If you’re looking to update the look of your home for under $100, take a look at some of these ideas courtesy of This Old House. Be sure to remember that in the cold weather, the most important thing to take care of is your roof and gutters, so be sure to call Reilly Painting for your roof inspection/repair and our gutter cleaning service!
1) Add Carved Corbels Under Your Breakfast Bar
How to do it: Check salvage yards for Victorian-era ones with patina for an extra flourish in the eating area.
Estimated cost: Two 30-inch-high-by-19-inch-deep Queen Anne–style corbels, about 95; Capitol Salvage
2) Hook Yourself Up
How to do it: Wall-mount a row of hooks above your kitchen counter to keep dish towels and measuring cups at the ready.
Estimated cost: Polished chrome Alno utility hooks, about 8 each; Knobs and Hardware
3) Make Your Sink Do Double Duty
How to do it: Fit an undermount sink with a cutting board for more prep space. Measure the length and width of the basin, adding ½ inch to each side. Trim a piece of butcher block to size with a jigsaw. Then create a lip around its underside so that it will rest on the edge of the counter.
Estimated cost: 18-by-12-inch maple block, about 86; Butcher Block Co.
Read more at This Old House
Pizza Dough Recipe
For me, there is nothing better than making fresh pizza when it gets cold out. It’s a great way to spend some time indoors with the family, make your own pizzas with whatever toppings you want (try bbq steak, guacamole and crushed up tortilla chips) and sit down with a good movie. But instead of buying dough that’s already been made, try making your own with this amazing recipe:
I can make a mean pizza, but it took me a while to learn how. Maybe I should rephrase that – I can make a mean pizza, but it took me a while to find the right teacher. For a long time I didn’t really know where to look for guidance – I just knew I wanted pizza the way I’d enjoyed it in Rome and Naples.
I was smart enough to know early on, if you’ve got bad dough you are destined to have bad pizza. Figuring out the dough factor was not as easy as you might think. As I got going, my oven gobbled up the fruits of many deflated attempts – a little yeast here, a lot of yeast there, this flour, that flour, knead by hand, knead by mixer, high baking temps, lower baking temps, and on and on.
Then I was given a hint. A gift, really. My friends and I would visit a favorite tiny pizza place in San Francisco quite often. We would go to eat, but also to try to absorb some of the good pizza karma flowing from their single-shelf, Baker’s Pride oven. We spent a lot of time there, not because we wanted to know their secrets really – but primarily because the food was so good. We would end up chatting for hours over thin-crusts and more thin-crusts. One could see the flour shipments come in, the cheese deliveries transpire, and the wine selections rotate through the seasons. All the while, my homespun pizzas weren’t improving much. Its not that they were bad, it was more that the dough was tempermental and tasted so-so. I wanted a dough that was on the thin side, crunched a bit as you bit into it, with minimal cardboard factor. And I knew I was not interested in a chewy, bready, or deep-dish type crust.
Looking to do some major cleaning but don’t want to spend that much? Take a look at some of these tips courtesy of This Old House:
Shop the Dollar Store
Shop the dollar store rather than your local home center to buy specialty tools you may use only once or twice for projects such as cable or phone wiring.
Cost: $1 per item.
Savings:$25 for curved long-nose pliers and $20 for a coaxial compression crimper at The Home Depot.
Bonus: No worries if tools break.
Extend the Lives of Filters
Extend the lives of filters in some air purifiers, bathroom fans, window air conditioners, and even your furnace by vacuuming out dust and loose dirt. Just be sure your vacuum is HEPA equipped to keep fine particulates from being released into the air.
Savings: About $40 for two replacement air-purifier filters. You typically have to change them four times a year, but thorough cleaning can cut that down to just two times.
Bonus: While you’ve got the vacuum nozzle hooked up, use it to suck up dust bunnies and spiderwebs in hard-to-reach places.
Read more at This Old House
These 6 simple tips done every morning and evening can dramatically improve your mood, organizational skills and life. Easy things like waking up a little earlier and making “to-do” list can really help reduce stress, which is especially important as we approach the holiday season. Contact your Home Mechanics to start crossing things off of you to-do list.
Improve Your Productivity and Life Using These 6 Tips
How to Have an Instantly Better Quality of Life…
At the beginning of the day
1. Wake up 10 minutes early - Not having to rush around in the morning makes such difference.
2. Make your bed – Set the stage for a more organized day by doing this simple task of straightening out your blankets and pillows.
3. Create a “To-Do” list - Having a plan for the day will keep you on task and will increase the likelihood of actually getting done what you need to.
At the end of the day
4. Pack your lunch for the next day - Another way to avoid that rushed morning chaos and have a calmer start to the day.
5. Take 5 minutes to clear random clutter - Putting away those loose papers and misplaced items doesn’t take long if you stay on top of it.
6. Jot down at least 3 things you’re grateful for - Even on the crappiest of days being able to seek out what’s actually going okay helps to keep things in perspective and helps you savor the good days and moments that much more.
Get great tips to improve your financial life from And Then We Saved
Hire the Right Contractor
Picture this: You hire a contacting company to remodel your dining room. You found them in the yellow books, got an estimate that cost you a little bit of money, and had them come over to start work the next day. First day goes well, you come home form work and see the first stages of the remodeling have gone underway. You know you need this done by the weekend because you’re having a dinner party. Second day arrives, and problems start to arise. The foreman tells you it’s going to take another day, which means more money, and more stress on you…remember, you have that dinner party. You notice that the workers start to show up late, and are not cleaning up after the work, dust and garbage littered everywhere. By the end of it, you become in charge, having to remind the foreman that you need it done by the weekend and that his workers are showing up way too late. Don’t you hate this? The job finally gets done a day late, you had put another zero at the end of the check, and you barely have time to get to the store to buy groceries for your party. Here is a short and decisive list of reasons on why hiring the right contractor is one of the most important steps in making sure all your home repair needs get finished:
1) You want a contractor that will show up and finish the job on time.
2) You’re way too busy, and want one company to do it all.
3) You’re under the gun, and need to get it done.
4) Why do these contractors not show up sometimes?
Reilly Painting & Contractor is the solution for all your home repair needs.
Secret Dirty Spots In Your Kitchen
You may be surprised by some of these secret spots in your kitchen that pick up a lot of germs and grime. Stay clean and healthy!
The Refrigerator Door Handle
The microbes that live on chicken, pork and beef can almost always be found on a refrigerator door handle, according to Dr. Eric E. Schadt, chairman of the department of genetics and genomics sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and chief scientific officer of Pacific Biosciences.
Germ blogger Jo Dickerson agrees, saying cross-contamination is the biggest problem in the kitchen.
Dickerson, who — in the blog “Poop on a Hot Tin Slide” — writes about her germ-focused Expression of obsessive compulsive disorder “and various other nasty phobias,” said, “People probably cross-contaminate all the time in the kitchen and never realize it.”
“For example,” she says, “if they’re preparing chicken and reach into the drawer for a fork or knife, they’ve gotten chicken germs on the drawer’s handle and then on the utensils inside the drawer too.”
Hand washing is the quickest and simplest way to prevent this contamination, says Dr. Ellen Neuhaus, director for infectious diseases for the Eastern Connecticut Health Network in Vernon, Connecticut. The problem, she says, is that many people do not know how to wash their hands correctly.
“The trick to doing proper hand hygiene is to use soap and water for 15 seconds and to shut off the faucet with a paper towel or the elbow,” Neuhaus explains. “Shutting it off with the hands only recontaminates the hands with the very organisms that were on them when they opened the water faucet.
Read more at eHow Home
Setup Those Ingredients
Have a big dinner party coming up or planning a special dinner this weekend? If you love to cook but sometimes have a “mess up” here are some tips for correcting them as well as the most common cooking mistakes we make in the kitchen.
Not Setting Up Your Ingredients Before You Cook
If you have ever accidentally used confectioners’ sugar instead of cornstarch or used salt instead of sugar, chances are you forgot to gather all your ingredients before you started cooking. The next time you start a recipe, make sure you have prepped properly and set up your mise en place. It will make you a more efficient cook and you can avoid using a cup of salt in your cake or scrambling around the kitchen trying to find the can opener.
Not Giving Yourself Enough Time to Cook
The quickest way to mess up a dish is to rush through the process. If you know that a recipe is going to take two hours from start to finish, do not start the dish an hour before dinner. Cook a meal that is going to take a shorter amount of time and tackle the more time-consuming dishes later.
Overcrowding Your Pan When Searing
The reason we brown meat is to add flavor, but if you overcrowd your pan, your meat will never brown. Because food releases moisture when it is cooking, foods that are left in a crowded pan will steam instead of searing. Cook your food in batches or use two pans so the process is faster.
Read more at Yahoo
With Halloween getting closer, it’s time to post some rules and safety tips for the kids. Remember that trick-or-treating in Cleveland Heights is set for October 31st from 6pm-8pm. Have fun, and be sure to handout some good candy…no pencils!
- Have each child carry or wear something lit, such as a flashlight, glow bracelet or necklace, or flashing attire for visibility. Light-up shoes are also practical, and ever-so-noticeable on a dark Halloween night.
- Adults should plan out a route in advance and check it during the daylight for such obstacles as broken sidewalks (or no sidewalks), construction timber, or other obstacles that could trip up trick or trickers. Trick or treat in familiar neighborhoods or areas.
- Require well-fitting shoes to be worn; preferably sneakers. While adorable in the store as a costume accessory, kids planning to go trick or treat should wear sturdy shoes and not the princess high-heel, too-large boots, or other types of shoes often shown with costumes. Save those types of shoes for costume parties and not when a child is going trick or treat. Their feet–and most likely you who may end up carrying either the shoes or the child–will be thankful.
- Avoid costumes that drag on the ground. While cute initially, costumes that drag can trip up little
- feet, get caught on bushes, and create a tussle that sometimes results in the child wanting to remove the costume. Remember, kids who trick or treat want to be costumed AND comfortable.
- With the thought of comfort, pick costumes that are bathroom-friendly as well. On this same subject, parents should pre-plan a bathroom stop along the way (a friends’ house will do and is a good time for a water break as well), or at a public facility if driving.
Read more at About
Courtesy of Cleveland Magazine
If you are looking for some new places to eat, take a look at some of these great restaurants and pubs that Cleveland has to offer. The Cleveland Magazine dives in deeper, giving us some of their favorites go-to places to eat. Enjoy!
At an upscale restaurant, lamb will run you $25 or $30, but Tremont Tap House lets you sample the finer things in life at bar-food prices. Chef Andrew Gorski, who took over Tap House’s kitchen about five months ago, keeps costs down on the high-end meat by deboning and breaking down the leg of lamb himself. He roasts it and uses 4 ounces on the new menu’s lamb tartine ($14), an open-face sandwich especially popular in Europe. “A sandwich is something you find at every bar,” Gorski says. “We’re trying to refine some of the food found in a bar.” The result is a toasty pumpernickel slice stacked with rich, creamy garlic aioli; vibrant green, peppery watercress; the rare lamb; and a topping of pink, tangy pickled onions. It’s a masterful balance of flavors, textures and colors that holds up to fine dining fare. Wash It Down: “Lamb is pretty rich and strong; you need a beer that can stand up to that,” says owner Chris Lieb, who recommends a Scotch ale, strong ale or double IPA. 2572 Scranton Road, Cleveland, 216-298-4451, tremonttaphouse.com
When chef John Bausone began retooling the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern’s menu, released in October, he wanted to add a sandwich that would speak to the neighborhood’s Slovenian roots. He set out to concoct a traditional Po’ Boy by using local sausage from R&D Sausage Co., a shop across the street. He slapped some mustard on it, stuck it in a toasted bun, and stuffed it with Yukon Gold fries and Carolina-style coleslaw. But it was missing something. “In the South, they put barbecue sauce in it,” he says. “I tried it with some of my homemade maple barbecue sauce that I mixed with a bit of mustard, and it was great.” Dubbed a Slo’ Boy ($7), the tasty sweet and spicy sandwich overflows with fries and coleslaw, so it’ll really fill you up, too. Wash It Down: To go with this European sausage, Bausone likes the Czech-style Lagunitas Pilsner. 15711 Waterloo Road, Cleveland, 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com
Read more at Cleveland Magazine