Welcome to Olivia’s Corner

Welcome to Olivia’s Corner – my little corner of the blogging world! Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Olivia. I am a wife and a mother of two young kids. Like many of you out there, I enjoy the challenge of raising my children and creating a healthy and loving home environment for my family.

This is my blog about not only appliances but everything home related. My posts will cover topics like appliance product reviews and shopping tips, new kitchen design trends, recipes, tips and tricks to keep your home more organized, DIY projects and much more! Got an appliance related question? Ask me! I’m here to help and inspire. Like my friends over at Orville’s Appliances say – your home, our life.

PS- You can also follow me on Twitter, check out my Facebook tab on the Orville’s Home Appliances page, and get inspired by my Pinterest Board.

SuperBowl 2013 Snack Lineup

And our starting line-up for this year’s SuperBowl snacks includes….

superbowlsnacks1

From the top clockwise: Cheesy Roasted Garlic Chip Dip // Sweet & Spicy BBQ Chicken Dip // Spicy Caramel Bacon Popcorn

superbowlsnacks2

Top: Touchdown Brownies Bottom: Skinny Baked Mozzarella Sticks // Crab & Avocado Nachos (sure to be a hit among Ravens fans!) // Feta- Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

This is just a sampling of what some of our employees will be preparing for Sunday’s Super Bowl. What will you be making/baking for your game day gathering? Share your favorite recipes with us here or on our facebook page. And, no matter if your team is playing in the big game on Sunday or not (ours hasn’t since 1993….), remember what really matters….quality time spent with friends & family AND the commercials!

Hottest Kitchen Trends For 2013

 

kitchen1

via BHG

We did some investigating and scoped out the latest and greatest kitchen trends for the upcoming year. Overall, we found that people want modern sleek kitchens full of neutral warm colors and lots of light.  If you are designing a new kitchen or looking to upgrade your existing one this year, here are some of the top biggest trends to check out.

1) An Overall Modern and/or Transitional Style: An open space with lots of natural light is still high on demand. Overall, people want a kitchen that is organized, modern, and conducive to entertaining friends and family. The new “it” style is “transitional” which is a cross between traditional and contemporary design ascetics.

via Houzz

2) Tucked-Away and Hidden Appliances: Stainless steel appliances will remain popular in 2013 but we will also see more appliances integrated right into the kitchen cabinetry creating a seamless and blended look. Additionally, some appliances, like undercounter wine cabinets and beverage centers, are being conveniently placed in the island kitchen for optimal accessibility.

via Houzz

via Houzz

3) Glass Backsplashes: Glass mosaic tiles will continue to be popular. Additionally  we will see more and more backsplashes made of a single seamless sheet of glass allowing for beautiful light reflection and making the backsplash easy to clean.

led-lighting-kitchencabinetandfloorlighting960x6141

4) Functional LED Lighting: Every great space has great lighting and the kitchen is no exception. The use of LED lighting is on the rise (think under cabinet lighting) as it is starting to be layered with a mixture ambient and task lighting to achieve an overall warm, functional, and well-lit space.

via Houzz

5) Decorative Hoods: In more and more kitchens, the hood is becoming more of a focal point (instead of just a necessity). According to Homethangs.com, “these hoods may have built-in LED lights and are even serving almost like a decorative chandelier for a kitchen island.”

via DC by Design Blog

via DC by Design Blog

6) Neutral Color Schemes: The use of neutral colors in the kitchen is on the rise, particularly in shades of grays and greens and a variety of wood tones. Also, think clean, warm, off- white kitchens with natural wood stains that supply a neutral background for pops of color used in a decorative layer.

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

7) Stylish Sinks: According to Examiner.com, if you can only make one kitchen upgrade in 2013, you should upgrade your sink. “2013 will see a continued trend towards stone, copper and fireclay farmhouse sinks. Companies like Kohler are introducing farmhouse sinks in styles to compliment even the most modern style kitchen like brushed nickel and stainless steel.” reports Examiner.com.

Via Pinterest

Via Pinterest

8) Quartz and Concrete Countertops: While granite still remains a popular countertop material choice, other stylish and durable material choices are gaining momentum. Quartz and concrete are two durable and stylish options.

Tell us what you think of these trends. Do you think they have a lot of longevity  Is this what you want in a stylish kitchen? Let us know!

Guys Baking Cookies For Science

Does Preheating Your Oven Really Make a Difference?

Most baking recipes, or any recipes for that matter – usually begin with preheating instructions, followed by the preparation instructions. When you start to gather your ingredients together and measure them out, that’s the time to turn your oven on.  Depending on your baking and cooking needs, the benefits of preheating may not be as significant as the energy disadvantage you may experience.

So Why Does Every Recipe Say Preheat?

Preheating used to be a necessity back in the days of wood and coal powered stoves.  The stoves needed time to warm up in order to spread the heat evenly before baking.  Cookbook authors included the instructions in order to ensure the foods were properly cooked and baked goods turned out properly.

Today, gas and electric ovens are much more efficient than the stoves of the past.  Because of that, it may not be necessary to preheat your oven before you insert certain foods.  Still, certain delicate baked goods can come out undercooked, burned, or even fallen, depending on the oven temperature.  If the heat is constantly changing, you may ruin your breads, cookies, or cakes based on the recipe.  By preheating, you ensure the oven maintains the optimal environment and your recipe will turn out as planned.  Yet another reason to keep that oven door closed.  NO PEEKING!!

How Do I Know My Oven Is Up to Temperature?

While in operation, ovens cycle on and off to maintain an average temperature.  These cycles vary by oven and are time based rather than temperature based.  Some ovens cycle further from the desired temperature than others and some more frequently.  This is why many recipe and cookbook authors give time ranges or visual clues like:“Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean”; or “Bake until the muffin is springy to the touch”; or “Bake until the crust is golden brown around the edges.”

It is important to get to know your oven and learn to trust your own judgment.  Still, when you are in doubt, you can always use an oven thermometer.

We decided to put preheating to the test  with the help of some of the staff at our Orchard Park location and some premade sugar cookie dough.  We baked the first batch without preheating the oven and a second batch there after and timed the results…

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Inspiration for the Thanksgiving Table

From the top: 1, 2, 3

From the top left to right: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

From top left to right: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

The holidays bring an opportunity to jazz up your dining room table. Dining tables should be lovingly set and we were so inspired by all the images we found of beautiful thanksgiving tablscapes. Designs ranged from classic, to cozy and romantic, to rich and bold, to colorful and geometric. Furthermore, so many of the designs we saw pushed beyond thinking about just the centerpiece, incorporating the entire table with thoughtful  floral or seasonal embellishments and adding in complementary  flatware and drinkware. These our just a few of our favorites. How will you decorate your table for the holiday festivities?

School Supply Shopping Spree Giveaway!

Guess what folks?! It’s contest time!! As we head into August, students will be heading back to school very soon. We know that budgets can be tight out there for teachers and students alike making it difficult for some to get the school supplies that they need. Well we want to help! We are giving away a $500 Office Max gift card to one lucky school! Visit our website now through August 27th and nominate your school to win the gift card. Once your school is nominated, we will post a picture of the nominated school on our Facebook wall. To vote for that school, simply “like” the photo of the school. The school whose picture has the most likes by noon EST on August 27th will win the $500 gift card. Then, that school can use the gift card as they see fit based on the needs of their students. Pretty cool, huh? Nominate your school now and get this school year off to a great start! Click HERE to enter!

Lace ‘Em Up!

Tomorrow is the 11th Annual Ronald McDonald House of Western New York 5K Run/Walk. And we would love if you joined us there! We’ve been and continue to be a corporate sponsor of this fantastic event. The fun begins at 5:30pm when the Fisher-Price Play space opens. Designed for children 9 and under, this play space features interactive games and activities. The shot gun start for the race goes off at 6:30pm and is followed by a fantastic post-run party from 7pm until 9pm. Burgers, beer, and pop will be served as awards are given out for the fastest runners in each age group. This event is fun for the whole family!

There is also an awesome raffle featuring some great prizes. This year we will be giving away a high-efficency front load washer and dryer pair. Additionally, you can win two round trip tickets from Southwest Airlines, $400 Dunn Tire gift certificate, as well as $300 Dick’s Sporting Goods gift card.

The Ronald McDonald House of WNY “provides a home away from home for of ill or injured children receiving treatment at Buffalo-area hospitals.” Families from all over the world that travel to Buffalo can stay at the House. The House uses the funds raised by the run to support the house and deliver the services needed to the families staying there. For more information about the RMH of WNY and/or the 5K Run/Walk please visit their website. http://www.rmhcwny.org/