Category Archives: Main

Temperature Control Kettle

Hot KettleThe Cost of Boiling Water

Have you considered how much energy it takes to boil water? Well it’s a lot. And most of the time we actually need hot water not boiling water. So we’re wasting energy which has an environmental impact and not forgetting that energy, as you know, does not come cheap.

Well the good news is that there’s a solution to this problem. Out goes the humble electric kettle in comes an electric kettle with temperature control built in.

This quite simple idea allows you to set the temperature you’d like the water to reach. Takes out any guess work and you know exactly what temperature the water is at when you come to use it. The thermometer kettles as shown here variable temperature kettles for Christmas feature a setting that not only sets the temperature you desire but also has the capability to keep the water at that temperature for a short time. Usually for a maximum of between 15 and 30 minutes.

Cup of Green TeaCup of CoffeeSetting a Lower Temperature is Ideal

So why would you need water at a set temperature, why not just boil it? Well as we said earlier, there’s the cost. More energy is used to take water through the last 50 degrees compared to the first 50 degrees. This means boiling water is like pushing a car up a hill the slope of the hill gets steeper as you reach the top. So it’s easy to push it lower down than it is near the top.

One of the major uses of a kettle is to make hot drinks and it used to be thought that instant coffee, teas and hot fruit teas, just need boiling water to make them and let them brew. The Perfect Cup of Tea

But sadly this is not the case. Any subtly flavors or medicinal benefits from the tea are lost. instant coffees are similarly spoiled by adding boiling water and this affects the taste. The perfect cup of instant Coffee.

Ideal Gift for Tea Drinkers

So an inexpensive temperature control kettle will put you in control, save you money and deliver better flavored hot drinks. They also make an ideal Christmas gift to anyone that likes tea.

88 key Piano Keyboard for my Present

My Early Piano Experience

covered grand pianoI learnt to play on my parents baby grand. Like most young kids, I was a reluctant student. But I persevered, or should I say my mother persevered and forced me to play, until there came a point where I started to enjoy playing and the cajoling and pressurizing were no longer needed. From that point I wanted to play.

I think I crossed the threshold, where everything came together, the playing the music study and it felt like a good place to be and I just enjoyed playing and found it very relaxing.

College and the Piano or Lack of It

That all ended about seven years ago. I left home to go to college. Which I thought would be temporary for the four year duration of the course. But circumstances change and I didn’t know that I’d end up meeting my future husband. It all started out quite innocently, I wasn’t planning on anything serious. Then Tom said, “let’s see where this goes?” And we’ve been together ever since. Seven months ago we were married and now we’re renting out first apartment.

Which is a bit small but quite comfortable for us. It was on a visit to back to my parents house for a thanksgiving meal that I saw that old baby grand piano again. As the day wore on we ventured into the long room and eventually my mother started to play.

Piano Rekindled

girl at a pianoThat wonderful sound that only a piano makes cut right through me and took me back to all those wonderful times as I sat and watched that same piano. I was almost in a trance and as I was invited to play, all those feelings intensified. I was a little timid at first but soon I was immersed in that wonderful music emulating from that wonderful instrument. And I went to bed, in my old bedroom, in a state of bliss. Something had been rekindled.

The 88 Key Piano Keyboards

Back at home, Tom had spotted my passion and suggested I get an electronic keyboard, like the ones here How to choose a New Keyboard I wasn’t so sure. We didn’t have room for a large piano and then there’s the expense of getting it tuned every so often. So after a lot of research and much deliberation. I’d made my decision. And Tom made it his Christmas present to me.

And when it arrived I couldn’t wait. It’s one of the few times I’ve actually looked forward to opening my present. And what struck me immediately was it was quite small. Perfect for our apartment by the doubts set in – would be be up to it?

wavey piano keyboardFor me it had to have 88 keys and I wanted the keys to have the tactile feel of that baby grand. And the site http://keyboardpiano88keys.com Ticked all the right boxes.

So it it any good?. Well it is. It sounds right, it responds exactly the way I’d expect it to. I’ve set it up the way I like, I think there’s too many features which are mainly gimmicky and I don’t use them. But at least it has that flexibility built in.

One of the things I did like is the ability to control the volume. Something that’s very important living in an apartment. But even better is the ability to play through headphones. A little strange at first but I can enjoy myself even when Tom’s gone to bed early.

So my 88 key keyboard was the perfect Christmas present for me.

8 Person Tents

8 man tentBig Tents

What are the benefits off buying a large tent? The obvious one is space. Our recommendation is that for a party of two a tent for four is ideal. A part of four then go for a tent for six.

You can see the pattern here, you get a tent that’s bigger by a factor of two.

As your party gets bigger, so the extra space needed, increases. So for a party of five go to an eight man tent (you can find some good ones here- best 8 person tent).

An eight man tent for a party of six becomes a bit of a squeeze. Of course if you have young children then that’s not a problem. But remember children grow and the space will soon go.

small tentSmall Tents

Ramblers and walkers have different requirements. Bigger tents tend to be heavy and when your walking, you carry everything with you. One of the easy compromises to make is the tent. What you want is a basic, functional tent that allows you and maybe one other to crawl inside.

The emphasis here is on portability and quick assembly and quick takedown. Equally important is compactness and modern designs and materials allow small tents to be folded into incredibly small spaces, about the surface area of a dinner plate.

Smallist TentGoing Shopping

Tents come at many different price points and the choice available becomes bewildering at times. But you must stay focused and note down what your main requisites are. Then go shopping.

Decide if the tent is for hiking or for a more static, family your vacation. A tent’s main function is to keep you dry and out of the wind. Some do this better than others.

Your tent wants to be watertight but also able to breathe. Modern materials are weaved in a way that allows air to pass through but prevents the bigger water molecules from getting in.

A tent sheet with a lip and waterproof zip outs also a wise choice. You want to prevent water running into your tent.

This site goes into more details of the various types of tent on the market.

Wireless Chargers for the iphone

small Nissan SUVCompact SUV

My husband just bought me a Nissan Rogue. A pretty little SUV that suites me perfectly. I use it to drop the children at school and for my short commute to my office.

It’s great for shopping too, the big space at the back has plenty of room my my weekly trips to the mall and back.

Last week, I gave my husband, Tom, a ride to his to his brother’s house, they were going fishing together for the weekend. It was his first ride in the Rogue. Nissan’s Rogue

Tom put his cell phone in the central compartment on the dash. As he did that the compartment glowed. “What’s that I asked?”, “it’s a wireless charger”, he said, “and it’s charging my phone”.

I didn’t know the Rogue came with a wireless charger, now I can charge my phone as well. “No you can’t”, he said. “You’ve got an iPhone and iPhones can’t charge wirelessly”.

That’s really bad, I hate having to find a cable to charge my phone in the car. Usually when my phone is low on charge, that’s when I can’t find a charger. And with teenage children, not having charging cables happens a lot, no matter how many you buy.

iphoneWireless Charger

However, I’ve done some research and it’s very easy to convert an iPhone so that it changes wirelessly. No taking the phone apart, it just plugs in. You can find them here. http://wirelesschargerforiphone.com

However, I digress, so back to the Nissan. It’s not as big as the big 4x4s in our town but I don’t need to go off road and I don’t hunt deer. So this compact SUV is perfect to park, has low gas consumption and looks great.

I just waiting for my iPhone wireless charger to arrive and then my new car will be per…fect

Lots of details about how wireless cheging works can be found Here

Welcome to House and Garden

Conservatory Garden

Conservatory Garden

Welcome to our site dedicated to things around the home and few other things for life’s essentials. We have over the years decorated many homes throughout the states and the things we’ve learned we’d like to share with you all.

Does the world need another web site dedicated to House and Garden? Probably not. But we like to think of this site as a place to come for those items of house gossip. What we’ve tried and what we’ve liked. What we’ve tried and didn’t like. We’ll reveal all as it happens and give, we hope, useful tips and pointers on what you can do without spending huge amounts of money.

Bosnia Tree

Bosnia Tree

We like to think of the home as something more than just a cold structure to live in. A house takes on a personality defined by its occupants. You can feel the love and warmth that a house gives out as soon as you walk through the door. Equally you can feel the neglect when the house occupants don’t care.

We like to bring elements of Feng Shui into our homes and our gardens but more about that later. But the whole environment should be built around harmony, when we do that our home starts to support us in our endeavors and our pursuits.

It’s easy to feel excluded from all this living in harmony if you live in an apartment or when you share a house with others. But that’s not so. The place where you live or choose to live is all about you. And you need to define that space for yourself.

The great news is that you don’t need to spend ridiculous amounts of money either. Things that you like will define your space for you. And this is never a static process, change as often as you like or fix things for a while and change when you feel the urge.

It’s all about freedom, your freedom. Enjoy our blog.

In the meantime take a look at this short video – ideas for a small garden, it’s full of great ideas