What is a Water Softener and why do I Need One?

Having trouble with the hard water? Wish to solve the problem but unsure about purchasing a Water Softener? We will help you out with explaining the working of this amazing unit. Let’s begin with the basic definition and the mechanism that works in a softener system.

What is a Water Softener and why do I Need One?

Water Softeners are those wonder machines which softens the hard water. Not everyone gets hard water at their place, but if you have it, then a softener can be set up for converting the hard water into soft water.

What is a Water Softener

The hard water is not dangerous for human health, but it still got many ill effects on many other things. Many parts of the U.S have hard water supply only, in such case you will need a softener compulsorily. This type of water mainly affects the plumbing section, and even wears most of the water-dependent appliances used at home.

Even the soap and water won’t easily mix well if you have got hard water. Same goes with the detergent, and thus you will have to use more of the powder for cleaning clothes.

Giving a short definition for Water Softeners-

Softeners are those machines which converts the hard water to soft water. Hard minerals which includes calcium and magnesium are replaced with sodium ions. You can install it for a single as well as whole house system.

How would I know – Water is Hard or Not?

A water softener on an average lasts for more than 20 years if maintained well.

There is a simple test which you can try by yourself for knowing if the water is hard or not. Take an empty bottle; any plastic bottle will do (just the interior should be visible from outside). Fill the bottle with water upto half of the measurement.

Into the water, add some drops of soap solution, and then shake it roughly. Keep the shaking on for some time. Take a note on the condition of the bottle. If the soap has created foams above the water, and both of them are in a separate form; then this means the water is soft.

If the soap is mixed with the water giving you a cloudy solution, then this is the clear sign that Water is Hard!

Should I buy a Water Softener for my home?

We will quickly list some of the factors which should be checked first. This will help you in understanding whether you require a water softener or not. They are given below:

Do a Water Bill study 

The conduction of heat is difficult in hard water as the calcium does not allow the heat to pass easily. Thus the heater is required to put in more efforts, which affects the bill significantly. So, if you find any sudden increase in the water bill, then chances are that the water is hard.

Home Appliances

Home Appliances

There are many machines which make use of water; water filter, washing machine, refrigerator, etc. With the constant use of hard water, the overall lifespan of these machines decreases. Thus, the units wear out faster than the expected time.

Skin and Hair condition 

If you find the need to buy expensive hair care products recently, then the main problem creator will be the water itself. Hard water dries up the skin, and you may feel some itchy sensation too. All these are the clear signs that the water at your place is hard.

Plumbing 

Hard water creates a limescale build up on most of the plumbing components. Check on the taps, and you may even find white scales in the interior portion of the utensils. All these are the Hard water signs.

Hope you guys are clear on the concept of Hard Water by now. You can share your doubts or any other query by commenting below. Follow our page CourtnayLodgeHotel for receiving our cool feeds!

Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box Review

If you have a pet cat, then you will be well aware of the littering problems. I have tried out many types of Litter Box for my cat, from the electrical ones to the manual cleaning units. Finally, I got stuck with the Omega Paw Self-Cleaning and would like to share our experience with it.

Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box

The Omega Litter Box works in a simple manner, where you need to roll and remove your cat litter. The name self-cleaning does not mean that the unit does clean itself on their own. It means that you have to clean the box manually, and it won’t require any electrical power for the same.

Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box

If there is no nearby power outlet, then you can simply set this Omega Paw Self-Cleaning for your cat. It is large, so you can use the same litter box for older cats and even for multiple households. This litter box also controls the dust, and the odor too.

Product Features

You will find one regular and large sized litter box, while I bought the Large unit for my two pet cats. You can understand what is the best self cleaning litter box before buying any other. For the cleaning purpose, just roll the litter box so that the top touches the ground. Get all the waste into the pull-out tray, and just dispose it off. Well, the internal system is built in such a way that, you could collect the litter in the tray after the rolling.

Thus I have to just get the waste in the tray and throw it away. This makes the disposal so easier for you.

Omega Paw Self Cleaning Working

The rolling only removes the clumped waste, leaving behind the clean litter. Therefore your cat will have clean litter whenever they get inside the box. My previous litter boxes missed out this feature, where I had to throw away good litter while cleaning. It has been noted by Omega.

You might wonder how this is made possible; the box has got one screen inside. This screen separates the waste from the clean litter, and only the clumped material is passed in the tray. Finally, only the waste is disposed, and the good litter is retained back for further use.

Coming to the designing part, this litter box has got one large covering. Privacy is a must for the cats, and that is rightly provided by this Omega Paw system.

Specifications

  • Easy to handle, and comes with a self-cleaning property.
  • One patented grill is used for separating waste and the clean litter.
  • No need for electricity for the working, a true money saver.
  • There is one year warranty that you will get with this product.
  • Installation is easy, but a little tricky one. So kindly read the instruction, and perform them step-by-step.
  • A large covering is present on the litter box, adding to the privacy.
  • Even if the name says self-cleaning, you have to perform some tasks for dealing with the litters. Still rolling and disposing is way better than the scooping job.

Benefits 

The main benefit that you will get with this Omega Litter Box is the easy cleaning. You just have to tilt the litter box on one side, and then set it back to the original position. The product is well built considering the price. Before getting started, just check the connecting hooks are rightly placed or not.

Drawbacks 

A few issues related to the built quality has been made. Some users mentioned that the idea is great, but could be executed in a better way. Plastic build degrades the overall quality.

This was my experience and review for the Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box. Did you find it informative? Let us know your suggestions and thoughts about the product in the space provided below. You can even get in touch with us and post your doubts. Find more similar articles on our page Courtnay Lodge Hotel

Best Ping Pong Table Review of 2017 | BUYERS GUIDE

Which is the Best Ping Pong Table? This has become a common question among all the sports fanatics. I have discussed it out many times with my friends. Still, people keep on asking the same query. Products keep on changing, but there are some of them which are here to stay for a long time. The features to look out for in a Ping Pong table are – quality play surface, user convenience, and lastly, is it worthy enough?

The Winners: Best Ping Pong Table Review 2017

Ping Pong game is a two or a four players game, in which a ball is hit from one end to the other end using a bat. The ball is tossed on a table, and it has got a net division in the center. Now let’s check out the various brand Ping Pong Tables ruling this year.

JOOLA Inside 15 Ping Pong Table

JOOLA is the most popular brand in the market, and this unit is the Best Seller among all. It is one of the perfect choices for all those who are looking out for the Best in Price product. It comes with a perfectly shaped frame along with the folding halves, thus making it apt for compact storage.

JOOLA Inside 15 Ping Pong Table

Stability is provided by the locking caster wheels, and there are three in numbers. You will also find the dual locking support in both the playing as well as storage positions. Coming to the installation, this table can be set up in just 10 minutes. From Box to Play, it takes just 10 minutes of time.

You can now have big tennis leagues at home with your family and friends. The table can be set in a playing mode as well as in a playback position. In this playback style, you could easily fold up one-half of the table and have solo matches for practice.

STIGA Advantage Ping Pong Table

After JOOLA comes another equally popular brand STIGA!

STIGA Advantage Ping Pong Table

We have got the STIGA Advantage Table on the list. It is also best ping pong table under 500 category. This is an indoor table which is perfect for home or office ping pong matches. Almost 95% of the product come in an assembled form so that it won’t take much time with the assembling process.

The two halves of the table are independent of each other, as they come with their caster beams. It also allows the nesting of both the table halves for compact storage. The net present on the table is of the tournament grade, and they are of 72 inches. It is easy to remove and set back the net, and it takes only fraction of seconds.

This Ping Pong table can be set in three positions, and they are Play, Playback, and finally the Storage position.

For the safety purpose, it has got one latch feature under the table. This keeps the table in an upright position and prevents all the accidental openings.

JOOLA Midsize Table Tennis Table

From the name itself, you might have got the idea about this table. It is a Midsize table, so all my readers who are short on the space constraint can check out this unit. You will get all the standard features of a Ping Pong table; the only difference is the size.

JOOLA Midsize Table Tennis Table

So you badly want to have one ping pong table, but out of space? Worry not, JOOLA Midsize is at your rescue! This can be set up quickly in small space, and also comes with the folding feature in it. The height of the table is the only dimension which is same with the regulation height, that is 76cm.

Not only that, this table can be separated into two halves. Each half form a perfect square shape and can be set up for other indoor games. It is a Made in China product.

Kettler Top Star XL Indoor/Outdoor

This Kettler table comes with the patented ALU-TEC top; they are weatherproof in nature. The surface is smooth, and anti-reflective as well. Kettler is truly a tournament ready unit and comes with the perfect bounce property.

Kettler Top Star XL Indoor/Outdoor

 

There are dual wheel casters on the table for easy mobility. It has got one DLS locking mechanism which prevents all the accidental opening and closing of the table. This table can be kept in three different positions, which includes the play mode, storage style, and the solo match arrangement. For this, you need to simply get one-half of the table folded up in a vertical style.

Harvil I, Indoor Table Tennis Table

This product is a new entry; this has been doing well in the market lately. We will get into the product details quickly. Solid and Reliable is what the product is better known as. The table top is made of high-quality hardwood, thus providing a great bounce quality.

Harvil I, Indoor Table Tennis Table

Another point to highlight is that it comes along with all the major gaming accessories. All this at a reasonable rate!

The designing and the construction part is handled by the USA based firm Harvil. So all the credits go to the creative team of the brand.

We have reached the completion of Best Ping Pong Table of 2017. Hope that this article proved to be helpful in the best way for you. If you enjoyed our style of writing, then you can follow us on Courtnay Lodge Hotel for further post updates!

Cold Coffee Maker Machine of 2017 – For Cold Coffee Lovers

Are you a Cold Brew fan? Yes!? Coool! This article is written for you then.

We will check out some of the Top Recommendations for Cold Coffee Maker Machines. If you are into the search for them, do consider the units which we are going to review.

For all my readers who are less into cold coffee could try out making cold coffee for a change. Quality performance and affordability are the factors which we look out for in a coffee machine. Let’s get started.

Cold Coffee Maker Machine

We did some shortlisting and selected around 10 Cold Coffee Makers, and to simplify the things for you, we have chosen the Best Two machines from all the ten. They are:

  1. Takeya Cold Brew Iced
  2. OXO Good Grips Cold Brew

Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker

Do you know that traditional hot brewing methods release acids in the coffee which makes the coffee taste bitter? Take a sip from this Takeya product, and you will get a balanced taste with all the natural flavors. The freshly brewed and concentrated coffee can be stored in the Cold Coffee Maker for about 2 weeks.

Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker

 

 

When you check the unit on Amazon, you will get two buying options there. You can either order one unit or buy 2 units of the same coffee maker. The measurement here is regarding quarts, and it offers 1 Quart quantity. 1 Quart can serve upto four glasses of coffee.

It is recommended to use coffee grinds for the making. This product is air-tight in nature, so there is no chance of air getting inside of it. Also, the shape is found to be perfect for placing it in refrigerators, and this product is safe with the dishwashers. The plastic used is also found to be BPA-free in nature.

During the brewing process, you will find one mesh infuser which provides the natural coffee flavors in the drink. The silicon made handle provides a no-slip grip for easy lifting and handling of the Coffee Maker. It has got an excellent built quality as it can quickly bear the rapid temperature changes found in the system.

OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Next, you can also opt for the OXO Good Grips Coffee Maker for having your favorite cold brew. Using this product enjoy the delicious and less acidic coffee with all the right coffee extracts. Did you know that you could enjoy both hot as well as cold coffee on this unit?

OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker

 

There is one Rainmaker technology which ensures that water is evenly spread on the coffee grounds. This helps with extracting the best coffee flavors. For activating the extraction process, you can easily press the switch provided on the Coffee Maker, thus maintaining your hands clean.

You will also get one mesh filter within the system, and this is reusable in nature. Make sure that you clean the filter after each use, as this helps in maintaining the good life of the filter. Also, you will get the silicone seal here which keeps the coffee fresh, while it is stored in the refrigerator.

People have asked on what is a cold coffee exactly. Cold coffee is one style of coffee making where the low-acidic and smooth coffee drink is prepared. Freshly ground coffee is mixed with cold water and kept for about 12-24 hours. Finally, the coffee mixture is filtered using one paper filter. The resulting product can be enjoyed hot as well as cold.

So this was our review on the Best Cold Coffee Maker Machine, and we hope that it proved to be helpful to you in choosing the right system. If you have got any questions, then get in touch with us by commenting down your queries. Till then, stay updated with our articles on Courtnay Lodge Hotel.

Trio of Mushroom Tempura with Portabello, Oyster and Chestnut Mushrooms, served with hot and sour salad

Equipment:

  • Large pan of vegetable oil for frying
  • Large bowl
  • Hand whisk

Ingredients:

For the tempura mushrooms:

  • 100g portabello mushrooms, quartered
  • 100g oyster mushrooms, halved
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms, whole
  • 75g cornflour
  • 75g plain flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 180ml ice cold sparkling water
  • Pinch of salt

For the hot and sour salad:

  • ½ cucumber
  • ½ carrot
  • A small handful of bean sprouts
  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp light soy
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Salt
  • Fresh coriander to garnish (optional)

Method:

  1. Wash and prepare the mushrooms. The best cleaning method is to avoid using water, instead take a damp piece of kitchen paper and wipe each mushroom clean, or use a special mushroom brush, to brush away any dirt.
  2. Prepare the salad vegetables and set them aside. In a small bowl, mix together the chopped chilli, rice vinegar, soy, honey and salt to taste. Pour the mixture over the salad and mix well. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan. Drop a breadcrumb into the oil to test that it’s hot enough, if so, it should rise to the surface.
  4. Whisk together the cornflour, plain flour, egg and sparkling water to make the batter. Season with salt.
  5. Dust the mushrooms in some flour and dip into the batter, before dropping them gently into the hot oil. Turn them over to ensure they cook evenly, and remove when golden brown. Lay on kitchen paper to drain and repeat with the remaining mushrooms.
  6. Serve the tempura with a small bowlful of the spicy salad on the side. Tempura can also be served with a small dipping bowl of light soy sauce or spicy chilli sambal.

Also See This:

Three-Way Mushroom and Tarragon Soup

Ingredients:

  • 750g selection of any mushrooms (white, button, chestnut, flat, portabello, etc)
  • 1½ – 2 pints of good quality vegetable stock
  • 50g butter (for vegan option, you can substitute good olive or vegetable oil)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1½ tbsp of chopped fresh tarragon (can be substituted with dried tarragon)
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche (optional)
  • Salt to taste

 
Divide the mushrooms into three mixed piles. Keep one pile whole and roughly chop the other two piles. 

Method:

  1. Take the whole mushrooms and simmer them gently in a good vegetable stock. If you’re using dried tarragon add this to the stock so that its flavour infuses. Simmer gently until the mushrooms are soft and have absorbed as much liquid as possible. Take them off the heat and leave to stand in the stock.
  2. Take one of the piles of chopped mushrooms and fry them vigorously in the butter and garlic (and the chopped tarragon if you are using fresh) until mushrooms start to brown. Set aside.
  3. Add the fried mushrooms and any remaining oil or butter from the pan to the stewed mushrooms and blend with a hand blender until smooth.
  4. Bring to simmer again and check seasoning, adding salt to taste. Add the uncooked mushrooms and pulse blend to ensure that some texture of the raw mushrooms remains. Add further vegetable stock if necessary to achieve suitable consistency.
  5. Add one or two tablespoons of crème fraîche (if using), and if desired, sprinkle with crispy croutons.

The Winning Jubilee Mushrooms Recipe: Mushroom, Nut and Spinach Jubilee Parcels

Recipe ingredients:
350g mixed mushrooms, chopped (I use chestnut and button because they have the best names),
6 sheets of filo pastry (I use a standard size ready-made pack),
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped,
50-60g pine nuts & walnuts, chopped,
150g baby spinach,
250 ricotta,
juice of half a lemon,
olive oil,
fresh rosemary,

salt & pepper.

 

 

 

 

Step-by-step method for cooking the dish:

  1. Fry the chopped mushrooms, garlic and nuts in olive oil, resting the rosemary on top.
  2. Whilst the mushrooms are soaking up lots of flavour, wilt the spinach.
  3. Add the spinach to the mushrooms and nuts, and leave to simmer for a few minutes until most of the juices have evaporated.
  4. Take the mixture off the heat, and let it cool slightly—turn the oven (190°c or 170°c for fan ovens).
  5. Remove the rosemary, add the ricotta and stir until even.
  6. Add the juice of half a small lemon (1tsp approx) and season to taste.
  7. Take the 6 sheets of filo pastry and separate into two piles. take each pile of 3 sheets, and cut into 6 even square shapes (so you should
  8. have 12 piles 3 sheets thick, and 36 squares in total—each parcel will use 3 of these squares)
  9. Take a sheet, brush it with olive oil, place another sheet on top, and repeat.
  10. Place some mushroom mixture (approx. 2 dessert spoons) in the center, and gather the pastry corners together the top—brush with oil.
  11. Repeat until all the pastry is used up (you can snack on any unused filling!) and pop in the oven on a lined baking tray for 12-14 minutes.
  12. Whilst the parcels are in the oven, you can make your Jubilee flags! Cut your paper into small rectangles and draw a union jack on each.
  13. Cut 12 lengths of string (approx. 12cm) and staple a flag to each, in the center.
  14. Your parcels should be ready now—take them out of the oven and tie a flag around the top of each.

List of equipment needed:

For the parcels:
large saucepan,
sharp knife,
pastry brush,
baking tray,
baking paper.