How To Make The Most Out of A Small Living Space

Managing small rooms and utilizing the small space that exists can be slightly problematic to some individuals. However, a small room with limited space can be converted into a very spacious area if some tricks and techniques are put into action by the person in-charge of arranging and sorting the room. Actually no room is small because no matter the available space what matters is the skill used to create more space that was not there in the first place.

Your living space can be as big as you want it to be as long as you use your creativity to get more space while avoiding stuffy situations. Demand for more houses has increased in the recent past and real estate investors have responded to this by creating more units in apartment complexes, however these units have become smaller and smaller throughout the years. This has called for more swift skills needed to arrange a room in a unique way to create a more spacious living arrangement.

Here are some useful tips to get the most out of your small living space:

Mirror & Glass Installations

Bring more reflective surfaces into your room by installing more glass and mirrors in strategic points around your living room. These reflecting materials actually work in such a way that they create space that can be called 創egative. This is a technique used by interior designers to have that extra space in your living room. It works, and it shouldn稚 be doubted.

Furniture Positioning

The furniture you have and how you arrange it around your living room will determine the space capacity in your room. For better arrangement of space in a rather small room, furniture must be placed in such a way that the horizontal and vertical spaces are utilized in a creative manner. For instance you can have your bookshelves vertically arranged at the foremost end of your living room. You can always create more space on the background just in case you need more book shelve space.

Utilize Furniture With Legs

Always have chairs or tables with legs. Why is this important? When arranging your living space it is important to get chairs and tables that can enhance the visual look of your room. Large and boxy-like furniture prevent your room from getting that visual and negative space it should have. Using furniture that has legs creates a heightened look within your room, thus creating more light.

It is important to use coffee tables with legs because the eye will see it as an addition to your space, while a boxy table will add more mass to your space, making your visitor feel more enclosed.Make sure your table has a glass top or some sort of glass ornament in order to blend with the mirrors installed around your room to get that more space.

Lightweight Double-Use Furniture

Fun and sleek furniture helps create more space in your living room. Bring that extra space into your room by choosing the best furniture in terms of scale. Choose sleek and matching furniture for your room. For example, you can avoid chairs with arms and excessively large furniture that would take more space. Furniture arrangement around your room should be in such a way that more space is created for other purposes and to avoid stuffiness in your living room.

By having a sofa that has a bookshelf incorporated in its back, you are maximizing your space. Look for useful furniture that have multiple uses. European and Asian furniture makers are experts at creating such furniture. If you go to Japan and look at a small apartment you値l see that no space goes unused. It is quite impressive how skilled they are at maximizing their limited space.

Neutral Color Schemes

Expand your room by painting it using monochromatic or neutral colors. Neutral colors are believed to be magic especially in creating more space in your living room by pushing the walls away visually and letting the eyes move freely without obstruction. Soft white colors, like ivory, are most popular when it comes to this technique. It痴 a magical illusion that should not be foregone.

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A Taco Primer for Visitors

The humble taco was one of the earliest foods of Mexican origin to find its way north of the border. Commonly sold in fast food chain restaurants or served in school cafeterias, tacos have become part of the palate of 'American' meals. Visitors to Mexico may find similar versions or something quite different, depending on which kind is most common in their city.

Even in Mexico, tacos vary. In the north, usually the tortilla is de harina, of flour, which is larger. In the south, tortillas de maiz, or of corn, are more common, smaller, and slightly more yellow in color. The sizes vary, the smaller ones of "3-4" in diameter used for tacos. The tacos may be heated on a comal, the pan traditionally used, a skillet, or steamed. When steamed, the taco is usually served with a double tortilla.

The place where the tacos are usually sold are called taquerias, while the person selling tacos is called a taquero. Frequently found in most neighborhoods, the stands are usually only open to serve tacos during the morning or evening hours. Tacos are not as commonly eaten as a meal at midday, the time of the heaviest meal of the day.

The meats served in tacos vary in regions, but a very visible one is the meat on a vertical spit that is turning slowly next to a flame. The method of slicing the pork, called pastor, from the word for shepherd from Lebanese immigrants, with meat sliced thin and stacked on the spit. A slice of pineapple is at the top, and as the taquero expertly chops off slices, he will add a slice or two of pineapple for that special flavor it imparts.

Other common meats in tacos are carne asada, roasted beef, or arrachera, a spicier version from the north. The crispy, fried meat that looks like calamari is called tripa, and is just that, fried tripes, or intestines. Tacos de cabeza, or 'of the head', are just that as well. Traditionally the entire head of a steer was steamed all night, allowing the juices to drip, and then chopped and shredded in its broth. The resulting meat is non-greasy after the steaming process, and asking for maciza will get you the beef itself while sesos are brains, oreja is from the ear, and lengua is tongue.

After choosing your meat, the taquero may automatically add the garnishes, which may vary according to the type chosen. Common garnishes are sliced radishes, sliced or chopped cucumbers, chopped cabbage, cilantro, chopped onions, added by spoon or utensil.

Then come the salsas, or sauces. You will have several choices, depending on which meat you choose. A dark red salsa is made from small, dried red chiles, and can be quite hot. A textured green salsa usually is from the green tomatillos, of the tomato family, and may be less spicey. The light green one, runnier, comes from avocados. The red, green and white salsa, called pico de gallo, or rooster痴 beak, in some areas, is called salsa Mexicana in Jalisco because it has the colors of the Mexican flag. If you池e unsure, try a little dribble first and take a bite. The flavors vary and 'liquid fire' could be the result.

Should you be aware of cleanliness standards? Consider advice from locals. Ask around if you can. The local people will recommend the places they frequent, happy to send more business to their favorite stand. If there's no one to ask, check around for a taco stand that has a lot of people. Once again, the local people know where to go. A new taco stand in a neighborhood usually takes some time to gain its clientele, as people are cautious at first.

It's easier to find the best tacos in your Mexican neighborhood if you have more time to immerse yourself in the local food and culture. Visit US Border Movers today to learn how you can relocate to Mexico.

Check how the money is handled. If there isn't a person specifically to handle the money, a plastic bag or glove should be used to make change, and then removed before touching food. Is there water for washing hands and utensils? Be aware of smells that trigger danger signs, like 'sour' odors. Make sure that what you get is fresh before you eat it. The advantage of eating at a taco stand is that everything is prepared right in front of you so you can observe what goes into it.

Remember, as you travel in a country where things may seem new to you, that part of the adventure is trying new things. When it comes to food, be adventurous, but keep your senses about you.

Bulbs and Plants of the World - Growing Lilies from Seed

Lilium can be grown from seed. This is the most satisfactory way to build up a collection quickly. Seed from the species will come true to type; but there can be some variation within the hybrids. Hybrids are doubtful to produce flowers which look like the relative plant, and most likely there will be some variation such as colour, height or even form.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to get some Lilium seed from two sources.

The first is the New Zealand Lily Society and then also the Victorian Lily and Bulb Group, which is an aftermath of the old Australian Lilium Society. This was a wonderful Society of which I was a member for a few years, before I took ill. Unfortunately they no longer exist, which is sad, as their Monthly Bulletin/Newsletters were always full of useful and interesting tips from some of the best Lilium growers in Australia.

It is always a pity to see good organisations go down but the Victorian Group has continued to maintain monthly events and so in December I am off to have a look at their Lilium show, which is being held at a member痴 home.

In the meantime I experimented with different ways to get seed to germinate. Their has been some discussion on the Lily Site about germination and although I have successfully used the Flotation method with other species through the years, I had never sown Lilium in anything other than potting mix. I set about using a few different methods and mediums which included:

Peat Moss

This method was very successful and the seeds, roots and leaves were very easy to see and extract.


This method was also successful but I found that it was possible for the roots to get entangled in the moss and it was difficult to extract them without breaking. If using Sphagnum, make sure it is chopped up very finely.


(flotation) This is an excellent method to use. Some of the seed may not germinate and some may even develop a fungus growth. It is easy to see this and remove any seed not wanted.

Wet paper

This was also an interesting way to germinate the Lily seed. It is important not to let the paper get dry and there is the chance that the root might grow into the paper. It is very important that you do not break the growing roots as you inspect or remove the seed.

Under Wet paper

This was similar to above and gave the same results. The paper was stained with brown colour after a few days which had leached out of the seed coating because of the water. It may be that the coating is a germination inhibitor and that soaking removes this possibility. This is only a personal comment;some types of seed do need soaking before germination but I doubt that this is the case with Lilium.

Potting mix

This is by far the easiest method to use, especially with Trumpets, Aurelians and Asiatics, as they germinate very easily. With the delayed hypogeal species like Orientals and Martagons, it may be best to start them in some type of medium like peat or sphagnum moss.

Although all methods did work, the conclusion is that potting mix is the favourable way, because eventually they will have to grow on in potting mix anyway.

The exception to the rule would possibly be the Martagon species and the harder species which are slow. With these methods, you can actually watch their progress as they grow. To show this, included is a photo of a Martagon seed that germinated on wet paper within 4 weeks and it has developed a nice little bulb.

With the peat moss and sphagnum moss, moisten it and then squeeze out the excess water and put about a cupful in a zip lock bag. Then add a small quantity of seed to each bag and seal them; mine were then stored inside in my seed room, on shelves.

They were checked regularly until most had germinated, then transferred to normal pots. I have read that it is better to keep the bags slightly open but my experience was that it really doesn稚 matter. The only seeds I haven稚 potted on are the Martagons, which I will continue in the moss to watch the bulbs increase in size. It is also recommended that the Martagons be given a cold spell of 12 weeks in the fridge to help maintain their growing pattern. After they have developed a nice little bulb, it is best to give them a small amount of Liquid fertiliser to help them grow on. Lilium seeds are divided into two groups, generally referred to as slow or quick germinating (hypogeal and epigeal, respectively). Slow germinating seeds require a warm period to make them germinate (summer), a cold rest period (winter), then another warm period to initiate them into leaf production (spring). It could take eighteen months or more before the first tiny leaf is produced. It is probable that this will be the only leaf produced in that season, so it should be carefully protected, as it will be helping to develop the first tiny bulb.

Quick germinating varieties on the other hand, send up a narrow seed leaf [cotyledon) immediately after germination, at the bottom of which the tiny bulb develops. This should take only three to six weeks in spring time, and true leaves will follow fairly quickly.

And then, of course, we could use Tissue Culture or Scaling to increase our stock of plants. We will leave this to discuss another time.

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Moving Antiques

When thinking about moving any antique you must give the situation of the act of moving grater thought than at other times. Just like moving your heirlooms or valuable art, you should consider a Professional Moving Service, first. This option gives you the security of a professional who is licensed to move antiques and it gives a licensed company that can ensure your items. In this case, you would have to make sure the company you choose has enough liability insurance to cover your antique. In this case, you would not want any insurance which would only cover a part of the antique痴 actual worth.

When using a professional mover you will want to do the following:

However, if you are moving the antique yourself you would do the following;

  1. Get the antique appraised
  2. Provide insurance coverage through you home owner痴 insurance or some other third party insurer.
  3. Give the antique a thorough cleaning.
  4. Make sure you have enough moving pads as well as heavy-duty moving belts
  5. A heavy-duty dolly
  6. Several strong friends to help you if the antiques are either large pieces or heavy pieces
  7. Use the truck lift to load the antique onto the truck and to unload it once you get to your destination.

Appraisers do charge for their services and thus this extra cost will increase you moving budget allowances. This is an unavoidable expense when it comes to moving Antiques.

You can request your antiques moved by a professional moving company, such as US Border Movers across the United States and Mexico.


Moving Resources - Moving Yourself

Even though we are always trying to avoid having to move ourselves, often the circumstances, whether time or money, demand that we do. Not to worry, there are many places that rent moving trucks to help you from one home to another.

If you consider when you leave your home to go on vacation and that sinking feeling rises that you have forgotten something様eft the iron on, the water running, etc葉his same feeling when you are moving yourself is twofold. You have to make sure that you have left your old home in the condition that you said you would, that everything is securely on the truck, and that everything will be as it should be when you get to your new home.

Fear not. US Borders Movers has a list of ideas for those of you who are in the precarious position of having to move yourself.

Before Moving Day

Renting the Truck:

There will be a walkaround by you and one of the rental company employees. You will be held accountable for any damage that is not written on this sheet. So be sure to note every little flaw.

Moving Music:

Many moving trucks are only equipped with the barest essentials, often without a tape deck or CD player, sometimes even without FM radio. Check your particular truck and decide if you can travel that far without some good tunes or talk radio. Buying a small radio might be a good investment.

Truck Repair Kit:

Buy some of your own windshield wiper fluid, anti-freeze or coolant, and oil. This truck will be pulling a heavy load and it might need more than just gas to get there.

Truck Rental:

If you are towing a vehicle behind your rental truck, make sure the trailer you are pulling has a working tow package. This means that the brake lights, tail lights, blinkers, and trailer brakes are all in working order.

Driving Route:

Before you even drive one foot, get your mind ready to be thinking about overpasses. This is a common problem with rental trucks as people are not used to looking for low clearance. If you go under a low clearance bridge that you will not clear, it will destroy the truck. And you will be left holding the bill.

One More Day:

It is a smart idea to compare the pricing difference if you kept the truck one extra day, in the cases when you池e doing a long distance trip, like when someone is moving to Puerto vallarta. People often underestimate how draining the whole moving process can be, and if you are hurrying all day so that you can return the truck by five, you will most likely make extra work on yourself by not moving the right things to the right room. Find out what it would be worth to you to be able to take breaks, go at a nice pace, and take the truck back the next day. It could be such a small amount that it will be worth it to pay for the extra time and have the option to be tired and work smartly.

Smart Way to Pack:

Pack the heavy stuff toward the front of the truck, i.e. the part of the truck closest to the cab. If you can, pack such that what you want to come off first is put on last. Also put anything that you may need to get to quickly, like overnight gear, right inside the door.

How to Park the Truck:

If you are moving/traveling on multiple nights, make sure to park your truck smartly. Find a wall or a tree or some otherwise immovable place where you can back the truck right up close. This way, if someone happens to break into your truck, they won't be able to get many items out.


Buy a lock so that you can secure the back door to your truck.

Unloading: Often rental trucks have a pullout ramp for loading and unloading. This ramp is narrow and typically made of aluminum. Be careful that you don't fall off either side when carrying heavy objects. Also, these ramps can become very slick if they even get a little bit wet. Carpet scraps and rags are great to minimize slipping.


How to protect your floors during a move

Protecting your floors while moving

If your floors get a lot of traffic on a "normal" day, you can count on at least tripling the traffic on moving day. Whether you're hiring border movers to do the packing and loading, or you're doing it yourself, it's a great idea to protect your floors before you start moving things out (or in). If you're moving out, the new owners/renters will appreciate it. If you're moving in, you'll be extra glad you took a little extra time to protect your floors, it may keep you from having to hire professional carpet cleaners.

Scratches, footprints, and scuffs, oh my!

I've got hardwoods in my house, and they're wonderful. But, if you've lived with them for long, you know how easily they're scratched and dented. If you've lived in a house or apartment with linoleum, you know how easy it is to scratch or tear it. And, while it's softer to walk on carpet, it's difficult to slide large furniture across it, and of course, it stains easily. So, what's a person to do who has no choice but to slide furniture and walk across the floor over and over?

I've got a few suggestions:

A friend of mine who likes to rearrange her furniture on a fairly regular basis introduced me to a product called Moves Furniture Sliders. She said these little guys have made moving her heavy entertainment center much easier. I checked into them, and it looks like they're padded to protect wooden floors and other hard surfaces. My friend actually uses them on carpeted floors and said it makes sliding things easy.

Another idea for carpeted floors is...use a product like Carpet Shield. It's a self-adhesive film that covers your carpets to keep dirt that gets tracked in from getting into your carpet. It comes with a roller so it's easy to put down. It's also tear resistant. After your move is complete, you can simply pull it up and dispose of it.

As a last resort, you could lay down cardboard, painter's drop cloths, sheets or plastic...but we don't recommend this. The likelihood of someone tripping over these loose items is pretty high.

Let's enjoy this world with me!
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