Sowing Wild Oats (and barley)

In the heart of rural Clarendon, Jamaica, reside the best bread makers I’ve ever met, nestled right between the rural to urban bus stop and a usually well populated drinking bar there’s a small zinc roofed concrete room operated by an elderly woman and her daughter and used as a bakery of sorts where the most surprising combination of ingredients come together in a mass of doughy greatness to create the softest, hottest, sweetest bread you can find in the parish.

In my opinion the women running the zinc roofed bakery are the best bread makers of all time even though I have not as yet sampled all the bread of all time but I think they would rank really high on the least if not top it. On a particular Friday afternoon a few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to drop by the miniature bakery when the elder proprietor’s daughter had just finished baking several loaves of bread that smelled heavenly.


The second thing I noticed about the loaves of bread after the heavenly smell was the familiar flakes on the crust that I was more familiar with seeing in my breakfast porridge than on my bread; they were oats. I was later to learn that the bread was filled with grounded oats with a little barley and the oat flakes I was seeing on the crust were basically just for aesthetics, or so I imagined. I happily purchased half a sweet smelling loaf of oat and barley bread and marvelled at the way the oats gave the otherwise smooth crust surface of the bread a distinct character and pleasant feeling.

In my mind it had never occurred that oats could go into bread I was of the belief that oats were for porridge or raw consumption and barley was for beer; beliefs I revealed to the elderly woman in charge who responded with a healthy, young laugh, advising me that oats and a little barley made very good bread. Alas I couldn’t debate with her on the subject as the bread was divine, secondly I can’t bake and finally she along with her daughter had already sealed a place in my heart and palate as the best bread makers. What I need is to go back to the little bakery and get them to make another fresh loaf of the oat bread with a little barley hot with butter.


I’d always enjoyed making clothes for my kids and the old Singer sewing machine that had been passed down from my Mother to me had always performed flawlessly, until the day that it simply stopped. I took it in to the dealership for repairs and was sadly told that due to its age the spare parts were simply not available any more. The time had come for me to look for a new sewing machine. The challenge was that I wasn’t familiar with what was in the market and I needed to be sure that the machine that I bought was within budget and would provide years of solid performance.


So I was on the lookout for where I could find the best sewing machine reviews. I wasn’t going to spend a cent until I was sure I was buying quality and reliability. As a first step I went and bought the latest edition of the sewing magazine that I read to get patterns and other information. That had a couple of great reviews in it, however I wanted more information – preferably from ordinary people who were using their sewing machines on a regular basis.

I eventually found what I needed on the Internet, from two different sources. One was a sewing and home crafts focused forum and chat room where I could speak to other people in real time and get their ideas of what machine would best suit my needs and the other was on I like browsing through the Amazon product pics because you can usually find great reviews from average people who use the products on a daily basis. Using the Internet also allowed me to visit other specialist websites where I could get more information about the various choices that were available to me and also do direct price comparisons between the various alternatives.

What I Have been Able To Do With My Kitchen Knife

To begin with; I have been shopping for kitchen knives for one of the longest times. After all, having been operating a home appliance store in town, I once in a while go out looking for some of the best products for my customers, and kitchen knives are among some of the kitchen tools I always come across. When it comes to the best kitchen knives reviews, with my experience, I have come learn how to pick the best kitchen knives from a group of knives. I know all that go into a great knife and people often come to me just for a few pieces of advice. Over the years, here a few of the good things I have been able to net from my kitchen knife and to some extend I owe all of it to the kind of choices I always make.


Just like any other cutting tool, versatility is one of the factors I always put into great consideration when it comes to the best kitchen knives reviews. The best part, with some of the best kitchen knives I have at home, it is amazing how I have been able to do quite a number of things. To me, a great kitchen knife is one that can help me do a number of things from slicing, dicing and even mincing. It cannot get better than that. Moreover, the kind of grip my knives come with is unbelievable; the handles are easy to handle,

At the end, just like my case, if you are thinking of buying a nice and high performing kitchen knife, I suggest you do a little bit or research on the best kitchen knives reviews. It is important, I personally having had a not so good experience with an array of kitchen knives, I have come to realize that the choice I make can break or even make the number of great things I can do with my kitchen knife.

Top Brands of Upright Vacuum Cleaners


An upright vacuum cleaner is easy to use in the house, as you do not have to bend over. While vacuuming the air coming out of the vacuum should smell fresher and cleaner than the air in the room. There are cheap and very effective vacuum cleaners in the market. Below are my review on the best vacuum cleaners review:

1. Hoover Platinum Lightweight Upright Vacuum

If you love carpets, you will love this vacuum cleaner. It is best for all carpets as it changes its height automatically as you push it over different rug piles. No bending down is needed with this machine. It is lightweight. It has a HEPA bag filter to clean air as you vacuum. It uses a powerful 12- amp motor that delivers WindTunnel Technology suction to remove all the dirt from your carpets. The bag check indicator alerts you when the bag is full. It comes with a 35- foot cord to ensure you can move around the and clean all parts.

2. Shark Navigator Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
It is light to move around with in the house. It rides on smooth rubber wheels for easy maneuvering around furniture. It uses infinity technology to ensure it cleans totally. This technology ensures it does not lose suction. Its long cord ensures you clean all rooms using one socket . Its navigator nozzle makes it easy to clean hair trapped on carpets. The crevice apparatus reaches hair trapped in hard to reach places. The dust cup empties easily.

3. Dyson DC 25 Animal Upright Vacuum
Dyson have been around for 40 years. This is a very special vacuum cleaner for homes with pets. Its brushbar features quickly removes pet hair and dirt from your carpet. It has a 16-foot telescopic wand that attracts all dirt to leave your carpet clean. With its Root Cyclone technology it ensures all the dirt goes inside the machine. This technology also ensures it never loses suction or clogs. It also comes with a washable HEPA filter that traps microscopic allergens that can cause infections.

Helpful source: CNET

I have perfected the art of making throw pillows


There is nothing as difficult as buying something for the first time in one’s life. This is particularly true if it is something costly. The pressure of making the right decision is usually unending. Like in my case, my husband was lending me the money I needed to buy a sewing machine. I had told him about my plans for making and selling throw pillows and he had liked it. In that case, I didn’t want to make the wrong choice. For me, finding a beginner sewing machine was of utmost importance.

As a mother of four, working in the corporate world had proved impractical for me. I would leave home very early in the morning and then return very late at night. This had become a constant source of conflict between my husband and I. that’s why I opted to quit and find a way to earn income from the comfort of my house.

When doing the actual shopping, I was very confused. I noticed that there were so many brands, different features as well as price ranges. On the other hand, the process was simpler because I was looking for a sewing machine that is easy to use- specially designed for individuals with minimal skills and experience. Additionally, I was looking for a sewing machine with fewer features since I was only going to use it to make throw pillows. The price range was also an important factor that I put into account because I had a limited budget. With these factors in mind, it wasn’t difficult for me to develop a small list of the best sewing machines for beginners. Besides, sewing machine reviews came in extremely handy because they served as guide.

Eventually, I managed to find a suitable machine, went to my local sewing machine shop and tried it out. Performing functionality check is paramount when buying tools or equipment of this nature. The last thing you want is to buy a machine that breaks down when you have hardly started making any money. The fact that there are so many machines available in the market gave me the benefit of choosing from a variety. On the other hand, it is important for one to be careful in order to find the right machine.

I spend my days making throw pillows and supplying to the local stores and individuals. When my kids have gone to school, and my husband is at work, if I am not making money writing blogs, you will find me making throw pillows. It is an art I have perfected for the past five months, and I am happy.

Why I Bought a Garment Steamer

You walk into a boutique with a very opinionated friend with the sole intention of window shopping, when you see this dress. It is a silk dress. A yellow silk dress.

Your friend is on your neck. “You need to try this dress!””Why don’t you try it?” you inquire. “Look at me,” she says “Now look at the dress. It was tailored to fit my arm. Only my arm.”

You laugh. She really is hilarious. But she also has a point. She is a plus-sized woman. But she has never let her weight bother her. She will not be bothered by the slimming pills adverts, nor the gym crusaders. The dietitians won’t get to her either. “We can’t all be one size you know? Some of us have to be big – it’s called the spice of life.” You know she has a point.

The yellow silk dress. It stands there before you. Worn by a mannequin. It looks beautiful. It beckons at humans to try it. It lives for the day it will slide over a warm body. See, the mannequin gets cold. The dress longs for some warmth.

Your friend will not stop nudging you. “Give it a try,” she says. “If it fit me, I would be wearing it now. Who says you have to buy it?”

True. Who says?

Soon, you are in the fitting room. With your friend of course. Do girls ever need some privacy from their girlfriends? Both of you don’t think so. You take off your jeans and your t-shirt. You slide the yellow dress over your head and into your slim frame. It glides over your curves to comfortably hug you.

The fabric is soft. This is silk, after all. You feel sexy wearing the dress. You look in the mirror and hold your breathe. You comprehend what they mean when they describe a moment, a scene, a person as “breath-taking”.

“Wow!” your friend exclaims. Your chatty friend has nothing more to add.

Before you know it, your credit card is out. So much for window shopping. This dress belongs in your closet.
When the day comes to wear it, you decide to iron it to give it the perfect smoothing that only a silk fabric can offer. Your iron gets stuck on the fabric! It burns a big hole smack in the middle of the dress – right where it would have covered your slim tummy!

And that guys, is how I found myself seeking out Google for garment steamer reviews!

My Best Portable Air Conditioner Purchase In 2015

I entered the year 2015 fed up with the problems of air conditioners my house. I only needed an urgent solution to have my smile. Which is the best portable air conditioner to buy in 2015? I thought my problem could be solved by a great portable conditioner purchase.

When I came across the American Comfort, I was very happy. At first I could not believe it could dehumidify my rooms because I was not sure about my purchase. I had struggled with the backlog air conditioning problems with window air conditioners and split air systems and so I thought it could be the same story with the portable air conditioner in hand. But this was not to be.

My wife is generally happy carrying the device from the living room to the bedroom and study room. She relishes the small device’s services and thinks we should actually get more of them. Being light and easy to carry around simplifies the sum of the reason why one should have the portable air conditioners. It is lucky that I own t now.

Moreover, I like many things about this device. Its energy efficiency is really great and I bet the best among all the conditioners that I have used before. I see absolutely no sense of having a conditioner that makes the electricity bill burn your pocket. My American Comfort does not disappoint in this because it is Energy Star qualified and I have not complained about higher electric expenses since I landed in my house.


The programmable timers that the device has make me more comfortable and relaxed. It is now easy for me to find out the optimum level of comfort that I need in the house. It was never easy working with the window conditioning unit. Throughout the seasons I have owned this device with the speed of the fans being adjustable, I am like in a small heaven buddy.

Manageable noise from the air conditioner is really acceptable. I have not required ear plugs before like someone who is in a metal industry. The device like the other varieties such as the Amico has its noise regulated by the A-weighted system.

The AC has filters that are easily accessible and can be replaced or washed easily. It is awesome that my son is now doing the maintenance job. He takes a very short time to empty the bucket and to drain the unit. It is so amazing that he goes about the task without qualms. I previously had altercations with my wife because of air conditioning maintenance issues but they are past and forgotten with the portable device.

Which is the best portable air conditioning unit to buy in 2015? For me and my family it is the American Comfort. It ticked the box of being a good dehumidifier since it makes the room cool and devoid of extreme humidity. It absolutely is never like the condition of the sea side atmosphere but it is cool.

In short, I am happy with the kind of service I receive from the device I deem the best portable conditioning unit to buy in 2015. It was a nice purchase and addition to my home. It is easy to maintain, dehumidifies effectively and I do not complain of higher electric bills with American Comfort.


Finally Tackling That Basement

We moved into a fixer upper a little under two years ago and I’ve made strides to make this place into the home I imagine it being. So far I’ve replaced the rotted cabinets in the kitchen and expanded the main bathroom space by another three feet, but I was looking to tackle something a little bigger.

So yesterday I started on the basement with a few goals in mind, one of which being to get the lights working down there. The previous owner mentioned there was some mild water damage but he hadn’t told us that the electrical was just not working, so I got down there to start messing with wires when I noticed the whole room was damp and sticky.
First issue has been found then, because any place that’s harboring a lot of humidity isn’t going to be very good as a place where electricity is going to be actively running. I pulled my phone out and punched in ‘humid basement’ and immediately was pointed to a local home improvement store to get something called a pump dehumidifier. Sounds noisy? The search turned up a quiet pump dehumidifier for basement, so I ran out to the store, bought one, and started setting it up.

It had a little hose that I could poke out of the basement’s window and lay in the grass so that the water it collected would head up and out of the basement all together. Once set up, I flicked it on and nothing happened. I remembered I hadn’t finished fixing the electricity down here.

That took a good while as there was more than one short from the fuse box to outlets, but once I had the majority working I tried again and opted to call it a day, flicking on that dehumidifier before I left. It churned quietly, which was a plus, as our room is not too far from the basement.

Today, earlier this morning, I went back to work on the room and it was almost humid-less. That thing did wonders for the work environment and I feel a lot safer finishing up my work with the nearby outlets. Pretty cool! I didn’t even know these things were around until yesterday. Now to go back and replace the tile in there.

Related to Dehumidifier:
Signs you need a dehumidifier – ARS
How to choose the size of dehumidifier – Wikihow

How I Get to Spend so Much Time at Home

If you have spent much time reading here, you will notice I spend a lot of time talking about things in my house – my appliances, gadgets and computer equipments mostly (I love people too, but technology will always be special to me).

You might be wondering how I manage to spend so much time at home, enjoying all these modern conveniences. “Is he unemployed?” you might ask yourself. Nope, I’m not unemployed. Neither am I an Internet millionaire. I’m a social media strategist, a big name for a small time consultant who spends hours on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and Pinterest. Doing work. From home.

“But how do you get clients,” you ask. “How can they trust you to work from home?” Wow, you’re feeling direct today, aren’t you!!

Let me tell you how I’m able to enjoy this lifestyle and still appear professional. I have a virtual office space in New York City.


When I first heard the term “virtual office,” the picture that came to mind was something like The Sims. A tiny little digital office filled with pixelated cubicle drones working on reports and Powerpoint presentations for a blocky, digital cigar chomping boss.

No, a virtual office is not like that. It’s virtual because, although it has a physical address in the real world, it’s not a real office. I don’t go there and hold meetings and complain about the AC and the faulty elevator.

I sit at home and work on my Mac. When someone calls the office, a receptionist (human, not machine) takes the call and calls me (at home). She does not tell the client that I’m at home. If I’m busy, she takes a message.

When I receive a letter at the office, someone (I don’t know who) opens it and scans it for me. Minutes later, it’s on my screen, in an email.

Now maybe you are thinking that I’ve outsourced this to a third world country, that in my virtual office in Kuala Lumpur there are dozens of exploited people working for a handful of rice every day. Nope, I believe in paying a fair wage, and what’s more, I have a virtual office in NYC. This means that I have an impressive, prestigious address to give my clients, and my staff are all native English speakers.

And because I am sharing this location with many, many other businesses (I don’t know how many – never asked), I get this at a fraction of the price of a “real” office. And without the commute, too!

Clean Smart, Not Hard!

I am wife, a stay at home mom of three boys, and our family has two dogs that we keep inside and treat like our babies. Although I love my family dearly, all of them sure know how to make a mess! It seems like more often than not, my day revolves around cleaning and re-cleaning my home as my husband, children and pets run through our house, wreaking havoc on anything in their path. That being said, I would like to believe that I have become pretty adept at cleaning “smart” rather than cleaning “hard,” if that makes sense. Why bust your back cleaning when there are tools out there to help you do the job in half the time, with the same great results? If you’re in a situation that is similar to mine and you’re tired of wasting your day working hard to keep your home clean and tidy, I have some great tips for you!
steam clean the floor
First off, invest in your cleaning products. I can’t tell you how many years I spent pinching pennies when it came to my cleaning supplies because I thought it didn’t really matter what I bought. I can tell you now, ladies, it matters! I recommend that you invest in the best steam cleaners, vacuums, carpet shampooers, and mopping systems that you can find! I promise you that the initial sticker shock that you might get from shopping for these products will wear off immediately once you give them a spin in your home. I use my steam cleaner and vacuum almost daily, and having spent a little extra money on them, I am so pleased at how well they work and how nicely they have held up over time (especially with how much use they endure!). With a little bit of online research and a little bit of digging into your budget, you can have a great set of cleaning tools that will truly change your life!

Curly-Haired Ladies, Rejoice!

curlyI have good news and bad news, ladies. The bad news is that my beloved hair straightener died last week (RIP). It gave me a great three years of service, but I had noticed recently that it wasn’t getting as hot as it used to, and it finally just fizzled out one morning. The GOOD news is that I have found an AWESOME replacement for it, and I am so excited to tell you about it!

So, after my straightener died I went online to look up brands and models that might be suitable for a replacement. The first brand that I came across was Chi, which I had heard of, but had never used before. The Chi hair straightener reviews I read were fantastic, almost everyone loved their Chi, and I watched a ton of product review videos on YouTube that made me a believer. There were so many girls that had insanely wavy, curly, and coarse hair that were straightening out their manes in a matter of minutes! I was sold. I went out and bought one for myself the very next morning.

Needless to say, I absolutely love my new Chi! It heats up quicker than my old hair straightener, it glides across my hair in a much smoother fashion, and I don’t have to go over and over the same spots to achieve the look I want! As someone that has chronically wavy hair (that never does what I want it to do, naturally), this product has made a huge difference in my life! I have cut my straightening time in half, which makes getting ready in the morning a breeze. I went out for a date night with my husband over the weekend and he was shocked at (and pleased with!) how quickly I was ready to go!

If you’re looking for a new hair straightener, I would absolutely recommend that you look into getting a Chi!