Pro’s and Con’s of single serve coffee makers

coffee makerSingle serve coffee makers are the rage at the minute. They seem to be the latest fashion accessory for the kitchen. The question is, are they really up to standing the test of time? Or are they just a fad that will fade away over time?

I was dubious when I first noticed them in the marketplace. But after a while, and some nudging from friends who had already made the change, I decided to give them a go. I went out and bought a Keurig K65, after reading reviews online and friends recommendations.

First impressions. It looks good. Sits very nicely in the kitchen, looks elegant. Not an ugly appliance that you feel you need to hide away in a cupboard.

The main appeal with these machines, has to be the speed they make a mug of coffee. Even when time is short, they offer the option of a good cup of coffee. Quick, easy and no mess.

Does my coffee maker meet all these specifications?

Definitely. After only 2-3 minutes the whole coffee making process is completed. That is including heating the water. All I had to do was fill the water reservoir, place the K cup in the holder and press start. Within a few minutes I had a cup of coffee.
There are no spillages, no mess. The only time it is possible to make a slight mess is removing the K cup. Sometimes they can drip a little. I now keep a small dish next to the Keurig to put the K cups in. This makes it easy to carry the left overs to the waste bin.

What does the coffee taste like?

This is easy. Very good. The coffee has a nice aroma, and a smooth taste. I have trialed two different flavors. A black coffee, which had a full bodied flavor but smooth and not bitter. Which was a concern of mine.

The second coffee was a latte. This had a second K cup containing the creme and sugar. This was  a beautiful creamy smooth coffee. I have to admit it, the coffee did rival that of my local coffee shop. The only criticism is the size of the cup is a little small. You can make a larger mug, but I find the taste a little watery.

When wanting to make a quick coffee for one person, these single serve coffee makers, fit the bill perfectly. When making for several people, I do not think they are ideal.

The K cups are not cheap. If you use these types of coffee maker on a regular basis, the cost will quickly add up. If you are used to going to a coffee shop, then they will feel cheaper, but on the whole I think they are an expensive way to make coffee.

So are they a fad? To a degree, I think yes. But they do have their place, for a quick easy, but great tasting coffee fix, they are fantastic.

Grass or No Grass?

This is an interesting question. From what I have noticed, more people are moving away from having a grass lawn area. With the hectic lifestyles that people are living, they are looking for low maintenance options. When they are off work they do not want to have to spend their time carrying out garden maintenance.

What are your options if you want an easy maintenance free garden?
patioThe easiest is probably a patio area. There are many different slab designs and patterns. An attractive area can be created. Once installed virtually zero maintenance is needed, just an annual clean with a pressure washer. The installation and purchase costs can be high, if you are not the type of person to do the work yourself. If you have children, this might not be the best option. Accidents do happen, and falling on hard slabs can be dangerous.

decking

courtesy of photostock

Having a veranda or decked area is another build and forget option. This can also be expensive. Tiers and layers can be made creating different levels. Again all that is needed is an annual clean. All wood used for decking is treated to prevent rot, usually for 15-20 years. For additional reassurance wood stains can be added. They add extra protection but can also change the color of the wood if you have a preference.

 

An option which is becoming more popular, and child friendly, is fake grass or astro turf. Some ground preparation is needed before laying. This can be labor intensive, depending on what your ground is like. You have endless options on appearance. The turf is available with different colors and lengths, to recreate the different varieties are grass. Just choose which you prefer. Prices do vary considerably, along with the quality. If it is an ornamental garden, a cheaper option will be fine. If you have pets and children, they are options which are designed to be extra tough. These guarantee to withstand the abuse that children and pets can throw at it. They do not discolor if you pets do their business and a simple hose down leaves everything clean.

fake grass

courtesy of satit_srihin

These fake grasses are an excellent option if you have children. They are soft, if a fall happens. In extreme dry conditions, they do not brown and become patchy. They look perfect all year round

All the options above can be used individually, or together. Creating a garden with many different features, if you have the room.

If you do like flowers, these can be potted and placed wherever you like. Having plants in pot rather than the ground, is extremely convenient. When kids are playing they can be moved out of the way to prevent any breakages.

So these are just a few options which wanting to create a low maintenance garden. Hopefully we have inspired you to take action.

 

 

 

 

Can you afford not to make the change to memory foam?

Memory foam mattresses are the rage right now. They have been for a while. If you dont understand why, then hopefully we can help.

Memory foam is an extremely supportive material, that reacts with the heat of your body. Once your body has warmed the foam, it contours to you. After this has happened your body is being held in the perfect position for your health.

All pressure points are relieved. Your neck, shoulders, spine and hips are all held in correct alignment. These two facts alone should now make you want to start shopping. Hospitals have been using memory foam products for years because of these fantastic qualities. Patient recover has been much faster since the transition.

Yes a good memory foam mattress is more expensive than a standard spring one. But the manufacturing process is far more costly. I can guarantee you that the manufacturer is making more profit even if the mattress is cheaper to sell. I read that the average spring mattress costs less than $50 to manufacture.

memory foam mattress

courtesy of tiverylucky

If you have a restless, broken nights sleep, wake up with aches and pains, it is time to change your mattress. You are either sleeping on an old knackered mattress, or the mattress you have is definitely not suited to you.

The reports of people being too hot with memory foam might have put you off. These reports are not false and some people have had issues. But it is less than 10% of owners. The newest mattresses even have new technology to combat heat build up. Air channels and gel beads are being incorporated into mattress design, with positive results.

Price might be a factor holding you back, and I do understand this. Not everybody can lay their hands on a few hundred bucks, just like that. If this is the case, then I highly recommend putting a little aside every week. Before you know it you will have the money saved.

Another option is a memory foam mattress topper. Not quite as good as a completely new mattress. But a quality one is considerably cheaper, and does a great job. A high quality 3-4 inch mattress topper will transform the mattress you are sleeping on. You will not think it is the same one.

If there is one thing you invest in for your house this year. Make it a memory foam mattress. I know it is not something everyone else will see. But you will benefit the most. Your sleep is incredibly important. Do not underestimate how much it will benefit you

Revive your tired living room

You might be at the point where you have been living in your home, and getting bored with the way it looks. The lounge in particular can often benefit from a light revival. It can be fixed very easily, and no need for a massive decoration overhaul.

With a few simple changes and some accessories, you can create a completely new feel in the main room of your home.

The first change which is often easiest is cushions. If you have a set color scheme no need to worry, it is all fine. If all of your cushions are all the same in color but slightly different sizes, it can begin to feel a little bland. You want to add some boldness and character. Just swap a couple of the cushions for some high impact cushions. Animal print works incredibly well for this. Or big bold spots or stripes. This change alone can completely change the look of a sofa or chair.

If that is not your thing, how about a rug . A bright rug catches the eye and changes the focus on where you are looking in the room. If you have a large or small area, makes no difference. A rug will create the impact that you are not getting from you living room at the minute.

You can add some new accessories. Again I recommend them to be different in color to what you have now. Something that stands out and catches the eye. This could be photo frames, vases, lamps with colored lamp shades, or just new ornaments. Any one, or a combination of these will help change the feel in your living room.

Slightly more of a decoration aspect could be to change or add some blinds. You probably have curtains. Adding some blinds to the windows will add a completely new dimension. It is all about creating the impression of massive change, with a few small accessories.

Any one of the options above will help you. A combination of many will definitely change the way you feel about your living room. Hopefully you can be brave enough to try a few of these out, you will be surprised at the effect it can have.

How To make a wall gallery

wall gallery

courtesy of tungphoto

A fashionable trend at the moment, is to have a selection of pictures/photos, random in size and shape, all together on one wall. The arrangement may look completely random, but there is an art to make it work, and look pleasing to the eye.

Firstly, you do not need matching frames to look good. A random selection of frames can create a visually appealing centerpiece. Likewise, a selection of frames, all the same in design, but different in size, can work equally as well.

If you lack wall width but have good height, arranging a wall gallery can give the perception of an increase in size. By making peoples eyes focus on the height, this creates an illusion of size. This can pay dividends if you are planning to sell your property.

The trick to making a wall gallery appear random and appealing, is to have an element of symmetry. Visualize where you are going to place all your photos and draw a horizontal line. This line will be through the center of your gallery. You want to try and have an equal amount of photos above this line as below. And that is it.

It can be difficult to picture your arrangement and place all the photos directly on the wall. I highly recommend planning everything in advance. Have a piece of string on the floor, representing your horizontal line. You can now trial various arrangements. Take measurements. Try and make the distance above the line, the same as below it. When you are happy take a quick photo. Nothing artistic, a quick photo with your phone or camera, purely for reference. It makes everything a little easier.

Before you start making any holes in your wall, just double check your measurements and have your photo for reference.

Make sure you have all the tools at your disposal. Measuring tape, hammer, hooks and a pencil, should have you covered. Take your time, keep checking. If you become undecided, just stop take a look, if you change your mind, alter everything on the floor in your mock up. You do not want to make holes in your wall, then to change your mind.

With a little patience and planning, you can easily create your own wall gallery.