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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.

Three Beneficial New Year’s

Home Upgrades


esign trends come and go. If you are not a fan of classic design you may need to alter your home décor. Also, you may be thinking about saving money and making your home more energy efficient is a bonus like no other. Maybe your home isn’t as functional as you want it to be. Whatever the case, these three home upgrades may benefit you. Make Your Bathroom More Efficient Because they’re often the most inconvenient, the biggest home improvement jobs seem to happen in the bathroom. But when accomplished correctly, they can also save money on your water and energy bills. Install a low-flow shower head and

a low-flush toilet. Also, don’t forget to install a humiditycontrol switch. Similar to light switches (and just as easy to install), these convenient sensorswitches can be found at home centers. Pretty Your Pantry Kitchens sell homes. If your kitchen is struggling a bit, make some cosmetic changes in addition to the appliances you upgrade. New countertops, refinished cabinets and upgraded flooring will make your home more appealing to every buyer who comes through the door. Even if you have no plan of selling your home, it is great to upgrade the kitchen. Remember, this is often the most scrutinized room in a home, so make it, literally, shine.

Plant a Garden As natural, sustainable living continues to grow in popularity, so does the desire to have a place to grow your own organic food. When spring rolls around, consider investing in a garden. Not only will your family be able to enjoy the benefits of your harvest, but any buyers who are concerned about healthy living will be attracted to your home as they see the place where they can grow their own healthy food once they buy it. Choose a sunny spot, till up the soil and plant some basic veggies to get started.

Cleaning Paint Spills


f you are like most Trinbagonians you probably did some paint touch ups to your home for Chritmas or the New Year. If that was the case, you probably encountered some sort of paint spillage. This article shows you how to deal with those unfortunate events.

Identify the Paint Latex or water based paint is easier to cleanup than oil based paints. If you are working with latex paints you probably have soapy water ready for cleaning brushes and other equipment. Cleaning oil based paints usually requires a paint solvent such as turpentine. Make sure you have plenty of cleaning supplies handy in case of a spill. Soak it Up Sand, cat litter or even salt absorbs spilled paint. Pour the drying agent over the paint and

mix together using a paint stick or other disposable device. Add more drying agent as necessary as you mix it with the paint. The intent is to create a paste-like mix that can be picked up with a dustpan or piece of waste cardboard. Clean the Residue For latex paints, use soapy water to clean the residue paint on the surface. This may take some scrubbing with a cleaning brush if the spill occurred on a hard surface such as a linoleum or wood w w w . a b s tr a c th o m e . c o m

floor. Spills on carpets commonly have less satisfactory results but follow the same process. Residual oil based paints are cleaned in the same manner using paint solvents. Unfortunately, the solvents can also damage the colors of some materials including carpets or other painted surfaces. Make sure the area is well ventilated when using paint solvents. The vapors from these materials can be harmful if inhaled and also pose a fire risk. Work Quickly Best results when cleaning paint spills requires prompt action. The longer the paint sets, the more paint will soak into the base surface making cleaning the residual paint more difficult. If the spill is isolated to a drop cloth it may be necessary to clean up the mess before the paint soaks through and reaches the floor or furniture below.





Avoid These Cleaning Mistakes


ouse cleaning can be a drag. It gets worse when you don’t know what you are doing. Any one of several cleaning errors can cause problems for you, so it you should be careful not to make the following mistakes. Combining certain cleaners can have risky results. When bleach and acids found in many toilet cleansers and bathroom scrub products come in contact, for example, they create chlorine gas, a highly toxic substance that was used as a chemical weapon in World War I. Anytime you mix the two, you could pass out—and in an enclosed space, this error could be fatal. Another dangerous move? Mixing bleach and ammonia, which can inflame your airways and damage the lining of your lungs. Continuing to use dirty cloths tend to have a negative effect on your results, so if you wonder why you have streaks on surfaces, blame a soiled cloth. Keep a stack of clean cloths nearby and switch them out frequently. But you don't need piles of microfiber cloths, as you can clean them. Just rinse 2

in clean water and wring out. If you're dusting, use a dry microfiber; then hold it inside a garbage bag and shake it to remove the dust. While it's easy to get trigger-happy on big messes, more isn't always better. So don’t get carried away with spray. Many cleaners are very toxic, so overusing them can create an unhealthy environment. Too much spray means more aerosols coming in contact with mucous membranes through the eyes, nose, and mouth. This can irritate the linings of airways and lungs and cause allergic responses. In fact, people who use spray cleansers at least once a week

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are 49% more likely to report asthma symptoms than those who don't use them at all. The study also found that applying cleaners directly on a rag didn't cause noticeable symptoms. Using the wrong tools for the job can be problematic. The biggest risk here is using a tool that’s too abrasive for the job. For example, green-backed cleaning sponges are for heavyduty cleaning jobs like the bottom of pots and pants or a grill grate, but they scratch some surfaces such as plastic, ceramic cooktops and laminate. However, white-backed cleaning sponges won’t scratch most surfaces. Along the same lines, white specialty sponges like the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser are great for soap scum in the bathtub, but may damage surfaces such as vinyl flooring. So read the product's label to see what surfaces it's safe to use on before you start scrubbing away. Continually polishing furniture can be bad. Furniture polish and oils were used in the old days when furniture didn’t have a protective topcoat. However, they are an unnecessary

step with today’s finishes. If you have a piece you inherited, you may want to continue to use furniture wax or oil occasionally; however, stick with the same product to avoid buildup on the finish—using a variety of products with different base ingredients case can create a gummy residue due to chemical reactions. To clean more modern pieces, use a lightly damp (meaning just a few drops of water) microfiber cloth and dust with the grain. If you see water drops on the surface after you clean, the rag is too wet. Another common cleaning mistake is that of windowwashing in the sun. You would think with the sunshine pouring in, that there would be no better day? A nice sunny day is one of the worst times to clean your windows. The reason is because of the sun’s heat it will dry the glass cleaner too quickly leaving streaks. Cleaning your windows on a day when it is cloudy or overcast is better. Mix two ounces of vinegar with 20 ounces of water, and a few drops of liquid soap. Use a microfiber cloth and you are good to go!


Caring For Your Fine China


hether you received your fine china dinnerware as a wedding gift or it was handed down to you by a family member, it is indeed precious and you should do all you can to prolong its life and beauty. Unlike other more durable dinnerware, fine china needs extra care to keep it looking good. If you have fine china dinnerware and are afraid to use it before you don’t even know how to being to take care of it, here are some tips to help you wash and care for your fine china dinnerware, so you won’t be afraid to use it. Because after all, what good is fine china dinnerware if you can’t use it? Preparing Your China For Cleaning After dinner, you should refrain from scraping off food with anything metal. Instead use something soft that won’t scratch the finish, like a rubber spatula. You should then rinse the dinnerware of any excess food shortly after eating. Acidic foods like 4

water to allow time for the temperature to evenly distribute. Quick temperature changes can cause china to crack and break.

spaghetti sauce can stain your fine china if left on for long periods of time. You should then prepare your sink for the fragile fine china by lining it with a soft towel or rubber mat. Doing this will keep your fine china from getting dings and scratches. You should remember to never stack your fine china dinnerware in the sink as they could hit one another and break. Washing Fine China Dinnerware In terms of cleansing agents, you should stick to mild detergents.

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It is best to stay away from abrasive or harsh cleansing agents as they can really cause the finish to fade over time. You should also only use a sponge or soft dish cloth. Anything scratchy or rough shouldn’t be used as it will indefinitely be harmful to the glossy finish of the china. Another key thing to remember when washing fine china dinnerware with a metal rim or metal detailing is to not use hot water. Hot water usage can cause the metal to fade and chip. When washing each piece, you should slide the china into the

China Care Tips You should always hand dry your fine china dinnerware to avoid water spots. When you’re putting the china away, you should use extreme caution when stacking. If you want to be extra careful, place doilies or rubber jar rings between each plate. Fine china cups are easily broken as well, so don’t stack them or hand them from hooks. You should simply dedicate a shelf for them and line them up in a row. In addition, you should keep your fine china dinnerware at moderate temperatures, as extreme temperatures can be very harmful. If you do start to notice fine, spidery cracks in the surface of your china you can sometimes repair these by placing the item in a pan of warm milk for around 30 minutes. If the cracks are indeed on the surface they should vanish.


How to Clean Copper


f you are fortunate enough to own genuine copper kitchenware or accessories, you will know what it brings to your home. Its rich appeal is unmistakable. However, it needs proper care in order to maintain that appeal. Here is how you do it. Copper is a "soft metal" which explains why it is the best heat-conducting metal of all metals. Copper requires a little more care than most other cookware. While it is ok to let the copper exterior darken with age (otherwise known as "patina" or "verdigris"). A quality polish is recommended to maintain its warm glow. Cleaning the inside of unlined copper is essential. To remove any verdigris on an unlined pan, use a vinegar-salt solution or rub it with lemon sprinkled with salt. Rinse and dry the pan.

If you have an iron-handled pan, rust on the handle may be scrubbed (a light gauge steel wool works well) off and then lightly oiled. It's not advised to use a dishwasher for washing copper cookware due to the harsh chemicals used in some dish-

washers that could shorten the life span of your cookware. Never use cleaners containing bleach to clean copper cookware - bleach is corrosive and will cause your cookware to pit. For a natural polish for your copper products you can use a dab of vegetable oil.

Four Ways To Test Gold At Home


old is the most sought after precious metal on the planet. It is used to create high priced ornaments or more commonly a variety of jewelry. People often wonder if the gold in their possession is authentic as its worth can lead to people producing knockoffs. These four tips can help you to authenticate you gold safely at home. Magnet Test Unlike most metals, gold is nonmagnetic. By placing a magnet to gold you will be able to tell if it contains other base metals. If your gold item reacts to the magnet and sticks to it, then your item is likely gold plated or just a yellow metal. Visual Test Search your gold pieces for marks that identify the gold


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content. These marks will display the karatage of your gold piece. An example of a mark you might find would be: "12k" or "18k." These markings are commonly found on the inside of wedding bands and most gold rings and by the hooks n chains and bracelets. Check for Gold Plating If your gold item is gold plated rather than containing gold content throughout, then in areas of high wear and tear or scratching, you will be able to see discoloration. Scratch Test Rub your gold item against a piece of ceramic material like pottery, plates or even some types of tile. If your item is real gold it will leave a gold streak. If it's false gold it will leave a dark grey or black streak.

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Making Money Resolutions That Matter

inancial resolutions should be up there with the rest of important commitments one makes in one’s life. Almost everything is tied to money and without it a lot of things can go awry. These tips are great for helping you stay fiscally efficient this year. Monitor your accounts. It’s a modern miracle that we can access our bank and credit card accounts online 24/7. Checking your transactions and balances daily on your smart phone, tablet or desktop computer allows you to keep tabs on spending, especially if you don’t regularly balance a checkbook. It’s also a good way to spot fraud or mistakes. The sooner you see something wrong, the faster you can resolve the problem (or in the case of identity theft, limit the damage). On the other hand, if you allow too much time to pass before identifying a banking error, you may be out of luck. Pay attention to your daily fi8

nancial transactions. Despite the aid of automation, human beings still make mistakes. It’s not unusual for a sale item to be rung up at full price, or for a store clerk to provide incorrect change. The distraction of cell phones and our “hurry-up” culture doesn’t help matters. With the number of cash, check, debit and credit card transactions you make every year, even losses of a dollar here or $5 there can add up to a significant amount. You can avoid common mistakes during routine financial transactions by being more aware as your items are scanned at the checkout register. Do the mental math as the clerk hands you your change. For good measure, check the receipt for accuracy and, if there’s a problem, quickly and kindly point out the error so it can be corrected. Reduce your debt. You can reduce your debt by making larger-than-normal payments to your credit card and student loan bills. When you only pay the

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minimum amount due, you pay more money in interest in the long run — and it takes longer to pay off the credit card or loan. Even paying just a little more than the minimum amount due could shave off several hundred dollars, depending on how much you owe — not to mention a few years — from your total balance. Smart spending should be at the top of your financial resolutions list. It might be easier said than done, but it is important to focus if you want to see results. Do you often wonder where your money disappears to? This year, resolve to look carefully at where your money is going. That means noting down your expenditure; even the small purchases add up. Then begin to be more careful about how you spend your money. Focus on things you really need or want, and don't waste a cent. Focus on your retirement. Pensions have had a bit of bad press in recent years, but

contributing to one should be one of your top financial resolutions. If you don't put money into a pension, then you could have a very difficult old age. That might seem a long way off, but it will happen! So if you don’t already have a pension, start one. If you do, put as much as you can spare into it. Monitor your lending. We all know how much trouble borrowing money can put us into, but lending can be even worse. Lending a helping hand is commendable. But if you’re constantly going into your pocket to help others, this can have an impact on your own finances. Be cautious when lending money to others, and only lend what you can afford to lose. To protect yourself, draw up a loan agreement. We hope those financial resolutions helped you. Staying true to them can do you a world of benefit in both thee short and long term. Live long and prosper!

elegant ideas

Revisiting Boxing Day Bridal Decor Chocolate brown accents are a different dĂŠcor option; while the oversized centerpiece is becoming popular again

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elegant ideas

The colour purple is not just a movie title. It’s also a great reception décor alternative 12

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elegant ideas

Live fish in the centerpiece add fun and whimsy to the affair

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elegant ideas

A retro wedding dĂŠcor choice with old school chairs and heavy fabric table coverings


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elegant ideas

This pastel hall is formal, elegant and inviting all at once

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The Most Utterly Useless Kitchen Appliances


ome people have so much useless junk in their kitchens that they pretty much forgot what their kitchen counter looks like. There are so many useless kitchen appliances it isn't funny. For example, do you really need a deep fryer in your home? A cast iron skillet can get the job done just fine. Here are some more useless kitchen appliances you don't need. Electric Can Opener If you use one of these you are probably very lazy. Just because they make these doesn't mean you need to buy one. These amount to a general waste of electricity and not to mention counter space. A little elbow grease wouldn’t hurt. Unless you have arthritis or some other debilitating, degenerative condition that makes opening a can difficult for you, take five seconds of your time to open 16

time it takes up space on your counter. If you want to make a cup of tea, heat the water in the microwave or in a pan on the stove, not in a special kettle.

it yourself with a regular can opener. Electric kettle The electric kettle is one of the most common, yet one of the most overrated electric appliances you will find in a house. At separates it from other kettles? For one thing… it’s electric. That’s it. An electric kettle is plugged in so that it can heat up water. That's it. The rest of the

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Rotisserie Unless you are running a restaurant you don't need a rotisserie anything in your house. We know rotisserie chicken is a healthy option than most other options, but how much rotisserie are you going to make anyway? These devices are costly and senseless to own especially if you can grill meats for equally healthy options. In our opinion, unless you're serving up rotisserie chicken every night, spend your money elsewhere. Dishwashers If you own a restaurant, by all means get one of these. That is unless you have small army of elves in the kitchen waiting to wash up after your customers. In

the home however, we do advise that you do your dishwashing manually. For one, you save on energy and water consumption once done right. Also, it saves time. Dishwashers are useless, because you basically have to prewash the dishes before assembling them into dishwasher trays. ‘s a lot of work that could be avoided. Bread Maker So you bought a nice, shiny bread maker. Woohoo!! Now you can bake bread all day long just like Sam Cooke would hammer (if he had a hammer of course). These machines are not that useful to most people. If you are a regular bread maker, it may be for you, but even many regular bakers don’t touch their bread makers. Follow the right recipe and you can your conventional oven with stellar results. That means you can save countertop space.



Meatless Marvels

fter gorging on all that Christmas ham and turkey you may be willing to undergo a dietary overhaul. After all, Carnival is around the corner and we want to look and feel our absolute best in the fetes and on the road. Removing meat from our diet is one way to transform your eating habits and we have some recipe ideas that can help you if you choose that path.

to cook and stir until the wine is nearly evaporated. Remove from heat, and serve.

Zucchini and Potato Bake

Grilled Mushrooms In Wine Sauce Ingredients 4 portobello mushroom caps 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon butter 1 shallot, thinly sliced 1 cup white wine Directions Preheat grill for high heat. Place mushrooms onto the grill, smooth side up. Grill until they start to soften, about 10 minutes. Turn over, and grill on the other side for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot, and fry for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Remove mushrooms to a cutting board, and slice. Place into the skillet, and increase the heat to high. Cook for about a minute, then pour in the wine. Continue 18

and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown.

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Ingredients 2 tablespoons minced garlic 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese salt and black pepper to taste 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley Directions Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease a large casserole dish. Place the olive oil and garlic in a large resealable bag. Add cauliflower, and shake to mix. Pour into the prepared casserole dish,

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Ingredients 2 medium zucchini, quartered and cut into large pieces 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped 1 clove garlic, sliced 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs 1/4 cup olive oil Paprika to taste Salt to taste Ground black pepper to taste Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a medium baking pan, toss together the zucchini, potatoes, red bell pepper, garlic, bread crumbs, and olive oil. Season with paprika, salt, and pepper. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and lightly brown

Candied Carrots Ingredients 1 pound carrots, cut into 2 inch

pieces 2 tablespoons butter, diced 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 1 pinch salt 1 pinch ground black pepper Directions Place carrots in a pot of salted water. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat to a high simmer and cook about 20 to 30 minutes. Do not cook the carrots to a mushy stage! Drain the carrots, reduce the heat to its lowest possible setting and return the carrots to the pan. Stir in butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, until sugar is bubbly. Serve hot!

Banana Cookies Ingredients 3 ripe bananas 2 cups rolled oats 1 cup dates, pitted and chopped 1/3 cup vegetable oil 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Stir in oats, dates, oil, and vanilla. Mix well, and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly brown.


Cool Proposal Ideas She Won’t Say No To


here are many great ideas you can use to propose. In any event, the most important thing is to make sure the proposal doesn’t suck. The following are some ideas. You can even take parts of some and combine with others. It's also important to think about which plan would be most fitting to you and your style and to hers as well. Good luck! If you can sing or play the guitar/piano/accordion without making dogs howl, you can create a musical proposal. Compose a ballad or folk song, or pop the question with some pop music. If you’ve found the words but can’t carry a tune, hire a local singer or band to perform the proposal. If you can carry a tune but can’t compose, go to your favorite karaoke place and sing your favorite love song. Then, as the song ends, ask her to come up to the front, and propose in front of everyone! If all that fanfare isn’t her thing try something simple. 20

After she goes to bed, go to her jewelry box and replace her everyday ring with the engagement ring. She'll be completely shocked in the morning when she goes to put on her regular ring. Or you can take her to a fancy restaurant. For desert, have the waiter bring her a special plate with a cover on it. Underneath the cover is the diamond engagement ring. Traditional, but it works. Does she have a penchant for art? Have an artist friend paint her portrait, showing a box with a loose diamond in

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her hand. Of course, make sure the portrait is complementary. The other option is to draw it yourself, even if it is a cartoon version or just a stick drawing. Make a special moment to show her something you made for her. When you present the portrait, have the ring ready when she asks about that part of the portrait. Why not use technology to help you propose? Take her laptop and arrange to post a picture of you on her desktop holding a sign with the phrase “Will you marry me?” Lead a trail of roses to her laptop. Pro-

pose to her there. Create a web page with your proposal on it. Leave her a clue with a link to the web page. After she has accepted your proposal (and she will!), she can send friends and family links to the website. How about a holiday surprise? Christmas is a perfect time to propose. Hang the ring box like an ornament on the tree. When the last present has been opened, say, "wait, there's still one more present." Ask your intended to find it, or simply retrieve it and propose. Another Christmas marriage proposal idea is to wrap the ring box inside successively bigger boxes so that your sweetheart will think the present is very large. As each layer is opened, the laughs will grow. Get down on one knee right as the last box is opened. These are just a few ideas. We’re sure that you are creative enough to find similar romantic ways to propose. After all, you were crafty enough to nab your dream girl.



Tips To Hosting Family Meetings

amilies may be forever connected, but that does not mean they are destined to stay closely knit. Family togetherness takes work. Sometimes, the best way to get everyone on the same page is to host meetings. After all, it’s family so communication should be easy right? Well it isn’t always the case so these tips should help you host better family meetings. Have an agenda. You’d think it would be easy to remember all the things we have to gripe about. But get put on the spot, and all those things are easily forgotten. If you’ve overheard issues around the house, jot them down in a notebook and mention them when no one has anything to bring up. Trust me, a few mentioned issues will suddenly serve as a reminder to several more things that need to be discussed. Timing Is everything. Give ample warning that a Family Meeting is coming up. No one 22

likes to be caught off guard. If you keep a family calendar, add it to the list. Or just make sure to let each person know that it’s coming up, and attendance is mandatory. Also, be sure to keep it short and sweet. Longer meetings run the risk of A) losing the interest of everyone there, and B) having the meeting turn silly and longwinded. Want to make sure your family dreads family meetings? Make it last for a really long time. A better idea is to have a time frame in mind and work hard to stick to it. 20-30 minutes should be plenty of time to talk, or 5 minutes per family member. Establish ground rules. For example: Everyone gets a turn to talk without being interrupted. No TV, music, phone calls, toys or hand-held video games during the meeting. Unless conflicts are unavoidable, all family members must be present (including teen-agers). Review goals from previous

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meetings. Did you accomplish the goals you set last week? If not, what got in the way? What will you do to prevent roadblocks going forward? Give everyone a chance to lead/record the meeting. This will help your kids feel validated and realize that what they think matters. Make a record of the decisions reached so you can refer back to agreements made if you need to. You can also post the minutes of the weekly meeting on the refrigerator so everyone can be reminded of plans for the week. Remember to make sure you follow through and do what you say you're going to do as parenting is best done by example. Keep it up-beat. Just talking together as a family is something that will make everyone involved feel better. Talk about the good things that happened during the week and ask the kids about the funniest thing that happened at school or around the neighborhood. Re-

member to keep your sense of humor and don't be afraid to laugh out-loud. The Family Meeting is about communication, which will lead to better connections between family members, and it's much easier to communicate when you're having a good time. Make decisions by consensus. Consensus is defined as communicating, problem-solving and negotiating on major issues until no family member has any major objections to the decision -- all can live with it. Autocratic decision-making allows one person to decide. Democratic decision-making allows the majority to decide. Neither works well in families where people live, work and play side by side. Those family members who do not feel heard may sabotage decisions made this way. Decision-making by consensus incorporates the major needs and wants of all. It allows effective communication, problem solving, anger and conflict management.




Three Tips For Choosing A Fragrance

eauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. For many it also lies in the beholder’s nose. No matter how good you look, nobody is going to find you appealing if you don’t smell right. As such, the right fragrance is a vital addition to any beauty regimen. Here are three things to consider when choosing the right scent.


Do not decide to buy the best-known brand of perfume or the most popular fragrance this year just because it is popular. To make a good choice, you should go to the perfumery or store that specializes in perfumes, early in the morning. Usually a person's sense of smell is more accurate in the morning. If you have the cold, allergies, or are just plain tired, save the perfume shopping expedition for another day.


Try perfume on clean, non-perfumed skin. Use unscented soap and deodorant when dressing for your shopping trip. During one test you should try only up to three different fragrances. After trying three perfumes, your nose will not be able to recognize more scents. Do not smell the top of the bottle or its cap. The scent on the bottle cap may smell of alcohol instead of smelling accurately like the perfume.

Perfume should also always be tried on your skin. Chemical reactions between your skin and the perfume may not change the scent much, or may drastically change the scent of the perfume.


When you spray perfume on your skin for the first time, wait for about thirty seconds until alcohol evaporates. The most accurate fragrance of the perfume mixed with your body chemistry will emerge after about 10 minutes. Then you will be able to find out what the top notes of perfume are. The top notes are highly volatile, evaporate quickly and do not last very long. Top notes will give the perfume its specific scent when it is first applied. The middle notes of a perfume will also influence the smell of the perfume for a long time, although not as long as the base notes. The base notes have a profound influence on the fragrance blend. They are very long lasting. Base notes are the scents that last the longest in a perfume. Base note essences come out 20 minutes to 2 hours after putting on the perfume. Base notes also fix other essences and give the perfume its staying power. Base notes will be the scent that will stay the longest on your skin, which is why it is usually added first to the fragrance mixture.

Accessorise With Hats This Carnival


arnival is the time when every woman wants to show how beautiful and fashionable she is. Months before the gyms are full in an attempt to get the best festival body in order. As soon as the sun is out, the bathing suits along with the shades and other accessories start making their appearances along the nation’s beaches. After months of hard work women want to show off their beautiful bodies and often forget about protecting their hair and faces. Hats are a wonderful accessory that should add to a woman’s carnival collection. The latest trend these days are hats made of straw. These hats often have broad rims which keep the sun from being directly on your face. What you must have in your wardrobe is a wide selection of straw hats with wide edges. This kind of hat is definitely the most fashionable this season. Choose light or pale colors because they hold less heat. You may even choose any color that would fit in better with your clothes. Another fashionable way to cover your head is a cap. Of w w w . a b s tr a c th o m e . c o m

course you have to pick them very carefully and it definitely goes with sporty style or jeans. If you are into the t-shirt and jeans look a cap would certainly work for you. A brightly colored cap will make you look trendy and add charm to your appearance. Crocheted hats are also popular. You can have them made into your original style and in any color that you like. When choosing a hat this season, go for ones that are easy to carry around. You may during the summertime decide to go on a vacation so a hat that fits into your suitcase easily would be better for you. Part of ensuring that your summer hat complements your look is by making sure you have a perfect fit. Before buying try it on and make sure that you are comfortable with the way it fits. Now is a great chance to start wearing it, because no matter what you choose - you look trendy. You're already fashionable if you wear one! And you may feel free to experiment with various materials and forms. Being original this season means being fashionable.





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Common Asthma Control Exercise Injuries For Kids


t’s good that you feel the need to exercise and get your butt into shape, but it’s bad if an injury setback is preventing you from meeting your goals. All too often people pick up basic injuries that turn them away from working out. These basic injuries may be one of them. Beware!!


iving with asthma is a challenge. It can be especially difficult for parents to deal with children who have this affliction. However, certain steps can lessen your fears and reduce the chances of asthma attacks. Here are three tips. Keep a clean house Almost every asthmatic child has a strong reaction to dust, and simply keeping household dust to a minimum can immediately improve your child's asthma. While keeping your house clean, it is also worth considering removing anything that can easily collect dust - carpet is much harder to keep dust-free than floorboards or tiles; piles of soft toys and knick-knacks are great dust collectors; Using a quality vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter will help, as will ensuring all family members take their shoes off at the front door to leave dust and dirt outside where it belongs. Dusting regularly with microfiber cloths which you throw in the washing machine is probably a better idea than spraying plenty of cleaning products around the house and adding to the respiratory loads inside the house.


Keep your kids healthy While it is always important for growing children to eat well and sleep well, it is more important than ever in asthmatic children. Without a balanced diet and adequate sleep, your asthmatic child can become rundown and more vulnerable to colds and coughs, which can trigger an asthma attack. Plenty of fruit and vegetables will go a long way to keeping asthma at bay. Keep your child involved As much as possible, get your child involved in managing and understanding his condition. He will be much more motivated to do the right things if he understands the consequences and feels some responsibility for his health. Make sure he understands from a young age what triggers his asthma and strategies he can use to avoid those triggers.

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Wrist Sprain or Dislocation - Wrist sprain or dislocation is caused when the ligaments that connect bone to bone within the joint are overstretched or torn. When the wrist is forcefully bent backward or a sudden jolt is caused, it results in sprain or dislocation. Thinking about lifting those extremely heavy weights that you know you can’t? One of these injuries will stop you from doing that again. Knee Pain - Blame your desk job for this one. We don't use our hip muscles during the day. Then we decide to go kickbox or do bootcamp. The result is injury to the knees. If our feet aren't stable, due to improper footwear, and our hip muscles aren't strong, the knee gets all the stress. Leg extensions, curls, and presses don't help resolve the problem because they don't

strengthen the muscles of the feet and hips. Lower Back - Most injuries to the low back are rooted in poor posture and lifting techniques outside of the gym. Sitting at a computer for 8hrs/day is a big contributor as well as poor sitting posture on the car, or couch. Commonly someone will be doing squats, deadlifts or ab exercises when they feel a 'tweak' in their back. In most cases it was the repeated 'microtrauma' over many years that put them at more risk of back injury. The exercise simply pushed them over the edge into an injured state. Shoulder Pain - This is the most versatile and complex joint in the body, as it moves in all planes of motion. Too many trainees load up the weights on heavy overhead shoulder presses and do nothing to to strengthen the rotator cuff – a group of internal muscles that provide the shoulder with stability .The result is that without the stability needed for control, it can lead to rotator cuff tears, strains, a loss of range of motion and weakness. You must include some proper rotator exercises twice each week.



Get The Most Out Of Your Car Battery


elieve it or not, your car battery is integral to the performance of your vehicle. Sure we know a car won’t run without a battery, but a poorly maintained battery can affect your car as well. It is important to properly take care of your battery in order to extend battery life. Here are some tips that will help you to maximize your car’s battery life. Secure your car battery Check that your battery is secure at all times, as vibrations can damage the battery plates. Inspect battery terminals regularly; loose connections can cause breakdowns. Keep the car battery case clean Dirt and dampness can damage your battery case and may cause your battery to lose change. Ensure the case and terminals are checked and cleaned during every major service Drive your vehicle regularly Leaving your vehicle stationary for an extended period affects your battery’s charge. To main26

tain the required level of charge in your battery make sure you regularly drive your vehicle. Avoid draining Avoid leaving vehicle accessories on regularly as this will discharge the battery which will then require a recharge. Constant recharging may shorten the life of your battery. Check the battery charging rate Have the charging rate checked at every major service. Both under and over-charging will reduce car battery life and void the warranty.

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Involve Your Pets In Your Resolutions

he dawn of a new year often tends to bring a desire to change something. People go crazy redecorating and making new purchases and conditioning their minds to alter bad habits. Well your pets could benefit from a couple changes as well. Here are some resolutions that can assist. Get clear on what you want We need to show our pets what we want first, and we need to show ourselves, too. We demonstrate our desired outcome to our pets so they can know the behavior. For ourselves, we need to identify our goal, the key steps and barriers to achieving it and give ourselves a realistic timeline for attainment. Choose a pattern interruption - When our dogs consistently jump on guests or bark, and we can’t stop a disempowering habit like smoking, drinking, over-eating or negative thinking, we must choose a pattern interruption to retrain our brains and our pets to not expect the status quo. This might come in the form of us-

ing a Clicker and treating your pets when you have visitors entering your home, and choosing a self-empowering mantra to repeat to yourself. Replace it with something else - Consider the behavior you want in your pets and yourself, instead of what you’ve been experiencing. Do you want your pet to sit instead of jump? Do you want to want to grab fresh fruits and veggies instead of fries and desserts? Decide on what you want instead of what you don’t want. Put reminders where you can see them - Keep your Clicker and treats by your front door and get your whole family on board with the training. For yourself, wear a reminder bracelet or arm band and place sticky notes strategically. This will help keep honoring your commitments at the forefront of your mind. Celebrate - Reward and praise your pets and yourself when you reach important milestones so that the process of improvement and training feels fun to our pets and our own brain.


Travel Haggling Tips


hen we haggle n Trinidad, we call it “breaking down” the sales clerk. No matter what you call it, getting a discount can be a great blessing. After all, everyone loves a good deal. It does not matter where you are. In fact, a lot more people are willing to ask for discounts and negotiate prices abroad than at home. However, there are some things you should know about this art before you travel to a foreign country and think you’re going to come back with a bunch of extra bucks. These people can spot a tourist from miles away and they see tourists as walking piggy banks. These tips will help you flip the script. Know Your Price Point And Know When To Walk Away It’s incredibly important to set the price you’re willing to pay before you head out shopping. It is important to do your research so you can know the prices you will encounter overseas. That will assist you in making informed decisions about how much discounts you are enti28

tled to. Other factors should be considered as well. Juggling the price will be dependent on the item in question, your lifestyle, your income, and your value system. Obviously, if the widget in question is a couple of bucks, perhaps some soul-searching isn’t warranted. Setting a price you’re willing to pay for also allows you to back away when you can’t find the right price. Those of us that have frequent buyer’s remorse will probably be well aware of how important it is to be able to walk away from a “deal.” Ask But Not Demand Attitude matters and being courteous and polite will never hurt. It doesn’t take a master negotiate to know that your attitude and approach will matter greatly when you’re trying to make a deal. You should always ask for a discount instead of demanding it. “Is there any flexibility in the price?” comes out much nicer than “I need you to give me a better deal.” Besides keeping with common bargaining etiquette by only asking,

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or out of model year. If you can help the seller reduce unwanted inventory, you can increase the value of any offer you make.

you’re also leaving the door open for future discounts. Don't Be Desperate Don't allow yourself to fall in love with an item before you begin to haggle. A desperate buyer has few tools to motivate the seller. Timing Is Everything The calendar can be your friend. Sometimes salespeople or stores have monthly sales quotas. And there may be additional financial advantages for them to complete a sale, so deals may be a little easier to snag near a deadline. Plus, most sellers are more willing to deal when an item is going out of season, out of style

Know Who Has The Power There’s no point in trying to negotiate with someone who doesn’t have the authority to cut you a deal. That’s why a traditional bargaining tactic is to go higher up the corporate food chain, to a supervisor or manager, when seeking a discount. One caveat: Don’t assume your first contact has no power. More and more major retailers have been empowering their frontline employees, to keep you happy and cut you a better deal. Times are tough economy and they want the business. Learn The Lingo There can be no negotiation without communication. If you are overseas, even if you speak the same general language, there will be some inflections, slang and terms native to that particular province. Learn the terminology and stay atop of your game.

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 1  
Abstract Home Vol. 5 Issue 1  

In this issue: New Year's Upgrades to consider Recipes Healthy Meatless Meals You'll Love Boxing Day Wedding Trends Reviewed