Chris JTM's Blog

Prevent Essential Oils From Harming You

Almost everyone have been talking about the benefits and how essential oils have impacted their lives. Even if they offer benefits that make people happy, they also contain potent chemicals that might harm you in the long run. The multi-level marketing of essential oils is rising and with the help of social media and other forms of selling tools, essential oils are known to cure eczema and migraine. Don’t get me wrong, essential oils have a lot of properties that are very therapeutic and even medical evidences to support the facts. Keep in mind that even if they are extracted from plants, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be wary of them at all. You can buy the best aromatherapy diffuser to spread the scent.

Stop skin discoloration and sores that burn

There are certain kinds of essential oils that can cause you to get burned under sunlight. Before you spend a day outdoors or make a trip to the beach, do not apply any photosensitizing oil to your skin. When your skin reacts, there can be discoloration and you will feel some burns. Examples of photosensitizing oils are Bergamot oil, Lemon essential oil, Lime essential oil, and Cumin essential oil.

Keep the away from small pets

Essential oils are totally dangerous for pets so do not allow them to be in close contact with your pets. Only large animals can withstand the effects of essential oils and ask the vet for instructions on how to use them that will not harm your pets.

Essential oils are not totally good for pregnant and nursing women

Essential oils have an effect on the hormones, gut bacteria, and other health aspects. You should take extra care in using essential oils if you are pregnant or nursing. There are signs showing that essential oils can penetrate the placenta and reach the baby. Essential oil effects can be compounded in utero and extreme care which should be taken with essential oils while someone is pregnant. Read more

Home Tea with Kettles

The Kitchen is where people like to enjoy meals and drinks at home, and for those who also like to cook, a well laid-out kitchen with useful and reliable appliance is a necessity. One of the most basic home appliances is the tea kettle.

Kettles are used to heat water while their handles remain cool so that users can immediately hold and pour their hot contents. Even the basic types are good for more than just brewing tea.

Some kettles are better fit for specialized tasks such as brewing pour-over coffee. Others like electric kettles operate without need of stovetops or heating plates, and feature safety and convenience functions which manual types don’t have.

Types of Kettles

Electric kettles don’t require a stovetop or other heating elements. Also known as electric hotpots, they are convenient and have safety features such as auto-shutdown at set temperatures and water levels. A few models can whistle once the water is at boiling, and have adjustable settings to select the best brewing temperatures.

Stove kettles may not be as convenient as electrics, but they offer quick heating for brewing. There are models made of stainless steel, aluminum, safety glass, and copper. These almost always whistle and steam once the water is boiling, a few even signal users with tuneful whistling. As always, a stovetop model should be designed to pour water easily while its handle stay cool to hold while its contents are still boiling hot.

Specialized models like those for pour-brewing offer better handheld control of the water flow, leading to better tea or pour-over coffee as well. They come in electric or stovetop-only versions, and their spouts normally have thin long necks to provide for a slow but consistent flow, letting users pour over the grounds with kind of gentle saturation which is important for making that type of brew.

Automated kettles are tea-making machines capable of automating most tasks such as saturating agitated leaves with hot water, and many feature prompts to the user for producing a fool-proof brew. The machine’s timer start, water temperature, and brew length is programmed long beforehand so that users can later enjoy their tea with little effort expended. Read more

Immersion Blenders for the Home

Kitchens are the most visited place other than the bedroom in most homes, where people usually have meals and drinks alone or in company with others. For enjoyable home dining, a well-equipped and designed kitchen is a necessity. One of the more useful appliances is the handheld Immersion Blender.

Immersion Blenders for the Home

An immersion blender is useful around the kitchen for blending small or odd jobs. It’s easier to use and clean than full-sized countertop blenders, and better at mixing soups, mashing potatoes, preparing emulsions, whenever it’s best to bring the blender to the food to process it.

The better models are simple to use and clean and have longer cords to better reach around tables. The shaft of the blender should be detachable and dishwasher-safe, along with any bowls or attachments included.


Multi-use immersion blenders. These are versatile handheld blenders which have many attachments like whisks and chopper accessories, making them useful not only for immersion blending but also for chopping and cutting stuff like nuts and vegetables. The pricier models are better at making smoother nut butters and other purees, but even budget units are versatile tools capable of many duties.

Basic immersion blenders. For basic kitchen tasks like blending soup or mashing potatoes, or making smaller amounts of purees, basic models are good enough. These are simply a blender on a stem with a matching container, but do provide basic convenience around the kitchen.

Cordless immersion blenders.  These are generally not as popular as corded models for they compromise some performance for convenience. Cordless units just can’t apply as much power as their bigger cousins, and many don’t hold their charge long enough to last the day. Most cost a bit more than corded models.


  • Simple controls. Immersion models should have easy-to-push and easy-to-hold buttons. Certain models have a safety feature which only allows motor activation when buttons are pressed, and big buttons are preferable in this case.
  • Easy to clean. Blade guards should be designed to keep food from sticking, and a detachable shaft makes for easy cleaning in the dishwasher. Accessories should also be designed for dishwasher cleaning.
  • Handy weight. A weight of 3 pounds or so is ideal for wielding hand blenders. A heavier unit would be harder to carry and operate, even though these types are meant to be used for only a minute or so at a time.
  • Matching container. Models usually include a standard jar for ingredients to be more easily blended. If one comes with a large container, make sure it’s compatible with other sizes. For many users a cocktail shaker works just as well.
  • Storage bag. Basic models include just the blender on a stem plus a container, but for pricier models with multiple accessories it’s a good idea to get a bag or box to store the parts.
  • Warranty. Blenders generally do not last long in heavy use, so at least a one-year warranty is recommended.

Read more

Cookware for Great Home Kitchens

The kitchen is likely the most visited and used room at home after the bedroom, a place where we are usually found eating and mingling with friends and family. And for enjoyable home dining, a well-equipped kitchen with appliances for preparing and serving is key. One of the basic tools in any kitchen is the cookware.

Basics: Cookware

Cookware is essential and usually the first kitchen tools a buyer gets after basics like a range or refrigerator. Cookware are about the most-used items in your kitchen. There are many quality sets today at what used to be low-end prices, with plenty of high-end choices for more discerning buyers.

Buying a set costs less than buying pieces one by one. Sets are useful for equipping new kitchens or replacing an entire worn collection. Some items get more use than others, and specialty items like Dutch ovens or roast pans aren’t normally included.

Types: Cookware

  • Stainless
  • Nonstick
  • Cast Iron
  • Induction

Stainless cookware “clad” around an aluminum core heats evenly and is superior at browning, but are more difficult to clean. More oils or fats are needed to keep foods from sticking, needs practice to use well, but most professional and serious home cooks like stainless. Stainless items can get scratched or discolored at hot temperatures beyond 500F, though.

Nonstick cookware prevents foods from clinging so one can cook with less fats, and is the most bought by home cooks. Clean up time is minimal and one can cook almost anything without it sticking to the pan. Materials range from very cheap thin metals and coatings to higher-quality types like anodized a


Cast iron cookware are versatile and can be readily moved from stovetop to oven or grill or outdoor smokers or campfires. Cast iron needs seasoning, and a well-seasoned pan has stick-resistance to its surface. But cast iron can be very heavy and does not heat up fast like other type, it does retain heat well but then you must allow for cool-down time.

Induction-ready cookware is more of a feature available in most other types of cookware which allows use on smooth induction cooktops. Induction cooking only works with pans whi

ch bottoms have induction properties. Stainless steel and cast iron will work, but copper and glass won’t, while some aluminum pans have a magnetic layer for this purpose. A way to tell if an item is induction compatible is to check if magnets attach to its bottom. Some smooth glass cooktops are not induction and will work with any cookware, but these types are more easily damaged by heavy types like cast iron. Read more

How to get the most out of your outdoor space

Do you think that the size of your backyard is too small? So, what? Don’t let the size of the backyard decide how you should make use of your outdoor space. There are some best ways to get the most out of your outdoor space. Read the complete article here…
outdoor space

  1. Try Out With Furniture:

I would say that the outdoor space in each and every house should be a resting place. Whenever you arrive at home after your office or business, you need some relaxation. Instead of going to television or computer for this, you can get some fresh air from your outdoor space. Make your outdoor space usable by placing some furniture like sofa or something. At the simplest, you can make use of a cushion or just two or three throws. I would say that you must spend more time and money for selecting the furniture for outdoor than for your indoors. This is because; the furniture you use outdoors should be able to withstand all kinds of climatic changes.

  1. Create a Garden With Living Plants:

For creating an outdoor space that is more special and private, you could create a garden in it by planting living plants. This would define your outdoor space in a beautiful way. Before creating a garden, you must do a site analysis. Make a chart of your property and note down where the sun falls. Now, divide the total space into small compartments and turn this into a functional garden by coming up with a good plan from a horticulturalist. You may also call a local nursery person for this purpose. Read more

Home Furnishing Stores

The International Mass Retail Assn and the National Retail Federation have reported that many consumers in Washington D.C. bought more practical gifts than frivolous gifts during the holidays 1994. Home furnishing stores reported more sales in this area. About 42% of surveyed shoppers were planning to buy bath and bed linens, while other items, such as furniture, were popular as well.

WASHINGTON (FNS)–Forecasts that 1994 would be a “practical” Christmas seem to have come true in the Washington area where several home goods stores experienced heavy traffic and robust sales in the holiday shopping season, which came to a close yesterday.

Gifts of Everyday Life

Last month, both the National Retail Federation and the International Mass Retail Association released surveys predicting that “gifts of everyday life” would top the shopping lists of most Santas in 1994.

The NRF poll found that approximately 42 percent of shoppers intended to purchase bed and bath linens. IMRA counted pasta and breadmakers as products likely to be popular.

Sales since Thanksgiving at the 20 Pier 1 Imports stores in the Washington-Baltimore area have been running 12 percent ahead of last year, according to Joy Purcell, the company’s public relations manager.

Stores are packed on weekends as well as on weekdays

Wooden and metal plant stands that cost $30 to $50 have been selling well as people spruce up their homes for the holidays. Another hot item is a metal bench that can double as a coffee table, which retails at $75 or $95.

Sales of white wicker furniture for children, including chairs and settees that cost between $40 and $60, had been picking up as the holiday approached, Purcell said. Decorative items such as ornaments, candles and brass objects were also being purchased as gifts.

At The Container Store in McLean, Va., the three best-selling items were an art supply kit that includes pastels and paints, a baseball card box and plastic jewelry stacking trays that fit inside drawers, according to a company spokeswoman.

Other strong sellers were a two-tiered, wood-and-metal entertainment cart that holds a television and a VCR, and a baker’s cart with a butcher-blocktop and chrome grid shelving.

Read more

Mirro Alters – Adds to Cookware

Mirro has developed new cookware products and redesigned others as a result of extensive consumer research. VP of merchandising Paul Perez says that Mirro researched consumers’ likes and dislikes regarding cookware and bakeware, cooking habits and why consumers buy certain products. Some of the changes that Mirro has made to its products include 360-degree pour spouts, longer handles and deeper shells for increased capacity.

Mirro has revamped some lines of cookware, fine-tuned others and introduced some new skillets

The company says it was guided in making the changes by findings from consumer research, perhaps the most extensive the company has conducted to date.

“We have done research on cooking and baking habits, likes and dislikes, what consumers are buying and why,” said vice president of merchandising Paul Perez. “We researched the strengths and weaknesses of our products and competitive products.”

Some of the company’s products now have 360-degree pour spouts to prevent dripping, longer handles for more control, deeper shells for increased capacity and new colors.

New polished aluminum skillets with porcelain silk-screened bottoms and Eurostyle shells have beveled-edges, longer Eurostyle handles and nonstick coating. Saute pan prices range from $7 to $12.

Chef’s Touch wood-handle cookware is now available in black, spruce and blue metallic porcelain and with a 360-degree nodrip pouring lip on saucepans. One-, 2- and 3-quart saucepans and 8-, 10- and 12-inch sautes are priced to retail from $8 to $18. A seven-piece set is priced to retail between $49.99 and $59.99.

Mirro polished cookware– including 1-, 2-and 3-quart saucepans and 8-, 10-and 12-inch sautes–have suggested retails from $5 to $12. Mirro colored porcelain in black, green, white, blue and almond range from $5 to $12. An eight-piece set in black or green, includes 1-and 1.5-quart covered saucepans, 4.5-quart Dutch oven and 8- and 10-inch sautes, priced to retail from $30 to $40.

The company also has introduced a new “universal” lid, priced to retail between $6 and $8. All Mirro products are available this month. Read more