Electric Kettle with Temperature Control

The Humble Kettle

These variable temperature kettles are a great idea for a Christmas present. They turn the humble kettle into a really useful gadget for heating water.

Most of us use stove kettles, some of us have ventured into the realms of electric kettles. But these kettles do just one thing – they boil water. Do you want to know how a kettle works – take a look here.

That’s perfect, that’s just what they’re supposed to do. And is what they’ve been doing for thousands of years.

How about a Variable Temperature Kettle

variable temperature kettleBut just suppose your kettle could heat water to say any temperature without any guesswork. Set the temperature you want and the kettle does the rest. This turns the kettle into something quite useful.

It will of course boil water, when that’s what you need. A simple gadget for boiling water just became more versatile. It’s now a gadget in the kitchen that just got a whole lot better.

These are available right now and you can read more here at electric kettle with temperature control And find out more.

Perfect Present for Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching and good present ideas hard to find, a kettle where you can set the temperature is both novel and useful too. For the ideal Christmas kettle look no further than here kettle for a Christmas present

Coffee Drinkers

instant coffeeDid you know that those of us that like coffee and let’s face it those fancy coffee makers are quite expensive to buy and run. So the majority of us make do with instant coffee.

Nothing wrong with that and there are some excellent instant blends out there. The problem is that we kill that instant coffee the moment we add boiling water to the powder or granules.

You see you’re not supposed to make your favorite beverage with boiling water. It scolds the coffee and gives it a bitter taste. The solution is to use very hot water – not boiling water.

Set your variable temperature kettle to 205 to 210 F (95 to 99 C). This will make your cup of instant coffee taste much better. And these variable temperature kettles are worth the price just for this alone.

Tea Drinkers

tea makingCoffee is more temperature tolerant than tea. So if your favorite beverage is tea then a temperature controlled kettle is a must. If you want to get the very best cup of tea you can get.

Tea flavors are more subtle than coffee flavors and using water that’s too hot does a serious injustice to your cup of tea.

Green tea and white tea from South east Asia are seven more delicate and subtle and you need to be very precise to make the perfect beverage.

Tea covers a large array of different drinks all made from aromatic leaves of plants. Different spices, flowers and fruits can be added to enrich the flavors. And each type or of tea will have its ideal brewing temperature and brewing time. You can find some of the more common types of tea and how they should be have here

If you know someone that likes instant coffee or that likes exotic far eastern teas and you’re trying to think off an ideal gift this Christmas. Well we’ve just found the most ideal gift for you. Here’s that link again to the best variable temperature kettle for this Christmas.

88 key weighted keyboard

Guide to buying an 88 Key Keyboard

digital keyboard1st Step

Determine which keyboard instrument you want or need. Keyboards come with 61, 76 or 88 keys. Instrument with fewer keys are cheaper and good for beginners. Instruments with 76 keys are better suited to teens and adults due to their compact size. Experienced players will generally go for 88 key keyboards, which is the full octave for a piano and opens up a greater musical range.

2nd Step

Consider whether you want weighted or non weighted keys. You should choose weighted keys if you also play the piano. These weighted keys have the same touch sensitivity as the real instrument and the sound becomes harder or softer depending on how hard you hit the key. It behaves just like a regular acoustic piano. If you plan to play electronic keyboard only, the non-weighted keys are a good choice.

digital piano in action

3rd Step

Determine which electronic features you need. If you plan to connect the keyboard to another instrument or computer, you need a digital digital interface (MIDI). Some keyboard instruments also have USB ports and flash drives for connecting to computers.

4th Step

Determine what sound and rhythm you want. Basic keyboards include a range of instrumentation, drum and bass backing tracks and other sound effects that accompany your playing. Other, more complex audio features may contain keys that match your vocal range. More sounds and rhythms will broaden your possibilities and creativity.

yamaha piano

5th Step

Consider buying a keyboard with learning features. These can include multi-instrument library tools, learning software, and keys that light up to help beginners learn the right fingers.

6th Step

Make sure the keyboard has a large, easy-to-read LCD monitor. The LCD screen shows such things as the instruments current voice, tempo, rhythms and musical scores.

7th Step

Look for controls that are easy to use, which are placed intuitively and logically on the instrument, and which seem robust and operate smoothly.

digital piano controls

8th Step

Think of additional features like microphone and karaoke. Some instruments will display the lyrics on the LCD.

Tips and warnings

Regular acoustic pianos have 88 keys, so if you plan to play the piano, it’s best to buy the 88 key keyboard. And preferably 88 key weighted keyboard.
Once you have decided on the features you need and the type of keyboard, it’s to to select one. We recommend this site for 88 key weighted keyboard pianos which are good value and reasonably priced.

Choosing a keyboard instrument may seem overwhelming, but if you understand what you’re looking for, it can actually make the whole process a lot easier. If you have children that are just starting out, learning to play the piano and having piano lessons, then do ask your teacher about the type of keyboard that would be best for them. Almost all electronic pianos/keyboards have a headphone jack which can be very useful to prevent noise pollution (especially for beginners).

In the end it comes down to personal choice budgetary considerations and indeed space. But you can find whatever suits you and your experience. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, you can choose the right keyboard instrument to enhance both your skills and your enjoyment of playing.

home water softeners

fluffy woolI didn’t know Home Water Softener’s did that?

When staying with my partner’s parents for the first time, it was quite a nerve racking experience. All these things going through my mind “will they like me?” Will I say something that I’ll regret later? “Will the whole visit be a success or failure?”

Well as often happens most times both parents were really nice and made me more than welcome. There were those tricky moments but I could see that they were in the same place as me trying to make a good impression without scaring me away.

Well it was a delightful weekend but I was glad to get back home again. Although my next visit won’t be anywhere near as traumatic. My partner then asked me if I’d noticed anything different over the weekend? I hadn’t and I asked him to explain.

towels washed wtih soft waterThe Water in Their House was Different

“The water”, he said “Did you notice how nice it was?” I had to recollect, it wasn’t my main concern during the weekend so I said that “I had”. But I didn’t realize what his point was. After all water is water?

Well six weeks later we were invited over again. It was a family gathering and I was to get to meets my partners brothers, sisters and various in-laws. This time I wasn’t nervous and I had a ball in the process. The weather was sunny and we had a barbecue and everyone was so nice but I failed to take in all their names.

This time I really did notice the water. It was actually softer than our water and it was nicer to wash with. I noticed it on my skin and especially when I washed my hair. It’s difficult to express properly but you just feel cleaner and more presentable – I know that sounds weird.

Home Water Softeners and how to get it

My partner then told me they had a soft water filter fitted to the water supply that goes into the house. They had it fitted 15 years ago and he always noticed that the difference immediately when he went somewhere else. The water was always a bit more challenging.

I was “sold” on the idea, so we decided to have the same type device fitted at our place. I found a site on the internet that lists the best ones, you can see it here Benefits of a Water SoftenerAnd what a lovely surprise it was when we first used it. It is so nice, hard to describe but hard water is definitely not something I will want to go back to.

soap bubbleOther Benefits from Soft Water

Oh, and did I mention my clothes? They’re improved washing in soft water makes them feel softer. Another bonus that I wasn’t expecting. Very pleased with what it does and we only have to replace the blocks of table salt that it uses to keep the water soft. Benefits of a Water Softener

The salt is very cheap and allows to the unit to regenerate, which it does automatically with the salt block in place. So it just works and there’s very little we have to do to keep it running.

Short description of hard water

Dealing with Limescale the hard way

3 piece luggage set bargins

2 piece luggage setTravelling with Family

Travelling, with a family can be sure a challenge. In my case I’m a lone parent with two girls. We regularly go back to my home town to visit our folks at weekends and then it’s back to school for the girls and back to work for me after a long weekend.

We sometimes fly and sometimes drive. I drive if there’s a school holiday as having a car means that I can get around when we arrive. But flying’s quicker and taxis’ are quite cheap. So flying’s my preference.

Suitcase detail - combination lockPacking a Case

Packing is always a challenge and I have to get everything ironed and ready the night before. The two girls are still quite young 7 and 5. But I did try and get them involved and they each have their own suitcases. Watch this Youtube video on how to pack your case

I purposely went and bought a three piece luggage Set. First they all match which is great, I can spot them a mile away, when they’re coming through baggage reclaim. And then there’s the storage. When not in use I can store each bag inside the other like Russian dolls. So the storage footprint it’s kept nice and small.

It’s great to see each girl help to pack her case and then wheel it around. It makes them feel so grown up and independent. That’s so nice.

3 piece luggage setThe Classic 3 Piece Luggage Set

I like the 3 piece suitcase sets I found here 3pieceluggage.com They’re well made and they’re gonna last us a long time. Of course there will come a time when the girls get older that they’ll want something bigger. But I’ll deal with that nearer the time.

The weekends come and go much too fast but it’s so nice for my daughter’s to spend quality time with their grandparents. That time is so precious to me and can never be bought later on. So we’ll being doing many long trips which although tiring, I really enjoy and that’s the main thing.

Why suitcases get lost and ways to avoid lost luggage

African Shona Sculpture

Shona Sculpture - NudesA Garden Feature

A feature in the garden makes a lot of sense. It will act as a focal point, something visitors and you and your guests can talk about. But what can you use as the feature?

Traditionally fountains have been used tumbling into a small pond brimming with koi carp. Alternatively a rockery, with delicate mountain flowers and colorful heathers.

But we’ve found something quite unusual, it’s a sculpture. Nothing unusual about that, you say, but this is a little different. This is African Shona Sculpture.

Shona Sculpture

Shona Sculpture, like the ones shown here African Shona Sculpture Are like no other. Their form, their colors, their textures are all vibrant, very African. They come in all shapes and sizes and range from human forms (mother and child being very popular) to African animals and abstract forms.

The great thing about these sculptures is that they are all hand carved and hand finished. Because of this no two sculptures are ever alike.

The stone used are rocks found in Africa’s great rift valley that runs north to south through Zimbabwe. It’s so vast and there’s so much rock that the Zimbabwean sculptors will never run out of raw materials.

Shona Sculpture - Three Heads

Shona Sculpture - White BirdZimbabwe’s Heritage

Sculpture in Zimbabwe is quite an ancient tradition. Zimbabwe’s national bird is a stone bird carved many centuries ago and found in the ruins of an old ancient walled city and that was all made from stone.

The modern sculptor in Zimbabwe is a fairly recent development. It occurred in the 1950/60s when Zimbabwe was called Rhodesia and under British control. Slowly a new industry was born and sculptors began to flourish up and down the land.

Today, Shona Sculpture is exported all over the world and is highly praised for its originality of form and it’s African heritage. And now it’s quite easy to buy in this country and have a piece well packaged and delivered to your door.

Collecting Shona Sculpture

A brief history of Shona Sculpture

London Interior Designers

Tower Bridge LondonInterior Designers in London

Interior Design, here in London tends to be quite well serviced with many companies vying for your business. One we particularly like is based on the outskirts of London and you can find a link to their website here kenza.co.uk

Modern Interior DesignA complete Service

They provide a complete service for any home or office but it could be quite small project as well. For example a project could consist of coming up with a colour scheme just for one room working with all the artifacts in that room and bring some cohesion to it through design. To a complete house makeover, replacing all the furniture, redecorating and changing all the soft furnishings, which includes all the curtains. The result of all that is a complete, exquisite home that looks unified from a design perspective. No project is too big or too small and all budgets can be catered for.

Modern InteriorDealing with London

One of the problems in a big city like London is parking. Tradesmen, deliveries and all the comings and goings of people can create many problems. Kenza can help in this regard and they have experience of sectioning parts of a street so that full access is available. This sometimes requires interacting with a local council to ensure no bylaws are encroached.

But London is blessed with an abundance of tradesmen, services and suppliers. If fact too many, it can be quite bewildering and confusing choosing and selecting all the right elements and tradesmen and women. Then coordinating everything to happen at the right time and in the right order can be a nightmare. That’s where Kenza’s project management skills come in. Because these have been honed over many years this coordinating step is hidden for the customer, who just sees the whole process unfold to completion.


So you will find that London Interior Design services are well catered for by Kenza Design.

Here’s some ideas for you to get started ideas 1, ideas 2

Light Tents

Light tent - Sweet Peppers

Still Life Photography

When taking still life shots with your camera, it’s all about composition and lighting. You are in control and you create the image that you want to take. Ultimately you are an artist with a camera. It takes time and patience to master these techniques and to become the master. By master we mean that you and not the equipment is in control, not the other way around.

With still life, you can tell a story and what you chose as a background becomes as important as the subject you’re about to shoot. You need to consider if the background should be prominent or just fade away into nothingness. You achieve this with props but mainly with the control of lighting – various softboxes, spots and snoots. To paint with light and to create the drama between the foreground (the main subject in the photo) and the background. This interplay between the two requires your creativity and this will come as you develop as the artist. With your own preferred style that you create.

light tent - beer bottle and glassThe Photo Light Tent

There are times when a more formal still life image is required. I thinking here of product photography. Where the image needs the same careful posing and lighting but where the background needs to be removed. And for that you need a Photographers Light Tent, like the ones shown here Light Tent

The light tent removes all noise from the background and makes the subject the one and only element in the frame. This is desired result as the subject is key and we’re trying to remove any annoying reflections. This is more difficult if the subject is very shiny as it picks up reflections from in front of the camera and reflects them straight back. But you can control this to a certain extent by changing your camera angle.

light tent - spectaclesDevelop Your Style

But remember practice makes perfect and as you perfect your technique you’ll develop your own style. Which will be pleasing to you and to your appealing to your customers.

How to use a light tent

How to use a light tent – video

Product photography tips

Learning for Fun

Continuous Learning

Learning is a key part of human development. We all benefit from a continuous flow of information and knowledge that we process and assimilate. That ultimately fulfills us and exercises the mind at the same time.

The mind needs a constant set of stimulus (as in learning new things and skills) otherwise it becomes static and boring. It starts to lose its grip. I tend to think the learning ends when we finish high school, or a little later when we complete our college education in our early adult years. After that we work. But that’s not necessarily how it should be and learning as part of any daily physical exercise should become part of your training regimen to a healthy body.

After College

The good thing is that now learning after the school and college years is now more accessible than ever and we should all be able to find a college or institute that has adult classes. And these can now offer a bewildering range of subjects and diverse set of courses, from which to choose. Now’s a great time to explore what’s out there.

However not all of us are able or inclined to learn for learning’s sake. But we must all find a way of reducing the amount of tv we watch. TV is the great time waster of our age. So many man hours are spent in front of them. Far more time than is spent doing a day’s work – that’s a lot of hours.

Other Mind Activities

Hobbies, clubs, sports. Almost anything is better than sitting for hours, snacking and just consuming mind numbing content. Hobbies, clubs and societies, especially the ones you’re really passionate about will occupy you in many ways. But the main thing is that your exercising you brain the way it needs to be exercised by learning, rationalizing, assimilating. A constant feedback loop for nourishing your mind.