Sunday, February 28, 2010

5 Tips on How to Survive Back-to-School Shopping

If you are like millions of other time-starved moms, the thought of back-to-school shopping leaves you feeling stressed and wondering how you can possibly get it all done within your budget and in the limited time you have. Take advantage of these mom-tested, time-saving tips this year and get your children ready for back-to-school in record time - without busting your budget:

1. Start with a plan: Create a master back-to-school shopping list and budget for each child. Discuss the list and ask your kids what items or brands they want most. Let them help make the budget trade-offs. For example, if they want an expensive pair of shoes, they need to spend less on the backpack or clothes.

2. Closet-cleaning giveaway: Before you start shopping, clean out the closet. Sort through the clothes with each of your children, setting aside items that still fit and giving the rest away to charity.

3. Get the help of a free online personal shopper: Take advantage of, and join over half of the moms in America who plan to do their back-to-school shopping online, according to a national survey by MedeliaMonitor. This free service saves you time and money by sifting through millions of products to find deals and items tailored to your family's needs and interests.

Your children can browse a selection of items from favorite brands, styles and colors and save what they love most to their online wish list. You can then review it together and make your purchases from the comfort of your own home.

4. It's best one-on-one: Schedule a back-to-school shopping date with each child, giving them your undivided attention. They grow up so fast, so invest your time in making lasting memories.

5. Snag sweet deals: Sixty-four percent of moms in the survey said that one of the biggest challenges is keeping themselves and their children within the set budget. Share with each child the amount you can afford to spend. Teach them to value your hard-earned money and how to stretch the budget as far as possible by making smart choices. They will soon learn that they can get far more for their money by searching the sales first.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

5 Tips For Choosing Gifts

We all love to receive gifts, whether it’s at Christmas or birthdays, or even a special anniversary. But in order to keep getting gifts, we have to give them to others too. And happily we like that part of the bargain almost as much as the receiving bit. Here are a few tips that may help you choose the right gift for the right person.

1. To help make up your mind you can easily read reviews of gifts you are considering buying at places like,,,, etc. And of course, you can even purchase from there too.

2. Price comparison for gifts is easy if you’re switching between sites like, and The lowest gift price is out there. All you have to do is find it.

3. One problem with gifts that are wearable is getting the right size. You can overcome this by getting gift accessories, such as scarves, belts, hats, etc.

4. It’s obvious, but keeping an up to date list of the birthday, anniversary, etc, dates of your friends and relatives will mean that you’ll always know when it’s time to buy a gift. That way, you’ll probably receive more gifts too when it’s your turn.

5. Always think about the recipient of the gift. Your maiden aunt is unlikely to appreciate a year’s subscription to a risqué glamour magazine, and your young nephew probably doesn’t really want a pair of socks.

Gifts should not be just for Christmas and birthdays. There’s no reason why you can’t give a special gift to someone special just because you want to at any time of the year. It does wonders for a person’s self esteem, and it does wonders for you too: we all really love to give. I hope you can find the time to give to someone today.

Friday, February 26, 2010

5 Tips For Balancing Work And Home

Most people understand how difficult it can be to balance their work and home lives once they get married and have children. Somehow it seems that work life or home life is always encroaching on the other and causing problems at work, at home, and many times both. However the following five tips are great options to help with balancing work and home.

Make a Schedule

The best thing to do when trying to balance work and home is to make a schedule. Know how much time you have and schedule your work time and your home time. Then, you will know when you need to schedule work and home events. This will make your life significantly easier and you will know which activities fit into which time frame. Just make sure you stick to your schedule.

Share Responsibilities

Many times work and home responsibilities can become overwhelming because one spouse is handling more of the responsibilities than the other. So, learn to share responsibilities at home and each spouse can be responsible for their work. Also, older children should have some home responsibilities as well to help parents balance work and home.

Leave Work at Work

Balancing home and work can be difficult because it is so easy to take work home. If you really want to balance work and home then you will always leave work at work and keep home a sacred place for family and home activities.

Dedicate Weekends to Home Activities

A great way to keep home and work separate is to always focus on home activities during weekends, or at least on days off from work if you happen to work on weekends. When certain days are home days and other days are work days then it makes balancing work and home considerably easier.


The best way to balance work and home is to always make a plan. There are tons of tips that will help you, but there is nothing like making a plan and then following the plan to really balance work and home. It might be difficult, but if you have it planned out and follow the plan you will be surprised how easy you can find a balance.
Celebrating your daughter’ s graduation from high school requires something very special. Her Debs has to be a night to remember all her life. What can you do as a parent to help achieve this magical evening? Spend lots of money on her, basically. Pay for make-up, hair dresser and dress. Buy her the new shoes, jewelry and accessories she needs. The evening’s preparations will last the whole day. There will be hair and makeup appointments, endless phone calls to be made and lots of tears to be shed. One way to make her day special is to have a Pre-Debs all day getting ready party. Girls love to do things with their friends. So let them. Suggest that your daughter invite her friends around. Let them take over the house for a day. This is an all female day, so brothers and father need to be sent out for the day. Book a recommended hairdresser to come around from about 11am. Let the hairdresser know the number of girls and he or she will have a good idea of the time required. The girls will love seeing their friends transformed. Find a qualified make-up artist who will spend the day with the girls making them look their finest. This may include spray tanning. Consult with the make-up artist whether the spray tanniing needs to be done the day before. What will the girls do while they are waiting for their turn? They will eat pizza, sweets and chocolate, drink lots of soda and smoke lots of cigarettes. How can you absolutely guarantee a successful day? Hire a chocolate fountain. Can you imagine a chocoholic's fantasy come true? What better way to satisfy the craving for chocolate that so many girls have? Liquid chocolate in a never-ending flow that guests can see continuously moving exerts an irresistible pull on chocoholics. Watching chocoholics facial expressions at a chocolate fountain is fascinating. They almost drool, just at the sight! Check out for more information. Marshmallows, strawberries or other fruit is normally provided to dip into the chocolate stream. These can be messy to eat, but it is never going to bother a chocoholic. You can rent or hire a large chocolate fountain for your party or reception from a large number of companies. You may have to pay a transportation charge because the fountain can weigh up to 45 pounds. The fountain usually comes with chocolate, but many require you to provide the cream that is necessary to liquefy it. You can buy a small chocolate fountain for use at home from many stores. Alternatively you can rent a large one easily enough.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

5 Steps to a Balanced Monday Morning

It’s Monday morning (again). You glance at the kitchen clock and gulp down a cup of coffee while attempting to put on your clothes at the same time and realize that you only have 5 minutes to get your 5 year old dressed and ready for school, not to mention you still need to pack her lunch. Not soon enough do you remember that you were warned the previous Thursday by your easy-going boss (not!) for being late the third day in a row.

Sound all-too familiar? Hey, no one said being a working mom would be easy, but here are 5 steps to help you achieve that delicate Monday morning balance:

- - First and foremost, be prepared. If need be, pack your child’s lunch the night before. Give your child a bath the night before as well. Do your washing and ironing on the weekend so that all clothes are hung and ready to go; prepare at least 5 outfits for each member of the family over the weekend and have your husband and children assist you in the process.

- - Set your alarm clock 10-15 minutes earlier to allow yourself more time in the morning. If need be, go to bed 10-15 minutes earlier to make up for the time difference. Wake up before your kids to shower and dress.

-- Keep breakfast simple and healthy. If you feel that you just don’t have the time for breakfast, try keeping bananas (and other easy to eat fruit) and vitamin fortified cereal bars handy and ready to grab and go.

- - Set a routine for you and your family and stick with it. Our bodies crave routine and that’s a fact. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Sticking with a schedule will make it easier to effectively manage that Monday morning balancing act.

- - Divide your morning into phases. For example, phase 1: Eat Breakfast, phase 2: Get Dressed, etc. Set the phases in 15-30 minute time increments (phasing increments can vary, depending on the overall time you give yourself). Attempting to accomplish everything at once will only lead to chaos and confusion. Help your family stay within the proper phase and ask them to also pitch in and help. Encourage your family to stick to the morning phases to keep things running smoothly.

The key to achieving any balance, especially that Monday morning balance, is being prepared. Try a more organized approach to your Monday mornings and you will find that they turn out to be a lot smoother and less stressful for everyone.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

5 Simple Ways Connect With Your Husband

Have you ever rolled over in the morning and not known the man lying next to you? I’m not referring to that time back in college - I’m talking about the present. After years of marriage, you may start to feel like your husband is a stranger. Or is it that you feel he’s getting stranger? Either way, here are 5 simple ways to stay connected to your husband.

1. Cook a meal together.
Whether it’s breakfast or dinner it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re spending time together. How about getting up early Sunday morning and making a big old-fashioned Sunday breakfast for you and the kids? Or sending the kids to a sitter and preparing a nice romantic dinner together?

You’ll save money fixing the meal at home rather than dining out. Plus, you won’t have to get “all dolled up” (unless you want to). Most importantly, you’ll be using teamwork, which is the number one priority for any marriage.

2. Take on a project and get dirty!
Tackle a big and messy job on your list - cleaning out the garage, pulling up shrubs in the yard, organizing the attic. Make an afternoon of it and do it together! You’ll both feel a great sense of accomplishment that the job is finally done and it’ll feel great to know that you got it done by operating as a unit.

Now that you’ve worked up a sweat, why not draw a bath for two?

3. Spend a lazy afternoon going through old photos and reminiscing.
Talk about the activities you used to do when you first started dating and make a plan to start doing them again. You might not be able to do them all, but make the effort to do as many of them as you can, whether it is taking long walks, going to concerts, or making out at the movies.

4. Play hooky!
Plan a day where you can each stay home from work and spend the whole day home - alone - together - doing absolutely nothing! Lay in bed all day, cuddle, and watch movies. Make sure to turn the ringer off on the phone.

5. Make an effort on a daily basis to stay connected to your husband.
Listen, ask questions - be his partner in all aspects of your life. Something as simple as making it a point to say, “How was your day, Honey?” every day when he gets home and listening to his response can make all the difference.

The most important thing to remember is that you are not in your marriage by yourself. Share your concerns with your husband if you’re not feeling quite as close as you once did. Let him know how you feel, how it makes you feel and that you want to work on it.

Chances are your husband will be clueless, but once he realizes you’re genuinely concerned, he’ll jump right in and make more of an effort. Good luck!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

5 Simple Tips on Preparing your Family Pets for a Disaster

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Disasters can happen anywhere at any time. The public doesn’t usually get a lot of notice before a disaster strikes, so you must be prepared in advance and know what to do quickly if there is an emergency.

Here are 5 simple steps that you can take to prepare your pets and reduce the level of stress and worry for your entire family to a minimum.

Tip #1. Get a Pet Emergency Supplies Kit.
Have it readily accessible and make sure it consists of at least the following items:

  • Pet first aid kit that will cover your pets’ emergency medical needs. If your pets take any medications, add some extra supplies.
  • Food (in water proof container) and water, 3-day ration.
  • Collars with ID tags - make sure the information is current and updated. You might consider microchipping as permanent identification as collars get lost.
  • Safety harness and leash.
  • Sanitation Items.
  • Rescue Pet Decals – to alert rescue teams to save your pets inside the house.
  • Comfort toys and blankets to take with your pets if you have to evacuate.
Tip #2. Pack a picture of your pets in case you get separated.
It will help rescue workers to identify and reunite you with your pets faster.

Tip #3. Get your pets familiar with their carriers or crates.
Usually, pets associate them with visits to the vet and become stressed at the first site of them. Let your pets play in the carrier or get them some treats to make the transition easier when the time comes.

Tip #4. Know your pets hiding places in and out of the house.
At the first warning of a disaster, you might consider putting them in one room in case you have to leave in a hurry.

Tip #5. Have a Family Emergency Plan Ready:
  • Map out a get-away plan: how you pack your pets, where you go.
  • Check with the nearby shelters, veterinary hospitals, and hotels to see if they would take your pets in an emergency.
  • Develop a pet care buddy system – arrange for friends or extended family to take your pets in if you must evacuate in a shelter that doesn’t allow pets for health issues. Instruct your caretakers on the location of the emergency supplies kit and anything else you might find useful.
  • Learn about various disasters that could strike your particular area. You might have to wait home longer before getting an order to evacuate, so get some extra supplies of food and water.
  • If you have to evacuate, take your pets with you if possible.

For more emergency preparedness related information please visit

Monday, February 22, 2010

5 Movies From Your Childhood To Share With Your Kids

Brand new movies are great! It’s so much fun standing in line at the theater, breathing in the buttery popcorn smell, giddy with anticipation when a new movie is released.

My children love watching the latest and greatest movies, but I just grin when I hear my children singing the songs I used to sing as a kid – “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” or “Tomorrow”. Hearing their little off-key renditions is the best music to my ears.

Have you introduced your children to the movies you enjoyed when you were younger?

Swiss Family Robinson (1960)
The Robinson family gets shipwrecked near an island. With hard work and togetherness, they build a majestic tree house. They are faced with many trials - wild animals, weather, and pirates, but their ingenuity carries them through. Great family values!

The Parent Trap (1961)
Twin daughters are raised not knowing about each other, each living with one parent. They unexpectedly bump into each other at summer camp, put two and two together, and work out a scheme to get their parents back together again. This movie is just plain good fun.

Mary Poppins (1964)
Mr. and Mrs. Banks are both so preoccupied with their own interests that their children, Jane and Michael are unhappy. When the magical nanny, Mary Poppins enters their lives, she brings the family closer. Between the penguin scene, the chimney sweep dance, and the magic, your children will be entranced.

The Sound of Music (1965)
The hills are alive with the sound of music. Your home will be alive with the sound of music once your kids watch this one.

Annie (1982)
Oh, how we love Annie! The music, the dancing, the wealthy Mr. Warbucks, and a happy ending. It doesn’t get much better than that!

These five movies are a must in every family library. Share the memories, and sing the tunes. It’s ok if you’re a little off-key. I won’t tell.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Toasted: A Housewarming Tradition

A housewarming gift comes from cultural traditions the world over. But for the most part, a housewarming gift comes from the heart, an act of giving from one friend to another. The true meaning of housewarming can be found when one friend sees the need of another, and tries in however small of measure to give something to help. May the roof above us never fall in And may we good companions beneath it never fall out. -- Irish Blessing From round bread loaves and salt to a classic kitchen gift, the tradition of housewarming gift giving has a long and venerable history. That history of a housewarming gift continues today as an effective means of bringing new neighbors together. The Tradition Boris removed his cap and wrung it nervously. A member of Russia’s ruling party was arriving in full regalia. The entourage moved through the village as merchants offered respect. Boris nervously ran to his cottage and asked his wife, Yelena, for the gift they had prepared for this moment. As the dignitary approached the outskirts of the village, Boris walked forward holding a round loaf of bread with a mound of salt in the center. “What’s this?” asked the dignitary. “Bread - for good health. Salt - for long life,” Boris said nervously. “For me?” queried the dignitary. “With glad welcome,” replied Boris as Yelena anxiously brushed back a strand of hair wondering if the gift would be well received. All was quiet while the dignitary lifted the bread and inhaled the fresh baked scent. “Such a wonderful welcome,” he said with a large grin. The village folk broke out into cheers as a new tradition was born. … While there is no definitive way of knowing exactly how housewarming gifts truly originated, some historians believe a scenario like the one above may have merit. Some will look back further to the birth of the Christ child and the gifts of the Magi. However it originated, the idea of giving a housewarming gift in honor of new neighbors or friends has long been celebrated. It has proven useful in either breaking the ice with those we have not known or celebrating a new chapter in the lives of those we have long cared for. Meaningful friendships have begun by observing this housewarming tradition. Housewarming Etiquette Housewarming gifts should be practical. A kitchen gift or cooking gift is always appreciated as neighbors or friends begin life in a new home. Housewarming gifts do not need to be overly expensive to be gratefully received. A very expensive housewarming gift given publicly can actually cause uncomfortable moments for the recipient as well as any other guests who may be in the home. So Many Choices While items for the outdoors may prove useful in some cases, a kitchen gift or cooking gift proves especially welcome in most scenarios. Even single men often find the kitchen of unique interest when seeking to entertain guests, so a housewarming gift for the kitchen may be appropriate more often than you might think. A Good Neighbor In a society that is increasingly mobile, a housewarming gift may be the perfect opportunity to lend support for someone who may be distanced from family. Your simple act of kindness in this housewarming tradition may well result in long term friendship and mutual support. In a society where we often don’t know our neighbor’s names, a housewarming gift provides a welcome means of connecting neighbors.

5 Cheap Nights Out With The Family

Taking the entire family out for an evening of fun can be exciting and something all parents want to do on a regular basis. However, going out costs money and frequently it can cost more than the average family can afford. So, if you want to enjoy an evening with your family consider these 5 cheap nights out where you can really enjoy some family bonding while saving money at the same time.

Cheap Family Night #1 The Movies

I know you are thinking the movies are really expensive and there is no way you can afford to go. However, frequently during the week movie theatres offer specials, even 2 for 1 deals, to get more people in to see movies during the middle of the week. As a result, by taking your family to the movies on a Tuesday or Wednesday as opposed to Friday or Saturday you can save a lot of money. Also, consider popping popcorn at home and carrying it with you in a purse. That way you can enjoy popcorn without spending $5 for a small bag.

Cheap Family Night #2 Bowling

Bowling is a great family activity and like the movies many bowling alleys offer specials during the week, especially for kids. So, have a great dinner at home and head to the bowling alley. Of course, call ahead and find out when your local bowling alley offers specials for families and children.

Cheap Family Night #3 The Park and Ice Cream

All kids love to go to the park and since the park is free it is perhaps one of the best places to go! Your kids will love playing on the monkey bars and merry go rounds and you as parents will enjoy some family time and fresh air. Then, head to your local ice cream parlor and have a cone of your favorite flavor or buy a gallon of ice cream to enjoy at home.

Cheap Family Night #4 Local Sports Game

Many kids really love sports so consider a family night out to a local sports game, even a high school game. Entrance is inexpensive and it can be a lot of fun to watch local people playing a sport. Also, if you head to a high school game you can frequently pay entrance and see girls and boys play. A great family night out!

Cheap Family Night #5 Pizza and Arcade

Another great night out with the family can be enjoying a family size pizza and then playing games in an arcade. Not only will you have a great meal that is inexpensive, but the arcade games are generally inexpensive as well. You can give each child $2-3 in quarters and let them play until they are gone.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

3rd Anniversary Gift - Boy, I'm in Trouble Now

Your third anniversary is coming up and your mind is racing as you browse countless gift ideas, a new pair of shoes, a tie L, flowers, jewelry? Then just like last year and the year before your brain goes into full overload, shuts down and triggers “gift shopping procrastination” till the last minute when in desperation you grab a cheesy scarf or tie depending on the sex of the recipient.

Keeping a marriage for three years can be a tough job. Surpassing every challenge and overcoming obstacles of married life can be quite difficult. Anyone who can reach this milestone should be able to get through finding a thoughtful gift.

What gift are you going to choose for your loved one? In your mind, you probably think it must be expensive, or it must be unique. Well a gift need not always be expensive to be appreciated. Remember the old saying “It is the thought that counts“, While this is very true, we need to clear up one important point, the keyword in that saying is “thought“. This does NOT mean that you “thought” enough to get a gift, but instead refers to the thoughtfulness that went into the choosing of a gift whether it be homemade or outrageously expensive.

Leather is the traditional 3rd year wedding anniversary. Leathers are known to be strong, warm, flexible and durable as well. it has strong qualities like that of the married couple who has stayed together three years. So with that in mind, lets look at some leather gift ideas.

Leather clothing – you should check your spouses’ closet before buying leather clothes. Leather jackets can be appealing to almost everyone.

Leather shoes & bags / handbags – check your spouses’ shoe size before buying new leather shoes, be extra careful in choosing handbags, because wives are choosy when it comes to their accessories. You might want to enlist the help of one of her friends in choosing a gift like this.

Leather wallets – be careful with choosing the wallet for your hubby. Like wives, they can also be meticulous about it.

Leather roses - yes you read that right, and yes they are available, just search leather roses on any search engine.

Leather belts – this is a practical gift. Check out the size of your spouse before buying one.

Leather gloves – there are many type of gloves that you can choose. This is great for areas with cold temperature.

Leather desk accessories – check your spouses’ deck, is it organized? Give him/her a leather desk set to organize his/her desk.

Leather briefcase – this is the right gift for people on the go or for executives and lawyers.

Leather sporting goods - Is your spouse a sports fanatic? Footballs, baseball gloves and a lot of other sports equipment is made from leather.

Leather luggage – plan to have a romantic out of the country trip? Surprise him / her with a new luggage bag.

Next week we’ll cover the fourth wedding anniversary.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Three ways to save fuel and energy with magnets.

Copyright 2006 Dr Phil Hariram The theory behind using a powerful magnetic field to improve fuel burn in combustion engines is nothing new. Magnetic fields were use to improve the combustion of fuel as early as 1940s. The US air force used magnets on their Mustang aircraft and produced greater range and performance from poor quality fuel. In 1952, Felix Bloch and Edward Mills Purcell were jointly awarded a Nobel Prize for their work on magnetic fields on solid, liquid and gas substances. There are three ways magnets save energy and fuel. Attach a magnet to the fuel lead pipe of your burner. The magnet conditions the fuel allowing greater combustion. This happens immediately. You produce more heat for the same amount of fuel and harmful emission is cut. I have Calorgas (Liquid Petroleum Gas) central heating. Since attaching a magnet, my direct debit has been cut by 110%. If your boiler is old and inefficient, instead of buying a new boiler, try a magnet first. In addition the cleaner burn means that the boiler will need less servicing and lasts longer. If your boiler is already efficient, then the benefit will be less. You cannot create energy during a chemical reaction. Magnets, however, allow as close to 100% combustion. Instead of buying an expensive new boiler, attach a magnet. Attach a magnet to the fuel feed of your car and your save fuel, energy and reduce emission. The magnet improves combustion. This produces better miles per gallon, more power and a smoother running engine. In 1992, The Warren Springs Laboratories, the UK Government DTI's own vehicle testing department, were commissioned to carry out extensive trials on the benefits of magnetic fuel on motor vehicles and were very surprised by the results. Their 16-page in-depth report confirmed increased power, improved fuel economy and a reduction in harmful emissions. If your car is old with poor emission levels, the magnet will slowly clean the engine. So initially the emission will be higher than expected but eventually the level will drop significantly. A friend of mine tows a caravan with his Peugeot 2L HDi Partner Quicksilver. Since attaching a magnet his mpg has jumped up a further 10 mpg. Normally you would expect about 10% improvement. Magnets stop and reduce lime scale. Lime scale forms because the solubility of calcium carbonate decreases with increased temperature. As calcium carbonate separates out, lime scale is formed. Lime scale affects heat transfer. A layer of calcium carbonate 25mm. thick can decrease heat transfer by 95% and a 0.5mm layer of silica causes a decrease of 90%. In addition if lime scale collects on the heating element in your hot water tank, the element will not last long. Lime scale causes problems in washing machines. If a magnet is attached at an angle perpendicular to the flow of water, it stops the lime scale deposits and breaks down the deposited lime scale. No one knows exactly why this happens but the magnet keeps calcium and magnesium in solution and stops them separating out and producing lime scale. It also lowers surface tension and stabilises pH. The magnetised water will protect your washing machine but will not stop lime scales in your kettle. This is because the magnetic effect is neutralised when the kettle is boiled. So there you have it. With fuel prices going upwards at regular intervals, attach a magnet to your boiler, your water system and your car and save energy, save fuel, save money, reduce emission and prolong the life of your boiler and car. With global warming a major current issue, it is up to all of us to do our bit. In Germany, if your boiler emission level is too high, your pay a fine. One day it will come to Britain and USA. If you have emission problem, a magnet will quickly solve it. The right magnet will keep its magnetic properties for 100 years and you take it with you when you move home or change cars. It needs no maintenance. You just simply forget about it.

Waterproofing Foundations - You Can Do That

Copyright 2006 Dennis Watson If your basement smells musty it's because of water seeping through the concrete which causes mold and mildew. Once mold spores settle in your basement all it needs is moisture to begin growing and digesting whatever it is growing on. The majority of common molds are not a concern to someone who is healthy. If you have allergies or asthma, molds can cause skin rash, eye irritation, cough, running nose, congestion, and aggravation of your asthma. It is very important to make sure your basement is waterproofed. If you are building a new house or have an older house talk to a company in your area that specializes in waterproofing foundations. That can be costly so you may consider doing it yourself. I will list some import information below that can help you out. Once the foundation is exposed apply to the foundation a rubberized asphalt sealer, I list a few types below. Before the application dries, cover the foundation with R-10 insulating panels. These products can be found at stores like home depot. Always run drain tiles around the outside of the footings to keep water from collecting at the bottom of the panels and then back fill around the foundation. Also it is important to make sure you have gutters and the downspouts divert the water away from your house. Choosing a Product: Liquid Membranes: You apply a liquid membrane by spray, roller, or trowel. The liquid cures into a rubbery coating on the wall. Sheet Membranes: There is a product that has a self-adhering rubberized asphalt membranes. They are composed of rubberized asphalt laminated to a waterproof polyethylene film. Cementitious Waterproofing: Mix this product and use a long handled brush to apply, buy acrylic additive (a white, milky liquid) to mix in with the cement product. You'll get better bonding and a more solid, durable coating. Built-up Systems: This is an asphalt-and-felt built-up system. With these systems, you first apply a concrete primer. You then mop on a coating of hot tar (which is heated in a large asphalt kettle), followed immediately by application of a sheet of perforated felt, extending the system right out onto the footing. You keep staggering the felt sheets until you have three layers of felt with a final coating of tar. Surface Preparation: Make sure you have a clean wall. Dry off all footings, sweep standing water off with a broom, then dry the damp spot with the torch and scrape off excess and loose material from walls and footings. Pay special attention to the footing. Quite often, puddles of congealed slurry form on the footing when the wall is poured. Sweep off the walls and especially the footings. Waterproofing materials won't stick to a dirty surface. Waterproofing Curing Time: Check the manufacturer's requirements for concrete curing time. Concrete must be cured a minimum of seven days and sometimes up to 14 days before membrane application.. This is because the concrete will continue to dry long after it's poured. I didn't get into great detail on how to go about this project I recommend that you find someone that has experience with waterproofing to help you and provide guidance. If you are building a house the dirt will already be away from the foundation, older homes will require you to rent a backhoe which will require a little more skill on your part. This project is doable so get out there and give it a go. Good luck with your project.

Treatment for Pediculosis

Pediculosis is a condition in which a human is infested with some form of lice; this includes body lice, head lice and pubic lice. The most common pediculosis condition is head lice. Lice are tiny parasite insects that can be found in the hair and on the scalp of an infested human. These insects need human blood to survive; they will also stay close to the skin for warmth and moisture. Head lice move very quickly, thus the reason for how easily they move from one person to another. Anyone can have a pediculosis condition; it is not an indication of poor hygiene, and head lice do not limit themselves only to those on the lower economic level. The main symptom of pediculosis is itching, and at times the itching can be very irritating causing excessive scratching, that in turn, leads to sores and possibly infection. Though itching of the head is a sign of head lice, be aware that it may not always show up right away, and in fact, may take weeks before the lice are irritating the scalp to the point of causing excessive itching. If you should discover someone in the family has head lice, all members of the household should be checked for pediculosis. By doing this you can stop the infestation then, instead of family members giving the lice back and forth between treatments. The usual way in which pediculosis is treated is with shampoos and creams, containing chemicals that kill the head lice, but not the nits. With these treatments, it is important to treat the hair again within 10 days, as well as vacuuming all carpets and washing all clothes. You will also want to replace brushes, combs and other hair accessories, or soak them in very hot water for at least an hour. There are some home remedies for pediculosis that may work better without exposing your family to the toxins in the medicated shampoos. In addition to being safer, some evidence now points to the possibility that the over the counter and prescription cures for head lice are no longer 100% effective and may require several applications to produce the desired results. If you find that someone in your family has a persistent case of pediculosis, you may want to consult your healthcare provider about alternative options for treating the infestation. This is especially true if the person with head lice is a child or a pregnant woman.

Todo Sobre el Poquer

El póquer es un juego que comenzó durante los 1800, primero en Francia y sus alrededores. Gracias a inmigrantes y viajeros americanos y su alta demanda, el póquer llego al continente Americano transformándose en uno de los juegos más populares de la historia. El Póquer es sin duda un juego astuto que requiere de mucha atención y experiencia para tener buenos resultados y salir del juego sin desesperar. Si es la primera vez que juegas, seguramente has pensado que es muy difícil jugar como se debe. Sin embargo, la mayoría de los principiantes se sienten de la misma manera, y luego comenzaron a jugar perdiendo el miedo. Gracias a algunas reglas y guías en línea podrás jugar y quien sabe ganar. Vying es un estilo de juegos que se origino en Francia y gracias a su llegada a América, particularmente Nuevo Orleáns, nuevos tipos de Póquer fueron creados, como póquer abierto, póquer cerrado, texas holdem, etc, 5 cerrado, 7 abierto y otros. Las normas del juego son encontrar en las cartas recibidas al comienzo del juego y durante su proceso las combinaciones de cartas necesarias. Hay muchas combinaciones cada una vale mas o menos que otra. Por ejemplo carta mas alta es la menor, luego viene dos cartas iguales, tres cartas iguales, colores iguales, full house, escalera de color, etc. Escalera real es la combinación mas alta con la cual gana cualquier otra combinación (depende los valores de tus números). Lo interesante del juego es que cada mano deberás hacer decisiones que afectaran el resultado de la jugada. Por ejemplo, un vez que llegue tu turno deberás decidir si aumentar tu apuesta, continuarla, o dejar el partido. Desde ya todo depende de tus combinaciones o potenciales combinaciones que puedas conseguir. También depende de si deseas engañar a otros jugadores haciéndoles creer que tienes buenas cartas cuando no. Si buscas comenzar a jugar y practicar es muy importante que lo hagas antes de comenzar a jugar en un casino real. Una de las mejores maneras es los casinos en línea, en donde no te sentirás presionada por los demás jugadores ni pasaras incómodos momentos. Lo puedes hacer muy relajado desde tu casa, sin usar plata real sino que solo por diversión y practica. Otra de las cosas que debes tener en cuenta es ser cuidadoso a la hora de jugar por dinero y practicar bastante antes de largarte a hacerlo. No querrás arrepentirte ni perder mucho dinero, aunque en general los principiantes tienen suerte. Ahí puedes conocer otros jugadores de otros países que buscan también practicar, jugar y divertirse. Luego puedes comenzar a apostar por dinero y versa que los casinos en línea tienen muchas ventajas en cuanto a porcentajes de ganancias y demás. Si lees un poco más a cerca del juego en diferentes sitios de póquer, te darás cuenta que es muy entretenido y no tan complicado como parecía serlo. En fin, el póquer es un juego que ha existido desde el siglo XIX y actualmente sigue siendo tan popular como siempre.

Gift Basket of your choice

Are you confused of the type of gift you would like to gift your friend for his birthday, engagement or wedding? Selecting a gift for someone can actually be a difficult task. Sometimes you might find a gift at one go but sometimes it may take hours before you could actually find one. ? What better way can you think of other than gifting your family and friends with gift basket. A Gift basket is the best way to portray your feelings to your family and friends.

Unique Candle Gift Basket

Unique Candle Gift can be one of the best gifts that you can present to your friends on any special occasion. Giving and getting candle gift is a wonderful gift and experience that one can have. Unique candle gift offers you many categories in candles which makes your gift a unique one. Unique candles gifts are available in scented as well as unscented forms. Thus a unique candle gift basket is a perfect gift not just to spread light but also spread out charming and delicate fragrance.

Wedding Gift Basket

Wedding Candle Gift basket is a unique gift and is beautifully designed so that it has a distinct attractive feeling. Candle is regarded as a sign of purity and truth. That’s the reason you light up your new life with wedding gift candle. Most of the wedding gift candles available are hand-made and each of them has a unique shape and design. This candle has yours and your partner's name engraved on it along with the date of your wedding.

Christmas Gift Basket

Christmas gift basket is one of the best ways through which you can express your feeling for your dear ones. Christmas gift baskets are uniquely designed for different consumer. You can get these candles in different categories and prices as you think it fit for your budget. Gifting candles in Christmas is one of the latest fashions, which is followed by many people.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Unique Bar Mitzvah Gift Ideas - Forget the $36 check; check out this Bar

Unique Bar Mitzvah gift ideas can easily turn out to be embarrassing, ostentatious, or just plain ridiculous. While Uncle Lenny may have the best intentions in mind when he buys you 18 acres on Mars (18 of course representing the Hebrew word Chai - or "life" - in the Jewish tradition), there are far better unique Bar Mitzvah gift ideas out there. Not all unique Bar Mitzvah gift ideas need to be sappy or silly. In fact, it can be fun, cute, and memorable to order up a personalized magazine cover for the newly minted 13 year old Jewish "adult." You can be funny and pose a photo of the young adolescent on the cover along with headlines which speak to his prowess in sports, fondness for Harry Potter books, love of astronomy or what have you. Indeed, you can shape his "magazine destiny" as it were any way you see fit. Turn him into a homerun slugger, a National Geographic explorer, a brilliant academician, or a glamorous Hollywood actor. You could also turn the tables and offer up the personalized magazine cover as a party favor to friends and relatives who make it to the Bar Mitzvah party. Be aware that you shouldn't make your magazine cover too embarrassing or revealing - some good-natured ribbing is fine, but be aware of the 13 year old's temperament and consult the parents if you think your humorous riffing may be headed "too far." In short, you can tune your magazine cover Bar Mitzvah gift idea to the mood of the occasion and create a fun, unique, family-oriented gift that's sure to be remembered and treasured - and hopefully displayed fondly for years to come. Thinking of abandoning your Chai check for a cool and classy personalized Bar Mitzvah magazine cover? Head to right now to get started.

Gift basket – A great way to give that perfect gift

Its party time for birthdays, functions and other occasions such as Christmas and you find it hard to find that perfect gift for your loved ones. In today’s world, when there is very little or no time to spend on deciding and making gift purchases,  gift baskets really help you with a single gift that includes all fine things.  Gift baskets are really awesome presents for anyone.

Gift baskets are usually based on themes such as traditional fruit baskets, baskets containing bath products or any other products tailored as per the taste of the recipient. Here, gift basket doesn’t means that there should be a basket but any container can be used as a gift basket with many small items. 

<b> Types of gift baskets </b>

<b> 1. </b> Pre made gift baskets that you can easily find on the shelf of the gift stores and are the easiest way to gift someone.

<b> 2. </b> Created in store gift baskets whereby you can shop or select the gift items of your choice from the store or online websites to be included in the gift basket. Later, these are arranged and wrapped by the employees for you.

<b> 3. </b> Home made gift baskets could be prepared by you where you can collect the entire gift items you want to give and wrap them as per your choice and manner.

Gift baskets help you when you are far off from your dear ones and wish to send them a token of your love and feelings for them. You can give a gift basket not only on special occasions but also whenever you feel to gift a symbol of your feelings. Whether you are husband looking out to gift your wife with a special gift on the eve of your anniversary or one who wish to gift your special friend on your first date. Even if you wish to gift your kids, relatives, friends, colleagues you can manage well with customized gift baskets.

If you are gifting to someone who loves music you can easily wrap a collection of music CD’s or else if it is one who loves games you can include game CD’s, puzzles and much more as per your choice. You can also give gift basket according to seasons for example, if it is winter season you can gift skin care and moisturizing products along with warm clothes and accessories that will surely make a great gift.  A gift basket indeed adds to your gift if it is beautifully decorated and designed.

To know more log on to <a href = “”> </a>

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What’s Love Got to do With it?

The following is an excerpt from the book The Culture Code by Clotaire Rapaille Published by Broadway Books; June 2006;$24.95US/$32.95CAN; 0-7679-2056-2 Copyright © 2006 Clotaire Rapaille I held imprinting sessions all over the country searching for the Code for love. During these sessions, I asked participants to focus on the word “love” without specifying whether I meant romantic love, parental love, sibling love, love of country, love of pets, or even love of a sports team. When I guided participants back to their first imprint though, a vast majority of them went to the same place. “My first experience with the word love, or related to love, was when I was four or five. In the kitchen, mother was preparing a cake, my favorite cake, a cheesecake. The smell was the smell of love. She opened the oven and I told her, ‘I love you!’ She closed the oven, came to give me a kiss, and told me, ‘I love you, too.’ Then she gave me a big portion of the cake and I knew she really meant it when she said, ‘I love you’.” -- 40-year-old man “Mother loved us so much, she cooked all Thanksgiving day. She was so happy to see her family all together again, around the table, eating . . . so much love around the table, so much food. We could not stop eating.” -- 36-year-old woman “When you are little, parents are there to care for and protect you. You have no care or worries. If something bad happens, your family is there for you. I miss this protection.” -- 58-year-old woman “The best way to describe my parents’ room is a nest. The carpet was light brown and the walls were blue. The bed was in the center of the room and had a huge white comforter. It was on this bed that I sat with my mother as a child and asked her about the world.” -- 21-year-old man “I remember lying in my mother’s lap in my early years. I remember talking with my mother and sharing caresses.” -- 65-year-old man Consistently, participants related their first experience of love to their mother’s care -- feeding them, holding them, making them feel safe. This is entirely understandable. After all, for nine months, our mothers provide us with the most perfect “resort hotel” imaginable. The room service is first-rate and available immediately upon demand, the space is neither too hot nor too cold, transportation is free, and there’s even a musical backdrop (her heartbeat) for entertainment. And even though we ultimately must leave this vacation paradise, our mothers are there for us to guide us through the transition, feeding us with their bodies, keeping us coddled and warm, taking us out to see the world, and providing numerous ways for us to occupy our time and delight in the act of learning. The nature of these responses was very consistent with the thinking of an adolescent culture. Adolescents, after all, flit from pressing for independence to acting like children throughout this period of their lives. When in the latter mode, they seek the succor (inwardly if not outwardly) of their mothers, the safe harbor provided by that all-encompassing love. Then there is the former mode, the mode that demands a rejection of home and the right to make one’s own mistakes. When I asked participants to recall their most powerful memories of love, different stories emerged. “I went to college. I was so happy. Free at last. But it did not go so well. First time I started drinking, I could not stop. Then I don’t know what happened next, I was so sick. None of the boys who were after me the night before were there to help me.” -- 50-year-old woman “I was 13 and I liked a boy but he liked someone else. This taught me a big lesson because I thought that I was prettier than her and she was fat, but I was spoiled and sometimes mean.” -- 24-year-old woman “My most powerful experience is when my parents decided to separate. I found out eavesdropping on their discussions late at night. Things were tense, but everyone wanted to be normal.” -- 37-year-old man “I have an image of a white beautiful horse and a blonde beautiful woman in a flowing crepe-like dress with a lush green forest and waterfall and a handsome man meeting and embracing her. I long to be that woman.” -- 38-year-old woman This was a different component of the adolescent experience: the part where experimentation leads to exhilaration and disappointment, to success and failure. The vast majority of these stories expressed some level of discomfort, of uneasiness with the events described, much in the way an adolescent describes experiences he doesn’t like and doesn’t understand. Remember, these stories were about the most powerful memory of love. Perhaps the most significant element of the adolescent experience, however, is the loss of innocence. There comes a point in every adolescent’s life when he realizes his ideals aren’t as gilded as they once seemed. This realization usually leads to new maturity and the acquisition of new coping tools. It also often comes, though, with a sense of disillusionment. When participants wrote of their most recent memory of love, they repeatedly told the story of lost ideals. “I know what boys want. They say they love you, but I know what they want.” -- A 35-year-old woman “I have three children from three different fathers who died in drive-by shootings. Before I die, I want once again to have a baby, to feed him, to love him, and to be loved unconditionally.” -- A 15-year old woman “I purchased a diamond for my girlfriend. I recall her taking it off in the car while we were arguing and I became infuriated. I took the ring and threw it out the window. I told her since it meant so little to her I threw it away.” -- 31-year-old man These three sets of stories -- the first imprint, the most powerful memory, and the most recent memory -- revealed a distinctly American pattern. Participants spoke repeatedly about the desire for love, the need for love, the belief in something called “True Love,” but they also spoke consistently about being disappointed in this quest. A very large percentage of the “most recent memory” stories spoke of loss, bitterness, and sadness. When it comes to love, Americans -- regardless of their ages -- view love the way an adolescent views the world: as an exciting dream that rarely reaches fulfillment. The American Culture Code for love is FALSE EXPECTATION. Without question, losing at love is an international experience. Even in cultures where marriages are arranged and courtship is rare, there are tales of forbidden love and the sad consequences when that love dies. In older cultures, though -- ones that passed through adolescence centuries ago -- the unconscious message about the expectations for love are very different. In France, the concepts of love and pleasure are intertwined. The French consider the notions of true love and “Mr. Right” irrelevant. The refinement of pleasure is paramount and romance is a highly sophisticated process. Love means helping your partner achieve as much pleasure as possible, even if this requires finding someone else to provide some of this pleasure. French couples can of course be devoted to one another, but their definition of devotion differs greatly from the American definition (fidelity, for instance, is not paramount) and their expectations are set accordingly. The Italians believe that life is a comedy rather than a tragedy and that one should laugh whenever possible. They expect love to contain strong dimensions of pleasure, beauty, and, above all, fun. If love becomes too dramatic or too hard, it is unsatisfying. The Italian culture centers very strongly on family and Italians put their mothers up on pedestals. To them, true love is maternal love. Therefore, their expectations for romantic love are lower. Men romance women, but seek true love from their mothers. Women believe that the best way to express and experience love is by becoming mothers. A man is “Mr. Right” as long as he provides a child. The Japanese offer perhaps the best illustration of the differences in attitudes toward love between an adolescent culture and an older culture. Japanese men and women often ask me to describe how westerners marry. I tell them that a young man meets a young woman (often one younger than he is himself) and they begin the process of getting to know one another. If he happens to fall deeply in love, the man will ask the woman to marry him, and if she loves him as well, she will say yes. (Obviously, it’s more complicated that this in practice, but I get the main points across this way.) Stunned expressions always meet this description. “The man is young?” the Japanese questioner will say. “If he is young, how can he possibly have enough experience to make a decision of this type? Only his parents can know what kind of marriage is appropriate for him and will allow him to raise the best family. And you say the woman is younger. That means she is even less experienced than he is!” They save their greatest contempt, though, for the notion that westerners marry for love. “Love is a temporary disease,” they tell me. “It is foolish to base something as important as the creation of a family on something so temporary.” This is still the prevalent sensibility in Japan today, even though the “content” of the Japanese culture has changed. While Japanese teens might date more often than their parents did and might spend more time meeting up at clubs, most marriages are still arranged, and few have anything to do with romance. While this all might sound terribly harsh to American ears, there is at least some logic in this sentiment. While nearly half of all American marriages end in divorce, the Japanese divorce rate is less than 2%. This is not to suggest that older cultures automatically have a clearer vision of the world. In fact, as you will see over the course of this book, there are many instances where the “adolescent” approach is the more effective one. When it comes to love, however, it is obvious that the American culture is currently in an uneasy place. A woman searches for “Mr. Right” because she believes the stories she reads in books or watches at the movies, finds someone she believes she can “change” into her ideal man, and disappointedly sees her efforts fail. A man searches for “Ms. Perfect” for many of the same reasons, finds a woman who excites him, believes it will stay this way forever, and becomes disappointed when motherhood takes her interests elsewhere. This quest for perfection is, of course, on Code -- our cultural unconscious compels us to have unrealistically high standards for love. However, as that 50% divorce rate indicates, the Code isn’t making our lives easier. Here is a case where an understanding of the Code can help those frustrated by love to go off Code in a productive manner. If you realize your unconscious expects you to fail, you can begin to look at love with more sensible goals. While understanding and respecting the tug to find “Mr. Right” or “Ms. Perfect,” one can look for someone who can be a partner, a friend, and a caring lover who can’t possibly fulfill all of one’s needs. A prominent diamond company deals with the Code in a distinctive fashion. One component of its marketing focuses on the “false expectations” the American subconscious feels about love: its ads feature couples using diamonds to profess their forever love or to confirm their commitment after years together. Another component of its marketing, however, deals with the consequences of false expectations in a clever manner: highlighting the investment and re-sale value of diamonds. Both campaigns are strongly on Code, addressing our undying belief in the permanence of romantic love and providing a useful benefit when that belief fails to pan out. Excerpted from The Culture Code by Clotaire Rapaille Copyright © 2006 by Clotaire Rapaille. Excerpted by permission of Broadway, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Author Dr. Clotaire Rapaille is the chairman of Archetype Discoveries Worldwide and has used this decoding approach for thirty years.. He is the personal adviser to ten high-ranking CEOs and is kept on retainer by fifty Fortune 100 companies. He has been profiled in many national media outlets, including 60 Minutes II and on the front page of the New York Times Sunday Styles section. He lives in Tuxedo Park, New York.

Gift Basket

The gift basket – such a smart idea! What could be better than a basket full of gifts? From the moment the first one was created, the idea took right off. Today, without much effort, it’s possible to find a gift basket for every occasion and for every theme imaginable.

A gift basket makes a great gift for several reasons. Topping the list is the fact that they are available in a wide range of prices so budget is never a consideration. They’re also the perfect gift idea for those who don’t have the luxury of being able to shop around. They come ready-made so all you need to do is deliver your special package. And speaking of delivery, many outlets that sell gift baskets can also ship them for you right to the lucky recipient, on time for the special occasion, for a nominal charge. That’s really convenient.

And unlike a gift card, which is really nothing more than a wad of money dressed up in a costume, a gift basket actually contains real gifts! They’re no longer just baskets full of specialty foods, although such baskets are still very popular. Today’s baskets overflow with useful items including everything from beach gear, car accessories, camping supplies, baby goods, sports memorabilia and everybody’s favorite, chocolates.

When you know what a person likes, shopping for a gift basket is easy. It’s one gift that truly is personal and that can easily be personalized. If you do have time to shop around and you do have a bit of decorative flair, you can even design one yourself.

You need an appropriate-sized basket, some rolled up newspaper to fill up the bottom, some material to cover up the newspaper, and then you need the gifts. When you select items for your gift basket, try to choose a variety of shapes and sizes. That way, you’ll be able to create a nice-looking arrangement. Enclose your gift basket in some clear or colored plastic wrap, tie them off with some ribbon and some bows, and you’re done!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Copyright 2006 Karen Fusco We've all gotta shop, but how we shop, and why we shop, varies. So what kind of shopper are you? And how can you translate your traditional habits into online options? The Browser. Ahh, window shopping! Sometimes the fun is in the process. You don't shop to buy -- you just enjoy the experience. You like to see what's out there, so when you do buy, it's just right. Online Tip: With online shopping you can browse to your heart's content, bookmark your favorite sites and revisit them whenever you want! The Power Shopper. Type A shopping all the way. You've made a list and checked it twice. You don't come home until the job is done. You know what you want and where to find it. Everyone else should just get out of your way. Online Tip: Take advantage of great sites that offer lots of options in multiple product areas, so you can meet all your shopping needs at once. Now that's a powerful prospect! The Good-Buy Gal. You had me at "On Sale". You're a bargain hunter. A deal finder. An owner of a $20 cashmere sweater. Sometimes you buy just because it's such a great bargain... even if you don't need it. But hey, sometimes the sale's the thing, right? Online Tip: Online shopping lets you shop by price! You can go a-hunting for the best prices on the Net! The Creative Shopper. So many great stores. So many interesting items just waiting to be discovered. You'll know when you've found just the right gift. That smile will brighten up your face. Success. Online Tip: Gift idea sites showcase unique and creative gifts from all corners of the Net! Just point, click and smile. The Tentative Shopper. This one. No, wait, that one. Wait, stop -- this one. Yeah, this one. Or that one. Maybe that one. Online Tip: We're afraid you are on your own for this one. You will likely be just as indecisive when you shop online as you are in a store. Good luck. Maybe see if you can befriend a Power Shopper! The Anxious Shopper. The mall. The crush of people all around. Panic begins to set in. How will you accomplish anything? Three deep breaths and start with your left foot. You can do it. Online Tip: Why suffer? All the shops are as close as your laptop. Relax, take your time and shop with ease from your favorite quiet corner! The Shopaholic. Shopping is more than a necessity, it's a way of life. You shop for fun; you shop for therapy. You shop. Period. Online Tip: You can assess all your options online. Browse by price, type, designer... you name it. Indulge every whim on the spot - and don't waste time on boring things like parking! The Grumbler. It's crowded; lines are long; people are rude. The fact is -- you'd rather go to the dentist. Online Tip: Here's our tip. Go online! Problem solved! Happy Shopping to all ... online or off!

Getting to Know More About the Newest Insect Control Innovation: Making Your Tailgate Party Insect-Free

Football equals Party, no other sport is so related to a party. Superbowl weekend attracts no American like any other sport event can. So its no wonder that many people don’t care if they don’t even get inside the stadium, having a tailgate party would be enough. A TV showing the action could spark the emotions in people just like watching the game itself. 

When you say tailgate party the first thing that comes to mind is football and beer. But anyone could do that. To make a party that everyone remembers is to make a party that’s a cut above the rest. The first thing to consider is having a party that’s extremely comfortable. That includes having a party that’s insect free.

Insects can be a nuisance when your having fun, its not enough that they're irritating, they have to get into the food.

There’s no other party spoiler as devastating as the invasion of insects. They get into the food and ruin everything else

This is a party buster that can ruin a heck of a good time.

There are certain measures that a good tailgate host can do to make a party error and pest free.

One of the most reliable insect control innovations is having the electronic insect zapper. They emit a sound and light that’s attuned to the insects and diverts its attention to the device and away from the party.

Usually, this is battery powered and emits a light that’s virtually extremely attractive to insects. Once they get near, they get zapped with a small electrical discharge that eliminates the insects and pests.

There are also some innovative scientific insect control gadgets that rely on sound waves that deflect the incoming wave of ants. Ants can be the bane of any outdoor party. Just leave a dish uncovered and you could find a swarm of ants covering it.

Fight fire with fire. Innovative small spurting canisters emit controlled fire to eliminate pests and insects. Take out your mini tank and extinguish the insects and pests that can eventually ruin your party.  Just do this before your guests arrive.

But most importantly, keep your food properly enclosed. Closing it eliminates the escape of scent, which attracts the insects and pests. If they don’t know there’s a treat for them, they wont bother you. Prevention is still the best control over pests and insects.

The next time you plan a party or picnic, make use of odor-free, no leakage food containers. Also keep that insect at a distance and away from the food.   Don’t let your parties ruined by a bunch of insects.

The internet is still your best source for the newest insect control innovation.

Monday, February 15, 2010

When A Family Member Stuggles With Fear And Anxiety

Do you have a family member who struggles with fear and anxiety? It can be difficult to sit by and watch the person you love struggle while you are unable to do anything. Enclosed is a list of things that you can do to help the person overcome his or her own battle with anxiety and fear. The first thing you need to do is to get the person to seek the services of a professional and/or counselor who can lead them in the right direction and give them the help they need. Even if they disagree, getting help is the first step in getting better. Be understanding and patient with the person struggling with their fears. Dealing with depression and anxiety can be difficult for the person. Do not add more problems than what is already there. Learn as much as you can in managing anxiety and depression. There are many books and information that will educate you on how to deal with fear and anxiety. Share this information with the person who is struggling. Education is the key in finding the answers your looking for in managing your fears. The person struggling with the anxiety must realize that managing anxiety and fear takes practice. So when experiencing an anxiety related situation, begin to learn what works, what doesn’t work, and what you need to improve on in managing your fears and anxieties. As you do this, you will become better in dealing with your anxieties. Remember that there is hope. Eventually you or the person who is struggling will eventually get better. Give it some time and be persistent in finding the answers that will help the person. As a Layman, I realize it is not easy to deal with fear and anxiety. When a family member struggles with fear and anxiety, get them to seek help from a professional. The key is to be patient, take it slow, and not to give up. In time, you will be able to find those resources that will help them with their problems.

Getting The Most Bang Out Of Your Party Planning Buck

Throwing a party can be such a fun adventure. You envision a room filled with happy, smiling guests all complimenting you on the food and the drinks. The only thing standing between you and making that fantasy a Throwing a party can be such a fun adventure. You envision a room filled with happy, smiling guests all complimenting you on the food and the drinks. The only thing standing between you and making that fantasy a reality is your budget.

You may be having champagne dreams while your bank account can only shoulder soft drink essentials. There are ways to incorporate any budget into your event planning and still come out with a party to be proud of.

One of the first tricks to cut cost may be in the time of day you have your event. If you are hosting something like a birthday party or a wedding or baby shower, choosing to have it in the early afternoon has many benefits when it comes to your pocketbook. While you are in the event planning stage, consider the difference in cost when you are only supplying light beverages and small snacks as opposed to a full bar and an entire dinner. The money saved would be noticeable.

Most people don't indulge in alcoholic beverages in the early afternoon, so you could instead serve a punch or coffee or iced tea. This is very refreshing and along with some small snacks and perhaps a tray of assorted sweet tooth delights, you've offered your guests refreshment without the added cost that an event later in the day requires.

Another consideration when event planning is whether or not you need the services of a caterer. Caterers can be invaluable, especially when you are hosting an event of a significant size. If however, your guest list isn't as vast, doing much of the menu planning and cooking yourself can save more than a few pennies.

Perhaps the best money saving technique when it comes to the area of food is to host a potluck event. This idea can be included as part of your event planning process. You plan the party or gathering based on the idea that every guest will supply an item of food or drink. Some many bring a main course or a salad while others will bring a bottle of wine. Once everyone has arrived there is an enormous amount of different food to sample. This is a great way to include the guests in the party planning process and they feel good knowing they've contributed.

Food isn't the only area that you can scrimp and save in. If you are hosting a children's birthday party you can ask a friend or relative to dress up as a clown instead of hiring a clown. There are many adults who love to interact with children and the only payment they'd expect would be a room full of young smiles and a slice of birthday cake. Decorations also don't have to break your budget. If you're hosting a garden party, you can create beautiful, soft lighting by hanging the white lights that normally adorn your holiday tree around your garden. Your guests won't be the wiser, but you will for having opted not to invest in a new set of lights you probably will never use again.

Careful thought while you are event planning can save you money and let you enjoy your party without fretting about finances.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Getting Help For A Family Member Who Struggles With Fear And Anxiety

It is not easy to watch a family member or relative struggle with fear and anxiety. The first step is that you should get him or her to talk to a professional who can get them started in the right path of getting better. Getting professional help for their fears and anxiety is very important. In addition, here are some techniques a person can use to help manage their fears and anxieties.

Learn to take it one day at a time. Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week or coming month, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your problems. Focus on the present and stop trying to predict what may happen next week. Next week will take care of itself.

A good way to manage your fear is to challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking. When encountering thoughts that make your fearful or anxious, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense.

Sometimes, we may be nervous doing a certain task that may be scary. When this happens, visualize yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you and your team have to play in the championship hockey game in front of a large group of people in the next few days. Before the big day comes, imagine yourself playing the game in your mind. Imagine that your playing in front of a large audience. By playing the game in your mind, you will be better prepared to perform for real when the time comes. Self Visualization is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of a coming situation.

Remember that there is one power that is stronger than your fears and that is the power of God. A person does not have to be religious to use the power of God. When the going gets tough, talk to God about your problems as if you were talking to a friend. Review the Bible and pray hard. Be persistent and be open in the avenues that God may provide to you in solving your problem. It is not always easy, however God is in control and he will help you if you ask him.

As a Layman, I realize it is not easy to deal with all of our fears, however there are all kinds of help available. The key is to be patient and not to give up. In time, you will be able to find those resources that will help you with your problems.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Water purification units - Every home needs one

If you had to take a sample of the water that we drink ever day then you would probably be absolutely horrified at the contaminants that we put into our bodies every day. This is over and above the unhealthy food and drinks that we consume at every opportunity. Water is supposed to be the way in which we flush those contaminants out of our bodies, but all the water we are drinking now is doing is adding to the pollutants in our bodies. There is a remedy for this situation though; there are a variety of water filtration devices available these days. These devices perform a variety of different functions and there is enough of a variety for all needs and budgets to be catered for. You will need to do a little research in order to determine the optimal unit for you and your home. There are certain questions that you will need to answer in order to ensure that you obtain the best water filtration unit for your needs. Some of these questions include: What type of water am I currently being supplied with? Where am I planning to use the water filtration unit? What sort of budget do I have for this unit? How much water do I and/or the household currently use? What types of contaminants are most prevalent in my water? What does the filtration unit do? These are only some queries that you may need to consider when evaluating water filtrations units. These units are investments in your health and the health of your family so you will need to determine which factors have priority for you. Filtered water will provide with the water that will do the multiple jobs that water is supposed to do. The filtered water will hydrate you and help to regulate your internal functions. The filtered water will also help to flush out impurities that accumulate within the body. Some units are designed to go outside the house, for instance Garden Water Filters that are intended to be used in the garden to help eliminate chlorine and the harmful effects that it has on your garden. The Ultraviolet sterilizer is also for use outside, in your pond. The sterilizer is intended to kill harmful bacteria that can harm the fish in your pond. The majority of units are intended for use indoors, they are utilized to provide clean, healthy water for drinking and cooking with. There are different units that provide different levels of filtration, but all of them provide you with water that is far more beneficial and healthy than the water that you would normally get from a tap. There is a countertop water filter that can be moved around from room to room depending on where you need it; it uses carbon to filter out the contaminants. The whole house filter provides filtered water throughout the house for cooking, drinking and cleaning. Water distillers eliminate biological contaminants and vastly diminish chemical contaminants from the water that you receive. Water ionization units not only filter the water through carbon, they also put the water through an ionization process to produce healthy, alkaline water. Reverse Osmosis systems filter the water through a membrane that only allows water molecules through and no large compounds. The water magnets are used on the exterior of pipes and appliances to eliminate the scale buildup on the inside of the pipe or appliance and to prolong the life of the appliance.

Tips for Protecting Children from Predators

The sheer horror of imagining your son or daughter being victimized by a child predator is enough to for any parent to break out into a cold sweat. Whenever we hear of a child who has gone missing, our hearts go out to the parents and we hug our own children ever more tightly. Yet, even though we think it could never happen to us, statistics tell a much different story. Despite the efforts of parents, law enforcement agencies, and organizations in protecting children, the FBI National Crime Information Center reports that, in 2006, there were over 660,000 missing children in the U.S. Those numbers are alarming, and even more so when we realize that there are steps each of us can take to reduce lost and missing children, to reduce runaway children, and to protect children from predators. Here are three tips to guide you in protecting your children. 1. Missing child prevention. The key to protecting children is prevention. The first step you can take is to educate yourself and gather information that will help keep your family safe. There are companies and organizations that can provide you with valuable information about child safety, and that will give you a way to talk to your children about this important issue. After all, the concept of "stranger danger" is far too abstract for most children. They don't understand that child predators are most often friendly men who look as normal as neighbors or family friends. Talking to children about predators feels like walking a tightrope; it helps to have supporting materials to guide you through the process. 2. Beware of the Internet. If you've ever watched Dateline NBC's "To Catch a Predator," you've felt that chill go down your spine as hordes of predators descend upon the target house. Your stomach has churned as you hear the transcripts of their Internet chats with adults posing as 13- or 14-year-olds. You've listened to their rationalizations and protestations, and you've probably thanked your lucky stars that your children haven't been victimized. Unfortunately, Internet predators aren't going away, and while the Web has volumes of useful information, it can also be a dangerous presence lurking in your home. It's important to be vigilant, so use parental controls, keep the computer in the family room so you can keep tabs on kids' usage, and check the Web browser's history every day to ensure that you know the sites your children visit. 3. Prepare for the worst. Unfortunately, the unthinkable can happen, so it's worth your while to prepare for the worst. Although many law enforcement agencies will fingerprint your children, and some companies will collect DNA samples, those are only useful for identification purposes once bodies are found. If your child is taken, it's critical to immediately disseminate information to law enforcement agencies, and to find your child before it's too late. Fortunately, there are companies committed to protecting children that offer comprehensive child protection programs for a very low fee. By taking advantage of their services before disaster strikes, you can help ensure that your child will be found quickly. The best companies store videos and photos of your child, and if you report your child missing, they will distribute color posters, videos, and information to thousands of agencies nationwide. They also provide services ranging from posting a sizeable reward and paying all expenses for a professional private investigator. When you consider what you pay for car insurance or house insurance, the cost of protecting your children is miniscule and can give you priceless peace of mind.

Getting Ready for a Mobility Scooter

Mobility scooters are used by many people who have difficulty walking. They can greatly increase your ability to independently and freely move around. With all the many types and models of mobility scooters available on the market today, it is a good idea to have an idea of what you need and expect from your mobility scooter before you buy it.

One of the most important considerations is where you intend to use your mobility scooter. Do you only need it indoors? Are you planning on using it outdoors over rough terrain? Most mobility scooters can be used both indoors and out, but some are better suited for the outdoors then others. A 4-wheel mobility scooter is typically better for outdoors. It is more stable than a 3-wheel scooter and it is also better suited to handle rough terrain. 3-wheel scooters are better for indoor use though, because they have a much smaller turning radius, which makes it easier to navigate tight corners.

Another consideration is whether you intend to take your mobility scooter away from the home. If you plan on traveling frequently then a travel scooter may be a good choice. Travel scooters have less features than a traditional mobility scooter, but they can quickly and easily be disassembled into several easy to manage pieces. They fit easily into the trunk of a car and can be placed on a plane easily. If you do not have a travel scooter, then you will likely need to buy some sort of vehicle scooter carrier. There are several types of scooter carriers. External scooter carriers attach to a vehicles hitch. Internal scooter carriers either use a winch system to lift it into the car or use a small platform that extends from the back of the car. A third option for scooter transport is a vehicle ramp, which allows you to drive the scooter straight into the vehicle.

The safety features of the mobility scooter should also be considered. If you intend to use it frequently outdoors, then it is a good idea to purchase a scooter that has an adequate set of lights. This includes blinkers, headlights, and running lights. There are two different types of scooter tires available as well. Solid foam filled tires are great because they never need to be filled with air and are puncture proof. They do not provide as good of a ride as air filled tires, which also can be adjusted to accommodate different terrains.

By thoroughly analyzing your needs before you begin shopping, you will be able to better select a mobility scooter.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Get Your Joke Pass For Free!!

Laughter and humor are necessities in life. We need to have a release for all the pressure that comes our way and nothing is better at helping us keep our equilibrium than jokes and funny stories, just like at

Bill Cosby once said, “If you can find humor in anything, you can survive it.” Instead of getting angry and growing old and wrinkled before your time, why not find the humor in your situation and share your real-life funny situation forum. Let’s face it: life is unfair! Society should let men wear heels too! Until it happens, just smile and let your funny bone get exercised.

At, we believe that the saying “laughter is the best medicine is absolutely true. So we set out to give you a place where you can find at least one thing to make you giggle and lighten your day. We aim to get those cheeks rosy and have your heart pumping and wipe those years away.

Just imagine, with, you won’t need surgery to look younger and be healthier. All you need to do is laugh! Your laughter will automatically make your body increase production of those natural killer cells that destroy tumors and viruses. Those ho-ho’s and ha-ha’s can increase the T-cells so important to our immune system and B-cells needed to make disease fighting antibodies. Laughing actually increases oxygen in the blood, lowers the blood pressure and encourages healing.

Can you name any medicine that can heal hearts and souls, not just the body? Laughter can. It can help bring families and friends closer together and can make the heaviest loads light. A chuckle or two can make the day fly faster when you’re stuck doing a really boring task. Look at the men in the Pike Market. They have so much fun, the FISH philosophy was born.

You don’t need to throw fish around to get started. All you need to do is visit Joke Pass and find a joke that tickles your funny bone. Try to guess the answer to one of the riddles or watch some of the member’s favorite funny videos. There’s always something funny going on over here.

Have you been looking for a place to share your puns? Then you’ve found a home! Be “punny”, be funny, feel free to share. The more laughter we generate around the world the better. Old joke, new joke, blonde jokes, knock-knock jokes…send them our way.

Let’s get serious for a moment. We can go around being grim and gritting our teeth and just trying to get through the day. Uh! Boring! Put some color in your life. Be a little silly. Lighten up, dude! One of the best ways to get a grip on your life is through humor. We know life is tough and it isn’t easy. Come over and take 5 with us. Joke Pass will help you get back to work with a lighter feeling and more smiles.

Make the time for laughter. Let us help add humor to your day. Spend some time at and get your belly aching (and your ab muscles working) with laughter.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

They're Fighting For You The AARP

The American Association of Retired Persons, the AARP, is America's leading non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people aged 50 and older. It has over 35 million members, 40,000 of whom live outside the US. Members do not have to be retired; in fact, 40 percent of them work full or part time. Membership is open to anyone 50 or older, and with 25 percent of the American population in this age bracket, nearly half of all people in this group have memberships. The median age of AARP members is 65, and slightly more than half are female. In its mission statement, the organzition says that it is "dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all as we age. We lead positive social change and deliver value to members through information, advocacy and service." The AARP provides information bulletins about news relevent to the older population, acts as a lobby group to advance their interests, promotes community involvement by its members, and offers its members a wide range of products and services such as health insurance. The AARP was founded in 1958 by retired high school principal Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. The AARP grew out of the National Retired Teachers Association, which Dr. Andrus had established in 1947 to promote her philosophy of productive aging and to offer health insurance to retired teachers. In that era, health insurance was virtually unavailable to older Americans, since few private insurers would accept these high-risk clients and the American government had not yet established Medicare, which was only enacted in 1965. This association of retired teachers grew to offer membership benefits to all retired citizens. It is now a world-wide organization with headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland and Washington, D.C., local offices in every state, and over 2,500 local chapters. AARP has 2 affiliated groups. One is the AARP Foundation, which is a charity that runs social programs to help people 50 and older, and also supports AARP Foundation Litigation, a national group focusing on legal issues affecting older Americans. The second is AARP Services, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AARP which provides members with products and services such as medical, automobile, home and life insurance, discounts on prescriptions and prescription eyewear, and a travel discount program. Source of Funds AARP receives income from memberships, advertising revenue from its publications, royalty fees from companies providing AARP-endorsed products, and extra fees from member programs. Publications AARP members receive bimonthly the "AARP Magazine" and also the "AARP Bulletin" printed 11 times per year. AARP also publishes "Segunda Juventud", a quarterly Spanish-English newspaper targeting the Hispanic community. The AARP website also offers information on a wide range of topics. AARP also produces "Prime Time Radio", a weekly interview program focusing on the interests of mature people, and the daily "Mature Focus Radio" which has brief discussions on various topics. AARP's Public Policy Institute researches international issues affecting aging and uses the results of these studies to help draft public policy recommendations. The AARP as Lobby Group The AARP has been an effective force in causing the government to become more aware of the interests of the older population. They undertake litigation in cases of age discrimination, pensions, health care, economic security and consumer issues. AARP volunteers often appear before the US congress to testify about the effects of government policies on the elderly. At a local level, the AARP trains volunteers in how to deal with government officials. Though non-partisan, the AARP keeps its members informed on each party's stand on issues affecting older Americans. AARP representatives also participate in international conferences on aging.

The truth about thread counts!

A generation ago, no home maker worried about thread counts! Thread counts have become one of the deciding factors for many people when they're buying bed linens today though. The truth about thread counts may seem a bit difficult to understand. It doesn't have to! More than just the thread count affects how bedding feels and how comfortable you will be when sleeping with it on your bed. Let's check into this alittle bit. Then you can make informed decisions about your bedding when you're ready to purchase again. Our grandparents and parents slept on lower thread count cotton sheets and did just fine, right? These sheets were serviceable, but could feel abit thin and unsubstantial by our standards these days. Today, bed linens can be found from a lowly 120 thread count up to as high as 1200. Who knows, maybe even higher soon! Is all this talk about thread counts much ado about nothing? Well, the answer is yes and no. Thread count alone will not tell you how bedding will feel to the touch or how well it will hold up over long years of use. The feel of bedding, what the sheets feel like on your skin, is known as "hand" or "handle". The hand of the bedding does have something to do with thread count, but that's not the only factor. The way the bedding is woven and the content of the fabric have a lot to do with the hand of the bedding. The character, or individuality of a material includes how the fabric drapes, the elasticity, softness and fineness of how that particular sheet feels. The ply is a factor that defines the number of single yards which are twisted to become the ply yard from which the bedding is woven. By twisting these single yards together to form the ply yard, the fabric is more resilient and long lasting. The ply yarns are twisted together to form cord- and the cord is the actual material used in the weaving process. Finish is another characteristic of bedding which affects how it will feel to the skin. Percale is a plain weave of cotton or polyester/cotton blended yarns. This finish usually uses a higher thread count and a finer yarn. Sateen is another finish for cotton fabric that is woven in such as way that the surface is smooth and lustrous, reminding us of satin. Flannel is a brushed fiber finish which is quite warm, soft and cuddly- it can be created from 100% cotton fibers or a polyester/cotton blend. Now that we know a bit about what makes one sheet different from another sheet, let's get the facts go back to the facts about thread count. The actual definition of thread count is the number of threads per square inch of fabric going horizontal and vertical. Generally speaking, the higher thread count materials will have softer textures- or hands. However, the bedding has to be viewed from an overall standpoint and take into account the fabric composition and the finish to determine how soft a sheet will actually be. The most favored thread counts in bed linens today are in the 200 to 600 range. The best combination of softness and durability are found in this range. However, a 200 thread count cotton sheet woven with a sateen finish can be softer and more luxurious feeling than a 400 or 600 count sheet of standard cotton in a plain weave. Egyptian cotton, which has a longer fiber than other cottons, when woven into a 200 thread count sateen finish sheet may feel more luxurious and softer than either of the other choices. Single ply sheets of top quality cotton may feel more luxurious than double ply sheets. The only real means of rating how a sheet will feel to you is to touch it. Look for what features are most important to you when selecting your next set of bed linens. If you want few or no wrinkles, choose a polyester/cotton blend. Less crisp, less cool than cotton. If you like the feel of satin or silk, but don't like sliding off the bed, choose a 100% cotton sateen weave. =) If you like the extra warm feel of flannel, select brushed cotton or flannel finish- but be aware that this weave often pills quickly after only a few washings. (Look for the highest ounce weight fabric you can find to minimize this). Percale often softens more and more as it is washed again and again. Simple, elegant, cool. Egyptian cotton is King, with the longest cotton fibers available to date. Supima cotton is also excellent, with a tiny bit shorter fiber length. Either of them becomes softer and even more sumptuous with each washing! You can't go wrong no matter what with either. It's important to choose bed linens that you find feel good to you rather than select based on some designer theory of thread count. So, don't be taken in by a high price tag. Just because a sheet costs a lot doesn't necessarily mean it will feel any better than a less expensive sheet.

Get The Help You Need With Fund Raising Ideas

There are many fund raising ideas on the market today for anyone that is looking for them. Fund raising ideas are easy to come up with and are very successful in some cases. Before you start on fund raising there are a few things to do to make it as good as it can be, such as selecting a good leader. This should be someone who is use to organizing and basically used to telling people what they have to do. When fundraising, make sure you have as many volunteers as you can get in all areas that you will need them such as handling the money, setting up tables, advertising, selling the goods, and the all important clean up.

Your fund raising program should be full of ideas that will attract people to come and purchase your goods such as a bake sale. If a bake sale is one of your fundraising ideas, be sure to specify how much and what kind is needed. This will ensure that you don’t end up with a pile of the same product. Bake sales are a tried and true fund raising event and it is one of the most popular fundraising ideas. With all of the baked goods being donated by the congregation of a church it is an excellent moneymaker.

You will also find a craft sale makes a wonderful fundraiser, especially near any holiday. Christmas is often the time when you find craft sales as popular fundraising ideas. Everyone loves something homemade as decorations and to give as gifts. Fund raising programs are fun in themselves. as it gives everyone the opportunity to do something for their church or school and at the same time visit with their neighbors.

Another fun fundraising program would be a candle sale where all the congregation of a church would make candles and decorate them. Fundraising ideas for selling candles could include putting different scents in them and sellling them at a candle sale. All of us love candles and they are not hard or expensive to make.

So go ahead and get your fundraising program in place you will be amazed at how eager people will be to help and the support you will get from the people that want to give to your cause whether it is for a church, school, band or for charity you will not go wrong if it is organized right. Why not have a fundraising ideas party, where you ask people to brainstorm a list of ideas that could help you make money?

Need some fund raising ideas? There’s lots out there.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Two Can Live More Cheaply Than One ~ Consider a Roommate

If living expenses are eating up your budget, one of the most popular solutions is to find one or more roommates to share them. Rent for a multiple-bedroom apartment is usually not significantly higher than that of a single bedroom or studio unit. So actually, with a roommate to share the expenses, you’re able to live much more cheaply. There are many places where you can find people who are also looking for roommates. Check the classified section of your newspaper and with acquaintances. Post a notice at your church, at work, or, if you’re a college student, on a bulletin board at school. There are also several websites which focus on finding roommates and living accommodations. Choose Your Roommate Wisely . . . You must keep in mind that you’ll be living closely with this person (or persons) so there are several things you should consider when choosing your roommate: • Make sure that your schedules and interests will compliment each other. If you like a quiet life and your roommate loves to invite people in for impromptu parties, it’s probably not a good mix. • How you live is another issue that should be considered. If you’re a neat freak and your prospective roommate is a slob, there will be problems. • If you’re a pet owner it’s important to find someone who shares your love for animals. • Be sure and specify whether you wish to room with a smoker or non-smoker. • If you plan to share shopping and cooking responsibilities choose a person who likes the same types of foods you do. These are just a few of the issues that must be resolved if you intend to live in harmony with other people. Take the time to get to know a little about the person with whom you intend to share a home. It will prevent a lot of difficulty later. Agree On the Rules From the Start . . . 1. Choosing a location: If you have already chosen a roommate, or roommates, and are looking for an apartment, be sure you only consider locations that are convenient for all of you. 2. All roommates should be included on the lease. This will prevent anyone being left “holding the bag” if one of the roommates decides to make other living arrangements. 3. Decide how the bills will be divided. How the rent, utilities, phone bills, etc., will be divided is extremely important. While heat, water and electricity are usually divided equally, other bills can be divided according to usage. For example, if one roommate has a larger bedroom and a private bath, while the others share a communal bath and have smaller rooms, this should be taken into account when determining what percentage each pays for rent. And, while the basic cost of the phone bill should be shared by all who use it, personal toll calls should be the responsibility of whoever made them. If there are Internet and cable bills, you can hardly expect someone who doesn’t use a computer at home to share the Internet charges. Be sure and put all of these arrangements in writing so there is no question or dispute later. It’s a very good idea for each roommate to set up one of the utility accounts (electricity, gas, etc.) in his/her name. 4. Decide how housekeeping chores will be divided and put it in writing. While this may seem like a lot to worry about, you and your roommates will get along better if everyone knows what’s expected from the start. Take the time to iron these things out at the beginning to prevent later dissension and hard feelings ~ you’ll have a much greater chance of living together happily and harmoniously if you do.