Friday, September 29, 2006

Aquatic Bath Tubs:- More Than Just a Dip

Bathing is an important part of a decent living. For thousands of years, various cultures and societies have given attention and significance to the experience.

Nothing compares however to the experience of soaking in an aquatic bathtub after a long day. It is a perfect combination of luxury and quality, of leisure bath and healthy water immersion.

What Is an Aquatic Bathtub?

The aquatic bathtub provides for a more relaxing and soothing experience than any ordinary tub out there. It is like having your own spa in the comforts of your home. It is all about hydrotherapy.

What Is Hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy is one method of treating a disease through the use of water. It is deemed to be used by ancient Greek doctors.

This method is more commonly known now as the spa therapy. They are very popular now.

Hydrotherapy or spa treatment can be used to address various problems. The warm water can relax spasm, very useful in alleviating sprains, muscle sprains, fatigue and backache.

Sitting in hot water alone, or a sitz bath, is effective in treating swollen hemorrhoids.

Physiotherapy is another area that makes use of water. The buoyancy of water allows an ailing limb or strained muscle to be moved or exercised, as there is less pull of gravity when immersed in a tub of water.

What Is a Whirlpool Bath?

Whirlpool is a special feature in most bathtubs to have an effective hydrotherapy experience. It is water spinning in a circular motion around a central area.

Heat is used together with this whirlpool bath, to effect a stimulating treatment or massage in an aquatic bath.

Additional Features to Consider

In deciding over an aquatic bathtub, there are hundreds of selections to choose from, with more than 1,500 distributors worldwide. There are premium designs that come with many luxurious features. There are the economical ones that will provide the basic needs of a spa treatment.

1. Two-Person Bathtub

A roomy bathtub will definitely spell comfort. Spacious bathing will dispense with unnecessary adjustments.

2. Support Features

Seek an aquatic bathtub that has raised seats, arm rests and lumbar support. These features should be secured to enjoy a long soak.

3. Neck Pillows

Neck jet pillows and shiatsu back jet system are some of the most sought-after features. Hydrotherapy jets are installed to provide also the ultimate massage experience.

4. Lighting

Chromatherapy lighting will add more than to the aesthetics. This is a desirable bonus to the hydrotherapeutic experience.

5. Continuous Waterfall

This adds to a peaceful ambience as one rests in a relaxing bath. The sound makes the bathing the ultimate calming experience.

6. Remote Control

Since this bath is about relaxation, some manufacturers have already provided for floating remote control. Any features of the aquatic tub can be turned off and on without having to move from the relaxed stature.

The selection provides a wide range of style and sizes. The features are made even more user-friendly now. Anyone can configure the features to focus on a specific area of discomfort.

With these features to watch out for, getting an aquatic bathtub is really a must. It is like having a hot spring in the confines of the household. Anyone can take a dip, any time of the day.

Just do not miss out on the aquatic bathtub experience. Whatever it is that may be discerned by the budget and by the desires, make sure to get one. Get a quality one, in keeping with the true hydrotherapy purpose of getting more than just a dip.

About The Author
Claire Bowes is a successful Webmaster and publisher of bath tubs & bathing. Claire provides more information on her site about Aquatic Bath Tubs that you can research at home.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Say Goodbye to The Wooden Window Shutter

A discussion of the wooden window shutter plus definitions and descriptions of the many kind of inexpensive and low maintenance shutters on the market.

The traditional window shutter is usually made of wood, needs a lot of maintenance and looks like it is right out of an episode of the Brady Bunch. These window shutters that have been in existence since Colonial times are a bit of an anachronism. Most people simply never shut them yet still the hinges need to be oiled and shined.

It might be time to get rid of the anachronistic wooden shutters on your home and go with something more modern such an aluminum window shutter that resists the elements and never closes. This will definitely cut down on your replacement and maintenance costs for keeping the exterior of your home looking sharp!

Here is a run down of the different types of decorate window shutter that are offered by manufacturers today.

Vinyl window shutter - These easy to clean, affordable shuttles last about forty years! They give your house a traditional look without the traditional expense of replacing them frequently. They weigh next to nothing and look like the real thing. They are available in all of the traditional louvered, board and batten and raised panel styles. Even better they come primed and ready to paint in the color of your choice.

Composite window shutter - These shutters are like a thick particleboard that is made from a composite of weather and rot-resistant materials. They are made from molds that offer all kinds of styles including the louvered, board and batten and raised panel window shutter style. You can also find these types of shutters in a cupboard style (sometimes called the Bahama style) that is hinged at the top so you can open and close them just like the old fashioned wooden shutter.

Fiberglass Shutters - This type of window shutter is the most expensive but they do last about twenty years. They are also molded and offered in a variety of designs including the Bahama, louvered, board and battened and raised panel window shutter styles. The fiberglass window shutter is also stronger and more secure than other types and can be used to protect your windows during hurricanes and storms. Most manufacturers offer these in scores of colors and textures that mimic the look of the real thing. You can also buy these primed and paint them yourself to match your house's exterior design scheme.

Aluminum Shutters. The aluminum wood shutter is also offered in a variety of styles including the faux colonial louvered style and the Bahama style. These strong shutters are great protection for your windows, both in terms of an intruder and also against a hurricane. They come in about a thousand textures and colors. However the powder coated finish looks a little less authentic than other types of shutters and many companies also only offer a warranty of about three years on aluminum shutters.

Of course the crème de la crème will always be the traditional wood shutters, but unfortunately they are not as storm proof as the fiberglass or aluminum window shutter and the costs of protecting them from the elements are relatively sky high compare to other types.

About The Author
Rene Knops helps you get a clear view for choosing beautiful window blinds, shutters or window treatment at lowest prices. for Special Deals and more visit:

Friday, September 22, 2006

Bar Stools - Ideal For Entertainment And Relaxation!

Bar stools are very popular items of furniture, which not only enhance the appearance of a room, but provide versatile seating for all types of occasions. Modern bar stools come in a huge variety of designs, to suit rooms of any theme and some are even made for outdoor use. From traditional wooden counter stools for rustic country kitchens, to contemporary metal bar stools complete with swivel seats, ideal for a home bar or games room, there's a barstool design to suit all tastes.

If you like to entertain, bar stools are perfect for relaxing in whilst enjoying a sociable drink with friends. You can take your pick from various different styles, including simple backless designs with solid or cushioned seats, and those with armrests and seatbacks. Upholstered barstools can be covered with hardwearing fabric in your choice of colors and patterns, to compliment your existing décor and other furniture. Vinyl and leather bar stools are other popular options to consider.

Alternatively, you may prefer to buy stools with detachable cushions that tie-on to the seatbacks. This gives you the advantage of being able to change the covers for cleaning or if you fancy a change of look, and can be useful if your stools get lots of use.

When deciding which bar stools to buy, remember to take accurate measurements of the space available, to ensure a comfortable fit. Bar stools should be just the right height, so they are comfortable to sit in, with adequate legroom, but close enough to the counter top for convenience. As a rough guide, aim for a gap of around 9 or 10 inches between the seat and the counter. Think about the positioning of your bar stools and leave enough space between each one for people to be able to move freely. Commercial style swivel bar stools can work well in home settings too, and are great for saving space.

Online stores are excellent places to browse a huge range of different bar stools and compare prices, making it easier for you to find the perfect bar stools to transform your home.

About The Author
Caroline Smith is a successful freelance writer and regular contributor to - an online resource packed with tips and advice on choosing all kinds of bar stools.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What is a Barcelona Chair?

The Barcelona chair, which is considered to be a modern classic and one of the most elegant chairs of the 20th century, was designed by Mies van der Rohe. He designed the chair at the International Exposition in Barcelona in 1929. Mies van der Rohe drew inspiration for his design from an Egyptian folding chair and a Roman folding stool. The chair was created to replicate a throne and made its first appearance during the inaugural ceremony by the Spanish royal family at the exposition. The chair exudes grandeur and class and at the same time it is light and strong. The Barcelona chair is considered by common consensus to be the pinnacle of a harmonized approach to materials, design, and workmanship.

In 1950, the original design was improved upon by Mies which resulted in a fully welded object in which additional braces at the welding points were eliminated. The one-piece frame made of stainless steel offered higher strength and spring.

In the United States, the design was popularized by George Nelson. The chair was originally hand-made but was subsequently mass produced and marketed by the company, Knoll Associates, which now manufactures it in the U.S and 29 other countries.

Two connected pairs of crossed steel bars constitute the framework of the chair; the front and back legs of the chair are curved, the back legs cross the front legs to form a double curve that supports the seat. Foam-rubber cushions are covered with buttoned leather and placed on the seat and the back by means of saddle-leather straps.
The Barcelona chair is sold by various furniture stores; several of these have online catalogs, which a prospective buyer can browse through. Although, there are several renditions of the Barcelona chair available in the market, they are usually made from chromed stainless steel with the single-piece frame being hand-buffed till a mirror finish is achieved. The upholstery consists of individual leather panels, 40 in number, which may be hand-welted and hand-tufted. In order to maintain the uniformity of appearance and texture, the leather panels are crafted from a single hide. The most favored colors are tan and black.

Even though the Barcelona chair has a modular look that suggests mass production, its craftsmanship requires all the virtues associated with a handcrafted masterpiece. The Barcelona chair is a piece of sculpture and finds extensive use in waiting rooms and foyers. This piece of luxury furniture can cost upward of $ 1000.

About The Author
Pat Gilmour recommends that you visit for more information on the Barcelona chair.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Finding The Best Kitchen Sinks For Your Home

Kitchen sinks are an integral part of any kitchen, and selecting the right sink is vital for a number of reasons. When purchasing a sink for your kitchen you need to think about whether the sink will actually fit in with the décor and style of your room, but you also need to think of the practical side such as ease of use and installation, features and accessories, and the quality of the sink you are planning to purchase. When you make your purchase you want something that will not only look great in your kitchen, but will also last a long time without the need for repair, will be energy efficient, and you may want to ensure that there are extra safety features, particularly if you have children. Selecting the right sink is a great way of adding to your home improvement, and with such a wide range of designs ( ) and manufacturers to choose from you can enjoy a great range of stylish, classy, yet very practical sinks to suit your needs perfectly. Of course, it’s not just the kitchen that needs a sink – you may also want to take the same factors into consideration when buying bathroom sinks. Just like kitchen sinks, buying a sink for your bathroom entails getting something that look great, fits in with the décor, yet offers practicality and high quality.

Enjoy a great choice of sinks

Never before have consumers had so much choice when it comes to finding the perfect furniture for the kitchen or bathroom, and you can enjoy an excellent range of designs from top quality manufacturers. Whether you are looking for a classic stainless steel sink for your kitchen or whether you want a ceramic and stylish sink for your cloak room or bathroom, you can enjoy excellent choice with sinks to suit all needs and tastes. You can also get a wide range of accessories that will enable you to make the most of your sink in terms of style and appearance, and also offer practicality. You can also get sinks that will fit in with a variety of budgets, so you can tailor your choice to suit your personal tastes, needs, and your pocket.

Make your kitchen stand out with the ideal sink

Because the sink is such a focal point in any kitchen, your choice of sink could really make a difference to this room. Try and go for something that will complement your countertops, décor, and theme, fitting in perfectly with the other furnishings in the room. However, don’t focus everything on the appearance – make sure you also take the functionality and practicality of the sink into account in order to get the best from this item of kitchen furniture. The perfect sink will not only look great and help you to make the most of your kitchen, but will also make life easier for you through its practical functions. The simple step of a new sink could help to give your kitchen a complete facelift.

About The Author
Erica Bosworth publishes frequently for a web site with design tips. Erica focuses on new technologies for kitchen sinks ( ) and kitchen remodeling.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Stepping Stones

Stepping stones are something every one can use to upgrade the house look, it is not only practical but is also a great opportunity of every member of the family to contribute and help, and even the one of us who are not that creative can still try and think about a stepping stone concept, create and design a unique and creating set of stepping stones for your family house.

A stepping stone in your garden or backyard will give an elegant look to it, can lead from one place to the other in the garden itself, or lead from the front of the house to the rear and garden. These stones can be almost any durable strong material you choose, you will need to think about the material carefully and make some decisions about what kind of care and maintenance you will need to put in, how much effort in placing the stepping stones you are willing to spend, and very basically how much are you thinking of putting into this home improvement task.

With a nice set of stepping stones you will definitely feel the difference in your garden, this is a work that might take about 2 of 3 weekends, and you can use it for good fun with the whole family, assigning tasks to each family member and making your family work as a team on the stepping stones project. Some research is always good, from the internet to the hardware stores, or if you are thinking of getting someone to do this for you looking over the designs and material available or patterns that you would like to design.

One idea that almost never fails is the consideration of the landscape of the garden in which you want to place the stepping stones into, if you think about your garden while planning your stepping stone you will surely have a result that focuses on the whole look and relates and communicates with the garden itself, a lot of people get so excited about the stepping stones they detach them from the garden, and if the stepping stones do not match the environment they will simply look bad and disturb the flow of your garden – even if these are unique and wonderful stepping stones.

The nice thing about this task is that you really do not need to spend a lot of money, you can experiment with many relatively cheap materials and you can find a stepping stone kit to help you out, sometimes just going over your garage results in great things to make stepping stones of, pieces of tile or broken tile are very good to use for this purpose, the same goes for china or ceramics – very easy things to find.

If you are looking for something with a special look and maybe for a unique pattern and some kind of effect you should start looking for the material that will give you this feeling. Stepping stones are lovely to have, and great to plan and make, have fun.

About The Author
Daniel Roshard is an interior designer fascinated by outdoor architecture, he is currently studying public parks and outdoor design. Daniel is writing articles about home improvement and landscaping issues at

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Radiator Towel Heaters

Inspiring designs, a source of warmth and comfort, what has become one the fastest growing trends within the bathroom remodeling industry are radiator towel heaters. Radiant bathroom towel heaters provide practical luxury along with the comforting advantages after a bath or shower when you wrap yourself in a balmy towel to ease the burden of winter chills.

Health Benefits of Towel Warmers

When it comes to heating the bathroom, homeowners are drawn to the radiator style towel heaters, compared to forced air systems, they are far more cost efficient and economical. From a health standpoint, electric and hydronic radiator towel heaters prevent the constant flow of dust particles in the atmosphere since they are not forced air units they improve the air quality especially for anyone who suffers from either dust allergies or asthma. The heated towel rails provide ample heat alleviating a breeding ground for germs to multiply not to mention the added benefit of not having change filters or clean heat ducts.

At a recent Interior Design show where a number of traditional and contemporary radiator style towel warmers were showcased, a medical expert was on-hand to explain how heated towel rails can actually improve your health by eliminating dust mites that live in our homes, and since dust mites love a warm moist environment, towel heaters aid in maintaining a consistent room temperature and keep it moisture free. He went on to say, apart from dust allergens, mold and mildew are also caused from excessive moisture especially in bathrooms with insufficient ventilation, by placing a hydronic or electric radiator towel rack in the bathroom can help combat the spread of germs for only pennies a day.

The difference between electric towel rail warmers and hydronic radiator towel heaters are that electric heaters operate independently of the home’s heating systems and are simply plugged in to any electrical outlet. Hydronic towels warmers run off the home’s main hot water supply with the need for a circulating pump to force the hot water through the towel rails, keeping in mind they will only function when the main home heating system is operating.

Not Just for the Bathroom

Not just for the bathrooms anymore, heated towel rails serve a purpose all year round. For anyone who owns a swimming pool or outdoor whirlpool hot tub, electric towel heaters can be ported to change room areas to dry wet towels and swimsuits quickly and economically without having to turn on the household dryer. In the winter months they can be placed in mudrooms to dry winter garments or warm blankets and also great for added warmth in basements and help to control the dampness where it is most apparent.

Not only flexible in their use, radiator towel rails provide a hint of elegance and sophistication in any bathroom or living space in your home. With a vast array of unique designs from coiled chrome to straight white ladder rails, available in contemporary and traditional styles and sizes, finding a towel warmer to suit your lifestyle and taste is easily achieved. Economical, fashionable and provide ongoing health benefits, towel warmers have become one of the most coveted items for the bathroom right on through to the bedroom. If you want to cut heating costs, spend less time dusting and not having to continually do laundry, hydronic and electric radiator towel rails can free up time and are easy on the wallet.

Written by Shelley Murphy on behalf of an online retailer of bathroom furniture, steam showers, shower enclosures, whirlpool spa baths and bath related products serving the United Kingdom.

About The Author
Shelley Murphy brings with her over 10 years of Search Engine Optimization and e-marketing strategies to web based businesses. Holding two BA’s in English and Journalism Communications her writing skills have been a great asset for both onsite writing and monthly newsletters publications.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

How To Choose a Storage Shed

If you own a house, at some point the need for extra storage space soon becomes evident. Arguably the most common solution is to purchase a storage shed. There are hundreds of styles and options available, but taking the time review these 5 key steps will enable you to make a smarter decision.

1. What is the primary function of the shed? In most cases, storage space is the key requirement, so figure out how much space is needed. A small 4’ x 8’ lean-to style provides sufficient space for small tools, but larger items do require more space. I strongly recommend choosing the largest size that you can afford, which still blends in with your landscape. Remember that most municipalities require building permits for any building over 100 sq. ft.

2. Is the shed going to play a prominent role in your day to day activities? If so, make sure that you choose a style and options that give you good access and provide adequate lighting. Windows and skylights provide plenty of natural light, but it is common to run electricity to the shed. For easy access, make sure that the doors are at least 34” wide, as most lawn mowers will easily pass through.

3. How important is the look of the shed to my property. Remember that anything you erect will either add or impair on your property value. Metal and vinyl are the least expensive options, but these tend to look ordinary. Wood and pre-finished sidings normally add character and value, but are usually more expensive.

4. Consider the grade and accessibility of the location. A level site is the starting point for all shed construction The greater the grade, the more work needs to be done. Typically a grade of 6” or less over the dimension of the shed can be compensated for by using patio stones, especially for smaller units. In areas faced with frost upheaval or poor drainage, it is recommend that at least 6” of topsoil be removed and filled with screening stone (1/2” or smaller gravel is also acceptable).

5. Be considerate to your neighbors! Don’t put up something that belongs in a junkyard beside your neighbor’s manicured backyard. Most municipalities require that storage sheds be 2 ft from the fence or property line, so be sure to check ahead of time to avoid any aggravation. Talk to your neighbors about your intentions – 99% of the time they will appreciate your concern and be very supportive of your project.

The internet is an excellent source for information on the hundreds of suppliers and styles available. If ordering online be sure to read the warranty and returns information carefully as often goods of this nature cannot be returned. Just because a company has a fancy website it does not mean it stands behind its product – try searching for articles or information on the particular company. Most companies offer either pre-cut or pre-fabricated kits delivered to your residence. If choosing a fully installed product, deal with a local company with a fixed location (avoid the ones that set-up at seasonal locations), and again be prudent with your research. I strongly recommend avoiding companies that require more than a 30% deposit – you’ll end up waiting longer than you should. A storage shed is an important purchase – a little research will go a long way in helping making the right decision.

About The Author
Vic Maia is currently the owner and operator of Garden Shed & Gazebos. English Garden is a family-owned business that has been designing and building Garden Sheds, Gazebos, Cabanas and Bunkies for over 30 years. We are dedicated to providing personalized customer service.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Should You Buy Todder Size Furniture

Your baby has grown into a full-fledged toddler and is ready for a “big girl” or “big boy” bed. Have you seen the latest toddler furniture? It’s cute! But you really don’t have to spend a lot to make your toddler comfortable in his or her bedroom.

Your first decision will be whether to buy a toddler bed. The toddler bed is a piece of furniture sized just right for babies who are too big for their crib. Most use the mattress from the crib, however, so they are not actually that much bigger in size. Toddler beds just get the child accustomed to sleeping without rails all around and is low enough that if the child rolls out, he won’t get hurt.

Has your child grown quickly? If so, you might think about skipping the toddler bed as furniture and buy a twin size bed instead. You can purchase rails made of cloth and plastic that do a fine job of keeping the child in the bed and allowing him more room for movement. If you are looking to save money, this is one way to do it. By buying a twin bed you’ve eliminated the often expensive toddler size furniture that will only have to be upgraded later.

Should you buy a toddler size dresser? Again, the toddler furniture is precious, but do you expect your two or three year old to always put away his socks, underwear or t-shirts? The purchase of toddler size furniture is less about function and more about how absolutely adorable it is. Unless you just have money to blow, invest in furniture that will last the child (or someone else in the family later if it doesn’t match his room any more) for a lifetime. If you buy a six drawer dresser now you can still insist your toddler help put his things away by putting items like socks, shirts and under clothes in the lower drawers. Since the furniture will be heavier, help open and close the drawers for him to avoid smashing his little fingers.

When considering furniture for a toddler’s room remember to keep special needs in mind. Some children have allergic reactions to compressed woods, or the glues used to hold them together. If you have just bought new furniture that seems to have a loud smell and your child develops allergy symptoms, let your doctor know. It may help pin down the allergy culprit without undergoing a lot of tests.

Use the money you save by not buying toddler furniture to change the décor in your child’s room often. A toddler who likes Big Bird one day may be crazy over princesses or Thomas the Tank Engine another day. Use standard colors that match the furniture you’ve selected and you can change themes of the room as often as your child changes favorites. Your toddler’s room can still be cute and as unique as his ever changing personality even if you don’t sink a lot of money into toddler sized furniture.

About The Author
Bob Benson is the founder of Furniture online. You can check out our website at

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Kitchen Equipment: The Right Tools

A basic kitchen needs a selection of pots and pans, some basic gadgets, and a collection of common spices and condiments.

Pots and Pans:

A minimum set includes a small frying pan, a one-quart saucepan with cover, a two-quart saucepan with cover, a large frying pan with cover, and a large pot (for spaghetti, stew, pot roast, or homemade soup.) If you are cooking for more than one person, get two each of the frying pans and saucepans. Covers are optional for the frying pans, but try to get a cover to fit at least one.

Good quality pans spread the heat evenly so that food does not burn in area of the pan and stay undercooked in another. The bottom of a good pan sits flat on the stove. Cheap pans wear out fast and cost more in the long run. Stainless steel pans with a porcelain coating or a copper bottom are excellent. Stay away from aluminum pans. They get bent out of shape easily and do not last. There have also been some health warnings about cooking in aluminum, but no real proof of any danger.

When using pans with a non-stick coating, turn the heat up only as far as is necessary, and only use wooden or plastic tools. Wipe the pan clean in soapy water. A plastic or nylon net scrubber can be used, but never use steel wool pads. If you do not burn the food onto the pan, and you wash it while the food is still fresh and moist, it will be easy to clean. If you have birds as pets, you may want to avoid non-stick coatings. If you use them, be sure not to overheat them. The coating can release fumes that can kill a bird.

Some other useful tools are a slow cooker, a wok (for Chinese cooking), toaster, microwave, blender, food processor, electric mixer, and an electric knife. There are also bread machines available at reasonable prices that produce a fresh hot loaf of bread rapidly. Most machines also have a delay setting to allow one to place the ingredients in the machine hours before the bread is needed, so the machine finishes just in time for dinner.

Basic Gadgets:

You will need some wooden spoons. Get a selection of sizes and handle lengths. These are always handy and they will not damage your non-stick coatings. Unlike metal tools, they do not get too hot to handle.

You will also want a collection of spatulas in different sizes and shapes. The lightweight spatula that will flip an egg may not be strong enough for a hamburger. Sometimes a narrow spatula is all that will fit in a pan, and sometimes a wide one is needed to get under whatever needs to be turned or lifted.

Whisks come in various sizes. They are very handy for mixing lightweight ingredients quickly, and are easier to get out and later to clean than a blender or mixer.

Get a good set of knives. Cheap ones make the job of cutting more difficult and they wear out fast. With the knives, you will need a good cutting board. A cutting board provides a flat working surface and protects your counters. Plastic cutting boards are easier to clean than wooden ones. Never cut vegetables that will be eaten raw on a cutting board that was used to cut raw meat unless you thoroughly clean the board first.

You will also need a selection of measuring tools. Measuring cups for dry ingredients and measuring spoons come in sets. Get a set of each. You will need a measuring cup for liquids, too. A one-cup measure is probably sufficient, but two-cup and quart measures are also useful. If you want to be precise in your measurements for dietary requirements, buy a food scale and measure your portions until you get used to the sizes and can estimate accurately without weighing everything.

A lot of canned products are now being packaged with pop tops, but get a good can opener for the others. There are some electrics that sell for reasonable prices and do a good job, but get a manual one too. When the power goes out, it can be frustrating not to be able to open the cans.

Spices and Condiments:

Salt and pepper go without saying. Some dried minced onion peps up a lot of recipes. Garlic is available fresh or in dried, chopped form or as a powder. Caution: make sure you know the difference between garlic powder and garlic salt. Garlic powder makes great garlic bread; garlic salt makes VERY salty garlic bread.

Oregano or "Italian Seasoning," gives an Italian flavor to anything. A bay leaf cooked in stew brings out the flavor of the other ingredients. Paprika is a red powder used mainly for appearance, but it has been linked to some health benefits. If you like things hot, try sprinkling some cayenne pepper or chili powder on your food.

Basic condiments include ketchup, mustard, relish and mayonnaise. There are all sorts of mustard varieties available. You can probably find traditional yellow mustard, Dijon, spicy brown, honey, and hot Chinese mustard, just to name a few. Explore your local market and see what looks good. Be adventurous, but buy the smallest size, so you do not have a lot to discard if you do not like it.

Other condiments to try are steak sauces, barbecue sauces, tartar sauce, and various stir-fry sauces. Read the labels. If sugar is one of the first few ingredients, forget it. Ingredient labels list the ingredients in descending order. The main ingredient is first, then the others, with the least one last.

About The Author
Geoffrey Cook
You too, can manoeuvre in the unfamiliar waters of gourmet cuisine, with just a few well-learned techniques that are easy to master, and build a repertoire of literally hundreds of dishes and deserts. Let Geoffrey set you on the path today, to gastronomical delights!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Benefits Of Adjustable Beds

Choosing a comfortable bed and mattress

The type of bed and mattress is a critical decision for people with back problems. While little is known about the type of mattress is good for the back and little medical information about adjustable beds, there are still a lot of questions as to whether or not an adjustable bed is a better alternative for flat mattresses for people suffering from back problems.

How an adjustable bed works

As the name implies, adjustable beds (also called a Semi-Fowler bed), can be attuned to various positions. Sleeping slightly inclined gives comfort to people with back problems with the upper body slightly elevated than the lower body and support to the knees at a slight angle. This position eases some stress off the lower back. It provides support to the spinal curves and lightens the pressure on the entire body.

Potential benefits of an adjustable bed

An adjustable bed provides comfort sleeping slightly inclined compared to lying on a regular flat mattress. How certain back conditions can be lightened up and give more comfort provided to people are seen in the following situations

Degenerative spondylolisthesis. Adjustable beds reduces the pain discomfort in the lower back allowing a comfortable sleep the rest of the night.

Osteoarthritis. This back problem is accompanied by stiffness and sore during the morning. Adjustable beds give better support by lessening compression in the joints.

Spinal stenosis. People with this back problem find comfort bending forward rather than standing upright. Flat mattresses provide lesser comfort compared to sleeping inclined which is offered by adjustable beds.

After undergoing surgery in the lower back, patients felt more comfort using adjustable beds compared to flat mattresses.

While a patient may not be sure of the benefits from an adjustable bed or is unsure of purchasing a new bed, a possible option is by propping up the upper body by using pillows beneath the knees.

Patient’s preference should determine the choice of bed and mattress

Sleeping comfort is still the determining factor in the choice of bed or mattress. No particular type of mattress or bed is guaranteed to work for all patients, and no medical studies proves that adjustable beds are preferable. Whatever bed or mattress gives sleep comfort without extra pain is deemed as the best option.

Sleeping or lying down is the only time in which complete relaxation is experienced by the muscles, ligaments and the spine. A person suffering from a back injury needs to have a good sleep in order to help in the healing process.

About The Author
Jan Thomsen is writing health, diet and exercise articles for and sleep and rest related articles for his Adjustable Bed Review site.