Month: July 2018

Parc Monceau – The Famous English Park in Beautiful France

Parc Monceau is a community square located in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France, at the intersection of Boulevard de Courcelles, Rue de Prony and Rue Georges Berger. The community square was instituted by Phillippe d’Orléans, Duke of Chartres, and a cousin of the king. He began purchasing land on which to launch the garden in 1769, and hired Louis Carrogis Carmontelle to plan the gardens. He was a close friend of the Prince of Wales, afterwards George IV, and a devotee of all English things. As an outcome, his intention was to form an unceremonious English-style garden in the center of Paris. By 1778, in the course of consecutive purchases, the garden had developed to 12 hectares. It came to be known as the Folie de Chartres (Chartres’ Folly).

The park is strange in France, owing to its “English” technique: its casual arrangement, coiled paseos and haphazardly-laid sculptures discern it from the more conventional, French-style garden. It also admits a gathering of surmounted-down architectural characteristics including an Egyptian pyramid, a Chinese fort, a Dutch windmill, and Corinthian pillars. Overall, it is a masonry acknowledgment, musing the truth that Philippe d’Orléans was a foremost free-mason. The park includes sculptures of famous French figures including Guy de Maupassant, Frédéric Chopin, Charles Gounod, Ambroise Thomas and Edouard Pailleron.

During the French revolt of 1793, the Duke was executed by guillotine, and the garden was accepted into public ownership. The Farmer’s General Enclosure of Paris bordered the park. At this time, the edifice was built by Claude Nicolas Ledoux.

In 1797, it was the site of the first silk parachute jump, when André-Jacques Garnerin leaped from a Montgolfier hot air balloon, landing in the park where a huge crowd was assembled.

The garden was bought by the city of Paris in the year 1860. Half the land was allotted for building of new houses. This was possible due to Baron Haussmann, and the other 50% was conserved as green space and became a public park, ushered in by Napoleon III on 13 August 1861. Claude Monet painted a sequence of 3 paintings of the park in the spring of 1876.

Visiting France can be an intoxicating experience, especially if you love everything gourmet and chic. From museums and historical sites to glamour and romance, France is known for many things. If you are visiting France, make sure you book your Paris hotel in advance, and if you are traveling during the peak tourist season, you should stay at a luxury hotel in Paris, which will provide the best for your comfort and relaxation.…

How to Inject Some Style Into Bathroom Decorations

You have many choices when it comes to bathroom decorating. Try something simple like replacing the bathroom shower curtains. Or paint the walls a different color is another really cheap way to give it a whole new look. Add some rugs and a few well placed wall ornaments and you have a bathroom to write home about. It may sound too easy right? Well it can be that simple if you take the time to actually do it, but if you do run into problems it could end up costing you a lot more than you expected.

First step is to check if you have any leaking pipes or had any in the past. Leaking pipes can cause more damage in areas you can not see than what is actually visible. If all looks well youre good to go. Sprucing up your design is the next step you've got a good base with the new bathroom shower curtains and the painted walls now comes the fun part of decorating it. Find some great towels that match your theme together with new towel racks and some new hardware for your cabinets and you'll be surprised at how different it is starting to look.

Knowing what you like before you start any of this is going to help you decide what places and what goes. Try to imagine your bathroom the way you would like it and remember things you've noticed in other baths that you liked. It is essential to know what you're going to do before you dive in. Shop for anything you plan on using to try for the best possible price. A lot of bathroom decorating ideas can become costly so set your budget and stick to it. Replacing fixtures is not always the best course of action, but if you heart is set on it put it in your budget so you will not end up with a bathroom that looks half finished.

Do not rush it, take your time and make your decisions informed of what you want. Once your bathroom decorating ideas match your budget you're ready to move forward. If you're on a tight budget try not to get hasty about tossing out any of the things you already have. Quite often it is easy to utilize things that would otherwise be tossed. If you find that it becomes too difficult do not be afraid to ask someone for help. Getting ideas from a professional designer is always going to give you an insight into what is involved in your project and how much it will cost in the end. …

Casual Kitchen Classics


Gray is a timeless color that has been seen throughout time. In the era of the seventies, this color was paired with red and white as a casual accent color. Now, gray is seen in casual kitchens in the form of gray shaker cabinets, an accent color or in countertops. This versatile color remains a homeowner’s favorite color for a backslash too. Incorporate this timeless color into a casual kitchen for a relaxed feel and a polished look.

Shaker Cabinets

The Shaker movement was known for its simple designs. Shaker cabinets have been around since the 1800’s, and they stay a favorite. The humble appearance adds functionality with just a touch of style to a modest kitchen. This simple style often consists of just a few simple lines on the doors. Shaker cabinets are available in different styles and colors, making this kitchen classic ideal for complementing any color scheme.

Marble Countertops

Marble countertops have outlasted every kitchen fad that has come, and this timeless look will continue to be a favorite long after the next kitchen has gone. Marble countertops offer a pristine look to an otherwise drab kitchen. This functional kitchen accessory is easy to clean and remains well-known for being highly durable. Once you use marble for your countertops, you will never have to worry about your kitchen looking outdated again.

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors give a classic look that will never go out of style. These floors will complement any kitchen style, from a modern look to a casual kitchen that instantly makes you want to sit down and relax while enjoying relaxing cup of hot tea. The polished look cordinates well with any color scheme, and various types of wood flooring are available to coordinate with every kitchen, from a light wood that will look nice next to lighter colored walls to a dark wood that will make brighter colored accents pop. These floors are not just timeless, they are easier to clean when compared to rugs and carpet, giving families one more benefit.


White is another color that will coordinate perfectly with any style, just like gray. Pictures over the past 100 years have shown kitchens that have white in them, and white will continue to be a timeless color due to its versatile nature. White can look elegant, classic or modern depending on how you decorate the rest of your kitchen. Home owners will no longer have to repaint in order to redecorate, and white finished wood offers a simple look that looks exceptional in a classic kitchen.

As studies show that the clean cut lines of a modern look make families less likely to open up at the dinner table, more people are transitioning back to traditional and casual kitchen styles that give a feeling of warmth and togetherness. If you’re looking for versatile kitchen ideas that will add a touch of a classic look or versatile kitchen ideas that have stood the test of time, blend of few of …

3 Home Improvement Tips To Increase Home Value

You can increase home value with these home improvement tips. The key to maintaining the maximum home value is possible to keep up with all the maintenance in your home and not letting anything slip.

Psychologically, we are more willing to do little home improvement jobs at reasonable costs through out the year. This keeps our home value high. On the other hand, we are more reluctant to dump thousands into repairs and maintenance that we have been avoiding for years.

What is the Condition of your Deck?

The condition of your deck can influence home value. Your deck needs yearly work done to it. Make sure that your deck is properly waterproofed and stained.

There are home improvement books devoted to building and maintaining decks. If you have a deck you should own one of these books and follow the suggestions therein for deck upkeep. To get the top sale price of your home the deck must be in good condition.

How Does the Kitchen Look?

Kitchens can be home improvement nightmares. This is because the kitchen is a huge factor that effects home value. A nice kitchen can get you top dollar while a dilapidated one will give the buyer some negotiation power.

Be sure to keep the quality of your kitchen floor, counters and cabinets. There is no need to replace cabinets. A good furniture refinisher can have them looking new. However, be sure to check local cabinet sellers. There are some good deals out there.

Do You Know What Kind of Wiring Your House Has?

This can be a home improvement nightmare as well. Depending on the last time your house was rewired, you may be required to redo it before you can sell it. You can live in a house that is not up to code, but you can not sell it.

It should not cost a lot to have someone come and do an inspection of the wiring and your fuse box. If this is not done in a while then do it as soon as you can. Wiring can not really effect the value of your home, but you will not be able to sell a home that is not up to code.

These home improvement tips can help you get maximum home value when you are ready to sell. A bad deck or kitchen can give the buyer a lot of leverage to buy at below market value, and bad wiring can delay the sale of your home altogether.

Try and do 2 or 3 home improvement projects each year. These are tax deductible and can therefore lower your taxes. …

Plant a Vegetable Garden

Living off the land isn’t just for flower power hippies and go green fanatics. Aside from being able to enjoy the fruit of your labor, literally, there is always the added advantage of saving a few bucks at the supermarket. Tending to a garden can be a little labor intensive but with the right equipment and some sound advice you’ll have green thumbs in no time! Be warned this is a very simple guide to getting a garden started we won’t get into the science of soil because it can get overwhelming and discouraging for the beginner. If you think that your soil isn’t able to grow a garden, i.e. your neighbors have tried with no success, take a sample to a local greenhouse or plant shop and have it tested you may need to adjust the pH level.

For everyone else: the first thing to consider when planting your garden is the type of soil you’ve got to work with. There are three general soil types, sand, loamy/silt, and clay. Not sure which one you have? Here’s an easy way to find out. Go to your soon to be garden, pick up a small amount of soil, enough to make a ball the size of a ping pong ball and try to form it into a ball. If your soil is nowhere near making it into a ball you have sandy soil, if your soil seems to be going with the program but breaks apart once you stop trying to form it you have loamy soil, if it holds its form as a ball you have clay soil. No worries, you’ll be able to plant no matter which type of soil you have, with the help of some top soil or compost.

First things first, figure out which types of vegetables you would like to plant, this is a fun process and will get you excited for the work to come. A good beginner garden includes tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and bell peppers etc., and don’t forget the herbs, basil, cilantro and mint are great herb that you can use in many dishes. My best advice is to keep it simple. It easy to get excited about having all these fresh, organic, juicy veggies at your finger that you bite off more than you can chew. Choose about 4-5 vegetables that you eat most often and plant those but don’t pass on the tomatoes you won’t be sorry they are infinitely better than any supermarket. Follow the link at the end of this article to figure out when to plant the vegetables of your choice. It also tells you when to expect the veggies to come in (harvesting).

Once you’ve gotten your fabulous list of vegetables its time to prep your soon to be bountiful garden space. After the last frost of the season prepare your soil by mixing in topsoil or compost, both contain essential nutrients and are the perfect density to retain and drain water at the optimal …

Tips to Sell Your House in Today's Market

We have talked to sellers who want to sell their house. All too often, they base their asking price on yesterday's market. Yesterday's market of escalating property values ​​is over. You have heard the reports on television, in the newspapers, and on the Internet. We are in one of the worst markets in history. We have read a report that things have not been this bad since the Great Depression. Keep in mind the first buyers want to buy your house at the best price from the start. So here is what you can do to make sure your house does not sit on the market for months:

Tip # 1 – Be sensible about your asking price

Have at least three local real estate agents prepare a comparative marketing analysis. It will list the asking and selling price for home in your area. It will also list the size and amenities. If there is a small supply of similar houses, price your house for what others are asking. If there is a large supply, then you want to read the next step. Seek to generate greater interest in your house. Set your price 10% less than what others are selling for. If you do this, it raises your chances of receiving several offers on your property. If you must drop your price after it has been on the market for a while, make one large price cut instead of smaller cuts.

Selling your house on your own is a tremendous undertaking. It becomes even more challenging when the real estate market is more favorable to buyers like now. You must have the experience and the patience to weather the storm. Therefore, if you feel that you are unable to sell your house yourself, adhere to this next tip:

Tip # 2 – Seek an experienced real estate agent

Selling today during this economic climate will require a great deal of marketing effort. Seek an experienced real estate agent to help you. You do not want to deal with an unseasoned agent. You want one who has been through downturns and understands what is required to close the deal. All too often, an agent will list your property without having your interests in mind.The first impression is important, especially when it comes to selling your house. You house must have curve appealing to lure potential buyers. Make sure you take the time to clean, paint, and landscape. You only have ONE chance to make a first impression. Adhere to this tip to make a difference when your prospects enter the house:

Tip # 3 – Stage your house for a good first impression

In this housing market, you must use all of the tools at your disposal. Hire a stager. Staging services have become popular with the rise in the number of house-selling shows on cable television. A stager will help to organize your house to make it more attractive. They will move your house away from the "lived in" …

Building a Chicken House – 5 Important Design Aspects

Proper Ventilation

When building a chicken house it is imperative that you must take into consideration proper ventilation of the coop because chickens need to be cooled down during the intensity of noon-time heat. Free flowing inflow of air within the building can tremendously help keep the temperature from rising; thereby making the chickens fully comfortable.

Good Drainage

Chickens must be dry most of the time; and you must avoid getting them wet. For this reason, the coop must have well designed drainage system that fully flushes the water out of the building; theby ensuring that the poultry is not wet since the moment that they are wet they are also highly susceptible to various health issues and diseases which could affect the entire poultry.

Proper Lighting

Lighting is essential in keeping the chickens warm during night time when the environment is cold; as well as during winter time and cold season. Bear in mind that chickens are not only sensitive to extremely hot condition but also to cold environment; and one way of keeping the room temperature from going down much more is to provide proper lighting.


Cleaning and maintenance is important since this can greatly affect the poultry; in terms of health.
So, you must also give provision for cleaning; ensuring that it is very easy to clean.


Of course, when building a chicken house it is also ideal to make your coop look good within your property or farm. Here, it may be optional but it is also highly recommended to have some creativity in making its design and appearance very pleasing to the eyes of the viewers.

Therefore, when building a chicken house always keep in mind the aforesaid design factors because they can greatly affect the success of your business; failure to consider some of the vital aspects of the design can tremendously make a lot of differences on the overall condition of the poultry and your business. …

An Interior Designers View on Fabrics

Lets start with upholstery weight fabrics, as durability is always in the forefront. The weight of these fabrics is defined as being able to hold up to heavy usage. You can definitely feel the difference between a light weight fabric, usually used for drapery or toss pillows, and a heavy weight fabric used for upholstery, pillows, and cornices. For well used seating such as family room sofas, breakfast chairs, office chairs, and children rooms, a heavy weight fabric such as chenille, micro fibers, leathers (though technically leather is not a “fabric”, but a material used in upholstery), or any other tightly woven fabric is best suited. These materials are generally easy to clean and keep clean. In more formal settings, a backed silk becomes very durable, but usually not cleaned easily, unless professionally cleaned, and then there could still be problems. The above mentioned fabrics are also well suite for upholstered walls and ceilings, even though a light weight fabric could also fit the bill. There are general rules for patterned fabrics and solids. Lets define the difference in there use. For larger upholstered pieces most interior designers use a solid fabric and accent with a patterned toss pillow. There are many fabrics on the market today that appear solid, but have a small dot, a slight slub, a subtle thread running through it, that will make up beautifully on upholstered pieces. They add a new dimension to the furniture piece, add a little excitement, a show a different style. Patterned fabrics are used more as accents since changing them will result in very little expense. To change a few toss pillows to a different color as compared to changing as entire sofa, clearly make sense.

Light weight fabrics have there purposes and needs. These fabrics used properly by an interior designer, will bring the color and excitement to your room. Light weight fabrics are used mainly for drapery and accent or toss pillows. These light weight fabrics flow easily, fold easily on drapery swags, hang beautifully for side panels and tab top drape, and generally cost less. Cost is truly a factor since drapery panels should be “full”, and require a great deal of yardage. Mix and match solids and prints in these light weight fabrics, add tassels and trim in coordinating colors, to get the most out of your drapery applications. Patterned fabrics are also a great way to spark up a sofa in a solid fabric. Using a vibrate pattern for these pillows pulls in and adds to your accent color palette. I would recommend a heavy weight fabric for toss pillows in any room heavily used, even though I would still recommend a patterned fabric.

When consulting with an interior designer, make sure they understand the use of each area. In my experience, adults are usually worse than children when it come to wear and tear on furnishings, so remain diligent when selecting your fabrics no matter who lives in the home. Remember the International Design …

How to Grow Mushrooms From Old Mushroom Stem Butts

Usually when it comes to growing mushrooms, the most important thing that you will need to begin with is the mushroom spawn itself – this is what the mushrooms grow from, so it is an essential ingredient. Without it, it would be like trying to grow an apple tree without the apple pip – its never going to work. Usually the mushroom spawn will be especially created by a mycologist, and will normally consist of some kind of grain that has been impregnated with mushroom mycelium (mycelium is what the mushrooms come from).

You can create your own mushroom spawn several ways, but what most people don’t realise is that you can actually grow your own mushrooms from old stem butts, enabling you to re-use old mushrooms and start your own cycle of mushroom cultivation.

All that you need to do is to cut off a small section of the mushroom stem butt, no bigger then an inch long. It is important to try and use the bottom of the stem, with the bulbous part of the stem intact (this part is usually removed prior to preparing the mushroom for cooking and for packaging before being sold in stores). However if you have already grown some of your own mushrooms from some kind of spawn then you will have no problem getting hold of the healthiest variety of stem butts. You can still try using the stem from shop-brought mushrooms, but you may not have as much success.

It is important stating that not all mushrooms have this stem growth capability, and there are only a few varieties that are known to be able to re-spawn from their stems. These include Oyster mushrooms (Pleutrous Ostreatus), Parasol mushrooms, Morels, Prince, and many more.

All you need to do is remove a section of the stem butts, and get some corrugated cardboard. Soak the cardboard and then try to peel it in half, so that the paper is as thin as possible. Next, lay the carboard on a surface and place some of the stem butts on top. Try and leave around 6 inches of cardboard per stem butt. Cover the stems with the rest of the corrugated cardboard and then re-soak for a few minutes. Place the folded pieces of cardboard into an old box – cardboard, wood, or anything else that will keep the box moist, and then place it in a shady position in your garden before covering it with leaves.

What will happen is that the mycelium will start to grow through the pieces of cardboard, from the stem butts, using the materials in the cardboard as a food (mushrooms naturally grow on wood and so cardboard is ideal to use and is easier to break down). After a few months you will have your own cardboard spawn, and you can either use this to grow mushrooms on more cardboard, or you can mix this cardboard spawn with straw, creating an outdoor bed or mushroom patch, or you …

Cat Beds – How to Choose The Right One

Cats love comfort. How do you get comfortable when it's time to sleep? You jump in your bed, right? So, why is it your feline friend does not have a bed of its own. Cats sleep the majority of the day so they really need a comfortable place to rest their head and body. The other benefit of cat beds is that cats like security. They like to have their own space where they know they are safe and will be left undisturbed. That's exactly what cat beds offer them.

Before you select just any bed for your cat, you may need to do a little observation of your pet. Not all cats will like all bed styles. Is your cat a ground cat or a climber? Some cats are perfectly comfortable kicking back on the ground floor. For them, a floor bed may do the trick. Other cats, meanwhile, feel more safe and comfortable if they are off he ground and can look down at the world. For these cats, you should look for one of a variety of perching cat beds. If you have dogs or small children in the house, you may want to stick with the higher beds to give the cat somewhere it will not be regularly annoyed.

Next, make sure the bed fits the cat. Cats come in varying sizes, and so do cat beds. If you have a large tabby, make sure you hunt for a larger bed instead of making him feel scrunched up to fit. He likely will just skip the bed alike and look for something that is a little more comfortable, like your bed or furniture. Likewise, cats like to feel like they're in a hiding spot, so you do not want to give them a bed that is so large they get lost in it.

You need cat beds that are washable. Cats shed. They get sick. You do not want your cat to keep sleeping in a bed with germs, dirt and grime in it. They may get sick again. If you select a cat bed that is completely washable, or at least has a washable cover, you can toss it in the machine and offer your pet a clean space to rest. If you notice your cat is no longer sleeping in its bed, it may be because it needs a cleaning. Cats are clean animals and like their space to be as well.

Once you bring cat beds home, put them near the other cat toys. Your cat will appreciate the convenience. With cat beds near their scratching posts, food and water bowls and liter box, they will understand this whole area is their personal space.

One final note: If you have more than one cat, do not expect them to all share one cat bed, even if it's a big one. Cats like to have their own territory. If you are making them share that space, you are going against their instinct and you …