Monday, September 3, 2012

Managing your time to eliminate your stressful load

Mrs. Meredith Baxter, a sales manager in Sacramento, California is one stressed-out mom.  On top of that, she suffers from what is called the “working-mom guilt syndrome.”  She is always on client calls, overseeing a dozen sales agents.  Her weekends are spent either doing household chores, running errands, or doing the laundry.  Her three children have already grown distant.  The husband, for his part, says they find her behavior similar to Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street.  They don't want to be near her because she was always ill-tempered or irritable.

But Mrs. Baxter is not a rare woman.  In fact, she is a portrait of a 21st century working woman who has stepped forward... leaving behind the days when women were seen as “lovely, domesticated creatures.”  She is definitely not the the “plain housewife” of the 50s or 60s. 

Today, there are many women who have proved themselves in the field of education.  After earning their degrees, they went ahead to make a mark for themselves in business and in other fields of endeavor. 

For Meredith, the stress and anxiety of juggling three roles: as a wife, mother, and career woman --- has just been too hard.   But in her desire to remain competitive at work and dutiful as a mother and spouse, she still tries to find a solution to her dilemma.

According to time management experts and professional organizers, we allow all sorts of time wasters to creep into our day. These interruptions include non-essential phone calls or being disorganized about things, which eventually cause us to lose time during that often frantic search.  The experts also pointed out these time-saving tips that every busy woman should consider:

GET ORGANIZED AND STOP MISPLACING THINGS -  Keep your cell phone, purse, and keys near you or inside your office bag so you won't need to do that 15-minute search every single morning.

CONTROL TIME WASTERS- Interruptions like the phone can be a real time drain. Those few minutes that you keep on the phone can add up to a lot of lost time.  Free yourselves from this “communications slavery.”   Use an answering machine and then turn off the ring tone of your mobile phone. Try to settle for a vibrate tone when you are working.  Pick up and check your missed calls only during breaks or when you have completed most of your tasks.

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR INBOX - Email is one of the most important things in 21st century living.   . But this handy-dandy technology can be a great time waster if those endless “Spam” mails keep coming in.  Think of those precious minutes wasted every time you sort through unwanted or unimportant mail. Turn on the spam filter of your e-mail account.  Tell your friends that you don't want junk mail. Answer and discard email as quickly as possible.

TAME YOUR SNAIL MAIL – Sort it out, get it over with, and don't allow your mail to pile up. Throw junk mail instantly. Put in a designated place and do away with paper clutter.

SIMPLIFY – Take a few minutes to review your projects and tasks. Make a priority list. See if can cut corners.  Know what is essential and your main goal.  Don't do 10 goals that will drive you crazy. Simplify your commitments and learn to say “NO”.   Also simplify how you use and get information from the Internet, newspapers, magazines or the T.V.  Practice the art of multi-tasking while waiting for your son to come home from school.  While your child is away, write personal letters or balance your checkbook. Schedule your errands for the week like every Friday or Saturday.

If you find yourself at home or on your own, resist the urge to rush things as if there is no tomorrow. Spend as much quality time with your spouse and children. Resist spending your weekends just doing house work.  Take time to meditate and best of all take time to pray. And yes...with those helpful tips you can beat the clock.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Man's Best Friend & Separation Anxiety

Our homes are almost never complete if we do not have something to cheer us up.  Aside from our children and our personal hobbies, the one thing that gives us great pleasure whenever we are at home is our pet --- which is usually a dog.

The dog is considered man's best friend and ranks first place as the most beloved animal on the face of the planet. No other animal has received as much love and care from humans. The dog is also one of the most exposed animals on t.v. and in the movie screen.  Who could forget the animal adventure classics like Rin Tin Tin and Lassie? 

Dogs are domesticated, carnivorous mammals related to foxes and wolves.  Some of the most common breeds of dogs today are the following: Doberman, German Shepherd, Bulldog, Poodle, Chihuahua, among others.

Dogs are very loyal pets. Books, poems, and songs have been written to immortalize the unique  relationship between dogs and humans.  To this day, no other animal can match the qualities of the dog as a devoted companion and friend.

No wonder, thousands if not millions of people can be considered as true-blue dog lovers.  Aside from having a loyal “sidekick,” many people keep dogs as pets because they see the hairy, cuddly animal as a “walking, breathing stress relief system.”   Dogs help cheer us up especially when we get home from work.  Dog owners usually find their pet happily wagging its tail, ready with a loud bark to greet the master. 

Dog Separation Anxiety

By nature, dogs are social animals. They enjoy the interaction with their human masters. Because of this deep attachment, dog owners sometimes have problems with their dogs.  One of the most common dog-related problems is called Dog Separation Anxiety.

Dogs are a pack animals. They don't want to be left alone. Some dogs will simply can't wait for you to come back home. Most dogs desperately try to get your attention by barking incessantly. Typically, your  dog would pace, whine, chew, and even scratch the door whenever you fail to go home at the time it was used to seeing you enter the gate. Whenever you leave your dog for long periods of time, it may be possible that it would suffer from separation anxiety.

What to do when your dog has separation anxiety?

If you suspect that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, it might be wise to consider the following tips and suggestions:

l    Don't be so melodramatic when  you are leaving the house. Make any departures and arrivals low-key.

l    Show him whose the “master” of the house. You put every action you make in your own terms such as playing with him.

l    Discourage your dog from being so attached to you. Be aloof when greeted upon arriving home.

l    Maintain your distance. Do not allow the dog to settle down in close proximity. Give you and your dog some space. Do not call him and leave him here he is. It might be hard for you but it must be done.

l    Train him as much as possible.

l    Give your dog a special treat or a reward when he shows good behavior while you are gone.

l    Another alternative: Leave the radio or TV on while you make an errand. This will make your   dog think that it is not home alone.

l    Do not punish your dog.  Dog have fears and can also experience anxiety. The thought of being abandoned really scares them.

l    Invest in dog toys. It will keep your dog preoccupied or busy while you are away.

Indeed,  dogs have become part of our family and indispensable to having a fun and enjoyable home life.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Maltese Magic

Copyright 2006 Cari Haus

When our son announced that he was moving back home to further his education, and that he was bringing P.J., his Maltese with him, my husband and I were somewhat apprehensive to say the least.  First of all, we had never even seen a Maltese, and weren't entirely sure that we even wanted to.  Secondly, we thoroughly enjoyed our life as it was with the flexibility of coming and going whenever we wanted to.  We also enjoyed the fact that we could have quiet time or go out for entertainment if and when we desired.

We knew things would change somewhat just by having our son home again, but between his working full time and going to school, we weren't expecting to see much of him.  So, what about the dog?  If we didn't see much of our son, neither would the dog see much of our son, which meant that my husband and I were soon to become a "threesome".  We decided we would tolerate the situation, knowing it was only temporary, but we were both already longing for assurance that we would have our previous flexible life back real soon.

Moving day soon arrived, and as the furniture and boxes were being moved in to the house, this inquisitive little fuzzy white dog with huge black eyes suddenly appeared, bounding in the door.  She didn't even acknowlege the fact that my husband and I were sitting on the couch, and instead began scurrying from room to room as if taking inventory of everything in site.  She displayed absolutely no fear and one would never have suspected that this was her first trip to a house belonging to virtual strangers.  When she completed her investigation, it was as if she gave everything her stamp of approval, jumped up into my lap, curled up, and promptly went to sleep.  Little did I know that this was just the beginning of many curling up in the lap sessions.

That day, which was a little over three years ago, has certainly changed our lives, to say the least.  Our car now has a doggie car seat prominately displayed in the backseat, and the car seldom leaves the driveway without P.J. happily perched inside.  Our once orderly living room now has a large basket sitting there to hold the numerous dog toys and rawhide chews which are instead always scattered all over the house.  There's no such thing as an empty lap.  P.J. not only thinks that all laps are "created equal", but also that all laps are created for her.  Both my husband and myself often find ourselves having complete conversations with....the dog.  She'll attentively sit there with her ears perked up listening to every word.  She also loves to perch up on the back of the sofa and proudly announce the arrival of every bird, squirrel, dog, or person that does or does not come up to the door.

Yes, our lives have certainly changed.  We no longer have the flexibility of coming and going whenever we want to.  Our quiet haven is no more.  In exchange we now have an adorable whimsical little companion who excitedly barks and wags her tail anytime either of us walks through the door.  Our entertainment now consists of taking P.J. to the park or playing fetch, and our quiet time is holding this little ball of fur while she naps.

Our son has completed his schooling and is now moving on to a new phase of his life, but leaving P.J. with us.  We of course are thrilled with this arrangement, and actually couldn't imagine life without P.J. anymore.  She has truly stolen our hearts with her Maltese Magic.

Making Your House a Home! Part 2

Copyright 2006 Melissa Galt

Your decorating isn’t complete until you add the finish and polish on your rooms. In part 1 of this series, we touched on ideas and sources for some wonderful window treatments, awesome accessories and collectibles. In this second and final part, we’ll address how to incorporate delightful artwork to add personality and character to your interior.

When it comes to artwork, original is usually preferred.  Sure it is easy to find a mass produced print that will coordinate with your decor but that lacks inspiration and creativity.  Besides, good art never matches your sofa!  Consider the myriad of galleries specializing in local artists’ work or even regional Southern artists.  All manner of styles, subject matter and price points ($25 - $5000+) are readily available. There is never a guarantee of increase in value in art, and it tends to be difficult to sell second hand, so purchase from your heart, not your wallet. Most galleries (the better ones) will let you check out pieces for 24-48 hours on approval.  This makes decisions much easier, so always ask.

Don’t be concerned about creating an eclectic mix. Since you are the constant in the collecting, usually the pieces you select will all work together.  Consider buying in odd numbers, again, to keep the dynamic up.  And, if you can, limit yourself to no more than three pieces by any given artist, as you may be out of wall space and money  when you discover your next favorite!   The key to effective hanging of pictures is the height.  Determine the height, based on the activity of the room.  If it is a foyer, you are likely standing, so the middle of the picture should be eye level for standing.  If it is the dining room, you are usually sitting, so lower the artwork to a more appropriate height.  This may feel strange at first. Give it a week or two, and you’ll adjust.

In many cases artwork is best served by light outside mats and wider moldings (framing).  Colored mats can distract from the image, and poorly proportioned framing won’t give the piece the proper emphasis.   You’ll also find that, as mentioned with accessories, it can be of greatest success to hang all gold frames together on one wall, silver on another and the like.  This deemphasizes the framing and provides maximum focus on the art.  Frame for the art, not the room, because you may move the piece later.  Framing is an investment in the life of the piece and when done properly will not have to be redone.  Do it right the first time.

Be aware, too, that some images are room specific. In other words, they tend to feel more appropriate in a bedroom setting than the dining room or vice versa.  Fruit and vegetables imagery is often relegated to the dining room or kitchen, landscapes are frequently found in living rooms, angelic and cherubic subjects are usually in bedrooms when used.  How much art you have is largely personal.  Some like very little empty wall space, others like just a handful of pieces in almost a museum like setting.  Always hang pairs or suites of images together, or else they’ll appear stranded.  Group pictures together using similar spacing and keeping either the top or bottom height consistent to avoid a chaotic look.  Remember, you want to notice the pictures, not the way they are hung.

Some of the best resources for original art north of the Perimeter are Raiford Gallery, Heaven Blue Rose, Gallery V, Main Street Gallery, Sandra Milton Gallery, Spruill Art Gallery, and Shiki at Perimeter Mall.  Again, there’s something for everyone and for all ages.

In personalizing your home, take your time and have fun with it.  If you are more inclined to get it all done at once and don’t know where to start, call a qualified design professional.   Their expertise and guidance can be invaluable, and many work by the hour, both consulting and sourcing.  Your home is your castle, your haven, your place to enjoy.  Make the most of it!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Making Your House a Home! Part 1

Copyright 2006 Melissa Galt

Now that you’ve got your decorating project well underway by placing rugs, ordering upholstery and selecting a color scheme, it is time to add the finish and polish.  Here we’ll touch on ideas and sources for some wonderful window treatments, awesome accessories and charming collectibles, and delightful artwork to add personality and character to your interior.

Window treatments are made to dress the windows, simply framing the view or providing light and privacy control.  They have valuable acoustic benefits, especially in the soaring spaces so popular in today’s homes.  With the vast quantities of glass and hardwood floors found in so many new houses, draperies can be an important softening element against rooms that echo.  In addition, they provide an easy and effective means of bringing some pattern and color to a higher level, thereby balancing the room.  (Otherwise, it can tend to look bottom heavy!)  Be aware that we are talking about fabric based treatments here, not wood blinds or plantation shutters.  While both are an option, they do not offer any acoustical advantage and, in fact, may compete with the profusion of architectural detail prevalent in interior spaces today.

Often window treatments can be used successfully to frame a terrific view or highlight an outdoor feature. For a more tailored look, an upholstered cornice board may be used.  (These are often best balanced by adding side panels for a grounding effect.)  By using simple, stationary side panels with a valance or swag design cost is reduced, and the effect is optimized.  Unique and creative decorative hardware, such as a fluted wood pole or twisted metal rod with delightful finial ends can be incorporated for a more airy feeling.  You can fudge the height of a room, visually lifting the ceiling height, by installing valances and such at least 8” above the top of the window molding if space allows.  If there is very little room between the bottom of the crown molding and the top of the window frame, then mount the valance at the base of the molding.  Make sure that your top treatment is deep enough to cover the top of the window frame so that the effect is maintained.

Remember to pay attention to the type and size of pattern you choose.  In many instances, the fabric will be gathered so that the pattern will be distorted.   Surely you’ll want to consider the wealth of beautiful tassels and trims that can be added to treatments. These can range from whimsical to elegant and serve to personalize your look.  For ready made window treatments, check out some of the bed and bath stores, like Bed, Bath and Beyond, Linens and Things, Home Expo, and The Curtain Exchange.  For a custom look contact your favorite local designer.

On accents and accessories, consider mixing your elements again.  You’ll want to include elements of glass or crystal, a variety of metal finishes, wood tones, stone looks, and even ceramic.  For a more traditional formal feeling, use pairs of objects to create a symmetrical balance.  For a casual, more contemporary mood, work in odd numbers, providing a more asymmetrical look and dynamic. Try to group like objects together for maximum impact.  Always keep your collections together, rather than scattered throughout the house.   Do use bookends, and not the kind from the office superstore!  There are a host of intriguing ones to choose from including fancy ornamental ironwork, globes on stands, any manner of animal (monkeys and elephants seem most prolific), and, of course, architectural features like columns, finials and acanthus leaves.  Avoid running books clear across a shelf, because it is heavy looking.  Create interest by adding art objects and photographs between clusters of books.  Photographs are most effective when grouped by like frame, such as all gold together, all silver, all wood and such.  Vary the sizes so that they can be stacked with tall in the back and smaller in front.

The key to accessories and accents is to make it personal.  Try to get pieces you really enjoy rather than just space fillers.  Be sure to include family mementos and treasures from your travels, even children’s crafts can be shown off.  Display your collectibles, no matter what the item. When effectively presented personal collections add personality and interest.  If you aren’t going to enjoy it, why have it?!  Even sports memorabilia (not just for guys!) can be well arranged and handsomely showcased.

Consider putting decorative accessories on an angle. Placed at an angle, objects are easier to view from all sides, have a greater sense of movement and are less static visually.  Great places to shop for decorative accents are Hill Street Warehouse, Pier 1 Imports, Home Expo, and your favorite local designer who probably keeps special accents on hand for just such an opportunity.

Personalizing your home may seem overwhelming, and you may feel like you don’t know where to start. Just use these steps, take your time and have fun with it.  If you are more inclined to get it all done at once and don’t know where to start, call a qualified design professional.   Their expertise and guidance can be invaluable, and many work by the hour, both consulting and sourcing.  Your home is your castle, your haven, your place to enjoy, so take the time to make it reflect who you are!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Keeping Kids Active This Summer

Experts say that kids need 60 minutes or more of physical activity a day. With childhood obesity on the rise, it’s even more important to keep our kids interested in sports. Keeping these tips in mind could help your children enjoy activity even more.

Let them lead the way.
    Kids stay active when it’s fun for them, so try to keep it that way. Don’t force them to do any activity that they’re not comfortable with. If your child would rather play tag than swim, do it. You’ll both be moving, and having a great time.

Mix it up a bit.
    Different sports are fun for different kids. Introducing your children to as many activities and sports as you can, will allow them to discover what they truly like.

Don’t keep score.
    Pushing kids to excel could lessen their interest in certain activities. Forget about the score, and let them invent their own goals. The true measure of a successful season for any child is whether they want to play next year.

    Remember to make sports a family affair. Your children will be more enthusiastic about physical activities if you lead by example. In the dog days of summer, try to devote an hour each evening to being active with your children. Turn off the television and have some quality fun!

Monday, August 27, 2012

It's Not Too Early To Be Thinking About A Great Halloween Mask!

Although historical Halloween has some sinister beginnings, today Halloween means dressing up in costumes and having a wonderful time.  Parties, dressing up at work, decorating the house all are part of the festivities that have become Halloween.  To really get into the whole Halloween thing however must include not only a great costume but also a great Halloween mask.  The costume is rather simple to obtain as there are costume shops in most major cities and it's even possible to order a particular costume on the web for delivery just before Halloween.  Although you may now have the clothing to look like your favorite character or monster, your face still is easily recognizable.  This is where a high quality Halloween mask can really come into play.

If there's a choice between a fancy costume or a great Halloween mask and makeup, definitely take the mask.  The reason is that although the costume can complete a certain "look" any character you can imagine can also wear basic street clothes.  Consider the strong heavily made-up character, a clown.  Yes, it's great to have a funny costume and big shoes, but a clown could also wear a business suit or some pajamas and be just as fun.  How about a basic witch or warlock?  A good Halloween mask and makeup and a cape can make a wonderful witch.  So if the character you want to be for Halloween needs face or hand makeup, remember it's the Halloween mask and interaction with the character that will be memorable, not the costume.

Halloween masks come in a variety of styles and types.  The most popular and easiest to obtain is the full head latex type masks.  These are the type that are available in all the Halloween shops that seem to open up the first part of October and disappear November 1st.  These masks come pre colored and decorated and unfortunately also look like you're wearing a mask.

Another option is simply makeup.  Theatrical makeup is easily obtained and does a fairly good job if used along with "stick on" type appliances.  Appliances are small pieces of pre formed costume latex in shapes like scars, gashes and other more gruesome things.  The only problem is that many of the appliances that are easily available tend toward the more gruesome type characters,  The idea is to apply the scars etc. first then finish off with the makeup to hide the edges of the appliances.  All in all, a good, though somewhat limited Halloween mask idea. 

The best idea of all however are full facial appliances.  These are theatrical grade latex masks that can are applied directly to your face and give an extremely realistic appearance.  These appliances can literally transform anyone into a wide variety of characters.  Wizards, warlocks, clowns, monsters, etc.  They can even age someone into their 80's or 90's.  The biggest benefit of these types of Halloween mask is that they allow you the opportunity to become the character.  You friends and guests will not remember that you "dressed up" for Halloween but that you actually were that favorite hobbit or troll. 

Now however is the time to order your Halloween mask, adhesives, and makeup.  It will take a few tries to get it right and you don't want to worry about it on Halloween night.  Take the time now to find that perfect Halloween mask and learn how to make this Halloween the most memorable for everyone.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

In Search of Yesterdays

Les feuilles mortes

The falling leaves drift by the window
The falling leaves of red and gold

The little boy was curled up in the curtain at the left hand side of the bay window. His name was Choo, the spelling is unknown but he couldn't pronounce his own name and had adopted that. Memory is said to begin about four, so that would be his age and this would be one of his earliest.

A little girl was curled up in the curtain at the right hand side of the bay window. She was his sister and was two years younger. She had a beautiful name but he did not think she merited it yet so he called her Podge.

They were both watching the leaves fall from very tall trees on the far side of a large overgrown lawn. As a leaf floated from side to side on the wind their eyes would follow it lost in the wonder of their dreams.

All was at peace with their world. The room was now dark and unlit. The afternoon was drawing in and soon their Nanny, Lily, would arrive with something sweet to eat. Lily was about sixteen and from the village. She accompanied them everywhere, even on holiday. That meant their mother could keep elegant and happy for them untroubled by the daily chores of childcare. It must have been after four o'clock on an autumn afternoon in the Cotswolds.

An autumn of 1943 when war was tearing the world asunder.


Yankee doodle went to town
A-riding on a pony
He stuck a feather in his hat,
and called it macaroni.

Lily and the little boy stood by the road to watch the columns of American tanks roll by.
The GIs threw chewing gum and chocolate for them. The little boy had never had chocolate before. He ran to pick it up. When Lily said that it was for her the little boy replied that that was a silly idea; she was only a girl and of course it was for him. Such is the pragmatic confidence of a child.
There were Canadian soldiers on the farm. But they were Empire and not yanks and Choo would go and talk to them seriously about guns and things. The guns were as tall as he was.

Choo had a Shetland pony. He and his friends would take it to ride around the woods and hills and fields. The world might be at war but a little boy could still walk his native land without fear.
One day more Americans came to the farm and used some outbuildings as offices. They were making a film and they wanted some children with a pony in their film. So Choo and his friends signed up. Each day in the evening they would line up to be paid. A lovely big piece of silver. Always a half-crown.
Capitalism felt good. They did nothing as they were on standby. This lasted two weeks, but Choo couldn't count time, and they had got bored and went back to going over the hills. When they came back one day they found the scene had been shot without them. The producer had had to rustle up some village children and Choo lost his chance at stardom.

And such was the exploitation of England's children by the yanks during the war.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

In Home Child Safety

Steps can be taken to ensure that various components around your home are safe for youngsters. For example, baby walkers can become very dangerous for children, as they can result in children falling down stairs. Ensure that safety gates are installed properly and that the cribs meet current standards for safety. Gates that fasten to walls are ideal for the tops of stairs, while spring-loaded gates are a superior choice for the base of stairs. Next, check various aspects of cribs, such as the mattress, the screws, and the frame. In regards to bathtub safety, keep these tips in mind: A child can drown in just a few centimetres (1 inch) of water, within the duration of seconds! Within seconds, hot water from a faucet can burn a person’s skin. In fact, a child’s skin burns in a quarter of the time required for an adult’s skin to be burned! Before placing your child in the bathtub’s water, use your elbow to test the temperature.  When running a bath for your child, consistently begin and complete the process, with cold water.  If you must leave the bathroom while bathing your child, take your son or daughter long with you. Instruct your child to sit in the bathtub 100% of the time.   While certain components in a house can pose threats to children, remember that child safety products from a child safety store can help to secure their safety.  Be careful about what your child puts in his or her mouth. To prevent your child from choking and strangling on objects, remember that if a child can fit an object in his or her mouth, your child could choke on it. Therefore, keep all tiny objects out of reach of infants and toddlers. Objects whose consuming pose a threat to young children, include small toy parts, seeds, chips, small candies and nuts, popcorn, wrapping paper, batteries, broken balloons, and hot dogs. To prevent your young children from choking on food, shred or cut foods that is hard and round, into narrow strips. Also, children must always chew their food slowly and sit up while eating meals or snacks. Lastly, as a parent, it is wise to master the indicators of choking and what steps to take when it occurs.    

In addition to choking on tiny objects, remember that the majority of homes include 200-300 poisons. Teach children the hazard symbols on containers, so they will realize the danger of consuming such products. Keep items such as cleaners; nail polish; holly and mistletoe; perfume; and cosmetics away from children, as they become poisonous when consumed. Even party leftovers certain medicines, and holiday ornaments can be poisonous to children! Lastly, remember that “child-resistant” caps vary from “child-proof” versions.

Friday, August 24, 2012

How To Design A Little Girl's Fairytale Bedroom

Every little girl dreams of having a fairytale bedroom, even the ones that can act like a real tom-boy!  =)

Use your daughter's childhood years to create memories that will stay with her for a lifetime. It's really not as difficult as it sounds!

All it takes is some creativity and a little bit of shopping. It doesn't even have to cost a lot to transform a ho-hum bedroom into a little girl's dream land fantasy world. This is the time to let out your own little inner kid and have some fun!

The fairytale concept covers alot of themes, from castles, princesses, knights and dragons, to fairies with lots of glitter and lace (of course), so the first step is to figure out what your little girl would really enjoy. That's an easy one to figure out...just ask!

Let's look at some designs that might be perfect for a young lady's dream bedroom.

ZZ Designs is a pretty popular bedding designer that you may have heard of- they offer several selections you may want to consider.

The first is their Fairy Princess Bedding set which includes a quilt featuring a castle motif with a creative hem that reflects the shapes of the towers of the castle. Placed over a white bed skirt with white frilly or billowing drapes, this choice of 100% cotton can begin your dream bedroom design.

The color scheme of the bedding includes white, pink, lavender, and purple. You can even add a canopy for her bed with 10 yards of shimmery fabric to really finish off look. Just put a nice stable hook in the ceiling at the center of her bed and then let the fabric halves hang and billow from the center down, and attach toward all the corners of the bed. There are other more detailed instructions for creating your own canopy type effects, just type it in to your browser! Pretty nifty!

Another ZZ Designs selection you'll want to check out is called A Little Sugar and Spice. Shades of pink vary from very light to a more dark pink. The 100% cotton quilt features bows, hearts, butterflies and flowers. Each pillow sham features three beautiful hearts. This set is available up to queen size.

California Kids Company offers a quilt that could become the decorating center piece of the perfect little girl's fairytale bedroom.

The hand-made 100% cotton quilt features appliqu├ęs of a castle, carriage, slipper and other princess designs. This line provides lots of choices because the same design is available as a duvet cover, and both the quilt and duvet cover are available up to queen size. Matching print sheets, pillow shams and bed skirt, dust ruffle, window dressing, bed canopy for camelback or regular canopies and a whole collection of other accessories give you lots to mix and match to best fit your space.

No matter what bedding you choose, you'll definitely want to add something like the Princess Castle lamp by CK Designs. A pink castle with blue accents holds a pink shade on the tallest tower top. The lamp is operated by a pull chain which features a glow in the dark quarter moon to make the lamp easy to find in the dark.

This is a thoughtful choice for any little girl's fantasy bedroom. It's often difficult to teach children to sleep alone in the dark but the comforting presence of the shining moon can be used to comfort her that SHE is in control and can get to the light easily if she wakes up frightened or has a bad dream.

A beautiful touch for a bedroom with few windows but a lot of wall space is That's My Room's Castle Window Mural. It creates the feel of a stone arch window facing toward another beautiful castle in the distance. This can add an airy touch to a bedroom that has no attractive outdoor scenery to open the windows toward.

You could hang a billow length of satiny cloth around the mural so it looks like real drapes- and you'll have a very realistic looking window added to your child's castle!

How about adding some neat little finishing touches like a glittery wand, some sparkly little shoes that you could customize with glitter and lace. You could buy a few little castle figurines and place them just so for the perfect daydreams!

Decorating for your little princess can be fun. If you never had the dream bedroom you always wanted, you know how much a perfect bedroom can mean. So fulfill your little girl's dreams while you can!

All too soon she will grow up and move into her very own castle.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hunter Humidifier Filter Types and Maintenance

Hunter Humidifier Filter Types and Maintenance

Word Count:

Humidifiers perform excellently if maintained regularly. Hunter humidifier filters are the best way of keeping humidifiers in tiptop shape. Hunter humidifier filters come in different types in processing water for humidifying work.

humidifier, clean air, filter, air filter

Article Body:
When trying to heat up the air in cold weather, the air gets dried up. To counter this effect, a Hunter humidifier is needed. And it’s also necessary to know how Hunter humidifier filters work.

Dry air in a room or enclosure is often the result of heating up the air. Heating up a room or enclosure only solves room temperature, but not the air circulation. When the air is merely heated up and not well circulated, the air becomes dry and viruses, bacteria, and molds may increase in a particular enclosure. Hence, a Hunter humidifier comes in. It can be installed in the furnace or a portable Hunter humidifier unit brought in to treat a room or enclosure. Hunter humidifier filters help the humidifier perform better air humidification and circulation.

A Hunter humidifier filter looks like a mesh wire pad that helps the humidifier unit perform better at filtering the air. As a Hunter humidifier performs, chances are air elements like dusts and molds may collect in the unit, making the unit blow and circulate contaminated air without a filter. Several water minerals may also be trapped in the humidifier, making it perform less. Thus, Hunter humidifier filters need to be maintained by regular replacements. Hunter humidifier filters are antibacterial paper filters that are specially made to eliminate micro-organism growth in humidifier units.

When the cold season sets in, heaters are in use. To prevent the air from drying up, humidifiers are used. Before using the humidifier in cold seasons, it is best to replace at once a Hunter humidifier filter. Hunter humidifier filters should also be replaced every 2 to 4 weeks for better humidifier unit performance, and also according to frequency of use and water condition. Hard water (more mineral content) used in humidifiers means more frequent replacements of Hunter humidifier filter. It is also advisable to take out the Hunter humidifier filter each time the humidifier unit is cleaned.

A Genuine Hunter Humidifier Filter type (model 32300) can filter out 3 gallons of humidifying water. Another type of Genuine Hunter Humidifier Filter (model 32400) can filter out 4 gallons of humidifying water. Models 32500 and 34500 of a Genuine Hunter Humidifier Filter can filter out 5 gallons of humidifying water. A Hunter humidifier filter of the Endurawick make is specifically for a Hunter Endurawick for filtering 5 gallons of humidifying water.

Replacing Hunter humidifier filters as often as needed is the best way to maintain good performance of humidifiers.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Matchmaking for Marriage Relationship (II)

<b>Why employing matchmaking service</b>
Different people would have different reasons when going for matchmakers or matchmaking service. But certainly they have one common ground -- they are all serious love and marriage seekers desperately looking for long-term love and marriage relationships.

The following quotes nearly summarize almost all overt reasons why nowadays more and more people are employing matchmakers or matchmaking service:

"...Tired of chance meetings: Compatible Introductions will introduce you to many more compatible people that you could ever meet by chance in a relatively short period of time.
Time is a precious commodity in the 21st century: You don't want to waste time meeting people who have nothing in common with you.
Safety: All of our members are carefully pre-screened. We meet and interview all our new members personally.
Personalized and individual: we always inform you in advance personally before you are introduced to a compatible member.
No 'blind date': you see the person in a color photo before you are going to me.
Ready for Commitment: Our members are sincerely interested in finding a compatible mate.
You are selective: You want to know whom you are going to meet in advance.
You achieved your professional goals... now is the time to focus on your personal goals..."

"...Matchmaking services are a perfect alternative to pubs and clubs ... completely confidential and you know you are meeting genuine singles who are prepared to invest cash to meet someone suitable for a relationship or friendship..."

"...discreet, safe and caring way of finding a real relationship in today's uncertain environment..."

"...Most busy professionals don't have the time and resources for meeting other single, successful people outside of their own office, industry or social circle. A matchmaker has unique access to quality people.
A personal matchmaker can screen and pre-qualify the right matches for you similar to the way an executive recruiter screens candidates for a specific job.
It's all about TARGET MARKETING.
Sometimes, single people are guilty of selecting Mr. or Mrs. wrong over and over again. A matchmaker keeps you from repeating the same pitfalls of the past.
A personal matchmaker provides the privilege of a wide variety of choices. It's a 'numbers' game, but working with a matchmaker, there's an ongoing supply of highly desirable people to choose from.
It's more dignified and safe. You don't have to suffer the awkward indignity of blind dating or barhopping. With a matchmaker, you are guaranteed to meet people who you want to meet and who want to meet you one-on-one.
No more singles events, clubs or mixers with no guarantee of who you meet and/or if they'll measure up. A matchmaker caters to commitment-minded single men and women. Whether the goal is marriage or an exclusive relationship, an introduction service takes you beyond simply meeting new people. Its sole purpose is to introduce you to a sufficient number of pre-screened individuals who are more likely to be suitable matches.
A matchmaker represents many intangible aspects of a person's identity beyond what a simple photo and vital statistics could ever convey. And nobody likes the arrogance of someone tooting his or her own horn. Instead of bragging about yourself and all that you have to offer, let the experts do it for you in a much more objective and credible way..."

"Quality Singles... introduces you to great people you'd never meet on your own.
No Games - Online chat seldom works... for people who truly want to meet someone special and don't have time to play games.
Meet Serious Singles...don't just want to date. They are interested in meaningful long-term relationships."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Living Rich in a Readymade World

Copyright 2006 Melissa Galt

These days decorating doesn’t have to be about custom design. It can be about where to find it now and how to make it work for you.  There is such a wealth of readymade elements both at retailers, online, and in mail order catalogues. You can do it yourself or get the knowledge and expertise of a professional decorator, transforming your house into a home without ever leaving your chair. Best of all you can have it all immediately. No waiting, no anticipation, just take it home today.  The trick is in knowing what to buy and how to make it not look like everyone else’s.  Read on for the real scoop on living rich in a readymade world.

Firstly, it’s not what you have that gives you style, but what you do with it that really counts.  Using the big box retailers for decorating is a real time saver, but it's up to you to personalize.  Certainly photo frames are easy to make yours. Consider theming the groupings; a family wall is usually a real favorite. Another option is to do a travel wall with collage matting so you can display multiple photos within one frame. You can have one frame dedicated to each trip.  You can also do groupings of individual frames united by a theme.  Think about forming a collection or two, displaying the frames en masse for greatest effect.

Layer your rooms to create maximum character. Start with the floor adding rugs, even over wall to wall carpet. Rugs are artwork for the floor and anchor furniture arrangements. To add depth to your upholstery, layer pillows and the occasional throw for softness. On your tables be sure to include practical ideas like a coasters along with room for a book or even a plate of food.  (I always make sure there is enough space on the coffee table to put up your feet.  Life is about comfort!) Lamps are another opportunity to build layers and can really add personality and punch.  Don’t match them unless you have matching tables (boring and formal).  Have fun with the variety of shapes and sizes available, not to mention the host of shade variations, including beaded or feathered. Once you’ve got the basics of rugs, upholstery, tables, and lamps you are ready to add drapery. This is often an overlooked element and really necessary to finish a room.  Whether your goal is to frame the view, control light or gain privacy, draperies are important in bringing softness and color vertically in a room. Last but not least are the artwork and accessories. Find pieces you really enjoy rather than just adding elements to take up space. Remember it’s your home, so make it count.

Go for comfort, not just good looks! I know you saw that really cool chair in that catalogue and had to have it, only to find that no one, including you, will sit in it, because it is woefully uncomfortable. Remember it needs to function as well as look good.  Upholstery in particular is for sitting on, not looking at, so be sure you either are familiar with the maker or can sit test it. Tables need to be the right height. For a coffee table 17-18” is usually optimal, end tables need to be at a comfortable height coming from the arm of the seating piece next to it. Too low and they are awkward.  Too high and you’ll knock things over when you reach. On many elements you can check them out on approval before making a decision, which is very helpful because seeing them in context is important. This is often the case with rugs, lamps, artwork, and even some tables.

Little changes make a big difference.  Consider changing the hardware on your kitchen cabinets. It is a seemingly little change that has a big impact.  Changing a light fixture over a breakfast table can make a dramatic and often very cost effective improvement to a room. Save your old chandelier to put back up when you sell your house so that you can take your favorite light fixture with you. This stretches your decorating dollar and becomes a flexible and lasting investment.  Changing plate glass mirrors to framed mirrors also really finishes off a bathroom.  (Do any of us really want to see ourselves reflected so much anyway?)

To avoid boredom with your interiors change your accents with the season.  Think hot colors for the winter and fall months with reds, oranges, golds and persimmons.  For the summer and spring try cool blues, fresh greens, crisp whites and soothing lavenders. By changing out your pillows, an art piece or two, a couple of accents or even a rug, you can transform and re-energize a room.

Need to add life to your spaces?  Add greenery.  Whether you've got a green thumb or do better with silk plants, greenery in every room really brings the room to life. This isn't a license to run wild with flowers, though.  Absolutely no plastic and no dried arrangements please (they look dead and are!).  Buying good silks and taking care of them is easy and cost effective. They will last indefinitely and require only a once a month spritz of floral cleaner (no wiping, it dissolves dust on contact.) Real plants need a good deal more care, and you have to consider light, temperature, and water needs. Living plants are often not ideal for those that travel frequently or have pets who tend to dig in the soil or bite the leaves.

Readymade doesn’t necessarily mean cheap.  Consider your sources, and instead of being locked into bargain basement and everyman looks, try the more exclusive catalogues like Horchow, Gumps, Frontgate and Chambers. Whatever you can imagine is likely already there for the ordering.  Certainly there are also many online sites with goods from all over the world.  You can purchase mementos from trips you haven’t even yet taken.

Perhaps you haven’t a clue about decorating or don’t have the time or interest to make this transformation a reality.  That’s alright. All you need to do is know who to call to make it happen.  Even if you aren't going custom it still makes sense to call in a professional decorator or designer and have them work with you to create a master plan to avoid expensive mistakes and lost time in returns.  Often if you explain you want it all immediately and are willing to go with off the rack goods, readymade couture for the home, they will work with you exclusively on that basis.

Make a road map of the changes and improvements you want to make in each room. This can be a list by room or even a sketch if you are feeling artistic. Keep a file by room of favorite finds in catalogues and magazines. (Be sure to look up the resource in the back of the publication.)  Bookmark favorite online sites for quick and easy future reference.

Lastly, plan a celebration, a housewarming for each room or the whole house. This gives you added incentive to get the project off the ground and move forward. Remember too that people are coming to your house to visit you, not your stuff, so relax and let them bring something to contribute.  Consider registering at some of your favorite retailers for some finishing touches. This sure beats getting bath goodies or another tie that you really won’t use!

Monday, April 23, 2012

prifat pool for family

pernahkah terbayangkan untuk memiliki rumah idaman untuk keuarga? keluarg yang terdiri dari bapak, ibu, 2 anak. pekerjaan yang mapan walaupun tidak menjadi jutawan. impian seseorang dalam hidup adalah memiliki keluarga yang harmonis dan bahagia, tercukupi segala kebutuhan walaupun tidak di tuntut terlalu mewah yan gpenting merasa cukup untuk keluarga. salah satunya adalah membuat taman di sekitar rumah idaman. ini nih yang saya inginkan adalah memiliki kolam renang pribadi. saya pengen bangt punya itu, walaupun tidak di beri porcelain yang penting punya kolam renang pribadi udah cukup. kalo di pikir -    pikir kayaknya sulit sekali memiiki rumah impian di itung itung pekerjan yang belum pas, penghasilan yang masih minimal, dan kebutuhan belum tercukupi di sana sini alias masih ngutang, kehidupan bulanan hanya cukup untuk di pakai makan bulanan. kalau da kebutuhan yang mendadak dan harus membutuhkan biaya lebih otomatis harus galilubang . untuk bulan berikutnya harus tutup lobang. apa sajalah lah yang dapat di pakai untuk bertahan hidup asalkan halal dan barokah. untuk sat ini memiliki kolam renang pribadi hanyalah tingal impian. untung saja saya tinggal di derah pedesaaan jadinya sedikit mudah untuk memiliki pribadi, di desa saya ada sungai yang mengalir, airny sangat jernih sekali . sementara bisa saya mnfaatkan sebagai kolam pribadi. hahahahhaha.... itung2 setengah mengejar impian. lumayan lah daripada memikirkan membuat kolam sendiri yang tidak kunjung da hasilnya. ok lah sekian dulu acara sharing nya  

Monday, April 2, 2012

Little Giant Factory Demo Ladders - The Smart Way to Save

As a rule, Internet Community members are quite skeptical about television commercials' "exclusive" offers and not without a reason. Usually someone somewhere has a better deal, but every rule has an exception. You can spend hours looking for Little Giant Ladders on the Web and still get the same prices on E-bay, Amazon, Froogle, and numerous dealers' sites. Without getting involved into polemics about this pricing policy we would like to draw your attention to Little Giant Factory Demo ladders like the smart way to save.

 As you know, the Little Giant Ladder System cost more than any conventional ladder and certainly more than the cheap imported imitations. The best way to make customers comfortable paying a higher price is to show potential buyers "the perfection of quality workmanship" and to demonstrate the capabilities of the ladder. Since the late 1970's factory show teams have been the driving force behind the popularity of Little Giant Ladders by Wing enterprises. With the timely addition of Nationwide Award Winning infomercials the sales of these products is stronger as ever.

 Every day Little Giant display booths as well as ladders are shipped to the numerous Conventions, Fairs and Home Show venues all across the country. After these events are over the ladders get shipped back to the factory, thoroughly inspected, cleaned and packed it the new boxes clearly labeled "Factory Demo". Additionally, during the year Wing show sales representatives borrow Little Giant Ladders from their distributor's stock for shows or local demonstrations. These ladders get returned in a few days still brand new with only fingerprints on the side rail. They also become "Factory Demos", dealers receive the discount and consequently pass the savings onto the customers.

 This year Wing enterprises improved Type 1A Little Giant ladder system. Ladders were fitted with Tip-n-Glide wheels and upgraded Triple-locking hinge. Naturally Factory Demo Little Giant ladders fell behind for a couple of months lacking these new features, which reduced customers' interest in these models, but this cycle is now over. Every Factory Demo Little Giant ladder shipped belongs to 2006 year family and equipped with improved hinge and the wheels.

 Depends on the model "Factory Demo" labeled Little Giant Ladder can save you over 30%. Be advised that usually Demo ladders also retain all the promotions available for their new counterparts. Some dealers may offer to pay the applicable sales tax for you as well. Having the benefit of seen the product first, many of our walk-in customers prefer to get "Factory Demo" LittleGiants. Positive feedbacks and reviews show that on-line customers are very pleased as well. As always the choice is yours. May it be a smart one!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Lift Chairs: Restoring Independence for the Elderly

Age is an inevitable fact of life. We will all age, there is really no fountain of youth, and no way to keep age from finding us. Possibly the most frustrating aspect of aging is the loss of our mobility and independence. Having the ability to remain independent throughout the aging process is a very important aspect in many lives. Knowing that we can come and go as we please without help is crucial in respect to our self confidence.

A lift chair is a wonderful resource for retaining or regaining your independence. With a lift chair, you have the ability to move from a sitting to a standing position without any help from others. Many styles of lift chairs are available, as well as different aspects of reclining positions. A lift chair can help you to regain your confidence by ensuring that you will be able to go from sitting to standing, without the fear of falling.

A lift chair works by using a motorized mechanism that simply lifts your seat with the push of a button. If you normally need help standing up, a lift chair can give you that help. You simply push the button to raise the chair, and you are lifted into a complete standing position. Once you are on your feet, you can simply walk away from your chair.
Lift chairs also help with the sitting process. When you are ready to sit in your chair, you simply back up to the seat, and push the decline button. The chair will take you into a sitting position slowly, so that you do not lose your balance.

Gaining independence is a very important feeling. Knowing that you have the ability to sit and stand alone, without the help of family and friends, is a wonderful emotion. Many elderly people, as well as those who have been injured or are disabled for a number of reasons, have found their independence again with a lift chair.

With the many styles and colors available in lift chair models, it is safe to assume that you will be able to match your lift chair to your current home furnishings. There are also styles available that will take up very little space, so if you live in a small home or apartment, there is a lift chair that will fit perfectly into small living spaces.
Making the decision to purchase a lift chair seems like an overwhelming task, however, knowing how a lift chair can help to restore your ability to do things on your own is a major decision maker for many. Knowing that you will have restored your mobility, and having more independence in your daily life is the best reason to consider purchasing a lift chair. You will have the ability to move around your home as you wish, without relying on the help of others to get you on your feet or to help you sit. Regaining your independence is a wonderful feeling, and deciding to use a lift chair is the first step.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

online tube

online dating sites. Have you heard? must have, whether you are often disappointed by some of the artists of your choosing, perhaps a poor quality of the camera until you are enjoying your online dating. or are you just a connoisseur of porn video because you do not like online dating. These pillars are some secrets to tell you, there is a porn site that provides dating services online or just view porn videos, bang you later this site provides easy access for those of you who want to enjoy online dating or seeing video porn, of course, you must be at age 18 years or more, because this site is recommended for those who have grown old. site is similar to other streaming sites are easily accessible, Porn Tube video display perfect picture quality with a maximum streaming speed so you can enjoy uninterrupted online video footage, and more importantly from Bang You Later is all you free access without pay, visitors are very much bang you later but you do not have to worry if the site would run out of bandwidth so that your video tour to be delayed, bang you late to have anticipated the possibility of running out of bandwidth, bang you later also featuring many new artists with a more exciting sex games and too challenging, just go to BangYouLater Free Porn you will never feel bored because they always update to the latest video. hahahahha .... yeah I just do not dirty up the experience for all. I guarantee for those of you who like collecting the latest videos you will never leave the site because a lot of video, if I must choose there are also many new video is very exciting for me. ok that is all the explanation I wish you there betahdi go directly to it: vodeo do not get bored and enjoy the latest updates

Monday, February 6, 2012

Makeovers for all

I have discovered a new exciting website which turns your household pictures into something magical. Photo Technics 1 will take your ordinary photo and with your imagination, they will create a master piece. They do great effects, such as bubbles, firefly’s, stars and turn pages, which they will put on to your photo along with spot lights and lens filters (mists around your image). Your photo really looks professional. The only difference is, is that you don’t pay professional prices. They are real value for money and well worth spending your money on to have the best photo album.
Photo Technics 1 works with there customers in designing there photo, they are really friendly and the finished product is excellent. I myself have had several photos done and I am extremely happy with the service and result of my photos. They look excellent hanging on my walls. I would recommend Photo Technics 1 as an highly professional company and well worth visiting there website.
Photo Technics 1 also gives you a welcome gift which is a real bonus when you place your first order. They send you a surprise photo complete with a make over which they will design from your first photo that you send them, so its like a buy one get one free and the result of that photo looks amazing.
They also do great offers, these offers do change so visit them regularly so you don’t miss out on the great offers that they provide.  To find out for yourself just how great Photo Technics 1 are. Visit there site  You will be glad you did.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Take advantage of these important tips that will help save you money and make your <a href="">homes energy efficient</a>!

<b>1. Use Fluorescent Bulbs</b>
Incandescent bulbs produce a lot of heat and are very inefficient. Replace your home lighting with compact fluorescent bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs use 25% of the energy that traditional incandescent bulbs use. In addition to that, flourescent bulbs last a lot longer.

<b>2. Solar Outdoor Lights</b>
Today's solar outdoor lights are not only cost effective but the designs are really nice, too. You're sure to find the right solar lights that match your <a href="">homes design style</a> all while enhancing the look of your garden for free. Paid for by the sun.

<b>3. Upgrade Appliances</b>
Think you can't afford a new refrigerator or microwave? Think again.  Replace your appliances with Energy Star rated appliances. You will save in the long run and rest contently knowing you aren't wasting energy.

<b>4. Get Programmable Thermostats</b>
When you are headed off to work is there any reason to keep your thermostat at the same temperature you need it while your home? This is a big waste of energy and we don't always remember to change the setting before we leave. With programmable thermostats you basically just hired an assistant to take care of this for you. So relax.

<b>5. Dim Lights</b>
Dimming your lights can save anywhere from 10-50% in electricity and can extend the bulb's life by 20 times making your <a href="">home enegry efficient</a>.

<b>6. Use Lighting Scenes</b>
Ever wake up in the morning and find that the garage light is still on or come home from work and see that glow coming from the front office window? A
lighting control system can bring only certain lights on when you’re cooking, eating or reading. You can shut all the lights off in your energy efficient house at once or turn lights off in other rooms all from one convenient place.

<b>7. Control Climate with Motorized Shades</b>
You know the perfect time of day when the sun isn't coming straight through your windows but there's enough light outside to reduce having to use indoor
lights. Do we always remember to use natural light instead of flicking on the light in our house? I know I don't. Invest in motorized shades that can open at
just the right time of day allowing you to let the natural light into your home.

<b>8. Alternative Energy</b>
Solar panels on a south-facing roof can provide enough energy for electricity for your entire house.Don't worry you won't have a big metal twirling object on your roof, solar panels are designed to look like roof shingles keeping with the beauty of your <a href="">energy efficient home</a>.

<b>9. Variable Speed Air Handler</b>
Using a variable speed air handler is another efficient means to cooling and heating your home. With a quiet start up and not as abrupt you can count on less noise and a more efficient flow of air through your home.

<b>10. Monitor through Computerized Control Systems</b>
Control your entire home through one system. It's more than just energy efficiency it is managing your home wisely with new technology that saves you money while allowing you to operate different technologies throughout your home. So get smart and start saving today!

Learn how ICI Homes is leading the industry in <a href="">energy efficiency and high performance homes</a>. Visit us today at

About the Author
<a href="">ICI Homes</a> is an award-winning <a href="">home builder</a> with desirable communities throughout Florida, also in parts of Georgia and Tennessee. From the 180's to several million dollars, ICI Homes builds comfortably designed and thoughtfully appointed condominiums, townhomes and single family executive or <a href="">luxury homes</a>.

© Copyright 2005-07, ICI Homes - <a href="">award winning home builders</a>. All rights reserved.

This Article is Copyright protected. Republishing & syndication of this article is granted only with the due credit, as mentioned, retained in the republished article. Permission to reprint or republish does not waive any copyright. The text, hyperlinks embedded on the article and headers should remain unaltered. This article must not be used in unsolicited mail.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Make A Statement - (Other Than I Want To Keep Dry) With A Designer Umbrella

Umbrellas come in a wide variety of shapes, styles and colors to meet many needs.  From the basic bolt on beach chair umbrellas to fashionable designer personal umbrellas and the large ones for your backyard.  They all make a statement about your personal style.

Everyone knows that an umbrella is extremely useful in a rainstorm or when the hot sun is beating down.  Heck, most of us have several just because carrying one around in case of a downpour is inconvenient.  If you live in an area with a high number of precipitation days during the year, you probably have a small collapsible umbrella, one in your car, one at work and at least several at home.  From a practical standpoint, an umbrella in one of those standard utilitarian tools that are practical and necessary.

Those of us in high heat places where the sun feels hot and burning due to the intensity also benefit from an umbrella or parasol to deliver some much needed shade.  The umbrella has been a popular accessories for the stylish person for thousands of years due to it's utilitarian usefulness. 

Still, with style at an all time premium in our society, it just makes sense though to consider a custom umbrella.  One that would not only compliment your style but also deliver a statement about you as a person.  All with the addition of a specialty or custom designer umbrella.

Umbrellas typically are designed for a single person and unfortunately, if there's any wind, doesn't keep you completely dry either.  They're just not large enough to accommodate someone moving and carrying several things with them.

The answer here is the oversized umbrella.  These are much larger and can comfortably accommodate 2 people comfortably.  And unlike the older style umbrellas with the metal ribs, many of the larger units feature lightweight plastic or even bamboo like wood materials.  So although much larger, these units are not heavier and are actually more fun to use because you're not worrying about getting wet all the time. 

Umbrellas can be customized with logos and offered as premium thank you type gifts for employees and customers.  They also are available in a wide variety or designer colors and designs.  These designs include jungle scenes, beautiful tropical flowers, bold geometric lines, multi-colored rainbows natural scenery, jungle animals and much more. 

These stylish umbrellas are available for not only personal use but also come in larger sizes for cabanas and backyard decoration.  Don't be satisfied with just the plain and ordinary when you can have something that is not only just useful but also beautiful.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Low Cost Vacations And Family Values

The family vacation is a tradition intended to bring families closer together and one that many of us would just not think of giving up. Quality time for the family reinforces the importance of family values. It's sort of a "time out" from the day to day routine of living and growing. A chance to focus on getting to know better those that are most important to us, our family. Of course, how much importance you place on this event depends on your past experiences.

In today's fast paced society a vacation just isn't a vacation unless its costing you a small fortune to get to, and stay at, some exotic venue that usually offers no excitement without dishing out more money.  I suggest we put on the brakes and get back to basics. You surely won't have a better opportunity to do so than on the family vacation.

Let's not forget that the "family" extends beyond our home life. Most of us have family that we rarely get to spend time with either because of distance or time issues. But, one should always make time for family. Right? I knew you would agree!

Not trying to make you feel guilty here but, we do have a way of letting life rush us through the years.  I call it "non-intentional neglect" and most of us are guilty of it at some point in our lives. So, let's re-invent the family vacation to include some real quality time that reinforces the value of our families.

Would you consider a visit to grandparents, distant uncles, or a friend's home a vacation? When I was growing up, the family vacation usually meant visiting family members who lived some distance away.  Coming from a family of limited finances, this tradition was budget friendly yet, was sufficient to satisfy our need to escape the norms of home life.

Of course, as the teen age years approached, it became harder and harder for my mom to convince us that "we would have a good time" visiting the relatives. Some of which we had already spent several vacations visiting and had, I guess, lost their uniqueness to us as teenagers.

That said, if any of you can figure out what makes a teenager happy, except socializing with their own peers, then congrats! Let me know your secret. All kidding aside, I believe that they still enjoy the family outings but have a strong resistance to acknowledging that they are actually having fun. In other words, they are having fun and just refuse to admit it!

I was a single parent for many years and just didn't have the money for family vacations requiring hotel stays and admission fees. I guess I followed in my mother's footsteps in hoping that a visit out of town would suffice. And it did. For many years, the family vacation consisted of a visit to a dear friend or family member's home who was willing to put up with four kids for a week. These are truly "beloved friends and family!"

I am fortunate to have a good friend for life who has two children within the same age group as my kids. Since we didn't get to visit often throughout the year, these visits were exciting for both my kids and hers who had become good friends.

So, by all means plan to visit a family member's, or friend's, home for a week. Young children especially enjoy these trips. They make new friends and the family ties are strengthened.  This is an excellent way to reinforce family values and the importance of keeping in touch with family members that may live some distance from your home.

Do a little research before you go. Find out if there are any museums, historical sites, low cost attractions, or state parks within driving distance from where you'll be staying and plan to visit. Remember to ask the family member or friend you are visiting if they have any suggestions. Since they live in the area, they will most likely be aware of popular spots. Ask about bowling, roller skating, or special movie nights in the area and plan accordingly.  You can even plan some game or craft activities to keep everyone busy and having fun.

For those of you who have worn out your welcome or simply don't have family within a reasonable distance, finding vacation spots that will provide a memorable experience for everyone in the family can be a challenge.  Especially on a tight budget. Don't be discouraged, it is not impossible. Plan for your vacation and include it in your budget. This is the easiest way to prepare for a vacation expense and take the stress out of planning.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, don't lose sight of the value of a family vacation. Be sure to schedule quality time together no matter what your destination. Be safe and enjoy!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lice Cures – A Home Remedy

If your family has ever had to tackle head lice, and you’ve searched endlessly for lice cures that work, you know very well how frustrating the process can be. This can be even more of a nightmare if you have tried several different, over the counter; lice cures that failed to rid your family of lice.

If you use an over the counter lice cure, you could end up spending hundreds of dollars every time someone in the house brings home head lice, and then there is a chance that the treatments won’t even work.
A better alternative may be to try a home remedy. Most of the time, home remedies are much less expensive, safer and more effective for killing lice. There are several, safe, non-toxic home remedies that you may wish to try before sinking hundreds of dollars into over the counter, or prescription lice cures.

Of the many lice cures that are, one home remedy that has been recommended by pediatricians is the use of real mayonnaise.  To use mayonnaise as a lice cure you must saturate the hair and scalp in mayonnaise, and then cover the head with a shower cap. The treatments must be kept on for several hours.

When it is time to remove the mayonnaise, you simply wash the hair with dish soap a couple of times, and then use a specially designed comb to remove the dead lice and nits. After treatment, it will be necessary to thoroughly clean all of the surfaces in the home. Vacuum all carpets and furniture; wash bedding, clothes and coats. Anything that cannot be washed should be stored in an airtight plastic bag for at least two weeks.
The process should be repeated every four days for about two weeks to ensure that the head lice infestation is under control.

There are several home remedies that are said to work good as lice cures; they include using olive oil, or tea tree oil as apposed to mayonnaise, and regular use of a shampoo that contains coconut oil is suppose to work wonders for keeping your household free of head lice.

The most important step you can take in preventing head lice infestation in your home is to educate your children on the risks of sharing personal items, such as brushes and hats, with other children. Head lice spreads by the hair having physical contact with a louse found on clothing objects, furniture, combs, etc.

If your child is sent home from school with head lice, don’t panic. With some careful research are sure to find good lice cures that works.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Last-Minute Shoppers Rejoice: The Gift Card Can Save You

Despite their best intentions to finish holiday shopping early, many consumers end up waiting until the last minute: One in five people anticipate they won't finish their holiday shopping until the week before Christmas or until Christmas Eve, according to a survey conducted by Blockbuster.

The gift card, the quintessential last-minute gift, continues to be a popular choice among both givers and receivers.

A survey conducted by Deloitte & Touche found that 80 percent of adults received at least one gift card last year, with most averaging 3.2 gift cards during the holiday season. Additionally, a majority of consumers indicated in a 2004 National Retail Federation holiday survey that they would like to receive gift cards for the holidays.

Most retailers have gift cards available for last-minute shoppers. Entertainment, specifically movies and games, is one area where gift-givers are not likely to go wrong.

This year, Blockbuster is offering several holiday-themed gift cards at its 4,500 locations across the U.S. Seasonal cards include $25 and $15 gift cards, ideal for last-minute gifts for the baby sitter or a co-worker, while a five-pack of $5 cards lets you stock up on stocking stuffers or quick gifts for kids. You also can choose your own amount on gift cards with seasonal designs, such as snowflakes and gift boxes.

Additionally, all Blockbuster gift cards come with their own carriers, letting you address them to your loved ones instead of having to buy a greeting card.

With its large inventory of movie rentals, new DVDs and popular video games, the company is a boon to last-minute shoppers looking for gifts for several people on their list. For ultimate procrastinators, most Blockbuster stores are open every day of the year, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.   - NU

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Learning To Drive At A Driving School Can Save Time And Money!

There are many types of driving schools available today.  Although some states require drivers training before new drivers under the age of 18 can obtain their drivers license, a good driving school can also be a wise investment.  It's no secret that most insurance companies have identified qualified drivers training for insurance discounts.  The reason is that new drivers can be certain to learn and understand the laws of the road prior to getting out alone or with friends. 

In many states, a good driving school also can be certified by the state to administer the driving test.  This means less time is wasted in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles! 

Although the drivers handbook can explain the traffic laws clearly and can be studied, it takes real life practice to become comfortable with all the traffic and safety laws.  Driving Schools exist to give the new driver the opportunity to gain experience and build a foundation of real, behind the wheel knowledge. 

There are many different types of driving schools.  New driver schools are by for the most popular.  Specialty schools however are available to train drivers for different situations.  These schools include defensive driving, anger management driving, advanced driving courses, big rig truck driving, motorcycle driving and more.  Each offer a different and important skill set to the learner. 

Driving schools are more than just driving around with an instructor.  Quality driving schools feature study materials and some even study time. 

Defensive and advanced driving schools train people for a much more dynamic driving abilities.  These may include evasive driving techniques like hard stopping to change direction of your auto quickly,  These classes and training are not for beginners but for specialized careers and those who are interested in taking their driving abilities to the next level.  These classes usually include classroom and driving track training and last a day to several days depending on the depth of information to be taught.

There are also specialty driving schools like those that teach truck driving.  These classes are focused more on the student obtaining enough road time and knowledge to become a truck driver.  These schools focus on the career aspect of their training and work to provide all the information necessary for the student to take and pass all state certification driving tests. 

Another specialty driving school focuses on motorcycle drivers training.  Unlike most driving schools, most motorcycle drivers training teach a much more aggressive safety aspect.  This is no doubt due to the seriousness of accidents involving motorcycles.

So in the end, driving school training can benefit almost anyone of any age.  From the newest, almost ready to drive teen to those of us interested in a truck driving career, there's a driving school suited to the needs of everyone.  Driving schools deliver the skills and knowledge that not only can save on auto insurance but also save a life.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Learn Knitting's 6 Yarn Secrets

Learn Knitting's 6 Yarn Secrets

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There is nothing like a good yarn, so the story goes! All jokes aside, learning any skill or craft takes time, time you should be devoting to finding out all about it.  To learn knitting is no different. Just getting the hang of holding both needles at once, or working with a cable needle, or just perfecting your knit stitch and purl stitch, can take a long time.

learn knitting, how to knit, knitting, crafts, ebooks

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Copyright 2006 Alice Seidel

There is nothing like a good yarn, so the story goes! All jokes aside, learning any skill or craft takes time, time you should be devoting to finding out all about it.

To learn knitting is no different.  Just getting the hang of holding both needles at once, or working with a cable needle, or just perfecting your knit stitch and purl stitch, can take a long time.

And that's ok; nobody said you have to know it all immediately.

Along the way, however, it is fun to delve into all the secondary ideas and information.  Knowing just a little bit about yarn can go a long way!

This article will walk you through *6* yarn secrets; intrigues for even the "craftiest" of knitters.

Secret #1: Always know what you are knitting with! This may sound too simple to be true, but you would be surprised.

Most projects will be knit with "classic" yarns. These are worsted or sport weight, wool, and cotton.  All the rest are merely variations on a theme.

If you have a hankering for something fun fur or ribbon-y, eyelash, or wispy lace; save that thought until you know knitting well!!

Secret #2: When buying yarn, always buy by yardage, and not by weight.  This is one I didn't even know when first starting out!

Yarns, like people, are of different weights; they can vary all over the place.  But, it is the length that is important with each skein; it should be clearly marked and if it is not, then ask for that information.

Secret #3: Always, always, buy enough yarn at one time, for your knitting project!  Do not expect to go back to the store two months from now and find the exact color yarn you bought initially.

Yarns are dyed in lots, and when a yarn store runs out of a particular color, they will order it again; but, the dye lot will be different and the subtlety in the color will be very apparent; take my word for it!

So, if you want that pink sweater to look uniformly pink, just buy the yarn, all the yarn!

And check to see that all the "lot #'s" are the same. And, I will always buy that extra skein, and have never been disappointed.

Secret #4:   Don't know what to do with all those odd- balls?  (And I'm not talking about your relatives, now.)

Well, let's see, you could knit a few placemats, baby washcloths, mittens, coasters, bookmarks, Christmas ornaments, sachets, doll clothes, knitted pins or fancy little handbags, buttons, flowers, tea cozies, table runners, fluffy wristbands (little girls love these!), a cat collar or dog sweater, a scarf or afghan jumble, and if you can think up anything else, knit away!

Secret #5: Get organized!  This is one of my best- kept secrets.  Only, not anymore.

Record all of your knitting projects.  A simple spreadsheet, or word processor, will do the trick.

Save your labels!  This way, when you are finished with your knitting, you can input all the necessary information in order to knit it again, or pass it along to a fellow knitter!

There are even software programs available now, like Needle Trax, to help you keep all your knitting projects organized with simple point and click technology.

Secret #6: A true knitter, like any good craftster, always has too much of everything, and not enough space to hold it all!

Thank goodness for plastic, I always knew there was a purpose for it.

Storage bins come in many varieties, so visit your local shops or even eBay for the best prices around.

Once you have enough storage bins available, then you can sort to your hearts' content!  And you will love feeling so harmonious!

Harmony begets creativity every time; so with these *6* yarn secrets, there is no excuse anymore for not being your knitting best.

May your knitting basket always be full!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Laundry Tips From 'The Clothing Doctor'

The average American household does one load of laundry per day -; that's a lot of time in the laundry room. Many people take pride in the appearance of their families' wardrobe, but all that time in the laundry room might be a waste.

Here are some tips on when to spend time and when to save it while doing laundry:

Spend Time: Hand Washing

If you have to hand wash a garment, it is because it's delicate and needs special care. Let all the water drain out of the basin before moving a fragile or loosely knitted garment. Don't squeeze delicate fabrics in a hurry to remove water; they may stretch or tear.

Save Time: Use Shorter Cycles

Ninety-eight percent of soil comes out in the first two minutes of a wash cycle. Your everyday clothing, without stains or ground-in soil, only needs about six minutes of laundry time, so using shorter wash cycles can save water, time and your dark clothing from fading.

Spend Time: Wash Clothes in Smaller Loads

Don't overload your washer. You may get more clothes in, but they won't come out clean. If a washer is too full, clothes won't agitate or rinse enough. Make sure clothing is equally distributed around the tub of the washer to keep the load balanced during spin cycles.

Save Time: Pouring, Spilling and Dissolving Detergent

Most detergents require you to wait for the washer to fill and detergent to dissolve before adding clothes. That's two minutes per load and more than 12 hours a year spent waiting. The OxiClean Detergent Ball sits in your washer, ready and waiting at all times. Drop it in once and it lasts for 25 loads of laundry - eliminating time spent adding detergent every time you do a load.

Due to the advanced technology of OxiClean Detergent, you won't have to worry about leaving residue on your clothes during the rinse cycle. The low suds detergent rinses clean every time.

Sometimes taking extra time is the best thing you can do to keep your wardrobe looking great, but other times it's unnecessary. Knowing when to spend time washing and when to save it can keep clothes looking their best while giving you more time to show them off.

Steve Boorstein, known as "The Clothing Doctor," is a third-generation dry cleaner and the author of "The Ultimate Guide to Shopping and Caring for Clothing." He has appeared on "The View," "Good Day New York" and the CBS news.  - NU

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Last-Minute Shoppers Rejoice: The Gift Card Can Save You

Despite their best intentions to finish holiday shopping early, many consumers end up waiting until the last minute: One in five people anticipate they won't finish their holiday shopping until the week before Christmas or until Christmas Eve, according to a survey conducted by Blockbuster.

The gift card, the quintessential last-minute gift, continues to be a popular choice among both givers and receivers.

A survey conducted by Deloitte & Touche found that 80 percent of adults received at least one gift card last year, with most averaging 3.2 gift cards during the holiday season. Additionally, a majority of consumers indicated in a 2004 National Retail Federation holiday survey that they would like to receive gift cards for the holidays.

Most retailers have gift cards available for last-minute shoppers. Entertainment, specifically movies and games, is one area where gift-givers are not likely to go wrong.

This year, Blockbuster is offering several holiday-themed gift cards at its 4,500 locations across the U.S. Seasonal cards include $25 and $15 gift cards, ideal for last-minute gifts for the baby sitter or a co-worker, while a five-pack of $5 cards lets you stock up on stocking stuffers or quick gifts for kids. You also can choose your own amount on gift cards with seasonal designs, such as snowflakes and gift boxes.

Additionally, all Blockbuster gift cards come with their own carriers, letting you address them to your loved ones instead of having to buy a greeting card.

With its large inventory of movie rentals, new DVDs and popular video games, the company is a boon to last-minute shoppers looking for gifts for several people on their list. For ultimate procrastinators, most Blockbuster stores are open every day of the year, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.   - NU

Friday, January 27, 2012

Know the Facts Before You Hire Home Help

As Americans work longer hours and live more active lives, more homeowners are turning to cleaning-service companies for help with housework.

Choosing a company can be daunting, as there are nearly 22,000 cleaning-service options in the United States, ranging from self-employed housekeepers to nationally franchised chains. And few homeowners are aware of the legal issues that come with hiring a home service worker.

For example, whether you're paying your neighbor's son to mow the lawn or an independent housekeeper to clean, you may be liable if they become injured on your property. While homeowners' policies may cover medical costs, claims may affect future renewals and premiums. Also, most homeowner policies do not cover lost wages or disability.

Larger providers such as Merry Maids may be more costly than independent home service workers, but they can offer peace of mind and prevent substantial costs in the future. Merry Maids, the nation's largest home-cleaning service provider, diminishes the risk of injury by following cleaning procedures that are in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards. Merry Maids professionals also carry workers' compensation coverage, which protects homeowners in case of an injury on their property.

To protect yourself from a personal injury suit or other liability, you should:

* Hire vendors that carry workers' compensation insurance.

* Reduce the risk of injury on your property by hiring professional services that comply with OSHA standards.

* Be wary of referral agencies. They may be professional service companies, but they may not directly employ the individuals who clean your home. There is no guarantee of supervision, employee training, proper equipment or supplies, insurance coverage or compliance with immigration regulation or OSHA standards.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Kitchen Tables - Not Just For Dinner Anymore

Kitchen tables are the throwback from yesteryear.  From a time when people would congregate in the kitchen to enjoy the company and warmth.  To all sit down at the table and enjoy the daily feast with the family.  They would all sit together to enjoy the meal and discuss all the events of the day.  Today, the kitchen table is making a comeback.  It may be the family gathering for a meal or friends gathered to chat and snack along the way.

Kitchen tables in a variety of sytles and shapes are now being made to fit almost every space, budget and lifestyle.  From the farmhouse traditional cermaic tile top to the elegant granite countertop tables, all are ready in a variety of sizes and styles.  You can buy a durable laminated table top or go for the timeless look of wood.  There are many wood types to choose from and a variety of finishes available for you today.

The table was originally a place for family meals but has since become a place where people can just socialize around food.  Friends come to visit are looking for that home type feel that comes with sitting and chatting in the kitchen.  This arrangement also keeps the cook involved with the guests and allows everyone to join in the work. Food preparation is indeed a time of friendship and socializing.

You want to have a table that is inviting to your friends and family.  You also want your table to be sized the way you need it.  Too large a table isn't as inviting as a small one. Make sure you have enough space for your family and a few extras just in case.  And remember your table is more then just a place to eat your meal.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Isn’t It Interesting That You Are Never Bored When Your Head Is In The Refrigerator?

At the age of 70 I retired. Happy days were ahead. I could do what I want, when I want and if I want to do nothing that’s okay too.  I watched daytime TV, did the crossword puzzles, read the newspapers, and kept in touch with friends and family through email. I played some games on the computer and checked out the internet. Of course, I ate a lot because the food was there. When I did wander out, it was the mall or the supermarket where I could buy lots of goodies to keep me happy. When you’re retired, wandering aimlessly through the stores, spending money foolishly is not what you want to do. So what do you do?    I didn’t want to be one of those old people sitting around waiting to die. I could see myself falling into a depression. Would you say I needed a new challenge in life!

The day of awakening came with a phone call from a friend.  “The Parks Department has a Community Center nearby; they have all kinds of classes; let’s go check it out.”  Now, I thought, what could I possibly do there? What I did find there was a low impact aerobics class that would help me take off the weight I had managed to put on.  I joined the class, had a good time and met some really nice people.  They were all discussing the line dance class they had joined and what fun it was.  When I was about 10 years old, my brother who was five years older than I, used to practice his jitterbug on me and I grew up dancing during the wonderful era of the big bands. I didn’t get to dance much later in life and forgot how much I enjoyed it,

With a bit of trepidation I joined the line dance class.  It wasn’t just country music anymore. They taught Mambo, Cha-Cha, Waltz, and I was in heaven.  The only problem, since I was sure I knew how to dance, was thinking this was going to be soooooo easy!  It turned out that I was the only newbie in the class and I also realized there’s no partner to lead me around the floor. At first I thought I must have turned stupid in my old age, but then realized that line dancing is mostly memory and my memory was not too sharp anymore. I was going to stick with it! The dances are a number of sets that are repeated during the dance and you have to be aware of the sequence, what steps come next.  Fortunately, I did not take myself too seriously.  Someone once said “dance as if no one is looking” so that’s exactly what I did. I laughed a lot, persevered and promised myself I would not give up. I finally did it! It all fell into place.

The moral of the story….. dance class is much less expensive than doctors and psychiatrists; it gives you a natural high! I lost weight; I lost inches; I started to eat healthier when I saw the weight loss and my memory has improved tremendously. I’m exercising my brain by learning something new with each dance. I learned so well, that at the age of 75, the Parks & Recreation Department offered me a job teaching line dancing. My students always compliment me on my youthful looks and demeanor; something I don’t mind hearing.

I just read that Socrates learned to dance when he was seventy because he felt that an essential part of himself had been neglected.  Isn’t it funny that with all the aches and pains that come with age, I don’t feel a bit of pain when I dance?  It must be that ‘natural high’.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Is Your Partner An Alcoholic?

If you are reading this then you are concerned at the possibility and want to know wheat you can do.

Ask yourself these questions?

How important is alcohol to your partner?
How many drinks a day does your partner have?
Does your partner drink alone?
Does your partner drink in the mornings?
Is there less money left at the end of the week than there used to be?

The answers to these questions will help you to face up to the unpleasant fact that your husband or wife has an incurable disease.

You cannot do anything unless your partner also realizes that he or she is an alcohol addict.

Alcohol is addictive. You will find lots of people who will argue with this statement but alcohol fits all the definitions of a harmful and addictive drug;

1. You need to take more and more of it to get the same effect
2. Your body becomes physically dependent on alcohol.
3. People die from alcohol abuse

An alcoholic is someone who has become physically dependent on alcohol. Alcoholism is a permanent disease. It cannot be cured. An ex-alcoholic is simply one who has not had alcohol for a long time. If the ex-alcoholic has one drink they are hooked again and have to go through the whole drying out process again.

Treatment for alcoholism is available, but is expensive, because it means putting the alcoholic into an alcohol free residential treatment center. This will only work if the patient wants to be well again. Your partner will never be free of the addiction, he or she will always be an alcoholic. The treatment center will teach your husband or wife how to live without alcohol.

Alcoholism treatment centers allow the alcoholic to live in a supportive and alcohol free environment while giving up the drug. Psychological advice is available and group therapy sessions help many recovering alcoholics.

Alcoholics Anonymous are one group that holds support meetings for alcoholics. AA has groups in most towns and cities in most countries and many recovering alcoholics find the group sessions to be an essential part of STAYING a recovered alcoholic.

Given the toxic nature of alcohol, if the substance was discovered today, it would never be licensed as a drug or food. It is only the entrenched nature of the alcohol industry and the fact that so many jobs depend on it that make it politically unacceptable to ban alcohol. Does this sound similar to the excuses made by opium producing countries?