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Monday, February 29, 2016

4 Ways To Test A Food Business Idea

Fancy yourself as a god/goddess of the kitchen? If so, why not put your money where your mouth is and try and turn your love into a genuine business? It’s easier said than done, of course.

There’s a vast difference between cooking an excellent meal for three or four friends and cooking on any scale. And, it’s a big gamble. But, if you feel like your food has potential, there are a few things you can do before making your culinary business dreams come true.

We’ve pulled together some ideas for you to explore - so check them out and give them a go. If you find you are successful, then you can have a more serious think about going into the food business full time.

Tasting sessions with friends

The first idea is an obvious one, but it’s a good indication of how well your food will go down in a busier environment. Hold a food tasting session at home - or rent a hall and use their facilities.

Invite everyone you know, and get an idea of the numbers that are willing to come. It will give you an idea of the effort you will need to go to for cooking on a large scale. And, it will also tell you if you have the skills to cook consistently.

Make sure that you give everyone tasting sheets, and get their thoughts on your efforts. If there are any major problems, you can make adjustments to your ingredients or cooking times.

Food stall at community event

The next step is to cook for strangers. It can be tough to get a pitch at a big event when you are just getting started, so look at community events instead. School fetes, for example, might be a perfect opportunity.

Keep your menu as simple as possible, and try and get some feedback from as many people as you can.

Festivals and markets

Once you have some experience under your belt, you can try your luck with the festival and food market circuits. Now, these pitches can be expensive, so you will need to have a refined menu and know exactly what you’re doing.

It’s also important to know your market. Street food works perfectly at a music festival, for example, while a cake stall isn’t going to do much business.

Popup restaurant

Once you have tested your food out on the wider public, think about running a series of pop-up restaurants. They are an excellent way of getting your name out there and aren’t as risky as opening a restaurant straight from the off.

Appearance is still important - even with popups. So, invest in some high-quality materials for serving your food. These linen table cloths by Richard Haworth might be good for traditional fare, for example.

At this point, you should be looking at hiring all the expensive gear you need, such as a commercial oven and tables. If you are a success in the popup world, then those are investments you could make before opening your first, genuine restaurant.

By this stage, you should be aware of your food business has any longevity. And, of course, if you have the stamina to make it happen! Good luck - and feel free to let us know about your plans.

Lemon Veggie Rice

Do you love rice but worries about the high calorie content of rice? 1 cup of cooked white rice averages 200 calories. If you eat rice three times a day like I do, that would make it already 600 calories, already about a third of our calorie requirement in a day ( or a half of the calorie requirements for some ). Now, what are some strategies of eating rice with lower calories so that you can enjoy eating a lot more other foods?

Here is one of my strategies. I add veggies to rice. I am glad to note that it does not make me feel like I am eating veggies, instead, I really feel like I am eating rice! I get the satisfaction of eating rice still three times a day! 

Though the picture above may look like it is fried rice, but this is actually not stir fried at all. 

Here is my recipe for veggie rice:

Ingredients: rice, mixed veggies ( you can have 3/4 veggies, 1/4 rice, and still have that rice-meal satisfaction ), turmeric powder, lemon

Helpful Home Improvement Hints and Suggestions

Everyone will want to make home improvements at some point in their lives. It’s necessary for improving the look and feel of the home. But, there is a lot to think about if you want to make these changes and improvements. So, take a look at this list and try to use it to help you make the best possible home improvements.

Decide What You’re Going to Do
First things first, you need to think about what you’re going to do. That means you have to consider the work that needs doing. It’s important to think about how this will affect the home and what the cost is going to be. These changes need to improve and benefit the property, and you need to bear that in mind as much as possible. Deciding what you’re going to do before you do it is the best way of getting the right things done in the right way.

Consider Extending
Something you always need to keep in mind is the option of extending. Now, no matter where you live you need to consider an extension. You might be surprised by how much you can do even if you feel like you live somewhere that means it isn’t possible. There are so many choices you might have when it comes to extending the home. The most common and effective option would be to get a conservatory attached to the property. But you will need to understand the specifications if you’re going to do this. So, draw up plans and figure out how much this is going to cost you.

Practicality Matters
It’s important to bear in mind that practicality is hugely important in the home. You need to be able to move around comfortably. And every room needs to be functional and allow you to do what you need to. And that means you need to think about this before you make any improvements or changes to the home. You still need to keep in mind that the place has to be as practical as possible. That’s why you need to draw up plans before you get started. And it’s often a good idea to meet with experts and discuss your plans with them. They will be able to make suggestions that can help keep the place more practical.

Add Value to the Property
Something you must never forget when you make changes to your home is the adding value factor. Every change you make as a homeowner needs to contribute to the value of the home somewhere down the line. This is important because you need to consider the future. Your home is an investment for you and your children. And the idea is to make the place as appealing to potential buyers as possible. So, to do this, you need to come up with improvements that will increase the value of the property. There are a lot of things you can do to achieve this such as extending, converting, and installing a swimming pool.

Customise It
Making changes to the home is the best way to make it more appealing to potential buyers. But, you also need to think about yourself and the family. See, while you are living here, it’s important to enjoy it as much as possible. This is your home, and you need to make sure you are happy with the way it looks and is designed. So, this means you have to make sure you customise it to get exactly what you want. Bring in power tools to help you create your own look. Use glue dots and wood glue to change the layout and assembly of certain items. Basically, make sure you do whatever you want. This is vital for all homeowners to remember because it’s the best way of getting the exact home you want. Customise as much as you possibly can so you can get the exact property you want to have.

Think About External Changes As Well
You’ve got to take into account the fact that you will need to do changes both inside and out. This is important because it helps you improve the entirety of the property. Make sure you don’t forget about making improvements outside the home. This is crucial because it does a lot to help with the aesthetic appeal of the home itself. There is bound to be something you feel needs to be done to improve the exterior of the home. There is always an option that will make it better or improve it in some way. So think about what options you have and what you can feasibly do in terms of practicality and cost.

Bring in Help
There are going to be some parts of your home improvements that you won’t be able to do alone. Some will require help, and others will need experts to complete them. So, you need to take a look at the different projects you think you’ll need help with. Some of these are going to require extra manpower. You might enlist the help of a neighbour, or another family member. However, you will also need to identify the projects that will need experts. Then you can contact the pros and get them in to facilitate these changes.

Make Sure You Can Afford Changes
It’s always important to keep in mind what you can afford to pay. There’s no sense choosing ambitious projects that are going to cost tens of thousands if you can’t afford it. So, it’s important to consider what you need to do to get this money. Start saving up when you first decide you’re going to make some changes to the property. If you can get a figure in mind, you will have something to work towards. Covering the costs of your home improvements is vital, so this is something you’ll need to discuss as a family before you make any decisions.
When you’re planning on making changes to your home, you need to think about how to facilitate those changes. There is often a lot of work that needs doing to the property. It really depends on the sort of work you’re planning. Thinking about what you want to get out of your home improvements is a key part of the process. Hopefully, these hints and suggestions will come in useful when attempting to make improvements and changes to your home.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

How To Make Your Bed A Fantastic Focal Point In Your Bedroom

A focal point is a spot in a room that catches your attention instantly. It varies from home to home as we all consider different things to be important. Some want their entertainment units to be their focal point. Whereas others would prefer an ornate fireplace or patterned wallpaper. It’s all down to personal preference and tastes. In your bedroom, the most obvious focal point should be your bed. So to create a bed that stands out every time you enter, use this how-to guide to help you.

Make it look luxurious

Luxury bedding can transform your average bed into one fit for royalty. A striking bedspread can add colour and pattern into the space, which can work well against a minimal colour scheme. Think bold florals and bright graphic prints against a cool grey or white. The contrasting colours on the spread will be instantly enhanced. This will also make sure that your bed does not get lost amongst the rest of your decor. Remember there’s little point having a bed that looks good if it’s uncomfortable when you get into it. Make sure you have a suitable mattress, a comforter and cloud-like pillows to make your bed feel luxurious every night. Also, make sure it fits perfectly and can be made easily each morning. This will ensure you get that opulent feeling time after time.

Change position

Look in your bedroom and consider different positions for your bed to be moved to. This simple action could transform your space, making it more enjoyable and easier to spend time in. A centralised position often works best as it makes a direct impact, no matter what kind of bed you have. Having your bed pushed up against a wall may give you more space but does not create the feel you want. Always ask for help when moving your bed and be smart with your positioning by measuring beforehand.

Get a headboard

Now your bed is in a suitable location and looks fantastic; it’s time to think about headboards. Look online at interiors blogs for ideas on designs and styles will best suit your bed and decor. You could have a bespoke one from fabric or wood to complement your colour scheme and add some additional luxury to your bed. Or you could get crafty and make your own headboard design. You could use wooden palettes, create some artwork or drape some fabric from the ceiling above. Alternatively, if you don’t want to have a headboard, you could use shelves, a notice board or a cluster of frames to add some interest instead. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it is secure and adds some character to your bedroom.

Using your bed as a focal point in your room can make a statement and re-energise the space. It can also save you money as it can be done quickly and easily without having to do any other home improvements. So use what you have learned from this guide and create a bed you won’t be able to stop looking at.