How to Hide Wires and Cables For Your TV Wall Mount Through the Wall

A flat screen TV with hidden wires looks great, but it is a bit of an art form to get your TV successfully mounted so that no wires are showing. You can use the outside of the wall system, where you buy color coded wires that match the wall. However, most people want the cables completely hidden and out of view. Here are a few things that you can do to make sure that your TV wall mount appears wire free.

1. Before you begin the installation process make sure that the particular wall where you want to place your TV is suitable for hiding wires. It should be an interior wall made of drywall, and should also have limited amounts of insulation.

2. Place small holes in the precise location or you can use a template provided by the wall plate manufacturer where you want to the wires to enter and exit. The holes should only be big enough for the wire to fit through; however be careful not to cut the holes too small. This often times leads people to try and “squeeze” wires into the wall, which can damage the wall further.

3. Get covers for where the wires enter and exit the wall. This keeps your wall from being damaged any further, and is also an excellent safety prevention measure for small children.

4. Measure the distance from the back of your television to any AV systems or gaming systems that you have. You want to make sure that your TV is at the right height for a wall mount, meaning that the cables reach from the back of the TV to the floor.

5. Hire an electrician to install a recessed plug right behind your TV wall mount. You do not want to run the power wire through the wall, so you either need to do this step or have one wire exposed.

6. Find the most direct route from the back of the television to the floor, and run the wires to the proper locations through the previously cut holes. Congratulations! Now you are ready to view your flat panel TV with no wires hanging from your TV wall mount.

Mosaic Art For Striking Decor

Mosaic is an art form which brings together various materials and at times, even cultures. Stones, glass pieces, ceramic, tiles etc, can be used to create beautiful mosaic art within your home. You can use it in almost every room. All you need is some glue and random pieces of interesting material.

The history of mosaic art is said to go back some 4,000 years. From the 5th century onwards, the rise of the Byzantine Empire turned mosaic art into a new form. Their pieces of art included Eastern influences with the use of special glass tesserae called Smalti. Smalti was made from thick sheets of coloured glass and had a rough surface with tiny air bubbles. Besides Smalti, there are innumerable new types of materials used today to create mosaic art. Experiment with as many materials as you can to create the most expressive art forms in your home.

Walls

There’s no better canvas for mosaic art than your wall. Start with a small pattern and move on to bigger designs. To stick objects directly on your wall, you can use a sprinkling of cement and create a mosaic design on top. Copy patterns from books if you don’t want to experiment too much. There are several types of patterns, textures, colours, and shapes you can create with mosaic. A combination of ceramic, glass, and stained glass looks best on walls. Terracotta lends an earthy feel to mosaic patterns. It can be cut into cones, square blocks, or any other interesting shape to give the designs a unique look. Patterned pebble art is a great way to spruce up the look of any room. You can use different coloured pebbles, interspersed with glass pieces to create interesting art.

Tables

The top of a table is one of the most preferred surfaces for mosaic art. Being flat and evenly shaped, it can accommodate a wide variety of materials, thus giving you room for experimentation. Fine cut Italian glass tiles are perfect for creating brilliant mosaic art. The finest Italian mosaic glass tile is fired at high temperatures in the presence of mineral salts to give it an iridescent finish that shimmers like mother of pearl. In the case of metallic glass mosaic tiles, there are tiny metallic flakes that are swirled throughout the glass to give an overall stunning effect to the tile. In the case of swirled glass mosaic tiles, the tiles are marbleised with swirls of different coloured glass. A combination of these stunning materials will make your table exquisitely unique. Almost any kind of material, from stone to glass, can be used on a tabletop to create mosaic art.

Bathrooms

Mosaic has always been used in bathrooms to a large extent. Mosaic tiles offer wide room for creativity. Almost any kind of design can be created on bathroom walls and floors with these tiles. Make it colourful to bring your bathroom decor alive. You can create interesting mosaic patterns by yourself in your bathroom. You can be bold and experiment here rather than in your living area.

Accessories

Regular household articles and accessories can be made interesting with mosaic art. Stick a few glass beads on a pen stand to make it look interesting. You can create art on vases with broken glass and pieces of terracotta. Wall hangings made of an assortment of light materials will add colour to your walls. Make a regular lamp shade stand out with pieces of coloured glass and create interesting patterns of light and colour. Stick pieces of colourful tiles and glass on a large mirror to create your own masterpiece. Cupboard doors can also be used as a surface for mosaic art. In the kitchen, you can theme your mosaic art on various kitchen appliances like cups and saucers, plates, forks and spoons etc. It will add colour and intrigue to regular kitchen decor.

10 Steps for Repairing a Pebble Tec Pool

If you are the owner of a pebble tec pool, you undoubtedly know by now that you need a matching pebble tec patch mix to make most repairs. Pool technicians can cost a fortune and often an effective patch or repair can be made with the right materials (which can easily be bought on the web) and without the added cost. Here are some guidelines to get you started on your DIY pebble pool repair project.

  1. Determine the amount of pebble tec repair mix you will need for your project.
  2. Once you have everything together, make sure that the area you will be working on is clean and dry (lower the water level of your pool if needed).
  3. Study the instructions on your product purchase. If the product you got isn’t a ready-to-use variety, make sure to follow their instructions carefully to get to right consistency.
  4. Tapping the area surrounding the crack with a hammer will expose any hollow cells and will let you know how much of the pre-existing pebble material needs to be knocked out around the crack to make a lasting repair.
  5. Knock out the area to expose the underlying substrate using a hammer and large chisel (find one designed for this type of work) and continue tapping around the area to find more hollow areas until you find no more.
  6. Use a 4″ masonry blade on a 4″ grinder to saw-cut the edges straight down so that they do not bevel or slant (always using the appropriate protective gear – goggles, gloves, etc.) You can also continue to use your hammer and chisel to do this, however it just isn’t as fast and accurate. Ideally you should have worked down at least 1/4″ for a good patch.
  7. Leaving the working area smooth doesn’t always allow the most effective bond. To fix this problem, cut criss-cross grooves into the underlying substrate with the grinder or roughen it up with the chisel.
  8. Rinse and scrub the area of loose dust and debris, using a sponge to remove any excess water.
  9. Apply the prepared pebble mix with a trowel or your hands to fill in the area that needs repair and smooth it out to be flush with the surrounding area. Use a rounded edge trowel level out the area, removing excess repair material from the repair area. Holding your trowel against the existing pebble surface acts as a guide as you remove excess pebble material to obtain levelness at the edges.
  10. Sponge the edges to fill in any voids. While waiting for the material to stiffen you can clean up any loose materials – using a hairdryer or anything else to speed up the drying process is not recommended. Once the material is stiff to the touch (confirm this with the labeling of the product), use a hose with a soft spray or bug sprayer to remove extra cement and expose the pebble. Use a sponge to clean off any excess repair material surrounding the repair area.

For repairs inside the pool let it set overnight before refilling the pool (or per product instructions).

Why Hire a House Painting Service?

Many people believe that painting a house, is not a job worth hiring a professional service. Well nothing can be more far from the truth. An objective point of view will reveal that the job to paint an entire house truly demands a professional service. Well, the fact remains that hiring a house painting service has many benefits. Let’s have a look at some of them.

Quality work: Every house painting service provides you with experienced painters. These painters are trained in their job and have considerable experience. This means that the painting work they will do will be of the highest quality. Every stroke form their brush will add to the beauty of the house.

Timely Job: The professional painters provided by a house painting service are very fast. They have a knack of finishing their jobs on time. This means there will be no delays as far as your painting job is concerned. This is especially beneficial, if you need to get your house painted in an emergency.

Relaxed environment: If you hire a painter from one of the services you do not have to take any stress. This is because such a painter is trained to handle all types of situations. Unlike a situation when you do the job yourself, you are always stressed, when you hire a service you will not have to worry about even the smallest of things.

Reduced maintenance: The painting job done by a house painting service is really long lasting. This means that the maintenance cost for the paints will automatically become zero. This helps to save a lot of money and time.

Insured painters: Each and every painter working with a house painting service is fully insured for any loss that is caused by his action. This lends an extra credibility and safety to the job being done.

Warranties: When you hire a professional service to get your house painted, they give you a warranty. This warranty usually lasts for a period of 3 to 7 Years. During this period, if the paint comes off or there is any other related problem, the service will paint your house once again.

Get estimates: Before starting with the job the service will give you a free estimate as to how much will it cost to get the job done. In some situations they can also help you to cut some corners while getting the desired results.

Fair price:The superior quality painting done by a house painting service usually comes at a fair price. There are different sort of deals to suit the people with different budgets.

The above mentioned benefit clearly states that hiring a painter from a house painting service is the right thing to do. After all, it takes the pressure off and makes the whole job much easier. So go ahead and get yourself a painter, so as to get your job done  properly.

Advantages of Brass Chandeliers

Brass chandeliers are used everywhere. Hotels, restaurants, and offices use them. In homes, brass chandeliers can be found in almost any room. What makes brass chandeliers so popular?

Brass chandeliers have a long history. Before electricity, brass chandeliers were used with candles or kerosene. Brass is a sturdy metal with a long life, making it the perfect metal for the brass lanterns that used to be placed in homes and used as street lights.

In addition to being a long-lasting metal, brass has the added advantage of requiring little maintenance. Brass chandeliers are particularly appropriate in coastal areas where corrosion is a problem because by nature it is anti-corrosive.

Two types of finishes are usually available for brass chandeliers: highly polished and antique polished . A highly polished finish, as the name suggests, makes the brass look bright and polished. Antique polishing gives an older appearance that some find very elegant.

Periodically dusting with a soft, dry cloth is the key to maintaining your brass chandelier. If it gets dirty enough to need a more intense cleaning, use a gentle dish soap and warm water to clean it. Don’t forget to dry after washing. Do not use an ammonia-based cleaner because this will cause tarnishing.

If your brass chandelier is tarnished and you haven’t used an ammonia-based cleaner, first determine whether or not it’s solid brass. Try sticking a magnet on it; if the magnet stays on, your chandelier is made of steel-plated brass. In that case, the tarnish you are seeing is likely rust and can be removed with steel wool. After removing the rust, your next decision is whether to have it re-plated. If you don’t want to have it re-plated, you can choose to paint it.

A solid brass chandelier which has tarnished is relatively easy to clean. First use a brass cleaner to get the tarnish off. Once it has been removed, follow up with clear lacquer spray paint.

When purchasing a brass chandelier, remember that it is not intended as a main light source. Chandeliers are hung for the elegance and grace they add to almost any room. Brass chandeliers come in many sizes, so they are appropriate anywhere.

There are many types of chandeliers available to add grace to your home or business. If you are in the market for one, remember the long life and easy maintenance of brass chandeliers. You’ll be glad you did.

What Is Lead Free Crystal?

When most people think about high-end crystal, they think about traditional leaded crystal–for instance a wine glass that has that wonderful, somewhat-heavy hand feel sparkling with faceted brilliance, and the lovely, sing-songy ring that resonates when you tap it. That kind of glass. For a very long time, it was only leaded crystal that produced these exquisite attributes. While lead crystal is still extremely popular, there’s another type of high-quality glass that can provide the same experience.

Normal Glass

“Normal” glass such as a typical water glass, beer glass, glass baking dish, etc., is what is known as soda-lime glass. Not particularly brilliant or beautiful, but functional, and in most cases far more durable than crystal. Soda-lime glass consists of several main ingredients–sodium carbonate, lime, dolomite, silicon dioxide, and aluminum oxide, along with lesser amounts of other ingredients referred to as “fining agents.” These ingredients are melted together in a furnace at a very high temperature. The melted liquid sits for a bit to let the bubbles in it rise out of it–this is called “fining out.” The glass is then formed using different processes depending on the purpose of the final product, i.e., drinking glass, windowpane, windshield, etc. In the case of traditional crystal, lead is added.

Lead Crystal

Traditional lead crystal glass adds another ingredient to the regular glass mix–lead oxide. The addition of lead produces a couple of unique attributes that make the glass “crystal.” Soda glass contains molecules that are without structure–what is known as amorphous. There’s no specific order but that are bound tightly, making soda-lime glass more durable. The molecules in lead crystal have a distinct three-dimensional order. These molecules produce the sparkling brilliance in the glass. The crystal has a higher “refractive index” than normal glass and the higher the index, the more brilliant. Adding lead to the glass also makes it melt at a lower temperature and it makes it absorb less energy than soda-glass. This is what makes the crystal ring when you tap it.

Lead Free Crystal

While lead crystal purists will probably always use it, there is now an alternative with the same characteristics. This provides an option for those who enjoy high-quality crystal but are concerned with lead content in anything that holds consumables. This is relevant mostly in decanters, which I’ll touch on in a bit. When making lead free crystal glass, the lead is substituted with barium oxide (BaCO3). The introduction of barium oxide produces a glass with a comparatively high refractive index, subsequently making its brilliance greater. Barium oxide is also lighter than lead oxide, making the glass lighter with about the same durability. For those concerned about lead content in their crystal glassware, as mentioned before, it really only poses a health question for crystal decanters. The reason being wine and spirits are typically kept in decanters for longer than a glass of wine. This produces a greater window of time for lead to possibly leach out of it. I personally don’t store wine in decanters for a terribly long time–it’s more about aeration and presentation for me–so I am not concerned with the issue at all.

Lead Crystal vs. Lead Free Crystal

It’s really just a matter of personal preference whether you want to choose one over the other. There are several high-end crystal manufacturers who make exquisite lead free crystal. I have used both extensively and the only real difference I’ve noticed is the variation in weight. Either way, wines taste way better in a high-quality crystal glass than a regular drinking glass any day of the week.

Cheers!

Snow Thrower – Save Your Back While Cleaning Your Lawn

Snow Throwers have, today, totally replaced the old type shovel in our private homes. Throwing the snow with a shovel being a painstaking affair, gives you only back-ache in the end and raises unnecessary doctor’s bills.

There are made available in different kinds of engines that are run on gasoline or diesel and electric. The machine first gets snow into it and then throws or blows the snow out and hence the machine is called as snow thrower or snow blower in different areas. This also explains the basic difference between snow throwers and snow plows.

It is worthy to invest that are available in various handy models, to suit your needs. You may require it to quickly clear your front lawn or for uncovering big fields of snow. According to the quantity of snow, you can make your reasonable choice.

Snow throwers are often classified according to stages and are called as single or dual stage model. The single stage are smaller in size and a single impeller or rotor does the job of both intake and output of snow. Using the single stage you can cover a shallow or small area. You can also put this system into effective use for larger jobs, as you may have observed in snow thrower attachments for trains. In such circumstances, it is better to use high speed all-in-one which available in single stage model.

Unlike single stage model, dual stage model are commonly used in all places. In the first stage the snow is broken up after the intake. You can use the rotating helical flightiness of Augurs for this job and for moving snow to impeller. On the next stage the snow is quickly blown out of discharge chute. Practically, large areas of snow are separated by this process in two stages, depending on size of snow thrower.

There are also available in different kinds of types, shapes and sizes. For home use you can use engines with just a few horsepower and for larger industrial or commercial use, you can use thousand horsepower engines that are run by diesel. You can choose the engine type to manage different kinds of jobs according to the quantity of snow and circumstances.

Just like riding lawn mowers, riding on this appliances are available with a dedicated small sized vehicle. As they are made in various kinds of shapes and sizes, you can use them for larger areas also, as a natural choice. Alternatively, you can use snow thrower attachment and use on tractors or tractor like vehicles. Ultimately, the final choice that you are going to make should be well reasonable according to your needs.

Snow Throwers are available to save your back and throw the snow in a comfortable way. Since manually throwing snow is going to be a backbreaking job, you have to take adequate care in choosing a good snow thrower, to protect your health and also at the same time, clean your lawn in an effective manner.

CACI Electronic Face Lifts – Lie Back for a Face Work Out!

CACI (Computer Aided Cosmetology Instrument) face lifts are electronic treatments which achieve face lifts by toning the face muscles, smoothing away fine lines and wrinkles, and preventing sagging skin. When you go to the gym, you work your muscles to give yourself a better body shape, so why not work out your face and keep that in better shape too. This is actually a pleasant relaxing treatment, so lay back on the couch while the machine does the hard work! Think of CACI as insurance your face, a monthly pampering treatment to keep you looking young.

CACI is sometimes known as the electronic face lift. It is a relaxing and painless face lift treatment which is available in many beauty salons and health spas. Women all over the world, including many celebrity models and actresses have regular treatments. During the treatment, the therapist uses probes attached to the CACI machine to massage your face. You may not feel anything at all, other than a gentle massage. Some people experience a very slight electrical sensation as the electrical impulses stimulate the muscles. Your treatment may be combined with other beauty treatments, and the probes may be used to massage in beauty products recommended by your therapist.

It is recommended that you start with a course of weekly treatments, followed by a monthly maintenance session. Regular treatments will help to tighten sagging muscles and skin, and smoothing away fine lines and wrinkles.

CACI International are the suppliers to over 5000 of the world’s leading beauty salons and spas, and are the largest U.K. Manufacturer and supplier of specialist electrical therapy beauty equipment. If you are looking for a machine for your beauty salon, contact them and they will also organise training for your beauty therapists.

A further electronic machine has been developed called CACI Lift 6. This face lift technology can lift eye bags and overhanging eyelids, lift sagging jowls, lift double chins, reduce wrinkles and plump up lips! The machine works on firming and tightening the skin and reducing fat in the face, resulting in a younger, firmer face with a more defined jaw line.

For those who want look younger but do not like the idea of cosmetic surgery, you may be interested in other face lift alternatives. Facelifts without surgery may include acupuncture face lifts, face lift exercises, botox injections, lip enhancement and dermal fillers such as Restylane.

Cleaning Business Skills – The Elevator Pitch

When it comes to getting your business to take off, like the cleaning business, marketing strategies, used at the right time and in the right combination can definitely generate results; for your cleaning business, opportunities open one after the other.

What is an Elevator Pitch?

Have you ever taken an elevator ride? Have you ever noticed how long it takes? An elevator ride is an average of 60 seconds, more or less. So an elevator pitch is your sales pitch, which you deliver to a prospective client within a timeframe of approximately 60 seconds. Can you do that?

Apparently, believe it or not, 60 seconds, or 1 minute is quite a long time if you don’t know what to say – and too short if you have a lot of things to say. So create for your cleaning business opportunities by preparing an elevator pitch, practice it until your delivery of it becomes natural, and see it work wonders. By the way, it is called an elevator pitch because of the length of the pitch, and doesn’t necessarily have to be done only in elevator rides.

What is Included in an Elevator Pitch?

First of all, can you summarize your business and services in a brief explanation of about 60 seconds? Yes you can. First, write down the key points of your business and the key points of your services. Then work on those key points on coming up with a few lines about your cleaning business, marketing it to yourself first. Do you sound convincing enough? That’s the first line of your pitch: interest. Say something that will interest the other person you’re talking to. You need that person’s attention for 60 seconds, and you need that person’s attention right away.

The person you’re talking to may not directly be your prospective client. However, he or she may know someone who could be your prospective client, or they could be suppliers or contractors that can help you with your business. So whichever they may be, always do your best in delivering an elevator pitch.

So to make this work, use memorable words when talking about your house cleaning business. Memorable words are often remembered because it made an impact on the person. So use these words or phrases when making your pitch. For example, you may say “with cleaning services, you can save lots of money. I can help you on which services to choose to get the best deal”. So after saying something memorable, you can end your pitch by repeating your name, and that of your house cleaning business too.

Power Plate Training

Power Plate is a new form of vibration training that puts its users into shape, promising greater strength and flexibility with a decidedly non-traditional workout. Embraced by athletes, celebrities and fitness experts, it works through a science called “acceleration training” that was pioneered by soviet scientists in the 1960s and used to keep cosmonauts in shape while in space. The concept behind it is that standing on the machine’s vibrating plate makes the muscles work harder, as the effort to maintain balance is added to the exercise. The minor instability causes muscles to act in reflex up to 50 times a second, resulting in a more rigorous workout in a smaller amount of time. The machine is simple looking, absent of pedals, stairs and moving treads. It is composed of a large black platform facing a control panel in the center of wide, tall handles. When the plate is activated, the platform starts to vibrate. Frequency and intensity of vibration can be programmed from the panel interface. The user then performs typical exercises such as squats, lunges, and push-ups. The effects of doing the typical exercises on the vibrating platform intensify the workout.

The machine comes with straps that attach to the platform to get the arms involved for exercises such as pulls or curls. The vibrations are subtle, but users feel a buzz. Other advantages of the plate include muscle relaxation, increased flexibility, strength and bone density and even improved circulation. Workouts typically can go from 10-15 minutes to half an hour or so and can be done three times a week. The workout chosen varies depending on the results desired. For instance, someone who is working on increasing stamina will do a different workout routine than someone who is working on weight loss. The “accelerated training” program offered by Power Plate is carefully designed to increase the intensity of the workout while introducing the benefit of the device from the very beginning. All workouts begin with a warm up and end with a cool down. The hamstrings and quads can be massaged by laying them on the machine and laying the rest of the body on the support pad. This should be done at the beginning and end of a workout. Also, typical stretching exercises can be done with the plate, for added benefit of the vibrations.

The vibration motion is in all directions simultaneously. The plate causes involuntary muscle contractions in the muscles at a rate that’s equal to its frequency. When exercising on the plate, the muscles are actually being turned on and off at a rate of 30-50 times per second. The plate’s vibrations help increase blood flow, muscle fatigue, lymphatic circulation, and anaerobic performance. The skeleton also reacts to the vibrations, therefore, making the plate a great tool to increase bone density. Use of the plate also multiplies the effectiveness of training, where just 15 minutes on the plate can produce effects similar to 1 hour of conventional training. Users will also experience increased flexibility, increased range of motion, and typically a sense of relaxation after each session.

Get to Know the Different Options in Cook Top Stoves

Any time you buy a major appliance for your home, you want to make sure that you are buying something which will fit perfectly into your lifestyle. Purchasing cook top stoves are no exception. Luckily, there are many different options available to you. By having a willingness to look around, you will be able to find exactly the model which is right for installation in your home.

Some of the factors you will want to pay attention to is what kind of fuel the stove uses. Also pay attention to the color and materials used to make sure it fits in your home. You may also want to pay attention to the size of the stove. Having the right information will help to direct your purchase so that you are getting exactly what you want.

Consider Fuel Options

There are quite a few options when it comes to fuel for your stove. You can choose stoves which use pellets for a stove which doubles as a heat source for the home. While the most popular models utilize either gas or electric, many have been starting to look into the value of a propane model. Consider what options you have available by the area you live in as well as what fuel sources are available. You may also want to consider whether the cooking appliance will double as fireplaces.

Consider the Appearance

The way the stove looks in your kitchen is very important. You can find glass top stoves which will really accent your kitchen nicely. Other models might look more natural in other environments. Often when considering the appearance of the appliance, people will gravitate towards name brand appliances. It is why Maytag and others are such popular options.

Consider the Size

One of more important things to consider is what size you need for your cook top stoves to be. Those in small condos might only be able to fit small stoves in their space. This is just one of the considerations which will go into considering size. You should also consider your ability to vent the heat coming off of the stove. You may also want to consider if there are any laws restricting size in Canada or the United States which will affect you.

Healthy and Quick Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup

This is a quick and easy way to make a delicious chicken soup. The pressure cooker is a great tool to have in the kitchen. It cooks super fast, seals in nutrition, and is not dangerous as some fear they are. Once you have one, and learn to use it properly, you will wonder why you waited so long to get one.

This soup is quick to make, nutritious and delicious.

5 SERVINGS

8 cups water

1/2 14.5 ounce can Italian seasoned stewed tomatoes

1 bay leave

5 pepper corns

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

3 uncooked chicken thighs, skin removed (2 legs make 1 thigh)

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1. Put the above ingredients into a pressure cooker and stir. Place the lid on the cooker and cook the ingredients according to your pressure cooker’s instructions for 16 minutes.

2. Release the pressure and open the pressure cooker. Remove the chicken pieces, bay leaves and peppercorns (if you can…not critical). Make sure you remove any small bones floating around in there.

Set the bones with the meat on them on a baking sheet where you can remove the meat from the bones. Put the picked-off meat on a plate and set it aside.

Discard the bones.

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1/2 large onion, cut into large chunks

2 stalks celery, cut into thick slices

1-1/2 large carrots, cut into thick slices

1/2 garlic clove (or the equivalent in jarred garlic)

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3. Put the above ingredients in the cooker and cook under pressure for 3 minutes.

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1/2 head Napa cabbage, chopped (cut the white part into chunks)

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4. Release the pressure from the cooker again, add the above cabbage and boil it (lid off, not under pressure) for 4 minutes or until tender. Remove the pot from the heat.

5. Place the set-aside chicken meat into the soup and stir the pot to evenly distribute the ingredients.

Season to taste, serve and enjoy.

Beautiful Fluorescent Light Panels in the Kitchen

The kitchen area of a home says a lot about a person. There are many times when people enter into kitchen and it is also a place where many memories are made. In home the kitchen is one of the areas that gets remodeled the most, along with the bathroom, and increases the home price most of the time more than any other aspect. With that said, the kitchen is deemed a very important part of the home.

Whether a person is undergoing a remodel of a kitchen or just looking for something new and exciting, a decorative fluorescent light panel can aid in the undertakings. When redecorating or adding to an existing kitchen theme, many people often times forget about what light fixtures can do for an area. With that, the boring, old fixtures still remain or they are replaced with another boring set that cost just as much or more than getting a decorative light panel.

Utilize the space upward in the kitchen that many people forget. This alone will make your kitchen space unique and different from the traditional kitchen expectation. There are many different decorative fluorescent light panels available to choose from offering everyone a chance to express themselves through their décor. A general look that works well in a kitchen and is universally matching is the cloud and sky light panels. Many people like this design because it looks as though there is a skylight when it is really just a light panel. Many people actually choose to do light panels instead of skylights because they give off the same appearance without having to cut a hole in the roof! Moreover, the panel can be changed out whenever the décor changes or the owner feels like something a little different. For the price of a fluorescent light panels, switching out panels regularly is affordable and something many people choose to do.

Switching out these decorative panels in the kitchen area is also easy from the perspective of actually making the switch. In about 3 to 4 steps, a person can remove the old panel and insert the new, decorative one in. For those that are not the handy man or handy woman type, this is the perfect option.

In all, the kitchen is an excellent place for light panels that are adorned with printed decoration not only because they look great but they serve a purpose as well. If you have a fluorescent light you already know that they put off harsh light. It is because of this, the light panel was designed in the first place. Certain designs mask the light more while others let the light through. The result is a softer light that is more subdued. It is even up to the client what thickness they would like their acrylic panel to be. By doing this, it give the owner direct control of how much light they would like to escape from the decorative panel and into the kitchen.

Plank Opakapaka with Stir Fry Vegetables, Sesame Noodles & Grilled Pineapple

This is a fun way to make a Hawaiian Style BBQ at home. The Planked Opakapaka, stir fried vegetables & grilled pineapple are offset with the chilled sesame noodles. This is a easy way to entertain on a warm end of summer day!

Ingredients:

Opakapaka Fillets (6/7oz, or 12/14oz)

Tom Douglas Peri Peri Rub

Pineapple

Soba Noodles or thin Spaghetti

Mixed Vegetables for Sir Fry

Soy Sauce

Sesame Seeds

Green Onions

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Olive Oil

Alder or Cedar Grill Plank

Preparing the Plank:

Remove the plank from the plastic wrap.

Place the plank in a sink, clean dish tub or pot & fill with water.

Place something heavy on the plank to completely submerge it in the water.

Soak the plank for a minimum of 1 hour, but overnight or all day is best if you want to re-use the plank the maximum number of times.

Prep Time (15-20 Minutes)

Thaw the Opakapaka Fillets in the refrigerator overnight or run under cold water to thaw.

In a mixing bowl, place 2 tsp of Tom Douglas Peri Peri Rub & 3-4 tbsp of Olive oil. Mix together.

Remove the Opakapaka Fillets from the package & place on a plate skin side down.

With a knife, score the fillets at a 45 degree angle every ½ inch.

Coat the meat side of the Opakapaka Fillets with the Tom Douglas Peri Peri Rub & Olive Oil. We use a basting brush.

Cook your Soba Noodles or thin Spaghetti in boiling water. If using Thin Spaghetti, add Soy Sauce to the boiling water instead of salt before placing the pasta in the water. Cook al dente. Rinse the noodles & toss with sesame oil & sesame seeds.

Slice the green onions thinly and toss with the pasta. Refrigerate

Chop your vegetables to sauté with olive oil and or your favorite stir fry sauce.

Slice your Pineapple into 3/8 inch cross sections & lightly sprinkle with brown sugar or Peri Peri Rub (Sweet or Spicy Sweet)

Cooking Time: (10-15 Minutes)

Pre-heat your BBQ. If charcoal, place the fire to one side. If gas, light both burners on high for 10 minutes.

Place the Grill Plank on the hot coals side of the BBQ for 5 minutes or until it begins to smoke or directly over one burner on the gas BBQ until smoking.

Move the Grill Plank to the indirect heat side of the Charcoal grill or turn off the burner on the gas grill under the plank. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the Grill Plank.

Place the Opakapaka Fillets skin side down on the Grill Plank & close BBQ lid. The Opakapaka will be ready when there are white lines through the fillets & they have become flakey when touched with a fork. Do not overcook! The fillets will still be cooking when you remove them from the plank.

Place the Pineapple rounds on the grill after the Opakapaka has been cooking for 7-8 minutes. spice/brown sugar side down, turn in 2 or 3 minutes, then remove 2 or 3 minutes later.

Saute your vegetables with olive oil and or your favorite stir fry sauce.

For oven cooking, just pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. With the Grill Plank on the rack.

Plating:

Remove the Cooked Opakapaka Fillets from the plank, moving the directly to the plate.

Remove Pineapple rounds from grill & place on the plate.

Turn off the BBQ.

Place the Plank in cold water to extinguish. (The Plank is generally good for up to 5 “firings”)

Add your Stir Fry Vegetables to the plate.

Add the Sesame Noodles to the plate.

Enjoy!

9 Key Sections of a Business Plan

You probably know that there is more to starting a business than you initially thought. There are so many pieces to put together, coordinate and do before starting a business. Many entrepreneurs are either overloaded with information or confused as to where to start from!

A business plan is a formal document that put these ideas together in a logical sequence. Just like a blue print is necessary for building a house, a business is the THE first step in starting a business. It is a realistic and a workable plan that outlines various aspects of business including industry performance, market statistics, and financial summary and so on.

Alan Lakein once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

Many entrepreneurs write business plans only when they seek financing or start-up capital for their business. I have always felt that a business plan is an essential document to any business whether or not it is seeking capital. Yes, investors and bankers need a business plan to understand your plan, but more important than that is you being sure as to what you need and where you want to go!

However, in order to write down your business ideas there are several aspects that you need to research upon. Most of this information would be available on the internet or with industry and trade associations. Once the plan is written, it will give you a complete picture of the business including its potential weaknesses, opportunities, strengths, threats, legal and financial considerations and so on. This will help in completely understanding your business and defining its framework before you go ahead and jump into it.

Here, we’ve summarized the key sections that you’ll find in a business plan.

The Nine Key Sections of a Business Plan

1. Executive summary

This is one of the most critical aspects of your business plan. I have seen many clients whose plans were rejected by investors just because the executive summary was not well written. An executive summary is a one (or two) page summary of your entire business idea, the industry, market, competition, management team, risks, financial projections and the implementation plan. Ideally, the executive summary should be written last after the entire business plan (including its financials are ready)!

2. Business/Company Overview

This is the first section of your main business plan. This should start with an introduction and a brief business overview. This should include details on the history of the business, type of entity, mission and vision statement, objectives, ownership structure and a brief summary of the financial proposal/funding request.

3. Products and Services

This section explains to the reader, the products and/or services you propose to sell. Here you need to give the detailed product(s) information, features, benefits, value proposition, competitive advantages, how and where your product/services will be produced/rendered.

4. Industry overview

The industry overview section of the business plan demonstrates the viability of your business idea by discussing the size and growth of the industry. We generally recommend our clients to use the ‘funnel approach’ when writing this section of the business plan. Under the funnel approach, the industry overview of the entire country is given first, followed by the region/state and then narrowed down to the performance of the industry in the cities/towns where you propose to have the business. Any industry permissions (such as pollution certificates, permits, licenses etc) should also be discussed here.

5. Marketing Strategy

The marketing section of the business plan is one of the most important sections of the business plan. Even if you have the best product in your entire industry, you need to plan on how it should reach the customers and where they are! Here you should describe the target market segment, competitors, and the key value proposition.

You also should discuss what will be your pricing and promotion packages and how these will appeal to the target customers. You might also have to factor in the latest trends such as social media, networking and the mix of each type of these tactics and how they will affect your sales.

6. Operations Plan

An effective management team is the key to driving any business from where it is now to where it wants to go. In this section, provide a profile of your management team, your manpower plan, your production plan, and an overview of day-to-day operations. It is very critical that this section is written well since people will bet on the jockey than bet on the horse.

7. Financial plan

Many entrepreneurs that I have worked with fear this part of the plan and somehow or the other try to avoid it. This is THE most important part of the business plan since investors or bankers will not invest if the business plan is not financially viable. This section should contain financial projections for at least three to five years and should include income statements, working capital statements, cash flow statements and balance sheets.

Many business plans that I have reviewed do not contain an analysis of these financial statements. Ideally a simple ratio analysis, industry benchmarking, charts and graphical representations go a long way in making this section appealing to the investors.

8. Project Appraisal and Risk Analysis

Nine out of ten plans do not have this section. From a readers’ perspective I can’t stress how important this section of the plan is. This section will discuss the key risks that the business is exposed to and how these risks are proposed to be mitigated. For example, if you are planning a restaurant and assumed that 100 customers will come in everyday, this plan will analyze the sensitivity of your assumption of 100 customers on various factors such as profitability, cash flows etc – What if only 80 customers come? Will I make sufficient profits to repay my loan?

9. Implementation

Again, this is one of the most commonly ignored sections in a business plan. Having read your complete plan, the reader would like to know the next steps in making this business idea a reality. In this section of the business plan, you should discuss the key milestones in the near future, how you are going to achieve them, who (among your management team) are responsible for each of these milestones and so on. This would give the business plan a complete finish from being just a concept to making it a reality!