One more week… that is all we have left in this season of Fusion. It seems weird to say that… We have had a great 4th season of Fusion and now we are down to our last show of the season next week. For those of you who have not been following us the past couple of years, we have to take a 3 month break during the winter because advertisers take a break as well. They have been so great that we can return year after year. We are planning on returning again in March with our 5th season.

Terra Casa Table Linens

The holidays are almost here and if you are hosting Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other holiday dinner, you may be wondering how to dress things up on your table. You don’t have to spend a lot of money buying a new large tablecloth to make a splash. To get some ideas for holiday table design we stopped by Terra Casa (503-577-8242) and chatted with Diana. In an earlier story we showed you some very decorative paper placemats. This time we saw some of the newer colors and designs which included a nice classic black. It also came in a table runner as well.

We then moved to another part of the store where they had a display of different types of linens, scarves and fabric runners. Here you can choose between full fabric cloths and some simple runners. Whether it is hand beaded, cut-out, or individually hand knotted, you can find something special. And care doesn’t have to be labor intensive either. Some of these can be machine washed in cold water and hung to dry. Finally we looked at simple scarves. With just a twist and a center piece you can have something with color and texture for your table. If you would like to learn more about table coverings and want to learn a few tricks you can stop by Terra Casa and the staff will show you how easy it can be to decorate for the holidays.

Lonesomeville Table Candles

We heard back from Wayne at Lonesomeville Pottery (503-774-5387). He had another quick tip for us. A few weeks ago he showed us how to use twigs from your garden to make scarecrows for Halloween. This time he was going to show us how to use decorative pumpkins to make holiday candleholders. First he went to the local market and picked up some small pumpkins. These have incredibly hard skins, so he brought out his small drill next. With a ‘keyhole’ bit, the size of a small votive candle he drilled out the center of the candle. Then he slipped in the small votive candle and he had a decorative candle holder for his Thanksgiving table. These small pumpkins are known to last for quite a while, but be aware, once you drill the hole in them they will only stay fresh for about 2 weeks. Still that is plenty of time to use them to really make a great holiday impression.

Mama Mia Mozzarella

As I have said before, we love Italian food. One of the reasons for loving Italian food is the freshness of the ingredients. At Mama Mia’s (503-295-6464) in downtown Portland they pride themselves on having the freshest ingredients, and that is especially true for their mozzarella cheese. We stopped by the kitchen to learn how they make the cheese daily from Chef Dan Frosaker. Each morning they start with fresh curds. This is essentially curdled milk that goes through a process that separates the milk solids from the liquids. The solids are the curds and the liquid is the whey. The curds are put into a pot of 160 degree salted water. After about 10 minutes they are brought out and then the cheese is folded over itself many times to give it the right consistency. It is then divided into balls and the remaining moisture is squeezed out and it is set aside to cool.

The cheese is part of their incredible caprese salad. This salad is very simple. You slice the cheese into ½ inch slices; put fresh or roasted tomato slices on top of the cheese and then a chiffonade of basil on top of that. Drizzle a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and it is ready to serve. It is a tasty treat that you can make at home, or better yet, stop by Mama Mia and try some of theirs!

Elderly Exercise

As you get older it is harder to get the exercise you need. The normal aches and pains of aging coupled with the busy lives we all lead can push your fitness regimen to the bottom of your to-do list. Still study after study shows that you can live a fuller and healthier life if you get regular exercise. To learn how to get over this fitness ’hump’ we stopped by Exercise Equipment Northwest (800-659-0421) and chatted with Dale and Jan who are a couple of retirees and Kim Moore who works at EENW. With baby boomers retiring at the rate of 10,000 a day Dale and Jan were perfect spokespeople for exercising as we age. Dale was hard at work on an ‘Inspire Cardio Strider’. As he was working out Kim mentioned that is it important that people find equipment that is easy on your hips, knees and backs. These become problem areas as you age and they can be the biggest deterrent to exercising as you age. You are looking for ‘low impact’ when you are choosing equipment. Low impact means creating less stress on your joints and avoiding the pounding that your body gets from exercises like running. The key is also to keep all 4 limbs moving at an exercise that is easy on your body. As they say, ‘Move it or Lose it.’

Jan mentioned the importance of working out with a partner. Both Jan and Dale motivate each other to work out. If you have a partner, you are more likely to continue an exercise regimen. For some people a gym membership is the way to go, but for some older people that just doesn’t work. People can become self conscious when they are working out in front of others. For them a good piece of exercise equipment in the home is the best way to go. If you are looking for a piece of equipment or have questions about staying fit, stop by the local Exercise Equipment Northwest location and talk to the experts.

Taggarts – Kitchen Remodel #1

Kitchen remodels are not always easy, but they can be easier if you have the right people to work with. We are going to tackle a kitchen remodel with the help of Taggarts (503-644-1146) in Beaverton. Robin met up with Kristin to find out where you start. Kristin mentioned that the first place to start is with an idea of what you want ‘style-wise’. Getting an idea whether you like traditional, modern or contemporary design helps the builder and designer point you in the right direction. To help do this, look through magazines and brochures and cut out pictures of the things you really like, then bring them with you when you meet with a builder or designer. Once you meet with a builder/designer you will have to decide colors and styles of the big stuff. Cabinets, counter tops, backsplash and flooring are the big ticket items that you need to narrow down for the job. This helps the builder/designer figure out what you like and also helps determine your budget. Schrock cabinets are the featured cabinets at Taggarts and they carry over 100 different combinations of colors and styles, so you can see how many options there are out there; pretty much something for every taste. Tile can also be a big factor in your decision. Here is where you might need a designer… at Taggarts they have one on staff so you don’t have to shell out a ton of money for one if you need one. A designer will help with pulling all the styles and colors together to get you to a place where you can now start to work with a builder to get the plans put together.

Speaking of builders, you will need one that you can trust. Ask your friends and family who they have hired or check with Angie’s List. Just make sure that they are licensed and bonded in case you have problems. Licensed and bonded contractors are the ones who have taken the time to make sure everything goes right and can cover things if they go wrong. You will also want to check with the State of Oregon CCB, Construction Contractors Board to see if your contractor has a clean record. Taggarts is a licensed general contractor and can do all the building for you. This is important!!! If you try to do it yourself and don’t get the right permits, it could cost you more in the long run and may include tearing out your kitchen and problems with homeowners insurance. Taggarts can help you wade through this without a hassle!

Now that you have the contractor and a signed bid, you are ready for the next step demolition! Next week we will take the next step in construction and decide on some of the fixtures.

Standard TV Chair

It is time to relax! These days we need to find time to relax more. Life is hectic and it is tough to wind down after a long day. That is what we thought until we found the ultimate relaxation chair at Standard TV and Appliance (503-619-0500). They don’t usually carry chairs, but this one is incredibly different! The Sogno Dreamwave chair from Inada is called the World’s Best Massage Chair! Robin and David had a chance to try out the chairs and it was hard to get them out of the store. The Dreamwave chair gives you a total body massage. Once you sit down it ‘reads’ your body and adjusts to your specific shape. Then you can choose the type of massage you want. Starting at the top it works your neck and shoulders, even applying gentle traction. The specially designed armrests give you a full arm shiatsu massage, then you can have large muscle groups worked in your hips and thighs. Finally you get a full therapeutic massage of your calves, feet and soles. The best feeling was the full body stretch! I could try to explain how it does that, but it is better if you just experience it yourself. Stop by the Standard TV and Appliance near you and give this chair a try, you won’t be disappointed.


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This page last modified
November 22, 2012.