Understanding Compact Flourescent Bulbs

bulb.jpgI came across a blog written by Peggy Deras, CKD, CID about choosing a compact flourescent bulb that will cast flattering light.  This is referred to as CRI or color rendering index.

You can read her article here Kitchen-exchange: CRI: The Road to True-Color Light Bulbs

Did you know that not all CFLs can be used with a dimmer and that some can not be used in an enclosed lamp?  Peggy links to a wonderful page on the Enviromental Defense website that finds the right bulb for your needs.  This is definitely a page to bookmark.

One last note, CFLs contain mercury (about 5 milligrams) and should not be thrown into your household garbage. To find out what to do first check the Earth 911 website (where you can find disposal options by using your zip code for everything from paint to televisions) or call 1-877-EARTH911 for local disposal options.

If you live near an IKEA, you are in luck, they offer CFL recycling bins in stores across the world. In their fiscal 2006 year, IKEA recycled 156,301 pounds of CFLs.

The Digital Kitchen

Last month the Internet Alliance Home Research Council announced the results of a study citing which technology innovations homeowners want most to add in the future .

A survey of 602 homeowners revealed that the kitchen functions as the nerve center of the house, with most families doing much more than just cooking and eating there.  Popular activities in the kitchen include doing homework, paying bills, planning schedules, entertaining friends, talking on the phone and leaving messages for family members.

It’s not surprising that the primary kitchen user is also the person in charge of  keeping the schedules.  Which is why a digital calender is the most requested item.  Respondents stated they want a large screen calendar that allows users to add appointments or post notes that anyone can see from either the kitchen or the internet.

The next most requested item is a recipe projection system.  Consumers reported wanting a wireless recipe projection system that would allow them to look up a recipe on-line and then have the recipe projected onto a surface in the kitchen from a small cabinet-mounted device keeping countertops clutter free.

Homeowners did not show much interst in refrigerators or pantries that scan barcodes; instead they cited wanting a control hub in the kitchen.  From there they want to be able to monitor and adjust the household systems.  Specifically, they requested a screen where they can view the temperature inside and outside of their home, adjust the thermostat on a touch pad and view live video of both the front and back of their house.

Other requested items included wireless internet access and charging stations for charging 3 phones or PDAs at the same time regardless of brand.

Organic Dog Food Recipe

 With all the concern about Pet Food these days I thought I might share a recipe printed in the local weekly.

Doggie Oats Miles

8 cups raw rolled oats (or 16 cups cooked oatmeal)
2 pounds (4 cups) raw ground or chopped turkey
1/2 cup Healthy Powder*
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup cooked vegetables (or less if raw and grated, may be omitted occasionally)
3 tablespoons bonemeal (or 5,400-6,000 mg calcium or 1 tablespoon eggshell powder)
10,000 IU vitamin A (optional if using carrots)
400 IU vitamin E
1 teaspoon tamari soy sauce or 1/4 teaspoon iodized salt (optional)
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced (optional)
15 miligrams iron (optional)

Mix ingredients together.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Freeze remaining food within 2-3 days of preparation.


Healthy Powder: 2 cups nutritional (torula) yeast
1 cup lecithin granules
1/4 cup kelp powder
1/4 cup bonemeal (or 9,000 milligrams calcium or 5 teaspoons eggshell powder)
1,000 mg vitamin C (ground) or 1/4 teaspoon sodium ascorbate (optional)
Mix ingredients together in a 1 quart container and refrigerate.

Faux wood cabinets are great for remodeling

Glazed Thermofoil Doors
With the current downturn in the housing market many homeowners are looking to remodel their kitchens and bathrooms either for their own enjoyment or for selling their home in the near future.

Especially here in Naples where builders once offered only white melamine cabinets and white laminate countertops; they are now offering granite and wood-look cabinets as a standard.  This means all the homes and condos that are just a few years old are having a tough time competing with all the incentives builders are offering to unload their inventories.

So what is a homeowner to do?  When budgets are limited it is always a good idea to incoporate storage aids such as lazy-susan corner cabinets and pull-out trash bins.  Bathrooms can also be improved by adding linen cabinets.  According to a recent survey they are the number one requested item and are sure to help improve the value of your remodel.

I always suggest my clients look at a 5-piece glazed thermofoil door.  It’s similar to what the builders offer but it looks like a glaze has been applied.  The glazing makes these cabinets look more expensive than they really are – a great selling bonus.

Here’s a picture showing two of the 4 finishes  available through Kitchen Studio of Naples, Inc.

Glazed Thermofoil Doors