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5 Types Of Lighting To Set The Perfect Mood

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5 Types Of Lighting To Set The Perfect Mood

Recently, renovating my apartment, I was forced to work on a very tight budget which, consequently, forced me to get creative with the lighting. Here are the five types of lighting that I used that will help give you the best bang for your buck when you’re setting out to set the perfect mood.

Christmas Lights

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    I stumbled upon this when I accidentally left my Christmas lights up longer than I should have. As it turns out, a simple white rope light will work wonders without making you seem like Mrs. Claus. It fits best in a bedroom, allowing you to snake it around a bed post, run it along the base boards, or simply hang it from your wall. Casting a white glow along the rope, it adds a bit of flair to an otherwise boringly-lit room. Drape a few colorful sheets in with the lights and you’ll find yourself in an Arabian palace in no time. Don’t underestimate the power of a simple rope light.

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    Lamps

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      Harsh, overhead light is the quickest way to kill a mood. Do away with the warehouse-style florescents and invest in a few lamps. Running as low as a few dollars at Target and Hobby Lobby, you can furnish your home with lamps on a small budget and come away with a warm, cottage-like living space. Lamps come in such a variety that you are sure to find some that match your home’s aesthetic without too much trouble. Once you purchase and install them, make sure you use the same kelvin in all the light bulbs or your lighting will seem disconnected and discolored. Your typical incandescent bulb will generally run between 2,700 and 3,300 Kelvin which is considered a “soft white.”

      Wall Sconces

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        When possible, opt for the wall sconce. Especially when you are working with a small room where ceilings are low and hanging lights would be in the way, the sconce works beautifully.  They are unobtrusive, cast an ambient glow along the room’s walls and ceiling and can give your space that extra dose of depth that livens the space. As an added bonus, install fader switches and fader light bulbs so you can control the ambiance in the room.

        Candles

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          If you’re settling in for a nice evening with your spouse or want to take a relaxing bath to de-stress, you will want to turn off all of the switches and light like the 1800’s. Gather a collection of cheap tea candles, medium sized candles and one or two large candles to give off a neat effect. Candles have a warm, comfortable feel to them; the flicker of the flame and the aroma of the wax will do wonders to turn your boring night into a magical evening. Adding even one candle in a bathroom or kitchen will also give your home a little extra life. It’s a neat trick used by real estate agents who are trying to sell a home because the combination of a live flame, the shifting light and the delicious smell will help make the empty house feel more like home.

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          Fireplace

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            The classic fireplace is a staple around the world. Whether your settling in for a long, winter’s night or simply want to bring a cabin feel to your home, light a fire and break out the s’mores. Whatever the commercial might tell you, TV fires are not the way to go.

            With these five lighting set-ups or a creative combination of the mix, you’ll create the perfect mood in no time.

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            Featured photo credit: Summit Design Remodeling via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on January 27, 2022

            5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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            5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

            Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

            “Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

            Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

            Food is a universal necessity.

            It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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            Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

            Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

            Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

            Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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            The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

            Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

            This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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            Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

            Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

            Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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            So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

            Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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