Saturday, March 31, 2012

How to Start Conditioning Now for Summer Cheerleading Practice

There’s no need to shut your muscles and your coordination in a drawer along with your cheerleading apparel for the off season. Conditioning now for summer cheerleading practice can help you get into prime condition before practice starts. This can help you cheer better and keep you from limping around in your Soffe shorts with sore muscles for the first few weeks. Regardless of what level you left last season, there’s a chance to start off next season with your highest cheer goals in mind.  

One of the most important things you can do to prepare for summer cheerleading practice is to keep up with your stretching. Make sure you routinely cover a full stretch routine at least three times weekly, along with daily stretching to keep you limber and preserve your range of motion. This can help prevent injuries and also increase your ability to perform complex cheerleading routines.
Keep up on the Basics
Ever start a new season and wonder what happened to your muscle memory? Don’t forget to cover the basics routinely to make sure that you are not starting from scratch when you return to your cheerleading uniforms and new practice routine. Review the basic motions and make sure you perform them a few times each week. You’ll be amazed what this will do to keep you in fighting shape for next season. Go over all your old moves and make sure you can maintain the correct position and motions. Work on the jumps and make sure that you can hit the right placement every time. Practice in front of a mirror to make sure you can spot where you may be losing your edge.

Stay Fit
One part of keeping up on your conditioning is staying active and ensuring that your endurance is on track. There’s nothing like getting to practice and bailing out halfway through to catch your breath. Take a light jog every few days or pick up an alternative sport to keep your activity level high. Ride a bike, swim, run, or play another sport during your downtime.
Buddy Up
The buddy system is a great way to keep up on pre-practice conditioning. Find a friend to help you stick to your workout plan. They can also help you with a second set of eyes to make sure that you are hitting your moves correctly. Challenge each other to improve and set goals to reach before practice even begins. You’ll show up better prepared to take lead positions and pick up new moves if you’ve mastered your motions from last year and even picked up some new ones during your downtime.
Most of all, make it fun! Sticking to an activity plan is all about having a good time doing it. Setting goals, bringing a buddy, and reminding yourself just how well-prepared you’ll be for summer practice can help you stick to a conditioning schedule and reach your goals for next year’s cheerleading season.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Top 5 Cosmetic Uses for Lasers

Cosmetic surgery gets a bad rap. Many people think it’s all about those West Hollywood or Jersey beauties constantly seeking body image perfection. Cosmetic surgery is more than getting a new nose, butt implants, or a different chin shape.

For many, it’s about reconstruction, or recreating a part of their body that has been damaged or causes them mental or physical pain. It’s about getting life back.

Lasers give people those lives back.

Here are the top five cosmetic uses for medical lasers.

Rhinoplasty. If there’s one body part you can’t hide, it’s your nose. So you better like it. Rhinoplasty is a mostly aesthetic operation, and it gives people who are born with a honker of a shnoz the freedom to carve a fine aquiline work of art with an aesthetic laser. Lasers used in rhinoplasty can also fix a damaged nose for, say, a hockey player or boxer—the kind of guys who use their nose for self defense.

Liposuction. Forget hiding your nose, try hiding your entire body. There are uncounted people across the world who feel uncomfortable in their own skin, and liposuction relieves some of that stress—socially and physically. If you have a few pounds or pockets of unresponsive fat, laser body sculpting is a non-invasive alternative to liposuction.

Breast Augmentation. Though there are strictly medical reasons a woman would want to decrease the size of her breasts (lower back pain, for one), most augmentations are done solely to increase mass or improve shape. Breast augmentation lasers allow for precise incisions and perfect muscle shaping. And if it makes a woman more confident, it’s worth it. You can’t put a price on the feeling you get when you walk into a room and every pair of eyes wants to see what you’ll do next.

Skin resurfacing. Bumps, rashes, weird spots that medical science and Voodoo alike can’t account for—lasers will remove them all. Lasers are incredibly precise, so much so that they can remove lesions and other malignancies on our skin without damaging the underlying muscle tissue, even though skin cells are directly attached.

Hair and tattoo removal. People make mistakes. Sometimes, those mistakes are written in permanent, skin-staining ink across very conspicuous areas of our bodies. But it’s OK, lasers to the rescue. With multiple treatments, lasers wear down the skin cells and remove the ink, be it black or colored, and leave you with hardly a trace of that horrible monkey tattoo.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

5 Reasons to Get a Facelift

Are you considering a facelift or other type of plastic surgery procedure around the face or neck? Skin naturally sags with age, but a facelift, neck lift, or forehead lift can be performed separately or in conjunction with one another to make sagging skin and wrinkles disappear by tightening the skin.

Many older patients combine a facelift with a nose job for a whole new look, since the nose continues to grow slowly throughout a person’s life and many people in their sixties and seventies feel that their nose has grown too large. A qualified plastic surgeon can provide a consultation to help you decide which type of cosmetic surgery is best for you.

Here are some of the more common reasons people decide to get a facelift or related procedure:

Age: Age and related reasons are by far the most common reason a person opts for a plastic surgery procedure around the face. As people grow older and lose their youthful appearance, they want a chance to set back the clock, and many who are in good health want to look as good as they feel.

Skin Damage: The skin on the face is the one part of the body that’s always exposed, causing it to take a beating over the years from the sun, wind, and even environmental contaminants. We also put far many more skin products on the face and neck than any other part of the body, some of which may actually damage the skin with long-term use. Younger and older patients alike suffer from cosmetic damage to facial skin that they may wish to have removed.

Lose Excess Facial Fat: Sometimes the skin around the face and neck becomes saggy with age, but those with excess body fat may have both sagging skin and fat. Aging patients who are overweight, or younger and older patients who’ve recently lost weight and left sagging skin behind, can easily have the excess skin and fat removed and the skin tightened back on their face and neck.

Boost Self Confidence: Looking good makes a person feel good, giving that person more self confidence and that can help improve all areas of life, including work, social, family, and personal relationships. A facelift can help people feel better about themselves.

Make Your Face Match Your Body: Many people with aging skin are active and in great shape. If your body looks years younger than your face and you feel like your face isn’t keeping up with your body in the looks department, you may greatly benefit from a facelift that matches your youthful body.

Choosing a Nursing Home in the UK

Making the decision to put a loved one into a nursing home can be painful and difficult. It is natural to want to be there for your parent or other relative, but sometimes they might require a level of care that you cannot provide. And moving into one nursing home or sheltered housing scheme is a fairly major upheaval, never mind having to move again, if your relative is not comfortable.

Find out what options are available

There’s a variety of long term care options available for older people that needn’t necessarily mean full nursing care. Depending on your relative’s needs, he or she may be more comfortable in sheltered housing, or a care home, rather than a nursing home.

Your relative might not be able to live in his or her own home any longer, but that does not mean that he or she cannot live independently. There are other options available besides nursing homes which may be a better fit.

Sheltered housing – usually self-contained flats or bungalows within a larger complex. There are staff on hand to offer help if needed, or in an emergency, but they do not provide full, day-to-day care. This option is good because it helps people to retain their independence, with the advantages of having staff on hand, but accommodation can be quite small, and meals are not provided.

Extra care housing – similar to sheltered housing but with additional support and 24 hour care. Care plans are matched to individual residents’ needs and residents can retain some independence whilst also being part of a community. However, this is a fairly new concept and is not yet widely available.

Care homes – for those who can manage most things for themselves and get about fairly easily. These offer 24 hour care, but residents don’t retain the same levels of independence as with sheltered housing. Each person has his or her own room, and there is a real community, with activities and outings arranged.

Nursing homes – for more infirm elderly people who require a high level of medical care. Nursing homes offer 24 hour care from trained nurses, and a safe, comfortable environment. Outings and activities are arranged in which residents are encouraged to participate. However, nursing homes are expensive.

Make a list

If you think about it, you and your relative are bound to have a list of criteria that are important to you when deciding upon a nursing home. For example, is the home near transport links? What are visiting hours like? Are there social activities? Do residents have their own rooms? Etc, etc.

Draw up a list of the criteria that matter most to you, and use this to inform your decisions when you start actually looking round homes. But remember, you should always make your decisions with your relative’s preferences in mind.

Do your research

Probably the most important piece of advice here. The care industry (especially in the UK) has had a bad rep of late, so you need to make sure that you’re choosing a nursing home that’s comfortable.

The Internet can really help here. Have a look at the CareQuality Commission’s (CQC) website for advice, for instance. There are also other sites, such as, that can help.

Read any brochures you get thoroughly. Look at fees, fee increases and how often they occur, how you can pay, mealtimes, meals served, visiting hours etc.

Ask advice

Something that social sharing sites have cottoned onto is the fact that people like things that are recommended by their friends. The same applies here. By asking around your friends and neighbours, and other people whose opinions you trust, you may find that they will be able to recommend nursing homes to you.

Or why not try asking your relative’s GP if he or she provides care at any nursing homes. Your relative may wish to continue seeing his or her own GP, and if the GP provides nursing home care, that may inform your relative’s decision.

Involve everyone

Make sure that everyone involved is, well, involved. Above all make sure that the person who is going to be moving into the home is involved in the decision making – what is most convenient for you might not be the best fit for him or her. Likewise, if you have siblings, partners and children who are likely to want to visit their parent/grandparent, make sure that they are made aware of visiting hours and transport links.

Once the decision has been made, let the home know, and they will most likely send you an application form and carry out a pre-admission assessment.

Author bio

Cairn Technology are a firm of environmental consultants with a focus on infection prevention and control in care homes. They provide infection control products and training to care homes and hospitals across the UK

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Finally, Some Weather: Ger to Mammoth Mountain for Snowy Fun!

Why are you reading this? There’s an entire mountain of snow and gravity out there calling your name! It’s called Mammoth Mountain, and it’s one of those enchanted places where people live out their dreams of downhill Olympic glory.

Do you realize how close you already are? You could live in the Bay Area or down in the Southland but you’ll still have a quick 70-minute plane ride to this mountain paradise. Just stick your car, SUV, truck, or school bus in SJC airport parking or SFO parking and get ready for the ride of your life.

It’s more likely, though, that you’ll want to be in Oakland airport long-term parking. After all, nobody goes to Mammoth for a day. This is a week or longer excursion.

Since your choice to travel by air means you get free transportation all around the facility, forget about the airport parking hassle altogether and pay online ahead of time. It’s quick and easy and it saves a ton of time.

You’ll be glad you did when you’re spending hours packing up your gear and Bengay. It’s funny; you didn’t realize how long it’s been since you’ve been out on your skis. The Bengay is a good idea. Maybe a couple bottles of ibuprofen and ice packs wouldn’t hurt either.

And better yet, once you get to Mammoth, you’ll have no rental car woes or taxi fares (unless you’re transporting or staying outside of Mammoth grounds), since Mammoth takes care of all of that for you. There is nothing quite like taking an awesome vacation and not have to think about your car a single time. It’s almost as magical as Mammoth itself.

With the kind of carless transportation you get at Mammoth, it’s more than worth leaving your car at your outgoing airport. You’re probably not equipped with snow tires and chains anyway, so leave the driving hassle up to the professionals. Instead, you get to focus on the mountain, the powder, the wild feeling of the wind rushing past your goggled face as you descend like a reckless madman down the most exciting slopes in the state. Or—if that’s not your thing, you can just sit in the lodge and sip cocoa while your grandma rides the lift to the top of the world and shows you a thing or two about living your shoe size—not your age.

Breathe in Breathe Out: Tips to Presenting

In college, students are required to make a lot of presentations. It doesn’t matter what your major is, you will probably get stuck doing one sometime during your college career. Many people have a fear of public speaking. It is probably one of the most common fears there is. You must learn to get over that fear or you will find yourself a nervous wreck every time you have to get up and give a presentation. In order to help you out with these common jitters, here are some tips to help you when you are presenting something for one of your college classes.

Find out what scares you

The first thing you need to do is identify the fear that you get when you present. Find out exactly what it is that you’re scared of and then try and get rid of it. If your biggest fear is that you will mess up your words, practice on what you are going to say. If your biggest fear is forgetting information, focus on memorizing that information. Your main focus of the presentation should be on your biggest fear. Facing your fears will ultimately help you get rid of them.

Do your research

Make sure that you get all of the information that you need before you get up to present. Do all of the research that you can so you don't find yourself scrambling for information. If you don’t dig deep into research, you will definitely regret it. Your audience is going to assume that you are an expert. If you cannot remember an important fact for your presentation, you are going to lose a lot of your validity.

Practice makes perfect

Practice, practice practice! You can do no wrong by practicing over and over again. If you are presenting as a group, it is even more important to practice so your presentation flows. The audience is either clueless on your topic or just not very well informed. You need to make sure that your presentation is clear and concise and makes sense to everyone who is there. By practicing, you can work out many of the flaws that might be present. Make sure that everyone in your group knows exactly when their turn is so there are no awkward silences.

Engage the audience

Make sure that your presentation is interesting. If you have to give a long presentation, no one is going to want to sit there and listen; however, if you engage your audience, you will have their attention One way to engage them is to be very energetic while up in front of them. No one likes to look at slides of text over and over. Put some pictures up there that they can look at. Last but not least, one of the best ways to hold an audience’s attention is to bring food. Food makes everyone happy no matter who they are. If their bellies are full, they are going to be a lot more willing to pay attention to your presentation.

About the Author
Meagan Hollman is a writer for My Colleges and Careers is the best site if you want to get your education and you want to enroll in accredited online colleges.

5 Great Websites for Elderly Care Advice

One thing we all have to look forward to is getting old. It’s something that comes naturally to us, but is not necessarily something that we are prepared for.

Thanks to the wonderful internet there is a wealth of information out there that will help everyone from ‘newly old people’, to their children, to learn about what help is out there to make old age as enjoyable as possible.

Here are 5 of the best sites:

Best for General Advice (formerly Help the Aged & Age Concern)

Age UK is one of the biggest elderly groups in the UK after Age Concern and Help the Aged joined forces. As an organisation they do a great deal of work to improve the life of the elderly in the UK. The website provides information on everything including: money, travel, health and learning, and is a great source of news related to the elderly or for things that the elderly might particularly be interested in, like car insurance.

Best for Elderly Care Funding

Care Aware offers free advice to anyone looking for information on care funding. The site provides news, a range of useful documents, contacts and information on the care system, legal issues and all the different types of care available. If you need financial help to fit a home lift of some kind for example, this is a good place to start.

Best for Accommodation Advice - &

The Elderly Accommodation Counsel is first and foremost a charity that aims to provide the elderly with the best information possible on their housing needs. They also work hard to encourage businesses, agencies and government policy makers to make good decisions that will help the housing needs of the elderly. EAC also has two other great sites with similar information: offers housing advice and which is the base for an advice service.

Best for Care Homes

This comprehensive site offers a great deal of information about care homes in the UK. You can search for homes to stay in, to buy and lots of other products or services related to them. It even offers a chance to search for care training courses.

Best for Care & Support

This charity started nearly 60 years ago and has recently merged with another charity to increase its range of services. The site offers visitors access to a wealth of information that will help the elderly and their carers to find the best care and support possible. They campaign, fundraise and of course provide advice and information.

What other sites do you go to for elderly care advice?

Magnus Polly is an elderly care professional. He is currently working on a website for a company that produces domestic lifts; which are lifts design to help the elderly get around their house.

A Tree Theme Wedding

Trees can be a wonderful theme for a wedding at any time of the year. Think about the symbolism: strong roots, growth, family trees – it is all perfect for a couple starting a new life together. Trees also have an appealing tie to nature, which is always a lovely wedding inspiration. Get some ideas about how to plan a memorable tree theme wedding of your own.

It is always nice to introduce the wedding theme in the invitations. Fortunately, there are plenty of beautiful ones available with trees on them. There are autumnal tree designs, rich with beautiful fall foliage. There are invitations decorated with charming flowering trees, which would be delightful for a spring or summer wedding. There are elegant birch trees, folksy woodcut tree motifs, trees with birds...the choices are nearly endless. As long as you select an invitation that suits the season of your wedding, it will be great.

A fabulous idea for the wedding ceremony is to line the aisle with trees or tree branches filled with little white lights. Be sure that the fullest part of the tree is high enough that guests can still see you as you glide down the aisle in your beautiful bridal gown and special wedding jewelry. Of course renting all those trees could get pretty expensive, so another idea is to have just a few trees in the ceremony space. Place them by the altar to create a beautiful frame around the bride and groom. If you are having an outdoor wedding, you could simply choose a site that has a grand old tree under which you can stand to say your vows.

There will be many terrific ways to incorporate your tree theme into your wedding reception. Instead of a standard guest book, paint a large tree on a piece of heavy paper. Create only the trunk and branches, and invite guests to make thumbprint leaves using green paint. Use a paint or ink that will be easy to wash off so that your guests are not left with green thumbs all night. Then each person can write their name on their leaf. It will be a very pretty memento, worthy of framing and displaying in your new home.

Obviously, your wedding cake should carry on the tree motif. You have many, many choices. For a fall wedding, have the baker create a chocolate cake that is frosted to look like bark. For winter nuptials, a cake made to resemble white birch would be wonderful. At any time of the year it would be pretty to have a simple fondant covered cake with an intricate handpainted tree growing up the tiers. Tree branches and leaves could also be used as a version of the tree theme for the cake decoration.

The ideas for a tree theme wedding go on and on. Perhaps you give your bridesmaids crystal leaf pendants for their wedding jewelry gifts. You could hire a lighting specialist to project trees onto the wall of your reception space and transform the room into an enchanted forest. It might also be fun to create displays of the bride and groom's family trees to hang in the reception space. A tree theme wedding is a wonderful motif, full of rich possibilities.

Bridget Mora writes about wedding themes and wedding planning ideas for the customers of Silverland Jewelry. Find beautiful Swarovski crystal bridal jewelry for many different wedding motifs in Silverland Jewelry's handcrafted wedding jewelry collection.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ice Cream Bars and Other Fun Summer Wedding Desserts

For a lot of people, one of the best things about summer is ice cream. If you are planning a summer wedding, it would be a lot of fun to have an ice cream bar at your reception. Get ideas on ice cream bars and other fun summer wedding desserts that are sure to be crowd pleasers.

If you are having an indoor wedding reception, having an ice cream bar is, well, a piece of cake. Your caterer or venue may even have a serving station available that can be filled with ice to keep the ice cream from melting. Set out a few flavors of ice cream like vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and maybe coffee. Then pick out all of your favorite toppings. You can have sprinkles, Oreo pieces, fresh berries, chopped nuts, and all sorts of candies. Oh, and don't forget the whipped cream! Sometime after the cake cutting, roll in the ice cream bar and invite guests to come and help themselves. It would be a great summertime alternative to a Viennese hour.

For outdoor weddings, it can be tougher to keep the ice cream cold enough. So instead of setting out a self-serve bar, why not have an ice cream truck come? You can bet that everyone will be lining up to get their favorite frozen treat. Ask your photographer to get plenty of pictures of your guests in their elegant clothes and pretty wedding jewelry eating their sno-cones and popsicles. Just think about how refreshing it will be to have ice cream on a hot summer day.

Another great idea for a summer wedding dessert station is a strawberry shortcake bar. It would be a lot of fun for a casual country wedding held during the peak of berry season. It is also fairly manageable for an outdoor wedding, because the only think you have to worry about keeping cold is the whipped cream. Store in the refrigerator until the time when the strawberry shortcake bar opens, and then put metal bowls of whipped cream in ice to keep it cold. The fresh strawberries and biscuits will be fine on a warm day, so you don't have to worry so much about them. Display everything on a cute red gingham check tablecloth to play on the red and white colors of the dessert. It will be simply charming.

If you are looking for a more sophisticated approach to summer wedding desserts, how about hiring a gelato company to come? Gelato is sort of like a more grown up version of ice cream, and is typically made in more intensely flavorful varieties than ice cream. Look for a gelato company that uses an authentic Italian recipe for the best desserts. They can bring in the coolers and all of the supplies, so that makes it very easy. I could imagine a gelato bar at a chic modern tented reception or at an elegant indoor venue. It would also be a great late night treat. This is the perfect summer dessert bar for the bride who is into fashion-forward bridal gowns and modern bridal jewelry. Or for anyone who just loves tasty frozen desserts. Yum!

Couples are always looking for ways to add a little of the "wow factor" to their wedding, and an ice cream or summer dessert bar is a great way to do that. Your guests will definitely enjoy it, and you can be sure that they will leave your wedding with sweet memories.

Bridget Mora enjoys helping brides find unique and beautiful ideas for their weddings. Silverland Jewelry is the best place to shop for unique wedding jewelry.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Five Uses of Camouflage Clothing

The clothes make the man, and whether you’re wearing a suit, a uniform, or BDU pants, the statement holds true. In most cases, how a person dresses shows a person’s status and class, but in other cases, it’s much simpler than that. For instance, military clothing serves practical purposes, allowing for protection and mobility in the field of duty.

While soldiers have multicam boots and bulletproof vests, camouflage remains the most recognizable aspect of the military uniform. Here are five popular uses of camouflage clothing.

For Soldiers

As mentioned, camouflage has been used to great effect in the military. In many battles and skirmishes, camouflage has been a means of survival, often the difference in determining life and death.

This became even more apparent in trench warfare during World War I. The bright colors and regalia of the past became dangerous and were replaced with brown, muted, smudged clothing. This allowed soldiers to hide, outwit, or deceive the enemy through a simple, cost-effective means.

In the Military

Camouflage was soon extended to other implements of war aside from the infantry. Airports, oil tankers, and military installations have been painted to better hide from aerial detections. Vehicles, like tanks, can be temporarily painted or covered with camouflage patterns for concealment in battle.

Hunting and Outdoor Activities

Camouflage soon spread from military to civilian use. During the 1970s, hunting enthusiasts began using military camouflage patterns. Hunters would draw vertical tree lines on their tie-dyed pants and coats, which gave way to the “Trebark” pattern now commonly used by hunters all over the country.

The Trebark pattern blends in well with woodlands, making it difficult for game to properly detect hunters. Because deer and other game have an adept sense of smell, hunters may use scent eliminators as well.

Cutting and Reusing

Old, faded camouflage clothing can still be useful to hunters and non-hunters alike. Old camouflage pants can be cut to make a nice gun sock. Cut into strips, camouflage clothing can be made for ghillie suit material. Worn cam pants can be sewn over newer pants to make them more durable in brush.

Camo in the Mainstream

Of course, it was only a matter of time before camouflage entered mainstream fashion. In the 1980s, the camouflage clothing craze swept the fashion industry. Teens, sportsmen, and hunters began wearing camouflage clothing as an everyday part of their wardrobe.

It was during this time that different colors were introduced, adding the option of more vibrant colors along with browns and greens. The camouflage pattern was extended to other items, including hats, shoes, and sleepwear.

How Green Pressure Groups are Influencing Washington

What are green pressure groups and how do they influence top level thinking?

What is a pressure group?

A pressure group consists of people who have mutual interests and similar sensitivities towards a subject. It typically has a narrow, specific topic focus. Green pressure groups are founded by the people who especially care about environmental products and other related issues. A peculiarity about a pressure group is that it is usually always clear in that it has no desire to attain a position of power itself. It simply exists to push for what they view as positive changes in government policy to create a more environmentally friendly planet.

Heavily reliant on public support and funding

Green pressure groups, most notably those such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, work towards increasing awareness of environmental issues across the world in order to achieve their aims. They play a crucial role in achieving a sustainable development and the increase of environmental product use around the world.

When doing this, they rely on the support of the public. Public awareness and involvement is necessary not only for financial support but also to be able make a more stringent pressure on the institutions. Government administrations don’t often take action, or even listen, until there is a major public outcry relating to a given topic. Therefore an important part of the efforts of such green pressure groups is devoted to educating the public through the promotions of important environmental issues.

How do they approach it?

The green pressure groups use many methods to pressure government administrations, methods which are often questioned and criticised by not only the media but well known public figures.

To get the attention of the public and the media on an activity which damages the environment, the pressure groups may take controversial or aggressive action, as has been experienced many times through the activities of Greenpeace. Greenpeace are often criticised for doing more harm to the cause than good with their strong actions. As stated above, the pressure groups may also arrange activities which will educate the public. Hence, instead of representing the environmental issues at the governmental level, the pressure groups find ways to increase the awareness of the public so that they can get financial or psychological support from people.

On the other hand, sometimes notable changes in legislation and regulation come about due to the direct intervention of pressure groups. In today’s society where there is a greater than ever awareness of environmental issues, many governments contain advisors or are closely connected to groups who are concerned with the environment.

Thanks to growing environmental awareness, there are many environmental products now being sold to consumers. Utterly Eco are a leading provider of such products.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

8 Tips for a Fun-Filled House Cleaning with the Kids

Do your kids turn a deaf ear every time you tell them it’s time for some household cleaning? Well that’s because no kid loves cleaning. But we have to do what parents ought to do. We push them to get involved in the household chores because it is one of the best ways we can teach them discipline and teamwork. We wake them up and force them to scrub the floor even if they’ll hate us. They will thank us when they become grown-ups anyway. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that hard. You can make your kids get involved without being hard on them. The secret is to make it into a game. Here’s how:

Use Fun Supplies

Turn old socks into animal puppets for wiping tables. Buy tiny, colorful pails instead of the big boring ones you have at home. Not only will this make cleaning more fun, it will also make it easier for them since they won’t be carrying heavy pails. What other cleaning materials can you make more appealing for the little ones?


Upbeat music is a must for household cleaning. Create a playlist of your kids’ favorite songs and they’ll surely be in a good mood for a little scrubbing.

Create Competition

Set up a friendly cleaning competition to get the house clean. Offer small rewards or treats to the winner. You might set a timer to see who can get their room picked-up first. You might also like to give rewards for the ones with the cleanest bathroom, closet, bed, even shoes.

Keep it Short

Fun and excitement fades away if we do something for a very long time. As much as possible, we want cleaning to be good and fast. However, if you do not have reliable cleaning equipment, it will definitely take you more than three hours to clean the whole house. Expect the kids to be grumpy. At the very least, invest in a good carpet cleaning equipment and washing machine.

Create a Sticker Chart

Put a chart on your kitchen where each child earns a sticker for cleaning up his or her toys each day. Give a weekly reward for earning a designated number of stickers. Older kids might have a point system to earn points for cleaning up.

Delegate Creatively

There are many ways to delegate tasks creatively. One great idea is by drawing lots. Write down chores you want to assign in small pieces of paper, rolling them one by one, and putting them in a jar. You let your kids pick one task per day.

Praise Your Kids

Do not forget to praise them for helping you with the chores. Tell them how thankful you are. After an hour of hard work, prepare their favorite snack and let them watch a good movie. It is very important that you make them feel appreciated so they’ll do it over and over again.

Mom Should Have Fun

Yes, the goal is for cleaning to be fun for the kids. But more importantly, it should be fun for you, too. If you’re doing these sweet motherly things out of duty and deep inside you’re not having fun, it would show. Your kids can tell. So bring out that cheerful attitude and don’t be grumpy. If it can’t be helped, then don’t do it. Don’t force it. Maybe it’s time you relax and hire a house cleaner.

Rotovac is a home cleaning company that provides American homes with quality carpet cleaning equipment and supplies that makes cleaning more fun for every household.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Breastfeeding for New Moms

You have tackled the long debate on whether to breastfeed or bottle feed your child it’s time to prepare. You have chosen to breastfeed and now you have many questions. The best way to approach breastfeeding is to be prepared.

Women all around the world and for many, many years have been breast feeding children, so go in with an open mind. When you are learning about the process, take mental notes and accept the information with an open heart. There will be a lot of critics and judgments on who, what, where, when and how of breastfeeding. Go with what you are most comfortable with. It is important you do what you personally feel is best. Always trust your first instinct.

Once you have made your decisions on the processes and what you want to do, don’t be afraid to ask questions. It is a good idea to always have a paper and pen near you at all times. This is great for when that question pops into your head in the middle of dish washing. Keep that list and write down your thoughts about each question. When you seek advice, ask those you trust the most and that you are comfortable with. Try speaking with your doctor, your mother, friends or any other nursing mothers that you trust. Their personal experiences and advice can help you in your breastfeeding journal.

Supplies. There is not much you need to purchase but there are a few items that will help you during this time. Look at comfortable nursing bras, a good breast pump, and a comfortable chair for nursing, ice packs, reliable breast pads and nursing blankets. You may want to consider asking friends what ointments they use to help with sore nipples.

There is not a lot that you can do to prepare physically for breastfeeding. Learn the science behind the act by reading books and attending nursing courses. Knowing how your body works will help you when the time comes to nurse.

Breastfeeding is a wonderful and great experience for you and your child. There will be lots of bonding and building between the two of you. Purchase your supplies, ask questions, learn and keep an open mind; breastfeeding will become natural to you before you know it!

Author Bio

Mary Edwards is one of the contributors and editors for best dating sites. She is passionate about thought leadership writing, regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting and online dating community. She can be reached at edwardsmary936 AT

Friday, March 23, 2012

Amazing Wedding Decorations


Image by Getty Images via @daylife

A couple's wedding day is arguably the most important day for the two of them, and as a result every step should be taken to make sure it is the best event possible in every detail. All future husbands and wifes have their own preferences on style, and so decorating the venue for that special day can be incredibly difficult. With countless websites, companies, magazines, advice columns and opinions out there on how to make it look the best, the process can be admittedly overwhelming. Merging two individual's styles together to make one cohesive presentation is tricky, but ultimately that is what the beauty of a wedding is all about.

The first step in ensuring that your wedding decorations are truly incredible is to pick a solid theme. Whether it is centered around one or more colors, or on a more conceptual theme, a unique and unified theme will help your wedding come across as organized and classy. Use that theme throughout your centerpieces, your flower arrangements and the venue's general decor. Your wedding day is about your and your new spouse, so make sure that your wedding is customized in some way; make your wedding you. While it may be your preference to have your wedding look like something straight out of a catalog or magazine, including a personal touch will take it to an entirely new level and make your wedding one to remember. One creative idea is to use photos or items that are significant to both you and your spouse as your wedding table decorations and you can put a ribbon . Visiting with all of your guests is always difficult at a wedding reception, but including something personal in your centerpieces will help bridge that gap.

To ensure that your wedding decorations are beautiful and amazing, avoid choosing styles and designs that clash with each other. If your bridesmaid dresses are pastel, don't use bright and harsh colors for your table coverings and drapes. If you use a particular flower or arrangement of flowers in one part of the venue, use identical or complimentary flowers elsewhere rather than ones that don't match. Roses, tulips, lilies and gardenias are all popular choices for decorating a wedding but be sure that the arrangements are elegant and well done. Another important tip is to try and create a link between the decorations you used in your ceremony with what you use after in the reception! wedding table decorations.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pet Ownership in the U.S

VetDepot’s infographic reveals that despite uncertain economic times, pet ownership in the U.S. has reached an all-time high. According the American Pet Products Association, the number of households that own at least one pet is now just shy of 73 million. Dog and cat owners make up for nearly three-quarters of pet owning households. There are approximately 46.3 million dogs and 38.9 million cats in American homes. Followed by canine and feline companions are fish with 12.6 million, 5.7 million birds, 5 million small mammals, 4.6 million reptiles or amphibians and 2.4 million horses.

This means that almost two-thirds of American households own at least one pet! This number is up 2.1% from the previous year’s APPA survey. VetDepot’s infographic also reveals that the majority of dog and cat owners spay or neuter their pets. 78% of dogs owned have been spayed or neutered, the same goes for 88% of cats.

Infographic provided by, a pet owner's trusted source for pet meds and supplies.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Blender History

While trying to incorporate the historical importance of the blender may be a trivial thing, it becomes a little more important as you realize that this kitchen appliance may be responsible for a shift culture geared towards weight loss and healthier eating habits. The blender is solely responsible for the popularity of the smoothie which makes eating healthier a fun activity with a bit of flavor "mixed" in.

1922 - Blenders are sold to drug stores and soda shops to make milk shakes for the yound and old

1932 - Poplaswski recieves a patent for a kitchen applicance that will blend foods, fruits and veggies to be speicific, into a liquid form for drinking

1933 - Fred Waring, just a muscian at the time, improves on the design from Poplawski and create a new product they name the Miracle Mixer

1937 - Fred Waring redesigns the blender appliace and releases is own blender called the Waring Blendor. Vitamix gets in the game and decides to use a stainless steel container

1938 - Osius decides to give his product the new name of a Waring Blender after Fred Waring provides financial support

1946 - John Oster buys Stevens Electric and the initial Oseterizer blender is introduced to waiting consumers

The infographic will give you more tips on how to choose the right blender for your home.

This infographic on the history of blenders is provided by Smoothie Web.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Do you fancy a fairytale-themed wedding someday?

Do you fancy a fairytale-themed wedding someday? We all know that only royalties like Kate Middleton and Prince William can have a wedding like that. Well, there’s also the Kardashian-Humphries wedding, which almost everyone considers as a publicity stunt. Whether or not it was just for show, we all know that this wedding looks like it was taken from a fairytale book!

(Source: Brilliance Loose Diamond)
Sadly, not all folks will be able to experience such weddings. Obviously, the main reason is the budget. Since these people are actual royalties and celebrities, they are able to pay millions for their very special day. An average American wedding doesn’t stand a chance, really. To give you an idea about how much is the difference between your typical weddings vs. the Kardashian-Humphries wedding, price-wise, has compiled an excellent list of expenditures commonly made by couples for their weddings. You’ll also see how much the celebrity wedding has paid for to get these items and services. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I Like to Drink Beer on Hunting Trips

Yes, it’s true, but never before or while I’m hunting, that’s totally unsafe. I always wait until after the hunt is over and the guns are all locked away for the night. Beer has never gotten me into a fist fight with my pals, or got me thrown out of the camp for the night. No, I must admit that, of all the spirits that I’ve hunted with before, beer is the most agreeable.

Maybe it’s because I enjoy it so much, that I sometimes decide to not get up the next morning and go hunting with the rest of the boys. That allows me to sit around until all hours of the night drinking beer, and then I just volunteer to be the camp cook for the next day, which allows me to sample many of the different types of beer that the others have brought up. I’ve gotten to try several types that I can’t get at home, and it’s heaven for me.

You may think that I sound like a beer snob, but really I’m not. Isn’t there something that you love to do? Something that you don’t get technical about, but still find happiness in just doing it? Well, that’s beer and hunting for me. I don’t know what hops are what, or what kind of yeast was used to give the beer its aroma. I leave that up to the to figure that stuff out. I just like to taste it. To experience it for a moment, and then go on with my life.

Oh right, I mentioned hunting. Well, I don’t own a gun, and I don’t care how a gun even works, but I love being out in the woods, basking in the serenity and the beauty of it all. Drinking in the squirrels chatter from the forest, and possibly even a nice cold lager or perhaps a stout ale from England. Again, it’s one of those things that I love to enjoy, but I could really care less about the steps involved in getting me to that point. I would rather spend my time in the splendor of the moment, than analyzing the chain of events that brought that bliss about. Like my lady says, I’m just a simple man, with a simple plan. I think she’s right.

Delivered to you by the editorial lineup at Beer Club Guide, where you can discover the very best monthly beer club.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Classic Board Games that Never Grow Old

From times immemorial, we have been turning to the world of board games to get rid of the boredom in our lives. About 15 or 20 years ago, when there were no video games or they were quite basic at best, there were few alternatives, for playing indoors, than pulling out those board games. While modern console video games may have taken entertainment to a whole new level, there is always a place for these board games in our world.

Here’s a look at some of the games that changed the way we spent our afternoons:

Chess by naturalchess


The origins of this brilliant game of strategy and is considered to be the father of all board games in terms of the concept of packing entertainment into a box. Originating in 600AD, this game traces its roots back to India where it was a part of the training regimen for kings and princes. By alternating moves and controlling a hierarchy of players, two people try to outsmart each other with over millions of possible combinations to play the game.

From strategy to creating the ability to think, Chess is all about outsmarting your opposition while protecting your own pieces, especially the king.

  • Monopoly Personalized Save the Date Printable Photo Card

  • Monopoly

    This game has a more recent history, only about 100 years or so, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming one of the most popular board games in the world. As children playing this game, you get introduced to the world of economics with market-dominance being the ultimate goal. There are a total of 40 spaces on the board that have 28 properties. Depending on which part of the world you are from, the names of these properties would change.

    The concept of the game, however, would remain the same. Each player would move their piece according to the role of a die. Depending on where your piece would land, you would either pay rent for landing on someone else’s property, or have the option of buying an un-owned property. The last player to not go bankrupt is the winner of the game.


    Whether two people or four, there are few games as interesting as Scrabble can be. Players begin by picking out seven random letters using which, they need to start making words on the board. Each letter is assigned a particular value depending on how common they are in usage as well as how difficult it is to use them in regular words. You make points based on the sum of the values of the letters you have used and on the basis of where the letters have been placed. In the end, when you cannot add any more words, the person with the highest score wins!

    There are many other games, like Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit and Backgammon, which have made our afternoons a lot more useful than today. These games weren’t just about entertainment either. As you played Scrabble or Chess, you built up your brain power while Monopoly was the first teacher of basic economic rules that govern our society.

  • assorted Scabble tile by twosupply
  • We may have more complex video games ruling our screens today but there’s no denying that these board games have been the foundation of our childhood. That today’s children don’t play them as often as we did isn’t a bad thing (because they have alternatives) but just a little sad because these board games continue to die out in front of their electronic versions. However, even if the boards are put away forever, there is no denying the fact that these games have laid the foundation for a culture that makes millions of games and entertainment options for children and adults around the world.

    GORDON THORPE – author


    As an employee at a world class firm of Wordpress designers and developers, Gordon has constantly gone back to his childhood to take inspiration from those who’ve made a difference to his life. Things that have touched his life and given him memories are a constant part of his inspiration and he finds a lot of pleasure in taking these things to the next level, through his work.

    Friday, March 16, 2012

    How to Start Your Own Green Business

    Higher numbers of businesses are keeping the environment in mind when they start up.

    What is a “green” business?

    Green, environmentally friendly products and services are here to stay.  Although dismissed as passing fads when they first came to prominence in the early 90’s, green products are becoming an ever more increasing part of day to day life.  Starting a green business is an excellent way for environmentally conscious entrepreneurs to make money while also making a difference to the future of the planet.  A great deal of consumers now consider the social responsibility and ethics of a business before deciding whether to purchase from them.
    Green businesses are focussed on delivering their services and products in an environmentally friendly, socially responsible way while remaining focussed on maintaining a profitable operation.  Green businesses are fully committed to a sustainable service and the way in which they operate also reflects this approach.  There are numerous ways a business can become “green”.   One of the more common ways to achieve this is by exclusively using recycled products, and using renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power to provide energy for its’ premises.

    Before starting your own green business, you need to consider how feasible your business plan is.  Are you able to deliver continued profitability while working in an environmentally sustainable manner?

    Why green businesses work

    One major advantage of committing to a “green” business model is the instant financial savings to be made which will immediately benefit a business’ bottom line.  A “green” business model likely means that travel, at least via car or other polluting transport, will be minimal, therefore saving your business a small fortune on fuel expenses or fares.

    As well as those benefits, businesses which are environmentally conscious use this to their advantage to make financial savings across many aspects of their operation.  Massive energy savings can be made through utilising renewable energy sources, while also utilising technology to minimise and reuse any “waste” energy created by a business’ premises.

    How to make an impression

    By far the biggest obstacle to the success of green businesses is the knowledge of the general public.  Although consumers who are already inclined to purchase and use eco-products will be doing so fully aware of how they sustain the environment, transcending this boundary is a whole different story.  Put as much resource as you possibly can into educating a wider demographic to the benefits of sustainable attitudes towards consumption, and this will help you unlock a great deal of potential for developing your green business from day one.

    BrightLocal is the perfect option for any business that wants to get higher rankings and optimise their online presence. We can help you with your local SEO marketing if your in-house resources are limited.

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

    The Secret of Marketing your Business on Facebook


    facebook (Photo credit: sitmonkeysupreme)

    Whether you’re a Facebook fanatic with thousands of friend connections or the last holdout to online social networking, it’s time to place your personal feelings aside and put your business first. The simple truth is that Facebook is a fast and effective way to marketing your business.

    Why is Facebook a Good Idea?

    Whether your company builds dog houses or fights mosquito diseases, starting a Facebook page is a great way to help market your business, develop your brand identity, and forge relationships with existing and potential customers. What business doesn’t long for increased visibility? Well Facebook hosts a few hundred million users around the world, making it a pretty exciting place to start developing and expanding your client base.

    Is this Going to be Hard?

    For some, the idea of creating something on the Internet is a scary thought that conjures visions of error messages, boiling frustration, and endless hours of toil. The reality is that starting a Facebook page is something even a novice computer user can accomplish without breaking a sweat, plus it’s absolutely free!

    To get started all you need to do is sign up with basic information like your business name, address, and phone number. Once you are in, easy-to-follow prompts allow you to customize your page with a logo, slogan, and other useful information.

    Remember, however, Facebook offers myriad ways to promote and advertise your business, so it’s a good idea to know what your objectives are going in and sticking to a plan of meeting them.

    Is this Thing on?

    Just starting a Facebook page isn’t nearly enough to drive your business revenues through the roof. That being said, it’s not hard to start making progress immediately.

    A great way to begin once you have your page looking the way you like it is to invite your friends, family, and existing clients to “like” your business. Now that you have an audience, you can build upon it by supplying frequent updates of useful information, news regarding business developments, and even special promotions. Be thoughtful and creative while keeping your Facebook active and your following will surely grow.

    Are we there yet?

    The great thing about Facebook is that it continues to evolve with its users. While some may only be looking for a place to show off their latest products and services, others will push the limits, using Facebook in conjunction with an official website and social marketing strategy to reach a wider and more diverse pool of potential clients than ever.

    How does the Story End?

    Like in any drama, the principle players are primary in determining the action. By remaining focused, keeping up-to-date, and staying true to who you are, Facebook will serve as an invaluable and often enjoyable way to market your business for free online.

    This guest post contributed by Shane, a Facebook enthusiast, with special interests in doghouses and mosquito diseases.

    The Beauty Of Handmade Gifts

    It doesn’t take much effort to pop into the high street shops or log on your computer and buy a gift for a friend’s birthday or other special occasion. There’s nothing wrong with bought gifts of course, and many of us don’t have time to consider any other options for our present shopping. It’s far more personal though to take the time to create something truly individual for your friend by making a gift yourself.

    If You Can’t Stand The Heat...

    Homemade edible gifts always go down well, and many can be made with ingredients which you already have in the kitchen. Cake or cookies is a great choice for a gift for people of all ages, and for the more confident cook, macaroons have become very fashionable in recent years. Chutneys and jams can be made when fruit is in season, and stored throughout the year to form part of a hamper gift. Fudge is trickier to make, but is a very impressive gift when packaged prettily in a box tied up with ribbon.

    Get The Needles Out

    Crochet, knitting and other traditional crafts are eternally popular and are a great way to relax after a hard day. Even beginner knitters can create beautiful gifts for friends and family if they choose the right sort of yarn. Noro yarn from Japan is an ideal choice as it is made from natural fibres, is multicoloured and lends itself easily to lots of different types of projects. Scarves, hats and gloves can all be made from Noro yarn, and the more confident knitters can even create a pair of handmade socks which will last a lifetime. Noro Yarn also works well for crochet, and the effect when it is made into a large blanket or throw can be stunning.

    Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Everyone has unwanted presents which are just gathering dust at the back of the cupboard, and there is nothing wrong with recycling these into gifts for other people. An unattractively packaged toiletry set can be unboxed and repacked into a wicker hamper with some handmade soap, or some expensive looking bubble bath. Farmers markets are held every day of the week up and down the country, and many of them have stalls selling beautiful soaps and natural body washes. Make a stockpile of different varieties and sizes to make up your pamper hampers with.
    By Sigalit Alcalai (Jewellery  artist designer)

    Jewellery and Trinkets

    Jewellery making is a popular craft but is not a cheap one to take up for the beginner. There are many jewellery makers who sell their handmade items online, and buying from one of these stores guarantees an unusual product which cannot be bought in any high street store. Kits are also sold, and these kits contain everything which is needed to make a bracelet, pendant or pair of earrings, along with full instructions. As a gift for a craft loving friend, a kit is an ideal gift. Jewellery making skills are taught at classes across the country, and the ability to make personalised jewellery gifts will ensure a steady supply of gifts for years to come.
    You'll find quality wools such as Noro Yarn and knitting accessories at Pack Lane Wool.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    Tips to be Happy in a Relationship

    Finding personal satisfaction within a relationship and developing a healthy opinion about it overtime is a complex but attainable process for both men and women. As per the evidence from other people's life who have had success in their life, who have progressed faster than others, the road to long-term relationship begins by recognizing each other's nature, changing that can be changed, accepting and loving things that cannot be changed and scouring beyond the superficial thinking to discover the depths of personality to bring meaning to it. Below are a few tips to be happy in a relationship.

    Get in Shape with Exercise and Healthy Eating
    There is no disagreement that a 300 pound person who does not exercise or make healthy food choice, is in poor shape-physically and mentally. But the majority of people who are being acknowledged to be obese by other, do not consider themselves as obese. And obesity with inability to perform regular activities or move around easily is not synonymous with happy life. For someone struggling to find deeper connection in a relationship, the recommended treatment is physical and behavioral, and would be done as self-support or with the help of trainers, therapists, clairvoyants or psychic advisers. In other words, the most effective approach for that person to regain confidence in relationship is to simply set the mind for regular, moderate exercise to get back to normal weight.

    Choose Activities Which are Mutually Enjoyable
    Having a regular activity that both people in a relationship enjoy is the hallmark of attractiveness and sensuality. The emphasis on good interaction while engaging in these routine tasks increases the chance of a relationship becoming stronger in the long-term.

    Develop Clean Habits and Good Hygiene
    Appearance is a way of communicating that is more primary than verbal speech. Although the ideal man or a woman, as judged by the other person, varies around the world from one culture to another, the most basis of judging a person's appearance is how he or she takes care of health and gives importance to cleanliness. Certainly, there can be much more than this to forming a long-lasting male-female relationship, but one cannot deny the unconscious judgement that is instinct.

    Express Those Hidden Feelings
    It is common for women to tittle-tattle about a matter, but men tend to learn to suppress their emotional feelings. While physical activities can lift a man's self-esteem by shaping the body, emotional connection with the person in a relationship can shape the mind. A bond without proper expression of feelings can set a man up for lifelong mind distress. Sometimes the result can be a hyper-masculine male needing to dominate others through aggressions and abuse.

    Be Open to Learn New Things
    Just like it takes an entire village to raise a child, relationship doesn't happen overnight or by two people preoccupied with personal talk. Friends and family too contribute in different ways for the relationship to bloom, that is also true of how it can breakdown. Good and honest people surrounding the couple in connection provide the kind of insights that only personal experience can bring, their words and thoughts can help sort out a situation with motivation, knowledge and support for a well-rounded life.

    Lastly, given the complexity of relationship, it stands to reason that the successful one takes time, effort and patience.

    Jane, psychic from England and tarot reading expert.