Movie nights and delicate dinners: spark the romantic flame with a themed dinner

Movie nights and delicate dinners: spark the romantic flame with a themed dinner

The internet has done us both a favour and disfavour. We have the world at our fingertips, yet, when knowing what our significant other needs to spark their romantic flame, it’s as if we’ve lost the game entirely. If, however, your significant other is a foodie, this makes your life a whole lot easier. You need not even be a great chef to pull this off, all it takes is a bit of imagination and a bit of planning, and you’re set. By adding a small thoughtful gift or card, it’s sure to be an evening for the memory bank.

 

Cirque de Soleil

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Modern day society putting strain on the romance, is there a way out?

Modern day society putting strain on the romance, is there a way out?

Economic conditions have drastically changed, and all the demands in running a household could put a lot of pressure on couples. There is no distinction between married and unmarried couples, or working and stay-at-home moms. The reality is, distraction comes from every angle. So how do we balance the demands of a busy lifestyle with the much needed romantic aspect? Oftentimes love isn’t the issue, time seems to be a deciding factor where our love lives are concerned. Setting the balance straight is not a job or duty, it is a means to reconnect with your partner and ensure a healthy relationship for the long term. However, that is easier said than done, how do we start?

 

Creating Time

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MANY DIY WAYS TO PUT THE ROMANCE BACK IN YOUR LIFE AND KEEP IT THERE FOR A LONG TIME TO COME

MANY DIY WAYS TO PUT THE ROMANCE BACK IN YOUR LIFE AND KEEP IT THERE FOR A LONG TIME TO COME

How Romantic are you?

Some people are just not the romantic type so if your partner is one of them then they may need a little guidance and encouragement from you. If your husband or wife is one of these non-romantic types then start them off by making suggestions about small things that will make you happy. Ask your husband or boyfriend to buy you flowers on the spur of the moment and not only after an argument or for a birthday or anniversary. Let him know that this is very romantic and it will make you feel more loving towards him. Relationships are a matter of give and take so it should come naturally that if someone does something nice for you that you will want to willingly return the favor. Just make sure that no-one is keeping a score card here as that will definitely put a dampener on any romance.

 

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Make your home romantic with the help of nature

Make your home romantic with the help of nature

In the bleak of midwinter you can use the bounty of nature to make your home feel cosy, warm, inviting and best of all – romantic.You really do not have to wait around for months and months to enjoy the fruits of another season and all the outside has to offer.You can brighten your house and home right now with a lot that the outdoors has to offer when we think so much of nature has gone to hibernating sleep for the winter.You can still bring a little romantic sunshine into your home with these suggestions for incorporating natural elements into your decorations.There are armfuls of branches, twigs, and vines to be collected when you are next strolling in the park or the woodlands near your home. With these you will be able to create new styles and crafts to bring some stunning displays to your home. You could wrap a vine around a piece of your furniture. You could also employ it as an inspiring garland for a vase instead of using dried flowers.

 

Give nature a winter home

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Make your bedroom sexy - on a budget

Make your bedroom sexy - on a budget

You can make your bedroom space a lot more inviting and intimate by adding a splash of romance to the decoration. You don't need to be rolling in money to make a big difference - you can do it all on a budget.The important key is to focus on those small, subtle touches that can have a very big impact on a room's overall feel.Even in small splashes, the textures and colours that suit are able to transform a bedroom into an ideal haven of romance-- leaving the bank intact.

 

Color Change

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HOW TO REVIVE THE ROMANCE IN YOUR LIFE WITH A DIY DATE NIGHT EVERY WEEK

HOW TO REVIVE THE ROMANCE IN YOUR LIFE WITH A DIY DATE NIGHT EVERY WEEK

Picnic Day is for Romance

A picnic day may sound like a bit of a boring option if you are considering putting the romance back in your life but it is a simple starting point for your first date. It will bring back some memories of when you were starting out and dating on a shoe string budget. You may be thinking to yourself that not much has changed since then except that you are twenty years older, have two beautiful children and a bank full of debt to your name. Ok – we all know that life is tough but that doesn’t mean we need to allow it to get us down.Make a date with your significant other to have a picnic over the weekend to get away from the rat race. Farm the children out to friends, neighbours or willing family members and prepare for your big day. Having fun doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, it just takes the will to put the romance back in your life and you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

 

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Honeymoon at home: skip the trip and make your home your ideal honeymoon destination

Honeymoon at home: skip the trip and make your home your ideal honeymoon destination

The slide in the economic climate a few years ago has really sent a number of marriage proposals down a road of worry and debt crisis. Couples were left slicing their budgets down to the bare minimum and in some instances, taking out loans to fund their sudden financial position. With this though, a new trend has developed where the honeymoon is no longer the far-off destination or romantic getaway like years before, couples have decided to focus their attention and funds on something more practical: creating a space of tranquillity at home.Enjoying the space you’re living in makes sense, and is more sustainable in the long run.

 

Private Garden

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Home is where the heart is: Three ways to ensure the romance is not lost at home

Home is where the heart is: Three ways to ensure the romance is not lost at home

Being in a relationship for a few years does not mean romance has to fly out the door just because you’re used to one another. It may demand a little more effort, but the results will be well worth it. Working on your relationship with your spouse or partner should demand more of your effort and time than your work, according to those in the know. That is a tall order in modern society and not an easy feat to accomplish.

 

Hire a Babysitter

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Big ideas for small spaces: gadgets that have both style and function, at a fraction of the size

Big ideas for small spaces: gadgets that have both style and function, at a fraction of the size

Living in the big city or moving into modern apartments often leave you feeling cramped, especially if you’re used to a bigger space. Technology is here to help you, and you need not compromise on comfort to enjoy all life’s little pleasures.

 

Counter top Dishwashers

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How to choose the right cooker for you

How to choose the right cooker for you

Selecting the correct cooking appliance depends onthe amount of space you have allocated and this will be determined by how you prefer to cook. As the cooks among us spend the majority of our time at home in the kitchen, it really is important to find the equipment that is right for you and your home.This cooker buying guide aims to steer you through the maze of a range of stand-alone and built-in appliances to aid you in your decision making, whether you are buying the first cooker in your life or replacing that old model that has served you so well for so many years.The idea is that you will learn what you need to know about the key appliance features and the numerous technologies that are available on modern-day cookers, ovens and hobs, from the mighty range cooker with all the accessories to the simplest electric stove.To see the differences yourself, the best advice is to call into one of your local kitchen equipment retail stores.

 

Range cookers

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Heavenly bathroom retreats: Why settle for ordinary when a few gadgets can turn your bathroom into a spa-like retreat

Heavenly bathroom retreats: Why settle for ordinary when a few gadgets can turn your bathroom into a spa-like retreat

For most of us, coming home after a long day usually involves taking off your shoes, sorting out dinner and eventually you sink into the couch to watch the telly. What if you had the option to visit a spa every day of your life? The initial investment may be a costly one, but well worth the effect it has on your stress levels. Pair this with some diffusers in your favourite fragrance, strategically placed candles, and you’re well on your way to bathroom bliss.

 

Musical Tubs

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Dealing with ticks in your landscape.

Dealing with ticks in your landscape.

Ticks can be a nuisance in your landscape, and they are known to spread Lyme disease, a blood bone disease that is harmful. Therefore, it is important to get rid of them as well as preventing them from accessing your land. Ticks inhabit areas that are bushy and grassy and have a shade or with trees. They also like areas of high humidity. It is clear that ticks are found in places that are also visited by deer. This means that to get rid of ticks, you should get rid of the bushy areas that are tick friendly. Trim the yard regularly to remove overgrown and dead vegetation. Remove vines together with plants that make a place bushy. Clearing will help expose the areas to the sunlight, one of the deterrents of ticks. Make sure that the grass is mowed on a regular basis. This will deny the ticks an environment where they can thrive while at the same time allowing the sunshine to get in. Ensure that there are no tall grasses near the lawn or the house. Because ticks like to live in dark and damp areas, remove dead leaves and vegetation piles from the yard. These measures will ensure that the ticks do not have a place to stay on the grass or in the vegetation nearby.


To get rid of ticks, use pesticides that have been approved and safe. You should do this in the late spring and towards the early summer. This will prevent the ticks from increasing in number on the lawns. Make sure that you follow instructions on the labels of the pesticides. Some of the pesticides that you can use are Esfenvalerate and lambda-cyhalothrin. Other measures that you can take to control the ticks include fencing the yard to keep animals such as deer and coyotes away. Ticks use such animals to travel, and if the animals do not access your yard, neither will the ticks. Ticks like damp places. Therefore, you should ensure that if you have firewood, you keep it in a dry and neat place so that the ticks do not find a place to hide.


You and your family can also bring tick into the yard. Make sure that the areas that children play do not have tall grasses that can have ticks by clearing them. Check for the ticks when you go out in places that are likely to be invested. You should do this even for the children and pets. Check the ticks on the hairline, on legs and underarms and remove them. Take care not to squeeze the tick until it regurgitates on where it is attached to your body as it may pass diseases to you like the lyme disease. You can also make a natural repellant for the ticks. The repellant is made from citrus. You need to boil water, about 2 cups and add 2 chopped lemons, oranges, or limes. Boil it for a minute and simmer for an hour. Strain the parts of the fruits in a jar, allow it to cool and then pour it into a sprayer. Use the natural repellant to repel ticks on your family, pets and the yard.

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21st Century kitchens: the future is now with the help of a few must have gadgets

21st Century kitchens: the future is now with the help of a few must have gadgets

When you’re not only a foodie, but also an entertainer, nothing sets the tone more than working in an environment that is conducive to keeping the creative juices flowing, and well, cooking. By introducing a few gadgets to your kitchen, it can take it not only to the next level, but also make your cooking experience one to enjoy. Fair warning: You may never want to get out of the kitchen again!

 

Interactive Cook top

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Organization is the Key to Keeping a Home Tidy

Organization is the Key to Keeping a Home Tidy

As an interior designer, the most important thing to you is the way a space looks, and feels to the client. You want to design homes that people love to see, love to be in, and love to show off to their friends, but if you do not design a home that is easy to care for your client will not be happy with their new space for very long. There are a few things to keep in mind when designing a space that will be easy to care for.

Storage Space Makes Homekeeping Easier

You can never have too much storage space. The key rule to homekeeping is for everything to have a place, and everything be in its place. If you do not design the space to have plenty of storage, then there is no way that the home owner can keep it looking neat and tidy.

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Learn to Walk With Your Dog The Proper Way

Learn to Walk With Your Dog The Proper Way

Some people have trouble when they are trying to train their dog to walk nicely on a leash. Dogs generally love to go outside so they can explore and wander. However, they may get too excited about all of their surroundings which can bring about problems for you. If you feel you are using too much energy when you are taking your dog for a walk and not enjoying it, then you should brush up on several techniques to make you and your dog's life a lot more pleasant and stress-free during walk time.

When To Walk Your Dog

There are better times during the day when you can opt to take your dog for a walk. Try to avoid times when the wildlife is known to be most active. These times are generally in the early morning and the early evening. So taking your dog for a walk during those times will most likely lead to a lot of distractions. Instead, take your dog out in the middle of the day or even before the sun rises, if you are an early bird. That way, you can make the most of your walk for both you and your dog.

How To Walk Your Dog

1) It is important to praise your dog during his/her walk when a behavior is done as you requested. Keep in mind that you should not give your dog too many treats during the walk, but just enough so you will be able to reinforce any positive actions that occur. If your dog listens to your command to “sit” and “stay” when another person is coming near, you can give him/her a treat if your dog follows through with those commands. That means your dog is learning and should be rewarded for her good behavior.

2) Make sure that you remain the pack leader. In everyday life with your dog, you should develop this role in any case. You have to be the one that is in control, not your dog. This does not change when you take your dog for a walk. To show your dog that you are pack leader on your walk, it is important to remain next to or a bit in front of your dog. When you are lagging behind your dog, this shows him/her that you are not in control.

Accessories To Make Walking Easier

1) When you take your dog for a walk, you should be equipped with a collapsible bowl and water for your dog, depending on the length of the walk and the topography of the land. If there are lots of hills and difficult climbing areas, you should stop every so often so you and your dog can stay hydrated. This is even more important when the weather is rather hot and humid.

2) The right leash is an important factor that will make your walk easy or not. You shouldn't have a leash that is way too long. This allows your dog to have too much independence, which will lead to negative behaviors. The best leashes to get are made of leather or sturdy fabric. These are generally easier to hold on to than other types of leashes.

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How To Make Bathing Your Cat An Easier Process

How To Make Bathing Your Cat An Easier Process

Cat owners know that bath time is the last thing you want to get involved in. The process of bathing your cat can be very harrowing for you and your pet. It is a well known fact that cats do not like water. While cats are generally clean animals, you should still give them regular baths to keep them in top shape. You may not be able to get rid of the issues altogether, but you can take steps to lessen the stress.

Prepping Your Cat For Bath Time

1) Clipping your cat's nails is a vital step to perform beforehand. Their claws are sharp and can cause painful wounds if you do not clip them. Clip all of your cat's claws, not just the ones on his/her front paws. Try to calm your pet by talking in a soothing voice. Give your cat time to adjust before you place him/her into the bathtub.

2) Think ahead before bath time. You should not bathe your cat directly after a heavy session of play. You don't want all of that energy in your cat when you are trying to achieve calmness. Pick a time when your cat tends to be more relaxed and at ease.

3) Brush your cat in a calm manner. Not only will this help reduce the amount of hair in your tub, but you can take this time to put your cat into a relaxed frame of mind. Do this process in a loving manner so your cat feels at ease. When they are calm, the idea of getting into a bathtub may not be so overwhelming.

Keeping Your Cat In The Tub

1) Make sure the floor of the tub has a mat so your cat can stand easier. When you place your cat into a wet tub, the floor will be slippery, leaving your cat to feel unsteady and anxious. It is important to make your cat feel as secure as possible.

2) Be delicate with your cat and how you administer the water onto his/her body. Don't just start spraying water on them or dumping a cup of water all over. A cat's head is especially a more sensitive area. Remember that your cat does not have hands to wipe any excess water and soap out of the eyes. Also, you do not want to get water into your cat's ears. Take a gentle approach when you introduce the water.

3) Make sure to use shampoo that is specifically made for cats. Human or dog shampoo may have chemicals that may irritate a cat's skin. Wash your cat according to the directions on the bottle.

4) Clean your cat's face with lukewarm water. Do not dump a cup of water over your cat, which will definitely cause stress and clawing. Employ a calmer method by using a washcloth in a soft and calming manner. Make sure you rinse your cat well so no soap residue is left on his/her skin.

After The Bath

1) Once you are finished bathing your cat, take a dry towel and wrap him/her in it. Try to sop up any excess water from your cat so they will be able to dry faster. You don't want your cat to run off wet and be cold for a long time.

2) Praise your cat with a treat after you are all done. This can let your cat know that you are happy with his/her bath time and is deserving of a treat. After going through this process and getting a special treat, your cat may find bath time easier and easier as time goes on.

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Caring For Your Pot Belly Pig

Caring For Your Pot Belly Pig

Over the years, pot belly pigs have become a popular pet to have. These pigs are very smart, good-nature and can be trained. Even though most people think of pot belly pigs as being rather small in stature, some can in fact weigh up to 200 pounds at the prime stages of life.

1) Bonding
People like to bring pot belly pigs into their family because they tend to be rather friendly. They will develop a close bond with the family members. It is important that you take the proper steps to socialize your pig. As you incorporate your new pet into your family life, you will be able to cuddle and hold your pig more often. Just be patient when you first bring home your pig because he/she may be cautious and not want to be held so much. However, just like any other pet, your pot belly pig will learn to enjoy your cuddles and even request them.

2) Training
In order to house train your pot belly pig, you can use the same methods that you would do with a puppy. Every few hours during the day, take your pig outside for the bathroom. The most important times to go would be after he/she eats and after your pig wakes. Whenever you take your pig outside, say the same phrase to him/her so it can become familiar. This will positively reinforce your pig that when he/she goes to the bathroom outside, it is a good thing.

Pot belly pigs also use litter boxes in some cases. Pigs prefer to go to the bathroom outside, but if you find it necessary to train him/her to use a litter box, you will have no issues. Keep in mind that you have to use a litter box that is larger than a normal cat box. Don't use litter, but instead place newspapers and wood bits in the box. Remember to keep the litter box away from their food.

3) Housing
It is important that you bring your pit outside on a regular basis in order to work off some energy. Pigs need to be able to root around outside. Take them out at least one time during the day for play and exercise, at the very least.

If your primary location to house your pig is outside, make sure that he/she does not get too cold or too hot. Your pet should be protected from the elements to make it a comfortable and pleasant atmosphere. Give your pig plenty of blankets to sleep on and provide an enclosed area for him/her to rest in. If it is too hot out, pigs love to wade around in a kiddie pool to cool off.

4) Feeding
While pigs will tend to eat just about anything, it is important to monitor what you feed your pet. The best food to give is a special pig food that will allow your pig to remain healthy and get all the nutrients he/she needs. Pot belly pigs also love fruits and vegetables along with their pig food. In order to find the best food, check with your local veterinarian about what to feed your pig.

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Weird and wonderful ways to remember your pet when they die

Weird and wonderful ways to remember your pet when they die

Your pet has been a loving member of your family for years. So what do you do when they pass away? This can be just as traumatic as losing a human family member and it is important to treat the process of handling their body with respect and integrity.

Talking about the death of your pet may feel taboo but doing so before your pet dies is much easier than making rushed decisions that you may regret later. Whether you have a dog, cat, bird, or horse there are many ways to create a lasting memorial of them. Some are more physical while others are more spiritual.


What happens to the body?


If your pet dies at a veterinarian clinic you can take the body home or they can take care of it for you. They can also arrange for your pet’s body to be cremated and you can have the ashes returned if desired.

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This just in! Cats with bow ties are 75% fancier than cats with no bow ties.

This just in! Cats with bow ties are 75% fancier than cats with no bow ties.

So, Mr. Fluff son from across the street just mocked your Mittens for not being fashionable enough and tipped his top hat while enjoying his afternoon tea before you could say anything? What a snob, right? But you needn’t worry, for we have the fanciest solution for you. What else can make your cat more formally prepared than the all-time classic bow tie? Why, nothing, of course! Staying in trend is becoming harder and harder for the ordinary cat nowadays, as not all of them has the time (nor the dedication) to tackle the diversity of their attire.


    •    What we need and how will they be used


So it’s up to you, the owner, to pump it up a notch! Today we’ll be making a bow tie for our very own Mittens and we hope he’ll like it just as much as we do. We’ll need a pair of scissors, an iron and a board, some thread and needles, (or maybe a sewing machine), Velcro and a safety pin. Also, we’ll need this pattern:

 Just so you can make sure the pattern you printed was sized correctly:

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Sweet potato treats for sweetest member of the family, a recipe that will make him drool even more

Sweet potato treats for sweetest member of the family, a recipe that will make him drool even more

Today we’re cooking for our furry friends. Because we know that they love food almost as much as they love us, we will bake them some sweet potato treats. These treats have all the benefits that one could ask for, they’re natural, made from healthy whole foods, no added supplements or other creepy stuff that you find on the market and, as a big bonus, they’re chewy – taking our dogs longer to eat them makes this treat a great one by regulating his system in times of need, namely, during indigestion or other bad times like that.

    •    What you’ll need:

    •    Large sweet potatoes
    •    A sharp knife
    •    Cutting board
    •    Baking sheets
    •    Oil for greasing the pans

    •    The actual cooking part!
First things first, you need to preheat your oven to the lowest setting. Around 175 degrees should be just fine. Take your sweet potatoes and slice them up lengthwise into about 1/3 inch thick slices. You don’t need to peel the skin off, as you want them to be thick for the dehydration process and this also helps with the chewiness.
Now comes the long part of this process. Since we want to dehydrate the sweet potatoes, we will need to grease the baking sheets, arrange the slices on a flat surface and then place the pans on the top racks inside the oven, where we will let them do their thing for… pretty long, actually. Eight hours, to be precise. Yep, that’s dehydration for you. If you really want to get it over with, you can crank up the temperature, but the outcome won’t be as good and fleshed out if you’d let it properly do its thing.

Here’s a tip:

If you want the treats to be softer, you can leave them for less time in the oven, that’s make for some chewier ones that break a little harder, something close to the texture of taffy, but if you want them dryer and tougher, leave them for a longer amount of time. We found that the best ones are left for longer in the oven, turning it off when they were almost fully dry to the touch and letting them in the oven overnight – perfection greeted us the next morning.

    •    Time to feast!
Is it morning already? It’s treat time for the doggy! Call him to the kitchen; let him feel the smell, then serve him the delicious goodies you spent so much time making him. I’m sure he’ll love them, Rover sure did and he didn’t leave any for his brother, Spot. Oh, well, I guess the early bird gets the worm. He thanked us with a big grin on his face. I must admit, I was really tempted to try some, they looked and smelled absolutely delicious but I had to restrain myself. And I barely could.
That’s it! A simple recipe for some delicious dog treats that are sure to make his tail wag. Bon appétit!

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