Grilling Season Never Ends

We are about a month into fall and the memory of triple-digit days and long summer nights are beginning to fade. We’ve burned through all our sparklers, drank all the lemonade, and done all our grilling for the year. But what if I told you one of those joys doesn’t end with summer? We may be out of sparklers and lemonade, but I’m here to tell you that grilling season never ends.

I’ve been a casual college football fan my whole life. Then I went to college at Virginia Tech, so I’m an invested and passionate college football fan now. Something I learned from my time at Tech is that grilling is quite nearly as important as football. Whether you’re in a parking lot, at your friend’s apartment, or literally eating off a truck, grilling is as big as an event as the football game. I’ve been persuaded of the belief that grilling is a perfect complement to football– just like peanut butter complements chocolate (or like maroon complements orange, am I right?). Basically what I’m saying is grilling doesn’t end when summer does because when football is in season, collegiate or professional, grilling is too.

Now I recognize that not everyone is an avid football fan who goes to games regularly. If you don’t fall into that category and you weren’t excited by what I wrote in the last paragraph that’s cool because grilling season isn’t over for you either. What do I mean? Well, what’s another event setting where food is extremely important? Thanksgiving! I LOVE food so naturally, I grew up loving Thanksgiving. My family was a traditional family when it came to cooking the turkey, oven-roasted in a pan with vegetables and delicious juices. But more recently I’ve been branching out. A few years ago I had deep fried turkey… incredible! Ten out of ten would recommend. But an even crazier method I recently learned about was grilling. I was skeptical but a co-worker told me about how grilling a Thanksgiving turkey is a legitimate option with a Big Green Egg, a type of grill sold at VFM. If you feel the need to fact check me or are feeling adventurous and looking to mix it up this year check out this link for more detailed guidance.

Okay, who haven’t I reached yet? Let’s say you aren’t an avid football fan and you prefer traditional turkey baking. I am going to share with you one of the craziest things I have heard at my short time at Virginia Furniture Market. You ready? You can bake a cake in a Big Green Egg. “WHAT?! Andy, you’ve gone too far! It’s absurd to suggest you can bake a cake on a charcoal grill.” I hear you, I get it. I have no personal experience that I can add here to persuade you. All I can say is my co-worker Mary bakes cakes on her Big Green Egg and loves it. So if you are not a huge football fan, like to prepare your Thanksgiving turkey traditionally, but are interested in baking creatively check out these baked good recipes. Or if you’re like me and curious, it’s fun to read all the possibilities.

It’s time to realize that grilling is not just a summer sensation but a year-round activity! The Big Green Egg does it all, folks. Grilling season never ends.

Happy Grilling,

Andy the Intern

Advertisements

The Truth Behind Leather Furniture

Trust me I know furniture can be a scary purchase & when it comes to leather furniture it can be even scarier! In a world full of retailers who tout genuine leather furniture, only to send you home with something that peels & chips six months later (yikes) is unacceptable. That seems to be the norm in furniture, unfortunately. However, at Virginia Furniture Market we educate our customers. So I am here today to share a few real leather facts & how to spot real leather the next time you’re in a furniture store!

1) There are two main types of leather used in furniture; they are Split & Top Grain Leather.

Top grain leather comes from the epidermis layer of the hide, a.k.a. the rough outer part of the hide similar to the top layer of our skin. Split leather is the layer right below the epidermis layer on the hide. Split leather is a more cost-effective option but does not have the same strength as top grain leather. So make sure when shopping you ask what type of leather the piece is made of.

2) It can take up to 400 pounds of pressure to puncture leather!

Talk about something that is built to last. You’ll have to break out the power tools to pop a hole in a leather sofa.

3) If the price is too good to be true, it’s probably not real leather.

Leather is expensive; it costs more to produce a leather sofa. My father always told me “if you want quality you’re going to pay for it.” A leather sofa will cost a little more but remember a leather sofa typically outlasts a cloth sofa’s life by 3x.

4) Zippers are the key to telling if its real or fake leather!

Quality furniture has zippers!!! If you remember anything from this post remember that. Zippers give you the ability to re-stuff your furniture years down the line when things start to sag. But even more importantly, zippers give you the ability to look at the hide.

Which one of these chairs is leather if you had to guess?

If you guessed left you are correct! The way to tell this is by looking on the backside of the hide/fabric.

The real leather chair on the backside of the hide will feel & look natural along with a leather smell

If you look above fake leather will typically have a man-made material on the backside of the fake leather, which is a direct giveaway that it is not a genuine product. Always remember when shopping for furniture that it’s okay to get your hands a little dirty and inspect a product. In the end, it’s going to be in your home so make sure its right :)!

5) If it adjusts to your body temperature quickly it’s probably leather!

Leather is a natural material meaning that it soaks up the oils in your skin as well as heat that your body gives off. So when in doubt sit it out! After about thirty seconds, you should be able to feel the leather change and adjust to your body temperature. If it’s still cold after you’ve been sitting for a couple of minutes…. its probably not leather.

If you’ve made it this far, I Ryan the Real, officially crown you a leather professional. In a world of imitation leathers, you will be guaranteed to spot the fakes like a pro. However, if you decide leather is right for you, visit Virginia Furniture Market and one of our professionals will be honest with you when it comes to this mysterious thing called leather. So next time, skip the research and make your way down to VFM and learn the benefits of real top grain leather!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Peace,

Ryan Real!

Six Surprising Facts About Mattresses

You spend more time in your bed than on all the other furniture in your house. But if you’re like me, you don’t give your mattress much thought unless there’s a problem. Allow me to change your focus for a moment. Here are 6 facts to help you get to know your mattress a little better.

1. Vegetables Were Used to Fill the First Mattresses.

The first mattresses were stuffed with pea pods?!

What are we supposed to do with that fact? Well, when you lay in bed next to your loved one, remember y’all are like peas in a pod.

2. It’s Illegal to Buy a Mattress on Sunday in Washington.

The weekend! Primetime for us to go mattress shopping! But for Washingtonians, that’s a no-go on Sunday. An old law in Washington state declares that it is illegal to purchase or sell a mattress on Sundays. Also banned for Sunday shoppers are televisions and meat!

The origin of the law is unknown, yet it was cited by multiple sites. However, it doesn’t appear to be strictly enforced so if you happen to be in Washington on a Sunday afternoon you shouldn’t have an issue.

3. We Sweat and Shed All Over Our Beds at Night!

We lose millions of skin cells per day, MILLIONS! We spend about one-third of each day on our mattress. Therefore, a significant portion of our skin cells winds up in bed with us. We also sweat while sleeping, with some sources estimating anywhere from several milliliters to one liter nightly. So on top of the dust mites that make mattresses their home, it’s also home to our lost skin cells, sweat, and other fluids.

So let’s do ourselves and our mattresses a favor by using a protective mattress cover. These will protect our beds from absorbing shed skin, sweat and spills and can be washed regularly to keep our bed in healthy condition.

4. Mattresses can be Recycled.

If you are like me, the last fact makes you want to get as far away from your mattress as possible. At this point, we are all wondering how quickly we can put our mattresses on a spaceship to Pluto. Sadly, even if we pool resources, it will not be a quick or cost-effective way to dispose of the dust mite and skinned filled mattresses (trust me, I Googled it). Realistically, we have two options, we can send it to a landfill where it will take up space for centuries, or we could recycle it

Recycling is a growing industry and many states and organizations are pushing for increased mattress recycling to reduce waste. The springs and metal can be repurposed, wood and fibers can become a fuel source, and foams and fabrics can be recycled for use in padding and other applications.

5. Tossing and Turning is a Sign to Move On.

We all know the obvious signs of a declining mattress. When our mattress has more hills and valleys than the Appalachian Trail, that is not good. When the ends of metal springs poke us in the back, that is not cool. And when stuffing is sliding out of what used to be a small hole, that is not a promising sign. In that stage of the mattress life cycle, sleep does not come easy and replacement is imminent.

But aesthetic problems are not the only reason for us to head to the store. If we spend countless nights tossing and turning and simply are not sleeping as well as we used to at home, it might be time to make an investment to end the frustration. Especially if we find we sleep better away from home.

6. Buying a New Mattress Might Zap Your Stress.

Time for a science experiment!

Not a stress-inducing science lab, actually the opposite. A small study was conducted in 2009, 59 healthy men and women slept for 28 consecutive nights on their regular mattresses, then another 28 nights on new, medium-firm mattresses. The participants were asked to evaluate their stress levels based on factors like worrying, racing thoughts, nervousness, irritability, headaches, trembling and more. Sleeping in the new beds resulted in “a significant decrease in stress,” according to the study, possibly because of the increase in sleep quality and a decrease in pain associated with the firmer setup.

Many of you just read this while lying in bed and don’t know what to do with the above facts. Feel free to sound smart and share the facts with your friends in book club, on Facebook, or come to Virginia Furniture Market and talk with me. I need an outlet for the absurd amount of mattress facts I now have. Whether you keep the above facts to yourself or share them, I hope one day you have the opportunity to use this knowledge to win a game show.


Here’s to a Great Night’s Sleep,

Andy the Intern