16 April 2014

Glass Splashbacks: Turning an Ordinary Kitchen into an Unique One

A kitchen is the hard-working heart of almost any home. It’s subjected to a barrage of heat, steam and all manner of spills during its lifetime.

glass splashbacks for kitchens #kitchens www.ducksnarow.com

For that reason, most homeowners use tiles or stainless steel splashbacks to protect the paint and plasterwork around the most heavily used areas; the oven hob and sink, from stains, surface damage and dreaded mould.

Although they’re undoubtedly a kitchen necessity, it doesn’t mean that you have to be like ‘most homeowners’ and live with a kitchen that’s just like all the rest, when a simple change of splashback can transform yours into something totally unique.

Whether you want to revamp your entire kitchen or just revitalise an existing one, then a fresh, modern, distinctive look can be achieved by installing a glass splashback.

Here’s everything you need to know about how they’re turning something essentially functional into something utterly fabulous.
  • They give you a smooth wall covering which is more hygienic than paint or tiles and is far easier to clean; no more scrubbing or wasting money on grease-busting, grout-cleaning products that never work quite as well as they promise.
  • Glass is timeless and because they are toughened for safety, heat resistance and durability, you can be sure that it won’t fade, chip, stain or warp, and will stay in pristine condition for as long as you decide to keep it.
  • Unlike tiles, the sleek appearance of a glass splashback is not broken by lines of grout, which tricks the eye into making a kitchen appear more spacious than it really is.
  • Glass reflects light, so installing one will instantly brighten a dull room and contribute to a feeling of space.
  • It can be cut to size so it fits seamlessly around your worktops, sockets and cupboards.
  • Although it is there to be functional, the reflective properties of glass make this a really elegant feature. Its smooth, shiny surface mirrors the colour and movement of people and things within a kitchen, and its effects can be highlighted with LED lighting.
  • Glass is so versatile that the colour of your splashback can be tailored to suit your existing kitchen and your personal taste. Any shade in the RAL colour range is available, which means that you can give your kitchen a new lease of life without having to redecorate or change any of your fixtures.
  • For a truly unique look that cannot be replicated in any other kitchen, Bespoke glass splashbacks can be personalised with images or high resolution photographs of your choice.
  • No matter which style, size or colour you choose to install in your kitchen, a glass splashback makes a statement; it shows you value design and modernity and with a limitless supply of Bespoke options available, how bold or subtle that statement is, is totally up to you.
Now you know how a deceptively simple glass splashback can transform your kitchen into something truly unique, contact the experts at LWK Kitchens who can offer you great advice, Bespoke designs and a skilled fitting service.
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Photo credit:
LWK Kitchens High Gloss Blackberry Glass Kitchen

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15 April 2014

Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop #69

One of the many benefits of visiting blog parties is the wealth of knowledge being shared. Experts in baking, crafting, decorating, teaching, organizing, cleaning, money managing, gardening, child rearing, encouragement & inspiration tell us "just how to do it." Our lives are richer, as a result. Personally, some of my favorite posts are those that teach me how to blog better.  

This week there were two superb posts on optimizing our blog results using Pinterest. They are this week's Editor's Picks. If I were you, I would read them and PIN them for future reference.
BTW...Ducks 'n a Row has just added a link to our Blogging Tips Pinterest Board on our Blog Tips page. It is constantly growing with more and more gems so be sure to stop by once in a while to grab from the best for you!   ... Sinea

Let's Party!   
Simple Guidelines:

  • Please follow our host and co-hosts in as many ways possible (social media links below). 
  • PLEASE TWEET THIS PARTY !!!!  We want everyone to know about it!
  • Add as many of your family-friendly posts as you would like, no giveaways please.
  • Visit three or more others. Let them know you've been there!
  • When you are PINNING, remember to do it from the original post. 
  • If you are new, be sure to let us know in the comments so that we can follow you back. 
  • Thanks for joining us!

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Kosher Dairy Main Dishes - A Simple Guide To Jewish Foods

By Sinea Pies

Marrying into a Jewish family? Visiting some new Jewish friends? You've heard that there are some kinds of food that Orthodox Jews cannot eat and you don't want to offend anybody but what is the proper etiquette?

Jewish foods often accompany a special holiday. Ducks 'n a Row
First, expect to love it...both the food and the people! Sure, it's territory that is unknown to you but soon you will find yourself looking forward to the next opportunity to dine together! Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Purim, Passover, Hanukkah all come with delightful delicacies and lovely traditions to be enjoyed.

Jewish recipes are full of flavor and, for those who have not grown up with it, a bit of mystery. Some of the names are peculiar: knishe, knadel, challah, latkes, lokshenkugel, kuchen. And there are rules. Dietary laws, derived from Old Testament scripture, distinguish between what is "kosher" and what is not. Kosher means "OK" to eat. The rest is, well, not OK to eat.

One of the greatest rules to take note of is that a meal can have dairy in it but, if it does, no meat can be served. This may be news to you, if you are not Jewish. Don't worry about the lack of meat or poultry at a dairy table. There are so many exciting meat-free dishes that you'll hardly miss it.

What Foods Are Dairy
Foods that are considered to be "dairy" are any foods that have been derived from the milk of mammals:
  • Milk - includes all types of milk and cream
  • Cheese - including hard and soft cheeses, cottage cheese and cream cheese.
  • Butter - not margarine, which is a vegetable product
  • Sour Cream
  • Ice Cream, Ice Milk, Frozen Yogurt, Sherbet - sorbet is OK, it is made with water not dairy
  • Yogurt

Jewish Words
As you are exploring the world of Jewish cooking, it is helpful to become familiar with the language.
  • Kosher: food that is acceptable to eat according to Jewish Dietary Law.
  • Pareve: the dish is neither meat nor dairy and, therefore, can be served at any meal.
  • Meat vs. Dairy: rule of thumb is that no meat or poultry can be served with dairy. Fish, eggs, grains, vegetables and fruit all can be part of a dairy or meat table.
  • Trayf (or traif): Yiddish* for "not Kosher". Pork, seafood, certain birds (like crows), fish that do not have both fins and scales, and rodents are all "trayf". They are never part of a Kosher recipe or to be eaten in the diet of a Jewish person. Never!

What is Yiddish?
*"Yiddish" means "Jewish". It is a language that was spoken prior to World War II and the holocaust and with roots in High German .
Yiddish is still used richly today in day-to-day conversation by many of us, as it is so expressive! Just watch American TV and soon you will hear a Yiddish word: chutspah, maven, shlamiel and shlmaziel (ala Laverne & Shirley) and oy vey.
Sometimes Yiddish words are loving terms of endearment and, other times, as a backdoor insult, with a hint of humor on the side. 
Resource: The Yiddish Handbook

Dinner / Lunch Entrees
Kugel is a delicious noodle casserole that can be presented as the main dish or a side. Noodles are not allowed at Passover because they contain yeast. (Yes, another rule!) For Passover, potato or matzo kugel can be served. Kugel Recipe:The Best Kugel Recipe

Lasagna is an Italian dish but there is nothing saying it can't be part of a dairy table. Enjoy a variety of cheeses--ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella-- and red sauce...just leave out the meat! Lasagna Recipe: Lasagna for Dairy Meals

Latkes are potato pancakes which are traditionally served at Hanukkah. This Jewish recipe tastes oh, so good with sour cream and applesauce for dipping. That's why you'll want to make your meal a dairy one. 
Recipe for Potato Latkes: Latkes

Jewish food includes delicious breads, except on Passover. Ducks 'n a Row

What goes on a Hanukkah dairy table? Some families include bagels with cream cheese and lox, challah bread and butter, tuna salad and egg salad for the festivities but know that the latkes are definitely the main-fare. How much to make? Ten pounds of potatoes will make latkes enough for a very hungry party of 10-15 people.

Salmon, grilled or poached, makes a wonderful entree for dinner. Add steamed asparagus, wild rice and a tossed salad to the menu and you have an elegant meal that anyone would be proud to serve!                           
Homemade Macaroni and Cheese. Yes, this southern comfort food is perfect for a Kosher dairy meal (except on Passover). This dish is great for main fare or as a side. Make a lot. It will go fast!

Breakfast / Brunch Entrees
Vegetarian Breakfast Strata. Strata is a breakfast casserole primarily made with eggs, bread and cheese. It is layered, letting the eggs soak into the bread overnight and baked prior to serving. Though non-Jewish people add some form of sausage or ham to their stratas, to make it Kosher and dairy then make it vegetarian! Mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, olives or onion can be included to make your breakfast party a great success! 

Breakfast Pizza. Serve a yummy breakfast pizza featuring eggs, cheeses and veggies! Everyone will love it. Breakfast Pizza 

Blintzes. Similar to crepes unleavened pancakes are cooked then rolled with various fillings, sweet or veggie. Sweet filling may be a cream cheese combination with a fruit topping. The word "blintz", by the way, is Yiddish! Recipe: Cheese Blintzes

Guide to Jewish Holidays
While enjoying these marvelous Jewish recipes, it's helpful to have a little understanding of the special celebrations you will take part in.

Rosh Hashanah is the first of two High Holy Days on the Hebrew calendar. This holiday is the Jewish New Year, celebrated on the first and second day of Tishri. Rosh Hashanah is thought to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve.This important holiday is followed by 10 days of reflection called "the Days of Awe".

Yom Kippur, or "The Day of Atonement" concludes the ten Days of Awe with a day of fasting and prayer. This is the most holy of Jewish holidays, centered on repentance and atonement for sins. A 24-hour day in Jewish culture goes from sundown to sundown so, following sundown, families may enjoy a nice meal together.

Sukkot, or the "Feast of Tabernacles", is celebrated the fifth day after Yom Kippur. This holiday is a time of remembrance of the Lord's deliverance of His people from slavery in Egypt. Just as the refugees lived in huts made of branches, Jewish families make "sukkahs" to reinact the event. Meals are eaten in the sukkah.

Hanukkah is the "Festival of Lights", a minor holiday where God's deliverance of Israel at the time of the Maccabees is celebrated. This 8-day event is marked with the lighting of the Menorah. One candle per day is lit until all of them are glowing on the final day of the holiday. Note: Hanukkah is NOT the Jewish Christmas. It stands all by itself as a holiday which just happens to be sometime in December.

Purim is a fun celebration where the story of Esther from the Bible is told. Her courageous stand against tyranny and God's rescue of the Jewish people is reenacted in children's plays or told in story form. The villain, the evil Haman, wore a three-cornered hat. A fruit-filled triangular pastry, called a Hamantaschen, was created with his hat in mind and is eaten during Purim. If you've never had one, look for Purim on the calendar next March and go to a Jewish bakery and buy one. They are delicious!

An excellent movie about the life of Esther is "One Night With the King". Filled with spectacle, drama and romance!
Movie about Queen Esther #Purim #Bible #movies Ducks 'n a Row

Passover or Pesach is a high holiday observed in the spring. For eight days, Passover is celebrated. It commemorates God's deliverance of the Jewish people from bondage in Egypt. God delivered them but they had to make haste. There was no time for yeast to rise in the bread. Thus, at Passover, all breads and grains must be yeast-free. Passover Matzo is a priority on the shopping list for Pesach!

Learn more about Passover: The amazing account of over 400 years of Egyptian bondage and God's miraculous deliverance of the Jewish people from Pharaoh's hands--including 10 horrific plagues and the spectacular parting of the Red Sea--can be found in the Bible in the book of Exodus. 
On film? Two of the greatest family movies about Passover are: 
The Ten Commandments and Prince of Egypt

Prince of Egypt family movie #Exodus #Moses #movie #DVD Ducks 'n a Row The Ten Commandments epic movie with Charlton Heston #BIble #Moses #Exodus Ducks 'n a Row

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Note: this author is an Amazon affiliate. Anything purchased from Amazon through this site will result in 
a small commission for me. In advance, "thank you."  Sinea
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14 April 2014

5 Gifts for New Arrivals this Easter

Easter is just around the corner, bringing with it new hope, fresh flowers and of course new life in abundance. The dawn of Easter can be seen within our gardens threw glorious wild flowers and through to those special new beginnings that come when a baby is on its way. So now is the time to celebrate motherhood, life and brighter futures. With this in mind, here are 5 of the most creative and unique gifts for little ones this Easter.

Baby Robe and Slipper Set at House of Rokoko

There is nothing more beautiful than a little one after bath time, with sleepy eyes and the softest skin; they need to be wrapped up warm to settle down. This baby robe and slipper set from House of Rokoko is perfect for creating a safe feeling, whilst protecting delicate skin. Plus it is unbelievably cute making this a great gift for a new mum. This set is available one size fitting 0-6 months.

Personalised High Top Trainers by My 1st Years

If the bathrobe wasn’t adorable enough, welcome some tiny, high top trainers. These fully personalised booties are fun, comfortable against precious toes and well they are too cute for words. The flexible canvas is fully lined, so they can be worn as training shoes for toddlers, booties for new-borns and they are also easy to remove for changes. Don’t worry, they don’t just come in blue, they are available in pink, white and yellow too.

Easter Bunny Babygrow by Rusks&Rebels

Easter would not be complete without some reference to the Easter bunny! Well this one Easter statement that will make the perfect, stylish and fun gift this year. This babygrow is ethically created, a huge plus point, soft against the skin and the design is perfect for celebrating this holiday. Available in sizes from 3 months through to 18 months and a range of colour combinations, this is the perfect Easter gift.

“Old Block” and “Chip” Baby Grow and T Shirt by Precious Little Plum

And now for something completely different….. As we all begin to look for gifts that have the wow factor, we are turning to the more unusual and sometimes comedic, which this has a wealth of. Cute, well designed and ethical, this T Shirt and babygrow set will make a great Easter gift for new dads and the babies alike. Both the T Shirt and baby grow come in a wide range of sizes and they can even have personalised names on the back of each.

Bunny Soft Baby Shoes by Funky Feet Fashions

Bunnies, bunnies everywhere, so why not add them to your feet? This adorable Easter bunny inspired baby shoes are perfect for support, comfort, oh and looking as cute as can be. Available in naturel, pink and blue, these make a great gift and a stylish choice this Easter.  They have been well designed to stay on all day and of course they have non slip soles for little ones who love to run around. I think they are pretty close to being perfect.

Cass is a writer and shopping enthusiast, who loves nothing more than finding unique gifts.

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12 April 2014

How To Get a Throat Culture Without Gagging

By Sinea Pies

Did you ever think it was possible to have a throat swab culture and NOT gag? 

I always thought it was part of the deal. That is, until my son's pediatrician shared a nifty tip that WORKS. Fun part: she learned it from one of her patients. As she was giving a little boy a throat culture, the 4 year old grabbed his forefinger with his other hand. He was gripping that finger with all his might. The doctor asked him what he was doing. He exclaimed "It's so I won't gag." And he didn't. No one does, if they remember to do it.  

Having witnessed it work with my own little guy time and time again, I truly believe it is the answer. Try it! Just squeeze your index finger with the other hand while that swab is going down your throat. It is hard to believe that it stops the gag reflex....but it does!

Love this tip?

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Photo Credit:
Child Getting Throat Culture by David Costillo Domenici Freedigital Photos
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