How to Make a Perfect Cup of Tea

On the subject of etiquette and table setting, here an article about tea setting and how to make a great cup of tea.

A perfect cup of tea is not something which is hot to drink, but it is a beverage that is steeped in romance and ritual which have history filled with all nice kitchen stories. Preparing this quality cup of tea always depends on the availability of the cooking items that will determine the type of tea to be prepared.

Many people tend to raise eyebrows about how to cook it and they are very particular about preparing their own tea since there is one pertinent aspect on tea making either to start with milk or water first. This will give you a platform to decide or have your own theory of preparing a perfect cup of tea.

If you will be cooking it using tea pot, the answer will be either right or wrong and if you are preparing it using cup, the answer will be water first since this method will reduce water temperature and you will end up not cooking a perfect tea.

Take inventory of what you needtea conclude

The first thing you need to do whether you have loose bags or tea bags, the second important thing or ingredient to have is water. Your water should be free from chlorine sulfur or iron since it will make your tea have noxious taste.

You need to fill the empty cooking item or kettle with one cup of fresh cold water. Never boiled water or distilled since this will have no or little oxygen and without oxygen, your cup of tea will not have a perfect taste.

The next step is to plug in the electric kettle and turn it on or you can use a stove-top tea kettle if you do not have the electric type so long as it boils water. Then wait for your water to boil, this will be seen as the kettle switches itself off automatic when boiling point is reached.

The next essential step is to rinse your cup with hot water and then place the tea bag into it and then pour water to your cup to 4/5 full and leave a room so that you add milk if you wish.

After following the above steps, you need to let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes depending on the tea type you preparing and then add some milk to it when steeping is done.

When you are done with steeping, use the teaspoon to remove the tea bag from the cup and discard it or recycle as you desire. You are to add the sweetener when desired by putting a spoon of honey or sugar into your and then stir thoroughly.

Lastly, take your cup of tea at leisurely pace and enjoy the goodness of it. You may add some pancake or biscuits on the plate along with tea together with it on your romantic dinner.

tea set

In conclusion, making a perfect cup of tea entails availing all the cooking items and materials then follow some bold steps. It is the high time to prove yourself worth in kitchen by cooking a tasty tea that it will leave you enjoying its sweetness.

4 Quick Bedroom Home Improvements

Searching for some quick, easy makeover ideas for the bedroom?

Here are three tips to give the boudoir a stylish update without breaking the bank.

Customize Your Space

Bedroom Space is Important

Bedroom Space is Important

Your bedroom should create a happy, relaxed feeling as soon as you walk in.

This is your personal sanctuary, so follow your instincts and use decor to reflect your style.

If your bedroom is a neutral color, consider choosing an accent wall to paint a pretty pastel hue such as pale blue or lavender.

Or, if you prefer, select a vibrant color like tomato red or jungle green.

Painting just one wall instead of the whole room is quick and inexpensive, but will instantly transform the space.

Artwork Makes a Big Difference

Splash Life with Art

Splash Life with Art

Another great way to instantly personalize your bedroom is to add some artwork.

You can find a variety of framed prints and photographs at any home decor store for a low cost.

Or, choose a few favorite photographs you’ve taken with family or friends and have them enlarged and framed to hang on your walls.

Remember, your bedroom is a place for you to rest and retreat from the world, so don’t be afraid to get creative and add personal touches that are meaningful to you.

Focus on Lighting

Lighting Lighting Lighting

Lighting Lighting Lighting

Harsh, glaring lights have no place in the bedroom.

To create a serene and sophisticated feel, choose lamps and fixtures that cast a warm glow.

Just a few updated lighting elements can instantly change the mood of a room.

Consider adding a wall sconce next to each side of your bed. Not only will this be convenient for late night reading or working on the laptop, it will add a romantic, old world feel to the space.

Or, make a dramatic overhead lighting fixture the main focal point of the bedroom.

Spend a day browsing some upscale antique shops to find a one of a kind crystal chandelier, or choose a more modern, stainless steel option at your favorite home decor store.

Your lighting choices can reflect your taste and personal style, so follow your instincts to create an individualized lighting scheme for your bedroom.

Don’t Forget The Details

Bedroom Decor

Bedroom Decor

Accent decor can instantly make your bedroom feel more lush and luxurious.

Maybe it’s a simple dash of color.

Or maybe you have an old heirloom like an Asian Ceramic Vase you can pull out.

Again, it’s all about what feels right to you.

Consider adding a few throw pillows in a vibrant color or funky pattern to the bed, or toss a plush blanket over a chair for some casual comfort.

Place a bouquet of cut flowers in a simple glass vase on your bedside table to liven up the space and add a wonderful fresh scent.

For a fun and funky feel, get a retro alarm clock from a vintage store, or place a cute stuffed animal on top of your dresser.

A full length mirror is a great way to add style as well as function for those last minute outfit checks before you head out the door.

Use these finishing touches as a way to have fun and discover your personal style.

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How to Set the Table for a Romantic Dinner

So you and your lover have been having dinner dates in hotels or restaurants for as long as you can remember.

Now the time to finally decide to break the monotony and do something special in the confines of your home.

You have the idea in your head, it should be romantic, and have a beautiful mood; but the only thing you are not sure of is how to set the table for a romantic dinner.

You are probably thinking it is too much work and you may end up embarrassing yourself.

Well, with proper planning, it doesn’t have to be a difficult affair.

Create the Mood First

Scented Candles Make Wonder Ambiance

Scented Candles Make Wonder Ambiance

The first thing you need to think about is creating the perfect mood.

It may sound cliche and seem like a script from a movie, but before you think of how to set the table for a romantic dinner, you have to create a good ambiance so that the dinner stands out and doesn’t feel like an ordinary meal shared by two people.

You can light up mildly scented candles or use handmade tea light holders and place them in strategic places of the room to create a great atmosphere.

You can put some on the table’s center piece while others can be lined on the floor so as to radiate a beautiful glow into the room.

Do not be afraid of playing around with different types of candles to spice things.

If you are using scents for mood setting and relaxation, ensure that you do not place them at the table because they will end up competing with the smell of the food you have served, and the romantic scent your lover could be wearing just for you.

Plan the Food Beforehand

Romantic Foods

Romantic Foods Are Awesome

Since it is a dinner date, you should think about the food you will serve.

Of course there are no special rules on what should make it to the table, but it would be a good idea to throw in some ‘soul food’.

Foods like chocolate and oysters are said to be aphrodisiacs so you should try that if you are hoping for more action after the dinner.

It might not be a real aphrodisiac, but at least you passed the message across.

You may want to stay away from hotly spiced foods though, because there is nothing romantic about you and your date tearing up and sniffing at the dinner table because you have taken too much pepper.

Wine Will Complement the Romantic Table Setting

Romantic Wine Toasting

Romantic Wine Toasting

Now that you have your food ready, let’s talk about the wine.

We all know that nothing tops up a good dinner date like fine wine.

Get only the best you can afford and get perfect wine glasses to go with it.

Ideally, wine should complement the food that you serve so as to tease the palate. Do not forget to add some background music to give it an exotic feel.

Nothing loud and distracting, you are on a date, so smooth jazz will do just fine and allow you to have a conversation.

Finally Set the Table Properly

Romantic Table Setting

Romantic Table Setting

Some of the things to remember when going about how to set the dinner table is the linen you are using on the table.

Make sure that you go for an interesting tablescape color mix. You can try blending colors and designs to make it unique.

However, you should avoid extremely bright colors or a table cloth that has large and outstanding print.

Always go for neutral colors so that the table cloth doesn’t take all the attention from the other settings of the room.

Put some flowers in a beautiful vase and see how it brings new life to the table, and of course use only the best of utensils and crockery to serve food to your beloved.

If you plan on using silverware, give them a good polish so that they sparkle when the candle light lands on them. One thing to note is that if you are using a flower as a center piece, let it not be so tall lest it acts as a barrier between you and your date.

You do not have to go out anytime you feel like you need to have a date.

Your home can be the perfect location if you know how to set it; and you do not have to pay a lot of money for you to show some love and affection to someone you care about.

All you need to know is some basics on how to set the table for a romantic dinner and the rest will fall into place.

Table Setting Rules and What to Use

Table setting goes back centuries where the British held banquets and parties.

But one thing that has also been timeless is the confusion and anxiety over table setting and using the properly utensils and tableware without making yourself look like a clutz.

So follow this guide on table setting and choosing the proper cutlery and tableware like these gorgeous tea cups and saucers.

The Basics of Table Setting

The fundamental truth is that you are at a table to eat.

The setting should have all that you need to make the eating pleasurable. You also don’t want pieces of your tableware missing that can disrupt the flow of the dining.

An attractive dining table will make your meal even better.

For each place in the table, a “place setting” is required for each person.

Here’s a list of the things that you’ll need.

  • Dinnerware
  • glassware
  • cutlery
  • napkins
  • a nice table centerpiece
  • placemat

The Different Setting Styles

For the most part, you’re probably only concerned with family settings.

Therefore, informal.

There is a setting for formal and buffet styles, but if you follow the links at the end of the article, you can see the settings for those.

Right now, let’s keep it simple and look at the family setting.

The Family/Informal Table Setting

Family Table Setting

Family Table Setting

Imagine how your family eats.

There are big bowls with the food and it’s passed and shared around the table.

To make this type of movement and flow go well without tipping over glasses, clanging dishes or moving things out of the way, try these rules.

Keep cutlery fairly close to the edge of the table so that you can reach your fork or knife easily.

Plates are always in the middle obviously. That’s where you’re going to serve the food.

Forks are on the left and the knife is on the right.

Smaller salad and desert forks are furthest on the left. Soup spoon or teaspoon is on the right side next to the knife.

If you are having soup, you can place the soup bowl on top of the main plate. Then once you are done with the soup, you can remove the soup bowls completely to clear the mess.

The tea cups and saucers are placed all the way on the right side of the setting as it is reserved for after dinner.

A napkin is positioned all the way on the left.

Basic Table Manners

Learn Table Manners

Learn Table Manners

With kids, you will need to educate them about having manners at the table. They are definitely going to eat at their friends house once in a while. If their manners are bad at their friend’s house, it’s a reflection of you.

So make sure you stick to the rules at the dinner table.

Basic things like

  • chewing with mouth closed
  • asking to have something passed around
  • waiting your turn
  • saying please and thank you
  • no phones
  • no shouting or arguing
  • elders first
  • using napkins properly
  • complimenting the chef

Advanced Table Manners

These rules apply not just for the children, but for everyone in the family including adults.

It’s a horrible offense to be a picky eater and complainer when somebody spent so much effort to serve and feed you.

Try a little of everything even if you don’t like it.

If you really can’t eat something, just say you are allergic instead of saying it tastes bad.

Don’t play with your food.

Take small bites instead of gulfing things down.

Use your cutlery properly and use utensils when needed. Don’t use your hands to grab or tear things apart and stuff it into your mouth.

Best of All….

Enjoy your meal and the company.

A dinner table is all about sharing a meal and making good memories.

Relevant Links

How Different Dining Table Shapes Affect Your Kitchen

Staying with the kitchen theme, let’s take a look at how to buy a dining table because it is the centerpiece to your kitchen.

Even if you have a separate dining room, it’s still an extension of your kitchen because you take your food to the dining table.

Or if you have a kitchen large enough, you’ll probably have a small kitchen table too.

The Quality of Material

Dining Table Quality

Dining Table Quality

In real estate, it’s “location, location, location”.

In the kitchen, it’s “quality, quality, quality”.

Sure you have to buy what you can afford, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ignore used quality goods.

You can check on craigslist and you might find a gem. Instead of just running down to Ikea, look around your neighborhood. There are lots of people who need to get rid of their dining table.

Why not take advantage of that and pick up a bargain quality table?

But to know what you are looking for, go for a full wooden table if possible and budget allows.

Even if it’s a small one.

A good quality table will last a long time. Instead of buying a veneer or fake wood table, make it count the first time.

Choose the Right Size for the Room

Large Table in the Room

Large Table in the Room

I’ve been to places where the dining table was too big for the room and people had to squeeze themselves in and out of their chairs. It was so backed up against the wall that it was uncomfortable.

The dining area is supposed to be a cozy place to relax and enjoy a meal with others. Not sucking your stomach in.

No matter how much you fall in love with a piece of furniture or decor, don’t compromise comfort.

If it doesn’t fit, move on.

One quick tip is to measure the room before you go looking for dining or kitchen tables.

Make sure there is at least 50 inches of space between the chair and the nearest object.

What Shape Do You Want?

Round square or rectangle?

Round square or rectangle?

The style of the table is going to change the aesthetics of the room.

If the table is too strong, it may overpower the kitchen or dining room.

But here are some general rules.

If you have a small space, then go with a round table because the soft round edge will blend well. A round table is also best because it can fit the most people.

Your legs may kick people, but hey, compromise.

Square tables have more authority because there is a head and a tail of the table.

The power seats.

For narrow rooms, you have no choice but to use a rectangular table and it will work.

The shape really does affect the ambiance of the room.

Don’t forget to look up lots of magazines to get inspiration and when you’re done, you can move onto finding the perfect kitchen gadgets to fill your home and then decorating your kitchen.

Relevant Links

Cool Kitchen Tools to Turn You Into a Master Chef


Inspector Gadget Master Chef

Back in the ice age when all you had was a chunk of ice or rock to get through everything, you had to make do with what you had.

If you had to cut something, you had to work for it. Making a stone knife was no easy job as you had to spend hours to sharpen the knife.

But we are so blessed nowadays with the amount of gadgets that are available in our kitchen.

Last time I went through some ideas on easy kitchen decor ideas.

I’m going a different here.

Here are 6 cool kitchen gadgets to save you time and make your life easier.

From coring apples quickly to slicing pineapples with ease, the options are endless.

#1 The Apple Corer

The Apple Corer

The Apple Corer

Where would we be without this?

Don’t tell me you’re still slicing an apple in half and then cutting out the core.

For as little as $10, you can get a quality apple corer to make the job easy.

The benefit is that since you are not slicing up the apple, you can get the full shape of the apple if you are decorating a cake or making apple pie.

You can now core an apple in as little as 15 seconds.

#2 Coffee Joulies

Coffee Joulies

Coffee Joulies

What’s worse than watering down your drink with melting ice, or your nice hot cup of coffee cooling off before you can even enjoy it?

I can’t think of any because I like to enjoy my drinks.

Well if you have the same problem as me, then Coffee Joulies is here to save you because it is amazing.

It’s a piece of special metal that you put into your drink and it will then suck up and retain that temperature whether it is a hot or cold drink. The metal will then work to keep your drink at the proper drinking temperature.

If it’s a hot drink, it is hotter for a longer period.

If it’s a cold drink, the drink stays cold and you don’t have to water it down.

#3 Dish Washing Bottles

Dish Washing Bottles

Dish Washing Bottles

Well it’s actually an oil bottle but it’s a great way to use it for dish washing liquid. The detergent is colorful so it brings some life and color to  your kitchen.

Most kitchens have too much black and steel.

Quite boring. So why not make the kitchen grab some attention with the addition of color.

The use of bottles like this makes it neat and organized. You know how much is left and you don’t have to leave out the ugly looking original container on the sink.

#4 Julienne Peeler

Juliennes Made Easy

Juliennes Made Easy

Unless you are a serious pro with a knife, cutting Julienne’s are a pain.

Getting it small and consistent is a nightmare. If you don’t have a sharp knife, it’s even dangerous.

So cheat a little and turn it into a breeze.

Cooking should be fun. Prepping can take forever.

On TV and in recipes, they say it takes only 15 mins, but they always forget to include the prep time which can take up to an hour.

That’s not how I want to spend my time.

#5 Strawberry Slicer

Life saving Strawberry Slicer

Life saving Strawberry Slicer

Same deal as the Julienne peeler and the apple corer.

This little gadget is a time and life saver.

If you love baking strawberry shortcake, you need to slice a lot of strawberries.

Imagine if you could cut that time into one tenth.

Lovely isn’t it? :)

Great things come in small packages.

#6 Tiered Oven Rack

If you have a big family and need to get 3 or 4 dishes into the oven, it’s going to take forever to cook the dish once the first batch is complete.

The idea behind this tiered oven rack is for you to load up the oven and maximize the space.

A lot of space in ovens are usually wasted and the way the shelves slot in don’t help much.

There always seems to be an inch missing here or there.

This solves all your troubles and you’ll be in and out of the kitchen quickly.

What Are Your Favorite Kitchen Tools?

There are thousands of gadgets that you can buy online, but what are some of your favorites?

Kitchen Decor Ideas the Easy Way

If you own a home, it’s a very rewarding feeling.

Being able to decorate it, knowing that it’s your own private space.

The feeling you get when you invite people over and they make compliments about your home and your little touches.

The kitchen is the heart of the home and that’s where we focus today.

Here are 5 DIY kitchen decor ideas that are certain to take your kitchen from ho-hum to fabulous!

#1 Update Outdated Cabinets

Updated Outdated Cabinets

Updated Outdated Cabinets

Outdated cabinets are one of the main reasons we all start to remodel the kitchen.

They might be old, stained, or even broken, but unless there are severe issues under your cabinets (flooring, plumbing or electrical problems) there really isn’t a need to tear everything out.

The easiest way to update your cabinets is to paint them.

And the easiest way to paint them is by using a paint kit from the local hardware store that is specifically designed for kitchen cabinets.

There are several different types of kits, and some online too, including ones that do not require you to sand OR remove your doors prior to painting.

This is a huge time saver, especially if your cabinets are in good shape.

If your cabinets are in good shape but the doors are not, you’re still in luck.

If you are handy, it’s really not too challenging to purchase a stencil and cut new doors using the old ones as templates.

This is a bit more advanced than the average DIYer, but can still be done beautifully with the help of a good friend or two.

If you are not handy and your doors still need to be replaced, look online for some great deals on doors only.

These usually come ready for installation, with pre-drilled hinge holes.

Again, use your existing doors and drawers to measure for ordering.

#2 Give Your Countertop a Facelift

Countertop Facelift

Countertop Facelift

Countertops are the most used in the kitchen and often the most expensive to replace.

However, DIY countertops are plentiful these days, thanks to some great products and creative people.

Just like the cabinets, if your countertops are in good shape, but not the right color, consider purchasing a resurfacing kit from a local hardware store.

These countertop kits will transform a laminate counter into a great looking solid surface alternative in a weekend.

The only major thing to be concerned about with this application is that your area can be blocked off from all household traffic while the material dries – nobody wants dog hair or finger prints on their counter.

Another option for countertop refreshing is to tile the surface OVER the laminate.

There are numerous tutorials online for this and often the results are stunning.

The DIYer need only to follow the tutorial and again, in a weekend your countertop can be transformed.

For the do-it-yourself-er with a bit more skill, consider a concrete overlay.

Solid concrete countertops are beautiful and durable, but are generally very heavy and required skilled labor to pour and install.

However, an overlay can be done either directly over the laminate or over the wood once the laminate is removed.

This project is a bit more involved, but one can’t argue with the results.

Do your research ahead of time by looking for detailed tutorials and reading concrete reviews.

Doing so will ensure your project is successful.

#3 Resurfacing Your Kitchen Floors

Beautiful Kitchen Floors

Beautiful Kitchen Floors

Your floors are walked on daily and boy do they take a beating.

One way to quickly update your floor on a budget is to add a rug.

Not just any rug, but go to a flooring store looking for a large piece of vinyl flooring in the discount bin.

Don’t worry about the design because you will be using the back side.

Once you get it home, you can cut it to the desired size and shape.

The best part about this option, is that you turn over the large piece and start painting.

Paint it whatever color or with whatever design you want.

Several tutorials are available online that can guide you through this process. Once it’s complete, you just stick the vinyl to the floor using hook and loop tape or even strong double sided tape.

It’s better than ripping up the entire floor.

#4 Pretty Up Your Counter Space

Extra Kitchen Decor

Extra Kitchen Decor

If you have counter space, consider leaving out some “stuff” like decorative handmade pottery or your best tea light holders to add spunk to the area.

Instead of storing flour or sugar or coffee away in the cabinet, why not put them out?

Another cute and creative way to make a canister is to spray paint a coffee container and lid.

Using spray paint for plastic, chalk board paint (or labels) and your imagination, you can make your canisters match any decor.

Plus, by storing those pretty canisters out on the counter along with other decor, you have space in your cabinets or pantry for your larger-small appliances.

#5 Other Inexpensive Upgrades

Inexpensive Kitchen Upgrades

Inexpensive Kitchen Upgrades

Customize your kitchen by adding decorative features to cabinets, islands and walls.

Thankfully, most big box stores have an isle devoted to moldings, decorative wood pieces and furniture legs.

Seek your inspiration down this isle.

Putting new legs and feet on kitchen cabinets makes inexpensive, stock cabinets look more custom.

Because these legs/feet are not being used for support, they can be attached using construction adhesive.

Additionally, adding crown molding to the top of cabinets will give your cabinets more height as well as enhance the custom feature.

Crown molding is a bit more work; however, there are numerous books and online tutorials that can walk you through the process.

It isn’t as scary as it seems, and the majority of the information available will give you time saving (and frustration saving) tips to do the job right.

There are so many more than just these 5 tips.

How about putting faux tin on your ceiling? Or changing those island pendants into a mason jar chandelier?!

Hopefully these 5 DIY decor ideas will get you started in the DIY spirit and take your kitchen to new heights!

What will you be working on next?

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