Sketchup of proposed remodel on a virtual home for contractors
Build a Virtual House Before Hiring Home Remodeling Contractors
There are so many houses out there to buy or rent, but sometimes you want to build a house your own way. The best way to show your vision to others as you see it is to build a virtual house. Many people dream to build a house for themselves one day, and building a house can be a way to see your life dream fulfilled. If you are thinking of building a house yourself, you can make the best of it first if you build a virtual house, and second if you use only the most skilled and professional home remodeling contractors out there.

With the sheer number of options you have as far as materials and placement go, it would save so much time if the home remodeling contractors can actually see your vision. It is not hard to build a virtual house once you find the right platform, and the process can really help to minimize goals and maximize communication of what is expected in the final result. As far as home remodeling contractors go, how can you make sure you are choosing the best? You know that in order to move the process to build a house along and to save money while you’re at it, you need to find extremely good home remodeling contractors, but how? Where and how do you find the best?

The best place to look in order to find the best home remodeling contractors to build a house would be on a review site. There are a few websites out there that allow users to rate their experience with certain companies, and a construction company worth anything is certain to have its name on one of those. You can see what others say about their work, customer service, cooperation, flexibility, and much more, and discover whether they are the company for you. Then build a virtual house as a blueprint for your project to show the contractors.

Also be sure to ask any friends who have built a virtual house and then built houses in the past whether they have recommendations. Your friends might know the best virtual house programs and the best people out there, or have connections that will get you better service.

When you want to build a house, you want to do it right, so taking the time to build a virtual house and find the perfect home remodeling contractors is essential. It’s not something you want to rush into, so do your research in order that you choose only the best of the best. Build a virtual house here and find home remodeling contractors here!

Photo Credit: Aaron & Carol

Tarrot Cards Pic
How to Play the Tarot Card Game
Despite the fact that history records show the concept was born in Italy, some believe by the Taro River, during the 15th century, people still want to know how to play the tarot card game. One of the common problems people run into when researching this topic, has to do with so many different countries sporting their own versions, styles, rules and even names.

One really odd thing is that as of yet, there is no universal known origin for the word Tarot. The theories vary wildly. Some speak of descending angels and Israelite magic, while others spin yarns of Arabic legends and the ancient Quran. We know that people first started experimenting with and playing cards around 1495, but some early documents recovered through archeology date tarot-like references as early as 1227.

Its initial name was Trionfi, but along the way it’s been referred to as Tarochhi,and Tarock as well. The first thing to understand when discovering how to play the tarot card game, is that in many ways it’s similar to the western world’s uses of an ordinary Poker deck of cards. The difference is that the group of games that can be played with Tarot cards originated in Europe.

All too often the Tarot cards are believed to be prophetic, and used by mystics or seers to divine the future. This came along later, and historians believe had absolutely nothing to do with the original function of the cards. They were most likely first created as ways to help children study, and then developed from there.

Basics that help explain how to play the tarot card game:

  • There are four suits in the deck, just like an American Poker deck with hearts, spades, diamonds, and clubs.
  • Tarot Deck has 78 cards total.
  • Each suit has what are called “pip” cards, and number from 1, or ace, to ten with four face cards - King, Queen, Knight, and Jack.
  • Altogether they equal 14 cards because of the extra Jack card, rather than the western 13.
  • Instead of the “Joker” Tarot has the “Fool”.
  • For people used to more Americanized games like Black Jack and Poker, learning how to play the tarot card game can be confusing and rather difficult.

Traditionally there are four players, and like other card games the cards all have an assigned value, can cause bonuses, bids ranging from really small to huge, and each player is supposed to get 18 cards in their hand from the dealer.

The rules are complicated, the scoring can get rather complex, and the bonuses even more so as the game situates to two, three, or five players. Most often for westerners, or anyone else for that matter, trying to learn how to play the tarot card game, they ask the dealer to read their fortune instead. In modern times it’s rare to come across people that play the actual ancient card games, whether the French or Italian versions. No matter what, from their muddied and mystical history, to their present day staying power, the Tarot cards are extremely interesting and engaging.

Photo Credit: Pearlmatic

Avocado and Raw Eggplant Salad
Raw Eggplant & Avocado Salad Recipe
You may have never thought of the idea of eating eggplant raw. The process of cooking eggplant makes it soft and mushy. If you happen to be one of those people who doesn’t care for this kind of texture, you may want to give this recipe a try!

This raw eggplant salad recipe is simple and delicious and will make you change your mind on how you eat your eggplant! To choose the best eggplant for a raw eggplant salad, look for eggplants that are firm, shiny with very little blemishes and bruises. This will ensure a fresh eggplant. A fresh eggplant has an almost whitish-greenish color when you cut into it. An eggplant that is not as fresh will be slightly brown when you cut inside.

For this recipe, you will need:
  • 1 Large Eggplant
  • 2 to 3 Ripe and Firm Small Avocados
  • 1 Large Lemon
  • Honey
  • 1 Small Chopping Knife
  • 1 Medium Bowl for Preparation
  • 1 Large Bowl for Serving
  • 1 Large Serving Spoon

  1. Prepare a medium bowl of cold water and squeeze 1/3 of the lemon juice from the lemon into the water. This bowl of lemon solution will be used to store the chopped eggplant during preparation to prevent browning from oxidation.
  2. Remove the skin from the eggplant by slicing the skin off with a knife.
  3. Chop the eggplant up into small cubed chunks, about 1/2 inch pieces. Some people may want to avoid eating the seeds of the eggplant, but this is personal preference.
  4. Immediately after chopping up the eggplant, place the pieces into the bowl of lemon solution to prevent the eggplant from turning brown.
  5. Slice avocados in half and remove skin and pit.
  6. Chop the avocado up into roughly same size pieces as the eggplant and place it in the large serving bowl.
  7. Drain the eggplant out of the lemon solution (remove the water) and place it in the large serving bowl with the avocado.
  8. Squeeze lemon juice from the remaining lemon on top of the eggplant and avocado.
  9. Add honey. Adjust to taste.
  10. Stir everything with a big spoon to mix it up. Do not over-stir as this will cause the salad to brown faster. The eggplant will get slightly coated by the avocado, especially if you choose soft avocados as well as the more lemon juice you use.

Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Mandy Brake

Wine Varieties
The Secret to Becoming an Expert Wine Taster
It is a dream of every wine aficionado to learn wine tasting. The expertise in terms of tasting wine creates the bridge between a simple wine lover and a sought-after wine expert. The ability to learn wine tasting, however, will not take the same period needed for wine to age… in fact, in less than a day, you will be able to grasp the basics of this skill.

There are four basic steps which one needs to develop and master in order to learn wine tasting. These steps will entail the use of senses either singly or a combination thereof. Here are some secrets to becoming an expert wine taster:

LOOK at the wine—to learn wine tasting, it is an important skill to judge the wine according to its appearance. Pour the wine into a glass to about one-third full. Identify the hue, clarity and intensity of the wine.

SWIRL the wine—swirling the wine enables you to identify the amount of alcohol in the wine. The more “tears” there are, the greater the alcohol content is. To learn wine tasting and identify the alcohol content, you have to place the wine glass in a flat surface and swirl it around.

SMELL the wine—this is a quite exciting part because the sense of smell is incredibly sensitive. Once the wine has stopped swirling, start sniffing the wine from the rim. There is no clear-cut technique to learn wine tasting through smelling and it depends on a person’s skill and mastery to identify the smell of the wine.

And lastly, TASTE the wine—this is quite tricky and will require some techniques in order to learn wine tasting correctly. While the aroma is still reverberating in your senses, take a sip of wine just enough to work in all your mouth for about fifteen to twenty seconds. Once you have fully tasted the wine, swallow it slowly and exhale through your mouth and nose. This will test how long the aroma and taste would linger in your senses.

Photo Credit: Leon Brocard

Painting of Woman Breastfeeding
My Infant Feeds on One Side: Breastfeeding 101
Motherhood truly is a glorious moment, especially for first-time mothers. It is, both rewarding and challenging at the same time—yet at the end of the day, all those moments shared between you and your infant will always be priceless. Of course, this is true regardless of whether your infant feeds on one side. However, that situation can pose a unique challenge.

Breastfeeding is definitely an important part of motherhood—one of the earliest memories you will have when it comes to bonding with your baby. A lot of times, breastfeeding is considered as one of the crucial stages of your infant’s development, and this is one reason why you should breastfeed your infant as much as you can.

Whether you are an experienced mom or a first-timer when it comes to nursing, there are a lot of questions that may arise each time you breastfeed your infant. Today, we will focus on a question that a lot of mothers ask: the question of why sometimes an infant feeds on one side only of a mother’s breasts.

Preferring one breast over the other—is this common?

Most mothers have experienced babies pulling away or becoming fussy each time they nurse, and then find out that their infants prefer one breast over the other when they nurse. This is pretty much common. When your infant feeds on one side of your breast only, it may cause concern, especially for first-time mothers.

Breast Preference: Its Causes

There are a lot of factors that may explain why your infant feeds on one side of your breast. One simple reason: your infant may find it quite hard to latch on to your breast. If your infant notices that there is a slow flow of milk coming from one side of your breast, chances are, he or she will prefer the other breast in order to nurse properly. If you had some surgery done on your breast, there may also be a chance that this can lead to a slower milk flow, making your baby reject it. These are some of the reasons why your infant feeds on one side only of your breast.

Should I be Concerned?

While there is no reason to panic, it’s always important that you try to alternate your infant’s nursing pattern on your breasts. This allows for both of your breasts to produce a steadier milk flow, as well as for you to prevent pain or engorgement from happening on just one side of your breast.

If it Still Persists, What can be Done?

If your infant feeds on one side still and worry about the other side of your breast not producing enough milk, you can try using a breast pump on the other side of your breast so it can continue maintaining a steady flow of milk. You can also try to offer your baby his or her’s least-preferred breast each time you nurse so that he or she can become accustomed to it. Experimenting with the way you carry your baby when you nurse or trying out different breastfeeding positions may also help your infant not to prefer just one specific breast, therefore making it easier for you to nurse alternately and more conveniently.

Photo Credit: Maja

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