Induction Cooktop: Hottest Kitchen Trend

blur, close -up, foodWhile the induction cooktop isn’t a new invention, it’s starting to become more popular in people’s kitchens rather than commercial kitchens. The stove uses electromagnetic fields to heat up the pan or pot, allowing the appliance to stay cool. Ultimately, this makes your stovetop safer, faster, and more energy efficient.

The “burner” doesn’t get hot but creates an electric current that flows into the metal pots. Instead of the stovetop being the cooking surface, the pots become it. The first models from the 1970s and ‘80s were temperamental, so they didn’t take well in homes. As methods have improved and the prices have dropped, more families are implementing the stovetop into their kitchens.

Benefits

  • Fast – The induction cooktop can shave 4 minutes off the time it takes to boil water. If you’re in a rush to feed the family, those 4 minutes could make a difference.
  • Safer – Since the stovetop doesn’t heat up until the pot or pan is on the burner, it won’t get hot my accidentally being turned on. This could also prevent carbon monoxide leaks from happening if someone pumps into the knob, but the flame doesn’t take.
  • Accurate – The temperature control and response time of the induction cooktop is better than gas burners. Think of it has having the performance of a gas burner with the convenience of electric.
  • Less cleaning – Since the stovetop is completely flat and stays cooler while cooking, it’s easier to clean up any messed that won’t crust or fall inside the burners. You can usually clean up with just a damp sponge!
  • Temperatures are cooler – With less heat being produced in the kitchen, this makes it cooler for those who struggle with the temperature of the kitchen any time they cook. No more sweating while you cook!

Downsides

  • Pay more – Depending on the size, model, brand, and induction, you could be paying up to $5,000 for an induction cooktop.
  • Limited cookware – Only specific cookware works with the cooktop like ones with high metal content. To check and test your stainless steel and metal options, hold a magnet to the bottom. If it sticks, it’ll work. Any nonstick pans won’t work, either.
  • Noisy – Induction cooktops can also be associated with a lot more noise than your traditional stove top. While it’s at low temperatures, it makes a clicking sound. At higher temperatures, it hums. There is also an internal fan as it cools down.
  • Be vigilant – Part of the convenience of stovetops is being able to walk away and let it sit as it cooks. You have to be careful with inductions cooktops because your food needs to be attended or it will scorch quickly.

The Best Induction Cooktop Options

Based on the advice of Realtor.com and the Consumer Report, these are the top three induction cooktops:

  1. GE Café Series – $1,813
  2. GE Monogram – $3,300
  3. Samsung NZ36K788OUG – $3,598
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New, Single Story Home in Cardiff by the Sea!

This weekend, there will be an open house at my newest listing:

929 Woodlake Dr.
Cardiff, CA 92007

The open house will be from 1-4pm on Saturday, April 7 and Sunday, April 8. Come see all the beauty that the community and home has to offer.

Going for $769,000, this freshly painted home comes with 1,040 square feet of space, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and an elevated lot that backs up into an open park area. Located in the beautiful community of Cardiff by the Sea, this single-story home is in the district of award winning schools like the Cardiff Elementary Schools and Encinitas Middle/High School District.

This home comes with many beautiful features like the unique fireplace in the living room, fresh landscape, and new carpet throughout the home. With the low HOA fees, it is within a lushly landscaped community that comes with a park/picnic/trail area and pool.

Check out this listing or come see for yourself at my open house this weekend!

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6 Ways to Transform a Room in 3 Hours or Less

apartment, candles, chairSometimes we get sick of the interior design in our homes and have the inspiration to re-do it. Unfortunately, redecorating an entire room can get expensive. What if there were ways to transform your room without going overboard and you could complete the task in just a few hours?

Below you’ll find 6 different ways you can transform a room inexpensively and simply. Most of these require some to no effort at all!

1. A patch of removable wallpaper

Adding a patch of removable wallpaper is easy to add print, color, or texture to any wall, backsplash, or piece of furniture. The best part about removable paper is the lack of messiness with prep or glue that comes with traditional wallpaper. You just stick it on and go about your day. If you don’t like it, you can just peel it off.

2. Switch out accents

If you have accents like throws, rugs, or pillows, these are easy items that you can swap out quickly and inexpensively. It can change the look of a room, making what may be boring or dull into a room of personality. For the savvy shopper, it’s easy to work some miracles with $50 or less at a discount décor store, Craigslist, eBay, or IKEA.

3. Paint furniture

A new coat of paint can be just what you need to liven up a bookcase, built-in entertainment, or fireplace. You can paint the whole thing, inside panels, or the outer edges. It’s not too ambitious of a project and you don’t need that much paint.

4. Couch slipcover

Don’t think of the clear slipcovers, but of the colored canvas, linen, and denim covers. A slipcover can add texture, color, and interest into your room. If you have a brightly colored couch, you can use it to neutralize the color and allow yourself more room to personalize the room. It’s like getting new furniture!

5. Reposition artwork

Simple, and you don’t even need a nail and hammer. Mix up the walls and rooms by interchanging your wall décor across the house. You can lean pieces or groups of artworks on the ground or against the walls. The mantle is also a good place to lean pieces.

6. Change curtains

Without curtains in the room, it can seem bare and dull. With the right set, you can tie the entire design of the room together. Switching out curtains in a room is another inexpensive way to redecorate. For example, if you have heavier drapes from the winter, swap them out for lighter and brighter curtains for the spring.

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How to Find the Best Bedsheets

White Bed ComforterHaving the right bedsheets that make you comfortable can affect your nightly sleep. The more comfortable you are in bed, the better you sleep, so it only makes sense to have the best bedsheets for your life.

What are the “best”?

Just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean it’s the best. There are many different options on the market. You shouldn’t base your choice off of thread count, but rather the things you like: comfort, upkeep, where you live, the look, etc. There will always be a wide range of prices for different materials which can be determined by the thread count, weave, and materials.

Cotton

Cotton is the most popular material for bedsheets. They’re cool, soft, breathable, and easy to wash. There are a variety of different weaves to choose from based on how you like to sleep. If you like the lustrous, silky feel to your bed, then the cotton sateen is your option. If you prefer a crisper feel like a t-shirt, percale cotton or cotton blend are the better choice.

Like any option, it has its drawbacks. It can wrinkle easy, and it can also take time to break in.

Linen

Linen is a combination of cotton, hemp, and other fibers, which tends to be a little heavier than cotton. It is also cool and breathable, which works wonders for those who live in hot climates.

The only drawback is it is less comfort to the touch than cotton is.

Bamboo

While it is a trendy option, it can be pricey. It’s softer than cotton and linen, as well as antimicrobial.

The downside to bamboo is the process to turn it into fabric fibers actually disqualifies it as a “green product”.

Microfiber

Microfiber is a man-made material mix of polyester and nylon blends.

The poly and poly-cotton materials make it the most affordable option, but it doesn’t breathe well and can stick to your skin in humid climates.

There are more positives like how it’s hypoallergenic, easy to wash, and holds colors, but they also wear easily and conduct static electricity.

Flannel/Fleece

These two are very similar in that they are made from cotton, wool, or synthetic fibers, and are great for the colder climates.

Fleece is usually warmer than flannel, but you won’t want to buy either if you prefer to be chill at night. They also will pill the longer you have them.

Silk/Satin

Silk and satin both feel wonderful, but they are the most expensive. Real silk is not only extremely expensive, but it requires a lot of maintenance. You either need to dry-clean the sheets or wash them by hand.

On the plus side, other than feeling great, they are hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant.

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DIY Rugs

White and Tan English Bulldog Lying on Black RugApril showers bring May flowers, which can mean muddy footprints across the house. If you would rather dedicate a rainy day to making a rug rather than spending a lot of money, here are a few ideas to try!

Cottage Rope Rug

This simple, sisal rope rug is a perfect addition to the home whether it’s going inside or outside. You can use it on the porch, as an entry mat, in the bathroom, or in the kitchen.

Pompom Rug

The pompom style rug allows you to add a little color to any room. A fluffier rug, you can add it in the bathroom, in a kid’s bedroom, or you can use it as a resting spot for your furry friend.

Nautical Style Rug

Instead of spending a good amount of money on a nautical rug, you can make your own with a basic rug. Express your style on the patio or porch by taping off your design and painting the rug to turn it into a major focal point.

Monogram Rug

You can make a monogramed rug out of any cheap, dollar store rug. It’s perfect to use as a doormat into you home, adding a little class from this tiny accent piece.

Braided T-Shirt Rug

Use some old shirts for a rug perfect for a kid’s room or bathroom! This is a great DIY to get the kids involved in when using their shirts to create their rugs.

Cedar Slat Mat

If you prefer the minimalist look, go for a modern wood slat mat for your front door or to create a spa-like bathmat for the shower.

Elegant Upholstery Rug

If you had a recent upholstery project, you can use any leftover fabric to create a rug or fabric mat that could be placed anywhere around your house.

T-Shirt Rag Rug

Another idea for your used t-shirts can be a textured rug compared to the braided rug. Take some scissors to a ruined t-shirt and place it into the bathroom or bedroom.

Welcome Mat

Take any natural rug and weather-resistant paint. Using any stencil, create a cute greeting to welcome your guests in.

Paint Patterns

Turn any drop-cloth into an area rug by painting your own design. Especially with quirky, fun patterns, painting your own will be a lot cheaper than purchasing one.

DIY Runner

Another money saver can be combining two small rugs in order to make a long, rad runner. You can choose your own design and combine them with yarn, robe, or sew them if you are savvy.

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How to Turn Old Wine into Vinegar

White Labeled Bottle on Brown Wooden SurfaceHave you ever opened a bottle of wine, drank some of it, put it in the fridge for another time, and completely forgot about it? Now, you’ve wasted a bottle of wine and don’t know what to do with it. Or, maybe you’ve kept an unopened bottle of wine that was gifted to you that you knew you’d never like. Whatever the case may be, chef John Currence who owns several restaurants shared his favorite method for turning old wine into vinegar with HGTV.com.

There are many ways to do this, some more difficult than others. In reality, it is simply converting alcohol into acetic acid by naturally-occurring bacteria.

Ingredients

To make your vinegar, you’ll need:

  • 2-gallon glass, ceramic, or stainless-steel container
  • 2 quarts of red/white wine
  • 1 cup of live, unfiltered vinegar
  • Strainer
  • Two small bottles

You’ll first start with the leftover wine, pouring it into the container. Make sure it’s not aluminum, plastic, or regular steel. Mix it with the 2 quarts of red/white wine and the cup of live, unfiltered vinegar. Cover the top of the container with cloth, then place it in a warm, dark place.

Allow the container to stand for 2 months. Once it’s ready, strain and pour the vinegar into the small bottles and allow it to stand for at least 1 month to mellow.

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New Designs for Arbors, Arches, and Pergolas

backyard, bloom, bloomingSpring can inspire change, especially for your outdoor spaces. If you’re looking for inspiration to update your outdoor space, or even give your arbor a fresh look, here are some ideas to get you started.

Brick

Bring it back to a classic, romantic scene by combining the wood arbor and brick moments to accent your traditional home. To add the romantic factor, you can incorporate Irish moss, potato vines, and a variety of low perennials.

Modern Metal

If you like more modern decorations, add a metal arbor to your backyard to create an intimate entertainment space that will interest your friends and those who can see it. The key to adding the metal arbor is to use strong geometric shapes with layered foliage.

Contemporary Patio and Pergola

Skip painting and adding elaborate detail to give your backyard a more contemporary and simple look. Just add the natural wood arbor to make the patio look nice with a little added shade.

Pool Views

If you have a pool, adding an arbor is all about location. You can create a great space for pool parties and sun bathing. Adding a natural wood arbor with views of your pool not only looks chic but is convenient for pool hangouts.

Arbor Barrier

Using an arbor as a “barrier” is a perfect elemental addition for those with oversized, open backyards. Add a richly stained arbor towards the lining of your yard to help stabilize the space. With the arbor, you can create a more intimate and interesting open space.

Luxe Living Space

If you’re ready to make your outdoor space “high-end” yet contemporary, a luxe design is the way to go. Whether you have an arbor or are looking to build, adding large drapes, a fireplace, and plush patio furniture is simple yet absolutely stylish.

The Cottage Garden

Nothing is more romantic than a lush, colorful garden with a cute entryway. If you have a gate into your yard or garden, add an arch over it and/or a rose trellis to make a beautiful entrance into your backyard.

Private Pathway

Another way to utilize an arbor is by covering a private pathway from the side of your house into your backyard. To add a little magic, add some dwarf mondo grass for fluff and stepping stones for an inviting boost. Cover it with aged-wood arbor for the extra allure.

Front Focal Point

Why hide a gorgeous arbor in the backyard when you can easily add it to the front? If you have a front garden, and arbor is the perfect place to add a little more of the “wow” factor. Adding some stone architecture to a wooden arbor creates the focal point that will draw attention to your home.

Minimalist

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a simple, chic design to your backyard. Why overthink it? Even with a simple, unpainted arbor and firepit combo, it is the perfect design element for those with smaller homes or tiny backyards.

To see more ideas or to see some pictures, visit the original article at HGTV.com.

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April Fool’s and Easter: Pranking the Kids

Hare on Basket With Happy Easter Card on MouthThis year, Easter happens to fall on April Fool’s Day. For those who celebrate with Easter baskets for the kids and Easter egg hunts, parents can have a little more fun this year by pulling a few pranks on the kids. Here are some tricks to implement into your festivities for 2018.

Easter Pranks

Brussel Sprout Cake Pops

Isn’t it convenient how perfectly round a Brussel sprout can be? If you enjoy making cake pops or were going to try it out this year, mix in a few trick pops by coating a couple Brussel sprouts in frosting and add it in.

Grape Eggs

If you have a little time on your hands, this could be a great prank. Unwrap the tiny chocolate eggs and put the foil over the grapes instead. For extra jokes, you can dip the grape in chocolate to confuse them until it’s in their mouth. The real thought behind this is whether you’ll eat the chocolate eggs for yourself or give them to the kids once the trick has been played.

Tricky Eggs

For your Easter egg hunt, fill a few of the plastic eggs with trick items like fake money, empty candy wrappers, frozen veggies like peas, or pebbles. They’ll think there is candy or money inside, but they’ll open it to realize it was another one of your pranks.

Re-Gifting

If you give your kids Easter basket with goodies, mix in one of their favorite toys they already own with all the other gifts. They’ll still get their normal Easter gifts, but it will be a good laugh for everyone when they realize it’s one of their own toys.

Cleaning Supplies Basket

This would be a great prank if you have older children who are going to college or already in college. Not only will it come in handy, but they will take the joke a little better than a younger child.

Bunny Droppings

For some, this might already be a tradition in your house. Drop a few jelly beans in the toilet and when your kids wake up, blame it on the Easter bunny! What kid doesn’t like potty humor?

Sponge Cake

If you traditionally make sponge cake for Easter, the family won’t know it’s coming. Make a backup cake with actual sponges in it and use real frosting to coat it. The best part will be choosing the victim to cut it or cut it yourself and act like nothing is wrong.

Bean Boozled!

Jelly beans are a typical Easter treat. That’s why the family won’t see it coming when you mix in some of Jelly Belly’s BeanBoozled flavored. They’re made to look just like the normal flavors, except they’re something disgusting. For example, you’ll either get Strawberry
Banana Smoothie or Dead Fish.

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Home Maintenance to Tackle for Spring

agriculture, farm, fieldWe all know the term “spring cleaning”, but it’s also important to keep up with some outside maintenance to ensure the safety of your home.

Examine Shingles

Check your roof for any lost or damaged shingles from the winter. Summer sun can damage shingles further, so any cracked, buckled, loose, or ones with missing granules need to be replaced. If you have an older roof covering, consider budgeting for a replacement.

Check Gutters

Check your gutters for any loose or leaky spots. When your gutters drain improperly, it could lead to water in your basement or crawl space which could lead to mold. Also, adjust your spouts so they are draining away from the foundation.

Fill Foundation with Compacted Soil

Low areas in your tard or next to the foundation should be filled with compacted soil to avoid water puddling from spring rains. Flooding can mean foundation flooding and damage. Not only that, but when water pools in low areas, it can create a breeding ground for unwanted insects.

Inspect the Concrete

Inspect your concrete for any signs of cracks or concrete movement from the winter. Check all exterior slabs because they should be draining away from the foundation. To fill the cracks, power wash and then seal with concrete filler.

Check Outside Faucets

After a cold winter, you want to make sure there was no freeze damage to your outside faucets. Turn the water on and place your finger or thumb on the opening. If you can stop the flow, that means the pipe is damaged and will need to be replaced. While checking the faucet, check the hose for any dry rot.

Service AC Unit

To ensure the best operation of your AC unit, you should have a professional come to clean and service the outside unit. Clean coils mean better operation, and of course regularly changing the filters will help ensure the units operation through the summer.

Check Power Equipment

Check all your gas- and battery-operated lawn equipment to make sure you’re ready to go for the summer. Clean off any debris and sharpen blades so you can maintain your lawn without worrying about the functioning parts down the road.

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What’s Happening in San Diego This Weekend?

Sky View of City during Sun SetLooking for something to do this weekend in wonderful San Diego? Here are some local events to enjoy this weekend!

Cirque du Soleil’s Crystal
When:
3/23-3/25
Where:
3500 Sports Arena Blvd, Midway District

Cirque du Soleil has brought a breakthrough ice experience. Not only is it an ice show, but world-class ice skaters and acrobats performs the traditional antics of Cirque du Soleil except on the ice. The story of a girl trying to discover herself in her own imagination, you can catch this show tonight (3/23) at 4PM or 7:30PM, tomorrow (3/24) at 4PM or 7:30PM, or Sunday (3/25) at 1:30PM or 5PM.

6th Annual Bankers Hill Art and Craft Beer Festival
When:
3/23
Where:
The Abbey on Fifth Ave, Bankers Hill

Local artists and Bankers Hill restaurants come together for a 21+ event that offers unlimited drinks from more than a dozen different breweries. Tickets are currently $30 for the event tonight.

Longship Brewery can release and fundraiser
When:
3/24
Where:
10320 Camino Santa Fe, Sorrento Valley

The Longship Brewery of Sorrento Valley is releasing their first can. Collaborating with the Global Conservation Force, they’ve released the Wildlife Guardian, a citrusy kölsch, which will be available on tap and in limited edition 16-ounce packs of 4.

Old World Days of Taste Charity Tasting
When:
3/24
Where:
Truly Fine Wine, 4060 Morena Blvd, Bay Ho

Truly Fine Wine is holding an even where Molly Brooks will present different wines from Europe. They will be donating 10% of the proceeds to Days of Taste which is a charity program through the American Institute of Food and Wine.

Women’s Wellness
When:
3/24
Where:
Hotel Republic, 421 W. B St.

The hotel will be hosting a special celebration for women with a yoga instruction lead by an American Ninja Warrior contestant, as well as creating a unique networking event to bring together female entrepreneurs.

The Magic of Adam Trent
When:
3/24, 7:30PM
Where:
868 Fourth Ave

The star of the world’s best-selling magic show The Illusionist, Adam Trent demonstrates his signature brand of magic and illusion. Produced by the same people of The Illusionist, immerse yourselves in the entertainment of magic, comedy, and music. Suitable for all ages, get your tickets here.

11th Annual Mustache Bash
When:
3/24
Where:
Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier, Marina District

Join others who enjoy celebrating the ability to grow a mustache. Starting off at the pier with bands and bartenders, there will be an after-party on a private boat that departs from the pier. Last chance tickets are $65 while the afterparty is an additional $30.

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