Crittall-style windows and doors are undeniably popular right now. The thin steel frames and unobstructed views they offer are both modern and timeless. Dating back to the 1880s, you can find this style on many edifices, from homes to factories and even on the British Parliament buildings.
Minimalist but striking, steel-frame windows and doors can look either historical or contemporary, depending on the type of building they adorn. If you’re thinking about making a change, they’re a great choice for most types of homes.
In addition to their more traditional uses, these kinds of windows and doors are increasingly being used in interior design. They allow light to easily pass from one room to another and in an open concept home, they can be used to mark off key areas. They’re also a great option for entranceways.
Crittall-style windows and doorframes are historically black, but today’s technology allows the metal to have almost any color, thereby allowing them to seamlessly fit into your home.
Halloween reads: a brief all-ages guide
October is the perfect month to read something spooky that weaves together supernatural elements to entertain or scare you. Here are some suggestions for readers of all ages.
There are many books written about witches, monsters and pumpkins aimed at preschoolers and their parents. School-age kids may like The Witches by Roald Dahl. Preteens are likely to be intrigued by the mysteries of Nancy Drew or thrilled by volumes from the long-lived Goosebumps series. You can also try Coraline or The Grave¬yard Book, both written for kids by author Neil Gaiman.
If your younger teens haven’t yet been introduced to the wizarding world of Harry Potter, this is the perfect time for them to be initiated. Older teens may prefer something a little different like Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Or try some classic horror stories like Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
If you haven’t read the Gothic classic, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, October is the perfect month. Or, discover why H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe are considered masters of their craft. Stephen King has countless scary stories to choose from and Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles are among the best in the genre. If you prefer whodunnits, you can’t go wrong with an Agatha Christie mystery.
If you’re looking for a way to make your Halloween reading a family affair, choose a story that everyone will appreciate and listen to the
together. It’s the perfect activity to enjoy while munching on Halloween candy.
Tips for preventing electrical fires in your home
Electrical fires are all too common. Here are some tips to prevent this type of disaster from occurring in your home.
• Unplug heat-producing appliances. Toasters, blow dryers, irons, kettles and any other heat generating tools should be unplugged when not in use. If they malfunction or are accidentally turned on, they can over¬heat and catch fire.
• Only use extension cords temporarily. Nothing should be left plugged into an extension cord permanently. If necessary, have a professional electrician install more outlets in your home.
• Get your electrical system updated. Modern wiring reduces the possibility that an electrical fire will start. It may also save you money on your insurance policy.
• Check electrical cords before plugging them in. Cords that are frayed, cracked or loose aren’t safe. Get wires repaired before plugging them in.
• Don’t remove the third prong on a power cord. The third prong protects your home from electrical malfunctions. If your home only has two-prong outlets, call an electrician to get them updated.
Above all, be familiar with the signs of electrical problems. This includes burn marks or discolorations around sockets, switches or fixtures; appliances and cords that feel hot to the touch; and breakers that regularly trip.
Can your dog or cat eat a vegan diet?
The popularity of plant-based eating has left some pet owners wondering if they can feed their dog or cat a vegan diet. After all, humans can thrive on meat-free fare, so why not their animal companions? Here’s what you should know about feeding pets a vegetable-based diet.
Canines are classified as carnivores but are functionally omnivorous. This means they can get some of their nutrients from grains and vegetables. However, there are nutrients present in animal proteins that Fido needs to thrive. In fact, it’s almost impossible for dogs to get all the vitamins, amino acids and minerals they require from plants alone.
While canines can technically survive on a vegan diet, they’re heal¬thiest when fed meals that include meat.
Unlike dogs, cats are obligate carnivores. This means that they have specific nutrient requirements that can only be met by ingesting meat.
Plant proteins simply don’t supply the amino acids felines need, especially one called taurine. If your cat doesn’t get enough taurine, heart disease, vision problems and even death may result.
For their health and well-being, avoid feeding your dog or cat a vegan diet. To learn more about your pet’s nutritional requirements, talk to their veterinarian.
4 family activities to get you primed for Halloween
There’s no shortage of fun and spooky things to do with your kids in the weeks and days leading up to Halloween. Here are four fun activities the whole family will enjoy.
1. Decorate pumpkins. Carving jack-o’-lanterns is an annual tradition in many families. If your kids aren’t old enough to wield a knife, decorate your pumpkins with paint, stickers and other craft supplies you have on hand.
2. Host a Halloween party. Invite some friends to a haunted Halloween bash. You can bob for apples, play games and have a costume contest. Don’t forget to provide an assortment of spine-chilling snacks and drinks.
3. Have a movie marathon. Pop some corn and settle in for a fright night in front of the small screen. Choose kid-friendly Halloween movies for the younger ones and save the gory horror flicks for after the kids have gone to bed.
4. Bake spooky treats. Make some cookies or cupcakes and let your kids decorate them. Use orange and black icing to top the fresh goodies and incorporate assorted scary touches such as gummy worms and black licorice.
These fun family activities are the perfect way to build up to trick-or-treating on Halloween night.
Celebrate Oktoberfest in your own backyard
The first ever Oktoberfest was held in Munich in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of the crown prince of Bavaria. Since then, this annual German event has evolved into the best known folk festival, or volksfest, in the world. Every year, millions of tourists and locals alike convene to eat, drink and dance at Oktoberfest.
The festival, which takes place over two weeks every fall, is held in a meadow near Munich. It’s spawned similar celebrations all over the world, notably in Cincinnati, Ohio, which holds the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the United States.
But if you can’t make it to Cincinnati or Munich, many towns throw smaller celebrations to mark the occasion. Similarly, your local bar, microbrewery or restaurant may host Oktoberfest events.
If you prefer to stay home, consider hosting your own Oktoberfest party. It’s as easy as throwing some sausages on the grill and stocking up on beer. Go for German varieties if you want to create an authentic experience.
At Oktoberfest in Munich, beer is a big deal. Only those that meet strict criteria and are made by one of Munich’s top six breweries are allowed to be sold on site. Local pubs and festivals may not follow the same rules, however, and you definitely don’t have to at home. You can decide to only serve German beers or opt for local beers instead.
The perfect recipe for a great Oktoberfest is good food, beer and company. So how will you celebrate this year?
How retirees can make new friends
Has your social circle diminished over the years? If so, it can be difficult to make new friends as you get older. Here are some tips that might help.
1. Be proactive. Go out and meet people. Libraries, cafes and neighborhood gatherings are all ideal places to mingle. Alternatively, take a class that interests you, volunteer with a charity or join a club.
2. Seize opportunities. If someone invites you to an event or on an outing, accept! Don’t make excuses just because you’re nervous. If you meet someone you like, make plans to see them again soon.
3. Be interested. Listen to others and be interested in what they have to say. Smile, ask questions and don’t monopolize the conversation.
4. Keep in touch. Meeting new people isn’t the only way to enrich your social life. It can be just as rewarding, if not more so, to get in touch with old friends. You may be surprised at how easily you’re able to reconnect.
There’s no shortage of ways to meet new people. Search the internet to find local groups and clubs that interest you. Alternatively, take regular walks around your neighborhood. It’ll keep you in shape and you’ll get to know people in the area.