survive in the wild

Would you survive in the wild?

Imagine the scenario, your plane has crashed in the middle of nowhere and there is nobody else around for miles. You appear to be the only survivor and panic is beginning to set in. Your breathing is starting to get heavier and more intense with each passing second. Then, suddenly, you remember one of the hundred of hours of TV you have watched and it comes in useful. You recall an episode of Bear Grylls where he was lost in some God forsaken place drinking his own urine to survive. Now whilst you may be hopeful that it doesn’t get to that stage any time soon you know you need to do something here otherwise you will die. There are no two ways about it. It’s time to rack your brain. What does he always do at the start of his programmes? There’s the generic spiel about where his is and why this is going to be such a struggle for him and then he goes into survival mode. Come on…..think…..what would Bear do in this scenario. Keep it warm! That’s what he always says. If you don’t have warmth and shelter then the cold of the night will get you before anything else gets the chance to. So, you need to set up a shelter and get a fire going. You begin to count your lucky stars as the area you have crashed into has tree cover. Whilst it is not exactly a thick forest it should have enough for you to survive until news of your crash reaches people and a rescue party is sent out.

Without further hesitation you head off into the wooded area to gather up some branches. Some thick and tall to form your shelter for the night, and some smaller and weaker to help start a fire. First things first the shelter needs to be built while there is still daylight remaining. You seem to recall from the programme that the easiest way to do this is to find a low lying, horizontal branch and begin to stack branches across it, almost forming a wooden tent in the process. This is all looking very easily you think in your overconfident head. Then you realise. What if it rains? Those branches are not going to keep the water off are they? Leaves are what you need and lots of them. A nice tarpaulin would have been handy here but as you survey the surrounding area you know that isn’t going to be an option. Best get searching for those leaves then. 45 minutes pass as you wander around rather aimlessly gathering the leaves you think will be suitable to forma barrier from the rain. As you begin to weave them through the branches, forming a roof over your head you take a moment to stop and think that even in this bleak scenario you are making the most of things. It is a moment of pride as you put the last leaf through, take a step back and admire your creation. Bear Grylls himself would have been proud of that you think as you begin to plan out your next task.

After gathering the branches to create your accommodation for the night you already know where the best place to go to gather the remaining few pieces of wood needed for your fire is. You head back to the small clearing where you found the pristine branches, gather a few more and then bring them all back to the area you have set up camp. Smallest pieces at the bottom and build upward is another titbit you recall from the TV show. The kindling you form from the moss of a nearby tree lights up in seconds thanks to your cigarette lighter in your pocket (how this got through security you’ll never know) and soon enough the fire is blazing. The weather God’s have appeared to take pity on you and there is no sign of rain anywhere in the horizon so you settle in for the night and wonder what is going to happen. Food will become an issue soon but thankfully the last thing they did on the plane was hand out a meal and some beverages so for now, that rumble in the stomach can wait. As night draws in you curl up under your makeshift tent and close your eyes. They remain shut until you hear the rustling just outside your shelter…..

Constant Winter Battle

A Constant Winter Battle

I live in a lovely neighbourhood, it has great schools for the kids, friendly neighbours and a real friendly feel about the place. In the summer months there are always kids playing out in the street, this is mainly because the road is a dead end, so you only get local traffic running by. The street is filled with activity during the day but is very quiet by night.

As residents, we hold street parties throughout the year. A party at new year, Easter, summer, Halloween and thanks giving. They are always fantastic events, and the whole street usually turns out to enjoy the occasion.

Each home owner looks out for the local kids, and will regularly check on each other’s properties if one of us goes away on vacation. It really does give you peace of mind, we have all read terrifying horror stories of people breaking in among other things. We even managed to find a neighbour willing to look after our dog while we were away, it really is a lovely place to live.

One Problem

One major problem with our area is that it suffers with power outages during winter, and on a fairly regular basis. While this is the only real problem, it is one that concerns many of the residents, and causes worry among the elderly. The older residents could become very ill if they are left without heating for a prolonged period, something which we discussed in one of our monthly residential meetings.

I suggested that we each buy a generator, this way the power outages wouldn’t be a problem. Everyone agreed that it was a great idea and I offered to look around for the best options available. During my search I found a website called http://www.houseofgenerators.org, it solved all of our problems. I found a suitable generator that would supply each home investing in one with enough power to keep the boiler and refrigerator running during the inevitable power outages of the forthcoming winter.

Our local parties often go on late into the night, but one problem we come across is providing the street with power during the evening. Cables running through the street on one occasion caused one of the children to trip and sprain a wrist, while no lasting damage occurred, the kid was shaken up, but future problems were solved with our new generators too.

The New Neighbours

Our quiet and pretty little neighbourhood changed overnight. Sadly, one of the elderly residents passed and their old home was quickly sold. New neighbours moved in a changed the entire atmosphere on the street.

Almost everything proved to be a problem for the new family, from the children playing out, to the parties. The gentleman would shout at the children for playing with balls, making them too upset to play out. each time we held a party, the neighbours would call the police about the noise. The parties were not full of drunken teenagers playing loud music, the only noise was that of laughter and generally a fun time being had by many local families. Each time the police turned up, they would quickly rubbish the neighbour’s claims that it was too noisy, after all, one of our home owners worked at the local sheriff department.

To the joy and surprise of all of us, a for sale board was placed outside the home within only six months of them moving in. Again, very quickly. The house was snapped up. This time the house was bought by a lovely family, who enjoy the little parties, and their kids love playing out with the others. Our street is once again a fantastic place to live, long may it continue.

The Relocation of a Dear Friend

The Relocation of a Dear Friend

My friend from Washington decided to come visit me all the way on the other side of the United States. She was so used to the weather and the time zone there that she had to adjust to being in a different area. The first time that she came down was great. She stayed for a week and ended up returning home only to make plans to move down here and attend school.

She had a son about the same age as my oldest son and a husband that would be traveling with her. Being that the only people she knew on the east coast was my family, we offered for her to stay here with hers until they could venture out and find their new home. Upon arriving in their PT Cruiser and hauler truck, they were exhausted and needed to rest. So we set up the guest bedroom for them to crash in and regain some energy from the long drive, three thousand miles, away.

Their Week with Us

The transition was definitely hard for her son, whom was an only child and never really had to share anything, including a bedroom. He slept in the room with my two boys and their puppy too. My friend had a dog whom was obedient to their every command. He was never any trouble and got along very well with my dog and my children. Our kids hit it off and were playing and quiet majority of the time that they were staying with us.

The first week they were with us was great. I made sure to be up extra early to make breakfast. When they got up, there was table spread with piles of food from bacon to waffles and everything in between, including syrup. It was truly a sweet surprise for their son whom had never had waffles with strawberries, whip cream, and chocolate chips. Although, I would normally allow my children to pick one or two for their breakfast, this morning I decided to go all out and let them make them however they chose.

About halfway through their first week they were able to find a home and establish it, pay the first month and last month rent and arrange to have the utilities turned on. They were able to do all of this within less than a week of living in our state. I was impressed. They were ready to move in around the eighth day that they were with us. They moved into their new home and our household went back to normal, at least as close to normal as possible.

After the Move

Her son started his first school year down here and was doing well the last time we spoke. She had a new job and was learning to live in a different atmosphere. Her husband found a job working on big rigs and they were doing great for themselves. We made plans to visit as did they. Our children both keep in contact with one another as pen pals. It’s our way of ensuring that they are learning and practicing while communicating with one another. Their letters are very interesting to read and it is even more interesting to watch them open a new letter from their pen pal. We, me and my friend, still keep in touch as well, although we do not see one another as much as we’d like, we are both a phone call or text message away.

There are not many people in this world that I would allow to lay down beside my own children and sleep in my own home freely. There are times that you must be weary and cautious about who you allow around your children. Having someone that you can trust is wonderful, and being able to share in memories such as relocation is even better. Not only do you get to share your home with someone else but they get to see the same beauty in it that you do. The countryside is gorgeous and something that I would like to share with many people. However, for the time being I think I’ll share it with friends and family.

 

Relaxing While the Kids

Relaxing While the Kids are Away

I love to be able to relax at least once every six months. Being a mother, my life really does revolve around my children. If it’s not running them to a doctor’s appointment or carrying them to practice, I’m running errands to make sure that all of our bills and issues are handled appropriately and on time. With all of that running around, it gets tiring and sometimes even mommy needs a nice relaxing night to herself.

I rarely send the kids anywhere, they mostly stay home and their friends come to them, but sometimes they will spend the weekend off and leave me home alone. I find these weekends to be my chance to take charge of the household cleaning and relax a little. The list of things that I enjoy doing while relaxing is endless. I love to read, I love bubble baths, and I love to relax in front of a good show.

What I do at Home to Relax

There’s a lot of things that I can do at home to relax, especially if the kids are off with their dad or spending time at a friend’s house. Normally I will put on some music and clean the house, but sometimes I take the opportunity to relax and watch television or take a long hot bubble bath. If I plan my evening out, I can include a soothing mix drink and some great music.

Mix drinks are the only type of alcohol that I will drink. I do not like beer and straight vodka or whiskey is a little too strong for me, so I have to mix it. I found the perfect blender reviews that lead me to purchase my magnificent blender, which also doubles as a mixer. It can blend up ice into shaved ice which is perfect for mix drinks. The blending speeds and different functions come in handy when I am making simple things such as applesauce.

When I drink, which is maybe once every six months, I make sure that I am not becoming smashed, or drunk. If the kids were to need me, I needed to be sober enough to respond in the manner needed. Of course I always make sure before I begin drinking that they are settled and having a good time wherever they are at. Many nights I refrain from drinking if I know that I’ll be receiving a call to come and pick up one of my children. My youngest son has yet to stay a full night with anyone but grandma.

Recharging My Batteries

Overall I look at a free weekend from the kids as a way to recharge my batteries. It can give me more energy and help me to restore life into my body that has been ran down and beaten over the past few weeks. Taking care of an entire household, working, and making sure that the children have what they need and are at their scheduled appointments and practices can take a lot of out a woman. It is recommended that every now and then the parents take a breather and relax to recharge.

It doesn’t take long for me to miss my children. After a few hours the quietness of the house makes me want them home. I enjoy having them run through the house and knocking things off of shelves and walls. Even though it gives me more to clean up, when they tear up the house it lets me know that they are happy and having fun. Eventually they will be old enough to help me around the house with major chores such as washing dishes and vacuuming the carpets.

Until they do become old enough to help, I’ll leave them in charge of their rooms and making sure that the animals have food and water. They seem to forget that sometimes, so they definitely aren’t ready for added responsibility. Over time they will be able to take some of the stress of cleaning off of my plate. I wait patiently for this day and until it arrives I will continue to take my one day here and there of peace and quiet, and a mixed drink in my hand.

Tips for living in a humid climate

Tips for living in a humid climate

If you’ve recently moved to a humid climate for the first time, you’ll start coming across everyday problems and challenges you’ve never come across before. Most of these are nothing but minor inconveniences if you’re prepared. Here’s what to look out for:

The first thing is to dress appropriately and stock your wardrobe accordingly. In a very humid climate you’ll sweat even though you don’t feel all that hot. Your clothes should be loose and comfortable. Tight fitting clothes will either trap the sweat between the fabric and your body, damaging your skin and potentially leaving an irritating rash, or be absorbed into the fabric, giving you that sweaty armpit or sweaty back look, which instantly turns people off. In humid countries where people are forced to wear formal suits to work, such as Japan, most workers wear an extra layer of underwear, such as a vest under their shirt. This means they feel even hotter when they are outside in the heat, but it hides the embarrassment of appearing sweaty as most of the sweat is absorbed by their vest. They often carry small towels with which they can mop their brows, and travel sized deodorants which they can apply discreetly during trips to the bathroom. The whole thing is not as bad as it sounds as they spend most of the day under the air conditioning anyway.

Speaking of which, make good use of your air conditioner. Lee Kwan Yew called it the greatest invention of mankind. Without it, his home state of Singapore could never have developed into the wealthy and smart hub it is today. If you have to go outside make it brief, try to stay in the shade and in the breeze. Take taxis or use public transport with air conditioning.

Even with air conditioning, you may find yourself feeling sticky at home. In that case you might want to buy a dehumidifier. These are especially useful in preventing the build-up of mold in your wardrobe and on your clothes.

Don’t try to dry your clothes on a clothes line. They may just end up feeling soggy, sticky and smelling bad. You are much better off using a clothes dryer, or simply dropping your dirty washing off at the laundry and having someone else deal with it.

Also long gone are the days of stepping out of the shower and letting your hair dry off naturally in the breeze. This might actually still be possible for those with extremely short hair, but unless that’s you, it’s time to take a look at Oomphed! for a decent blow dryer.

When it comes to applying makeup in a humid climate, make sure you use a primer to keep your makeup in place. Once that’s done, wait a few minutes before you apply the makeup. Don’t forget to regularly moisturize – even though the air is humid, your pores are likely soaking up salty sweat. Use moisturizer and other products with as little oil content as possible. Also, avoid powders as they will end up smudging and even running.

A nice little trick that will help you get to sleep is to freeze your pillowcases, bedsheets and even your bedclothes. There’s nothing worse than overheating in bed, and cooling the fabric around you in this way will give you a decent chance of nodding off instead of being kept awake, sweaty and uncomfortable. If possible, try not to sleep with the air conditioner on. If the temperature outside has lowered, open a window and let a draft into your room. An alternative would be to use an electric fan, although these can get hot and actually make your room more uncomfortable.

You might have to sleep with a mosquito net. During the day wear long pants and long sleeves to keep from being bitten. The most dangerous bites come from mosquitoes which breed in standing water and bite in the daytime. Always be on the lookout for any signs of malaria or other diseases transmitted by mosquitoes. Take yourself off to a hospital if you fear you may have been infected.

Lastly, don’t fret about it too much, you’ll acclimate and get used to it.

Flab fighting for new mummies

Flab fighting for new mummies

You put on 14 kilos during your pregnancy but your little one only weighed 4. So how did you manage to scoff down 10 additional kilos in just nine months? Well, it helps if you think of it this way: you may have delivered your baby, but the pregnancy is still affecting your body. In preparation for motherhood, you have gained a lot of fat which will help you to store nutrients for the baby’s milk. Your breasts may increase in weight by half a kilo each, plus you could have gained three further kilos from your enlarged womb and placenta. Add to this the increased amount of blood your body has been producing and it’s not so difficult any more to see where the weight gained has come from.

Don’t attempt to lose the weight by taking up any radical diets – you still need to make sure you eat a balanced diet, full of all the nutrients a lactating mother needs. Eat healthy food until you are full. Remember, you still have to feed two people when you eat. What you should do is gradually increase the amount of physical activity you undertake, without putting yourself under too much strain or in pain.

Start off just by taking simple short walks, especially if your bleeding hasn’t stopped yet. This will loosen up your limbs and prime your body for doing more strenuous activities as it recovers. If at any time your bleeding starts again, stop exercising immediately. Your body is telling you that it’s too early.

The key is to take it easy – you’ll be able to work your way up to serious cardio workouts again with time, but continue to ease yourself back into exercise with things like swimming, jogging and Tai Chi. As you begin to get used to it you’ll be able to gauge how your pelvic and abdominal muscles (the most likely to have sustained damaged over the course of your pregnancy) are dealing with it.

Be sure to drink lots of water and rest regularly during this re-introductory period. As time goes by, you’ll feel your energy levels returning back to normal and you’ll be able to take on the extra flab. Don’t expect to return to your pre-pregnancy weight – remember, you are still feeding your little one and your body needs that extra fat in places like your breasts. Use the exercise you do now to tone your muscles and regain that trim belly.

Once you are sure that your abs can take the strain, you can get one of the best cardio workouts by using a home rower – a great favourite for Kara. Keep up this kind of easy-to-do workout and you’ll soon feel the strength returning to your core muscles. Your energy levels should have made an impressive recovery by now and you may feel that you’re able to diversify your workout. The last thing you’ll still need to keep an eye out for is workouts with jerking movements, for example kickboxing, hip hop dancing and so on.

Other dietary tips to bear in mind during this period include eating foods such as salmon, which can stave off post-natal depression. Obviously, dairy products should be eaten often due to their high calcium content, but also due to the large amounts of vitamins B and D. Maintaining your iron levels is just as important post-pregnancy as it is while you are carrying, so include beans and legumes in your diet as much as possible. Carbs and fruit in general shouldn’t be neglected as they provide you respectively with the energy and vitamins you and your baby need. Eat eggs and lean beef for protein and wholegrain bread for fibre and iron.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can have adverse effects on your baby milk and upset your little one. Don’t be tempted to take up smoking again, either. You won’t be able to make a real recovery if you are poisoning yourself, and if you do hurt your body by smoking, this can only have a negative effect on your child as they have to drink the milk you produce after inhaling cigarette smoke. Follow these guidelines and before you know it you’ll be back in shape and able to call yourself a yummy mummy.

Curbing Noise Pollution

Curbing Noise Pollution

Listen. What do you hear? Chances are you have at least some type of noise surrounding you at this very moment. Perhaps it’s the far off cry of a passing siren outside, the low hum of a fluorescent bulb overhead, a television on in the background. Noise and sound are an unavoidable component of the environment around us in our everyday lives and based upon where you live or work, they can have a profoundly negative impact. There are a myriad of environmental stresses that can affect us in many ways, but noise pollution has been proven to be one of the most detrimental under a variety of conditions. Consistent high decibels of noise can often contribute to increased heart rate, blood pressure, catecholamine levels, and lead to stress, tension, and overall annoyance in concentrated long-term doses. Of course, the most basic risk from all of this noise is that which can threaten your hearing.

Cities both large and small have been implementing restrictions to curb loud noises as from transportation methods in all its forms as far back as Ancient Rome. It’s a certainly a vital component of living in heavily populated urban areas, but even the more rural regions of the country still enact some kind of regulatory safeguards to keep noise levels to manageable…and healthy…levels.

This strategy, when multi-faceted and comprehensive, can be highly effective along many approaches from issuing citations for booming car stereos to requirements of mufflers on vehicle exhaust systems for cars and more particularly, motorcycles with riders who prefer to have their bikes hooked up with “loud pipes”.  Excessive noise in a neighborhood can prove negative on the overall condition of the community, and while the root problems of the health and well-being of a populace can be complex and varied, the issue of noise can not only become a symptom of the environmental quality but can also affect it in detrimental ways. In New York City, the most common complaint is for excessive noise and when police answer these calls, it can lead to them finding violators who are wanted on outstanding warrants. Although this is not always a common theme in every major city, it can contribute to keeping the peace and maintaining law and order in every neighborhood. Vehicles aren’t the only source of loud noise. Equipment like leaf blowers and power tools at construction sites can also produce excessive noise in rural areas, garbage pick up and construction are also major factors and while these things all help to improve a neighborhood, they can also make the area tough to live in. There are things we can do to curb these noise levels that don’t require legislation or paying costly tickets. Lower the volume on your car stereo, install restrictive mufflers on vehicles, visit a website such as http://www.straightkerfs.com to seek out quieter power tools being used at construction sites in highly populated areas. There’s nothing like a shrill miter saw to give you a splitting headache, using one with a quieter motor can reduce noise pollution.

Sometimes the noise is excessive but we don’t know exactly how loud things are really getting in certain parts of the country. Another effective strategy for combating the problem is through noise mapping. It’s an interesting solution that has been posited for studying where and how quickly noise pollution is encroaching upon the quieter communities throughout the country. Taking this step can help researchers better understand the causes of noise pollution and how to fight the problem before it becomes one.

Regulations have been on the books for decades when it comes to cutting down on noise pollution. These environmental policies have made great strides to ensure that we’re not all deaf, nervous, racked with cardiovascular problems, and forced to live in a world without respite from sound. Laws at the state and federal levels have long been implemented to restrict the noise levels of just about anything that emits sound when operating. The airline industry was forced to regulate the sound of aircraft engines as a result of the Noise Control Act of 1972. From the mid-eighties to as recently as the turn of the century, air travel has been moderated to keep from wantonly disturbing the lives of those people who lived near airports, yet these regulations did nothing to reduce the amount of people who took air travel. Firearms have sound requirements that must be met, outdoor concert venues must comply with local noise ordinances that dictate how loud the sound systems can be and when the shows have to be over so as not to bother the neighboring communities that are situated around the large venue. Warning labels are applied to most everything these days, from cigarettes to cans of soda and the same holds true for products that emit noise. These labels are obligatory for many products that are manufactured and sold in the European Union, Argentina, Brazil, and China, with certain products such as air compressors being tagged with such indicators for sale in the United States.

There are many sources of noise pollution that extend far beyond what has already been discussed – that loud neighbor yelling at the kids upstairs, the dog barking across the street at late hours. Communication is key to setting some acceptable ground rules for noise, especially at late hours. Most neighbors are friendly and willing to get along, but to maintain a community for harmony, neighborhood watch groups can be just as effective at deterring noise pollution as they are at keeping crime to a minimum on their block.  Not every dispute can be settled by simply asking the people next door to keep it down or get the dog to stop barking, so sometimes the police have to be called in to intervene. Next time this happens, don’t feel bad, feel empowered because you’re keeping your community safe for you and those around you. Noise pollution is too potentially dangerous…and too loud…too ignore.

Safety When Using a Portable Generator

Safety When Using a Portable Generator

Using a generator has a few hazards you need to be aware of, and some very important factors that have to be strictly adhered to.

You should never use a generator indoors, even with ventilation. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide (CO) buildup in the home. The CO from generators can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death, but CO cannot be seen or smelled. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, or dizzy while using a generator, get to fresh air straight away.

Generator Location

Place the generator away from windows, doors, and vents that could allow CO to come indoors because you may have windows open to get fresh air while the power is out. Be sure to protect the generator from moisture, operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure, such as under a tarp held up on poles. Do not touch the generator with wet hands.

It is a good idea to install battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery back-up in your home, according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions. If CO gas from the generator enters your home and poses a health risk, the alarm will sound to warn you. Test the battery frequently and replace when needed.

Refuelling

Always make sure you turn the generator off and allow it to cool before filling with fuel, fuel that is spilt on hot parts could ignite

Only use fuel suitable for the generator and store in appropriate containers. Store the fuel outside of living areas in a locked shed or other protected area. Do not store it near a fuel-burning appliance, such as a natural gas water heater in a garage.

If the fuel is spilled or the container is not sealed properly, invisible vapors from the fuel can travel along the ground and can be ignited by the appliance’s pilot light or by arcs from electric switches in the appliance.

Always make sure that your generator is in good working condition. If you are buying a new generator, it is good to do some research first. You can read some portable generator reviews here.

Using appliances

Always try to plug appliances directly into the generator or use an adequate extension lead. Check that the entire cord is free of cuts, abrasions or tears and that the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin.

Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet, a practice known as ‘backfeeding’. This is an extremely dangerous practice that presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer.

Summary

If you follow these few steps, you are ensuring that you and your entire family remain safe and out of harm’s way.

Casserole Dish With Beef Bourguignonne

Why Use a Slow Cooker?

There are several reasons why cooking in a slow cooker makes sense. When looking to buy a slow cooker, it is very important to do some research. Make sure the appliance you purchase is the correct size, shape and capacity for your needs. Click on the link to see plenty of crock pot reviews, this will help you make an informed choice.

The Cost

Buying, operating, and cooking with a slow cooker is very cost effective. Slow cookers are very cheap to buy, and can save you huge amounts over purchasing fancy countertop convection toaster ovens and broilers.

The way slow cookers can tenderize meat also means you can save money by purchasing cheaper cuts of meat that would otherwise remain tough.

Vegetarians can also cut their grocery bills by using a slow cooker to soak and cook dried beans saving around 60% over buying canned beans.

Cooking with a crock is also very inexpensive when compared to the costs of running an oven. Using a conventional electric oven for one hour can cost around 20 cents, while operating a slow cooker for 7 hours costs only 10 cents, an energy saving of 50%.

Another major money saving aspect is all to do with how much food you can produce in a slow cooker. You will generally have plenty of left overs which you can either use the next day, or simply freeze and use at a later date. 

Healthy Eating

Cooking a meal from scratch will ensure you know exactly which ingredients have been used, and where the produce has been sourced, which is clearly not the case with pre-prepared meals that can be bought at the local grocery store.

When using a slow cooker, you will not have to use oil or fat, because the natural nutrients from the ingredients will provide this. As long as you trim the fat from your lesser cuts of meat, you well be serving a lower fat meal than those prepared through frying or offered at restaurants. A slow cooked meal will definitely offer a more enjoyable, and far healthier meal option than a take away.

Cooking is Easy

Using a slow cooker is so quick and simple, all you have to do is prepare the ingredients, place them into the pot, turn the appliance on and leave it to do its work. You can leave the slow cooker all day without having to worry. Returning home to a freshly cooked meal is fantastic. Most slow cooker recipes are very simple, there is no need to be a culinary expert.

Quick and Easy Cleaning

Using a slow cooker means that you will only have one pot to clean after the meal. I don’t know many people who enjoy cleaning dishes, so spend more time with your family or friends and less time with dish pan hands after each meal.

Most modern slow cookers have removable cooking pots, this also cuts down on clean ups by allowing you to serve a meal in the crock itself and store leftovers in the refrigerator. This is single dish cooking, serving, and storing at its best.

Slow cookers are at their best in the cold winter months. Macaroni and cheese, slow cooked beef stew, or even chili can be prepared, read for your return. Because the slow cooker keeps all of the meat juices and flavors in the gravy, they are one of the tastiest meals you could produce. Comfort food at its best.

A Time Saver

Along with the money saving aspects, they will save you plenty of time too. Once the food is prepared and placed into the pot, there really is no need to watch over the cooker while it is working its magic.

You can forget about food over boiling, it simply does not happen in a slow cooker, you really don’t have to babysit your meal as it cooks. Who knew that cooking slowly could save you so much time.

So if quick, simple and cost effective cooking is your thing. Treat yourself to a slow cooker, it could change your life.

Under Counter Ice Machines

The Top 5 Under Counter Ice Machines

There are many ice making machines. They come in various shapes and sizes with different capabilities. Below you will find a list of 5 under counter ice machines, simply decide which model you think is the best undercounter ice maker and if you click the link, you will be directed toward a site that is dedicated to the world of ice making machines.

Sunpentown IM-150US Stainless Steel Undercounter Ice Maker with Freezer

This model is perfect for any home. It is available for a very competitive price, which is why it is a top seller. Although it is very affordable, it still has a very good specification.

The machine is finished in black and has a stylish stainless steel door. This ice maker can produce up to 12 pounds of ice per day and has a removable bin, which holds 6 pounds.

Due to its size it will easily fit under any counter top, although you will need a licensed plumber to install the machine as the appliance attaches directly to the main water line.

This would be a good choice for those with budget in mind.

SPT IM-600US Stainless Steel Under-Counter Ice Maker

This model means business. It can provide up to 50 pounds of restaurant quality clear ice per day and because of the front ventilation system and the fact it only stands at 32.8 inches; it will fit neatly under most counters. Although designed as an under counter model, because of its professional stainless steel finish, you will be able to use it in a free standing application because it looks so good.

The removable storage bin can store 25 pounds of ice, making it a great choice in a professional capacity.

The manufacturer recommends using filtered water. They believe this will increase the units’ longevity.

It is not the cheapest option available, but it is certainly a great choice if you require plenty of ice that is produced in a machine that looks the part.

Marvel 30iMT-BS-F-R 15-Inch Wide Under Counter Ice Machine

This company have been producing luxury under counter wine and refrigeration appliances for over 70 years. They always look amazing and are a top quality product. You will pay a little more for one of these models, but they are truly a market leader.

At only 15 inches wide, this ice machine can fit into almost any available cabinet space that is 18 inches or more, yet it produces and stores up to 30 lbs of crystal clear, gourmet ice cubes in 24-hrs.

Finished in brushed stainless steel, it would be a fantastic addition to any kitchen, either as an under counter model, or used in a free standing application.

EdgeStar 45 Pound Undercounter Clear Ice Maker

Running out of ice will never be a problem with this machine. It will make an impressive 45 pounds of restaurant quality ice per day. Finished in commercial grade stainless steel, it will look great in any kitchen.

This appliance is only 32.8 inches high and has a front ventilation system so is perfect for any counter top, it also has stainless steel sides, so if you require a machine to stand alone, it is a great choice for you.

The removable storage bin can hold 25 pounds of ice, making it a perfect choice for entertaining, hosting large parties or even in a professional capacity. You will need a professional plumber to install the appliance for you because it connects directly to the main water line.

Offering plenty of ice, with fantastic modern styling, this could be the machine for you!

Koldfront Built-In Clear Ice Maker – Black

This machine again offers 45 pounds of restaurant quality, clear ice per day. This makes it a good choice for hosting parties or large functions. It features a reversible door so would be a simple addition to any well designed kitchen or home bar.

Like other models, it will fit under most counter tops but also has finished sides if you require it to stand alone.

If you are looking for a machine that looks a little different, this model has a black finish that will add style to any kitchen.

The manufacturer recommends using filtered water, this is to stop bacteria and mould. It also helps control the level of limescale inside the appliance.

It has a 45 pounds per day capacity, yet also manages to store 25 pounds of quality ice. If you are looking for a machine that will add style to your kitchen, as well as being able to produce the ice you require, take a look at this appliance.