Archive for November, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Holiday

We hope that all of you have so many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! We do because of all of you! Enjoy your day with friends and family relaxing and eating too much!

Making the Perfect Turkey

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Holiday

The secret to making the perfect holiday turkey is brine! Find out how to brine your bird just in time for the holidays. Brining meat is flavoring by soaking in a salt water solution. Brining locks in moisture and makes the meat tender. This will ensure your turkey is always moist, savory and flavorful.

Chances are the space in your refrigerator will be taken up with other food, considering the time of year. Real estate in the fridge is very valuable around the holidays. You will need to keep turkey cold for 5-8 hours. Either buy brining bags or use a large cooler that is large enough to hold the bird and brine solution.

When purchasing your bird, check the label to make sure it has not been pre-brined. If the turkey is frozen, make sure to thoroughly thaw it before brining and always do this at a safe rate. Remove all leg ties and discard giblets from neck and body cavity. Trim any extra fat and cut off the tail. Rinse the bird with cold water inside and out. Then pat dry the interior and exterior with paper towels.

The next step is figuring out how much cold water solution is needed to brine turkey. Add the turkey to a large cooler (make sure cooler has been thoroughly cleaned) and pour enough cold water to completely cover the turkey. Remove turkey from the water and measure the water that remains in the cooler.

To make brine solution add the following ingredients per gallon of cold water.

  • ¾ cup coarse kosher salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper.

Add the salt and sugar to the boiling water, mix to combine. Cool the mixture in the fridge overnight. Pour the mixture into the cold water and add pepper. Stir to combine.  Add savory flavor add 5 crushed garlic cloves and a tablespoon of cracked black peppercorns. Stir the mixture once again.

Place the turkey back in the cooler. The bird and brine will need to be cooled for 5-8 hours. Place several re-sealable bags of ice into the cooler. Every couple of hours check cooler to see if the bags of ice need to be refreshed. Also mix contents when checking on bags of ice.

Proceed with cooking the turkey as usual. Keep in mind that a brined turkey will cook faster, therefore use a meat thermometer and check meat frequently! Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. 

Brining your turkey will guarantee that your bird will be moist and flavorful. Enjoy your holiday dinner!

Using Pumpkins in Your Thanksgiving Décor

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Holiday

It is a popular custom to carry the pumpkins from Halloween through Thanksgiving. Find out more creative ways to incorporate the orange gourd into your holiday decorations. They are not just for doorsteps anymore! The pumpkin is making its way onto the table; not only as food but for serving and as table décor.

Hollow out pumpkins and use them to hold dip. Make sure you clean the inside well. The pumpkin will work for any dip; they work best containing pumpkin flavored items. If you do not want the pumpkin flavor to sink in, find a circular, clear container that will fit into the hollow in the pumpkin.

You can also use a hollowed-out pumpkin as a vase to display on the holiday dinner table. Hollow out the pumpkin and insert a large can or a cylindrical container that will keep the flowers standing upright. You can make one large arrangement for the center of the table and use the tiny pumpkins as place cards. Simply write guests name on the smaller pumpkin with a sharpie and place in front of the plate. If you do not fancy your handwriting you can use sticker decals, used for scrapbooking.

Baby pumpkins are actually quite versatile. Use them to hold tapered candles on your dinner table. Place the base of the candle on top of the pumpkin and trace a circle onto the pumpkin. Cut out the hole and make sure there is enough room to insert the candle into the top. Include small branches and other foliage to create a firm hold. Place around your table and light the candles during Thanksgiving dinner.

Smaller pumpkins can also be used as a filler. Hurricanes lanterns that are normally used to shield candles from the wind can be filled with the small pumpkins and placed around the table. These filled hurricane lanterns can be placed anywhere in the home.  Outdoors surrounding the front door creates a lovely welcome for guests.

Don’t leave out this popular gourd during the Thanksgiving season.  Halloween shouldn’t get all of the great decorations!

7 Cute and Fun Ideas for Your Wedding Reception

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

Looking to create unique memories for your wedding guests? You’ll love these ideas because they are both unique and entertaining!

  1. For a dessert treat fill shot glasses with milk and place a small stack of chocolate chip cookies on top.
  2. Create a cupcake decorating station. Serve white cupcakes with white frosting on a large tray. Fill several glass dishes with all of the topping that might be tasty on a cupcake. You can include quirky things like cereal, or cupcake standards such as sprinkles and nuts. Offer several options so that picking and choosing is fun. If you want to stay close to your wedding theme, make all of the topping relevant by either color or theme.
  3. Create a fun game by using a spinning wheel. Have guests spin it and give away cool party favors.
  4. Hire a food truck for the reception.  Formal sit down dinners are lovely if you’re hosting a traditional wedding. If, however, your wedding plans include a fun and funky party outdoors, your guests will be happy to see a food truck pull up to the party.
  5. Give guests a unique gift and make them laugh by presenting them with a handkerchief that has this phrase embroidered on it: “It’s not your party but you can cry if you want to!” The sentimental guests will be glad to have it, and all of your guests will be sure to keep the gift because it’s humorous and unique.
  6. Rent a bouncy house. Yes, the kind that are normally used for children’s parties! The point of this is obvious. It’s ridiculously fun, but it’s also a really cool idea because it will present an opportunity for some really funny photos.
  7. If cost isn’t a concern, invest in several Polaroid cameras. Place one on each table at the reception with a sign that lets guests know they are welcome to use them. Be sure to have on hand a supply of extra film. Ask guests to pin their Polaroid pictures to a large cork board throughout the evening. 

Entrance to the Home: Design a Positive First Impression

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Outdoor

The entrance to a home sets the tone for your home. This is usually the first thing guest experience when they come over. Make it a strong and lasting first impression. Read along and find out what makes an entrance way a success.

Aesthetics and accessibility should be used hand in hand. Make sure the outside of your door and entry way are clean, tidy and pleasing to the eye. Keep this area clutter free if possible. If there are steps, make sure they are free from obstruction. Getting to the front door should be safe and easy. Keep paint or stain maintained. Install good lighting so others can see well at night. Make an effort to provide an entrance that is easily accessed and approachable.

Door bells and door knockers should be easily visible. These items need to be able to be heard as well. If you have a larger house, install a door bell with a pleasing ring that can be heard throughout the home. Take into consideration the actual noise that the bell creates. Short and sweet bells or rings are optimal. You and your family will be hearing this noise day to day; its best to keep the sound simple. If your home is smaller, you may want a loud door knocker.

Hardware should work with ease. Door knobs are better hardware for interior doors. Knobs can be tricky if you have your hands full. Door handles work better in this location. They provide a certain entrance look and can be easily accessible.

Plants placed near a home’s entrance bestow a welcoming feel, simply by adding life to the entry. Hanging plants or window boxes on either side of the door create symmetry and give life. Small trees and topiaries can extend the entrance leading up to the door if your space feels small and cramped. Just make sure all plants are not in the way. Make sure hanging plants do not run the risk of hitting guest in the head. Leave ample room to walk and keep plants out of the egress area.

Stone and Ceramic Floors

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

With the vast array of tile options available to you when you are deciding on what type you want to install in your home, the choice can seem overwhelming. However, once you understand the basics of types of tile, you will find it is much easier to narrow down your choices to just a few that you want to investigate further in store.  Below are a few fundamentals.

 

Ceramic tile is manufactured from clay and comes in two varieties—traditional ceramic and porcelain ceramic. Traditional ceramic is made from white, red, and brown clay. Porcelain ceramic is also made of this clay but about half of the mixture is comprised of a white mineral called feldspar. It is a type of crystal that, when introduced to a mixture of clay before the kiln-drying process, melts the materials. You have plenty of glazing options for both types of ceramic tile and glaze can be useful, not only as a decision for your design, but also as a guard against scratching, staining and water absorption.

 

There are plenty of natural stone options available on the market as well and each has qualities that better qualify it for certain types of rooms. For example, granite is a good choice for kitchens and high traffic areas because of its durability. Once installed, granite will be highly scratch resistant and also able to withstand the wear and tear of a floor that sees a lot of foot trafficl. On the other hand, a natural stone like marble is going to have rich and beautiful vein detailing. Marble is very porous though, and so it does not serve as a practical flooring option for somewhere like the kitchen unless you are willing to put in the maintenance work necessary to keep it properly sealed.

 

Finally, you have the more exotic stone flooring such as travertine. Travertine is a type of limestone and this can offer your space a beautiful light look with its crystallized, earthy appearance.

 

Always be sure to inquire if the type of stone you purchase requires special maintenance and that it fits the environment in which it is to be installed. This way you match your needs with the right type of stone for the perfect floor for your home.  Representatives at Dolphin Carpet are always happy to answer any questions you may have about natural stone options or any floor covering!  Visit us, either at our showrooms or online!

Design Styles

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Website Tools

  It’s hard to explain your style when you don’t have the vocabulary to properly identify it to others when asking for advice. This article helps to explain exactly what a few of these styles are, and what makes them each unique. It may just come in handy when remodeling or shopping for furniture to help explain what you are looking for when you ask an associate or designer. 

The foremost identifier for urban chic is a contemporary design. You will want to make sure that all of the lines in your space are clean and crisp. It will have an air of modern sophistication, employing black, white and otherwise neutral color palettes. Furniture and living room accessories such as lamps will be made of sleek materials using metal accents or perhaps glass. Combining these elements will create an urban chic environment.

Perhaps instead you prefer a more rustic look. Our Rustic Reflections design aesthetic is focused on natural materials. It’s all about bringing the wilderness into your home. If this speaks to you, you’ll want to be sure to use lots of natural stone, wood and colors you would might come across in the great outdoors. This look is great for someone who wants to feel at home but only seems to feel that way when they are on a hike or exploring outside. 

 There is another natural look but it is completely different from it’s woodsy counterpart—that would be Seaside Simplicity. This design concept would bring the beach to your house, and is guided by the colors of the beachfront and sea. You’ll want to think light and airy, and use natural elements in key places. Beach houses are casual places but to keep it from getting too informal you’ll want to also evoke a sense of refinement—it should feel casual but look refined. 

 

These are just a few of our design inspiration concepts.  Check back soon more in this series but in the meantime go to our website and check out the pictures and design inspiration yourself!  Feel free to stop by Dolphin Carpet any time if you have questions.


Quick Guide: How to Wear Slip-On Sneakers

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints, Tips and Advice

Slip-on sneakers are often over looked because we associate them with childhood. It’s natural to file them away in our minds as shoes we left behind with skateboarding and skipping rope at school. These days, though, they are part of a lot of women’s basic go-to wardrobe. The most obvious reason is that they are about as easy and comfortable as it gets. They’ve also come into popularity because the canvas can be printed in just as many colors and patterns as a high heel. The fact that they’re slip-on makes it possible to make them look chic, whereas a sneaker with laces wouldn’t necessarily translate quite as well. Ready to sport absurdly easy and stylish footwear? Try these ideas for outfits! 

  1. Leopard print slip-on sneakers, jet black distressed skinny jeans, basic black v-neck t-shirt, off-white military style blazer.
  2. Black slip-on sneakers, black/white/grey short sleeved sweater dress, black bag.
  3. Black slip-on sneakers, short black skirt, white basic sweatshirt, multi-colored flannel shirt tied around waist, black leather bag.
  4. Leopard print slip-on sneakers, dressy black shorts, red t-shirt, casual black blazer.
  5. Zebra print slip-on sneakers, black skinny jeans, white button up shirt with shirt tails showing from underneath a basic grey sweatshirt, classic denim jacket, black/red/blue/white knit scarf.
  6. Leopard print slip-on sneakers, black leggings, with dark red, oversized, slouchy, lightweight long sleeved shirt.
  7. Light blue slip on sneakers, extra dark denim leggings, white graphic t-shirt, blue scarf, blue and white striped blazer, brown leather bag.
  8. Red/blue plaid slip on sneakers, long blue chambray denim shirt dress with sleeves rolled just below the elbows, chunky necklace, watch, bracelet, Panama hat.
  9.  Black leather slip on sneakers, jet black a-lie short skirt, cream colored sweatshirt with black graphic print, black watch.
  10. Leopard print slip on sneakers, high waisted skirt with zipper detail, basic scoop neck tank top, embellished black leather bag.