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August 21, 2017 |

Archive for » August 21st, 2017«

SIMPLIFY LIFE: Strategies to plan ahead for back to school

The summer is going by so quickly and back-to-school time is almost here. The key to eliminating family chaos before and after school is planning and creating routines that work for your family.

Consistency is key and makes it easy for everyone to know what to expect and what is expected of them. Involve all family members in the planning process so it becomes the family’s plan, not just your plan. Fine tune and make adjustments to the plan as needed.

Here are some ideas:

Create a family hub

It should include:

■ A large family calendar — dry erase or paper. Color-coding by family member is a perfect way to stay organized. The calendar should include times for all sports and activities, when school projects or library books are due, test dates, days for each child’s specials: library, music, art and gym, etc.

■ A bulletin board is a must as well. It should include the school calendar and lunch menu, important phone numbers, sports and activity calendars. Large clips or color-coded folder for each child’s papers (artwork, test, spelling list, etc.) and a large hook for keys are important as well to stay organized.

Create a lunch-making zone in kitchen

Use a drawer or specific area in your pantry to store items such as plastic bags, spoons, forks, snack items, bread, etc. Make a list of healthy lunch options and let kids choose. Bag snack items such as pretzels in small snack size bags after grocery shopping for ease when packing lunch. Don’t forget the small hand sanitizer or individual hand wipes. Have kids help with lunch making and prepare them the night before.

Set up a morning routine checklist

It should include a set wake-up time, schedule bathroom time for each family member, getting dressed, teeth and hair brushed, make bed, eat healthy breakfast, remember items needed for school (instrument, gym clothes, etc.) pack snack or lunch money in book bag. Print the list and let kids check each item off as it’s completed.

Set up a launch/drop zone

The zone is a convenient place to store book bags, shoes, sneakers, boots, coats, sports bags, umbrellas, etc., and should have easily accessible hooks and cubbies for each child. Some ideas for the location of a launch/drop zone are the mudroom, entryway or kitchen. When needed items are in their place, getting out the door in the morning is a breeze.

After-school and emergency plans

Make arrangements in advance with a family member or trusted friend and be sure the kids and the school are aware of what to do when school closes early or if an emergency occurs.

Create an after-school routine

Routines work and keep everyone focused and calm. An example of an after-school routine could be to unpack book bag, go through papers, have a snack, have playtime and do homework. In that order, or any that works for you.

Create an evening routine

This could include pack book bag for next day, check schedule to determine what is needed (gym clothes, library book, instrument), lay out clothes and all accessories for the next day (including shoes and socks), make lunches and fill water bottle (have the kids help) and set out cereal bowls for the next morning.

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Look for more organizing tips in the Times Telegram every Tuesday and at decluttercoachdeb.com. Follow Deb Cabral her on social media and watch her TV show, “Organization Motivation.” organizationmotivation.com.

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WSH Products, LLC Launches Website Featuring Quality Home Accents to Enhance Every Room

Founders of WSH Products, LLC, Lynn and Stan Head are pleased to announce the launch of their new website venture, TopHomeAccent.com; the website features a broad assortment of home accents, especially specialized items for the kitchen such as kitchenware, bar tools and accessories, kitchen storage and organization, and small kitchen appliances. For more information, visit the website’s blog at HomeAccentReview.com.

This press release was orginally distributed by ReleaseWire

Memphis, TN — (ReleaseWire) — 08/21/2017 — Lynn and Stan Head are proud to announce the creation and launch of their new website venture, http://www.TopHomeAccent.com. The website offers a wide variety of home accents to enhance every room with a particular focus on products geared towards enhancing the style and versatility of the kitchen such as kitchenware, bar tools and accessories, kitchen storage and organization, and small kitchen appliances. Lynn and Stan were inspired by the fact that everyone needs a stylish and cozy kitchen where they can fuel up for each busy day, as even those that don’t cook rely on kitchen tools every day. Through their online store, the Heads wanted to help customers get the products that they would need to ensure the heart of the home is always ready for warm gatherings and quick meals alike.

There are many excellent home accents featured within the merchandise of TopHomeAccent.com. The website carries items including small kitchen appliances such as slow cookers with controlled heating and panini grills; kitchen storage and organization such as striking canister sets and vacuum sealing food storage systems; coffee and tea supplies such as cordless electric kettles and 12-cup coffee makers; and more. In the future, Lynn and Stan plan to further expand the product lines offered on the website to include accents for the whole home that are just as useful as they are stylish, such as specialty and gourmet items for the kitchen.

Customer service is of the utmost importance to the Heads regarding each and every transaction made on TopHomeAccent.com. They want to ensure that customers have positive experiences on their website by providing them with a rich selection of products and valuable information on each one. Lynn and Stan are especially excited about the variety and quality of products they will be offering on the website, as they are items that they would love having in their homes themselves.

To complement the main website, the Heads are also launching a blog located at http://www.HomeAccentReview.com.

The blog will feature topics related to home accents in general such as fueling up for a fast-paced day with a waffle maker, keeping clutter away with kitchen canisters, and the convenience of a stainless steel cocktail shaker for ensuring the weekend fun keeps going. Lynn and Stan hope to give valuable tips and information on adding the right atmosphere anywhere with quality home accents.

About TopHomeAccent.com
TopHomeAccent.com – a division of WSH Products, LLC – is owned and operated by Web entrepreneurs Lynn and Stan Head.

Lynn and Stan Head
http://www.TopHomeAccent.com

For more information on this press release visit: http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/wsh-products-llc-launches-website-featuring-quality-home-accents-to-enhance-every-room-851336.htm

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Bosch home appliances and Drop Debut Smart Kitchen Partnership in US

IRVINE, CA–(Marketwired – August 21, 2017) –

  • Bosch home appliances announces Drop Recipes app and Connected Scale are now fully integrated with smart Bosch Wall Ovens, with Home Connect.
  • Bosch customers can now enjoy a simplified cooking experience with step by step recipe guidance, remote monitoring and control capabilities.
  • Integration adds to the growing list of Home Connect partners and Bosch smart appliance functions.

Bosch home appliances, the “Invented for Life” brand, today announced a smart kitchen integration with Drop that simplifies the cooking experience like never before. Beginning today, the Drop Recipes app is fully integrated with the Bosch Wall Oven, with Home Connect in the U.S. This partnership provides Bosch users with access to Drop’s growing digital recipe book featuring more than 700 recipes from renowned chefs and contributors including Food52, Good Housekeeping, Donal Skehan, The Kitchen Paper and The Sophisticated Gourmet, among others. Through the app, users can connect to the Drop Scale for seamless step by step recipe instructions and monitor or control a variety of cooking functions including recipe time and temperature for a simplified, interactive cooking experience.

“We’re excited to introduce these smart kitchen capabilities to the U.S. market as we continue on our mission to make the connected kitchen a reality for everyone,” said Ben Harris, CEO of Drop. “Kitchens are getting smarter, and our partnership with Bosch illustrates the value these smart functions bring to everyday life. We’re thrilled to be working with a partner such as Bosch, our first official kitchen appliance partner, who shares in this vision for a truly connected kitchen and home.”

Through Home Connect and Drop, Bosch is introducing a new layer of intelligence and convenience to the kitchen that will help home cooks at every level enjoy a simplified cooking experience. The Drop Recipes app and Connected Scale add to the expansive list of smart functions currently offered by the Bosch Wall Oven, with Home Connect. In addition to the new Drop-enabled functionalities, the Bosch Wall Oven provides an array of smart features via the Home Connect App, including remote diagnostics, maintenance and care, as well as the ability to seamlessly purchase appliance accessories.

“As a brand committed to developing solutions that simplify life and enrich the kitchen experience for our consumers, we couldn’t be happier to bring this partnership to the U.S.,” said Anja Prescher, Director of Brand Marketing at Bosch home appliances. “Our integration with Drop will help simplify the way our customers cook at home by streamlining the process into a more intuitive and interactive experience.”

Bosch has worked diligently on connecting its home appliances to bring easy and intuitive smart control to the kitchen through its open Home Connect platform. Working with and integrating partners such as Drop into Home Connect’s open digital ecosystem allows Bosch to continually increase its IoT footprint, as well as provide innovative features and services that benefit the consumer. Home Connect facilitates connectivity and offers a range of beneficial applications that allow for a worry-free daily routine, from doing the dishes, to brewing coffee and remotely controlling the oven.

For more information about Bosch home appliances, with Home Connect, visit www.bosch-home.com/us/home-connect.html, like Bosch facebook.com/BoschAppliances, connect on Twitter @BoschAppliances and Instagram @BoschhomeUS, or follow along at A Modern Haven.

About Bosch home appliances
Bosch home appliances is part of BSH Home Appliances Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, based in Munich, Germany. As part of the largest manufacturer of home appliances in Europe, and one of the leading companies in the sector worldwide, Bosch has been selling high performance German-engineered appliances in the United States since 1991. Known nationwide for raising the standards in quietness, efficiency and design for appliances, Bosch frequently receives top ratings in leading consumer publications and received awards from ENERGY STAR for eight consecutive years, from 2007-2014. With U.S. headquarters in Irvine, Calif., the company also operates manufacturing facilities in LaFollette, Tenn. and in New Bern, N.C., housing state-of-the-art factories for dishwashers, ranges, ovens and cooktops.

About Home Connect
With Home Connect, Bosch has established a cross-brand solution for smart control of connected home appliances, enabling consumers to make their everyday lives smart and intuitive in today’s fully connected kitchen. Through the Home Connect App, consumers can operate their appliances, including select built-in coffee machines, dishwashers, laundry, wall ovens and refrigeration, remotely. With this growing Home Connect product line, creating the perfect cup of coffee while hosting friends and family, or preheating the wall oven from another room, is as simple as the touch of a button via the app.

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The Best Labor Day Sales You Need to Shop

Call us crazy, but you might want to start your holiday shopping now, because there are major Labor Day sales happening this weekend. We rounded up the best things that are worth getting your wallet out for over the long weekend.

The stores with the best deals are…

1. Best Buy

The electronics super store is offering up to 30% off select appliances and, as always, will match the prices of local and online competitors. Plus, you get free delivery on major appliances $399 and up.

Deal to shop: Buy one of these Samsung Family Hub 2.0 refrigerators and you’ll get a $100 gift card.

2. Walmart

The mega-store has major savings in almost every category including clothing, appliances, home improvement, beauty, back-to-school and more.

Walmart doesn’t release their deals on their website until early Saturday September 2, but be sure to set a reminder to log on right away. They only last until Monday!

3. Overstock.com

Shop with 15-70% off categories such as rugs, garden and patio, bedroom furniture and more.

Deal to shop: Select furniture from Abbyson is up to 65% off, so you can replace your couch that’s been worn out by your kids watching TV all summer.

4. eBay

Snag 40% off patio furniture, kitchen essentials, tools, bedroom furniture and outdoor power equipment by shopping at this discount outlet over the long weekend.

Deal to shop: Save big on kitchen brands like KitchenAid, Cuisinart, Breville and more!

5. Nordstrom

Starting Friday September 1 and going all the way through September 10, Nordstrom will offer up to 40% off clothing for men, women and children.

Deal to shop: Snag discounts on outerwear to keep you warm on the fast-approaching chilly days.

6. JC Penney

Starting on August 25, JC Penney is unleashing blowout sales like up to 60% off mattresses, 50% off suitcases, discounted bedding, kitchen appliances and more.

Deal to shop: American Tourister Luggage is up to 50% – perfect for your fall travel.

7. Lord Taylor

As early as August 30, you can take 20% off regular and sale item, and 25% off select women’s clearance items in-store and online using the promo code LABORDAY.

Deal to shop: Get a new pair of jeans for the whole family. Almost all women’s and men’s denim is buy one, get one 50% off.

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Moving on Up

Photographs by Amy Vischio
Above: Jill Saunders and Melissa Lindsay in the design studio, with custom work tables and cabinetry designed by Pimlico

Pimlico’s current unofficial tagline, “Movin’ on up,” is very apropos in more ways than one. The New Canaan lifestyle boutique and full-service interior design firm relocated this spring to a larger space farther up on Elm Street, and owners Melissa Lindsay and Jill Saunders couldn’t be happier.

Pimlico’s new digs, located on the second floor above Walter Stewart’s Wine Spirits, has room to host the firm’s design studio and retail showroom, yet it’s still within walking distance to the heart of downtown and offers convenient parking nearby. “It’s a beautiful space, and we fell in love with the building. It’s brand new and essentially a big glass box,” says Lindsay. “It’s supermodern and dynamic and has a great feel inside with all the windows.”

Putting their touch on every surface, Lindsay and Saunders customized the space to fit their needs. A work pod in the center, defined by half-walls topped with glass, serves as a private project area for the design team, and client meetings are held in a glass-walled design studio anchored by a custom conference table and a large wall of built-ins, both designed by Lindsay.


Left: A sampling of fabric memos taken from the vast design library
Right: Unique accessories, home décor and jewelry in the retail showroom.

The retail showroom features two spaces for vignettes, directed out toward the windows, that highlight everything from furnishings to artwork. Jewelry and other personal accessories are on display as well. Pimlico also partnered with Elm Street neighbor Deane, Inc. on a new kitchen for the showroom.

“I came up with the design concept for the kitchen and then collaborated with Deane to create it,” says Lindsay. “It’s gorgeous and really unique.”

This is the third time Pimlico has moved to a new space on Elm Street, and each move has been one for the better. “To have this space that really reflects our style, which we could really fit out the way we wanted, from both a functional and an aesthetic perspective, has really been exciting,” says Lindsay. “It’s a positive move all around, and a great opportunity for us to do a lot more.” 215 Elm Street, 2nd Floor, New Canaan; 203-972-8166; pimlicointeriors.com

 

 

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Best Solar Oven

Using the best solar oven saves you from eating a can of beans the next time you go camping. Indeed, you’ll only need the sun’s power to cook a tasty meal for you and your companions. Using a solar oven is also safer since you don’t have to light a fire.

The popularity of solar technology guarantees you won’t be at a loss for options. However, this also makes it harder to choose which one is the best solar oven. To help you, we feature the top products in this category for your consideration.

All American Sun Oven Dehydrating and Preparedness Accessory Package

The All American Sun Oven is backed by 28 years of experience, thus it won’t disappoint you as you transition to an environmentally safe cooking method. This particular package includes everything you need to set up your sun kitchen.

It comes with a convenient solar oven, a baking rack, stack pots, and loaf pans. Apart from cooking, it’s also great to use as a dehydrator. You also get an ecookbook that comes with 600 recipes. Thus, you won’t be at a loss for what to cook with it.

This solar oven can reach high temperatures of up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Its rugged built guarantees you’ll be able to use it for many years to come.

Solavore Sport Solar Oven

This top rating solar oven will show you how much fun it can be cooking outdoors. Its versatility lets you roast, bake, and simmer. Thus, you’ll feel right at home as if you’re still in your original kitchen. Moreover, you can use it as a dehydrator and as an effective device to sterilize water.

The All American Sun Oven can reach temperatures of up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Yet it won’t burn your food and take away the necessary nutrients as well as its color or flavor. As a safety precaution, it has an inch of insulation so the heat stays inside it. The housing is made of durable recyclable nylon plastic.

Each purchase of the All American Sun Oven comes with two Graniteware pots, a thermometer, a Water Pasteurization Indicator, detachable TR-86 High Performance Reflector, and the brand’s own starter guide with recipes.

Sunflair Portable Solar Oven Deluxe

You can take the Sunflair Portable Solar Oven Deluxe while traveling as it won’t weigh you down. The product weighs only a pound and 2 ounces. However, it’s no lightweight contender in the field of solar cooking technology.

The Sunflair Portable Solar Oven Deluxe can match other products in the market when it comes to versatility and durability. Feel free to use it to bake and dehydrate. It’s even useful for crafting if you plan to make candles.
The product can reach temperatures of up to 285 degrees Fahrenheit. This particular offer comes with 2 baking trays, 2 dehydrating racks, an enamelware pot, 2 silicone pots, and a carrying bag. However, it can accommodate any type of cookware you have available.

What to look for

With so many choices available, how do you know which solar oven is the best to get. To help you out, we highlight the factors you need to watch out while shopping for it.

  • Size – When choosing size, consider how often you intend to use it. A small sized solar oven is ideal if you want to have one handy in case of an emergency or calamity. At these times, gas lines would be unusable so you can use the solar oven to cook small meals in the meantime. On the other hand, if you plan to shift to a more environment friendly kitchen then you can get any size that you see fit to suit your needs.
  • Weight – If you plan to take the solar oven along with you then consider how heavy and portable it is. Some reputable brands can weigh less than ten pounds. These can also be separated into different parts to make it easier to transport while hiking. Thus, you can distribute the load among your companions.
  • Features – Check what added features a solar oven has. Because of the growing popularity of this cooking method, many brands offer a complete package that comes with cooking utensils, built-in thermometer, collapsible reflectors and a carrying case for portability.
  • Function – Think about what you plan to cook using your solar oven. Thus, it’s best to check beforehand if the product you’re interested in has the ability to cook it.
  • Warranty – Most solar ovens typically come with a minimum one-year warranty. Some manufacturers even offer additional guarantees to cover parts of the solar oven. Moreover, those that are confident with their product might even provide a 30-day money back warranty.

Conclusion

Getting the best solar oven shouldn’t be too hard provided that you take into account these factors. Consider the product’s size and weight, especially if plan to take it camping or hiking. Check out what added features it offers. Assess its ability to cook what you want and find out if the manufacturer offers a warranty.

To make your search easier, remember to check out these top products in this category. Perhaps one of these has the qualities you want in the best solar oven.

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Choosing Kitchen Cabinetry – Drawers vs. Doors

Picture of elegant kitchen furniture with solid wooden worktops

Storage in kitchen cabinetry is one of the many decisions a homeowner must make when it comes to designing or renovating their kitchen. For many, the question of using drawers versus door cabinetry can become overwhelming; there are so many options and styles out there.

Cabinet Doors: The Pros and Cons

Choosing cabinet doors for your kitchen is a traditional and highly useful way to organize your food, dinnerware, pots, pans and glassware. Visually, it creates a nice rhythm of repetition, and with generous open storage, you can choose nearly any combination of organization. Under-counter cabinetry has the depth and height that allows you to store appliances, stacks of bowls, or bulky pots tucked away until you need them. If you are an avid baker or interested creating your own home brews, this larger space is perfect for equipment storage and can be your designated area for hobby cooking needs.

Alternatively, these larger spaces create one problem that many homeowners struggle with; items can get lost or be difficult to reach with that much open space so low to the ground. Ben Kuykendall, director of sales and marketing at Renovo, says, “While doors can be great for storing larger, taller items, they don’t provide any structure for organizing smaller loose items. Doors orient items front to back, rather than side to side. This forces you to either squat low (or stretch high) while searching and straining for items, and/or to have to unpack your cabinets to clear the way to reach an item in the back.”

Many homeowners and cabinet designers have solved this issue with creating a pull-out shelf, often using similar mechanisms to drawers. It allows full access to the depth of a cabinet without the awkward reaching, stretching or losing of items. If your home has cabinet doors, and you want to solve this without a full kitchen renovation, you can easily retrofit existing cabinetry.

“There is a vast array of options for the interior of door cabinets and many can be retrofitted into existing cabinets,” explains Cecilia Redmond, president of Redmond Interior Design in Burlington, Vermont. “Fittings such as pull out shelves give all the benefit of drawer access.”

In comparison to drawers, cabinetry doors are the lower cost choice. There is less hardware and materials needed to create a set of doors over a set of drawers. This is something to consider when it comes to your home remodeling budget.

Cabinet Drawers: The Pros and Cons

Drawers in kitchens are often customized for specific items. You might be familiar with drawers for utensils, and smaller items, but there has been an increase in drawer design and innovation over the past few years.

With the customized options of drawers that can handle the size and weight of pots and pans, peg boards to secure plates and bowls, as well as pull-out, drawer-style spice racks, there are many ways to get the drawer customization you need. Access to items is one of the great benefits of designing with drawers. As Kuykendall explains.

“Drawers eliminate the need to move or remove items from the cabinet that are in front of the items in the back that you want to reach. By arranging items width-wise across the drawer, rather than depth-wise, from front to back, drawers make more items more easily accessible without reaching, stretching or straining.”

One of the biggest downsides to placing drawers in your kitchen is the higher cost in comparison to cabinet doors. Additionally, drawers often have a restriction to their sizes, so larger items may not fit into the confines of a particular drawer setup.

Drawer and Door Layout: Where to Place Them In Your Kitchen

With all of this talk about the various ways to use drawers and doors in your kitchen, it can be hard to determine where you might begin to place them in your home. For your upper cabinetry, you can certainly play up items you would want to display with glass cabinetry or shelves. This can also visually break up a line of doors and provide a nice focal point.

When it comes to under -counter storage, you will want to first think about the three most active areas of the kitchen: the sink, the stove and the refrigerator.

  • What do you want easy access to around each area?
  • Do those items seem more suited to be drawer storage, door storage or a combination?
  • What will you need access to in your central food prep area?
  • Will your needs change over time?

The key to designing a kitchen to your way of cooking is to visualize how you use the space and what provides the best convenience for your needs. Redmond explains her thought process in designing for under cabinet storage in key areas.

“I like large drawers near the stove – a wide shallow top drawer for knives and utensils and deep lower drawers for pots and pans. Doors are very useful for vertical storage such as trays, chopping boards, and cookie sheets.”

Overall, if you are looking to update the cabinetry in your kitchen, there are many versatile ways to design with both drawers and doors.

Are you updating your kitchen? What else is on your list of renovations? Share them in the comment section.

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