apply the paste on areas infested with crawling pests like ants. Within minutes, you will see the creatures dead.

Cleaning Fingerprints On Walls


reasy fingerprints can do real damage to your pristine home décor. A thorough cleaning or touch up can help you get your home back in gear. Paint Finishes If at all possible, determine what sort of paint finish covers your wall. Walls painted with a semigloss finish can be scrubbed and are relatively easy to clean. Another very easy-care paint finish is satin, which tolerates light scrubbing and can be wiped clean. Eggshell finishes are somewhat resistant to stains and scuffs, while flat or matte paint finishes hold dirt and are more difficult to clean. Cleaning any painted surface with too much force or too harsh a cleaner can damage the paint. Always start cleaning with the least possible pressure, and test any cleaner first by applying it to an inconspicuous area to see if it causes a change in the paint’s color.


Preparation Place a piece of plastic beneath the area you’ll be cleaning to protect your floor or carpet from any water spills. Before you start cleaning fingerprints, it’s a good idea to remove dust from the walls. Swish a longhandled feather duster or dust mop from side to side across the walls, starting at the ceiling and working your way down. By doing this, you’ll avoid getting dust and debris in your cleaning water, which can make the

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prints, you may need to scrub harder. If the wall still appears dirty, or if the paint finish is noticeably affected by cleaning, you may have no choice but to touch up the area with fresh paint. It’s a good practice to save and label paint when you finish painting a room. This way, you have a reference as to the color and finish used, and you also have some extra paint available for touching up dirty or scuffed areas. walls look worse than before you started. Cleaning Begin by gently wiping the fingerprints with a damp microfiber cloth wet with a small amount of mild detergent or a generalpurpose cleaner. Avoid spraying cleaner directly on the wall. If the paint finish is flat or matte, be sure to keep your scrubbing gentle to avoid damaging the paint. If gentle pressure is not enough to remove the finger-

Other Cleaning Options Besides an all-purpose cleaner, another possible cleaning solution for fingerprints on painted walls is a mixture of ammonia and water. You can also try wiping off fingerprints with a commercial water-activated microscrubber, a baby wipe or even a piece of white bread. As with any type of cleaner, first test these methods in an inconspicuous spot on the wall to see how the paint reacts.



here are countless uses for the Aloe Vera plant. If you don’t have any plants, shrubs or trees in your home, you should at least consider growing an aloe plant. The benefits are tremendous. However, there is some care needed to ensure your plant grows well. General Care: • It can be grown indoors or outdoors, but will turn brown in harsh sunlight so choose a location in indirect light.

Caring For Your Aloe Plant So It Can Take Care Of You • Will thrive outside better than inside, but definitely makes a good indoor houseplant. • Use well-drained sandy potting soil, a good quality commercial mix with extra perlite, granite grit, or coarse sand added is recommended. Cacti and succulent mixes may also be used. Watering: • This is a succulent. Don’t overwater. • If potting, make sure there is a drainage hole so the water can drain easily. Repotting: • Remove new shoots when they are 3 to 4 inches high and replant in their own pots. If you don’t, they will suck life from the mother

plant. Signs of this happening: The mother will get bright green and spread its leaves horizontally rather than vertically. • Water the pups well when repotting then don’t water again for about 3 weeks, forcing the new roots to get strong and seek water. The plants may turn grey or brown initially, this is normal. These make great gifts so give freely!

Symptoms Of Poor Care: • Leaves lie flat instead of upright: usually because of insufficient light. • Leaves are thin and curled: it’s not being watered enough and is using up its own liquid. • Leaves are brown: too much direct sunlight. • Very slow growth: High alkaline soil or water; too damp for too long; not enough light; too much fertilizer.

Removing Leaves: • Harvest leaves as you need. Wounds quickly sealed with leaves from the Aloe plant, heal quickly. The leaf will not grow back, choose those closest to the ground as they are the most mature and most potent.

Ant Prevention Tips


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


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


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Store food that you leave on the counter in airtight containers. If you like keeping coffee, sugar or flour containers on your counter, then make sure they are stored in airtight containers that will deter ants. They won't be able to smell it, which means they won't come that way.


Clean spills immediately. I once left some spilled chicken grease on the counter while I ran out for a quick errand. Just 10 minutes

later I returned to hundreds of ants crawling all over the chicken gravy/grease spill


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


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



Combat Dry Season Dust

ry season is here again, hot, high and sweaty. With it comes an unlimited supply of dust, leaves and debris from fires. Even if fighting dust is a battle you can never completely win, you can save a lot of time and energy with these dust-busting strategies to help you spend time enjoying the beautiful weather at Maracas beach. A broom is not enough Sometimes, the good old broom just doesn’t pick dust up on floors and carpet. An upright vacuum with powerful agitator is best for carpet. When it comes to wood, tile or vinyl flooring, your best choice is a canister vacuum without an agitator. An agitator does more harm than good on hard flooring because it blows dust into the air. Use electrostatic dust rags Feather dusters and dry rags pick up some of the dust they disturb, but most of it just settles elsewhere. Damp rags or disposable cloths that attract and hold dust 6

with an electrostatic charge, like Swiffer, do a better job. Vacuum attachments should be used only on surfaces that are hard to dust with a cloth, such as rough surfaces and intricate woodwork, because the exhaust stream from a vacuum whips up a dust storm. Shake your rugs Rugs and carpets are the biggest dust collectors, as they are a huge source of fibers and absorb dust like a giant sponge. Pathways and busy areas should be vacuumed at least once a week. The dust that gathers under chairs or behind the sofa is less important. Take your large rugs outside to shake three to four times a year, while smaller rugs outside for a vigorous shaking every week. A cushion beating Upholstery fabric not only sheds its own fibers but also absorbs dust that settles on it. You raise puffs of dust every time you sit down. Taking cushions outside and beating the dust out of them removes deeply embedded dust

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better than vacuuming. An old tennis racket works well. After this you can vacuum horizontal surfaces weekly and vertical surfaces monthly. Protecting chairs and sofas with slipcovers are also an option as they are easy to pull off and take outdoors for a shaking, or tossed in the washing machine.

der that eventually ends up in the home.

Use Entrance Mats You can prevent the amount of dust coming into your home by using two sturdy entrance mats at each entrance. Make sure they can hold up to the wear and tear of your traffic- one just outside the door, and one just inside the door. They should be cleaned regularly-shake them out, vacuum them or hose them down.

Change bed sheets weekly Your cozy bed is a major dust distributor. Frequently washed sheets reduce skin flakes, fibers and dust in the air. To minimize the fallout, wash sheets and pillowcases weekly. Items that aren't machine washable don't need weekly trips to the dry cleaners-just take blankets and bedspreads outside and shake them. You can spank some of the dust out of pillows, but for a thorough cleaning, wash or dry clean them. When you change bedding, don't whip up a dust storm. Gently roll up the old sheets and spread out the new ones; even clean bedding sheds fibers.

Pet care Pet owners know that much of their dust and debris can come from their four legged friends. Brushing pets regularly, a bath routine, washing pet bedding and keeping their area clean will reduce shedding and dan-

Keep Windows Closed I know it’s hot and we all want every ounce of breeze, but only keep windows open if necessary. If rooms are not being used, close the windows to prevent dust and debris from blowing into your home.

home office


Consider A Side Job

eems like no matter how we budget and budget, some of us still wind up living pay cheque to pay cheque, playing catch up with credit cards and other expenses. Maybe it’s a new job with a lower salary (though more fulfilling, thumbs up!) that has landed some here or a sudden emergency that necessitated a loan that now has us making large monthly payments. It’s time to stop toying with the idea of a second job and give it more serious consideration. A second job is increasingly necessary for many people, even before these recessionary-price increasing times. Further, many might think most people who have second jobs are in minimum wage positions but studies suggest that teachers, police officers, engineers, nurses and other professionals often hold down second jobs. Having a side job can greatly help you with your financial goals. If you can fit a second job around your existing job, you can more easily pay off student loans, save for a down payment, pay off a car loan, eliminate credit card debt, fund vacations, top up retirement savings — or just simply make ends meet. Make sure your second job 8

you discount your rate, the pay is still good, and customers feel like they got a deal. From painting to step-building, there are plenty of household jobs many people can't or simply don't want to do.

doesn’t interfere with your main job and be wary of overworking yourself. Look for work that accommodates your existing position and lets you get a full night’s sleep. Handyman. No matter where the economy stands, or whatever else goes on in the world for that matter, things will always break and these ‘things’ must be fixed. When you are really good at fixing things, word travels fast. It's possible to make a small mint fixing cars, installing shelves, building fences, or doing home electrical and plumbing jobs. Keep in mind that some of these gigs may require attaining certain licenses and certifications. Consider how much a full-time car mechanic or a plumber charges, even if

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Wills/Medical Power of Attorney. While planning for the inevitable can be upsetting, it provides a way for attorneys to make extra side income. Lawyers can get up to speed on formulating simple wills and living trusts without too much effort. Completing these documents is something most people agree is essential but have not checked off on their 'to-do' list. Talk to friends, church members, and neighbors to generate clients. Potential clients are likely working or have other commitments just like you. Therefore, being available outside of business hours makes meeting up more convenient for everyone involved. Income Tax Preparer. Preparing income taxes is one of the most dreaded have-tos. There are plenty of people who would be glad to pass off their tax preparations to someone else if for no other reason than the

fear of being audited. Many have turned this side business into profitable companies. Teach a Hobby. This can be your first option. Whether it is dance, tennis, golf, computer skills, or music, teaching someone how to do something you are good at and love makes working a second job less like ‘work’. You can find teacher job ads at recreational centers in your neighborhood or advertise your expertise online and in local publications. Frequently we take the things we are good at for granted. Being able to market your skill and be paid for it is a bonus that is often overlooked. Even if you do not want to be paid for it, teaching something you excel at is giving of yourself in the most charitable way. School Transport Services. A recent bill led me to wondering about what possible profit the nice old man who picks my niece up for school makes. It was exam season and little missy had lessons ‘coming and going!’ If he picks her up for $25 and drops her home for another $25, five times a week, and does this, in his 12-seater van for four weeks… you do the math…

elegant ideas

Fab Fabric Options

Couple up your curtain colours for mixed and matched style w w w . a m g tt. c o m

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elegant ideas

The swag fabric adds life to a dark and dreary room


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elegant ideas

Add extra essence to you drapes with creative designs w w w . a m g tt. c o m

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elegant ideas

The manner in which fabric is strewn adds shape to this space


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elegant ideas

These beautiful golden curtains are laid in such a way as to allow loads of natural light w w w . a m g tt. c o m

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Try Yogurt As A Low Fat Alternative When Baking And Cooking


ogurt is an essential weight-loss supplement that dieticians have been supporting for years, and now bakers have found a way to use the creamy dairy when baking. Plain low-fat and fat free yogurt are packed with protein and calcium and can be used to reduce or replace shortening, oil, butter or sour cream in baked goods. It cuts the fat as it reduces the content of the other products and adds a richness and tenderness to any baked good. Some websites are also providing recipes on how to make yogurt at home as the benefits of substituting certain ingredients for yogurt are endless. Butter is an essential ingredient especially when baking and if a recipe calls for butter, you replace half the butter with half as much yogurt. For example, if a recipe calls for one cup of butter, use ½ cup of butter with ¼ cup of yogurt. Yogurt can be a great sub16

volume for volume. This means that one cup plain fat-free yogurt can be substituted for one cup buttermilk with the results being almost the same, although yogurt may provide a creamier dish. By extension, yogurt can also be used when cooking, particularly when making sauces.

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Yogurt makes a tasty marinade to tenderize meats because of its acidic content.

stitute for sour cream which has a high fat content. Don’t worry about the difference in taste. Plain fat free yogurt can actually heighten the taste in most recipes. Yogurt can be used to replace milk and water in some recipes, but start substituting in small quantities so that the taste and result can be compared. Maybe a ¼ measure can be used at first and increased as

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the results are compared, but the texture of the baked goods should be fluffier and more tender. If a recipe calls for shortening or oil, replace half the oil with ¾ the amount of yogurt. The result would be a creamy, tastier dish that is easier to digest. Yogurt helps to add a weightless texture to food. Yogurt can also be a great substitution for buttermilk,

Yogurt can be used to add richness and body to creamy sauces, but it must be used with starch to prevent curdling.


Yogurt can be used in equal measures as a substitute for mayonnaise or sour cream in dip and salad dressing recipes to reduce the calories.



Scrumptious Soups

ometimes you want something that doesn’t sit too heavily on your chest but still satisfies your hunger and taste buds. Whether hot or cold, a predominantly liquid meal such as a soup or broth can be the perfect meal choice. These recipes are great options to try in your own kitchen.

Chilled Watermelon Soup Ingredients 4 cups cubed seeded watermelon 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint 1 tablespoon honey Directions Blend watermelon, lemon juice, mint, and honey in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

Pumpkin Soup Ingredients 3-1/3 cups chicken stock 3/4 teaspoon salt 1-3/4 cups and 3 tablespoons cubed fresh pumpkin 1/2 teaspoon fresh parsley 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon chopped onion 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme 1/2 clove garlic, minced 18

1/4 cup and 1 teaspoon heavy whipping cream 2-3/4 whole black peppercorns

1/2 pound Cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions Directions Cut pumpkin into 1/2-inch cubes. Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered. Puree the soup in small batches (1 cup at a time) using a food processor or blender. Return to pan and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir in heavy cream. Pour into soup bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.

Salmon Chowder Ingredients 3 tablespoons butter 3/4 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup chopped celery 1 teaspoon garlic powder 2 cups diced potatoes 2 carrots, diced 2 cups chicken broth 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon dried dill weed 2 (16 ounce) cans salmon 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk 1 (15 ounce) can creamed corn

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Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. SautĂŠ onion, celery, and garlic powder until onions are tender. Stir in potatoes, carrots, broth, salt, pepper, and dill. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat. Cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in salmon, evaporated milk, corn, and cheese. Cook until heated through.

Cream of Mushroom Soup Ingredients 5 cups sliced fresh mushrooms 1 1/2 cups chicken broth 1/2 cup chopped onion 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme 3 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 cup half-and-half 1 tablespoon sherry Directions In a large heavy saucepan, cook mushrooms in the broth with onion and thyme until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. In blender or food processor, puree the mixture, leaving some

chunks of vegetable in it. Set aside. In the saucepan, melt the butter, whisk in the flour until smooth. Add the salt, pepper, half and half and vegetable puree. Stirring constantly, bring soup to a boil and cook until thickened. Adjust seasonings to taste, and add sherry.

Chicken Rice and Vegetable Soup Ingredients 5 cups water 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half - cut into cubes 3 carrots, chopped 1 onion, chopped 3 stalks celery, chopped 2 cubes chicken bouillon 1/3 cup uncooked white rice Salt and pepper to taste Directions In a large saucepan over high heat, combine 4 cups water and the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the chicken, carrots, onion, celery and bouillon and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add more water as necessary. Add the rice and allow to simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.



oo many brides overlook the importance that their bridal underwear can have on their figure and hence overall look on their wedding day. As a consequence, shopping for their wedding underwear is left until just a few weeks before the actual wedding date itself and they’re left choosing something from a Charlotte Street store and maybe having to ‘just make do’! Given plenty of time and a little thought into what practical aspects you want from your lingerie, it can really help shape & sculpt your figure as well as bring comfort, support and confidence for that special day. Wedding Corsets A wedding corset still remains a big favourite with many brides as they provide a great waist cinching effect and can reduce the waist line by anything from 2” – 4”, as long as its sized and fitted correctly. If you’re looking to wear a bridal corset beneath your wedding gown, then don’t lose sight of the fact that whatever corset you choose must work in


Bridal Lingerie bigger bust. It’s also worth noting that if your gown is made from a lighter chiffon material or designed to be a close fit then do go easy on the level of detailing on your choice of underwear. Although lots of lace, frills & lace overlay is pretty & romantic for the fairytale wedding day, it can easily start to show through light satin dresses on the day.

harmony with both your figure and your wedding gown. Take a while to look at the features of your chosen dress style & match them with your corset choice. For example an off the shoulder dress will need a strapless wedding corset, and if the design is quite low cut at the back then you’ll need a low back bridal corset to keep the underwear line well hidden. Also pay particular attention to any boning in the bodice of your wedding gown to avoid opting for a

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heavily boned corset & over-restricting yourself! Bridal Basques & Wedding Bustiers If waist cinching is less of a factor for you, but good support for your upper body & breasts is, then a basque or bustier might be a wiser option for you. Although similar to a corset, basques & bustiers have less boning but can still have moulded cups and underwiring and be a good alternative, especially for brides with a

Wedding Lingerie Accessories As ‘clothes maketh the man’, then ‘let lingerie maketh the woman’! So don’t forget the finishing touches to your bridal underwear ensemble. If you’re planning on wearing wedding stockings or bridal hold ups, then do leave a spare pair with your bridesmaid in case of any ladders, even if it’s just a cheaper pair, it saves spending the rest of your day with bare legs! Finally don’t forget the bridal garter, this is perfect to include a touch of blue for the ‘something old, something new’ tradition.


Getting Kids To Be More Helpful Around The House


etting kids to help with chores can sometimes be a chore within itself. Nag nag, nag, seems the only course of action. Sometimes they pick and choose what they want to do and for others the excuses are rampant “Have homework, I‘m sick, I did it last time.” Helping your kids to understand that doing chores is part of the family duty can make the process easier. Applying a few simple techniques will possibly save you from sending them to UWI with a PB&J sandwich without the jelly. Lead by example. If she sees that you clean up after yourself and replace things where they are supposed to be, she is more likely to follow suit. Even with toddlers, if you get his help to put away toys and cheer him on he learns it is a good act. Reinforce this attitude throughout and soon he will be pitching in whenever there is work to be done. Older kids tend to make remarks such as “I am the one


that has to live in my room so it doesn’t matter if it’s dirty”. As apparent, arguing to prove you are smarter should never be done; it’s a very unhealthy element of many difficult parent-child relationships. Here, you can show them how finding things can be easier if their room is clean and give in a bit, rather than “Clean it right now!” try instead, “It better be clean by 5 this evening.” Everyone in the house knows you’re the boss no need to stuff it

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down throats. Working together as a team gets the chore done. Doing chores with kids is good for bonding. Pitch in and help him clean his room and see it reciprocated throughout the house. If chores are turned into something none compelling there will be fewer complaints from all quarters, you know the saying “so easy when I want to; so difficult when I have to.’ Giving children choices can help make the delegation of

work easier. Choices show that you value your kids input and would like them to do something that is more enjoyable to them. Show and tell a kid what to do, give them directions not directives. Building your kids’ confidence helps. Children like to be praised for their efforts and when you praise them for a job done well they’re confident to attempt others. Making the juice for dinner and seeing the entire family enjoy their creation will make them proud and happy to chip in again. Giving rewards is not recommended for regular chores such as doing dishes, doing his own laundry or cleaning her own room – this is their birthright! You may reward for doing everyone’s laundry or cleaning up a younger sibling’s room if they offer to do it for a reward. Be open and willing to bend a little sometimes; maintaining a functional relationship with your child until she marries and moves away is the ultimate goal.



Ten Must-Haves Accessories For Youth Restoring The Ladies Closet


Makeup Tips

here is so much pressure placed on women to look younger and younger each day that advertisers are constantly finding ways to lure women to purchase their ‘fountain of youth’ products. From age defying make-ups to wrinkle removers, the market is saturated with products that profess to make one’s skin look younger and more radiant. But, who can compete with a natural alternative? Below are some natural make-up tips that can help in maintaining a youthful look. Start with clean skin- It’s simple, as we age, our skin loses elasticity and gains some lines which is perfectly natural and should be embraced. By using a face wash that has moisturizer mixed in the solution, cleansing the face becomes a two- task feat. Plus, washing the face ensures that it is clean and smooth and ready to be used. Use the right foundationThough the skin is the perfect foundation, there are age spots and other imperfections that may appear on skin as we age. When selecting a foundation, ensure that it is lightweight and applied in the same fashion. Try not to use pancake makeup or matte finish foundation; caking on foundation can cause lines to appear and give an older look. Also to avoid a greasy look, use

foundations that contain moisturizer. When the face is too dry, it produces natural oils that appear on the skin’s surface. Blush- Use a pink or peach blush; light colours on the cheeks work best. Apply the blush closer to your cheekbones and sweep it upward toward your eyes. This will create an uplifting, youthful look. Accentuate your eyes-. When applying eye shadow, first use a base. It can be the same as your foundation, or you can use a shadow base. Light colors are applied along the browline and on the eyelids. These make the eyes appear bright and open thus giving that energetic, youthful appearance to the face. Dark colors will close the eye and make you appear older therefore stay away from navy blues, violet, blacks and browns, unless creating a shadow effect which should only be undertaken by professionals. Do not paint on eyebrowsEyebrows thin out as we get older but shaving all off and drawing in pencil thin ones is not the solution. Rather, to maintain a youthful look, carefully shape the eyebrows by plucking or waxing. If too thin, use a bristled brush and light brown pencil to fill in brows and make them appear thicker.


othing says more about someone’s personality outwardly, than the way that they dress, and for ladies this can be a very big deal. Accessories, just as the name suggests, are used to compliment an outfit and there are certain items that women must never be without. These include a cute pair of pumps or sultry earrings that can either accentuate the face or bring attention to the feet. Take a look at the checklist below to see which one (s) you may be missing.


Pumps- whether they are pointed, rounded or opentoed, a pair of pumps can be used to add that sexy look to any dress. Always have a pair of black heels at hand


Flats- not to be confused with flip-flops, but flat, whole, closed-toe shoes that are perfect when on the go. They come in different styles and designs and can even be worn with the right dress.


Diamonds- even cubic zirconia, but every woman should own a necklace, ring, bracelets or earrings that sparkle and shine. These always shine and stand out where ever you go.


Pearls- there is no rule that says that only celebrities should wear these. Pearls can add a sense of sophistication to w w w . a m g tt. c o m

an outfit that no other accessory could.


Clutch- perfect for dinner parties, clubbing or an evening stroll. They come in handy to house the evening’s necessities.


Belt- an immediate outfit changer, this can turn a boring look into something fun and classy. The wider your variety the better as each size can be used to portray a different look.


Bag- different from a clutch, these can actually be worn over-the-shoulder or on the inside corner of your elbow. Leather is best as it gives a polished elegant look and the size can range from small to medium to large. Depending on the outfit and the occasion, you should choose wisely.


Cocktail ring- the bolder the colours the better as they give an added effect. There are some with varying or dizzy patterns; these can give a glam look.


Watch- Whether gold or stainless, a watch also adds sophistication and elegance to any outfit. It also adds a bit or intelligence to your look.


Cuff- these are gorgeous and are perfect for cocktail parties. They serve as a bracelet and come in different sizes and colours.

APRIL 2014




home gym

Preventing Child Obesity


besity has been recently described as an epidemic due to its severity and the number of people currently suffering from its effects. More and more children have become obese in recent times. This is especially worrying as younger people have been getting strokes and heart attacks. It’s time to nip it all in the bud. Here is how to fight child obesity at home. Make favorite dishes healthier. Some of your favorite recipes can be healthier with a few changes. You can also try some new healthy dishes that might just become favorites too! With that said, remove calorie-rich temptations. Treats are OK in moderation, but limiting high-fat and high-sugar or salty snacks can also help your children develop healthy eating habits. The following are some healthy eating choices to consider. • Provide plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole-grain products. • Include low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products. • Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils and beans for protein. • Serve reasonably sized portions. • Encourage your family to drink lots of water. • Limit sugar-sweetened beverages, sugar, sodium and saturated fat. 24

Help your kids understand the benefits of being physically active. Teach them that physical activity has great health benefits such as: • • • • •

Strengthening bones Decreasing blood pressure Reducing stress and anxiety Increasing self-esteem Helping with weight management

Keeping active is a must. Children and teens should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity most days of the week, and every day if possible. You can set a great example! Start adding physical activity to your own daily routine and encourage your child to join you. Some examples of moderate-intensity physical activity include: • • • • • •

Brisk walking Playing tag Jumping rope Playing soccer Swimming Dancing

Reduce sedentary time. Although quiet time for reading and homework is fine, limit “screen time” (TV, video games, Internet) to no more than two hours a day. TV isn’t recommended for kids age 2 or younger. Encourage your children to find fun activities to do with family members or on their own that simply involve more activity.

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Buying The Right Exercise Equipment For Your Home


aving your own exercise equipment is one way to make your fitness routine more comfortable. However, getting the right equipment for your home can be a problem. This article helps you make wise decisions in purchasing fitness tools. The first thing to consider is functionality. Start with a few pieces of versatile equipment that have multiple uses. A physio-ball and a variety of dumbbells is my recommendation. Dumbbells and a physio-ball will enable you to do numerous exercises that work a wide variety of muscle groups. Plus, not only are they versatile, but they are available to consumers at a reasonable price. Apart, from versatility and price it should also be functional with regard to your home space. Say you've figured out that the rowing machine that you've been eyeing can just fit between your bed and dresser. Don't put the tape measure away quite yet. Knowing the dimensions of the equipment and your space isn't enough. You have elbows, knees, arms and legs to consider. In other words, the way you use the equipment alters its working dimensions. A half-foot of ceiling clearance may seem like enough to accommodate your multifunction home gym, but just try to complete a pull-up without banging your head and you'll learn otherwise. Test equipment at the

store to see how it would work out in your home. Next, note that some machines simply make less sense to have than others. Commercial exercise machinery is often very expensive, and limits the number of exercise types and muscle groups one can exercise. Although commercial machines are durable and well built pieces of exercise equipment, they often promote poor form when exercising, and can prevent the body from aligning itself properly when exercising. You also need to ask yourself, does the commercial machine cater to your own height and weight proportions? Does the machine move smoothly, without any jerking movements? Also, does the machine come with any sort of warranty from the manufacturer? Also, in deciding to purchase commercial or consumer exercise equipment, you need to ask yourself how committed you are to using the equipment. Unless you are making a lifestyle commitment to change your health (that will continue with you for the rest of your life) don’t invest in equipment. If you are planning on purchasing expensive equipment, you had better plan on using it for a while, and not letting it become a clothing dryer for hung items, in your spare bedroom or collecting dust in your garage while you continue to make payments on it.



Polish That Beautiful Paint Job


ar detailing may be tiresome at times, but the aesthetic and financial benefits of it cannot be overstated. The next time you polish your car think of these tips. Clean the Car before Polishing Before polishing your car, wash it thoroughly. Either run it through an automatic car wash or wash it by hand. It's important that your car is as clean as possible before you begin polishing it, as any dirt on the surface will scratch the paint, especially, if you use a mechanical buffer. Additionally, it might be necessary to detail your car's finish as well. This involves using a bar of detailing clay to take off any difficult-to-remove substances from the car's surface that ordinary washing will leave behind, such as tree sap or tar. Polish Slowly Whether you're polishing with a mechanical buffer or by hand, polish a small area at a time. Work on 2x2-foot areas at a time, moving slowly to allow the polisher to do its job. Use overlapping strokes to make sure the polish covers as much of the area as possible. Use a Buffer Properly Generally, it doesn't matter too much whether you use a buffer 26

or polish by hand. Polishing by hand will just take longer, and a buffer might do a better job of keeping the polish even. If you do opt to use a buffer, be sure that you use it properly: Apply the polish first by placing a sufficient amount on the pad and then spreading it onto the car's finish before turning the buffer on. Turning the buffer on with a large wad of polish on the pad will send the polish flying Make sure that you keep the pad level to ensure that even pressure is applied. Buff the polished section until it's clear, but stop before the polish dries. Sling the buffer's cord over your shoulder to keep it away from the car's finish. While the buffer is running, keep it in contact with the car's surface and turn it off before lifting it up. Never allow the pad to come in contact with the ground. Even a single grain of dirt that's left on the pad can leave scratches on your car's finish, especially if you're using a mechanical buffer. If the pad does touch the ground, replace it or wash it thoroughly, no matter how clean it looks Simply washing your car regularly won't be enough to keep a car's finish looking its best. Every car needs to be polished once in a while.

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Pet Potty Training


ne problem that many dog-owners face is the issue of potty-training their dogs. The older the dog, the harder it is for them to be potty-trained, but it is not an impossible task. Potty-training teaches your dog discipline and ensures that your dog knows its designated potty areas. This can save you from having to constantly remove droppings or mop up urine. It may take some time for this to be accomplished so don’t expect a change overnight, but by following these steps; you can ensure an eventual change in your dog’s patterns.


Put a leash on your dog and keep it close to you. When they start sniffing the ground (which is a sign that they want to go potty) take them outside or to the designated area. By leading them to the spot, they get the idea that this is the correct place for their droppings and would continue to do so in time.


Do not let go of the leash when you lead them outside. They would begin to play and not go potty as they originally wanted. When they are finished, give them a treat so that they know what they did was good.


As mentioned above, this does not happen overnight so you may get an unguarded moment when the

dog is about to go potty in the house. Do not yell or hit them; clap or call their names, which would cause them to stop, pick them up (if it’s a small dog) and carry them to the designated area. Then reward them with a snack.


If they are leaving their droppings in the house, you should pay more attention to them. Learn their cues; learn their actions just before they go potty, so that you can stop it from happening in the house.


Some dogs may be afraid of their owner or may get too excited when they greet them and may urinate prematurely. This is known as submissive urination and although it is not a very common occurrence it can happen. When it does, allow the dog to calm down before you greet it or ignore its behavior for a couple of minutes. This allows them to remain calm


If you have an older dog that you are trying to potty-train, this may be a bit more difficult as they would have already developed habits when wanting to urinate. If this happens, have patience; try steps 1 through 3 and remember they have to learn the right way as it was never taught before. Do not punish them if they don’t get it at first.


World Cup Travel


he FIFA World Cup is a few months away and luckily for us it is being held in neighbouring South America. Not since USA 94 has the World Cup taken place in the Americas and not since then has the tournament been spread so far and wide. Brazil is the longest country in the world, north to south. East to west it spans 3 time zones. It’s also one of the most diverse and beautiful countries to visit. Don’t fancy the Amazon rainforest? Well then, try the world famous beaches in Rio de Janeiro. It’s a hard choice. However, if you are visiting Brazil at this time, it is hardly likely you will be there for anything other than the football and World Cup atmosphere. In order to maximize your time there, here are some things you should consider. BRAZIL WORLD CUP DATES The 2014 World Cup finals will take place between 12th June 2014 and 13th July 2014, and like all World Cups before it 28

will be split into stages and held across the country. All eight previous World Cup winners will be there, but for how long? Stay for the whole tournament and you’ll spend 31 days minimum in South America. Stay for just the group stages (Where’s the fun in that?) and your trip could be over by 24th June. This means it is important to work out your budget and plan your trip so that you can fit in the maximum football for the minimum cost. GETTING TO BRAZIL 2014 In case you didn’t know, Brazil is, quite large? Really… the place is mammoth (especially in comparison to Caribbean territories). Wherever you end up, you're likely to fly into either Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro first. Look up flights to both places and check which gives the best saving, then add on the cost of getting to your destination city to compare the total price.

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Of course, this means staying in Sao Paulo or Rio may prove cheapest in terms of flying; but they're also likely to receive the most visitors. Hence, there will be more expensive hotels and more competition for match tickets. You don't normally need a visa to visit Brazil, but still check the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website for entry requirements (particularly if you're a single parent or guardian travelling with a child). It’s always worth checking if you can get cheaper flights by travelling direct to your chosen host city via another country, rather than flying into Sao Paulo or Rio then changing internally. For instance, it may be cheaper to fly to Brazil from Venezuela than it is from Trinidad, but don’t take our word for it. You never know. WHICH HOST CITY IS BEST? It can be costly travelling thousands of miles from one stadium to the next to see a variety of

games. If moving around Brazil on a whim appears to be out, your best bet is to choose a single base and sample what you can of the "carnival of football" from there. Pick one of the designated host cities and you can’t go far wrong: there’s already a World Cup 2014 stadium in situ, and each venue hosts a minimum of four games. You can choose your destination because of the city itself, or choose your city based on who will be playing there. The following are the host cities: Belo Horizonte (Southeast Brazil), Brasilia guide (Central-West Brazil), Cuiaba (Central-West Brazil) Curitiba (Southeast Brazil), Fortaleza guide (Northeast Brazil), Manaus (North Brazil), Natal (Northeast Brazil), Porto Alegre (South Brazil), Recife (Northeast Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Southeast Brazil), Salvador (Northeast Brazil) and Sao Paulo (Southeast Brazil).

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 7 2014  
Abstract Home Vol. 5 Issue 7 2014  

In this issue: Engage your inner decorator this Easter Dealing with Dry Season Dust Recipes: Succulent Soups to Savour