Category: Commissioned Work

How To Clean Babies’ Clothes

Caring for babies always requires the extra mile. We prioritize breast milk to feed them, use sterilizers for their bottles, and supplement their health with vitamins. But what about cleaning their clothes? Should we simply put their used clothes in the washing machine along with the others? What could we use in washing baby garments? And what would best remove the stains?

There are a lot of different stains that could go onto your child’s clothes. From drool, food, milk, and poop. When removing the stains, the first step is to normally rinse to remove small debris and then soak in water. Soaking helps remove the stain by loosening them. If the stain does not come off after this, then consider applying these additional steps.

For breast milk, formula milk, food stains, and spit-up, use an enzyme cleaner. These are non-toxic and effective when cleaning by breaking the stain. A good example is the Citra Solv Homesolv CitraDrain Natural Enzyme Drain Cleaner Valencia. If this does not solve the issue, apply a combination solvent and then wash as usual.

If you’re cleaning nappies with poop stain, consider using baking soda. There are other bleach options that you can try, such as the Hydrogen Peroxide and Oxygen Bleach, but these might be irritating than baking soda, which is nonabrasive and very light. Just pour some baking soda in the stain area and brush a bit before washing normally.

Conversely, most babies are often first introduced with fruits and vegetables, so these are also included in the top most possible stains on their garments. To deal with these, mix the soaking water with rubbing alcohol (1:1). If the stain still does not come off, lightly bleach the area by soaking it in a one-to-one mixture of white vinegar and water.

Baby products, such as baby oil, petroleum jelly, lotion, and other creams could also stain your baby’s clothes. To remove these, you could use cornstarch or talcum powder to absorb the oil; this is best when the stain is still fresh. Then, scrap off the stain after 15 minutes. Afterwards, apply a combination solvent, like Shout and Spray ‘n Wash before washing normally.

However, there are times when we can’t hand wash the clothes or follow the above instructions one by one because who has time for that? But that does not mean that baby garments would be left soiled. Thanks to technology, there are washers that are specifically made for baby garments. A good example is the Sumo Twin Tub Baby Clothes Compact Washing Machine.

There would also be times when washing baby clothes separate from our clothes would be difficult to do. In this case, Samsung Baby Care Washer, Stainless Platinum (for Baby Clothes and Reusable Diapers) saves the day! This has six additional rinses that removes detergent residue that can be harsh to your baby’s skin while still keeping your baby’s clothes, cloth diapers, and your own active wear both soft and clean. Finally, it also has a high temperature sanitization that safeguards your baby’s clothes from germs and bacteria. (Just be sure that before dumping the baby clothes, you’ve already rinsed them removing small stain debris.)

Washing clothes is already a task in itself but cleaning baby clothes is a level up endeavor. Good thing there are tips and appliances we could use to make this simpler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kitchen Trends This 2017

It’s 2017!! Happy New Year!

Are you ready for what’s in store this year? Have you considered maybe changing a bit of your house, such as your kitchen, and try what’s up and coming? Have you thought about replacing your tiles, your sink, or some of your appliances? If still undecided, let us help you with this quick run down of kitchen trends this year.

Patterned Tiles

From Design Necessities, patterned tiles are most likely to dominate kitchens in 2017. From its limitless array of options, you can be sure to find patterns that will suit your preferences or your kitchen, especially if you are not renovating as a whole and just changing the tiles. There are also many tile brands to choose from, such as the Saudi Ceramics.

 

Color 

It is predicted that many would still stick to the classic hues of black and/or white, but 2017 might add a little bit of color to accentuate. Top colors include the lively ones but in middle tones, such as yellow, orange, blue, red, and green. Moreover, the use of vertical and horizontal lines is anticipated to complement kitchens painted with single color.

 

Appliances

Since living in small places is becoming more and more common these days, we will see a “huge boom in people buying smaller appliances for their homes,” according to Harris Interiors. Among the appliances that would be made smaller are premium cookers, kettles, and microwaves giving more spaces to its users.

Looking back, we have seen the addition of Wi-Fi hotspots to several appliances, such as Samsung and GE’s refrigerators, washing machines, and television this year. 2017 will surely follow suit because it would offer more automation to more appliances, such as your oven.

Still in the topic of automation, expect more of hands-free faucet next year. As proposed by Moen, this new kitchen creation is best for homes with small children that are not tall enough to reach the handle or cooking times when you have sticky hands.

 

Cabinets

Design is a vital element of any kitchen but so is functionality. With this, in 2017, we will see more and more hydraulic and easy-close doors for the cabinets, such as that of Blum’s. Some of which could be moved automatically with just a touch of a button that would be perfect for kitchens where space is an issue.

 

Sink

We have been accustomed using the basic white or stainless steel sinks, so this trend could be surprising to many. First appearing in the 1970s, colored sinks will resurface and rule this coming year. This is a great way to accentuate the kitchen without having to add any other decors or materials perfect for minimalist kitchens.

 

Change is one of the several things that is hard to welcome. But if change would bring or add beauty and improve how we live, then it is safe to say that change is our buddy. So are you ready to change your kitchen with these 2017 trends? Let me know in the comment section. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

How To Take Care Of Our Clothes

Clothes these days are no longer just body covering. They have become part of our lifestyle investments. From our favorite pair of jeans to our most worn tees, clothes have been fully integrated into our being. Since they posses relevance to our lives, how do we take care of our clothes so they won’t shrink, stain, tear, and fade, especially when we wash them?

To Avoid Shrinking

Clothes shrink when they are washed in warm water. So the best way to avoid shrinking of clothes when washing is to use cold water. The cold water would avoid the clothing to relax and release, which is often the top cause for shrinking or misshaping. Apart from using cold water, choose a gentle laundry cycle. A gentle laundry cycle avoids stressing the fabric and its seams that could sometimes make the garments shrink. This is especially applicable when washing fibers like cotton, wool, and cashmere. Lastly, choose the right laundry machine. You may want to consider front-loading machines as they are less destructive and will cause less shrinkage than the customary top-loading machines because the natural tumbling action in the front-loading machines is much more gentle.

 

To Avoid Staining

A major prevention to staining is to separate the garments. Never wash whites, such as abayas, with colors. Also, consider separately washing new clothes, especially dark, colored cottons because these may release a lot of dye.

If you’ve done this and stains still appear, then you might want to double-check your fabric conditioner. Most fabric conditioners are oil based, and if you use too much or added too soon or too late into the cycle and this hits your clothes without being diluted enough, it will cause oily spots on your clothes. Thus, make sure to dissolve the fabric conditioners first before pouring.

There’s another common type of stain: rust stains. These can come from rusts developing in your washing machine or the water you are using to wash your clothes. To avoid this, always check your washing machine for rusts, and make it a habit to run the water first. It would not also hurt to have your water pipes check for rusts.

 

To Avoid Tearing

Holes in our clothes could have many reasons. It could be from much chlorine bleach. It could also be from abrasive surfaces. Too high spin speed is also another cause as well as overloading.

Just like how to avoid staining, a major prevention to tearing is sorting your clothes well. Remember to not wash a delicate garment, such as scarves, with jeans or any clothes with zippers and other protrusions. Delicate garments that have lace and are made of silk could snag on zippers that could lead to tearing. Additionally, always zip, button, and fasten all clothing before washing to avoid catching other garments. If you can’t wash these separately, consider placing delicate garments in a mesh laundry bag before placing into the washer.

 

To Avoid Fading Quickly

A top advice to retain colors is to wash black clothes with other black clothes or with other dark garments. Fading happens when the dye runs, but when there are no lighter garments to soak the dark dyes, those dyes will be reabsorbed back into the black clothes they came from. Apart from sorting the colors, consider the weight, too. Doing so would protect the weave and color of your more delicate black garments.

Just like when avoiding shrinking of clothes, use cold water when washing colored clothes. This avoids the breaking down of fibers and its dyes.

When it comes to your washing machine, try using the shortest cycle possible because this means lesser chance the dye has to run and fade. You might also want to skip the dryer because the heat could facilitate fading. Instead, hung the clothes, which you have turned inside out, to dry or laid flat to dry, but when you do, make sure that you place them in an area away from the sun. Sunlight acts as natural bleach, which will fade your black clothes faster. Finally, consider adding vinegar, salt, black pepper, or baking soda, as these have ingredients that help retain colors.
Which of these tips would you apply? Do you have any other tips to share? Let me know in the comment section. 🙂
 

What To Know About Convection Ovens?

Innovation has truly made our home more diverse. Before, we only have the oven. Now we have the oven toaster, the microwave oven, and the convection oven. Most of us are familiar with the oven toaster and the microwave oven, but what is a convection oven?

Food enthusiasts explain that the convection oven is the “scientifically-oriented” member of the oven clique. Technically, all ovens are convection ovens because convection, scientifically defining, is the natural circulation of heat created by differences in temperatures, which is observed in all types of ovens. But the “convection ovens” that we have these days feature an equal circulation of heat through use of fan, which the other ovens lack. With this equal circulation, cooking and roasting are made faster. However, not all foods are best to be cooked with similar heat. For instance, cookies and breads are best baked in a more humid environment, and since a convection oven dries out the oven much speedier, it is best to bake cookies and breads without the convection on (some ovens have the convection feature, which means they have the “fan,” that could be turned on and off).

One of the known units when it comes to convection oven is the Breville BOV800XL Smart Convection Oven. Like many other convection ovens, the BOV800XL unit is capable of baking, roasting, broiling, toasting, reheating and warming, and mostly whatever that you need to do in the kitchen when cooking.

Its digital display lights up in blue when not in use and turns to orange when pre-heating. It also has nine easy pre-set functions, which include Toast, Bagel, Bake, Roast, Broil, Pizza, Cookie, Reheat, Warm. Moreover, the unit has three dials. One is for choosing the function, another is for setting the temperature, and the last is for putting the time. The unit also has default settings for the Bake and Roast functions. For instance, if you choose the Bake function, the oven will automatically set the heat to 325°F and the time to 30 minutes, but these are still adjustable.

What sets this convection oven apart from the other convection ovens is its IQ Element technology, and this involves the five-quartz heating elements that work independently. The IQ Element technology automatically adjusts the time depending on the heat already present inside the oven. For instance, if you are using the Toast function and the oven is already warm after one cycle of toasting, then expect the second toasting cycle’s time to be less.

Not only these, the unit also comes with an auto eject wire rack, pizza and baking pan, a broil rack, and a crumb tray. And its overall look is sleek and classy!

Should you wish to grab your own Breville BOV800XL Smart Convection Oven, here is a table to guide you on how long and how hot you need when cooking the following food:

Food Temperature Time
Biscuits 400º F 9 minutes
Cream Puffs 370º F 54 minutes
Cupcake 330º F 13 minutes
Loaf Cake 330º F 40 minutes
Soufflé (in a hot water pan) 330º F 37 minutes
Macaroni and Cheese 350º F 28 minutes
Whole Chicken 375º F 30 minutes

So are you now more acquainted to oven toaster and microwave oven’s sister convection oven? Ae there any other information that I should know about this? Write these below in the comment section. 🙂

 

 

 

Top Three Coffee Makers

Justina Cheng, author of one of the books named best by Kirkus Reviews and Barnes & Noble, once said, “Adventure in life is good; consistency in coffee even better.”

Drinking coffee is no longer a morning habit these days; it is already a lifestyle. We bond with our friends over a cup of cappuccino. We study with the help of espresso. And we enjoy solitude by sipping our macchiato.

While there are lots of coffee shops anywhere, many still opt to make theirs at home. And although instant coffees are out in the market, nothing beats brewing your own. But how do we get the consistency that we want with our coffee?

Brewing your own coffee entails having your choice of coffee grounds and of course your coffee maker. Today, let’s go over the top three best coffee makers out in the market:

 

  1. Bonavita BV1900TS

 

While Bonavita BV1900TS is not striking on the outside (it does not have any LED or lights but a single button for turning it on and off), many reviews have said that when it comes to coffee drip brewing, this is a champ.

BV1900TS brews coffee straightforwardly. Preparing your coffee would only take opening the water tank lid, pouring a portion of water, adding coffee grounds into the brew basket, positioning it over the thermal flask, and finally flipping the switch. The water from BV1900TS drains fast, which is a good sign. For instance, it only takes six minutes to create a full 45-ounce pot of coffee, and this is under the eight-minute (or less) suggestion from the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). Finally, BV1900TS runs very hot, which is what makes a coffee maker’s resume topnotch; it reaches the 200-degree mark (Fahrenheit) after about 2 minutes for the rest of the brewing cycle.

All in all, BV1900TS makes good coffee even when using challenging coffee grounds, and if you’ll use better coffee grounds, there’s a big chance you’re in for your best homemade drip coffee ever.

 

  1. Mr. Coffee DRX5 4-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker

 Just like the BV1900TS, this Mr. Coffee unit also makes brewing simple but satisfying palette-wise. Just set it up, turn it on, and brew! Because of its size, Mr. Coffee DRX5 is best for a single person or a couple.

But just like the saying “great things come in small packages,” this compact coffee maker has great features, too. For instance, this four-cup coffee maker brags of its newly designed “Pause n Serve” feature. This allows you to pour a cup of coffee while the machine is still brewing. Apart from this, the unit also has an auto-pause brewing system. With this, you can easily remove the flask and avoid any possible spill! Mr. Coffee DRX5 also has Delay Brew feature for up to 24 hours in advance, which means you do not have to make your cup every morning! Lastly, the coffee maker automatically turns after an hour of being idle. So if you are a busy person that has no time for complicated brewing of your coffee and is too occupied for coffee-related-tasks, then Mr. Coffee DRX5 is for you!

  

  1. De’Longhi 12-Cup Coffee Maker

Originally from Italy, De’Longhi has a long list of appliances, and this includes the De’Longhi 12-Cup Coffee Maker. Most of its best features, such as the 24-hour programmable digital timer and auto shut down, are the same with Mr. Coffee DRX5, but instead of four cups, you get twelve. So if you have a big family and everyone likes to drink coffee first thing in the morning but does not want to wake up early to prepare, then this is best for you.

More than the taste, this coffee maker also makes it a point to boost your drink’s aroma through its special time-release process that saturates the coffee grounds a little to extract the best flavor and aroma from your coffee. Unlike other coffee makers, De’Longhi 12-Cup Coffee Maker has a permanent gold-tone filter that keeps even the finest grounds out of your coffee. This also has the unique front access design. With this, you can simply pull the handle of the machine for easy access to the water and coffee filter.

 

With these three coffee makers, consistency in coffee is no longer a question. Do you agree with me that these are the three best coffee makers? Comment below to let me know. 🙂

Vaccuums 101

There are four major types of vacuums in the market: the upright, the canister, the stick, and the handheld. While all of these have one purpose, they vary in structure, use, and sometimes maintenance.

UPRIGHT VACUUMS

Description: Upright vacuums have larger bags, which make them better/easier when vacuuming large areas. Additionally, most units have a wider cleaning path, but with these qualities, the weight can sometimes be an issue. These are used when cleaning large, carpeted areas, but some models could also be used when cleaning bare floors.

Example: Miele Dynamic U1 Twist 41HAE030USA

Maintenance: Most upright vacuums have a bag, brush tool, internal hose, and filter. To take care of the bag, do not wait for it to be filled 100%. To keep the unit working at its best, replace the bag when it is about 2/3 full. The dirt needs room in order to enter the bag, so if it’s already filled, then there won’t be any room thus it will no longer work as efficiently as it should in picking up dirt. Some models don’t have bags but receptacle or bin. In this case, clean these by using a damp cloth. If these are removable, you can use tap water and soap. Next, the brush tool is best to be checked after every use for big debris. When not removed, these could hinder the proper rotation therefore limiting the brush’s ability to collect dirt. Since almost all brush tools are attached to belts, you might want to check this, too. This keeps the brush tools on place. Simply check if its stretched out, ragged, or tapered. Also make sure that the belt hasn’t slid out of place or damaged in a particular area. Technically, your unit’s belt should be replaced every six months to one year, but this actually depends on the frequency of usage. The more often you use your vacuum, the more you should follow the rule. For the filter, if it is washable, then wash it using running water. But if it is not, then try knocking it to garbage bin a couple of times until the dirt comes. You can also consider using a stick but be careful not to break the filter! The internal hoses normally can’t be removed, so you would need to use a long stick and carefully poke for any debris that may block the dirt’s passage.

CANISTER VACUUMS

Description: Canister vacuums have a canister and a long wand. This long wand is the primary tool for cleaning while the canister holds the bag and the motor. These tend to be quieter, and their low profile makes cleaning stairs and getting under furniture easy. Canister vacuums could be used when cleaning carpets but are best on hard floor surfaces and areas under unmovable furniture.

Example: Dyson Cinetic

Maintenance: The main parts of a canister vacuum are the bag (or bin), filter, hose, and power brush. Cleaning the bag and filter follows the same steps as cleaning the upright vacuum. On the other hand, since the hose of the canister vacuum is on the outside, unlike the upright vacuum’s, and most units’ hose’s are removable, cleaning this could be done by using clean water and soap, which could be also applied when cleaning the power brush. However, some models’ hose’s are not removable. In this case, you can also use a long stick to clean it.

STICK VACUUMS

Description: The name “stick” comes from the appearance of the handle- a long stick! This type is light and often cordless and bagless. These can be used to clean bare floors and light carpeting areas but most buy this to clean for spots above the ground that are difficult to reach, such as high curtains or ceilings because its design lets you to not bend over when in use. However, its dirt cup is always known to be smaller.

Example: Bissell Lift Off 2 in 1 Cyclonic Cordless

Maintenance: Cleaning stick vacuums’ bags (or bins) and filter follows the same procedures, as explained above. What sets this apart is its (often) removable foot, which can be clean by using tap water and soap. You may also want to check the nozzle for any dirt that may block the passage.

HANDHELD VACUUMS

Description: These are very handy (thus the term) and mostly cordless. These could be used when cleaning bare floors and carpets but often preferred when cleaning the inside of the car and other small areas. While most people would think that their being “handy” means being less powerful, this is not entirely true. Depending on the brand, some handheld vacuums are as powerful as the others.

Example: Dirt Devil QuickPower M0896RED Handheld Vacuum

Maintenance: Clean the bag (or bin) and filters using the same steps above. An integral part of this type is its nozzle, which you would want to clean after every use. Not doing so could affect the unit’s suction power. The outside vent should also be checked if it’s blocked because this affects the inner workings. To clean this, simply wipe it with damp cloth.

 

Other parts of the vacuums, such as the cord and handle, follow the usual ways of maintenance. For instance, cords must be untangled first before hitting the automatic cord-suction button, and the handle must be wiped with damp cloth. Just like any of your appliance at home, your vacuum needs maintenance and while it is used to clean spaces, it needs cleaning, too. So take note of these tips, and surely, your vacuum would be your cleaning partner for a long time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dishes You Can Cook Using Just Your Microwave Oven

Don’t you just love the convenience your microwave oven hands to you? With it, no more turning on of the stove when heating your leftovers and no more washing the pots and pans used saving you money, effort, and time!

There are literally thousands of microwave ovens out there, but there are three units that most of us should consider. First, if you are living in an apartment where space is limited, consider the Danby Designer 0.7 Cubic Feet Countertop Microwave. This is very light and not space consuming but does well the basic functions like reheating your leftover! Secondly, we have the Big Chill Retro Microwave. Unlike the Danby, this one is a bit huge and best for people customizing their kitchen. Why? This unit comes in 200 colors! So whatever color your kitchen may be, we’re sure there’s a color that Big Chill Retro could offer! More than that, the unit has a whooping 1,200 watts! Last in our list is the Breville BM0734XL Quick Touch Microwave Oven, which some say is the smartest microwave oven there is. Why not? This lets you turn the temperature with just a dial, and it has Sensor IQ that adjusts cooking time for you!

Apart from heating leftovers, did you also know that microwave ovens could cook a variety of dishes? This is perfect especially for our working folks who barely have time to cook.

Let’s begin with what you can cook in your microwave oven for breakfast. Eggs are nutritious, so these are best eaten for breakfast. There are a lot of egg recipes, but a common favorite is the poached egg. The traditional manner of cooking a poached egg requires a pan with boiling water, salt, and vinegar. But when using your microwave oven, all you need is a bowl or mug with water (half filled) with a pinch of salt. Then, simply crack the egg into the bowl making sure the egg is completely submerged. Cover this, and microwave on high power for a minute. Check if the egg’s white is firm. If it needs more cooking, re-cover the bowl and microwave for another 15 seconds. Once done, carefully transfer the egg to your toast and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. With this power breakfast, you are ready to take on the day!

For lunch, the menu includes steamed vegetables and meatloaf-in-a-mug. Preparing these two dishes would normally need equipment, such as the steamer, pans, and stove, but with your microwave oven, there’s no need for these! For instance, to steam your veggies, simply place the vegetables (already cut in your preferred size) in a microwave-safe bowl, add a couple of tablespoons of water, cover, and microwave for 2 1/2 minutes. If the veggies are not cooked after the cooking time, re-cover and microwave once again. To compliment the vegetables, make your meatloaf-in-a-mug. In a small bowl, combine milk, ketchup, oats, and soup mix. Then, add the beef and mix well. Spray the microwave-safe mug with cooking spray and cover. Microwave on high for 3 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink, and this should be done. Before eating, let the dish stand for 3 minutes. Now, who says preparing lunch would be hard?

After a day of work, it’s time for dinner. If you lack the energy to prepare, your microwave oven can still help you. What do you think about having risotto for dinner? You won’t need to cook or go out to have one; just take a hold of your microwave oven. Combine butter, garlic, and onion, and microwave on high for 3 minutes. On a separate microwave-safe dish, place the vegetable broth and heat for two minutes. Mix the rice with the onion, butter, and garlic mixture. Cover the dish tightly and cook on high for 6 minutes. Finally, add the wine into the rice, and cook for 10 minutes. Before serving, add cheese. Bon appetit!

And of course, the day would not be complete without a dessert, and your microwave oven can also help you make one. A lot of cake-in-a-mug could be made in your microwave oven, but one of the bests would be the cheesecake-in-a-mug.

Begin by whisking together the cream cheese, yogurt (or sour cream),vanilla, sugar, egg whites, and flour until light and fluffy. Then, on a separate microwavable mug, sprinkle a layer of Oreo cookie crumbs to create the base. For the cheesecake, mix ½ cup cheesecake base with ⅓ cup Oreos, and then pour this on top of the base. Microwave for about 45 seconds to a minute. You might need to continue microwaving until you see a bubble at the center, and then stop. Microwave for short intervals until you see the edge of the cheesecake firm. At this point, you can now take your cheesecake-in-a-mug out of the microwave and let cool to room temperature and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

It’s just amazing how a complete day’s meal could be prepared just by using the microwave oven. Whichever microwave oven you choose to have, make sure to try these dishes most especially when you are busy with your day’s run because not only are these yummy and healthy, these can also be made fast, thanks to our dear microwave oven.