Archive for the 'Tips and Advice' Category

What Are Some Bacon Lovers’ Must-Have Cooking Accessories? 21Oct14

It’s a fact: no meat eater can resist bacon. It takes any breakfast from ordinary to extraordinary, and it has the ability to add enjoyable crunch to any sandwich. If you love bacon, you’ll want to honor this crispy treat with the kind of preparation it deserves. Whip up this savory snack with specialty kitchen tools and gadgets to create unique bacon dishes. There’s no wrong way to enjoy bacon, but there are tons of fun ways to chomp down!


Cook your Bacon in Style


Bacon Bowls


These nifty little cups allow you to fold strips of bacon into a mold and stick in the oven or microwave. They are perfect for serving morning eggs, or home fries. Kids can help make the bowls and they love to eat them, too! Put chili or potato and leek soup in a bacon bowl for an interesting take on a bread bowl. A great quality about this bacon bowl maker is that there is a cavity around the bowl for collecting grease. You won’t get burned because it all stays below the form. If you have a large family to feed, you may use an upside down cupcake tray, although you should be careful of the hot liquid!


Powercrisp & Ceramic Mug



Dishwasher safe and easy to clean, this cooking rack is a healthier way to consume salty strips of meat with your entire family. As the bacon cooks, the grease falls into the pan below so the strips don’t sit in oil as they would with traditional pan cooking. Cover with a paper towel and stick in the microwave. You’ll never get stung with popping grease and you can cook other dishes of your meal as the bacon sizzles. To remove strips, simply slide a knife between the clear ‘tent’ pieces and lift all 5 pieces at a time. You may also try a ceramic mug with a built-in saucer found on our small kitchen appliances page. The glazed stone heats up in the microwave to a temperature hot enough to crisp bacon to perfect little strips of heaven. The saucer catches the grease and has a tiny spout for easy disposal.


Creative Consumption and Storage


After you’ve cooked the bacon, now what do you do? Make bacon cheeseburgers, of course! Place cooked bacon, cheese, mushrooms and onions on a thin patty and top with another patty. This can get messy, so we suggest using a tool like the Stufz Burger Press to make one of the patties into a bowl shape, another on top and a nice squeeze all around. This way, the bacon stays in the burger and won’t slip out from underneath the bun—every bite is wonderful and bacon-filled!


When you’re finished cooking your bacon, toss the greasy packaging it came in and store remaining pieces in a clean, re-sealable container for optimal freshness. The Bacon Keeper is a plastic case suited for bacon and deli meats and can be found under our food storage page. It snaps shut and will keep bacon fresh for days longer than the original packet.


If you love bacon, you’re not alone. Share the bounty and cook up some tasty cuts with some of these cool gadgets from Taylor Gifts! These tools are excellent gifts for the bacon lovers in your family and make eating bacon a slightly healthier, simpler and more enjoyable task. Check out the many bacon cooking accessories on our kitchen cookware page today!

What Are Some Car Cleaning Essentials for Interior Detailing? 14Oct14

Most people will only let the interior of their car accumulate so much junk, and then it’s time for a good cleaning. As the months go by, your car fills with wrappers, receipts, grime and dirt.


When it’s finally time to clean out your car, you can start by sliding the front seats back and then cleaning out the junk that is hidden underneath them. You can grab the big stuff and use a vacuum on the rest. Then slide the seats forward and remove all the stuff you find below.


You won’t be able to imagine what you might find when you fully clean out the interior of your car. Pencils, pens and piles of small change are usually on the list. Vacuum off the seats, the mats and the carpet, states Family Handyman.


You’ll want to use a smaller attachment to do the dashboard and the insides of the doors. Those pockets on the doors are always gathering dust and candy wrappers. A carpet cleaner with attachments will remove the deeper dirt and clean your cloth seats.


Deep dirt settles into your car’s floor carpeting, too. Spray the carpet with a special solution of cleaner and water and then use the carpet cleaner to suck all the nastiness out. It will pay for itself if you buy a small carpet cleaner for your car, as compared to renting a machine when all you want to clean is the vehicle.

Leather and vinyl seats can be cleaned and conditioned. Use a cleaner that is made for vinyl and leather, and then follow it up with a leather conditioner, to keep the seat material soft and supple.


If you want to do the bumpers, headlights, mirrors and door handles, try the Detail Doctor, as seen on TV. It’s recommended by Danny the Count of “Counting Cars” and “Pawn Stars”, and his cars always look great.


Source:

http://www.familyhandyman.com/automotive/car-maintenance/interior-car-cleaning/view-all

How Do You Keep Loved Ones Safe in Your Yard? 30Sep14

While backyards are wonderful for gardening and relaxing after a long day of work, they are also great for spending quality time with children or grandchildren. Having a relaxing space for kids to unwind encourages play and promotes a healthy lifestyle. Of course, keeping little ones injury-free should take top priority, so consider taking the following steps to make your garden a safe haven.


Keep your lawn free of large rocks and remove old tree stumps to avoid tripping. Be sure to clear the grass of protruding roots and fallen branches as well.


Utilize solar lighting to ensure that the setting is properly illuminated to lessen the chance of children wandering out of your line or sight or falling. Taylor Gifts outdoor lights collection has plenty of attractive yard designs and solar holiday strings and displays.


Cover the floor of any playground area with a shock-absorbing material, like rubber or mulch, 9 to 12 inches below the play set. Kids love to jump off swing and slides, so avoid any broken bones with this simple precaution.


Young children will put just about anything in their mouths, so be aware of the plants growing in your yard. Don’t overlook potentially poisonous plants sprouting along the edges of your property.


Don’t use power tools or lawn mowers around young children. When finished, store tools in your shed or garage and always keep kids away from grills or fires.


Proper fencing is important, especially if you have kids and pets running around. A barrier around your pool may seem like an eyesore, but it will be more than worth it to protect your family from slips and spills. Fencing around your land can allow children and pets to run free, which also means fewer trips to the park!


Plant trees for shade in the warmer months and delight in watching them grow alongside your children. If you spray pesticides on your lawn, be sure to keep off for 48 hours.


Remove large bee hives and ant hills to avoid pesky bites and stings. Take the party inside before dusk or stay in a netted area for late-night gatherings.


Strategically position patio furniture so you can relax while keeping an eye on little ones. Purchase a set with a mosquito canopy for added protection from disease-carrying pests and an umbrella for sun defense. Patio umbrellas and tiki torches are excellent safe guards as well as add a fun, beachy vibe to your space!


Accidents can happen anywhere, so safety must be a top priority in and around your home to protect your loved ones. Your yard should be an oasis where your family can let loose and really have fun. The most important and least costly precaution you can take in your yard is to provide active supervision and to just be present. Many accidents are preventable by simply having an extra set of eyes around. Taking preventative measures will ensure you and your family can enjoy the outdoors in comfort year round.

How Can You Go Green with Energy Saver Products? 16Sep14

How do you go green at home? Monitoring your use of electricity is one great way to determine how to save money and be more conservation-minded. Pro Power Saver monitors your real-time electric consumption and lets you know how much power your appliances are using. This is a helpful product to help you understand how much power your household uses.


Once you know how much power you use, you can typically cut your electric bill up to 15%, according to a recent study by IBM quoted in Good Housekeeping. It’s only by learning what appliances use the most power that you can effectively cut back where it makes the most sense.



You can purchase a device that turns down your thermostat at specific times of the night or day, too. Each degree lower on your thermostat for eight hours cuts your energy usage by roughly one percent. If you set your thermostat back 10 degrees at night while you’re snuggled in bed, you could save about 10%.


Motion sensor entry lights help to save money on your electric bill. They detect movement up to about 25 feet away, and then power on to light up your
driveway or walkway. It’s an excellent product if you have children coming home after dark, or just to light your way when you get home late, yourself.


You can also use motion sensors on your indoor lights. They turn the lights off when no one is around. They are especially useful for areas in your home
that you don’t use as often, like guest rooms and basements. Consider solar products for
outdoor lighting throughout the year.


Ceiling fans help save energy by bringing warm air back down to your level in the
wintertime. During cold months, the fan should run clockwise, so that it pushes warm air down where you can enjoy it. This can reduce heating costs and
help you feel warmer without turning up the thermostat.


Source:


http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/green-living/energy-saving-tips#slide-1

Be More Productive with the Right Office Furniture 09Sep14

Office furniture can make the difference between a place that is easy to work in and an office where you can never find what you need. The desk is a most important choice. There are so many styles and varieties that it may be hard to pick one out.


If you have a home office, you can choose mix and match computer desk components and build just the right workspace for your needs. They come in sets of five pieces, and you can choose just the pieces you need. They’ll work along the wall or in a corner. From cabinets to computer and writing desks, these sets have you covered.


Offices require the proper furniture for you to get your work done in comfort. Whether you need a small desk or a larger model, you can shop many stores in addition to office furniture stores, to find what you need, according to Christian Net: Office Furniture.



Smaller offices might seem easier to furnish, but you have to be even more careful in a small space not to get too much furniture for the size of the room. You can buy small desks that can still be perfectly functional. For most purposes, you’ll be able to find what you need online or in local stores.


Laptop computer carts are quite handy for smaller offices, since they are mobile and compact. They have a cherry finish for good looks and a pullout shelf that will work very well for your laptop or netbook. You can even set up a small printer, and there is also room for manuals, books and office supplies. A file drawer is a great place for those important papers you don’t want to lose.


Office furniture dealers realize that everyone needs something different in office furniture sizes and styles. That’s why so many different desks, chairs and other pieces are available for sale for your office.


Source:


http://www.christianet.com/furniture/officefurnituredesks.htm

September is National Courtesy Month – Guest Related Products 02Sep14

When you invite guests into your home, you want them to be as comfortable as possible. When relatives or friends spend the night, they may not be accustomed to the temperature at which you keep your house. A lovely throw at the end of the guest room bed will give them a chance to snuggle in if they need to. It also adds design and flair to the room, states Chicago Tribune.



People may want a quick drink if they wake up at night when they are staying with you. A simple carafe on their nightstand gives them a chance to take a sip without even having to get out of bed.


Welcome friends and neighbors to your home with a door mat that will give them a smile. One particular design states “Live well, Laugh often, Leave soon”. They know you don’t mean it, and that’s what makes it funny. Outdoor mats should be sturdy and washable with a garden hose. Some mats also have rubber backing, so they won’t slip on your porch.


If you have guests staying at your home, leave them a comfortable robe on a chair by their bedside. You can find robes in many materials and colors, and his gives your guests a chance to wander down to the kitchen to share some coffee before they head into the bathroom for their morning shower.


When you hold a party, make it a more festive event with a lighted beverage fountain. The liquid is first pumped toward the top, and then it cascades from one tier to another through holes located on each bowl. The effect of a waterfall will allow your guests to fill up their cups with delicious punch without needing a ladle. The base is illuminated and lights the entire bowl and its beverage, creating a wonderful centerpiece.


Source:


http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-11/features/sc-cons-0110-goods-guest-room-20130111_1_guests-touches-goods

Back to School Items You Don’t Realize You Need 29Aug14

The days are still getting hotter, but the day is fast approaching – the first day back to school. While you are already planning what you are going to do during those first blissful days of being kid free, you are also getting all those back to school items together as well. While you are out shopping, there are some essentials you need to include, even though they are not listed on your child’s school supply list.


1. Printer Ink – It seems like there is always a permission slip that is needed, or a report that your child forgot to print the night before. Instead of doing the mad scramble to the store to get that rapidly disappearing ink, make sure to stock up on it before school ever gets started.



2. Disinfectant Wipes – Back to school means closer proximity to germs, many, many, germs. Buy a few extra containers of disinfectant wipes for your kitchen and your car. That way, you can simply wipe away those nasty germs that you know your child is bringing home with them, and depositing all over your house and car.


3. Deodorant – Tweens and teens sweat, whether due to an un-air-conditioned classroom, gym class, or after school sports and activities. Make sure your children are not creating a buzz with their pits instead of their prowess – buy several containers of deodorant so there is always a backup available. You can even buy a few extra so they can keep one in their locker or book bag for touchups.


Back to school can be frustrating as you all readjust from your summer routines, but these three must-haves will help save a lot of headache, and mad dashes to the store when you are not even awake yet.


Source:


http://alphamom.com/parenting/education-parenting/back-to-school-essentials-you-didnt-realize-you-needed-until-now/

Things to Take with You on a Road Trip in August 26Aug14

There is no doubt that road trips are fun and exciting, if you are prepared. If not, each step of the trip can seem like it takes a million years, and just as much cash to get everything you left at home. If you are deciding to take a road trip in August, there are a few things you need to make sure you have – before you ever hit the road.


1. Sunglasses. Driving in the summer can be hard on the eyes, unless you remember to pack your sunglasses. The glare of the sun will make you uncomfortable, and the constant squinting can lead to headaches or overly tired eyes, which is something that can make driving dangerous.


2. Cooler. Even if your vehicle has air conditioning, you will still need a cooler that can hold plenty of ice for your water bottles, sodas, and refrigerated snacks. This is also a great way to change out some of those sugary and salty snacks for some healthy carrots or fruit. Depending on how long you plan on driving each day, just purchase small bags of ice along the way to make sure everything stays cool under the hot summer rays, or use refreezable ice packs if you are staying overnight in a hotel.



3. Water. Sitting in the hot car during a traffic jam can quickly cause dehydration, so make sure to pack plenty of water and liquids to beat the heat. While you always have the option of picking these up while you are on the road, it is much cheaper to buy in bulk rather than relying on convenience stores.


These items will make sure you are comfortable, safe, and prepared for your upcoming August road trip.


Source


http://www.smartertravel.com/photo-galleries/editorial/how-to-pack-yourself-and-your-car-for-a-summer-road-trip.html?id=478&all=1

Keeping Your Home Green – Limiting Water Usage in the Yard 18Aug14

‘Green’ isn’t just a color — it’s also a way of life. Adopting ecofriendly practices and limiting your carbon footprint are two very respectable actions that will put less stress on the Earth and our environment. It may seem daunting to start a green lifestyle, but it all starts with one step.


The backyard is a bit of a water hog. Here are a few ways you can use H20 in your yard in a smart and conscious way.


Knowing When to Water


Utilizing watering hoses and accessories in the early morning, when winds are light and temperatures are cool, helps to prevent evaporation.


As a very general rule, you can expect to water your lawn once every three days in the summer and once every five days in the winter. The top two or three
inches of grass will be dry if it is in need of some water.


It’s also time for a drink if your grass leaves footprints when you walk across it where the blades don’t spring back up. Conversely, if your lawn is very light in color and grows fungi, lay off on the sprinklers for a bit.


Reuse and Cruise


Have your gutters empty into a rain barrel with a built-in tap. Then, attach a hose and you’re all set to reuse the rain water on your luscious lawn! Some rain barrels are designed to be collapsible for off-season storage and have a mesh paneling to produce cleaner water.


Start a compost pile using old fruit and various food rinds and remains you would normally toss. This means less garbage for you to collect and more love for your plants! Flower beds and gardens greatly benefit from compost, as it keeps plants cool and helps to hold in moisture.


Organic mulch also helps to prevent evaporation from soil to save you hundreds of dollars a year in water costs. Use about two to four inches of mulch per
year on your garden or lawn.


Devices and Such


Instead of tossing ice cubes, place them in potted and hanging plants to offer your botanicals a cool drink of water without overflow. Or use a
self-watering basket with a built-in wick for slow water absorption.


To make sure your sprinklers don’t run when it’s raining, install a rain sensor on your irrigation controller.



Install a flow meter or a hose timer on your spigot to gauge how long you’d like the water to run when watering plants.


You can still maintain a beautiful yard while being kind to the Earth. Start by taking just a few of these actions and discover how great you feel about
doing them. For additional items that will make your yard and home ecofriendly, take a look at oursolar powered outdoor lights and energy saving products. Your efforts will help the environment and you will be one step closer to being green!

Keeping Your Home Green Using Solar Power 11Aug14

We constantly hear about global warming and pollution on Earth, but what are some simple actions we can take to be more kind to our planet? Reducing your carbon footprint could be as simple simply installing compact fluorescent light bulbs. After all, each CFL bulb can save you upwards of $40.00 over its lifetime and only uses a third of the energy that average bulbs do. Other actions can include carpooling to and from work; unplugging devices that aren’t currently in use and, most of all, harnessing solar power.


Let’s talk about solar driven devices. ‘Solar powered’ means exactly what you think it does—powered by the sun. Solar paneled gadgets use photovoltaic material which mimics the photosynthesis process normally found in plants. This kind of energy is clean and does not produce any emissions, so you can get electricity without harming the environment.


Powering your home with solar panels can be costly, but if you live in a sunny climate and plan on living in your home for several years, it may be a good decision for you and your family. After you pay off the initial cost of the panels, you will have free electricity you can even sell back to energy providers.


For those of us who aren’t ready for that kind of investment but do want to cut down on electricity usage, there are other solar powered lights and devices that can be used for the home. You can line your walkway with green lamps and keep a door light for entering and exiting your home. Place some adorable solar powered critters in the yard for company, as pictured below. Or adorn a railing or tree with twinkling solar powered Christmas lights you can use all year round. Any of these options not only spruce up your lawn or garden, but they are completely free after the initial purchase. No plugs, no fuss; and you’re reducing your carbon footprint while making yourp property a safer place to be! How can you go wrong?


We all have a responsibility to leave the world in decent shape for future generations. The Earth is not a place to trash! Let’s feel good about little choices we make throughout the day and be good to this planet, one step at a time.


For additional environmentally-friendly items, check out our energy saving products.