Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How to get naturally thicker lashes

First you should be aware of eye-care rituals to avoid in order that promote eyelash growth.

Don’t be so rough

If you wear make-up make sure to take it off every night before you go to bed and to do so gently. My best advice would be to choose an organic cream based make-up remover and a good old-fashioned cotton ball. Even though a lot of the make-up remover pads do wonders to scrub minerals left behind in your pores, they can wreak havoc on your most delicate eye area. Pulling, tugging and scrubbing away at this area will promote wrinkles and eyelash loss.

Now that you’ve stopped doing that

Increase your vitamin intake

It’s probably no surprise that the vitamins and food that you are putting into your body not only have a direct affect on the way you look and feel, but a direct effect on the way your hair grows and stays put. Fatty acids, found in foods like nuts, canola oil, fish and soy are lacking in many women’s diets. These good fats have anti-inflammatory properties that can promote healthy hair all over your body. Eating healthy is a surefire way to start seeing an improvement in every facet of your life as well as your lashes!

Natural Remedies/Oils

Vitamin E has long been thought to help with the hair growth process. This can be applied topically and consumed orally through products like whole grains, wheat germ, brown rice, eggs, almonds, sunflower seeds, papaya, spinach, olives, avocado, carrot, peanuts, and corn oil. Vitamin E can help protect against free radical damage.

Tip: Try taking a clean mascara brush and applying olive oil to your lashes before you go to bed. Wash your face in the morning as the oil can attract dust and dander throughout the day.

Never cut or pick at your eyelashes

Unlike hair trimmings or the removal of “dead” eyelashes will not promote new growth. These particular follicles are very sensitive and should be treated with care and tenderness. That goes for false lashes too. If you want to promote long lash growth stay away from anything that would force undue stress on your lashes.

Note: Common methods like Petroleum jelly are not natural and have not shown any significant signs of promoting eye lash growth.

Danae Matthews writes on her little space on the web, Danae’s Corner. Danae’s Corner can be found on the women’s health resource, Women’s Health Base.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Planning an Outdoor Wedding

If you’re planning to get married this summer, you might be thinking about an outdoor wedding. Although they come with their own share of pitfalls – after all, you never quite know what the weather’s going to do, do you? – outdoor weddings can be incredibly beautiful and romantic, and limited only by imagination (and possibly budget – although you can make some major savings this way!)

So how do you make sure that your outdoor wedding is everything you want it to be and more? Not just for you, but your guests too?


In England and Wales, you cannot be legally married outside. The ceremony can take place outdoors, but the legalities (the statements, signing of the register etc.) must be carried out in either a church, registry office or other licensed wedding venue.

However, you can still have an outdoor wedding, not to mention the reception. A temporary or permanent canopy or gazebo can be a lovely location for a romantic and intimate ceremony, while a tent or marquee is ideal for a reception. There are plenty of venues (country house hotels, parks, gardens, etc.) that offer outdoor wedding packages now, so do a little bit of homework.


A temporary canopy, gazebo or marquee can easily be decorated to match your chosen theme. If you’re getting married outdoors, you can use the natural beauty of the venue to inspire you. Perhaps echo the colours of the flowers if there’s a garden. Or consider seasonal colours and flowers. Oranges, reds and purples are lovely for autumn weddings, while pretty pastel colours and greenery are wonderful for spring, and red and white make a pretty Christmassy theme.


Make sure there’s plenty of seating for guests and if it’s a hot, sunny day, have cool drinks on hand and somewhere shady they can go and sit/stand. If it’s cooler, let them know they may need extra layers, and you could even have coffees or hot chocolate available for them while they mingle.


This will be your main issue for an outdoor wedding, and unfortunately there’s not much you can do about it! If you’re in a marquee, make sure it has proper flooring so that guests don’t get soggy feet or sink in the grass.

And, if push comes to shove, try and have a backup (indoor) venue. Tables and chairs can be moved, but your guests won’t thank you if they get drenched/blown away.

An outdoor wedding will require careful consideration and planning, and there may be several things that you wouldn’t have to factor in for a traditional ceremony, but hold your wedding outdoors, and it’ll definitely be one to remember.


Tips from TransformaSpace, who specialise in temporary and permanent canopies and gazebos for weddings, corporate events and exhibitions.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

5 Travel Destinations for Outdoorsy Families

When planning a family vacation, it can be difficult to find a destination and organize family activities that everyone will enjoy. Luckily my family enjoys the great outdoors so we can easily plan trips that keep the entire family happy.

My kids developed a love for nature while staying at an outdoor boarding school in New Hampshire one summer. Here they discovered a love for hiking, white water rafting and rock climbing. Since then we have organized vacations that center on adventure sports and hiking and these trips have been fantastic for family bonding and building memories that will last a lifetime.

And thanks to my wife’s enrollment in an online university we have a new found flexibility and so can travel whenever our kids are on vacation time. We have had some phenomenal trips experiencing some of the best in nature that the US has to offer.

Here are our top 5 favorite US outdoors and family friendly destinations:

The Grand Canyon

One of the world’s most famous natural wonders, the Grand Canyon is located in the heart of the Arizonan desert. A beautiful and awe-inspiring canyon carved by the Colorado River, this far-reaching site is on many people’s bucket lists. If you do go here, make sure you plan to spend the whole day as the Canyon is absolutely huge and you will want to spend a decent time to truly grasp its sheer size and wonder. We were completely blown away by the Grand Canyon and highly recommend it.


This Northern California destination is one of the most stunning and widely visited National Parks in all of California. Famed for its granite cliffs, tall waterfalls and snowy winters, Yosemite is a very family friendly vacation choice. We love skiing and snowboarding in Yosemite in the winter and during the summer it is great for hiking trips. There are plenty of camping sites and picnic tables throughout the park, so save money and bring your camping gear and own food and skip on the local often pricy accommodations and restaurants.


Everyone should explore a Hawaiian island at least once in their lifetime, and Honolulu is a great one to start off with. A beautiful island known for its warm hospitality, there is plenty here to keep every member of the family entertained. My wife and I enjoyed the jet skis while my kids had a great time snorkeling and horseback riding along the sandy beaches. Avoid peak summer times as the beach can get jam packed. We vacationed here in the winter and relished in the virtually deserted beaches and slashed accommodation prices.


Another epic National Park, Yellowstone is the first National Park in all of America. Primarily located in Wyoming, this gigantic park also borders Idaho and Montana. As well as its natural beauty, Yellowstone also boasts much indigenous wildlife such as wolves, bison, elks, lynx, bears, deer and mountain lions. We love hiking through the park and marveling at its natural geysers. Just make sure you bring your camera, as you will want to take snapshots that will capture family memories you will cherish forever.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

If you are a family of beach bums, you can’t go wrong with Fort Lauderdale. One of Florida’s sandiest and most popular beaches, Fort Lauderdale is great for water sports or just for sunbathing. We tried scuba diving here and had an amazing time seeing all the fishes and even swam with some dolphins! As with Honolulu, this beach destination can get unbearably busy in the summer months, so you will probably want to schedule your vacation during off season periods of the year.

These are 5 of my family’s personal favorite picks for US outdoors adventure vacations but of course there are many more epic places that aren’t on the list. Make sure you explore your options online before you pick a place to visit and stay. The best deals and advice can often be found online so don’t forget to do some online research before you book. Happy Travels!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Women and the Dichotomy of Success and Power

One of the challenges of being a woman in the modern age is dealing with the pros and cons of ambition, power and success. Traditionally a woman’s worth was based solely on her ability to manage a household and to bare and raise children. Today this is not the case, although to a large degree these traditional expectations still play a role in how a woman is valued by society. What is challenging about being a modern woman is that in addition to traditional expectations the modern woman is also expected to have a career and to make some contribution to society outside of the home. To make things even more challenging, women are given a guilt trip if they are successful at meeting any of these expectations.

Success, the Double Edged Sword

Success as a mother, success as a wife, or success as a business professional? Which one is the most important to achieve? This is a question that most women ask themselves as they mature. It seems that no matter which one you select or which ones you achieve, there is always someone behind you questioning your priorities. If you are a good mother then they question you about if you are fulfilled by being “just” a mother, while if you are a good businesswomen then you are questioned about if you are neglecting your family responsibilities.

Let me say that there is no such thing as being “just” a mother or “just” a business woman. Women are dynamic, multifaceted individuals that contribute more to this world than can be expressed in words. We are expected to do the work that men do not want to do, to sacrifice our bodies and sanity in many cases, to bare and raise children and to keep society morally and ethically rooted. In addition to all of these things, many women also bring money into the home, volunteer with charitable organizations and contribute to their professional industries.

Being “Just” a Woman

Being “just” a woman may sound like an insult, but after you think about what it means to be a woman it needs to be viewed as a compliment. Changing your view of what it means to be a woman in the modern age will improve your ability to deal with the challenges associated with our sex. We are powerful, soulful, courageous, strong, durable, compassionate changers of the world, and each of us needs to be proud of being “just” a woman.

"Participating in Science Fairs give young women the opportunity to be empowered because they are able to compete in any science category of their interest or choice and be proud of their accomplishments. On this platform they are equal contenders, whether it be mathematics, engineering, alternative energy or astronomy." Madeline Binder, author, teacher and mentor.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Woodworking and Sustainable Product Selection Strategies

Woodworking is a great hobby to take on. It keeps your mind sharp and your hands nimble; however, it requires the use of a lot of wood products and materials that could have a negative impact on the environment. To ensure that your woodworking project is eco-friendly you do not have to go to great lengths, all you have to do is make better product choices.

Reclaim Wood Where You Can

The first strategy for keeping your woodworking projects eco-friendly, or “green,” is to reclaim wood whenever you can. Reclaiming wood means that you use scraps that would normally be discarded, that you take wood from old structures that are to be torn down or remodeled and that you utilized wood that is already fallen and basically “litter.” This strategy not only reduce the carbon footprint of your woodworking hobby, but it will also save you money and give your projects more character.

Use Sustainable Lumber

If you need to purchase new lumber products then you need to make sure your lumber is harvested in a sustainable manner. This means that the lumber harvesting methods are legal, ethical and responsible. To determine this all you have to do is to look for sustainable lumber certifications on your lumber products. If this certification is not available, then learn about the company or companies that are supplying lumber to your local retailer. See how they select timber, how they harvest timber and where they are getting their timber. Avoid purchasing from countries that are notorious for illegal and unsustainable timber harvesting strategies, such as the former Soviet Union.

Avoid VOCs

VOC stands for volatile organic compounds. These compounds are frequently found in paints and chemicals used to treat and preserve wood products. The problem that these chemicals create is air pollution. VOCs can be harmful to you, your kids and your pets. Fortunately, many companies are producing VOC-less products that still produce the finishes that you want.

Non-Toxic Is the Way to Go

The final tip is to select non-toxic products whenever possible. This is particularly true if you are creating a wood project for children, the elderly or pets. Non-toxic stains and paints are widely available, and generally are no more expensive than regular paints, stains and fillers. To find these products all you have to do is to read the label. “Non-toxic” will be printed clearly on the label of these products.

DIY projects is a topic that Madeline Binder loves to write about. She has a large library of DIY projects that allow even novice woodworkers to create remarkable family heirlooms, especially her train table plans and the toy trains and accessories at her Toy Train Store.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Enjoying a Friday Night at a Wine Bar

It is Friday night and most people are wondering how they can make the most of their night.  It has been a long and tough work week.  After forty or more hours people just want to enjoy their time off.  However, socializing on the weekend helps most people to stay up-beat and energetic during the week.  There is always the option of taking it easy and relaxing but I recommend going for a night out with the boys, or enjoying an evening with the girls, or maybe going on a date with that special person in your life.  Whatever the case is, Friday nights are meant to be enjoyed.

Unwind at a Wine Bar

There are so many adventures and entertainment, especially in the giant city of Houston, to enjoy the weekend.  One of my most favorite places to go is a wine bar.  I love going to wine bars and enjoying a glass of merlot.  It is a perfect way to take the edge off of a busy day to enjoy the finer things in life.

Wine Bar Memorial Houston

One great place to enjoy a glass of wine is this new place called Memorial Wine Cellar.  This wine bar is great because it is located on Memorial off of I-10 so it is close to downtown but far enough away that I can still get out of the city.  This wine bar Houston has a huge selection and I like it because of the atmosphere.  The people there are great company and the staff can tell you everything you could ever want to know about wine.

Wine Tasting

Have you ever been to a bar and you did not know one bottle of wine on the menu?  That has happened countless times to me.  Although I usually choose a red wine recommended by the server I would still like to try it first.  The best solution is to find a wine bar that has wine tastings.  Wine tastings usually have a cover charge and guests are encouraged to try different styles to find their favorites.  Wine tastings have a great atmosphere and can be a great place to go for a date.

Live Music

Not only are wine bars great because people can gather and enjoy wine, but many places have live music.  What could be better than ending your work weak with some blues or maybe even a little jazz?  Live music is great because customers get to experience some of the local talent.  Also, if you happen to be a local musician then you can enquire about performing there also.

Take Time for Yourself

When the work weak winds down do not stay at home.  Instead, see what your area has to offer for entertainment.  Plus this is a great way for anyone to make new friends.

Owned and opperated by Dwayne and Mary Harrison, Memorial Wine Cellar is the perfect Wine Bar for anyone to enjoy a glass of wine or to purchase a bottle as a gift.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Latest Trends with Handbags

Studded clutch and handbags are what the ladies are searching for now a days. The latest trends in ladies wardrobe include studs, belt, beauty, and hair accessories. Fashion trend may end but will surely come back so do quilted purses and handbags.
The studs and metal accessories added to handbag's design bring out the best in it. They never go out of style as they are common sight in ladies carrying designer handbags in many occasions. The clutch, purse or handbag serves as a lady's companion at a formal, casual, and cocktail party.

The latest trends with handbags can be noticed with the come-back of envelop bags. The small shoulder bags of the 70's have returned appearing in neutral colors like beige, grey, and brown. It has new designs and sophistication to balance a trendy casual look. Envelop clutches with studded style is far unique and different from the style of the 70's. Envelop bags are great accessories for women when going to a dinner date or night out parties. However, others would prefer to carry smaller bags like envelop bags because they are handy and easy while shopping, going to the mall, and watching a movie or concert.
Medium shoulder bag or brown leather bag is a perfect choice of purse preferred by many women especially teenagers since they are cute, spacious and comfortable to carry with its adjustable shoulder strap. The small ladylike purse is ideal for a long day of traveling or an out of town trip with friends, workmates and buddies. The brown leather bag is a fashionable accessory decorated with unique stud designs. A typical example is the messenger bag which is both useful and stylish. It is a simple red-orange color bag with sleek design, a leather strap and plenty of storage spaces, two outside and four inside pockets.
Ivory, white and pastel colors are the biggest trends in 2012. Tote in powdery pastel colors are easily match with various colors to be fashionable. A purely white bag is perfect to match with black color dress, top or skirts with intricate lace overlays or embroidery. They are perfect and dainty companion to take with for an out of town trips, tour trips or attending conferences.
Colorful carryalls are also fashionable that can be match with spring colors apparel of various prints and patterns. They are very useful and yet trendy when going for an errand, a short visit to a friend's house or going to gym or fitness exercise.
Envelope bags, clutches, purses, shoulder bags

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

6 Ways to Pay Off Your Student Loans

If you just graduated from college, you might have gotten a lot of students loans to help you pay off your schooling. Once you graduate, you need to start paying your student loans. Depending on how much you owe in student loans, you need to start making a plan to pay off your loans. If you are not smart about your loans, you can owe a lot in interest rates. If you need help paying off your loans, here are some tips to help you pay off your student loans.

1. Standard plan. This requires you to make over 120 payments over 10 years. If you want to have a steady payment plan, this might be a good one for you. It might be harder when you first graduate and easier to pay when you are older.

2. Graduated plan. This plan is for those that plan to make more when they start to get older. This is a good plan for those that plan to get in more schooling. It will help for those that will make more  money as time progresses. You pay less interested at the beginning of the loan, but then as time progresses, you start to pay more interest as time goes on.

3. Extended payment. If you have less than $30,000 in loans, you can stretch your monthly payments up to 25 years. This is a good way to pay your loans off a little bit at a time.

4. Income based repayment. If you have a lot of debt compared to how much you make, you might qualify for reduced monthly payments. Once you hit 25 years, any debt that you still have is forgiven.

5. Income contingent repayment. This is very similar to income based repayment, but it is not as generous.

6. Consolidation. This is a way to combine all of your loans into one monthly payment. You have as long as 30 years to pay it off. It might cost you more to pay it off, but you don't have to worry about remembering to pay a loan.

Paying your student loans is something that you cannot forget to do. It important to pay them off as soon as you can. If you don't, you will be faced with very high interest rates, and you will have to pay much more than you anticipated. Take a look at these different ways to pay your student loans and decide which one is best for you.


About the Author
Tammi Jenkins is a writer for My Colleges and Careers  is a wonderful site that wants to help you succeed in your search for online colleges.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ideas for an Outdoor Kitchen

Our homes present both challenge and reward. There’s the simple joy of having a place to rest after a long day at work, a roof over your head, and somewhere warm to sleep. But then there’s all the work you have to do, the utilities you have to pay for, and the maintenance that needs to be done to live comfortably. In San Diego, landscape design is popular and makes for some amazing and convenient changes to your home.

With so much work to do, you may as well treat yourself out. In San Diego, outdoor kitchens are not uncommon and are a welcome addition to homes so close to the ocean.

Taking Inventory

The first thing you should do is to figure out the space you have and what you want to add to that space. Planning is the key to just about anything in life, and one of San Diego’s landscape contractors should be able to help if you’re having trouble.

The most basic item for any outdoor kitchen is the barbecue grill, but you can add all sorts of accessories to an outdoor kitchen, including some of the same things you would find in an indoor kitchen. You can get refrigerators, cabinets, and sinks. There are four basic zones you can mark off:

· Cold zones: Refrigerators, freezers, coolers.

· Hot zones: Grills, ovens, cooktops.

· Dry zones: Countertops and storage space.

· Wet zones: Sinks, ice reservoirs, beverage tubs

Depending on the space, you may eliminate the cold and wet zones, but remember that you need ample space for dry zones. Counter space gives you a place to set all your cooking items and can double as a surface for dining depending on your setup.

Alternate Cooking Options

While a barbecue grill is probably the most common and ideal outdoor cooking choice, other options are available to add a little more variety depending upon the situation.

A fireplace is a great source of warmth on those cold nights, but it can also easily be transformed to accommodate outdoor cooking. Gathering around a fireplace also adds a touch of closeness that complements the idea of cooking outside. A fire pit is even more casual but allows for more options. You can cook with skewers, rotisserie, or even a grill over the open flame.

Outdoor ovens are also quite popular. These resemble traditional, wood-stoked ovens, which are great for homemade pizzas.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Write My Essay – A Daunting Academic Paper

Write my essay is something that you would normally hear from school or college standard students. The main problem with such students is that they are totally unaware of the easy and useful tips that could make them good writers. Such students are mostly busy with their rest of the studies and homework that they hardly get any time to look for tips and guidelines on writing essays or other academic papers. Nonetheless, follow this eloquently articulated piece and learn how to compose scoring essays.

If you want to learn how to compose essays, then it would be a lot effective if you know how journalists compose their work, that is, news. In order to get started with their news articles, they first seek the answer of the 4 Ws what, who, when and where. Once they have the solid answer to the 4 Ws, they start formulating their news.

Likewise, we can also start off our essay writing assignments with first seeking the answers of the same 4 Ws. In order to get the answers you first need to do some research on the assigned subject or topic. The more research you perform the more information and knowledge you will acquire on the topic. The more resource you will gather for your essay paper the more valuable and impressive it will become to the readers.

Getting a large number of information for the write my essay project is not time consuming or difficult at all, these days. It is because these days with the availability of high speed internet connects everywhere, you can get access to any resource in a matter of seconds. Moreover, many academic institutes have turned their resources into electronic books and articles, which mean that they have turned most of their resources in the libraries in electronic books.

Once you have gathered the necessary research on the subject, you can now commence your essay writing. However, before penning the introduction or the body, it would be wise to first make an outline as outlining is like the major points of the essay and such points should be listed down in an organize manner so that we could efficiently elaborate them in the essay.

Now you have all the material right before you and you are only three steps away finishing the essay. Those three steps are generally introduction, body and conclusion. Since you have all the essential materials for the essay, writing these three easy sections will not create any problem for you.

William Stephen is an experienced essay writer and has been providing Essay Help and Research Paper Help to students for last few many years.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Moving a Family to Alaska


The thought of moving a family to Alaska brings with it dreams of adventure, gorgeous landscapes, breathing fresh air, and enjoying the great outdoors. Moving to Alaska is a popular choice for families looking to try something new and for a fresh start. There are plenty of reasons why a family should move to Alaska, but it isn’t nearly as easy as moving to the next neighborhood down the road from your home.

Big things like shipping furniture to Alaska and hiring Anchorage movers to get you up north are pretty obvious, but what about some of the smaller details that you might not have heard about yet? Here are a few tidbits of information that will help you transition into your new life in the last frontier.

· Wages: Cost of living is probably higher than what your family is used to but the wages are generally higher to accommodate at least some of the difference. Your quality of life should not be sacrificed because of the cost of living.

· Move during spring or summer: There are more jobs available during that time of year, but most importantly the weather can accommodate a family moving in to their new home. Getting settled in, learning about how things work, and figuring out your way around town are all easier during the summer months.

· Have a job waiting for you: While you may get lucky and find a job just by showing up, it is highly recommended to find a job that will be waiting for you when you get there. Start your job search here

· Live outside of Anchorage center: If you are looking to cut costs, try and move just outside of Anchorage. You will save money on rent but also be able to provide a little more property for the kids to play on.

· Food Costs: Average costs are $107-$214 per week for a family of four with kids between the ages of 6 and 11. Plan on fishing and invest in a chest freezer to keep a healthy supply of fish around and save money on meals.

· Taxes: There are few states that might have no income tax or no sales tax, but Alaska is the only one that doesn’t collect either tax. So even if you come up to Alaska with the same wages as back home, your dollar will stretch a little further because you will be paying minimal taxes.

· Crossing the Canadian border: Two things to think about when crossing the border during your move are bringing guns through Canada and if you have a DUI on your record. Guns are legal but proper paperwork and taxes must be paid at the border to get them through. If you have a DUI on your record you will face some problems at the border but after paying a fee (around $200) and getting a pass you will still be allowed through.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Propose on Your Next California Getaway


She looks into your eyes. You study her face, trying to summon the courage. She glances down at the smile spreading across your face. Her eyes grow wider, and her mouth parts slightly. You can almost feel her heart beating two feet away, and she can likewise feel yours.

She knows what’s coming.

From one knee, you ask her, she says…Yes, of course! You embrace strongly before the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, the vineyards of Napa Valley, the monstrous Sequoias of Kings Canyon National Park, or the craggy coast along Highway 101—wherever the perfect moment strikes.

It’s picturesque, existential, eternal, and unforgettable. A true Kodak moment—and it’s the memory you’ll associate with the instant you promised to lead one life.

What a great idea you had, taking a road trip through America’s most scenic and diverse state—California. Ever since you stopped into that San Diego engagement ring store, you knew the trip would be perfect. It’s not every day you find a jewelry store in San Diego that has exactly what you wanted. But hey, it happened. And you’ll probably come back for that San Diego wedding ring. And the honeymoon, too. Why not? The city is forever tied to you both.

She’ll ask later how you decided on California. You’ll say you had doubts about it, as anyone would. But then you saw the eternal blue sky, the rolling green hills, the sandy mountain peaks, and the aggressive crashing waves—all of it that makes California, California. And you just knew.

You’ll explain where you bought the ring, and how it was love at first sight. You found it in San Diego, you’ll say, at the very beginning of the road trip. It’s fitting too, because it was around the beginning of your relationship that you knew you’d be asking her that question one day.

So as you hike around California’s scenic country, swim in the warmest waters you’ve ever felt, and even laugh at the sea lions perched along Highway 101 near the Hearst Mansion on the coast, you feel that ring on her finger while you hold hands.

Even when she naps, she smiles. When you taste classic Cali wines, she smiles. When you ski down wild snowy slopes, she smiles. Actually, she smiles so wide that you wonder if it’s you or the ring she’s smiling about.

(Ahem, it’s both.)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What to Do When You Can't Get to Your Yoga Class

If you’re into yoga – even on a casual level – then chances are you have a favorite class you attend. For those who are starting the exercise technique, it’s a great way to get an introduction, learn proper form and all the terminology. A class also helps keep you disciplined because it’s a set time and day. The instructor and fellow attendees are often good motivators to stick with it as well. But sometimes the commitment can seem too much, or you have a hard time squeezing that class in on a regular basis. That’s never a reason not to keep at it though and maybe you’re a good candidate for balancing the yoga class with at-home yoga as well.

Benefits of Yoga

The great thing about yoga is that it’s low on equipment and instruction once you have it down. Which means that setting up the tools to practice yoga at home is a logical solution to supplementing classes when you just don’t have the time to get there. Like with any exercise, repetition and a schedule is key and the goal is to try and work out 3-5 times a week if possible. But if you find that you don’t have the hour – or longer – it takes to get to class, go through it and then get back home, there’s no reason that a 20 minute workout can’t be substituted. With a few small investments it’s easy to set yourself up so that you can do yoga at home in a pinch and or just as a way to supplement a class and save a few bucks.

Tips to Do Yoga at Home

For yoga at home, you probably already have a few things you need. For one, a good yoga sticky mat is essential. Next, find a place in your home or apartment to designate as your yoga space. It can be a private room, maybe out on the deck or even an area in a bigger room. The important thing is to make sure you have the room you need and that it’s a serene environment. You don’t want to be interrupted and you also want the option of having music playing if that’s what you prefer.

Once you have a space designated, the only other items needed are yoga straps, blocks, pose cards and DVDs if you want to use them. You may already have the yoga straps and blocks from your yoga workouts already, or maybe you do a style of yoga that doesn’t use blocks, the decision is yours. Either way though these items are easy to get and usually don’t cost too much; another great thing about doing yoga.

Yoga Cards

Yoga cards with different poses on them are great tools for the beginner or just as a reminder as you go through a program of poses. Cards like these are usually available with yoga supplies or can be printed off the Internet at different websites. Lastly, there are many good DVDs that have an instructor who takes you through a routine. Again, this is your choice if it’s something you need or not, but they can be good motivators and help set a nice routine. With a just a few items like these, yoga at home is easy and a good option in order to stick with your established yoga routine when you can’t make that class.

Katherine O'Brien is a health conscious blogger, yoga enthusiast, and contributing author for the fitness news blog, Hive Health Media.  Katherine enjoys providing healthy living tips and writing about the health benefits of yoga.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Custom Wedding Gifts Ideas

As soon as the New Year comes, wedding season is just around the corner again. It’s time to start thinking about wedding gift ideas for the summer’s upcoming weddings now. Custom wedding gifts are unique, special and personal because you’ve created something that’s meant just for the bride and groom to commemorate their wedding.

Gifts purchased from a registry are always a safe bet because you’re getting the couple exactly what they want. But more and more couples are opting out of registries altogether or happily accepting gifts not on their registry. Some couple have been together long enough that they don’t need many household wedding gifts, while others encourage creativity and enjoy surprises.

Unique wedding gifts are more fun, surprising, and memorable. A unique gift should be something that you’re certain the couple doesn’t already have, not a gift like a toaster or wine rack. Custom personalized gifts often make the most unique gifts because they’re made to order just for that special couple.

Custom Wedding Cake Toppers

Give the bride and groom a gift that looks just like them. Custom wedding cake toppers are the perfect unique gift for any couple because they can be customized in so many ways. Custom cake toppers are individually crafted to look just like the bride and groom.

Cake toppers can be further personalized through a number of themes that reflect the couple in their wedding clothes or in their favorite work clothes, street wear, sports uniforms, and more. Toppers can be made to scale or in fun styles such as bobble heads for couples with a sense of humor.

Wedding party members can create a fun group gift for the bride and groom by giving them cake toppers made to look like the entire wedding party. Children, pets, and other family members can be included too. All you need is a clear portrait of each person you’d like to turn into a cake topper.

Bridal Shower Gift Ideas

Bridal shower gift ideas can be customized into unique, personal, and fun gifts too. Here are a few to get you started:

Wedding Signature Plates: Plates or platters can be hand-painted with caricatures of the bride and groom and then placed at the gift table for guests to sign as a non-traditional guest book. The couple will enjoy serving food to the same friends and family over the years on their special wedding plate or platter.

Thumbprint Guestbook Trees: Purchase a hand-painted leafless tree print that comes in its own matte and frame. The print is removed for the wedding and placed on a table with colored inkpads. Guests use their thumbprint to create a leaf on the tree and sign their names nearby.

Tiaras and Headpieces: Help design a one-of-a-kind tiara or headpiece for your sister or girlfriend to wear in her wedding. Your unique design is hand-crafted to fit the bride’s head and can include her veil.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

How to Prepare Your Home or Business For a Hurricane

Hurricanes, tropical storms, and other types of severe weather conditions can wreck havoc on a home or business, let alone an entire community. In the past few years, Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans and in the last year the eastern seaboard was hit by Hurricane Irene. Since natural disasters are completely unavoidable, you can only prepare your home or business to a certain extent because no amount of preparation can stop a home or business from being damaged by wind or water. There are some things that you can do to help protect your assets and control the extent of the damage by securing the perimeter, preparing yourself, getting insurance, and meeting with your neighbors and business owners.

1. Prepare yourself

The first thing you must do is prepare yourself for the storm. Time is of the essence, especially if the storm will hit within a few days. Listen to the weather forecasts very carefully and take their warnings seriously because many have died thinking that nothing would happen. Create an emergency kit and get essential items like flashlights, batteries, cellphones, radios, blankets, maps, and a generator. Gather your important documents from around the house such as passports, licenses, as well as other legal and financial documents. Withdraw a significant amount of money from the bank or an ATM and keep lots of cash on hand.

2. Get flood insurance

If you own a house or business, then chances are that you already have homeowner's and business insurance. Most home owner's or business insurance policies do not usually cover flood or wind damage, so it may be necessary for you to purchase flood insurance or at the very least consult with your insurance agent to have your policy adjusted. Make sure that you do this before you leave because they will not cover any damages after the storm has hit. Insurance policies do not always cover everything, but they may be able to help you, especially if your house or buildings gets severely damaged during the storm.

3. Secure the yard, trees, and shrubbery

Before you start working on the inside of your home or business, secure the outside areas first because they can cause a lot of damage. Remove any type of lawn furniture, signage and accessories because they can become dislodged and possibly damage your your home or business. Put them inside of the house in the basement or attic for safekeeping. Check all of the trees and shrubbery and trim them if possible. Shrubs are not much of a threat, but it is better if they are short while the trees are a significant threat because branches can break off and damage your home or business location.

4. Clean the house or business and get organized

Clean the house or your business and get organized because it will easier to prepare yourself and evacuate if you do and it will even make things easier when you return after the storm. Being disorganized or messy during the preparation process can make it more difficult to get settled after the storm and cleaning can actually help you find the very things that you need. This will also help you identify the vulnerable areas and possibly secure them as well.

5. Secure the windows and doors

One of the most important things you can do to protect your house or business is to secure your windows and doors. There are number of ways to do it depending on your budget and your resources. You can buy permanent shutters for your windows, which are very effective , yet very expensive. There are custom made storm windows that are more secure, but once again they can be expensive and they can take a while to order. The option that most people take is to simply buy large pieces of plywood and nail them over all of the windows and doors. Plywood may be able to hold up in mild storms, but they will not do much in severe weather.

6. Check the roof and foundation

Having a secure roof and foundation can make a world of difference in a severe storm. Obviously, there will not be much that you can do to repair the roof or foundation given that most local repair companies probably will not be available right before the storm hits. Try to secure and repair any damaged roof shingles and try to install hurricane straps to secure the frame of the roof to the walls of the house.

7. Turn off the utilities

Turn off all of the utilities because the power, gas, and water will likely stop working anyway. This is especially important if you have any type of propane tank or volatile material in or around your house. None of the utilities will work if the area is severely damaged and leaving them on could actually make your house vulnerable to fires or even explosions in some cases.

8. Buy all supplies and tools ahead of time

Go to the hardware store right away because they will likely run low on supplies as the hurricane approaches. Purchase nails, hammers, screws, plywood, and other supplies as soon as possible because those are most of the basic items that you will need to secure your home or business location. It may also be wise to visit the grocery store to stock up on the personal supplies that you may need like a first aid kit, medicine, water, and food.

9. Consult with your neighbors

Talk to your neighbors or business around yours and organize the community. Try to help them secure their houses as well as yours because it will help reduce the amount of damage that the structures will sustain and hopefully reduce the amount of debris that will be left over in the community. Get them to secure their yards and board up their windows and doors as well. You can save a lot of time and money if you pool your resources and help each other. Local agencies may also be available to discuss the proper procedures with the community and hopefully get everyone on the same page.

10. Evacuate the area

Make every effort to leave the area well before the storm actually hits because leaving will be more difficult as the storm approaches. Many highways, airports, and even trains will become congested right before it hits, so it is wise to leave a few days earlier if possible. Call family members and tell them what your plans are and how to get in touch with you. Make arrangements for a hotel or travel accommodations once you have left the area.

Hurricanes and tropical storms are dangerous and unpredictable. Although there are numerous ways to prepare your home, buildings on your property, or business, there is no sure fire way to actually prevent damage or even be completely destroyed. There is no benefit to staying during the storm because you cannot protect your home or business on your own and the most important thing is that you are safe and well protected. The best thing you can do is get a good insurance policy, secure the windows and doors, shut off the utilities, and gather your belongings. Focus on your personal preparation and evacuation for the storm and then deal with securing your home or business if you still any time left before the storm hits.


This hurricane preparedness resource was prepared by, a leading online resource for metal and steel buildings, including research, resources, and in-depth articles.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Exploring the Disney World Resort

You have been browsing “RV For Sale” ads for months and scouring various Phoenix RV sales, until you finally found the motorhome of your dreams. You believe it will be a good investment and compel you to travel more with your family.

From San Francisco to Itasca, RV travel has made going from place to place much easier. You can bring along all your supplies and needs while retaining all the comforts and privacy of home. Now that you have that RV, it’s time to explore the fun times that this country has to offer—notably, Walt Disney World (no, RVs aren’t just for the wilderness!).

Walt Disney World Resort

Located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Walt Disney World Resort remains the world’s most visited entertainment resort. The resort covers an area of about 47 square miles and includes two water parks, four themed parks, 23 themed on-site resort hotels, five golf courses, and a plethora of other entertainment and recreational venues.

The four theme parks of the resort are:

· Magic Kingdom: Modeled after Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Magic Kingdom consists of six themed lands, each featuring a variety of shops, restaurants, live entertainment, and rides and attractions. Guests can experience the Old West, explore the distant future, and become kids again, all within the confines of a single park.

· Epcot: Dedicated to the celebration of human achievement, Epcot focuses on technological innovation and international culture. Although the park was originally planned as a Utopian city of the future, Disney’s vision never came to fruition. Still, Epcot presents a wide expanse of wonder and innovation, divided into two sections: Future World and World Showcase. Both of these sections are modeled after exhibits from world fairs of the past.

· Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Exploring the world of show business, Disney’s Hollywood Studios draws its inspiration from the heyday of Hollywood from the 1930s to 1940s. Spanning 135 acres, the park consists of six themed areas: Hollywood Boulevard, Echo Lake, Streets of America, Pixar Place, Sunset Boulevard, and Animation Courtyard. Along with live entertainment, the park features numerous thrill rides and attractions, all focusing on the concept of entertainment.

· Disney’s Animal Kingdom: The resort’s newest attraction, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is themed entirely around the concept of animal conservation. With seven themed areas, the park features hundreds of animals from all over the world—and all throughout time—as well as thrill rides, restaurants, and shops. The park has continued conservation efforts to this day.

What To Do About Your Wrinkles

Do you like your wrinkles? Sure, they may add a little character to your face, but most of us would prefer to keep them barely noticeable. In our quest for eternal youth, we struggle daily with a plethora of skincare products to help keep our skin as smooth and youthful as possible. Unfortunately, once a wrinkle appears, it will only get worse unless you take drastic action against it. Don’t let your wrinkles tarnish your complexion.

Try a 15 minute treatment to smooth away lines and creases. BOTOX is the wrinkle treatment of choice for millions of men and women around the world, plus celebrities like Simon Cowell, Kim Kardashian and Virginia Madsen (plus many more who’ll probably never admit to it). Few celebrities are brave enough to reveal their beauty secret, and those who do often say they’ve done it before but aren’t doing it anymore. Case in point: singer Kylie Minogue and ex-supermodel Cindy Crawford. Is BOTOX a Poison? Yes, BOTOX is a poison, but it’s been used for over a decade as a treatment for a number of serious health conditions.

From spasticity, migraines, eye disorders and incontinence, BOTOX has treated thousands of people safely and successfully, so why not wrinkles? The poison in question is botulinum toxin, a substance that has paralytic effects on the muscles. By injecting BOTOX into the muscle, the muscle relaxes and the skin overlying it also relaxes, thereby smoothing away the offending wrinkle. As a result, the treatment can only target dynamic wrinkles (those created by repeated muscular contractions) on the face.

It has become so popular that it’s a household name – honestly, who hasn’t heard of BOTOX? If you’re thinking about getting BOTOX’ed, make sure the medical provider you choose is licensed to administer the injections, and has plenty of experience and the right credentials. You should also make sure that the product offered is the real deal. Because of its popularity, there are many, many fakes out there.

Though they may be cheaper, fakes aren’t as strictly regulated and can be seriously damaging to your health. How Much Will It Cost? You should expect to pay hundreds of dollars for your treatment. The price depends on the severity of your wrinkle and the number of areas you’d like to target. Most clinics base their price depending on how many units of BOTOX product are administered. Others rely on the targeted area. Make sure you find out how the price structure is before you proceed with treatment. This can be easily done during your consultation with a medical professional, which is required to determine whether BOTOX is suitable for you and can achieve the results you want.