The kitchen is the heart of the home. It is where we prepare our food, kids do their homework, parents work from home, families play board games, and guests pop in for a coffee. We spend so much time in our kitchens that they soon feel outdated.
Kitchen remodeling is expensive but there are inexpensive changes we can make that make a world of difference. Home decorators know how to give new life to a space while on a budget to make the maximum impact.
Learn from these incredible ideas and give your kitchen a new lease of life within no time:
- Create a better Display for Pots and Pans
Pots and pans take to take up a lot of cabinet space particularly in smaller kitchens. When there are too many of them, it can be difficult to open doors without them falling out.
Turn your pot and pan display into an art piece by itself. A rail mounted on the wall and populated with s-hooks allows you to hand them neatly in a way that is easily accessible when you need them.
- A fresh Coat of Paint for the Cabinets
A can of paint does not cost much, but it can give your kitchen a whole new look while being environmentally friendly. When you repaint your pieces instead of buying new stuff, you are saving the environment.
Because this is a more labor intensive job, you want to set aside more than one weekend to do it. Achieve a better finish by prepping the cabinets first. Clean them thoroughly, then sand and prime them. You are now ready to start painting.
If you are trying to make a duller space, consider investing in semi-gloss paint. Semi-gloss paint is also easy to clean. You just have to wipe it down. This makes it good for kitchens.
To give your paint job an interesting twist, consider painting only the edges of your drawers and doors in a color that stands out.
- Open up some shelves
One alternative to painting cabinets is to remove some doors to create open shelves. Open shelves are trendy and they work best when you have pretty dish displays hidden behind a cabinet door.
Use open shelves to give a row of cabinets a visual interest. See how Regan Mauck did it by removing some doors, painting the cabinets from the inside, and even putting in more shelves.
Some home decorators avoid the paint and use things like plants and dishes to add interest.
- Use Backsplash creatively
Backsplash is expensive to install, but you can find cheaper ways around it. Think of using a peel-and-stick backsplash which is simple enough to install on your own without professional help.
If you are a renter, this is even better because it does not involve making any major alterations that may need authorization from your landlord.
This method is not just cheaper but also easy to remove later on if you need to. This kitchen improvement costs as little as $50 although this may vary depending on the specific design you choose. Some of the peel-and-stick designs are made to look like ceramic finishes.
Apart from backsplashes, you can also think about playing around with wallpapers to give your walls a whole new look.
- Install a new Faucet
We probably spend more time at the kitchen sink than some of the other places in the kitchen. A new faucet will definitely make you feel like your space is different. Consider going for a faucet with a higher arch as well as a sprayer which will not only make your kitchen look more modern, it will also make washing dishes easier.
- Put in New Lighting
Are you still using the same lighting features you found when you moved into your home? Depending on how long you have been there, it might be time for a change.
Look into the possibility of getting lighting fixtures that are more in line with your own personal style and how you want your kitchen to look. Just changing the lighting on your kitchen island to pendants will make the whole space look different.
Lighting fixtures are easy find for $100 or even less at all the big stores, but you can get a more unique DIY statement lighting piece that will cost even less.
Consider fashioning a pendant light by putting together a rattan basket and a pendant light set. You end up with a chic boho look.
Decals are a great way to change the colors of your cabinets without having to redo the painting. Decals are low commitment and great for renters. Use peel-and-stick wallpaper or vinyl decals to add different colors to your plain cabinets.
- Install a Kitchen Island
You don’t need to break the bank to build a kitchen island. IKEA has a popular birch kitchen island that goes for only $108 and fits well into virtually any kitchen thanks to its modest size
All it needs is a towel bar and hooks to make your kitchen roomier.
- Hooks beneath Shelves and Cabinets
One of the most under exploited spaces in a kitchen is the space found in between upper cabinets and counter tops or shelves.
Screwing cup hooks onto the wood and then using them to hang kitchen tools or mugs is a simple and affordable kitchen upgrade. You will have a brand new storage space available instantly.
- Tape Self-Adhesive Paper over Appliances
Give your fridge or dishwasher a brand new look with some self-adhesive paper. It is easy and cheap. A plain color will give you a more classic look or style. Pick a more whimsical pattern to turn your fridge/dishwasher into a statement piece.
Decoding Nutrition Labels: A Guide to Making Healthier Food Choices
In today’s fast-paced world, where convenience often trumps quality, understanding the nutritional value of what we eat has never been more critical. With a plethora of food options available, the ability to read and interpret nutrition labels is a vital skill for anyone looking to maintain a healthy diet. This article delves into the art of deciphering nutrition labels, empowering you to make informed choices that align with your dietary needs and goals.
The Importance of Nutrition Labels
Nutrition labels are more than just a regulatory requirement; they are a window into the contents of our food. According to a study by the Food and Drug Administration, understanding these labels can lead to better food choices and, consequently, better health. The labels provide information on calories, nutrients, serving size, and other essential data, helping consumers identify the healthiest options.
Understanding Serving Sizes and Portions
One of the first things to note on a nutrition label is the serving size. This is crucial because all the nutritional information displayed pertains to this specific amount of food. As Harvard Health Publishing points out, serving sizes are standardized to make it easier to compare similar foods; however, they may not reflect the portion you usually consume. For instance, if a packet of chips lists the serving size as 10 chips, but you eat 20, you need to double the nutritional values to understand what you’re actually consuming.
Calories: The Energy Measure
Calories are a measure of energy, and understanding your caloric needs is fundamental to managing weight. The Mayo Clinic suggests that an average adult needs about 2,000 calories a day, but this varies based on age, sex, and physical activity level. Nutrition labels provide the number of calories per serving, helping you gauge how a particular food fits into your daily caloric intake.
Nutrients: The Good and the Not-So-Good
Nutrition labels also list the amount of various nutrients, including fats, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, sugars, protein, and certain vitamins and minerals. The American Heart Association recommends paying close attention to:
- Saturated and Trans Fats: Linked to heart disease, these should be limited in your diet.
- Sodium: High sodium intake can lead to hypertension. It’s advisable to choose foods with less sodium.
- Dietary Fiber: Foods high in dietary fiber, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, are beneficial for digestive health.
- Sugars: Keep an eye on added sugars, which can contribute to weight gain and other health issues.
The % Daily Value: Your Nutritional Compass
The % Daily Value (%DV) on nutrition labels indicates how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. As explained by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 5% DV or less of a nutrient per serving is considered low, while 20% DV or more is high. This guide can help you quickly assess if a food is high or low in a particular nutrient, aiding in balancing your diet.
Ingredients List: The Tell-All
Beyond the numerical data, the ingredients list on food packaging is equally telling. Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight, as noted by Healthline. This means that the first few ingredients are the most predominant. Be wary of products where sugars, unhealthy fats, or unrecognizable ingredients appear at the top of the list.
The New Nutrition Label: What’s Changed?
Recent updates to nutrition labels have made them more user-friendly. Key changes, as outlined by the FDA, include larger font for calories, updated serving sizes to reflect what people actually eat, and the inclusion of added sugars. These modifications aim to make it easier for consumers to make informed food choices.
Making Healthier Choices
Armed with the knowledge of how to read nutrition labels, you can make healthier food choices. Opt for foods lower in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and higher in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Remember, the goal is not just to eat less but to eat right.
In conclusion, understanding nutrition labels is a powerful tool in the quest for a healthier lifestyle. By becoming savvy about what’s in your food, you can take control of your diet, make smarter food choices, and ultimately, lead a healthier life. Remember, every small step towards understanding what you consume contributes significantly to your overall well-being.
The New Culinary Revolution: Sohla El-Waylly’s Low-Waste Cooking Hacks
In an era where social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok have become the new cookbooks, culinary creators are rising to prominence. Among them, Sohla El-Waylly stands out as a beacon of innovation and accessibility. Known for her home kitchen exploits, she’s a culinary creator, writer, video producer, and community advocate. Her recent cookbook, “Start Here: Instructions for Becoming A Better Cook,” has been one of the most anticipated releases of the season, according to HerMoney.
Breaking the Mold
Sohla El-Waylly is not your typical culinary artist. She challenges the status quo by questioning the “how” and “why” behind cooking techniques. “In my culinary journey, whether I was in a professional kitchen or just following a recipe, a lot of times someone just tells you to do something,” Sohla says. “They don’t tell you why, they don’t tell you how something works, and I find it very hard to work that way.” This sentiment echoes a broader shift in the culinary world, where understanding the science of cooking is becoming increasingly important, as noted by experts at the Culinary Institute of America.
Grocery Store Hacks: Quality Over Deals
When it comes to grocery shopping, Sohla has some unique insights. She recommends buying fruits and vegetables that are on sale, arguing that this is when they are at their peak freshness. However, she cautions against buying meat on sale, stating that discounted meat is often close to its expiration date. This aligns with food safety guidelines from the USDA, which advise against purchasing meat that is close to its “sell-by” date unless you plan to cook it immediately.
The Art of Low-Waste Cooking
One of Sohla’s most significant contributions to the culinary world is her focus on low-waste cooking. She advises using what you have on hand and being flexible with ingredients. For instance, if a recipe calls for parsley but you only have dill, go ahead and make the swap. The same principle applies to root vegetables; if you don’t have a beet, use a carrot. This approach not only minimizes waste but also encourages creativity in the kitchen. The Environmental Protection Agency supports this low-waste philosophy, emphasizing that food waste is one of the largest components of landfill waste.
Sohla El-Waylly is revolutionizing the way we think about cooking. From questioning traditional methods to offering practical grocery store hacks and championing low-waste cooking, she is a culinary creator for the modern age. As we continue to navigate the evolving landscape of food and cooking, figures like Sohla offer a refreshing and sustainable approach that resonates with a new generation of home cooks.
French Grannies let us in on their best Cleaning Secrets
French cooking and fashion inspires millions across the world. The French have a way of bringing style to everyday activities. I wondered if maybe we learn something from the French about things like sweeping floors and scrubbing sinks.
So I turned to French grandmothers for cleaning trips have worked to give them clean and fresh homes. And I was not disappointed. Here are 10 of the best cleaning tips. As shared by French grandmothers.
French grandmothers often have a femme de ménage. They delegate at least some of their cleaning work to a domestic help. Most people cannot afford maids. But you can identify your most unpleasant or tedious tasks and delegate them. Hire someone at least once a year to do some spring cleaning. Work is a lot easier when you get the whole family to chip in with the cleaning.
Use Black Soap to make a Floor Cleaner
Black soap is a natural cleaning product which is also biodegradable. Made using olive oil, black soap works for everything, and it is no surprise that French grandmothers love it on floors. Black soap is too strong and needs to be diluted first before you can use it for cleaning. You can also use black soap for refreshing leather, cleaning paint brushes, doing laundry, and spraying garden plants to get rid of aphids.
Use Lemon Juice to make an Old White Shirt Brighter
Make your lemon juice solution using juice from three lemons mixed into a liter of cold water. Submerge an old white shirt that may be dull or graying inside the mixture to brighten it. Soak it for a few hours before rinsing the shirt and washing it the usual way. It will come out brighter.
Clean Windows with Cut Onions
A French food blogger leaned into her Normandy mamie network for this one. When your windows are really dirty and you want them squeaky clean, scrub the outside of your windows with half an onion before you apply your window cleaner or a weak ammonia solution. The onion helps to take out the tough grime when your windows are really dirty. Use this trick after a long winter to give you the best windows.
Use Salt and Aluminum Foil to Polish Metal
To give your silverware and copper dishes a strong clean and shine, mix boiling water, salt and aluminum foil. Stir the mixture inside the water for around ten minutes with the silverware insider. Remove the silverware and rinse it then dry with a cloth. This treatment will turn dull and grey silverware clean and shiny. The results are magical.
Remove Wine Stains with Salt
If your tablecloth is ‘ruined’ with wine stains after a dinner party, do not worry. Simply rub the stain with coarse salt soon after it has been stained. The coarse salt lifts out the color of the wine and keeps it from setting. Wash immediately for best results.
Use Spinach Water to improve Fading Dark Colored Clothes
If your black jeans are starting to look less black and greyer, the solution could be right in your kitchen. Soak the garment in spinach water to enhance its color before you wash it. The spinach water should not have any seasoning, oil, or butter inside it. If you have no spinach water, try black tea or coffee.
Use an Old Sweater to Shine Floors
An old woolen sweater and some beeswax is all you need to give your wooden furniture and floors some conditioning and make them smooth and glossy. Woolen sweaters are perfect for the job. The gentle material is also absorbent enough to remove stains from wood.
Use Vinegar for Kitchen Odors
I had to try this tip on my own mildew infested sink to see if it really worked. I was amazed to find that the smell disappeared after a few days. Keep a small bowl of vinegar at any kitchen spot that is plagued by bad odors. It works.
Use Coffee Grounds to make Smelly Hands Fresh and Clean
Once you are finished with your chores, you want your hands to look and smell fabulous. You do not want to leave the kitchen smelling of garlic or fish. Grab some used coffee ground and some soap and clean your hands with them. The soap will make your hands clean and the coffee grounds will absorb any nasty smells.
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