Saturday, June 18, 2016

Some Spicy Facts for Better Flavor

Herbs are the best natural addition in any dish to enhance flavor. The better the quality of herbs and  spices, and more flavorful and aromatic, and better they taste.

When heading to the spice aisle in the grocery store for that two-thirds full plastic bag or bottle of seasoning listed in a recipe, many assume the quality is good. Unfortunately, that is not often the case and the quality of the seasonings impact the flavor of a dish. 

Pre-milled seasonings, which sometimes are ground to a fine powder, often sit on the shelf for some time and the longer they get from the grinding phase, the weaker their potency becomes. Plus, the purity of pre-milled spices may not be as expected. Some have added ingredients milled in, such as color enhancers, bulking additions like flour, and sometimes unexpected foreign substances.

Buying whole spices and grinding them yourself is one way to improve quality and purity.  When possible, make choices based on strong aroma, especially if you choose fresh as opposed to dried herbs and spices. Also, look for vibrant colors, because strong aroma and color are signs of freshness.

Of course, whether outside or in your kitchen window, growing your own commonly used herbs allows for the best freshness. Consider herbs like mint, rosemary, basil, sage, and cilantro.

It is hard to find time to do all of that though.  I recently found a wonderful solution to spices and flavoring your food.  Save the Day Seasonings is owned locally here in Meridian, Idaho and all of their spices are natural, fresh, and my family and kids love them.  I have absolutely no problem plugging them here because you really won’t be disappointed.  They take the guess work out of seasoning your food, and make you look like a Hero in Your Kitchen!

      Your Flooring Consultant For Life,
           Matt Capell
           President of Capell Flooring and Interiors

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Do You Have a Vacation Coming Up?

So many of us are ramping up to go on summer vacation soon. It’s been a long haul from last year and vacation means R&R (rest and relaxation), excitement, and a break from daily routine.

The safety and security of our home while away further enhances the holiday experience by providing peace of mind and here are some things to consider to ensure that happens.
Keep it Offline.

Criminally-minded people are always on the lookout for opportunity. That’s why it’s vital not to advertise that you’ll be away or share photos and experiences while you are away on social media, such as Facebook. Do not let the world know your home will be empty for X number of days. Instead, save those photos and stories for when you return home. That way there is minimal opportunity to take advantage of your home and belongings while you are away. 

Ask a friend.

Arranging to have someone stop by your home to water the plants and care for pets is vital. They can bring in the mail and newspapers or you can temporarily stop delivery of items regularly received while you’re away.

Check the lights.

Think about the regular pattern of nighttime lights – when you’re awake and when you go to bed.  Consider investing in timers to plug your lamps into and set them to match your typical day.

Remember the yard.

If you have a landscaping service, this area is already taken care of, but if you are your own landscaper, look into hiring a trusted friend or neighborhood teen to cut the grass and keep the yard clean while you’re away. This, along with keeping the mail and papers off the stoop, ensures your house looks occupied.

Ultimately, the less people knowing you’re away the better and the more your home reflects your daily living pattern while away the better.

I hope you enjoy your vacation, whenever that might be.

         Your Flooring Consultant For Life,
               Matt Capell
               President of Capell Flooring and interiors

P.S. Don't forget to enter this month's Mega Trivia Contest for a chance to win a $25 gift card to the restaurant of your choice! Click the photo below to enter.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Top Up the Value of Your Home

Our home is our sanctuary away from the world, so it goes without saying that it has to be comfortable and in our style. There may come a time when, whether moving, upsizing, or downsizing, that a new sanctuary is in order. Of course, we want to add value to our home where possible too. Here are some areas to review when considering our home’s value.
Leave the past behind.

If you’re still living in wallpaper paradise of the 1970s, it’s time to introduce your walls to less print and more color. Speak with experts at your local paint store about the best décor and color options to consider.

Find the space.

Some homes are their own worst enemy due to the amount of ‘stuff’ contained inside. Is it time to declutter or downsize? The value and serenity found in a home is often better with less. Well placed furniture and complimentary décor items leave room to breath. Whereas a lot of stuff can add to our stress and drag down our happiness.  Home decorating magazines are often an inspiration for finding the right balance.

Pause before you start.

Before you start, talk to some professionals and set a plan. If you’re selling, talk to some realtors. If you’re decluttering, consult with home organizers and if you’re redecorating or upgrading, speak with home decorators or interior designers. These people can provide up-to-date details and insight into what should be done to top up the value of your home and turn it into the sanctuary you need it to be.

     Your Flooring Consultant For Life,
          Matt Capell
          President of Capell Flooring and Interiors

P.S.... Continue reading this month's copy of the Home Advisor - by clicking the link below. Be Sure to Enter the Mega Trivia Contest for a chance to win a Free Gift Certificate to a restaurant of your choice.  See past winners and archives here in case you missed an issue.