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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Nathaniel Hawthorne

"A pure hand needs no glove to cover it."

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How to Wallpaper a Room

Wallpaper has been used in homes since the 16th century to brighten and finish living spaces, and it is still a great way to add spice to a room lacking in liveliness. Wallpaper comes in a variety of colors, styles and textures, and may brighten up a child's room or add quiet overtones to a den. It's a great weekend project to tackle yourself, and you can learn to approach the job smartly by learning how to buy wallpaper, how to prep your walls, and how to hang it cleanly.


Buying Wallpaper

  1. Determine how much wallpaper you'll need to wallpaper a room. Measure the height of each wall from the floor to the ceiling and the length of each wall with a measuring tape.

    • If the walls are square, you can add the lengths of the wall together, then multiply this number by the height of the walls to calculate the total area.

    • At the store, read the total area each roll of wallpaper covers and divide the area of your room by this number to estimate how many rolls to purchase. When hanging wallpaper, you will use more than the actual area of the room because you need to match the patterns on the wall, so buy extra.

  2. Choose the right kind of texture for the room. Wallpaper comes in many different materials, featuring lots of different features to consider, depending on the job and the room. Some are more difficult to hang, while some are easy for the first-time user.

    • Vinyl wallpaper is the most common variety, and is easy to hang and remove. Canvas-backed vinyl paper is moisture-resistent and versatile, making it very appropriate for hanging in bathrooms and basements. It's generally prepped with adhesive, which means it's easy to hang and handle.

    • Embossed wallpaper is textured and patterned, making it ideal for covering the imperfections in walls. It's also easy to paint over and lined with adhesive, which means it'll be versatile for years to come.

    • Textile-based wallpaper is more difficult to hang, because you'll have to hang with clear adhesive paste, which is more time-consuming but also gives you more control over the final product. Flocked textile wallpaper features raised patterns for a professional effect, but are difficult to clean.[1]

  3. Choose an appropriate pattern for the room. While it'll take some extra time to hang, patterned wallpaper can add a unique theme to any room. If you want to buy a wallpaper with a distinctive pattern, make sure you take care to match-up the pattern and avoid clashing. You can also make the room seem larger using patterned wallpaper.

    • Use horizontal patterns to make the room seem wider. If you've got a tall and skinny room, you can make it seem cozier using horizontal patterns. Imperfectly squared rooms, however, can be affected slightly by using horizontally-patterend wallpaper, making it seem worse.

    • Use vertical patterns to make the ceiling seem higher. If you've got low ceilings, vertical-patterning can help trick the eye.

  4. Choose pasted or pre-pasted wallpaper. In general, if you can, you'll want to get self-adhesive wallpaper, which is the easiest to install. To do so, you'll simply peel the adhesive strip off the back of the paper and press it firmly and evenly onto the wall, making it super-easy to use. Other varieties are often more involved.

    • Pre-pasted wallpaper is similar to self-adhesive, except you need to activate the paste on the back of the paper, usually with water or another activator provided by the manufacturer.

    • Dryback wallpaper requires that you also purchase wallpaper adhesive to use in the hanging of the paper. These types of wallpaper are often more intricate and expensive, but also more difficult to hang, especially alone.

Preparing the Walls

  1. Turn off the electricity and remove wall plates with a screwdriver. To protect the outlets and yourself, it's best to remove the panels to ensure for a clean-looking paper installation, and to tape over the outlets to protect them. Put small pieces of tape over the outlets and switches, enough to cover them.

    • Since you'll use water to activate the wallpaper glue, it's necessary to turn off the electricity in the room or you risk dangerous electrocution, or ruining the outlets. Make sure to turn off the electricity.

  2. Remove old wallpaper, if necessary. Begin stripping sections of the paper off to get a sense of what variety of wallpaper you're dealing with (self-adhesive is much easier to remove) and use a putty knife if necessary to get it started. Peel all the paper off carefully, getting as much of it off the wall as possible, and scraping away any remaining adhesive underneath.

    • Save a substantial amount of time to remove the wallpaper. This can take a much longer time than putting up new wallpaper, so don't save it all for one day or you'll end up frustrated.

    • If the wallpaper is older, it may be more tenacious and require that you use a belt sander to help remove the wallpaper and adhesive, depending on the wall underneath.

  3. Clean the walls thoroughly. Start by cleaning the walls with a regular housecleaner and letting it dry thoroughly before inspecting the walls for mildew. It's very important to eradicate any mildew before hanging wallpaper, since wallpapering over existing mildew will cause it to spread. Remove any mildew you find with a mixture of 2 cups (.473 l) bleach per 1 gallon (3.785 l) of water.

  4. Smooth any cracks in the wall. While you've got the chance, it's best to smooth up the wall before you paper over it. Apply wall putty to any cracks or holes in the wall with a putty knife, then wait for it to dry. Afterward, sand it smooth with fine-grit sandpaper.

  5. Prime the walls with a stain killer/primer. Paint the primer on evenly with a brush before you install wallpaper. The primer will help the paper adhere to the walls more effectively and will provide a solid foundation for your wallpaper.


  1. Draw guidelines on the wall. Measure a distance that's 2 inches (5.08 cm) shorter than the width of the paper on the wall next to the doorway. Mark this spot lightly with a pencil. Use a carpenter's level and pencil to draw a vertical line from the ceiling to the floor bisecting your mark. You will use this line as a starting point when hanging wallpaper.[2]

  2. Cut a length of the wallpaper 4 inches (10.16 cm) longer than the wall. Apply wallpaper paste to the back of the paper, or if using pre-pasted wallpaper, follow the manufacturer's directions to hang appropriately. Scissors are perfectly appropriate for cutting wallpaper.

  3. Line up the paper with the line you drew on the wall. Begin at the ceiling, leaving about 2 inches (5.08 cm) hanging over the top and below the floor. Carefully line up the wall paper and press firmly into the wall to secure it.

  4. Flatten the paper with a wallpaper brush. To wallpaper a room properly, you need to eliminate wrinkles as thoroughly as possible, or the wallpaper will look uneven and bubbly. Smooth the paper from the middle out, using enough pressure to force the bubbles out through the edges.

    • If you do create some wrinkles inadvertently, carefully pull a piece of the paper away from the wall until you reach the wrinkle, and press it out slowly.

  5. Continuing hanging around the room, matching the pattern appropriately. Align the next piece to the first piece. When hanging wallpaper, it's important to match the patterns together as closely as possible, if you're using patterned wallpaper. To line them up, start at a middle point to get them as close as possible and trim off the excess at the top and bottom.

    • Trim the top and bottom of each piece of paper. When you install wallpaper, be careful not to tear it. Use a putty knife to press the paper tight against the wall, and cut the extra off with a razor blade.[3]

  6. Use a seam roller on each wallpaper seam. When you wallpaper a room, you want to ensure you have enough adhesive on the seams to prevent the paper from peeling, so be very careful not to push too hard and squeeze out the glue or adhesive underneath.

  7. Clean up the seams. Wipe off the excess glue with a wet sponge after letting the wallpaper set for at least 15 minutes, then make sure the seam points are clean and without unsightly excess glue.


  • Begin with small, easy-to-match patterns when you wallpaper a room.

Things You'll Need

  • Wallpaper

  • Screwdriver

  • Tape

  • Wall putty

  • Putty knife

  • Fine-grit sandpaper

  • Water

  • Bleach

  • Household cleaner

  • Stain killer/primer

  • Paint brush

  • Measuring tape

  • Calculator

  • Pencil

  • Carpenter level

  • Wallpaper paste

  • Wallpaper brush

  • Razor blade

  • Seam roller

  • Sponge

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

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You Have To Meet The 16 Most Adorable Piglets On Vine

No bacon today, thanks. Unmute these Vines for maximum viewing pleasure.

Oh hi! You may have seen this piglet gallumphing joyously through the grass already.


But have you met Pepper the piglet, who is perplexed by a mysterious wind?


Or baby Iris, whose only weakness is tummy scratches?


Actually, she has one other weakness: slippery floors.


View Entire List ›

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Created by Peter

How to Hold a Girl's Hand

You may be nervous about holding a girl's hand, whether your girlfriend wants to hold hands more or you want to make a move on your crush. Whatever your reason for wanting to hold a girl's hand, the first thing you have to do is relax. After that, you have to get close to her and gently take her hand. Holding hands is a great way to show affection and isn't nearly as hard or scary as it sounds. If you want to get started now, see Step 1.


Making Your Approach

  1. Make her feel special. When you see the girl, say hi, make eye contact,

give her a wave, and starting talking to her. If it's your first time holding hands, then you may both be a little nervous, so it's important to put both of yourselves at ease first. Though holding hands is an innocent gesture, it does come with a level of intimacy, so you should have a good sense that the girl likes you before you go make the move. Even putting your arm around her or putting a hand on her knee can be seen as less intimate than actually holding hands, so try initiating other innocent physical contact before you hold her hand first.

[[Image:Hold a Girl's Hand Step 1 Version 3.jpg|center|550px]]

  1. Get closer. If you're sitting, just place your hand down about an inch

away from hers. This can help you get a read for how ready she is to hold hands -- if she moves closer to your hand, then she's probably ready for more. If you're standing and walking together, try to get closer to her until your hands are just inches apart.

[[Image:Hold a Girl's Hand Step 2 Version 3.jpg|center|550px]]

  1. Make contact. You should make some physical contact before you go ahead

and grab her hand. If you're standing, put an arm around her shoulder and brush against her arm until you reach her hand, or keep walking and gently "accidentally" touching hands until taking her hand in yours feels natural. When you're ready to make contact, you can choose from a variety of ways to hold her hand.

[[Image:Hold a Girl's Hand Step 3 Version 3.jpg|center|550px]]

    • Try to be as relaxed as possible before you make contact. The more

nervous you are, the more likely you'll be to have sweaty hands! Of course, this is not the worst thing in the world, but if you can avoid it, that's great.

  1. Don't be upset if she's not into it. Contrary to what you may think,

not all girls love holding hands. If she pulls away because she's not interested in you, then you'll get the message pretty fast because she'll pull away with her entire body and will look generally uncomfortable. But there's a good chance that she's just not into holding hands because she thinks it's corny or because she's nervous that she has sweaty hands or something, so don't worry too much; you'll figure it out eventually.

[[Image:Hold a Girl's Hand Step 4 Version 3.jpg|center|550px]]

Mastering Hand-Holding Techniques

  1. Slide your hand under hers. This is a bold and effective maneuver. If

you're nervous, let just the edges of your hands touch for a bit before you go in for the kill. Just slowly and gently slide your hand under hers so that her hand is on top of yours. You can move your hand around a little bit to gently play with her fingers. This works great when you're sitting down.

[[Image:Hold a Girl's Hand Step 5 Version 3.jpg|center|550px]]

  1. Place your hand on top of hers. This is another intimate technique.

Just move your hand so that it is over her hand and gently pat or touch her hand. If you feel more comfortable, you can even give her hand a few gentle squeezes or even a massage. This can be a great hand holding technique if you're sitting at a restaurant or even watching a movie. It doesn't get as tiresome as holding hands when you're walking can get, because you can just relax and rest your hand on top of the girl's.

[[Image:Hold a Girl's Hand Step 6 Version 3.jpg|center|550px]]

  1. Do the palm-to-palm. This is a common way to hold a girl's hand. Just

move your hand so that your palms are facing each other. You can even gently caress her palm if you're sitting down and feeling more playful. You can do this more relaxed hand holding move before you fully clasp hands.

[[Image:Hold a Girl's Hand Step 7 Version 3.jpg|center|550px]]

  1. Clasp hands. After you touch palms, you can intertwine your fingers,

fully clasping hands. This can work whether you're sitting down or standing up, though it's probably more typical for couples that are standing up and walking. You can hold her hand passively, just clasping it, or caress her fingers a little bit. If you're walking while holding hands and are feeling playful, you can even swing your hands back and forth a bit.

[[Image:Hold a Girl's Hand Step 8 Version 3.jpg|center|550px]]

  1. Hold pinkies. This is another flirtatious and fun way to hold hands.

Simply move your pinkie towards hers and lock pinkies. This is a fun one because you can pull apart or get closer together and just be playful with one another. You can also try this one when you're walking, which can be fun if you're swinging your hands back and forth a bit. You should probably wait until you're more comfortable holding hands the regular way before you make this move, though.

[[Image:Hold a Girl's Hand Step 9 Version 3.jpg|center|550px]]

Becoming a Pro

  1. Know that it's okay to take a break. Once you start holding hands, you

aren't required to spend the rest of the evening, the walk, or the movie doing so. It's okay to take a break, whether it's because your hands are sweaty, your hand is getting tired, or because you just feel like it. Just break contact off gently instead of abruptly dropping the girl's hand, and you'll be fine.

[[Image:Hold a Girl's Hand Step 10 Version 2.jpg|center|550px]]

  1. Mix it up. You don't have to clasp her hand, clasp pinkies, or put your

hand on top of the girl's the whole time. Mix up your hand holding techniques so you don't make the girl feel like she's holding a limp fish in her hand. Stimulating her hand too much can make her feel too frenzied, but just letting your hand sit there can make hand holding feel about as romantic as studying for a Geometry test, so find a balance between caressing her hand, not caressing it, and moving between different hand-holding techniques.

[[Image:Hold a Girl's Hand Step 11 Version 2.jpg|center|550px]]

  1. Kiss her hand. If the hand-holding is going great and you and the girl

are really hitting it off, lift her hand to your mouth and kiss the back of her hand. You can even make eye contact when you do it for a more intimate touch. This is a very romantic gesture, and you should use it sparingly. But if you do it at the right time -- like at the end of a nice hand-holding session -- it will really make her like you!

[[Image:Hold a Girl's Hand Step 12 Version 2.jpg|center|550px]]



  • Talk to her. Act like holding hands is an everyday thing.

  • Separate your hands if they get too sweaty. No one likes to hold a

sweaty hand. Using some antiperspirant on your hands beforehand can be surprisingly effective.

  • Squeeze her hand a little to give her a jolt.

  • Take your other arm and bring it around your waist and rub her upper arm

(right about elbow area).


  • Know where your boundaries lie. If you cross them, she may not want anything to do with you.

  • Don't hold on too tight and don't squeeze her hand too hard when completing tip two.

  • Don't keep trying to grab her hand if she doesn't respond to you positively. It will just worsen the mood.

  • If you sense negative energy radiating from her to you, it may not be the best time to try to hold her hand.

  • If she crosses her arms or doesn't respond during step four, it's okay. There are more fishes in the sea.

  • Be sure your hands are clean of dirt and germs. You don't want to give her a cold, do you?

Related wikiHows

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via Peter

How to Make a Patty Melt

The patty melt is a classic diner food that combines elements of the burger, the Reuben and the grilled cheese. You can create authentic patty melts at home with good ingredients and plenty of butter.


Caramelizing Onions

  1. Set two heavy skillets on your stovetop. Seasoned cast iron skillets are best, because they impart flavors similar to those in a dinner grill. Turn one burner to medium heat.

  2. Cut an onion in half. Slice it into rings. A quarter of an onion per sandwich is required.

  3. Melt two tbsp. of butter in the first skillet. You can also use olive oil or canola oil in place of butter.

  4. Place your onion rings in the skillet. Stir them around until they are covered in oil or butter. Then, allow them to cook without stirring for 10 minutes.

  5. Flip the onions onto the opposite side with a spatula. Let them cook without stirring on this side for 10 minutes.

  6. Turn the onions again. Adjust the temperature to a low setting. Stir them occasionally until they appear caramelized, approximately 15 minutes.

Cooking the Patty

  1. Place one-quarter lb. (113g) of ground beef in a bowl. You will need one-quarter lb. per patty melt.

  2. Add salt, pepper, and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce to the bowl and mix the ingredients together.

  3. Find a rectangle shaped Tupperware container to use as your patty shaper. Grease it with cooking spray. Press the patty into the bottom of the rectangle container to form a patty that will cover your entire slice of bread.

  4. Heat the other skillet to high heat. Add two tbsp. (28.4g) of butter or oil to the skillet when it is heated.

  5. Flip your container upside down and pat it onto a plate. Your pressed patty should be ready to cook.

  6. Add the patty to your heated skillet. Leave it until a crust starts to form, approximately two minutes later.

  7. Flip the patty with a spatula. Give it two to three minutes to cook on the other side. When it is done, place it on a plate nearby.[1]

Assembling the Patty Melt

  1. Clean one of your skillets with a paper towel. Make sure there aren’t any burned bits that will change the taste of your sandwich.

  2. Heat two tbsp. (28.4g) of butter on medium heat.

  3. Assemble the sandwich. Stack in this order: piece of rye bread, slice of Swiss cheese, burger patty, caramelized onions, slice of Swiss cheese and slice of rye bread.

  4. Add the sandwich to the skillet. Grill one side until it is golden brown. Remove it and place it on your plate.

  5. Melt two more tbsp. (28.4g) of butter. Flip the sandwich and grill the other side in the butter.

  6. Remove it when both pieces of bread are toasted golden brown and the cheese has melted.


  • If the sandwiches aren't going to be immediately taken from the pan and eaten, turn off the heat and tent with tin foil to keep the sandwiches warm and keep them from drying out.

  • Once assembled in the pan, give the sandwich a nice press with the spatula to make sure the cheese and other ingredients are properly combined.

  • Swiss cheese can be replaced with American, Cheddar, or any other type of cheese desired.

  • The sandwich needs a good, sturdy bread like Rye, but you can also experiment with other types - Rye/Pumpernickel marbled bread works particularly well and adds a nice flavor.

  • For extra flavor, add Thousand Island dressing to the inside of the rye bread slices when they assemble a patty melt,[2] or, alternatively, serve a dollop or small cup of dressing (or even ketchup) on the side for "dipping".

  • You can also toast the bread on both sides for a sturdier sandwich - toast the bread by itself in the pan on one side, flip, and then add the ingredients to assemble in the pan. If the pan is not large enough to toast the tops and bottom at once, you can do them one or two at a time and place them with the cooked patties to stay warm while you do the remaining bread. It always tastes best to assemble in the pan as the final step.

Things You'll Need

  • Onion

  • Ground beef

  • Butter/olive oil

  • Swiss cheese

  • Rye bread

  • Worcestershire sauce

  • Skillets

  • Stove

  • Spatula

Sources and Citations

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via Peter

Gerald R. Ford

"Things are more like they are now than they have ever been."

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H. L. Mencken

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."

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Charles Baudelaire

"It is by universal misunderstanding that all agree. For if, by ill luck, people understood each other, they would never agree."

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W. Somerset Maugham

"Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it."

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Saturday, 30 August 2014

Milton Berle

"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."

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How to Tell if a Diamond is Real

Finding out whether or not your diamond is real is a tantalizing proposition — do you want to know without a doubt? Most curious citizens turn to a professional jeweler in order to suss it out. But you don't have to be Sherlock to tell the real from the duds. A little bit of light, some water or warm breath, and a jeweler's loupe is all you need. See Step 1 for additional details and information about the wonderful world of diamonds.


Testing Mounted Diamonds at Home

  1. Use the fog test. Put the stone in front of your mouth and fog it like you would a mirror. If it stays fogged for a couple seconds, it’s probably a fake — a real diamond disperses the heat from your breath instantaneously and won't fog up easily. Even if you wait in between fogging it up and looking at it, it will still clear much faster than a fake.

    • It can help to use a stone you know is real next to the suspect stone and fog both. You can watch how the real one stays clear while the fake one fogs over; if you breathe on fake diamonds repeatedly, you will see condensation start to build up. With each puff, the fake stone will fog up more and more, while the real one will still be clean and clear.

  2. Check the setting and mount. A real diamond is not likely to be set in a cheap metal.[1] Stamps inside the setting indicating real gold or platinum (10K, 14K, 18K, 585, 750, 900, 950, PT, Plat) are a good sign, while a "C.Z." stamp will give away that the center stone is not a real diamond.[2] C.Z. stands for Cubic Zirconia, which is a kind of synthetic diamond.

  3. Use a jeweler's loupe to inspect the diamond. You can usually borrow one from the jewelry store. Mined diamonds usually have small naturally occurring imperfections, which are called "inclusions," that can be seen with a loupe. Look for small flecks of minerals, or very slight color changes. These are both signs that you're dealing with a real, albeit imperfect, diamond.

    • Cubic zirconium and lab-grown diamonds (which should pass all of the other tests) usually don't have imperfections. That's because they are grown in sterile environments instead of produced by chance in the Earth's laboratory. A gem that is too perfect is more often than not a fake.

    • Is it possible, however, that a real diamond will be flawless. Don't use imperfections as the determining factor in whether your diamond is real or not. Rule out fakes using other tests first.

Testing Unmounted Diamonds at Home

  1. Look at the stone's refractivity. Diamonds sharply bend, or refract, the light that passes through them, resulting in their strikingly brilliant appearance. Stones like glass and quartz sparkle less because they have a lower refractive index. A stone's brilliance is difficult to alter in any way, even with an expert cut, because it's an inherent property of the stone. By taking a close look at the stone's refractivity, you should be able to tell whether it's the real thing or a fake. Here are a few ways to do it:

    • The newspaper method: Turn the stone upside down and place it on a piece of newspaper. If you can read print through the stone, or even see distorted black smudges, then it probably isn't a diamond. A diamond would bend the light so sharply that you wouldn't be able to see the print. (There are a few exceptions: if its cut is disproportionate, the print can still be visible through a real diamond.)

    • The dot test: Draw a small dot with a pen on a piece of white paper and place the stone over the center of the dot. Look directly down on it. If your stone is not a diamond, you will see a circular reflection in the stone. You won't be able to see the dot through a real diamond.[3]

  2. Observe the reflections. A real diamond's reflections usually show up in various shades of gray. Look straight down through the top of the diamond. If you see rainbow reflections, you're either dealing with a low-quality diamond or a fake.[4]

    • Instead, check for "sparkles." A real diamond will sparkle significantly more than an equivalently-size piece of glass or quartz. You may want to take along a piece of glass or quartz as reference.

    • Don't confuse sparkle with reflection. Sparkle has to do with the brilliance or intensity of the light that's refracted by the cut of the gem. Reflection has to do with the color of the light that's refracted. So look for intense light, not colored light.

    • There is a stone that has even more luster than a diamond: moissanite. This gemstone is so similar to diamond that even jewelers have a hard time telling them apart. To tell the difference without special equipment, hold the stone close to your eye. Shine a penlight through the stone. If you see rainbow colors, that's a sign of double refraction. This is a property of moissanite, but not of diamond.

  3. Drop the stone in a glass of water and see if it sinks to the bottom. Due to its high density, a real diamond will sink. A fake one will float at the top of the surface or in the middle of the glass.

  4. Heat up the stone and see if it shatters. Heat up a suspect stone with a lighter for 30 seconds, then drop it straight into a glass of cold water. The rapid expansion and contraction will overwhelm the tensile strength of weaker materials like glass or quartz, causing the stone to shatter from the inside. Real diamond is strong enough that nothing will happen.

Testing Diamonds Professionally

  1. Ask for a heat probe test. The tight, evenly-packed crystalline structure of diamonds makes them disperse heat quickly; thus, real diamonds will not heat up easily. Heat probe tests take about 30 seconds and are often done free of charge. It also doesn't hurt the stone the way some other ways of testing will.

    • Heat testing works for the same reasons that the DIY "shatter" test works. Instead of measuring whether the gem breaks under the pressure of rapid contraction, however, heat probes measure how long the diamond retains temperature.

  2. Request combination diamond/moissanite testing. Many jewelers keep specialized devices that distinguish diamond from moissanite and can quickly indicate if a stone is a true diamond or a simulant.[5]

    • A traditional heat probe test will not be able to tell the difference between moissanite and a real diamond. Ensure that the test is being conducted with an electrical conductivity tester and not a thermal tester.

    • If you are testing a lot of diamonds at home, combination testers can be purchased online or at diamond specialty shops.

  3. Get a microscopic examination. Place the diamond under a microscope with the top facet dace down. Gently rock the diamond back and forth with tweezers. If you see a slight orange flash along the facets, the diamond may actually be Cubic Zirconia. It may also indicate that Cubic Zirconia was used to fill imperfections within the diamond.[6]

    • To get the best view of the diamond use a 1200x power microscope.

  4. Subject the diamond to high sensitivity weighing. Diamonds can be distinguished by very fine differences in weight, since cubic zirconia weighs approximately 55% more than diamonds for the same shape and size.[7] A very sensitive scale capable of measuring down to the carat or grain level is necessary to do this comparison.

    • The only way to accurately perform this test is by having a known real diamond of roughly the same size and shape. Without something to compare it against, you will have difficulty determining if the the weight is off.

  5. Inspect the diamond under ultraviolet (UV) light. Many (but not all) diamonds will exhibit blue fluorescence under an ultra violet or black light, so the presence of a medium to strong blue confirms that it is real. The absence of blue, however, does not mean a stone is necessarily fake; some diamonds do not fluoresce under UV light.[8] Very slight green, yellow, or gray fluorescence under ultraviolet light may indicate that the stone is moissanite.[9]

    • Though a UV test can help you narrow down your choice of possibilities, if possible, try to avoid relying on the results of this test as definitive indicators of whether or not a diamond is real. As noted above, some diamonds fluoresce under UV light and others do not. It's also possible for fake diamonds to be "doped" — treated so that they glow under UV light when they otherwise would not.[10]

  6. Get an x-ray examination. Diamonds have a radiolucent molecular structure, which means that they don't appear in x-ray images. Glass, cubic zirconium and crystals all have slightly radiopaque qualities that make them show up clearly on an x-ray.

    • If you want to get your diamond x-ray tested, you will either need to submit it to a professional diamond testing lab, or make a deal with your local x-ray imaging center.

Getting Proof That Your Diamond is Real

  1. Find a reputable diamond appraiser in your area. Most diamond retailers hire their own gemologists and appraisers, but many consumers find it more desirable to request third party appraisal from an independent gemologist who specializes in the appraisal of diamonds. If you're going to invest in a stone, or are curious about a stone you already own, you'll want to be sure that the stone you've got is appraised accurately.

    • An appraisal involves two basic steps: first identifying and evaluating the stone in question, and then assigning value. When looking at independent appraisers, it would be ideal to select an appraiser with a Graduate Gemologist (GG) degree issued by a Gemological Institute in your country, who isn't involved directly in the sale of diamonds.[11] This way, you can be sure that the science is sound.

  2. Ask the right questions. Aside from finding out whether or not the stone is fake, a good appraiser can answer a variety of questions about the quality of your stone to make sure that you're not getting ripped off. This is especially important if you've already purchased or inherited a stone. The gemologist should be able to tell you:

    • whether or not the stone is man-made or natural

    • whether or not the stone has been color-altered

    • whether the stone has had permanent or temporary treatment added

    • whether a stone matches the grading documentation provided by a retailer

  3. Request a certificate of appraisal. Whatever tests you choose to have performed, the best and most reliable way to tell if a diamond is real is to check the paperwork and speak to the gemologist or the appraiser. Certification and grading assures you that your stone has been "proven" real by experts. Proof is especially important if you're buying a stone sight-unseen, like from the Internet. Ask for a certificate.

  4. Look at your certificate carefully — not all certificates are created equal. The certificate should be from a grading authority (e.g. GIA, AGSL, LGP, PGGL)[12] or an independent appraiser who is affiliated with a professional organization (like the American Society of Appraisers) but not with any one retailer.

    • Certificates come with lots of information about your diamond, such as carat weight, measurements, proportions, clarity grade, color grade, and cut grade.

    • Certificates may also come with information that you might not expect a jeweler to give you. They include:

      • Fluorescence, or the tendency of the diamond to give off faint glow when exposed to ultraviolet light.[13]

      • Polish, or the smoothness of the surface.

      • Symmetry, or the degree to which the opposing facets mirror each other flawlessly.

  5. Get your stone registered. Once you know for sure that your diamond is real, whether through independent appraisal or grading lab, take your stone to a lab that can register and fingerprint your diamond. This will ensure you that you have your real stone, and that no one will be able to switch it out without your knowing.

    • Just like humans, every diamond is unique. New technology is allowing gemologists to quantify that uniqueness by producing a "fingerprint" of your gem. Registration usually costs less than $100, and can assist in insurance purposes. If a stolen diamond of yours with a fingerprint shows up in an international database, you should be able to retrieve it by showing documentation that proves it is yours.[14]

Telling Apart Diamonds from Other Stones

  1. Recognize synthetic diamonds. Lab-created or synthetic diamonds will still test as "real". Synthetic diamonds cost a fraction of what a mined diamond costs, but they are (for the most part) chemically the same as "natural" diamonds. Telling the difference between a natural and a synthetic diamond is best determined by a professional.

  2. Recognize moissanite. Diamond and moissanite are very easy to mistake for each other. It is difficult to tell the difference between them but moissanite sparkles a little more than diamond and also produces a double refraction, which can be difficult for most people to see. You can try shining a light through a stone, and if it gives off a much more colorful and large shine than a known diamond, then you'll know that moissanite is what you have.[15]

    • Diamond and moissanite have very similar thermal conductivities. If you only use a diamond tester, it will show "diamond" when you actually have moissanite. It is important to test any stone that tests "diamond" on a diamond tester or a moissanite tester. For a professional jeweler, the best option is to just get a combined diamond/moissanite tester.

  3. Recognize white topaz. White topaz is another stone that can look a little like a diamond to the untrained eye. However, white topaz is much softer than diamond. A mineral's hardness is determined by its ability to scratch and be scratched by other materials. A stone that can scratch others easily without being scratched itself is hard (and vice versa for soft stones). Real diamonds are some of the hardest minerals on the planet, so look for scratches around the facets of your stone. If your stone appears to be somewhat "scratched up", it's probably a white topaz or another soft substitute.

  4. Recognize white sapphire. Contrary to popular belief, sapphires aren't only blue. In fact, these gems are available in virtually every color. White varieties of sapphire, which appear clear, are often used as diamond substitutes. However, these stones don't contain the sharp, sparkling contrast between light and dark areas that real diamonds do. If you find that your stone has a somewhat hazy or "icy" appearance — that is, its light and dark areas don't contrast greatly — it's probably a white sapphire.[16]

  5. Recognize cubic zirconia. Cubic zirconia is a synthetic stone which closely resembles a diamond. The easiest way to spot a cubic zerconia is by the color of it's "fire" or shine. Cubic zerconia gives off an orange shine which makes this stone easy to identify. Its artificial origin can also give it much more "clear" appearance than natural diamonds, which often contain minor flecks and flaws.

    • Cubic zirconia are also known to exhibit a greater spectrum of color than real diamonds when light is focused on the stone. A real diamond's sparkle and reflection should be largely colorless, while a cubic zirconia can project colored sparkles.[17]

    • One commonly-circulated test for determining whether a stone is a real diamond is to scratch glass with it. According to popular belief, if the stone scratches glass without becoming scratched itself, it's a real diamond. However, some high-quality cubic zirconia can also scratch glass, so this test is actually not a definitive way to determine whether a diamond is real or not.[18]



  • Consider independent appraisal if you really want to be sure. If you take the stone for an independent appraisal, expect to pay between $35 and $75 in the US. Make sure the stone never leaves your sight — unethical jewelers may change or replace your diamond to a fake one. [19]

  • Real or not, just enjoy the jewelry. Does it really matter if the diamond is real or not when you are wearing it? If professionals can often be fooled, then relax. Only when you are buying or selling the stone is it important to know if it came from the ground or a lab.


  • There is no way to be 100% sure that a diamond is real unless there is a certificate from a reputable grading authority. If you buy a pawned item, something off a table at a market, or an item off of a website, you are taking a risk.

  • Do not test or show off a diamond by scratching something against it. If it's real, you won't scratch it — but you might chip or break it because diamonds are hard but brittle, not tough.[20] Sandpaper can be used to distinguish some fake diamonds from real ones, but this is not a completely reliable test either.[21] If it's not a real diamond it still might pass the scratch test, because many gemstones are very hard — or, if it fails the scratch test, you just needlessly ruined a jewel that looked just like a diamond.

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How to Make a Tie

Ties are gaining popularity as accessories that can be worn outside the traditional office setting. Ties can be made from any type of fabric, and they're lined with interfacing that helps them hold their shape. Learn how to pick out materials and make a tie by hand.


Getting the Materials Ready

  1. Buy tie fabric. Are you making a fun tie to give your dad on Father's Day, or would you like to make something that can be worn for a formal event? Go to the fabric store and pick out a colorful, heavy fabric to make your tie unique. Silk is a popular choice for ties, since it looks classy and may be worn for any occasion. For a more casual tie, go for patterned cotton, linen or even denim. You'll need about 1 1/2 yards.

  2. Buy interfacing and other supplies. Ties are made with a material called interfacing, which is sewn into the inside of the tie as a liner. It's made to be able to stretch and knot without losing its shape. Buy 1 1/2 yards of interfacing in a color that matches your tie fabric, in addition to the following supplies:

    • Fine thread that matches the tie fabric.

    • A good pair of fabric scissors.

    • Either a needle (if you're sewing the tie by hand) or a sewing machine in working order.

    • Straight pins.

    • Measuring tape.

  3. Pick out a pattern. There are many tie patterns available online for free. This classic tie pattern is a good place to start. When you find one you like, print it out and cut out the different parts.

  4. Prepare the fabric. Iron the back of the silk on a low setting to remove any wrinkles. Lay it flat on your work surface, wrong side up, and ensure there are no folds or ripples that will cause you to cut unevenly.

    • If you're using a fabric other than silk, you should preshrink it by washing and drying it before you iron it. This will ensure it doesn't shrink if you have the tie steamed or washed.

    • If the interfacing has not be preshrunk, preshrink it by soaking it in hot water for 10 minutes, then letting it dry and running an iron over it.

Cutting the Fabric

  1. Lay out the pattern. Carefully lay out each part of the pattern on top of the silk. Make sure the centerline of the pattern is exactly on the fabric's bias. If it's not, the finished tie may appear misshapen. Depending on what pattern you use, you'll have six or seven parts to cut out.

    • If your fabric is patterned, envision how the pattern will look once you cut the fabric out. Rearrange the layout of the various pieces to make sure the pattern will show up nicely.

  2. Trace the pattern. Weight or pin the various pieces of the pattern down, then use a piece of chalk to carefully trace around them onto the wrong side of the silk.

  3. Cut the silk. Use a sharp pair of fabric scissors to cut the silk along the chalked lines. If you're using a fabric that's more difficult to work with, you might want to use a rotary cutter instead.

  4. Repeat with the interfacing. Lay out the pattern pieces on the interfacing, use chalk or pencil to trace each piece, then carefully cut out the pieces using a scissors or rotary cutter.

Sewing the Tie

  1. Sew the silk pieces together. Using the instructions that came with the pattern you chose, sew the silk pieces together with a needle and thread or a sewing machine. In most patterns, the point is sewn first, then the two main tie pieces are attached and sewn together. Take care to make sure the edges are aligned correctly and your stitches are straight.

    • The tie pieces should be sewn with right sides together, so that when the tie is inverted, the seam doesn't show.

    • Use an iron to carefully press the tie after sewing each part. this will help you make sure the shape of the tie is coming together correctly.

  2. Insert the interfacing. Once the tie shape is intact, insert the interfacing inside. Slide the interfacing tip into the tip of the tie, making sure it reaches the end and lays flat. Pin the interfacing in place so it doesn't move around when you sew the tie closed.

  3. Make the inside folds. On the underside of the tie, where the interfacing is inserted, fold the two pieces of silk under so that a neat center seam runs down the middle of the tie. Hold the folds in place with pins, then press the edges so that the folds stay in place.

  4. Sew the tie closed. Use a slip stitch to carefully sew along the middle seam of the underside of the tie. Sew the two edges of the folds closed from the top of the tie to the end of the fold. Be sure not to catch all of the layers as you stitch, since you don't want to be able to see the thread on the front of the tie.

  5. Make the carrier. The small loop that holds the thin part of the tie in place once it has been tied is included in most tie patterns. Sew the carrier according to the instructions in your pattern, then attach it by hand to the center of the underside of the tie.

  6. Iron the tie. Use the iron to press out the creases and iron the tie until it is flat. The tie is now ready to wear.


  • When cutting the fabric, it should be cut on the bias (diagonally across the grain).

  • The standard tie length is 57 inches tip to tip.

  • There are different types of ties that you can make, like seven fold ties.

  • When making a tie, remember to adjust the length of the tie for the height of the person.

Things You'll Need

  • Silk or another tie fabric

  • Interfacing

  • Needle and thread or sewing machine

  • Scissors or rotary cutter

  • Tie sewing pattern

  • Chalk

  • Iron

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The 10 Adorable "Cute Or Not Champions" Of The Week

These are the cuties who came out on top in our weekly Cute or Not contest. Don’t forget to submit your own pet and vote!

Nona the prize-winning rescue dog is super adorable, but she couldn't champion her way to a spot above...

Nona the prize-winning rescue dog is super adorable, but she couldn&#39;t champion her way to a spot above...


...Bentley, the happiest little pup! His smile wasn't dashing enough to beat...

...Bentley, the happiest little pup! His smile wasn&#39;t dashing enough to beat...


...Telecaster and Rufus! They weren't able to snuggle their way to a win against...

...Telecaster and Rufus! They weren&#39;t able to snuggle their way to a win against...


Cormac, the most cuddly pup of all! Cormac's fluffy ears couldn't triumph over...

Cormac, the most cuddly pup of all! Cormac&#39;s fluffy ears couldn&#39;t triumph over...


View Entire List ›

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How to Make Your Bed

You've probably heard it from your mother a million times, but making your bed every morning is a must. It makes the entire bedroom look neater and more organized, and slipping between the sheets will seem far more inviting come bedtime. Making your bed may sound like a simple task, but doing it neatly and correctly actually involves a little know-how. So start with Step 1 below to learn how to make a bed perfectly.


Making Your Bed

  1. Clear the bed. Whether you're making your bed after getting up in the morning or after washing your sheets, the first thing to do is to clear the bed.

    • Take the duvet/blanket off, the top sheet and any pillows and set them aside (preferably not on the floor).

    • You can leave the fitted sheet (the one with the elasticated corners) on the bed.

  2. Put the fitted sheet on. If the fitted sheet is not already on the bed, you will need to put it on. Do this by tucking the elasticated ends of the sheet around the corners of the mattress.

    • Make sure the sheet is tucked tightly around the corners of the mattress - you may need to lift the mattress slightly to achieve this.

    • Make sure the fitted sheet sits smoothly on top of the mattress, without any creases or wrinkles.

  3. Put the top sheet on. Next, take the top sheet and spread it over the bottom sheet. Remember that the side with the large hem should go at the top of the bed and the hem should be aligned with the head of the mattress.

    • If your sheets are patterned, the patterned side should face down (so you can see the pattern when the top of the sheet is folded back).

    • Make sure the top sheet is spread evenly over the mattress, with the same length of sheet hanging over both sides of the bed.

  4. Make hospital corners. The term "hospital corner" refers to a specific method of folding the end of the top sheet tightly under the mattress. It is the trickiest step in making a bed, but is also the part which will make your bed look neatest.

    • To make a hospital corner, tuck the end of the top sheet between the mattress and box springs at the foot of the bed. Don't just stuff it in though, make sure it is smooth and wrinkle free.

    • On one side, grab a piece of the top sheet approximately 16 inches away from the foot of the bed. Lift it up and fold this section of sheet over the top of the mattress, so it forms a 45 degree angle from the corner of the mattress.

    • Holding the folded piece of sheet in place on top of the mattress, tuck in any sheet hanging below the mattress on that side of the bed. Do this as neatly as possible for best results.

    • Now, let the folded piece of sheet on top of the mattress drop down. If you prefer looser sheets, you can stop here. But if you prefer to tuck your sheets tightly, you can tuck the hanging edge of sheet smoothly between mattress and box springs, all the way along the side of the bed.[1]

    • Repeat on the opposite side of the bed. For more detailed step-by-step instructions and pictures on how to make hospital corners, see this article.

  5. Place the duvet or comforter on top. Once the top sheets is tucked in place, you can lay your blankets, duvet or comforter on top.

    • Make sure the duvet is spread evenly over the bed, with the same amount of overhang on each side of the bed.

    • The top edge of the duvet/comforter/blanket should be about 6 inches away from the edge of the top sheet at the head of the bed.

  6. Fold the top sheet and duvet down. Take the edge of the top sheet at the head of the bed and neatly fold it back over the top edge of the duvet, blanket or comforter. Notice how you can see the pattern on the inside of the sheet now?

    • If you're using a blanket or thin comforter, you can fold the blanket and sheet back together, so the hem of the sheet is no longer visible. Duvets are usually a little too thick to fold.

    • If you like, you can tuck the edges of the folded blanket and sheet underneath the mattress for a very neat and tightly-made bed. This is how they do it in the military![2]

  7. Fluff the pillows. Grab your pillows and give them a good fluffing before you place them of the bed. To fluff a pillow, grab it on either side and squeeze the sides together before releasing - kind of like playing an accordion!

    • Smooth out the pillow cases then lay each pillow flat at the head of the bed, to fill the space between the folded over duvet and the headboard.

    • If you have more than two pillows (on a queen bed) stack the extra two pillows directly on top of the bottom ones.

  8. Add the finishing touches. Now your bed is almost complete!

    • To finish it off, take any decorative cushions or pillows you might have and place them in an upright position at the head of the bed, leaning against the sleeping pillows for support.

    • If you have an additional blanket, quilt or throw blanket that you like to keep on your bed for aesthetic purposes (or in case it gets cold!), fold it neatly in half and lay it evenly over the bottom half of the bed.

Developing Good Habits

  1. Make your bed every morning. Making your bed every morning is a simple but beneficial habit.

    • Just by taking two minutes to make your bed every morning, your bedroom will look neater and feel more peaceful. And just imagine how good it will feel to slip between the crisp sheets of a well-made bed each night!

    • It may be hard to believe, but making your bed everyday will actually boost your happiness levels![3]

  2. Wash your sheets every 1 to 2 weeks. People are often unsure about how frequently they should wash their sheets. The answer? Once every 1 to 2 weeks.

    • Although every 1 to 2 weeks is preferable, you could probably leave up to a month between washes, at a stretch. But if you notice an unpleasant odor hanging around your bedroom, you'll know why.

    • Duvets, comforters, blankets, or anything that doesn't come in direct contact with your body can be washed approximately every three months.[4]

  3. Learn the easiest way to put a duvet cover on. Anyone who uses a duvet knows that duvet covers can be a nightmare to put on. However, there is one trick you can use to simplify the process:

    • Turn your duvet cover inside out, then reach your arms inside to grab one of the corners in each hand (like a sock puppet). Now, through the duvet cover, grab the top corners of the duvet firmly - one corner in each hand.

    • Holding tightly to the corners, shake the duvet until the duvet cover turns itself right-side out. Then just tuck the bottom corners of the duvet inside and snap or button the cover shut.

    • Other than that, the best advice is just to be patient and to enlist the help of a family member or friend!

  4. Use a mattress pad. If you don't have one already, it's a good idea to purchase a mattress pad. Just make sure it's the appropriate size for your bed.

    • The mattress pad goes on over the mattress, but under the fitted sheet. It protects the mattress from becoming dirty, while also adding an extra layer of comfort to the bed.



  • Make sure you clean your bedding/ sheets to keep them clean, smelling good, and cozy

  • Make your bed everyday, or peel back the covers to expose the bedding to fresh air, regardless of how you "feel" when you wake up. It is great to add the structure to your morning, and it helps you to wake up quickly.

  • If you have a queen bed, arranging your pillows in the corner makes the room look bigger.

  • Make sure each side is even.

  • .*Wash your sheets, blankets, and pillowcases every Sunday. This will help make your bed fresher, cleaner, and healthier to sleep in.

  • At the end, you can just put the pillows on the top of the bed!


  • If it is in the summer, don't put too many blankets on the bed. This will make you hot and sweaty through the night.

  • If you know how to knit, or sew, and enjoy doing it, make a blanket or something to really finalize your bed.

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How to Make Turkish Coffee

In order to make Turkish coffee, you need to start with fresh medium-roasted beans that are either pulverized using a mortar and pestle or ground in a cylindrical brass coffee mill. You will also need a jezve (or cezve) or ibrik which makes the experience of producing this coffee all the more fun!

While this type of coffee is commonly known as "Turkish coffee", it is the commonly used method throughout the Middle East, so in a way, it'd be better known as Middle Eastern coffee. In Greece, they call it Greek coffee; they changed the name in response to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, however the coffee is the same, just with a different name.[1]


Amounts are stated within the steps:

  • Coffee beans

  • Water (milk can be substituted if preferred)

  • Sugar (optional)

  • Ground or crushed spices (see steps)

  • Turkish delight (optional)


Preparing the coffee

  1. Select the coffee beans. The best coffee beans for making Turkish coffee are mocha, java, and Viennese roast.[2] Also, less oily Arabic beans are a good choice.

  2. Have the beans ground to extra fine. They should be as fine as powdered cocoa. Extremely fine pre-processed powdered coffee can also be used but won't be as fresh, of course.

  3. Place about one heaping teaspoon (5 g/1/6 oz) of ground coffee beans per demitasse/quarter cup (60 ml/ 2.02 fl. oz) of coffee into the cezve/jezve/ibrik. The cezve is a special pot with a wide bottom, narrower neck, a spout, and a long handle.

    • Add sugar to your taste and a Turkish coffee cup (fincan) of cold water for each cup of coffee you're making. If you like spices as a flavor, you can also follow the Arabic version of Turkish coffee by adding the following:

      • 1/2 a teaspoon of crushed cardamom seed; or

      • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves.[3]

  4. Mix well with a fork or tiny whisk if you have one. Use a motion like beating an egg. A fork works better than a spoon to mix the dry coffee into the water.

  5. Place the cezve pot over low heat. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil. Do not stir. The slower the heat, the better the coffee will taste. Do not leave unattended; watch it as it heats up.

  6. Watching for the froth to start to bubble (boiling point), transfer the froth as it develops into the cups with a small spoon. Then, as the froth comes up to the edge of your pot, remove the pot from the heat and pour the coffee, muddy grounds and all, into Turkish coffee cups. Turkish coffee cups are smaller than demitasse cups. Just use small cups if you don't have Turkish ones.

    • For a frothier coffee, spoon the top froth from the cup as it appears. Then return the cezve pot to the heat and repeat twice before pouring the coffee liquid into the cup.[4]

  7. Do your best to preserve the froth already in the cups by pouring the coffee near the sides, not in the middles of the cups. This light brown, bubbly coffee froth is sometimes called the "crema" floating on the top of espresso in western European countries. It looks like a denser version of milky froth but contains no milk.

    • Do not drink the grounds that settle to the bottom. In fact, the ground should be allowed to settle before drinking; you can either wait or use a tiny splash of cold water to help them settle.[5]

Serving Turkish coffee

  1. Keep the cups' appearance clean. It is considered bad form to serve someone a coffee that has spilled onto the rim or down the cup or onto the saucer. Each coffee should be perfect when presented and not spilled.

  2. Add a piece of Turkish delight (a gummi-like candy dusted with powdered sugar) on the saucer to eat after drinking the coffee, to sweeten the mouth.

Drinking Turkish coffee

  1. Wait at least a minute for the grounds to settle before you pick up the tiny cup and sip.

  2. Enjoy the rich, thick flavor, but stop sipping when you taste the grounds coming through. Leave the "mud" in the bottom of the cup. Some say the positioning of the "mud" at the bottom of the cup can tell a person's fortune.



  • Invest in a Turkish coffee mill and grind the coffee just before you make it - it makes a huge difference to the taste of Turkish coffee.

  • Use milk (or cream,) instead of water if you would like a rich, creamy drink.

  • The sugar ratio is about 1 teaspoon of sugar to every 2 teaspoons of coffee grounds. Unless you like your coffee really sweet.

Things You'll Need

  • Coffee grinder

  • Cezve, jezve, ibrik

  • Turkish coffee cups (small)

  • Demitasse (quarter) cups

  • Spoon

  • Teaspoons

  • Sugar

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