Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Heated Towel Warmers

The idea of a warm towel when stepping out of the bath is more and more appealing to homeowners. Why not treat yourself to this luxury? Today's manufacturers of Towel Warmers offer a broad selection to match any decor or taste. You can choose between an electric or hydronic (water warmed) heating systems as well as a wonderful variety of finishes including brass, chrome, nickel, satin nickel or powder coated colors.

Generally, electric towel warmer racks are easier to install and are recommended for older homes. It is relatively easy to install a hard-wired towel warmer with the proper tools although an electrician is recommended. Most of the Warmrails towel warmers are simple plug-in models. Hang them and plug them in - viola! You are on your way to warm towels! Because Warmrails operate at energy saving levels, they are intended to be left on 24 hours (unless you are gone for an extended period of time). This not only offers you the comfort of a warm towel, but also helps in reducing mold spores and dampness found in poorly ventillated bathrooms.

If you own a home or are building a new home that utilizes radiant heating, or you own a built-in Jacuzzi or spa and are planning a remodel, hydronic tower warming racks and rails are recommended. Hydronic towel warmers are connected to the main hot water heating system in your home, so ou will have an almost constant heat source warming or drying your towels. Most hydronic towel warmers are wall or floor mounted so they can be hooked up to your home plumbing. With a special pump and a separate heating tube system, hydronic towel heaters can be set to be used even during the warmer seasons.

Electric towel warmers can be purchased as hard-wired models that are built into the bathrooms electrical system and can accommodate timers that pre-heat your towels according to your personal bath schedule. If you want to avoid the hassles associated with accommodating a hard-wired electric towel warmer, you have the opportunity to select a free-standing towel warmer rack that is ideal for apartments or outdoor pool or Jacuzzi situations. It is not recommended to install or store an indoor towel warmer outdoors as weather and outddor conditions will damage them. There are specially made Robe and Towel Warmers for outdoor use.

With a great variety of towel warmers to choose from you can find one to fit almost any budget. WarmRails provides affordable yet classy Towel Warmers and Racks that will satisfy the tightest of budgets. You can step up the ladder and select your choice of a hydronic or electric high-end WarmaTowel Heated Towel Warmers and Racks from the Sussman Lifestyle Group. If you really like to self indulge, treat yourself to the Wesaunard Hand made Heated Towel Warmers and Racks that are truly modern works of art and are imported from England.

Heated towel warmers make great accessories for massage therapy, salons and spas. Nothing is more satisfying for a client than to be treated to a warm towel while receiving a relaxing massage, facial or other form of pampering. Heated towel warmer racks, bars and rails are quite popular in high-end hotels, casinos, and resorts worldwide.

Towel warmers will keep your towels warm and dry, reduce dampness and mildew in poorly ventillated bathrooms, Dries pool towels and bathing suits which saves on dryer wear and tear (not to mention energy costs), dryes winter clothes, perfect for drying delicates such as hand washables and sweaters, warms baby blankets etc...

Note: The secret to getting a really warm towel is layering. Fold your towel in half at least once, and cover it with another towel. The second towel traps in the heat making your towel warm and snuggly.

Note: Your towel will never feel as though it just came out of the dryer. To gain temperatures of that magnatude, you would risk scorching your towel and bruning your hands!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Wine Guide for Beginners

Wine is a living organism that is created through the growth of grapes and the conversion of sugar in the grapes by yeast. Its chemical composition is very complex and fragile. Any true connoisseur will tell you that proper wine storage is essential to preserve and enhance the quality of wine. Correct wine storage provides wine lovers the ability to collect and store large qualities of their favorite wines to be enjoyed for years to come while also allowing immature vintages to develop. Improper storage can damage wine which will ineveitably reduce the overall enjoyment.

It is true that 90% of all wines are meant to be consumed within one year. However, a true connoisseur and/or collector may want to consider creating a wine cellar. Significant thought and planning should go into this process.

Location of a wine cellar is very important. Ideally, wine should be stored at temperatures between 10°-14° Celsius. This is done by keeping the wine underground and minimizing exposure to solar radiation. When underground, it is best that the room is facing north. The north wall will receive the least amount of solar radiation during the day which will reduce heat retention in the cellar. In addition, the northern perimeter of your cellar must not be adjacent to a road or railway, and should be constructed from stone or brick. The wine cellar must not be subject to unnecessary movement or vibrations, else it can disturb and damage your wine. A floor of earth or sand is important, as this also helps to reduce the level of vibrations in the room.

Controlling the humidity is essential in order to keep the corks moist and functioning . A functioning cork maintains the integrity of the wine. The humidity should remain between 70-75%. Storage of wine is usually horizontal in order to keep the wine in contact with the cork at all times. When stored upright, the cork will dry out, allowing air into the bottle. The wine also tends to develop deposits of sediment on the bottom when stored vertically.

It is imperative to store wine in a dark place. UV rays cause tannins in the wine to oxidize thus causing damage. Neon or florescent lighting will literaly kill your wine. It is preferable to opt for incandescent or sodium vapor lamps. The best lighting for a cellar is generated from unscented candles.

Good ventilation is key in preventing a musty odor. Since wine breathes, wine storage must take place in and environment that is free from smells and debris. Extraneous smells can enter through the cork and contaminate the wine. For example: lighting your cellar with scented candles will foul your wine.

Ideal temperatures for storing wine:
  • Blush, rose and dry white wines are best served between 46-57F (8-14C).
  • Sparkling wines and champagne tend to taste best at 43-47F (6-8C).
  • Light red wine works well at around 55F (13C) for storing and serving.
  • The deep red wines need a temperature range between 59-66 degrees Fahrenheit (15-19 degrees Celsius).

Wine storage and display of wine bottles are made easier with these unique and beautiful wine racks and display cases made by Wine Cellar Innovations. The wine racks come in either a Premium Redwood or Country Pine wood, each with their own special characteristics.

Premium Redwood has a variety of colors; from white to pink, to dark purple swirled and streaked together. Many customers find that this exotic color variation adds character to their wine cellar racks. Premium Redwood wine racks function admirably in climatically controlled wine cellars which maintain the desired humidity levels of 50 to 75 percent, is beautiful without the need for a finish and has no aroma that can penetrate the wine through the cork.

Country Pine wine racks are a highly functional and attractive wood that creates a custom-built look for your wine storage and display. Made from a knotty grade of wood, Country Pine wine rack kits are sought after for their rustic beauty.

Tips for Buying Wine

Trust your own taste. Make sure to taste the product before committing to it. The importance of this rule will be increased as you expand your adventure into more expensive wines. A common mistake people make is buying wines which mainstream critics or friends refer to as their favorite. Trust your own palate and pick the wine you like to drink. Buying good wine is definitely a learning curve. Like anything in life, you will learn as much from your buying mistakes, as from your triumphs. Try many vintages, brands, and types of wine - expand your collection. While many people have a passion for particular brands and stick to them throughout their drinking lives, the reality is that they are missing out on many great wines that they will never have the pleasure of experiencing. Even if you are a conservative wine taster, try shopping around for different styles of wine, and watch your selection skills progressively develop into better wines for more affordable prices.

Does the price of wine really reflect their quality? Simply put, if you want to drink the best wine on the market, you will have to pay a premium price. Quality products generally cost more. However, as a general rule, it would be wise to shop around for good value. Keep an eye on mid-priced wines. Quite honestly, fine wines are usually over-hyped, over-priced, and rarely deliver that extra quality. Keeping prices in perspective will allow you to pick otherwise ignored wines that lack the image of higher-priced wines. More often then not these mid-priced bottles will be of very good quality.

Pay attention to wines that have been popular in the last few years. Last year's superstar sellers could be this year's worst vintage, and may simply be living off of its reputation. Here comes the importance of stockpiling the wines you like. For example, if one year makes for a rare pearl; make sure to buy one or two cases, so that when the next year's selection comes along, you will have the appropriate reserves. As a bonus, buying wine in cases usually affords a 10% discount from most retailers.

Wine Tasting Steps

Look at the wine: Take a look at the color of the wine. Look for the clarity of the wine and the brilliance of the color. The wines will vary in their intensity of color.

Smell the wine: Swirl the wine in your glass by rotating your wrist. The key really is in the wrist. Hold the rest of your arm still. The swirling of the glass releases the wine's aromas to the top edge of the glass. Place your nose just over and the edge of the wine glass. The aromas should bounce off this edge straight up the nostrils. Take a very deep sniff. Identify any familiar smells. Repeat, but rest your sense of smell a few seconds before you smell again.

Taste the wine: Roll the wine over your tongue before swallowing. Exhale through your nose as you swallow. Your taste buds and sense of smell will work together and enhance the experience.

On the second sip swish the wine around in your mouth and then swallow, exhaling through your nose. Use the tasting notes supplied by the tasting room as you try each wine. Ask your host about the wine and its characteristics. Developing the skill of wine tasting takes practice. The more wines you taste, the better you will become with this entire sensory process.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Memory Foam Mattresses

NASA scientists originally developed Memory Foam (visco-elastic) to allow astronauts greater comfort during their extended visits to Skylab during late 1970's. Shortly thereafter, a handful of European foam factories (Foltmar of Denmark being the first) started developing memory foam for pillows and medical applications. The overwhelmingly positive response in Denmark resulted in the design of an 8 inch memory foam mattress. The rest is History, as this new more comfortable sleeping experience is sweeping the globe.

Do you toss and turn at night because of painful pressure points? Tossing and turning is caused by the need to reduce uncomfortable pressure points that inhibit circulation. Traditional spring mattresses are less resilient and when compressed by the body’s weight respond by pushing back against the body creating pressure points. The low resilience of the memory foam mattress surface prohibits this while promoting circulation, minimizing movement so you can enjoy a deeper, more restful night’s sleep.

Jobri's Unique visco elastic memory foam conforms better to your body, increasing points of contact, providing superior support for the back and neck. The visco foam mattress has energy absorbing properties of the sleeping surface isolating movement that would be otherwise transferred across a conventional mattress. This allows you to move or reside without disturbing your partner.

Visco elastic memory foam is a fast acting material that allows the mattress to quickly support the body as it changes positions without leaving a void from the previous position.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Portable Home Sauna

Sweat baths have been used for hygiene reasons since the Stone Age. Many cultures around the world have their own versions of the sweat bath, but the most famous and widely known of them all is the Finnish Sauna.

The first wooden Saunas were built around the 5th century, when northern European tribes ceased their nomadic lifestyle. By the Middle Ages, the sweat bath had become so common in Scandinavia that foreign visitors wrote that "these people are the only peasantry in Europe who take a bath every week". To the Finns, Sauna is for every occasion. Its social nature and relaxing effects make Sauna an excellent place for negotiations and exchange of ideas.

Sauna is a national icon for Finland. Sauna is more than just a hygiene habit, it is a passion. With about 2 million saunas in the land, Finland is the only country in the world where there are more Saunas than cars. The Finnish word "Sauna" is the only one to breech the world vocabulary.

Sauna was originally connected with spiritual and religious ceremonies, healing and superstition. Sauna is, above all, a place to relax. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to enjoy the Sauna.

Enter the Sauna only when the room has reached the proper bathing temperature, between 80°C and 100°C. Always take your Sauna in the nude and lying on a towel.

For a wet Sauna, pour some water on the hot stones of the Sauna stove to produce air moisture. The steam makes the room feel hotter and will aid in perspiration. Finns use leafy birch whisks to gently tap against their bodies and further stimulate the skin. The birch creates a natural and pleasant aroma in the Sauna.

Exit the Sauna only when you feel ready, normally after 10-20 minutes of sweat bathing. Cool down by swimming in a lake or by taking a shower. (In winter, many Finns make a hole in the frozen lake and dive into the icy water or simply roll over the snow if there is not any lake nearby.)

Health Benefits of the Sauna

  • Cleans your skin: a good sweat followed by a shower cleans the skin better than just taking a shower. Your skin will become soft, tender and healthy. The effects will be noticed almost immediately.
  • Relaxes your body: the heat and humidity of the Sauna relaxes tired muscles. An extended Sauna session will leave tense muscles completely relaxed. Sauna also gives temporary relief for arthritic pain.
  • Relaxes your mind: Sauna is first and foremost a place to relax. It is widely agreed that Sauna helps to relieve mental fatigue and stress.
  • Blood circulation: Sauna improves blood circulation and breathing.
  • Loose weight: Sauna burns about 300 calories per average session. Regular Sauna-going combined with a proper diet and exercise will help you to stay healthy and to loose weight.

A home sauna can be a great way to relax, rejuvenate and improve your overall well-being in a convenient and affordable way. Baltic Leisure offers do-it-yourself, pre-cutsauna kits that can be built and ready to use in a day, right in your own home! These sauna kits are made of clear western red cedar for interiors and use an electric heater and controls imported from Scandinavia. They offer a low-cost, practical way to get the health benefits of both dry and steam heat.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Nostalgia Electrics Retro Vending Machines

Whether your sweet tooth craves some fluffy cotton candy or an icy cold refreshing snow cone you're sure to find your cravings satisfied with one of the many fun products offered by Nostalgia Electrics.

On the top of thier hot list: popcorn machines and home theater popcorn carts. Entertaining guests with good old fashioned buttery delicious kernels of freshly popped corn will make you the talk of the town. Don't be fooled by the old fashioned look, these are quality machines ready to pop up a flurry of popcorn for you and your loved ones. The attractive 1900's designs are fun to look at and these beauties produce some tasty kettle popcorn for all to enjoy.

All that Popcorn is sure to make you thirsty, so don't forget the Soda Pop! The personal soda vending machines with good old fashioned 1950's design are ideal for chilling your favorite beverages to be close at hand. Pop open a refreshing soda from one of the Nostalgia Soda Vending Machines. Whether in your office, dorm room, or next to your couch, you will always have a cold one conveniently within reach.

Learn how to make Cotton Candy, Popcorn, or savory Hot Dogs, Weiners & Frankfurters. Or, if you feel so inclined, read more about the History of Hot Dogs.