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2012 February 16 |

Archive for » February 16th, 2012«

Hardware accessories and more

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Tyres on sale at GMR. Visit them today for all your car needs and a wide range of other products. Picture: AJESH SAGAR

CALL GMR Muhammad Sons (PTY) LTD for hardware needs. Are you one of those in need of hardware items that you can trust, well the products supplied by GMR provide you with just that.

Among the items in store with great bargains, are cabinet and electrical fittings, fasteners, plumbing tool, paints, timber and stuff for your automotive needs.

They stock a wide range of imported boards from masonite, MDF, to fibre cement boards.

If you are looking for tiles, they have a range of ceramic ones for floor and wall, sizes of 300 x 300mm, 200 x 250mm, 200 x 200mm in rustic and gloss finish. Also available is the Dunlop tile glue, which comes with Royal Grouts in assorted colours to match your tiles. They have a range of carpentering tool brands like Forge, Renault power tool, made for the Australian market.

They offer items for finishing requirements like kitchen sink available in four single bowl and six double bowl in one piece steel, major brand locks, deadlock, entrance, nightlatch and mortice lock. There is also a range of aluminium louver frames with 6′ clips from three to 10 blades.

Modern Technology Doe Tech Tap ware comes in different styles.

For farming needs they have weedkillers like Paraquat, Glyphosate, and knapsack sprayer in 15 ltr and five 1ltr, urea 46 per cent, Okapi cane knife, Spear Jackson brand spades, forks as well as Royal nylon ropes.

For car care needs they have the new arrival of Formula One brand made in USA, dashboard polish, leather cleaner, window cleaner, wash wax plus liquid. The great news though is that for car polish you get 60 per cent more contents compared with other brands in the market.

These are few of the great products they have in store and they do free delivery between the Suva-Nausori corridor so call them on toll free number 0800 3413786 for arrangements to drop off your stuff.

For you hardware needs, visit Gulam Place, Nakasi, 9 and a half miles, Nasinu and the staff of GMR will help you find all your hardware products in one shop.

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HomeKyra’s Kitchen: Kitchenwares on the Square

Cooks! Raise your whisks in salute.  There is a new ‘kid in town’!

We no longer have to brave 75 or 121 or the Tollway to find top-of-the-line ‘le Creuset’ cookware – or fine copper pots or whisks or bowls or anything you need in the kitchen.  Because… last November Karen Chandler opened Kitchenwares on the Square.

Her Story
Karen hails from Seattle, WA.   She relocated to Fort Hood with her husband and they fell in love with Texas and planned to retire here.  Sadly, her husband, who was a war veteran, died soon after he became a fireman.  Despite the tragedy, Karen wished to honor the plans they had made and decided to stay in Texas and open a fine cookware store.

Karen researched Plano and Southlake before picking McKinney. After watching the foot traffic at all three sites she settled on our town as having the most savvy cooks!



Karen has represented major housewares companies for many years and was head buyer for a gourmet catalogue, so she utilizes her contacts as excellent sources for both products and knowledge. She is one of the few stores that carries the top-of-the-line ‘le Creuset’, not to be confused with the lesser quality sets found in discount stores.

Karen buys ‘American made’ products and places cards by items, labeling from which state they came.

She is also passionate about the craft of cooking and one of her regrets is that basic skills are being lost. It is her contention that it takes less time to produce a delicious home cooked meal than going to a fast food restaurant. One is better able to control the ingredients that go into your dinner and it is a joyful bonding experience for the whole family.

Some ‘sage’ advice from Karen:
1. Everyone needs a whisk for aerating when blending.
2. Yes, sift the flour to aerate before using.
3. Sharp knives are not dangerous.
4. GRIND your pepper for the best flavor.
5. There are ways to flavor your food and not make it hot/spicy.
6. Prep ahead – makes for less stress.
Karen has personally tested every item in her store and is delighted to introduce new cooking tools to the foodies who drop in.  Her philosophy is that you must be happy with your purchase because she wants you to return!

Kitchenwares on the Square is located on 213 N. Kentucky St.
Closed Mondays and sometimes Tuesdays
Open Wed, Thurs and Sat 10am – 5pm
Open Fridays 10am – 8pm
Open Sundays 1pm – 5pm
Tel: 972-400 -0348

She also has an online store…

Here are two of Karen’s favorite recipes…  Easy to make and delicious!



Perfect for any party or pot luck. Topping suggestions include bacon crumbles with finely chopped green onion, finely chopped sun dried tomatoes with basil, finely chopped red peppers with cilantro, baby shrimp or crab meat with finely chopped dill.

12 hard boiled eggs
4 oz Neufchatel cheese – softened
3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon paprika

1. Hard boil the eggs.  [Karen’s tip: Use the Food Pod for perfect boiled easy to peel eggs.]
2. Peel eggs and cut in half lengthwise.
3. Remove yolks and place in a medium bowl.
4. Add remaining ingredients except paprika and mix well.
5. Spoon mixture into a plastic cake-decorating bag fitted with a tip and pipe filling into white halves. Sprinkle with paprika.
6. Top with any variation topping

Note: you can also use a decorating squeeze bottle to fill the egg halves perfectly.

[Makes everyone feel special with their own individual Mac and Cheese!]

¼ cup butter, divided use
¼ cup flour
1 cup milk
8 oz Velveeta cut into ½” cubes
2 cups cooked elbow macaroni
½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
6 Ritz crackers
Pinch pepper

Pre heat oven to 350.
1. Melt three tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Whisk in flour, cook two minutes, stirring constantly.
2. Gradually stir in milk, bring to a boil and cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until thickened.
3. Add Velveeta, cook three minutes or until melted, stirring frequently.
4. Stir in cooked macaroni.
5. Spoon into mini baking dishes such as le Creuset mini cocottes, or Revol’s mini baking dishes.
6. Sprinkle the Cheddar cheese evenly over the top then sprinkle on the cracker crumbs.
7. Bake 20 minutes.

About the Author
McKinney resident Kyra Effren is a contributing writer for’s “Food” section.  She is a retired food stylist and contributing writer for the “Food” section of Dallas Morning News. In 1975, Effren opened Cours de Cuisine Cooking School in Dallas and in 1978, she was awarded The Commanderie des Cordon Bleu in France for her contributions to French cooking.   She has edited multiple cookbooks and served as recipe tester for a number of cookbooks including both of the Mansion on Turtle Creek cookbooks by Dean Fearing and baking books by Nick Malgieri.

Kyra welcomes any and all reader comments and suggestions.  What would you like to have for dinner?

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Teal appeal

Browse any website or high street store and teal quickly emerges as the hottest colour of the year.

As one of the rainbow’s more muted tones, you can easily introduce teal to your home for a fresh spring look.

Give a tired room a facelift by painting an accent wall in the dark green-blue hue or opt for delicately patterned wallpaper matched with warm pinks and chocolates.

For anyone keen to try their hand at the trend without a big investment, pick up some funky cushions to add a splash of teal appeal to the sofa or bed.

Allude to a retro British summer with lighter shades of teal and weather-beaten wooden accessories such as coat hooks, photo frames and wall clocks.

If you are about to do a spot of entertaining, bring your dining table bang up to date with the addition of exotic Oriental-glazed dinnerware or teal-hued wine glasses.

And if you want to really make guests stop and stare, an opulent chandelier will make a commanding centerpiece.

Here’s a selection of teal treats…

  • Tango Folding Tray Table, £25, Made (
  • Retro Blue Spirals Drum Lampshade, £34, Hunky Dory Home (
  • Brew Up Tea Towel, £10, Hunky Dory Home (
  • British Grub: Fish and Chips Cushion, £52, Hunky Dory Home (
  • Beach Hut Money Box, £5.95, Home Home Home ( 758 703)
  • Blue Beach Hut Frame, £11.95, Home Home Home ( 758 703)
  • Cup Cakes Wall Clock, £23.95, Home Home Home ( 758 703)
  • Lacquered Bud Vases, £4.99, Dunelm Mill (
  • Camper Van Cushion, £25, Very Nice Things ( 600 904)
  • 6 Botanic Blue Coasters, £8.99, Lakeland ( 488 100)
  • Banswara wallpaper, £54 per roll, Wallpaper Direct ( 430 886)
  • Blue Coat Rack Paris Fashion, £12.95, Dotcom Gift Shop ( 8746 2473)
  • Teal Marie Therese Chandelier, £40, Tesco Direct ( 600 4411)
  • Modern Glass Wall Clock, £7, Tesco Direct ( 600 4411)
  • Mason Cash Casserole and Lid, £7, Tesco Direct ( 600 4411)
  • Conran Small Tonal Vase, £9.50, Marks and Spencer ( 609 0200)
  • Oriental Teal Rectangular Plate, £12, John Lewis (
  • Oriental Teal Range, £3-£12, John Lewis (
  • Cook’s Collection Cast Iron Teal Griddle Pan, £20, Sainsbury’s (
  • Tu Teal Allure Wine Glasses 4 pack, £12, Sainsbury’s (
  • Editors: Please note this feature must run with the Homes and Bargains credit and website details: For budget homeware ideas and advice on interior trends which won’t break the bank, visit
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Putting the ‘kitsch’ back in your kitchen

Kitchens have become so serious. All that granite, dark wood and stainless steel. The heart of the home these days is more like a sleek and severe shrine to haute cuisine.

But kitchens don’t have to be as stressful as an episode of “Top Chef.” Designers are increasingly turning to retro, whimsical touches like coffee cup wallpaper, bright vintage dishware patterns, and colorful appliances and electronics to bring the fun back into this increasingly streamlined room.

“I think we’re reaching back to simpler times, when America was kind of on track and things were looking up. … It’s something that hits an emotional chord,” says Rosanna Bowles, founder and owner of the Seattle-based Rosanna Inc. tableware line.

Here are some fun and simple ways to put the “kitsch” back into your kitchen.

Wallpaper and wallcoverings

Ditch the staid neutrals in favor of a fun wallpaper, says Gina Shaw, a designer with Pennsylvania-based York Wallcoverings.

The company’s new Bistro 750 collection features a savory mix of fanciful fruit, cutlery, kitchen utensils and coffee cups in cheery colors like teal, salmon and lime.

“We really wanted to create wallpapers that would work in today’s kitchens, where families gather, eat, drink and socialize — a fun, bistro atmosphere,” Shaw says.

Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri, hosts of HGTV’s “Kitchen Cousins,” introduced a retro feel in one of their recent kitchen makeovers by attaching paneling from Inhabit Living in a basket-weave pattern to the walls.

“After you install the panels, you can caulk the seams, sand them down a bit, put some primer on and add a big pop of color,” Carrino says.


Also big in kitchens right now are retro appliances that look like they belong in grandma’s 1950s kitchen but run like their modern-day cousins.

Carrino and Colaneri brought some quirk to a country kitchen by installing a retro range and hood set from Colorado-based Big Chill, which offers fridges, stoves and even dishwashers in any color but stainless steel, accented by chrome trim.

“It looks like a classic car. … It’s like having a Bosch or Frigidaire with that kind of dependability but you’ve got that cool, retro feel to the whole thing,” Carrino says.

Kitchenaid and some small manufacturers also now make blenders, mixers and other appliances in funky colors like pistachio and tangerine to add panache to countertops.


Speaking of counters, don’t think you’re relegated to granite, solid surface or laminate choices.

Try something fresh and unique like the Motivo embossed collection by California-based CaesarStone, which is primarily advertised as a wall treatment but which Carrino used as a surface for kitchen countertops.

“We saw it and bought it on the spot,” he said. “We designed it into the first kitchen we could find. It is absolutely gorgeous.”

The collection comes in lace and crocodile patterns, and adds texture to a space by combining matte and glossy finishes in an unusual way, Carrino said.


Carry the kitschy feel to your cupboards and display shelves with dishes bedecked in whimsical floral or bird patterns, and glassware in Depression-era hobnail or Mid-century Modern lines, says Bowles.

Even a quirky red polka-dotted cookie tray or serving piece, as featured in Bowles’ new Flea Market Chic collection for spring, can dress up an otherwise traditional all-white table.

Those looking to save money can look to family heirlooms, Bowles says. “Shop either your mother’s closet or your grandmother’s closet and you’ll find amazing things,” she notes.


Atlanta-based artist Jordan Sandlin and her husband, Jeff, have embraced the kitchen in their mid-century, split-level home by doing away with its old “buyer-friendly” neutral color scheme in favor of robin’s-egg-blue cabinets, red Formica countertops, vintage light fixtures, and plenty of thrift store and estate sale finds.

A collection of screen-printed serving trays dating to the 1950s line the wall above the kitchen cabinets, while a recent find — an original, signed Charlie Harper print of two white eagles set against a light gray background — dresses up a barren wall.

A red-and-white, 1950s formica table, vinyl chairs, old bourbon bottles and vintage plates further separate their kitchen from today’s pack of “granite-covered kitchen monstrosities,” the couple says.

Jeff Sandlin said they hoped to transform the room “from a bland space with no identity to one we hoped would be better called a ‘kitsch-en.’ We feel that our kitchen is a space that defines our home and design style, while declaring our enjoyment and respect for the past.”



Kitchen Cousins:

York Wallcoverings:

Inhabit Living:

Big Chill:

Sandlins’ blog:

CaesarStone: /

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Office Depot Announces Availability of Exclusive Line of ‘See Jane Work …

BOCA RATON, Fla.–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–Office Depot (NYSE: ODP), a leading global provider of office
and services, today announced the availability of the new
collection of See
Jane Work™
desk accessories throughout the Company’s retail stores
and online at

“It helps to have a good system of organization and well-designed
products that are as functional as they are beautiful”

The See
Jane Work
collection at Office Depot stands out for both its great
visual appeal and its affordable price points. There are multi-function
and space saving products that can live in a variety of workspaces,
whether that space is a cubicle, corner office, or kitchen nook. The new
line of desk accessories features fun and exciting ways to mix and match
prints to create an office look that is stylish and unique.

“It helps to have a good system of organization and well-designed
products that are as functional as they are beautiful,” said Holly Bohn,
Founder of See Jane Work. “This new collection encourages female
professionals to be innovative with organization, and provides them with
plenty of design options to enhance, improve and brighten their

See Jane Work was created by entrepreneur Holly Bohn eight years ago
when she set out to decorate the offices of her accounting business and
became discouraged by the challenge of finding desk accessories with
style, utility and quality. Bohn’s approach lead to the creation of See
Jane Work.

“This exciting line of desk accessories is a great complement to the
wide assortment of everyday organizing solutions that are currently
available at Office Depot,” said Farla Efros, Executive Vice President
and Chief Merchandising Officer for Office Depot. “The collection
reinforces our commitment to help female professionals stay organized
with little things that work in a big way.”

With See Jane Work organizational products available at Office Depot
starting at just $3.99, customers can enjoy a wide selection of stylish
products for the home or office at an affordable price.

To learn more about the products and services available at Office Depot,
please visit your local Office Depot retail store location or
To become a fan of Office Depot on Facebook and receive exclusive
content, offers and more, please visit
To follow Office Depot on Twitter, please visit

About Office Depot

Celebrating 25 years as a leading global provider of office supplies and
services, Office Depot is Taking Care of Business for millions of
customers around the globe. For the local corner store as well as
Fortune 500 companies, Office Depot provides supplies and services to
its customers through 1,656 worldwide retail stores, a dedicated sales
force, top-rated catalogs and global e-commerce operations. Office Depot
has annual sales of approximately $11.6 billion, and employs about
40,000 associates around the world. The Company provides more office
supplies and services to more customers in more countries than any other
company, and currently sells to customers directly or through affiliates
in 58 countries.

Office Depot’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange
under the symbol ODP. Additional press information can be found at:

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Getting back to nature with a night in a yurt in Gatineau Park

Much as I love the outdoors, all my senses rebel against the prospect of spending a mid-winter night outside, far from my warm bed and cosy fireplace, shivering under icy stars and sheltering from pitiless winds.

But a night in a “yurt” in the depth of winter: that sounds almost romantic! That sounds heroic, in fact; an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone (literally) into the foreign country of the forest at night.

That haunted darkness, that sterilizing cold. Those fresh coyote tracks?

The romance – and that alone – is why I overcame my strong survival instinct to venture into Quebec’s Gatineau Park with four intrepid, admirably well-provisioned friends during a recent January thaw.

The good news: unlike Scott of Antarctica, we didn’t perish. Our yurt wasn’t exactly the North Pole Hilton, but it was bright, clean, dry and – until sometime in the dark of night – warm to the point of stifling. By morning, with the fire long dead, it was frigid. Fortunately, we weren’t sleeping on frozen, lumpy ground in a flimsy nylon tent, but in comfortable bunks inside a circular, domed structure with hardwood floors. We cooked, not around a struggling fire on desolate, windswept tundra, but on two propane burners and a wood stove. We ate at a proper table. Nor did we fashion a primitive toilet from ice blocks. Instead, we scampered 150 metres to the nearby outhouse. Even in this mild winter, it is an unwelcome excursion, but excellent interval training for those contemplating marathons.

The contemporary yurt – there are four in the Lac Philippe area, still available for overnight rentals during the week – is only distantly related to its central Asian ancestor. The originals were circular, easily transportable, hut-like structures used by Turkic nomads on the Central Asian steppes. They’re made of flexible wooden lattices wrapped in sheep felt – not to be confused with similar Mongolian structures called gers. (A night in a ger sounds, to me, like a punishment of some kind.)

No ruminants are harmed in the construction of the modern yurt, pioneered on this continent by the Oregon parks department in 1993. The high-tech Gatineau Park model sleeps six, is clad in heavy rubber and offers wood stoves, windows and charming central skylights through which you can follow the movement of the heavenly bodies. Two have fridges (not entirely necessary) and ultraconvenient propane burners.

They rent for $150 a night on weekends; $100 on weekdays. There are cabins for rent, too, some that can accommodate groups, and winter camping sites for the seriously hardy.

For the rest of us, for weekend explorers, the primary challenge is getting your food and gear to the yurt. They are located between three to 13 kilometres from the closest parking lot, P19, and require hauling, or carrying, supplies on skis or snowshoes. (The most remote, at Lac Richard, can also be reached from Eardley Road, a mere four kilometres away, but the parking area is small and unpatrolled.

My group used pulks – a hardplastic, Nordic-inspired sled attached by straps and lightweight poles to a waist harness. These resourceful friends not only brought pulks, they built them, in the pioneering spirit of Scott and the rest, using ingenuity and Canadian Tire hardware. The professional version, intended for more ambitious expeditions, cost more than $500, which may explain the lively online discussions on how to fashion the most functional sled for the least expense.

You can also arrange with the National Capital Commission to have your gear transported, but it will cost $55 to $160 – each way! – depending on your destination. A sled is a much better option.

We saved on weight by pre-ordering 18 litres of water, delivered by park staff for $38 to $55, depending on the yurt. Firewood is provided. So are rudimentary pots and pans. But that still left sleeping bags, clothes, food – including heavy items like milk and carrot cake – not to mention spare footwear, musical instruments (we saw one young man pulling his guitar), extra cookware and your own dishes.

Check-in is 2 p.m., which leaves time for a pre-dinner ski or snowshoe on any of the mostly unchallenging trails in the Lac Philippe area. I ended up trudging five kilometres on foot into the yurt because it was raining when I set out. In a couple of hours, however, a wet snow changed everything and we skied alongside Taylor Lake into a dusk-grey blizzard, feeling alone in the slumbering forest.

It sounds like a lot of effort just to get beyond the reach of Wi-Fi, but that isn’t all you leave behind – there’s electricity, news updates, worthy hardcover biographies (too heavy), and all the maddening distractions of daily life.

In return, you are presented with an irresistible invitation to step right into nature, to ski under the stars, snowshoe into the back woods, share with friends communal dinners, card games, impromptu concerts, poetry recitations, all the unplugged amusements of an earlier time.

But remember not to stoke the wood stove too much before bed; the intractable physics of the yurt means hot air will rise, rendering the upper bunks almost tropical. Cold air will hug the floor, where someone is bound to be sleeping. The fire will die overnight. Bring a warm sleeping bag and hope that someone else volunteers to restart the fire in the morning.

Bring earplugs; snoring happens. Bring handy-wipes; hot water isn’t always available. Bring inside shoes. You’ll need a clothesline even if it isn’t raining.

If your idea of braving the elements is darting from the front door to the taxi, this is probably not your ideal getaway. But for un-abashed fans of winter, a night or two in a candlelit yurt, enveloped by silent forest, under a banner of bright stars, in the company of amiable friends, comprises the essence of cosy. So cosy, you forget how cold it is outside.

Susan Riley is a freelance political columnist who enjoys outdoor activities.


There are four yurts available in the Lac Philippe area, two on Taylor Lake, one near Lac Philippe, and another in the farther reaches of the park, at Lac Richard.

The NCC starts taking reservations on Nov. 1, online or by phone, and weekends sell out quickly. This season, there are still weekday nights available, although during March break the four yurts (and four cabins) will be busy.

For reservations phone 819-827-2020, drop in at the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre at 33 Scott Road, in Chelsea, Que.

YURTS: (All $150 per night weekends; $100 weeknights.)

Ohomisi Yurt: Sleeps six, double propane burners, fridge, wood stove. Fivekilometre ski from P19.

Taylor Lake Yurt: Sleeps six, double propane burners, fridge, wood stove. Six-kilometre ski from P19.

Wanakiwin Yurt: Sleeps six, double propane burners, fridge, wood stove. A 6.5-kilometre ski, 5.5-km snowshoe from P19.

Lac Richard Yurt: Sleeps six. Wood stove. A 13-kilometre ski from P19; four kilometres from Eardley Road.

CABINS: Brown Lake cabin: $400 a night weekends; $280 weeknights. Sleeps 17.

Two-kilometre snowshoe, 2.5-km ski from P17.

Des Pins cabin: $150 a night weekends; $100 weeknights. Sleeps six. Three-kilometre ski, fourkm snowshoe from P19.

Lusk Lake cabin: Available only from 4 p.m. to 10 a.m. $150 a night weekends; $100 weeknights. Sleeps six. Sixkilometre ski from P19.

Philippe cabin: $250 a night weekends; $174 weeknights. Sleeps 10. Three-kilometre ski, 3.5 km snowshoe from P19.

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Research and Markets: Vietnam Sourcing Report 2012 – Table & Dinnerware …

As a result, enterprises are shouldering higher outlay on these inputs. While unprocessed materials used to be entirely obtained domestically, a considerable amount is now being imported from other countries in Asia.

Key Findings

  • The majority of suppliers plan to keep prices unchanged over the next
    six months to attract new buyers and maintain current ones. A
    significant number of companies are preparing to raise quotes,
    however, but this will be done cautiously at rates not exceeding 10
  • The sector is capable of catering to all price segments, although it
    emphasizes the low end and midrange. The type of product, materials
    used and design complexity are the main factors that determine prices.
  • Product design focuses on aesthetics, highlighting models that feature
    painted, engraved or etched motifs done by hand. In the coming year,
    items will have improved multifunctionality
  • The industry generally turns out models made of bamboo and rattan, and
    ceramic and porcelain. Japan and the US are the leading export markets
    for both product types. Following them are the EU for rattan and
    bamboo products, and the Asia Pacific-region for ceramic and porcelain
  • Manufacturers are based in several areas throughout Vietnam. Ho Chi
    Minh City and Hanoi are the most important supply zones. The Red River
    Delta region is a key sourcing center for plant-based products. The
    provinces of Dong Nai and Binh Duong are primary hubs for items
    crafted from clay.
  • Besides raw material shortage, companies are facing other challenges
    such as price competition.

For more information visit

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