Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tantalise Your Taste Buds on a Culinary Holiday to Marrakech

Moroccan cuisine is enjoying unparalleled popularity around the world.  Its subtle spicy flavours suit most taste buds and Moroccan cooking, unlike some other international foods, is not difficult to master.  With so much emphasis on the food, interest is now swinging to the people and the land of Morocco.

Moroccans are a mix of ethnicities and it is this mix that has created the delectable flavours that are the trademark of the cuisine.  Phoenicians, Jews, Arabs, Berbers, Sub Saharan Africans and in the past, Romans and Vandals have all called Morocco home.  They brought with them their religions of paganism, Christianity and Islam and the result is truly a cultural melting pot.  Tantalising your taste buds as you visit Morocco, is as much about exploring its rich cultural heritage as its food.

Marrakech – Where the Ancient Meets the Modern

Marrakech is the perfect location to appreciate all that the country has to offer, without needing to travel from the city itself.  Marrakech is the third largest city in Morocco and home to over a million people.  The capital of the mid south western region means it has important historical significance.  Behind the city, the snow-capped Atlas Mountains provide a beautiful backdrop to a city that celebrates the ancient with its thick fortified walls and the more modern new developments.

Within the walls of the old city (Marrakech Medina) is a palace that today is a restaurant offering not only delicious Moroccan foods, but an opportunity to experience the richness of Moroccan culture within the rooms and gardens of the palace.  For something a little more exciting, experience Arabic folklores in an exciting display of horsemanship and rifle shooting at Chez Ali’s Fantasia.  Performed by experienced riders from around the country, you can dine on Moroccan cuisine whilst marvelling at their skills.  It is an unforgettable experience that will surely create a lot of interest back home after your holiday.

Daytime in Marrakech would not be complete with visiting the souk or marketplace.  The largest in Morocco, it is not only a place to spend time getting to know the locals as they shop for their every day supplies, you can find all the things you need to cook your own foods.  Here also you can enjoy acrobats, storytellers, dancers and musicians performing traditional Moroccan songs and dances. Return at night and enjoy the souk’s transformation into an open-air restaurant.

What about a Walking Tour?

Walking tours of the city are available, and these give you the opportunity to hear and appreciate the local history presented by local guides.  Taking these tours ensures you don’t miss anything the city has to offer.  A similar tour is also available for the souk.

Whether you stay local or take a car and head to the nearby mountains with their waterfalls and river valleys, be prepared to be charmed and surprised as you visit Marrakech.  You may visit for the cuisine, but like so much of Africa, once you visit, you will leave your heart there.

Cars can be pre-booked so that they are available for pickup from Marrakech airport.  Visit erentals.co.uk and search for the best deals – you are sure to save money by comparing.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How To Install A Kitchen Sink

How To Install a Kitchen Sink

How To Install a Kitchen Sink

 

Have you purchased a new kitchen sink? If you are on a budget, you’re probably thinking of installing the kitchen sink on your own. If you just purchased your kitchen sink from clearance, warehouse, or from someone you know, then installation doesn’t come with the price you paid. Thus, you will need to hire someone and pay extra to do the installation. On the other hand, you can do it on your own without shedding any dollar. If you plan to do so, here is a guide that will help you on how to replace kitchen sink on your own.

 

 

How do I get started?

If you haven’t bought your kitchen sink yet, that’s good. Because, you have to make sure that your new sink will fit your countertop and the cabinet beneath. Before heading out to the store or wherever you plan to buy your kitchen sink, measure! Grab a measuring tape, paper, and pen. Measure and write down the width and depth of the cabinet. A standard sink will measure around 22 inches deep. For that, you’ll need at a cabinet that’s at least 24 inches deep. However, if you have a backsplash, you will only need around 20 ½ inches deep. So if by chance your new sink doesn’t fit, return it ASAP and find a new one that will fit.

 

 

Cutting a hole in your countertop or cabinet sink

If you purchase a new kitchen sink, chances are, there’s a template that goes with it. If you bought a second hand, you can probably ask the previous owner for the template. Begin by placing the template centered on the cabinet where you are installing your kitchen sink. Adjust accordingly so that you leave at least 1 ½ inches away from the edge of the countertop’s front. For countertops that have more than 24 inches in depth, you can move the template farther back. Make sure that you don’t move it more than four inches. Next, tape the template and use a marker to outline it. Now, you are ready to drill holes! In each corner, drill a 3/8 inch diameter hole. Now, you will need a saber-saw blade. Insert it in one hole and begin cutting along the outline. As you drill, there’s a chance that the cutout will snap off or fall especially when you’re half way or more in cutting the outline. What you can do to prevent that from happening is to screw a scrap of wood across to support the cutout or have someone support the cutout as you remove it.

 

 

Next step after cutting a hole

Before you install the kitchen sink, it’s best that you install the faucet and the sink strainers. It’s easier to do this when you still have full access to your sink unlike when it’s already installed and you have to fit the fixture from below the sink. After that, secure the sink to the countertop by applying a bead of silicone caulk or plumber’s putty around the perimeter of the sink’s lip. Next, flip and affix the sink into the hole in the cabinet sink. Be careful not to disturb the putty or caulk. If your sink comes with special mounting clips, hooks, nuts, or screws, follow the instructions that come with your sink. When you tighten the clips, the tendency of the caulk or putty is to squeeze out. Remove it with a clean and soft rag. To complete the installation you can connect the P-trap. Start connecting the faucet lines to your hot and cold supply lines using flexible supply tubes. Next, connect the strainers to your waste line. Now, you can turn the water back on at the shut-off valves. Before turning on the water from the faucet, first take out the aerator from the faucet. Turning on the water will flush the system. Turn off then put back the aerator after you run the water for around one minute.

 
Will is a part time blogger who is passionate about home improvement and gardening. You can catch him blogging at How to Plant , giving free tips on gardening.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Installing A Smoke Detector : Steps You Should Follow

 

Installing A Smoke Detector

 

According to experts, most fires which result in a lot of damage, injuries or casualties occur in places where smoke detectors are absent. Negligence sometimes results in a lot of damage and sorrow. Even fire safety departments and organizations believe that smoke detectors and alarms are quite necessary for prevention of deaths from any sort of fires. In fact, smoke detectors are a must in office buildings which are usually huge with some areas like storage or cleaning rooms that may go unnoticed for long hours. Fire department and other related organizations also make sure to hold seminars and tutorials in order to enlighten people about the importance of smoke detectors.

 

Installing Smoke Detectors

 

1) Once you are able to find carbon monoxide or smoke detectors from a good brand, you should make sure that you install them high on the walls. Ceilings are usually the best option. You should install smoke detectors away from any windows or exterior doors. Smoke usually fills a room with smoke. It first goes upward and then starts to fill the room downward. Installing smoke detectors high on the walls will make sure that you are notified early on.

 

 

2) Carbon monoxide is usually evenly distributed in a room when there is any kind of fire. Installing an alarm means that you have to keep it clean and out of reach of pets or children.

 

 

3) Smoke detectors should be installed on every different level of your home or building. Make sure that you fix them near your sleeping area. Smoke detectors should necessarily be placed in areas of your house which are prone to fire, like a furnace or gas connections. Areas associated with steam in the house are bathrooms, kitchen and laundry. Fix detectors some distance away from these places and not in the rooms itself.

 

 

4) Once you have fixed and installed smoke detectors, you should remember a few things about their maintenance. You should regularly test the detectors for battery or other problems. Pushing the test button on the detector should make a loud noise. If there is no noise, you should check if the batteries are working fine.

 

 

5) The batteries of any smoke detector have to be changed twice every year. In order to check that the new batteries installed correctly and are working fine, you should test the detector as soon as you change batteries.

 

 

6) Most of the smoke detectors contain a special chemical. This chemical helps in the detection of smoke at the time of a fire. Check this chemical whenever you check the batteries. Remember to replenish it if you feel that the amount is low. Without this chemical, your smoke detector will not work as it is supposed to be. It is quite easy to find carbon monoxide detectors in the market at a reasonable price. You can even order online if you want to. Just make sure that you buy a smoke detector from a trustworthy and reliable brand, so that your smoke detector works fine in times of emergency.

 

 

 

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