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Home and Leisure Archive            Date Archived:  February 23rd 2006

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Travel Protection

Travel Protection

Plan your trip

It may be months away from spring and summer but now is the time to plan the adventure of a lifetime with your partner. First, did you know that there are tours, cruises and adventures all over the world that are tailored for the LGBT? Second, planning strategies are suggested that can make your vacation stress free and give you the peace of mind you need. Lastly, a variety of travel destinations, events and research strategies are mentioned to help you plan that perfect vacation with your partner. By the way, some of what I offer here is sound advice for preparation in business travel too.

FACTOIDS:  American LGBT persons spent 54 billion dollars in travel in 2004; UK LGBT persons spent nearly 44.8 billion dollars on travel in 2004 (These estimates include travel within and outside their respective countries, what part of the UK’s $$ are coming to America or vice-versa is not reported.).  Travel Protection


A Florist’s World - Buying Flowers Online is Easier Today than Ever

A Florist’s World - Buying Flowers Online is Easier Today than Ever

Flowers Online

How pleasant it is to enjoy the aesthetics of a vase full of colorful and aromatic flowers.  Flowers are known to have positive effects on our moods, perhaps due to the fact that they are a living creation of art, and thus the bilateral relationship developed with their owner -- flowers offer their beauty in return for their owner’s attention and watering.  This living relationship is not the flowers’ sole relationship. 

Don’t be alarmed, your darling flowers aren’t cheating on you!  But your flowers have already shared a vital relationship with the florist, who decides which flowers to buy and where to buy them from, who takes care of the flowers even before they are in her possession, and who certainly leaves a personal touch on the flowers, using the talents of artistry and style to create a bouquet you won’t want to take your eyes off.  Thus, it is the florist who prepares your flowers for you -- not only in the beauty of a bouquet, but also in the care that the flowers will expect us to continue giving them.  A Florist’s World - Buying Flowers Online is Easier Today than Ever


A Brief History of DIRECTV

A Brief History of DIRECTV

History of DIRECTV

Perhaps the most popular satellite provider in the United States, DIRECTV® has a long and impressive history under its belt. So, just who is DIRECTV? And how did they get to where they are today?

DIRECTV - The Early Years

Satellite as we know it today actually started back in 1984, when Hughes Electronics gained FCC approval to build and operate a direct broadcast satellite system, or DBS. The satellite DIRECTV-1 was launched on December 17, 1993 and in 1994, Hughes Electronics founded DIRECTV and premiered the first North American offering of DBS service. Often called the "minidish", this new satellite dish was considerably smaller than what consumers were used to - approximately 18 inches in diameter - and much more manageable than those large, cumbersome TVRO satellite dishes from our past.  A Brief History of DIRECTV

How to qualify for your first Home Loan

How to qualify for your first Home Loan

House

There are a few things that you need to have accomplished before searching for you new home.  Usually a real estate agent wants to have a letter of pre-qualification for a home loan to start shopping for a home.  In order to qualify for a home loan you need to meet certain requirements.

Before you apply for any home loan you should get a copy of your credit report from the credit reporting agencies.  You can either sign up for a yearly monitoring service that will send you a report once a year with quarterly updates for credit changes, or you can contact each of the agencies directly for a copy of the report.  Try to get your credit report cleaned up and improve your credit score.  If there are any errors contact the reporting agency to get the information corrected.  How to qualify for your first Home Loan


Refinancing your Home Loan to Consolidate Debt

Refinancing your Home Loan to Consolidate Debt

Money

With the hints of higher interest rates, it may be time to lock in all your credit card debt by refinancing your Home Loan.  Not only are higher interest rates looming, you also have to worry about new laws that have doubled the credit cards minimum payments.

If you only have $10,000 in credit card debt you are probably better off paying the debt or getting a second on your home.  The reason for this is because the cost to refinance a home loan is usually not a free service.  If you shop around you should be able to avoid some loan fees.  Refinancing your Home Loan to Consolidate Debt


Hybrid Car Advantages – How to Save Money with Easy and Less Frequent Fill Ups

Hybrid Car Advantages – How to Save Money with Easy and Less Frequent Fill Ups

Toyota Highlander

There are many advantages to the hybrid car. This year the US Treasury has offered a tax credit when drivers purchase a hybrid car.  Last year, only a tax deduction was available.  Hybrid cars will save you money on gas, compared to conventional models.  Also, the hybrid car provides fewer emissions, improving the air quality.

Unlike hydrogen or natural gas cars, the hybrid can be filled-up at any gas station.  They use regular gasoline.  You don’t have to charge the batteries every night like electric cars.  In fact they operate almost identical to conventional gas powered cars.

Hybrids use the breaking power to help charge the batteries, thus conserving energy.  Hybrid Car Advantages – How to Save Money with Easy and Less Frequent Fill Ups

Hybrid Car Tax Credit Breakdown by Model - Chart Shows What Cars will Save You Most

Hybrid Car Tax Credit Breakdown by Model - Chart Shows What Cars will Save You Most

Toyota Prius

With gas prices and insurance costs on the rise, many Americans are looking for ways to save money. Credit cards minimum payments have doubled and credit card interest rates are on the rise adding to the burden.  There is a lot of talk about the hybrid car tax credit, but can these cars really save you money?

Some buyers have complained that the cars do not get the mileage that the sticker claims.  These mileage numbers are calculated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) using a standard dynometer (dyno) test. Recently Consumer Reports found that all cars may not get the mileage claimed on the sticker.  Most drivers use their air conditioner and heater and may travel up and down hills.

Hybrids will give you better gas mileage than standard non-hybrids in the same class.  Power is conserved in the breaking system and new drive-train technology has added to their efficiency.  Hybrid Car Tax Credit Breakdown by Model - Chart Shows What Cars will Save You Most


Online Schools are popular way to get a Degree

Online Schools are popular way to get a Degree

degree and cap

Many people that either did not complete college, or go onto get an advanced degree find that it is becoming easier than ever to get their degree by attending a university online.  It can be next to impossible to go to school if you are juggling work and family.  The best part about going to school online it helps anyone to get an advanced degree.

My sister, who lives in Minnesota, attended an advanced Master degree program from the University of Florida.   Not once was she required to attend a class physically.  She did have a lot of course work and it was an in-depth program.  She was working during the day and taking care of her kids and for a whole year she worked in between all this for the degree.  Granted it was a lot of work to attend an online university, but it does make it easier to do when you have family and work.  Online Schools are popular way to get a Degree

New Tax Credit Numbers for Hybrid Vehicles - Savings Breakdown by the Car and How much you will save

New Tax Credit Numbers for Hybrid Vehicles - Savings Breakdown by the Car and How much you will save

Prius

Tax credits for hybrid cars and other fuel-efficient cars took effect January 1st.  The tax credits will vary according to the car you buy, and this can cause some confusion, but it can benefit you to figure it out.  The goal of the federal government is to encourage the purchase of fuel efficient (green) vehicles.

If you purchased a hybrid vehicle last year you should check with your tax man to see if you qualify for a tax deduction.  But if you buy a hybrid car this year you will receive a tax “credit” that will likely save you much more money.  The credit is deducted directly from your tax bill and not just from your income.

There are two elements that the new tax credit is based on.  The first element considers the fuel savings of the hybrid compared to the same style non-hybrid vehicle.  The second element is based on the estimated lifetime fuel savings. New Tax Credit Numbers for Hybrid Vehicles - Savings Breakdown by the Car and How much you will save


Recreational Vehicles RVs - What to Look For in a Motor Home How to Compare

Recreational Vehicles RVs - What to Look For in a Motor Home How to Compare

Floor plan for Type B

Using a Recreational Vehicle (RV) can make a vacation extremely enjoyable.  The choices seem endless, but you should first decide if you want a trailer, camper or motor home.  There are advantages to all of these.

Trailers and fifth wheels can be parked and left.  You will be able to leave the trailer and view the local sites in your motorized car.  Of course you can tow a vehicle behind your motor home.  Some of the new newer trailers include a space in the rear for carrying dirt bikes and other toys.  The space can sometimes be converted into a living area.

Motorhomes (motorized RVs) are divided into three categories.  The first is type A that includes the standard motor home or coach.  These are the size of busses and are generally the roomiest of all RVs.  They include luxury amenities and can sleep up to six usually.  They start at abound $58,000 and can go up to $400,000 or more.  Recreational Vehicles RVs - What to Look For in a Motor Home How to Compare


Which is better Full-Day or Half-day Kindergarten

Which is better Full-Day or Half-day Kindergarten

chalkboard

Enrolling your child in kindergarten next year?  A recent study comparing full-day and half-day kindergarten may help you in making this decision.  There are two types of Kindergarten classes, full length day and a half-day.  You may not have an option of full-day or half-day but you might consider supplementing your half day student at home.

A study that is going to be published in the upcoming February issue of the American Journal of Education looked at full-day and half-day programs to see which one was better.  They studied more than 8,000 kindergarteners in 500 U.S. public schools.  Which is better Full-Day or Half-day Kindergarten


Hybrid Cars – new designs on display at Auto Shows

Hybrid Cars – new designs on display at Auto Shows

Saturn VUE Green Line

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit had Toyota Motor Sales and General Motors Corporation (GM) and other manufacturers showing off their new hybrid automobiles. 

Toyota showed off its 2007 design of the Camry Hybrid car which has an estimated 43 mpg city driving and 37 mpg highway.  Hybrid Cars – new designs on display at Auto Shows


Digital Camera Accessories for Macro Photography

Digital Camera Accessories for Macro Photography

example of macro photography

Macro photography, or extreme close-up photography, is often easier to accomplish using digital SLR cameras with smaller sensor sizes that effectively magnify the image. The best way to get these close-up images is with some special digital camera accessories.

Digital cameras are great for photographing small stuff for any reason—from pure artistic expression to insurance records. If you have a collection of jewelry, stamps or butterflies, or you're just fascinated by the frost pattern on your windows, macro photography is for you.  Digital Camera Accessories for Macro Photography


Organize your Home One Room at a Time

Organize your Home One Room at a Time

Lowe's sells organizing supplies

Now that a new year is here, many of us have decided to get organized.  If you find that your house is in a constant state of chaos, and you cannot find what you need easily, it is time to organize. 

Sometimes it is a clutter problem that is afflicting us.  We held on to everything and we now literally have piles of stuff without a place to put them.  This is a daunting task and it is hard for us to be motivated about cleaning it up.  It just isn’t fun.  It was more fun getting the stuff.  But unfortunately if that pile looms, it will bother you day after day.  It is unused living space that has become the black hole in our house sucking up even more things that we can’t find any more. Organize your Home One Room at a Time


10 Tips to Choose the Perfect Summer Camp

10 Tips to Choose the Perfect Summer Camp

Tips for Camping Trips

Baltimore MD ­ Choosing the perfect children’s summer camp causes busy parents tremendous anxiety.

As the wife of a pediatrician and mother of eight kids—four of them adopted and several with ADHD—I founded Best-Summer-Camps.com to make choosing the perfect camp as enjoyable as eating S’mores.

Camps have provided our kids with confidence, lasting memories and experiences they can't always get with a gaggle of brothers and sisters around. We have attended over sixty different camps, consulted with hundreds of parents and spent thousands of hours researching programs to create this list.  10 Tips to Choose the Perfect Summer Camp


How to get Lower interest rates on Credit Cards

How to Lower your interest rate on Credit Cards

Shop for lower rates

In order to make your credit card payments count as much as possible and to get out of debt sooner, you can try to get lower interest rates.  Sometimes card companies will offer a promotional balance transfer that is 1.99% for a six month period of time. Duration of the promotion and interest rates can vary greatly.

Don’t assume that every offer from the same credit card company is the same deal.  The card companies will mail you an offer with different rates on the same advertisement.  Some at full interest rates, mixed in with the lower rates.  If you decide to use the checks that they mail you, you might use the wrong one and get the higher interest rates.  If you call in for a promotional offer make sure you take notes of the day you called the rate, duration of the promotion, and who you helped you on the phone.  It is extremely important to read the fine print and ask questions about the balance transfer fees and time limits.  How to get Lower interest rates on Credit Cards


2006 Honda Ridgeline Truck and 2006 Honda Civic wins Best of the Year

2006 Honda Ridgeline Truck and 2006 Honda Civic wins Best of the Year

2006 Honda Ridgeline Truck

This is the first time that an automobile manufacturer has won both the best car and truck of the year awards in the same year.  Motor Trend magazine’s 2006 Truck of the Year award was given to Honda’s Ridgeline Truck.  The Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award for 2006 was the Honda Civic.

The Ridgeline truck was first introduced in March of 2005, and is a mid-size truck. It is a 4 door pickup that has received the 5 star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  This is the first time a 4 door truck has been given this safety recognition.   It also is has the recognition of having the best rating for a rollover resistance of any pickup ever tested by the NHTSA.  2006 Honda Ridgeline Truck and 2006 Honda Civic wins Best of the Year


Planning a Trip or Vacation? How To Plan For The Unexpected

Planning a Trip or Vacation? How To Plan For The Unexpected

Trip Planning

Have you ever taken a trip where it seemed that everything went wrong? What should have been a care free, relaxing vacation or an efficient business trip quickly turns into a stress-filled nightmare. No one likes to dwell on the negative, but the old saying “hope for the best, and plan for the worst” has a lot of truth to it. Many things can go wrong and planning ahead will help you avoid unwanted drama, stress and hassles.

Travel delays or accidents, hidden fees and costs, lost or delayed luggage, medical or dental emergencies, travel accidents, rental car damage, potential terrorist attack alerts, emergency assistance problems, identity theft and more are common problems that can, and most likely, will occur on some occasion during trip taking. In hindsight could most of the hassles on that trip have been prevented or made more bearable by planning for the unexpected? Here are some tips for doing just that.  Planning a Trip or Vacation? How To Plan For The Unexpected


I-Sold It stores will sell your stuff for you on Ebay

I-Sold-It stores will sell your stuff for you on Ebay

I Sold It store

Have you ever thought about selling some of your items on ebay, but found that you just don’t have the time to do it?  You might want to consider selling them through a drop off store and have them list, sell, and ship your items for you on Ebay.  One franchise called I-Sold-It offers these services. There are currently 164 stores open across the country with 600 more signed contracts to open soon. 

You drop of the items you want to sell at the local I-Sold It store, and then you wait for them to list and sell your item.  They get a commission on the sale of the item.  You need to have an auction that is valued at least $30 and has to weigh less than 150 pounds, and the Length + the Girth of the item does not exceed 130 inches.  I-Sold It stores will sell your stuff for you on Ebay


Last Minute Christmas Presents ­ FREE from Christian Work at Home Moms

Last Minute Christmas Presents ­ FREE from Christian Work at Home Moms

Last Minute

If you’re still searching for that special last minute Christmas gift or just want something extra for yourself, look no further. Christian Work-At-Home Moms is having a Christmas Give Away with free gifts and prizes including a 22-page ebook and audio download from best-selling author Susan Harrow.  Co hosts Jill Hart of Christian Work at Home Moms and Diana Ennen of Virtual Word Publishing, Inc. have teamed up to make this the best Christmas ever for the listeners of their radio show and those who stop by the CWAHM site.

Here are just some of the prizes and free gifts you can receive. 

*   6-Figure Book Advance-Without Selling Your Soul ($59.95 value) - by Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Marketing Strategist and author.  Last Minute Christmas Presents ­ FREE from Christian Work at Home Moms 

Hybrid Cars up to 90 Percent less Pollution

Hybrid Cars up to 90 Percent less Pollution

Honda Insight Hybrid Car

Hybrid cars still have better fuel mileage than a regular gas powered car.  The miles-per-gallon as reported by Consumers Report says that you can expect around 35 miles per gallon versus the sticker that claims 60 miles per gallon. An SUV will use around 15 – 20 miles per gallon.

The interesting thing to remember about Hybrid cars is that they are up to 90 percent more efficient on emissions.  That adds up to a lot of pollution.  A website called travelmatters.org has a calculator to figure out how much emissions your vehicle is putting out.  It was very interesting to see the difference in the amount of emissions of a large family vehicle verses a hybrid car.  This website offers a lot of insight into the pollution factor of driving a vehicle.  Hybrid Cars up to 90 Percent less Pollution


Things to do While in London Including Museums and Collections

Things to do While in London Including Museums and Collections

Madame Tussauds

A single day maneuvering through London’s museums will prove to be very enlightening and educational.  With perhaps the world’s highest concentration of museums per square mile, the choices are as varied as the tastes of the visitors.  An itinerary of one day, depending on energy levels, can prove to be absolutely packed to the brim with not a moment to spare. 

This one-day guide will provide the most interesting options for a packed itinerary, and for those who want a calmer day, pick and choose what sounds best for your energy and speed levels.  As everyone knows, London can be expensive; as not everyone knows, some of London’s best museums, like the British Museum, are free of charge.  Thus, an itinerary is provided for those who want to spend the minimum of money seeing the maximum of London’s culture. 

On the other hand, some of the best museums, like the Tower of London, are quite pricey.  The London Pass can be an economical solution, giving free entry to countless London attractions for a set fee.  Tourist-oriented museums, like Madame Tussauds wax museum, are a category in themselves, perfect for the day when the visitor seeks entertaining education rather than analytical thought in a museum visit.  Things to do While in London Including Museums and Collections


How to Choose a Flower Arrangement for the Death of a Loved One

How to Choose a Flower Arrangement for the Death of a Loved One

Choose the right flowers

The loss of a loved one is a very sensitive time for family and friends. On these occasions, nothing is more appropriate than sending a funeral floral arrangement that offers a physical presence of love and thoughtfulness. The beauty of a flower arrangement provides a unique opportunity to express love, sympathy, and comfort to the family as well as respect for the deceased. Here are some questions to ask yourself when selecting the perfect funeral floral arrangement.

What type of funeral floral arrangement is most appropriate? The type of floral arrangement you choose to send depends on your relationship with the deceased and the type of funeral being held.  How to Choose a Flower Arrangement for the Death of a Loved One


New Consumer Reports Tests Question EPA Mileage Numbers

New Consumer Reports Tests Question EPA Mileage Numbers

Honda Insight Hybrid

With higher insurance costs and gas prices many consumers are looking for ways to save money.  Budding automobile purchasers are considering hybrid cars as a way to achieve that goal.  But are the hybrids really worth it?

It depends on who you talk to.  Some buyers complain that they are not getting the advertised gas mileage.  On an ABC World News Tonight story buyers are seen grumbling over what they perceive as a misrepresentation. 

The cars are put through a standardized Dyno-test that other cars go through to get the gas mileage figures.  The EPA has been doing this for years, but now that gas mileage has become an ever increasing factor for buying a hybrid, the numbers are being heavily scrutinized.  New Consumer Reports Tests Question EPA Mileage Numbers


A Guide to Traveling London through King’s Cross Station

A Guide to Traveling London through King’s Cross Station

King's Crossing

For visiting London, proximity to King’s Cross is the perfect location.  An intersection of six tube lines, including the Northern, Picadilly, and Circle Lines, to name a few, can get you virtually anywhere from King’s Cross. King’s Cross is also a train terminal, in the case that you are planning to visit the north of the UK.

But let’s not get off track and get back to seeing London via King’s Cross.  London, the cultural melting pot that it is, offers amazing and varied shops of anything you could desire. Located near the major shopping zones of London, both commercial and artisan.

King’s Cross is a convenient place for a shopping tour in London.  The city is also a magnet for great and creative minds, as is well known by all the thinkers, writers and artists who both came to and from London.  The wide range of museums and galleries reflects this intellectual breeding ground, and again, King’s Cross is a skip, hop and a jump away from many of these world-class museums.  A Guide to Traveling London through King’s Cross Station


Gourmet Natural Dessert Sauces

Gourmet Natural Dessert Sauces

Pen'z Gourmet Sauces

In cooking school, making homemade caramel sauce was the most challenging technique learned by Pen’z Pantry’s owner Penny "Penz" Selzer. Learning to cook from an early age, Penny become enamored by challenging recipes and over the years perfected her caramel sauce recipes.

Pen’z Caramel Sauce is made from 100% natural ingredients and after 2 years of testing, created the Pen’z "All Natural" Caramel Sauce, able to be shipped anywhere and maintain its perfect flavor and texture. Penny now has created a full line of "to-die-for" dessert sauces—Decadent Chocolate, Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Caramel Pecan, adding delicious variety to the original Caramel Sauce, each one perfect for the gourmet discerning taste as sauces, toppings, or in recipes.  Gourmet Natural Dessert Sauces

New Survey shows 17% Americans sells their Used stuff Online

New Survey shows 17% Americans sells their Used stuff Online

Google Base Beta version

A survey conducted by The Pew Internet and American Life Project discovered that 17% of Americans have sold something online.  That is about one in six American adults that have sold online.  At any given time there are 25 million people or 2% are selling something online.

Ebay and online classified ads have become a way of life for many people.  It has brought the yard sale to a new level when people can bring their used items for the world to buy.  Everything from used children's clothes, to used books and DVD movies.  If you can’t use it why not sell it online? 

Ebay is one of the more known auction sites, but there is also Yahoo Auctions, Overstock Auctions and Ubid.   There is also traditional classified papers online as well, such as The Recycler, The Penny Saver.  There are a lot of ways to sell your used stuff online.  New Survey shows 17% Americans sells their Used stuff Online


The Best Way to Shop Online Safely

The Best Way to Shop Online Safely

Online Payments

Now that the shopping season is under way many shoppers are considering alternative shopping methods.  Online shopping has become very popular and many shoppers are shopping while at work.  Although shopping online is relatively safe compared with shopping at the malls there are a few caveats. 

Recent studies found that your credit card information is safer with online retailers than with brick and mortar retailers.  Amazon, Yahoo and eBay all go to great lengths to ensure that your shopping experience is safe. 

At these three sites you can pay for items with your credit card without ever having to reveal your credit card number to the actual seller (you still give it to Paypal, Yahoo or Amazon, but not the seller using their site).  So if you find an item at one of their retailers check to see if the seller accepts the eBay Paypal or the Yahoo Wallet. The Best Way to Shop Online Safely


How to make your Front Yard sparkle with Outdoor Holiday Decor

How to make your Front Yard sparkle with Outdoor Holiday Decor

Fiber Optic Snowmen

One of the popular trends today, is to decorate your front yard and your house for the holidays.  It has gone beyond just the lights on the roof gable, but now it extends to lighted figures, air filled snowman, and giant candy canes.

If you taste has to be more conservative, Pottery Barn will have the décor to fit with traditional wreaths, and topiary.  You can find winter wonderland bird nests online.

Hanging icicle lights are easy to install, are light weight and looks dramatic.  They dangle down in an icicle pattern; you can get in white, multi-color, purple, orange, green, and red.  The color lights usually cost quite a bit more.  These lights are relatively inexpensive to buy compared to LED rope light. How to make your Front Yard sparkle with Outdoor Holiday Decor


Experiencing the most of London in just a few days

Experiencing the most of London in just a few days

Jesmond Hotel

Day or night, London thrives with life. A city that seems to have never fallen asleep from the time of its first founding, everything that one might want to experience can be found within the city center. “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”  The writer Samuel Johnson said this in the 18th century, and it can still be said of today’s contemporary London.  Naturally, a city that offers all that life can afford needs numerous explorations, but with just a few days, one can experience the rich taste of this flavorful city. 

To start with, every visitor to London must dab into the city’s history, from the first days of its founding to its dark medieval secrets to the monarchy’s priceless crown jewels.  Experiencing the most of London in just a few days


Honda Insight Hybrid car most Fuel Efficient car

Honda Insight Hybrid car is the most Fuel Efficient car

Honda Insight

The Honda Insight Hybrid car as rated by the EPA, rates at up to 66 miles per gallon.  Insight was the first gas-electric hybrid offered in the US and has been in production for over 6 years.

The Honda Insight Hybrid car has options available.  You can choose from four colors, Silverstone Metallic, New Formula Red, Navy Blue Pearl, and Interior/Beige.  You can also decide if you want a 5 speed stick shift or an automatic CVT transmission.  Honda Insight Hybrid car most Fuel Efficient car


Hot Toys for Christmas 2005

Hot Toys for Christmas 2005

Leapster L-Max

Here is a list of toys that promise to be popular among kids this season.  We divided them up by the age range just to give you an idea.  If you don’t feel like going to the stores this year you can buy online.  Make sure to get your order in soon so that you will receive your orders well before Christmas.

When ordering by mail order, allow 7 days for shipping time, plus up to a week for the order to process.  It can take 2 weeks to arrive during the busy holiday shopping season.  It is a big mistake to not allow for the extra time for the order to process.  If it is a sell out item, it may even take a month or two to receive the order.  If you order soon, you will know if you have to get a back up present before Christmas.  Hot Toys for Christmas 2005


Online Dating is like going on a Blind Date

Online Dating is like going on a Blind Date

Online Blind Date

Is that person that you met on the dating website really that good looking, tall, skinny, with a full head of hair?  It can be a lot of fun meeting other single people that are available out there, however there are sometimes people that fudge a little bit in their description and they end up not to be who they say they are.

This is a reality of the online dating world.  It is a lot like going on a blind date, except you have talked with the person a bit first.  The photo they have online may be what they looked like 10 years ago.  They may be married.  But at the same time there are a lot of legitimate singles out there.  Online Dating is like going on a Blind Date


Hybrid Cars cost effective solution Environmentally Friendly

Hybrid Honda

Hybrid cars are becoming more popular as an alternative power source for cars.  They are environmental friendly alternatives that are further given a boost with government perks.

A hybrid does not need to be plugged in to charge the battery.  The battery is charged when you put on the brakes.  The hybrid cars use both gas as well as batteries to work.  The hybrid method is using the best of both the electric powered cars and gas powered cars.  Hybrid Cars cost effective solution Environmentally Friendly


Online Dating websites are Most Popular

Online Dating websites are Most Popular

Online Dating

Online Dating has become one of the most popular paid subscription sites around.  They make more sales than the online adult sites do and have done so three years in a row. 

The reason that the online dating services have become so popular is because of the ease of meeting singles with like minded interests.  No longer is the bar scene the popular meeting method of days gone by.  You can increase your chances of meeting that compatible person instead of waiting for the chance of an opportunity to come to you. Online Dating websites are Most Popular


Consumers Beware of Credit Counseling Debt Consolidation Agency

Consumers Beware of Credit Counseling Debt Consolidation Agency

Debt Agency costs money

With the onset of a double minimum payment on credit cards, many people may be feeling the squeeze to make the payments.  Instead of not paying your credit card bills, take the time to consolidate your debt to a more manageable lump sum with lower interest rates.  Some people may consider the credit counseling debt consolidation services for the answer.  This might not be the best solution. Consumers Beware of Credit Counseling Debt Consolidation Agency


When and How to Discipline Children with Spankings

When and How to Discipline Children with Spankings

The Spanking Debate

Spanking depends on the child, the offense, the intended result and how consistently it is given.

I do believe in spanking, but I know the type of parent that I am. I know that the spanking is one of many tools that we use to train behavior. That is my end result; training. What makes it easy for me is that obedience was established immediately; from the cradle. That is something I could spend pages explaining and still not do it justice. Suffice it to say, my kids respond easily to discipline.

As for how to spank, I only know what worked for me.

1. A casual swat is a waste of time. If you are just trying to get their attention, a clap, snap or word can accomplish the same thing just as easily. By the time spanking is NECESSARY, getting their attention is moot.
When and How to Discipline Children with Spankings


Deep Fat Fried Turkey for Thanksgiving

Deep Fat Fried Turkey for Thanksgiving

Turkey

Thanksgiving Holiday is just around the corner.   There is more than one way to cook a turkey.  Possibly this year you will consider a new cooking method.  Deep fat frying a turkey originally became popular in the South.

The whole turkey is deep fat fried; it does not come out greasy and juicy moist meat.  It is a dangerous method of cooking due to the hot oil and the large cooking pots.  Extreme care must be taken to insure the safety of all around when cooking with this method.  After looking around at the pots size needed for this we noticed that kits are available just for deep fat frying the turkey.  Deep Fat Fried Turkey for Thanksgiving


Essential Parenting Lessons for Enriching Your Child’s Education

Essential Parenting Lessons for Enriching Your Child’s Education

Essential Lessons

“We have a science project due in two days and I don’t know when I’m going to get the time to finish it.”

“I did research on the internet for the social studies report until midnight last night.”

“We wrote the spelling words ten times before they were finally right.”

“I made flashcards for all of the multiplication and division facts in preparation for the big math test.”

Do you think the above comments are from students, committed to working hard to get good grades? Unfortunately, not. These are just some of the things I hear from parents who enable their children to take short cuts in school or who are too heavily invested in their kids’ homework and school assignments.
Essential Parenting Lessons for Enriching Your Child’s Education


Paraquedismo – Brazil’s Parachuting

Paraquedismo – Brazil’s Parachuting

Brazil’s Parachuting

Ready. Set. And you don’t even wait for go. In this high speed sport, your adrenaline is pumping at equally high speed, and the thrill of free falling just can’t wait. From your vantage point, you’re flying towards a mapped-out Earth below, which is smiling wide at you. You can scream any profanity, sing an aria from your favorite opera, enjoy the view in Zen peace and quiet – you are anything you imagine at this height, where you own the world below, and the only thing that world below knows about you is that you’re a tumbling speck high up in the sky. Suddenly, it feels as though mom (because in this state, you are as carefree as any happy 5 year old) has grabbed you by your collar and brought your wild freedom to a sudden halt. Then you realize that your parachute has opened, and in your newfound comfort zone, you enjoy the rest of the ride and the view. Paraquedismo – Brazil’s Parachuting


How to teach your Kindergartener Math with Games

How to Teach your Kindergartener Math with Games

Learning number names

Math can become a difficult task to teach a child at any age, including kindergarteners.  One way to take the stress out of learning and put the fun back in is to play games with the child.

In kindergarten the goal is to learn number names and corresponding amount.  There is also focus on ordinals on first, second, third, fourth.  There is also a great amount on patterns and sequencing.  All of the beginner math can be presented in fun ways. How to teach your Kindergartener Math with Games


 

EA Games Electronic Arts Inc Announced Five Games for Xbox 360

EA Games Electronic Arts Inc Announced Five Games for Xbox 360

EA Games & X-box 360

EA Games, the world’s largest video game publisher has announced new games for the Xbox360 console.  The Need for Speed, FIFA 06: Road to FIFA World Cup, NBA Live 06, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 and Madden NFL 06 will be debuted at Microsoft’s X05 event in Amsterdam on Tuesday and Wednesday.

EA Games is expected to release The Godfather, Battlefield 2: Modern Combat and a new game titled Burnout Revenge at a later date.  Electronic Arts is well known for their sports titles.

The Xbox 360 console will be available November 22nd, according to Microsoft.  This next generation console is expected to be very popular and MS is expected to ship 2 million by the end of this year.  The popularity of the games could determine how well the console sells.  EA Games Electronic Arts Inc Announced Five Games for Xbox 360


Interior Decorating and choosing the right Blinds

Interior Decorating and choosing the right Blinds

Virgin of the Rocks

Decorating your home can be a fun adventure, but it does take time and effort to achieve the perfect look. When decorating you get to reflect your own personality within the home - whether it be through the paintings, the cushions, the linen or the bedding or even the window treatments like blinds and curtains. Window treatments along with blinds, curtains and shutters are perhaps one of the most important aspects of a room. This is because windows are the main source of light in a room and therefore the main focal point of a wall which attracts a lot of attention. Decorating with window treatments such as blinds will give each room in your house a very individual look.

You can find window treatments like blinds from many professional furnishings companies by shopping online. Online furnishings companies who specialize in window treatment products provide many beneficial features for home decorators who want to embark on some 'do it yourself' activities such as helpful information, discount window treatment such as blinds and curtains, and window coverings made in any fabric to complement your existing or planned decor. Interior Decorating and choosing the right Blinds


Waterbed Technology has Improved Over the Years

Waterbed Technology has Improved Over the Years

The New Waterbeds

Waterbeds are a very popular bedroom option because they provide such a gorgeous sleep and total rest for the entire slumber. Waterbeds are a revolution in sleeping because as soon as you lie on a waterbed you will notice a big difference from your normal bed. A waterbed feels a lot different from your traditional inner spring mattress style bed.

In any event though, the waterbeds of today are not the wavy, sea sick style waterbeds that you might perceive them as. Waterbeds have changed for the better and are now a very popular bedding option. Today's waterbed is totally comfortable and completely shapes your body - structure and size - so that you get the optimum slumber. When you lie on a new modern day waterbed you will find it to be so comfortable that you will not want to move. It quite simply is far more luxurious than a standard inner spring bed.  Waterbed Technology has Improved Over the Years


Clothing Trends don’t fit the Plus Size Ladies

Clothing Trends don’t fit the Plus Size Ladies

Flared pants

I admit it; I am a heavier lady at this point in my life.  I have kids and not a lot of time to get my fashion sense in line, so when I would go to the store I would go the pants section and find a pair of stretchy relaxed fit pants that are in between dress and sporty.  Usually all I needed to do was to put them up to me and I would know it would be ok.  It wasn’t like I was going to win a beauty contest for the size I now wore.  So I picked out a couple of pairs of pants and took them home thinking I did ok.  I found out later that fashion has changed dramatically and was no longer what I liked.

To my surprise I wore the first pair of pants and they were ok at the top but the bottoms flared out and dragged on the ground all day.  It drove me nuts and I thought that it was a ridiculous thing that they have made the pants longer than usual.  Clothing Trends don’t fit the Plus Size Ladies


 

Homeowners Insurance that Fits You – How to compare Multiple Home Insurance Quotes

Homowners insurance that Fits You - How to compare quotes

Water damage claim

Shopping for a home insurance plan that best fits your needs can be a chore, but with understanding policy terms and conditions that a carrier offers is the best place to start.

What are the most likely things to happen to your home?  Here is a list of the most common claims made for a home insurance plans in 2003 are as follows:

Homeowners Insurance that Fits You – How to compare Multiple Home Insurance Quotes


Sony Play Station Portable released in Europe with Games and Movies

Sony Play Station Portable released in Europe with Games and Movies

PSP Console

Sony released its new Play Station Portable (PSP) in Europe expecting them to sell out quickly.  This is predicted to be the biggest launch for an “electrical good” in the UK ever.  Stores opened at midnight to capitalize on early sales.

The small console can play video games, movies, display photos and video images, and store music.  ITN reports the portable is expected to be the number on Christmas gift this year.  The price is £179.99 (or €249).

There are currently 25 to 30 games available for the PSP in different parts of Europe.  Movies can be played on the portable as well.  Currently only two studios support the Universal Media Disc (UMD) format, Dreamworks and Warner.  This is Sony’s new mini disk DVD design that is capable of holding 1.8GB. Sony Play Station Portable released in Europe with Games and Movies


How to Choose and Get Accredited Online College Degrees

How to Choose and Get Accredited Online College Degrees

Get an Online College Degree

Obtaining an online bachelors degree can be a swift and easy way to further your career, prospects and life in general. But before you enroll, there are a few important points you need to know.

Number one, you'll want to make ensure that the college that offers you a degree online is accredited. School and universities are accredited on a national or state level. This accreditation means that a relevant board of education has researched and approved the schools curriculum and course. How to Choose and Get Accredited Online College Degrees


Choosing and Shopping for the Best Mattress

Choosing and Shopping for the Best Mattress

Choosing the right bed

Beds are the single most important items of furniture that you can buy for your home largely because you spend so much time in it and it can have such an impact on your life. It is important then that you purchase a bed with a mattress that is good quality and has been designed to support your back, neck and overall body type. Irrespective of whether you need a bed for your health or you just want something to snuggle into, you should always do your homework.

There are different types of beds and mattresses that are available but while the selection is varied, you actually possess a unique sleeping style so you need to find yourself a bed that complements this. So do your homework and find the bed and mattress that is right for you. Choosing and Shopping for the Best Mattress


Edinburgh hosts International Film Festival,  International Book
Festival and Festival Fringe

Edinburgh hosts International Film Festival Internation Book Festival and Festival Fringe

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Edinburgh can rightly claim to be one of the leading cultural capitals of the world – with its role in inspiring some of history’s greatest writers, inventors and scientists.  The streets are virtually littered with plaques highlighting where Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes lived, or where chloroform was first used.

Today, the city is the setting for the largest gathering of culture vultures just about anywhere, when August heralds the festival season.

First off the block and the biggest and brashest of the lot, is the Festival Fringe which is held August 7th through the 29th. Edinburgh hosts International Film Festival,  International Book Festival and Festival Fringe


Luxembourg offers great Travel Vacation

Luxembourg Germany offers great Travel Vacation

Luxembourg

The Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg doesn’t sit comfortably on most people’s ‘must-do’ lists when travelling, but it is definitely worth stopping by.

Luxembourg City is a rather grand old place resting high up on a rock surrounded by ravines.  The areas in the valleys are filled with quaint buildings and a meandering river or two – the Pétrusse and Alzette. The ravines are spanned by some seriously impressive bridges, some of which are drawcards in their own right. The city itself is 1000 years old and has a history big in the art of war and defence. Luxembourg offers great Travel Vacation


Seneca Lake State Park Sprayground closed after 1,800 people become ill

Seneca Lake State Park Sprayground closed after 1,800 people become ill

Spray pool

Seneca Lake State Park in upstate New York Spray Park was contaminated with the cryptosporidiosis parasite and has caused nearly 1,800 people to become ill.   

The New York State Department of Health has been investigating the illness outbreak and traced the roots to the 11,000 square – foot Sprayground’s water holding tanks.  The cryptosporidiosis is a parasite that has a strong protective shell that can survive chlorine disinfectants.  If a person becomes infected by this parasite, it can take up to a week for the symptoms to occur and can last up to two weeks.  Park contamination 1,800 ill


Fireplaces Add Wonderful Home Decor

Fireplaces can be used for Home Decor not just heat

Fireplace elegance

Fireplaces and fireplace mantels are fast becoming a core feature in homes across the world as they add a real feature point to any formal or indeed casual living area. Funnily enough fireplaces have had a relatively short history, considering that fire itself has been around for hundreds of thousands of years.

Fireplaces only became common in 1367, when a gentleman while visiting in Rome, was dismayed at the fire pit in his room so he ordered his servants to build a chimney. They did so, adding his coat of arms above the two fireplace mantels. That fireplace is now part of history as ever since it has been the model of almost any room with a fireplace.  Fireplaces Add Home Decor


Figurine Collectables

Precious Moments

Precious Moments collectible figurines are among the most popular in the world. Doe-eyed boys and girls made in pastel ceramics adorn the shelves, dressers, and display areas of countless homes. There are numerous types and styles of figurines that people can buy to build a personal collection in addition to the dolls and bears that so many shoppers enjoy.

When shopping for your favorites, check to be sure that the item is genuine. Copycat manufacturers abound, much to a shopper's chagrin, so look at the signature label and sales tag to see if you are purchasing the collectible that you're after.

If in doubt, ask the sales associate for assistance. Examine it carefully for cracks, stains, or other possible impurities that could make the piece ineligible for return if you find the problem after getting it home. Collecting Figurines


Travel: Bike Ride from Scotland to Istanbul

This was the first proper view I had from our campsite on Monday morning since we had pitched the tent in the dark.

Cycle Training on the Wrynose Pass:  We started cycling at 1.15 pm an hour after I had wanted to start and we only got 3 miles down the road before and extreme hunger set in for me and we had to stop at Ruth’s hut for lunch. I was starting to get dizzy from low blood sugar but we had friends to stop and eat with, so all was well. The day was beautiful and crisp. And we cycled on to Ambleside and headed towards the Wrynose Pass.

My earlier nervousness was receding all morning when we had been packing I was so nervous. ‘What if I don’t like it?’ I was thinking. We had been planning a trip for years but never come up with any firm ideas until Christmas 2004 when we decided the best way to travel is by bicycle.  Complete Article


Chateaux and Brocante, France

Chenonceau

Our first week touring in France was the most intense - Paris, driving on the right and side of the road in ‘Pepe’ the Petit Peugeot, the language and visiting the chateaux of the Loire Valley.

We drove south from Orly Airport to Cepoy, near Montargis, spending our first night in a youth hostel, or auberge de jeunesse, which was a converted 17th century chateau. The staircases were on a lean and we were two of just three guests. We didn't take a photo as we assumed there'd be lots like that…wrong. Complete Article


Huntington Beach California

Huntington Beach Pier

 

Huntington Beach (aka Surf City) boasts eight miles of uninterrupted accessible coastline, the longest on the west coast.  The Public Pier located at the end of Main Street, is one of the largest recreation piers in the world. 

Originally, Huntington Beach was included in a Spanish Land Grant of Las Bolsas given to Manual Nieto in 1797.  Later it was acquired by the Stearns Ranch holdings which was dissolved during the 1880’s land boom.  As farms developed in northern Huntington Beach, Westminster and Fountain Valley, post offices, schools and churches were built. Complete Article

 
 
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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Sunday, July 11, 2010 01:17 AM