Saturday, December 10, 2011

Let Your Kids Make Their Own Christmas Decorations

Do you plan on decorating your home for the holidays this year?  When it comes to decorating for Christmas, many people just head to the department store or specialty shop.  Buying your Christmas decorations is a great way to get what you need, but did you know that this is not your only option?  If you are a parent, you should let your children make their own Christmas decorations.  You will find that there are literally an unlimited number of benefits to having your children make decorations. 

One of the greatest benefits to letting your children make their own Christmas decorations is the feeling that they will get with a finished product.  No matter the age of your children, there is a good chance that they will be pleased with their finished products, whether that be a Christmas tree ornament or a Christmas picture, and since the whole point of Christmas decorations is to decorate, your children will be pleased to see their works of art hanging on your walls or on the Christmas tree.  As a parent, that could, hands down, be the biggest reason why you should allow your kids to make their own Christmas decorations.

In addition to how proud they will feel, you should also let your children make their own Christmas decorations because it should be relatively easy and a fun process.  When it comes to making Christmas decorations, you will likely find that you have many of the supplies needed.  If not, you can easily purchase craft supplies, including Christmas supplies, from your local craft store or local dollar store.  The supplies you may need to purchase don’t even have to be just for Christmas decorations.  You can use the leftover supplies for other projects or even other holidays.  That is one of the many reasons why having your children make their own Christmas decorations costs less than buying store bought ones. 

Although this article had a focus on letting your children make their own Christmas decorations, you may want to join in the process as well.  Not only can you give your children decoration ideas, but you can also enjoy some quality time with them.  Christmas is all about family; therefore, by making Christmas decorations with your children, you and your family will be off to the right start.  Whether you help out a little bit or make your own Christmas decorations, you and your children will likely enjoy the time that is being spent together. 

Once the Christmas decorations have been made, they will need to be displayed.  When displaying your children’s homemade Christmas decorations, it is important that you give them time to dry, especially if paint or glue was used.  This extra time will help to ensure that the hard work put into the decorations doesn’t go to waste.  When the time is right, you and your children could spend the rest of the day or evening decorating your home for Christmas.  What better way to end out the perfect day then letting your children help you hang their handmade treasures.
Children Can Make Christmas Decorations

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday Craft Idea: Bead and Pipe Cleaner Ornaments

Ornaments made from pipe cleaners and inexpensive acrylic beads are very attractive and easy to make; they look quite impressive yet are easy for small children to create.  This is one Holiday craft idea you can use over and over.  Older people will also enjoy this craft, and it can be assorted to make a number of sparkling ornaments for your tree.

To make bead and pipe cleaner ornaments, you need pipe cleaners in desired colors (red, green, and white for the Holiday season) and acrylic beads.  Two types of beads are particularly effective when strung on pipe cleaners; one type is sunburst beads, also known as paddlewheel beads, snowflake beads, or starburst beads.  These beads have six faceted paddles spaced equally around the center that contains the hole for stringing.  When several of these beads are strung consecutively, they fit against each other in an interlocking pattern.

The other type of bead that is also effective for this Holiday craft is the tri bead or propeller bead.  It has three rounded bumps arranged around the center hole.  Like the sunburst beads, the tri beads interlock when strung consecutively.  For the most sparkly and attractive ornaments, tri beads and/or sunburst beads in translucent colors of red, green, and clear are preferred.  The tri beads can also be found in metallic gold and silver which can be used in this Holiday craft as well.

Pipe cleaners can be found in silver and gold tinsel as well as chenille of all colors.  For Holiday crafts, the best colors are metallic and Christmas colors.  The beads cover the pipe cleaners, but the ends will need to be twisted together and made into hangers, so they show.

Everyone including small children can string these beads on pipe cleaners.  Bend up the end of the pipe cleaner so the beads don't fall off.  The pipe cleaner works like a needle, making a needle unnecessary.  For best results, alternate colors when stringing, or start a pattern of three colors.  When the beads are strung on the pipe cleaners, they can be bent into different Christmas shapes.  For instance, string red and clear beads alternately, and then bend down one end of the pipe cleaner for a candy cane shape, or alternate red and green beads and form a circle for a wreath.  Use a red pipe cleaner to form a small bow to decorate the wreath.  Form a hanger for the Holiday craft or simply slip the circle over a branch of the tree.

If you experiment with clear beads and silver pipe cleaners, you can make some beautiful snowflake or star ornaments.  Snowflake designs can only be twisted with a silver pipe cleaner, and without the beads for a simple but pretty decoration.

Bead and pipe cleaner ornaments are a Holiday craft you can use each year.  Children and their parents will both appreciate this simple yet creative Holiday craft.

For more Holiday craft ideas, check out this link: Holiday Craft Ideas

Friday, November 11, 2011

Holiday Decorating on a Budget

Are you one of many who love to celebrate the Holidays?  When polled, many say Christmas is one of their favorite holidays, if not their absolute favorite.  If you are one of those, then chances are you will want to decorate your home for the holidays.  However, decorating can get expensive, but if you want to decorate your home, there are ways you can do so on a budget. 

One of the best ways to save on decorating is to plan ahead.  Unfortunately, like many shoppers, you may have a habit of impulse buying.  This is when shoppers purchase an item as soon as they see it, and this is quite often an item you did not originally intend to purchase.  If you are shopping for Christmas decorations on a limited budget, it is strongly recommended not to given into impulse buying.  This is why it is extremely important to plan ahead.  If you are not sure what you would like to purchase, that’s okay, but you may want to focus on the parts of your home you want to decorate and which ones you do not.  This will also keep you from the habit of impulse buying.    

Once you decide which decorates you would like, you can start shopping.  Understand you are trying to stay within a budget.  Decorations are awesome, but you do not want to spend more money than you have to.  The less you spend on decorations, the more you have to spend on gifts and dinner with the trimming, again, within a budget.  This is why it is important to take into consideration what you want to purchase and where.    

When shopping on a budget, one of your first stops should be your local dollar store.  While many people assume dollar star items are lower in quality, this is not always the case.  In fact, around the Holidays, you could get some really nice decorations for a dollar or less.  Depending on the store, you should be able to obtain Holiday pictures, wall hangings for kids, Christmas tree decorations, Christmas lights, and even Christmas potholders for your kitchen.  Each of these items can be found at a dollar store for less than the big box stores.    

In addition to dollar stores, you may also want to check out your local discount stores.  Discount stores, in many cases, are a cross between a convenience store and a department store.   These stores tend to be somewhat small in size, but most dollar stores carry a wide variety of different products, including Christmas decorations.  While prices at discount stores will vary, you should be able to find beautiful decorations for less than ten dollars each.  Of course, there will always be items that cost more than ten dollars, but you may be surprised with the selection of low-cost Holiday decorations that can be found at your local discount store.

Although you may prefer brand new decorations, this may not always be possible.  If you are looking for less expensive but specialty decorations, you may want to try an online auction site, such as eBay.  By carefully researching items you wish to purchase, you could get quality decorations that may be slightly used but look relatively new. 

In addition, it is also important to keep when you shop in mind.  For the largest selection of Christmas decorations, you will want to shop early, but for the best prices, you may want to wait until it gets closer to Christmas.  In the days leading up to Christmas, some retail stores offer discounts on their Christmas supplies, including decorations.  In fact, right after Christmas many of these discounts reach up to seventy-five or ninety percent off.  Although shopping right after Christmas won’t help you this year, but it may be able to help you decorate your home, at an affordable price, next year.

A great guide that can help you with your Holiday decorating plans is Christmas Holiday Planner by Maria Gracia.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Is Re-Financing Beneficial To You?

Since I am in the process of re-financing my mortgage, I thought this would be a good opportunity to write something about re-financing.  Whether or not re-financing is beneficial is a question many homeowners may have when considering re-financing.  Unfortunately, answering this question is rather complicated because the answer is not always the same.  There are some circumstances where a homeowner might examine the possibility of re-financing; these circumstances include drop in interest rates, improvement in a homeowner’s credit score, and changes in a homeowner’s financial situation.  Although re-financing is not necessarily warranted in these situations, it is certainly worth investigating. 

Drop in Interest Rates

Drops in interest rates often send homeowners rushing to re-finance.  This is often the case if you bought your home during a thriving Real Estate market when you financed at a rate that is now above the average.  However, the homeowner should carefully consider the drop in interest rates before making the decision to re-finance.  It is important to note that homeowners pay closing fees each time they re-finance; these fees include application fees, origination fees, appraisal fees, and a variety of other costs that may add up quickly.  Because of these closing fees, homeowners should carefully evaluate their financial situation to determine whether or not re-financing viable option.  Generally speaking, closing fees not exceed the overall savings and the amount of time the homeowner will need to retain the property to recoup these costs which should not be longer than the homeowner plans to retain the property.

Credit Score Improvements

When the homeowner’s credit scores improve, considering re-financing is warranted.  Lenders are in the business of making money and are more likely to offer favorable rates to those with good credit than to those with poor credit.  As a result those with poor credit are likely to be offered higher interest rates or adjustable rate mortgages.  Homeowners dealing with these circumstances may investigate re-financing as their credit improves.  The good thing about credit scores is that mistakes and blemishes are eventually erased from the record; as a result, homeowners who make an honest effort to repair their credit by making timely payments may find themselves with improved credit sometime in the future.

Lenders are willing to offer lower interest rates to those with higher credit scores.  This is why homeowners should consider re-financing when their credit score begins to show improvement.  During this process is the homeowner can determine whether or not re-financing is worthwhile.

Changes In Financial Situations

Homeowners should also consider re-financing when there is a significant change in their financial situation.  These changes may include an increase in salary as well as the loss of a job, or even a change in careers resulting in a decrease in pay.  In either case, re-financing may be a viable solution.  Homeowners who are making more money might consider re-financing to pay off their debts earlier.  On the other hand, those who are unable to fulfill their monthly financial obligations might turn to re-financing as a way of extending the debt and lowering their monthly payments.  This may result in the homeowner paying more money in the long run because they are stretching their debt over a longer period, but it may be necessary in times of need.  In these cases a lower monthly payment may be worth paying more in the long run.

Therefore, in times of lower interest rates, it may be a good idea for examine the idea of re-financing to take advantage of the lower interest rates.  It is also a good idea to examine this option when there are changes in your financial situation, whether it is improved credit scores, increases in pay, decreases in pay, or any changes in your financial situation.  Moreover, it is important to also examine possible impact as a result of possible re-financing.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Solar Energy for the Home

Solar energy is a term that does not stir the mind since it has a simple explanation.  This is because many people understand that solar energy is energy that comes from the sun.  Basically, solar energy and solar energy related equipment are environmentally friendly and risk free, but you don’t need to be environmentalist to understand the benefits solar energy has. 

Why is solar energy for the home environmentally friendly?  What are the benefits?  Practically speaking, when your home uses solar energy, your electric bills can decrease tremendously compared to other types of home energy.  Why pay a high energy bill when you can use solar energy for less? 

Another major advantage of solar energy is the absence of complicated and dangerous wiring.  Solar energy lights in the garden, along a path, or any other solar-powered items in your home are ready to be installed without any messy wiring.  In reality, solar light bulbs are equipped with sensors so they do not need to be turned on to give off light, and they need not be turned off when they are no longer needed.

Simply stated, solar light bulbs are simply purchased, taken out of the box, installed, and then presto!  All you have to do is situate them where you want them and never worry about having to turn them on and off. 

Benefits of Solar Energy for the Home

Why is solar energy beneficial?  Why is it recommended?  Here are some of the benefits.

Solar energy is environmentally friendly.  It is clean and renewable.  More so, it does not cause pollution like traditional energy does.

Solar home energy systems do not need a lot of maintenance.  Because they do not run on fuel, there is no need for refills. 

Solar energy saves you money.  Energy from the sun is free as you make use of solar lights, solar panels, and the like.  Also, the Federal Government can offer financial incentives, not to mention not being affected by increasing fuel rates by using solar energy. 

Using solar energy allows freedom from the foreign and centralized energy sources.  Power outages will not likely affect you in any manner.

Most solar energy items are easy to install which lessens having to figure out wiring. 

Some Common Disadvantages of Solar Energy

Of course there are disadvantages.  Here are some common disadvantages of solar energy. 

Employing solar energy for the home can initially be expensive, but over time, it can save you a lot of money. 

Solar energy’s strength depends relatively on where you are in relation to the direction of the sun.  Also, the area of your home is another point to consider.  You will need a sufficient area to install solar panels.

Various Solar Energy Items

There are cornucopias of solar energy devices that you can purchase.  These include solar flashlights, solar heaters, car ventilators, solar video cameras, solar radios, solar pool purifier, solar mosquito inhibitor, solar lighting, and solar fountain pumps.

What You Must Do

In earlier years, solar energy devices were very costly so very few homeowners made use of them, but today, small volumes of solar energy devices are for sale, thus making them more affordable.  Start small, and work your way up as your budget allows.

Search for solar energy for the home

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wind Power – A Viable Alternative Energy Solution

Although initially it is less expensive to get connected onto the local electric company's grid than it is to get set up with wind turbines, over time one can save more money by utilizing the wind for one's energy needs while also becoming more independent by not receiving an electric bill while enjoying the advantages of the modern electrically-driven lifestyle.

Electric and fuel bills are steadily rising, but the cost of wind turbine energy is zero, and the cost of installing and hooking up a turbine is steadily decreasing as demand rises and companies realize more commercial success will come by producing turbines and researching technologies to make them ever more efficient.  In addition, people are moving away from the traditional electric grids and the fossil fuels for personal reasons, including the desire for greater independence, for the ability to live remotely without having to “go primitive”, political concerns such as fear of terrorist strikes on oil fields or power grids, or concerns about the environment.  Again, this motivation to get away from the traditional energy sources is similar to the reasons people are seeking the power of the wind for energy, providing more business opportunities to profit from wind turbine production and maintenance.  This drives down consumer costs. 

In approximately thirty states, homeowners who remain on the grid but still choose to use wind energy (or other alternative forms) are eligible for rebates or tax breaks from the state governments that end up paying for as much as 50% of their total “green” energy systems' costs.  In addition, there are 35 states where these homeowners are allowed to sell their excess energy back to the power company under what is called “Net Metering Laws”.  The rates paid by the local power companies for this energy are standard retail rates; in other words, the homeowners are actually profiting from their own energy production.

Some federal lawmakers are pushing to get the Federal Government to mandate these tax breaks and other wind power incentives in all 50 states.  Japan and Germany already have national incentive programs in place.  However, “A lot of this is handled regionally by state law.  There wouldn't really be a role for the federal government,” the Energy Department's Craig Stevens says.  Also, as might be imagined, there are power companies who feel that it's unfair that they should have to pay retail rates to private individuals.  “We should [only have to] pay you the wholesale rate for ... your electricity,” according to Bruce Bowen, Pacific Gas & Electric's director of regulatory policy.  However, the companies seem to be more worried about losing short term profits than about the benefits, especially in the long run, of increased use of wind turbines or wind farms.  Head of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies of California V. John White points out, “It's quality power that strengthens the grid.”

Search for wind power

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Declaration of Independence

If you had to think of one document besides the Bible that people can easily quote without even thinking about it, then that would be the Declaration of Independence.  The comparison to the Bible is fitting.  Not that the Declaration of Independence is holy in a religious sense of the word, but it has a place of reverence in the hearts of the American people and in the history of the founding of this great nation.

While not the first words of the Declaration of Independence, these stirring words have that kind of prophetic power that anyone who hears them is immediately inspired by the beauty, the poetry, and the deep truths that were so beautifully expressed in that historic document.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

This one statement from that famous declaration so beautifully demonstrates some core principles that show why this document has such a deep impact on the American mind and heart.  The statement that the truths in this document were indeed truths is a profound statement in its own right.  The Declaration of Independence does suggest that what is being declared in those pages are theories, possibilities, even political ideology.  These are truths that are put on the same value as statements of values as often taught in a religious setting.  Truths are eternal values and values that are not changed by circumstances, by whomever or whatever is handling the government of the land or by the whim of lawmakers.  These truths exist above those temporal earthly ideas and live on that plain of the eternal. 

“Self evident” is a powerful phrase and it reflects on the founder’s belief in what was called natural law.  Natural law is the belief that there are laws that are part of our natural state of existence and that they cannot be taken away (inalienable).  These laws are our rights as creations of the almighty and any government must recognize these laws because they are above government.  It is a simple belief of the American system that ALL people are entitled to these rights and that they cannot be taken away.

The mention of a creator in the Declaration of Independence is very important because there are those who would maintain that the separation of church and state tells us that the government is at heart a secular institution.  Clearly the founders did not lay the foundation of our country on that groundwork.  They saw the inheritance we as Americans have in our rights and freedoms to be part of our legacy from God and as such, above the government and something the government must back off and leave alone as well as prettiest and defend.

The Declaration of Independence is truly an amazing document especially when you consider the “primitive” state of the nation when it was written by Thomas Jefferson and signed on July 4, 1776 to become the backbone of our American system of government.  This document has been often referenced and quoted, even becoming a part of President Lincoln’s famous inaugural speech when he said with such deep conviction…

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

Because these words are a deep part of our American heritage, American history, and the American spirit, they are often a crucial part of any study of history in the schools in this country.  That is why school children in every state are so familiar with these words. 

Yet it would do us all well to take some time once a year or so and take our copy of the Declaration of Independence and read it either as a private moment of reflection or out loud with our families.  What a wonderful Fourth of July tradition that would make.  Then as you watch the fireworks celebrating the birth of this country and its independence, you will have those words fresh in your heart and mind to remind you that it was our creator that gave us our freedom and independence, and nobody has the right to ever take them away.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Alternative Energy Source: Solar Energy

Photovoltaic cells—an array of black squares that comprises a solar panel—are becoming more efficient and gradually less expensive over time thanks to improved design which allows more focus and greater concentration on gathered sunlight.  The size of the cells is decreasing as their efficiency rises, meaning that each cell becomes cheaper to produce and more productive.  As far as the aforementioned cost, the price of producing solar-generated energy per watt hour has come down to around $5.00 at the time of this writing.  About 20 years ago, it was nearly double that cost.

Solar energy is certainly good for the environment, as this alternative form of energy gives off absolutely zero emissions into the atmosphere and is merely utilizing a natural resource as its driver.  Solar collection cells are slowly but surely becoming ever more practical for placing upon the rooftops of people's homes, and they are not difficult to use for heating one's home, creating hot water, or producing electricity.  In the case of using the photovoltaic cells for hot water generation, the system works by having the water encased in the cells, where it is heated and then sent through your pipes.

Photovoltaic cells are increasingly improving at collecting sufficient radiation from the sun even on overcast or stormy days.  One company in particular, Uni-Solar, has developed solar collection arrays for the home that work well on inclement days by way of a technologically more advanced system that stores more energy at one time during sunny days than previous or other arrays.

There is actually another solar power system available for use called the PV System.  The PV System is connected to the nearest electrical grid; whenever there is an excess of solar energy being collected at a particular home, it is transferred to the grid for shared use and as a means of lowering the grid's dependence on the hydroelectrically-driven electricity production.  Being connected to the PV System can keep your costs down as compared to full-fledged solar energy while reducing pollution and taking pressure off the grid system.  Some areas are designing centralized solar collection arrays for small towns or suburban communities.

Some big-name corporations have made it clear that they are also getting into the act of using solar power (a further indication that solar energy is becoming an economically viable alternative energy source).  Google is putting in a 1.6 megawatt solar power generation plant on the roof of its corporate headquarters while Wal-Mart wants to put in its own enormous 100 megawatt system.

Nations such as Japan, Germany, the United States, and Switzerland have been furthering the cause of solar energy production by providing government subsidies or by giving tax breaks to companies and individuals who agree to utilize solar power for generating their heat or electrical power.  As technology advances and a greater storage of solar collection materials is made available, more and more private investors will see the value of investing in this “green” technology and further its implementation much more.
Search for Solar Energy

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Royalty Free Music For Your Projects

Royalty Free Music and Sound Effects Download the music and sound effects you need for your multimedia project today at Partners In Rhyme.
Royalty Free Music and Sound Effects Download the music and sound effects you need for your multimedia project today at Partners In Rhyme.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pursuing Alternative Forms of Energy

Record high prices at the gas pumps and continued turmoil going on in the Middle East, Nigeria, and other areas of importance to the oil-driven economy have made it clear that we are in need of new methods of producing new supplies of energy.  In short, we need to reduce our dependency on oil, which ultimately has a limited supply, and, frankly, cheap sources of oil (not all oil—just the stuff that is cheap to remove from the earth) are expiring.  Energy consultants and analysts insist that cheap oil has “peaked”, or is going to peak very soon.  To us this means an expensive future for not just gas, but also food, clothing, and other necessities—unless we can find new sources of powering our mechanized and electronic civilization, which means we need new alternatives to oil.

In addition, we must switch to alternative forms of energy because our current forms are damaging our atmosphere.  While the global warming trend is not much, if at all, sustained by the activities of mankind (in short, it's a natural cycle, and there's nothing we can do about it except prepare for the effects of it), we currently do contribute to the destruction of the environment and to air pollution with our energy sources as they are.  Coal is another source of energy that we need to rely less on—again, it is finite, and it is filthy, and the mining of it is dangerous and environmentally disruptive.  We can also explore new, streamlined methods for producing electricity that we presently generate so much of through hydro-power so that we are less disruptive of the environment when we construct structures such as large dams.

Developing nations that have become industrialized in recent decades especially will need the benefits of alternative energy research and development because they are presently doing much more environmental damage than the United States.  The United States, Japan, and some European nations have been implementing studies into and programs for the development of alternative energy sources, and are therefore already leading the way in doing less environmental damage.  Developing nations such as China and India need to look to Japan and the West as examples of what research and development to give government backing and private investment currency to.  We could also add great strength to our own economy by being at the forefront of such alternative energy source development and then marketing the technologies and services to nations like India, China, Brazil, and so on and so forth.

Biofuels from things like “supertrees” and soybeans, refined hydroelectric technology, natural gas, hydrogen fuel cells, further building of atomic energy plants, continued development of solar energy photovoltaic cells, and more research into wind-harnessed power—all of these are viable energy sources that can act as alternatives to the mammoth amounts of oil and coal that we presently are so dependent on for our very lifestyles.  The energy of the future is green.
How to Conserve Energy & Use Alternate Fuel

Choosing Alternative Fuel

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Causes of Hemorrhoids

There are various reasons why hemorrhoids occur.  The blood veins in the rectal region will respond to tension in that area.  Yet, the tension may come from different origins and may lead to hemorrhoids to be troublesome and cause pain.  So being well-informed about the different reasons behind hemorrhoids can help you to avoid hemorrhoids from inflicting intolerable pain.


Constipation is the most common cause of hemorrhoids.  Tension in the anal area is caused by bowel movements if constipated.  This will consequently put strain on the blood veins, leading them to become inflamed and irritated.  Bleeding in this area is seen if you are constipated, which is caused by the blood veins responding to the tension from the bowel movements.  In sequence, you may be required to be adept on how to avoid constipation by various means.


After constipation, pregnancy is the most typical reason for hemorrhoids.  There may be different reasons for this.  For instance, the continual tension that is occurring in the blood veins in the rectal area can cause irritation, which in turn the blood veins will work harder as a result of a drastic increase of hormone levels.  This will then put tension on them, resulting from inflammation and irritation.  If a patient is pregnant or is expecting, it is very important that you know that this is a normal part of pregnancy.  However, it is only for a limited period of time and will usually disappear after you have given birth.

Portal Hypertension

Another reason for hemorrhoids is portal hypertension.  This is caused by too much pressure from the blood veins that protrude from the intestines to the liver.  Consequently, this will lead to a smoother bowel movement and pressure from the blood veins and will cause hemorrhoids as a result.  The various kinds of hemorrhoids that happen can lead to irritation and strain, as well as bleeding in the rectal and anal area.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

This condition happens when the blood veins in the rectal region are delicate, and can easily be damaged.  This put tension on the vessels as they will have to put extra effort.  Basically, the tension is also worsened with prolonged sitting or standing.  If you are overweight, do not exercise habitually, or you are smoking, it can also result to irritated blood veins.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS)

Inflammatory bowel disease may also cause hemorrhoids.  This happens when you are constipated or have diarrhea, as well as stomach pain from problems with your digestive system.  It may lead to hemorrhoids to react since there is extra tension that is placed on the blood veins.  This is very common if the condition is based on constipation.

If you have hemorrhoids, it is best to seek out the origin of the hemorrhoids and why it is happening.  After that, you can change specific parts of your lifestyle, such as your food intake as well as your physical activity to help avoid the hemorrhoids from being an incessant trouble.  You can learn more about causes of hemorrhoids and ways to cure and prevent them here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Alternative Energy for the Home

The trend toward homes powered by alternative energy sources, ranging from wind turbines and solar collection cells to hydrogen fuel cells and biomass gases, is one that needs to continue well into the 21st century and beyond.  We have greater need of becoming more energy independent instead of relying on the supply of fossil fuels from unstable nations that are often hostile to us and our interests.  But even beyond this factor, we as individuals need to get “off the grid” and also stop being so reliant on government-lobbying giant oil corporations who, while they are not really involved in any covert conspiracy, nevertheless have a stranglehold on people when it comes to heating their homes (and if not through oil, then heat usually supplied by grid-driven electricity, another stranglehold).

As Remi Wilkinson, Senior Analyst with Carbon Free, puts it, “inevitably, the growth of distributed energy will lead to restructuring the retail electricity market and the generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure.  The energy providers may have to diversify their business to make up for revenues lost through household energy microgeneration.”  Ms. Wilkinson is referring to conclusions by a group of UK Analysts, herself included, who call themselves Carbon Free.  Carbon Free has been studying the ever-growing trend toward alternative energy-consuming homes in England and across the Atlantic.  This trend is being driven by ever-more government recommendation and sometimes backing of alternative energy research and development, the rising cost of oil and other fossil fuels, concern about environmental degradation, and the desire to be energy independent.  Carbon Free concludes that, assuming traditional energy prices remain at their current level or rise, microgeneration (meeting all of one's home's energy needs by installing alternative energy technology such as solar panels or wind turbines) will become to home energy supply what the Internet became to home communications and data gathering, and eventually this will have deep effects on the businesses of the existing energy supply companies.

Carbon Free's analyses also show that energy companies themselves have jumped in on the game and seek to leverage microgeneration to their own advantage for opening up new markets for themselves.  Carbon Free cites the example of electricity companies (in the UK) reporting that they are seriously researching and developing ideas for new geothermal energy facilities, as these companies see geothermal energy production as a highly profitable wave of the future.  Another conclusion of Carbon Free is that solar energy hot water heating technology is an efficient technology for reducing home water heating costs in the long run, although it is initially quite expensive to install.  However, solar power is not yet cost-effective for corporations as they require too much in the way of specialized plumbing to implement solar energy hot water heating.  Lastly, Carbon Free tells us that installing wind turbines is an efficient way of reducing home electricity costs, while also being more independent.  However, again this is initially a very expensive thing to have installed, and companies would do well to begin slashing their prices on these devices or they could find themselves losing market share.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Chocolate: A Heart Medicine?

An every day ratio of dark bitter chocolate could help prevent heart diseases, according to a study by a team of Swiss Researchers.  Swiss Researchers say that the anti-oxidants from chocolate could help blood veins become smaller and less wide, allowing smoother blood flow.

This research team came to the conclusion after testing a group of 20 volunteers who were smokers without serious health problems.  These subjects were asked not to eat any types of aliments rich in anti-oxidants such as apples, onions, or cabbage, and after that they were given 40 grams of different types of chocolate.

Two hours after consuming the chocolate, the echo-graph showed that dark chocolate, with a cocoa percent of at least 74%, significantly improved blood flow.  Additionally, ulterior tests showed that the risk of encountering blood accidents and blockages has been decreased to half of the initial risk.  However, white chocolate did not achieve similar effects.  The researches that performed the study say that dark chocolate contains the biggest quantity of anti-oxidants for one gram than any other products like red vine, green tea, or forests fruits.

Chocolate is indeed an aliment that has many anti-oxidant elements in it, but it also contains fats and glucoses in huge quantities.  Therefore, it can cause weight problems if excessively consumed, so it is best to consume only a moderate amount.

The best thing to do is to adjust your chocolate portion to your actual weight and to the amount of physical effort you make everyday.  Persons involved in a great deal of physical activity can consume chocolate without fear of potential weight problems, but the ones that don’t, like people working in offices, sitting all day in a chair and those not doing any kind of sports are confronted with a big problem if they eat too much chocolate.  So if the organism doesn’t call for sweets, like it does when we are cold, tired or worn out, then chocolate use should be reduced to a minimal portion a day.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How Yoga Helps Control Stuttering

Everybody knows the various health benefits of yoga.  This healing system, which originated in India, is well known for its principle of ensuring the harmony of the mind and the body.  This leads to yoga being an effective cure for a wide variety of ailments and health problems. However, not many people know that yoga is also beneficial for what seems minor but not so bodily conditions such as stuttering and other speech disorders.

At some points in their lives, children and adults experience speech difficulties such as getting stuck on their words. While it seems it is just normal to stutter, this could pose a problem in a person’s day-to-day interaction with other people. If you stumble every time you speak, it could be very hard for you to get your message across; worse, it can affect your self-esteem and performance in various social situations.

According to Yoga principles, stress has a lot to do with most speech problems. People start to stutter when they become overly stressed. I know I do. Anxiety is another factor that causes people to stutter. That often happens to me. When you are very nervous before you start speaking, your vocal cords become tensed, and when you begin to talk, you will naturally stutter. This often happens when you have to give a speech to a crowd of people, whether for work or school among other activities.

Yoga experts believe that the only way to stop people from stuttering is through relaxation. This is where yoga and meditation come into play. Yoga trains people to relax so that they can speak with much ease. Simple yoga postures and Pranayama, in particular, aid in managing stress and the stammering. When paired with speech therapy (under the supervision of a trained speech therapist), yoga and meditation can effectively reduce the frequency of stammering in people and improve their speech abilities.

People tend to stutter if they breathe incorrectly before and while speaking. The proper way is to breathe in deeply before you start to say something and then breathe out while you are talking. Yoga can help you address breathing problems through Pranayama, which is a system that corrects breathing patterns. Pranayama uses the optimum capacity of your lungs so that you can cope with breathing and speech difficulties.

Are you interested in practicing yoga to control your tendency to stutter? The first things you must focus on are recognizing and accepting your speech problem. Then think about all your talents and positive attributes. In doing so, you will have a better perception of yourself; you will be less self-conscious as a result. This positive thinking will greatly help you deal with stress that causes your stammering.

The next step is to practice the following Yoga postures and breathing techniques to make you feel more relaxed:

• Surya Namaskar (sun salutation)

• Progressive relaxation techniques and meditation

• Suksham Vyayama (a relaxing breathing exercise)

• Concentrating on breathing to make it easier for you to deal with stressful thoughts

• Positive attitude for better self-esteem and self-image

• Bhastrika and Nadi Shodhana that help solve breathing problems

• Simhasana (lion pose)

Without a doubt, yoga is an effective way to heal stuttering. It is advised that you practice yoga with the help of a trained yoga therapist to train you about proper relaxation and breathing techniques.

Yoga for Stuttering: Unifying the Voice, Breath, Mind & Body to Achieve Fluent Speech

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Benefits of Whey Protein

Recently, the subject of whey protein has often come up in health discussions.  To know what whey protein is its possible benefits, its side effects, and other valuable information, please read on. 

What is Whey Protein?

Whey protein is actually a group of globular proteins that can be extracted from whey.  When cow’s milk is used to manufacture cheese, it also leads to the production of whey, which may or may not be
discarded.  It is a mixture of lacto globulin, alpha-lactalbumin, and serum albumin.  Similar to protein found in egg white, whey protein can also be irreversibly changed by heat.  When part of the pasteurization process, it becomes less bio-active; otherwise, whey protein naturally becomes bio-active which basically means it contains a high concentration of cytokine and consequently glutathione, an antioxidant that is essential to improved fitness and health.

Bio-active whey protein is an active source of protein, but exposure to extreme heat can easily reduce the amount of cysteine in it without affecting its protein content and basic food value.

Native Whey Protein -- What Makes It Good for the Body

Because whey protein contains an inordinate amount of essential and non-essential acids, it frequently plays a prominent role in most low-crab and high-protein diets.  Another reason for this is because of its low content of fats and of course, carbohydrates.

Why Expectant Mothers Love Whey Protein

A number of OBs have advised their gravid patients to increase their intake of whey protein because it will provide the basic amount of amino acids needed by the growing fetuses inside their bodies.  An increased intake of whey protein will naturally improve and speed up the development of the baby.  Also, increased intake of whey protein will indirectly improve the immune system of the baby.  In its growing stages, it is highly vulnerable to different types of illness.  With the help of whey protein, the baby grows faster and better and more equipped to defend itself against any health complication.

Whey Protein for Bodybuilding Enthusiasts

For bodybuilders, muscle growth is everything and that’s why they love whey protein so much.  Studies have satisfactorily proven that whey protein can lead to acceleration of muscle development.  This is welcome news especially for bodybuilders who are only a few weeks away from the date of competition, but is still in high need for muscle growth.

How it Helps Athletes Busy Recovering from Old Injuries

In this case, whey protein saves the day once more because it can be used to supplement diets of individuals who are suffering from compromised immune systems.  Basically, it helps athletes heal faster and feel better.

A Weapon against Degenerative Diseases

Although you can’t truly say that any disease is less painful than the other if both have life-altering
consequences, it is an inarguable fact however that degenerative diseases are one of the worst health complications to suffer from.  These illnesses tend to subject people to a protracted form of suffering and symptoms with increased levels of severity.  They commonly affect three systems in particular: the nervous system, the muscular system, and the skeletal system.

Although rarely curable, degenerative diseases can be treated through chemotherapy, surgical operations, and the proper diet.  Whey protein is often a part of this diet because of its rehabilitative benefits especially when it comes to muscle growth.  Cancer, diabetes, and AIDS have symptoms that cause muscle strength and growth to deteriorate – an undesirable effect that can be combated with increased intake of whey protein.

Where to Buy Whey Protein

Are you sufficiently convinced of the benefits of whey protein?  If so, you should be happy to know that you can find whey protein products in most supermarkets and specialty food stores such as health food stores. 

Ending with a Warning

Whey protein is good for the body – no doubt about it – but too much consumption of anything is never beneficial.  Too much intake of whey protein can lead to unnecessary complications of your liver.  Also, do you remember and understand that the liver is the next most important organ in the body?  

Lastly, lactose intolerant individuals must consume whey protein separate rather than the normal variety as the former has less lactose content.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Purchasing Pet Insurance

When our pets get sick, we want to provide the best health care possible. But how do we know if hospitalization, treatment, and medication would cost about $3000.00, possibly more? Pet insurance allows pet owners to have options on how they could provide better for their pets. After all, our pets are not just animals around the house; they are our companions.

In the United States, only 3% of Americans have insurance for their pets. This is low compared to other countries such as Canada which has 19% of pets insured and with Sweden with an outstanding 49%.

A lot of pet owners are undecided as to whether getting pet insurance would be able to benefit them and their animal companions. Let’s understand the advantages and disadvantages of getting pet insurance so we will be able to guide ourselves in making the best decisions.


The gist of having a pet insurance policy is to make sure in case of medical emergencies and accidents, your pets are well provided for. When unforeseen circumstances happen, it would be difficult for the pet owner to immediately come up with a large amount of money. How many pet owners were forced to touch their personal funds for the sake of their pets?

Depending on the kind of insurance plan, coverage could also include vaccinations, spray, neuter, and even flea medications. Veterinary costs are increasing rapidly. There are already sophisticated medications that could deal with your pet’s sickness. Therefore, having pet insurance could actually save your beloved animal from euthanasia.

Aside from medical reasons, there are also insurance policies that could cover rewards, posters, advertising, and financial assistance for pet owners whose pets have been stolen. In these cases, insurance companies could even provide assistance in acquiring a new pet.

Another kind of insurance will be for kennels and boarding, which will answer the question of when something bad happens to the owner and nobody could take the pets in. This is a pet insurance policy that could help with the costs of kennels and boarding.


Some pet insurance policies tend to be overly expensive. However, there are pet insurance companies offering lower plans. You would just have to know what kind of coverage you would like in your plan so you can choose the appropriate insurance policy for your pet. Prices also tend to be different based on the animal and its breed. There are some animal breeds that would require expensive medical treatments; for example, when a big dog such as a German Shepherd has an injured hip, the treatment tends to be expensive.

Pet insurance policies are also very particular with pre-existing conditions. If your dog is sick and old, then you would probably have problems getting them on an insurance plan. Most insurance companies do not pay the bill upfront. What happens is that the pet owner would have to pay for it and then will get reimbursed after the fact.

There are times when the pet owner is not able to pay the entire costs for treatments. For this, there are vet clinics who would allow the pet owner to pay the bill in installments and the insurance company will fix the balance directly. Before a pet owner could take advantage of or use the insurance, there may need to be a wait period of a few days to two weeks before the coverage would start.

Thinking about it, purchasing a pet insurance policy definitely would have its pros and cons. It would definitely be your call as a pet owner if you would like to get an insurance policy for your pet, but it is important to always keep in mind our responsibility as pet owners as well as our pets’ welfare.

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Friday, March 4, 2011

A Rant

Right now there seems to be confusion in my life. Where am I going, what's going on, etc, etc. etc.

The computer's been going slow, and I don't know what to do
What is the method I should pursue?
Shall I get angry which will get me nothing?
Or should I just shut up and do something?
It seems the only way to explain
Is that nothing will be done if I only complain.

Now that I've decided the way
I should just do what I say
Therefore there is something I must do
If only I knew
What the solution must be
To do what is best for me.

This is the rant I right now hold
But if only I should be so bold
As to take what I had
And see if I really want it that bad
For I can see it as the way
To try and live for a better day!

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Online Dating On Valentine's Day

If one modern invention has opened the door to seemingly limitless possibilities of connecting with other people, it would be the Internet.  Since it was invented in 1989, the Internet has never ceased to provide opportunities for people to discover and rediscover so many things.  Aside from paving the way to easy access to almost any sort of information, the Internet has become an avenue to connect people in different parts of the globe, especially during special occasions such as Christmas and Valentine's Day.

Paving The Way For Romantic Relationships

One of the most popular means of connecting people through the Internet is online dating.  Online dating is actually an excellent means of meeting new people, expanding your dating pool, or even getting back on the dating scene, including romantic occasions such as Valentine's Day.

Far from the common misconception of being a desperate act for those people who are quite eager to form romantic relationships during Valentine's Day, online dating has been enjoyed by millions of people across the globe.  For interested singles looking for prospective partners, online dating is a good way to get out of their shell, especially for those who have traumatic experiences in in-person dating.

Today, more and more people are into online dating services during Valentine's Day because of time constraints.  Being preoccupied with other things, people who are into online dating want to maximize their time by meeting people virtually and forming connections with them.  In addition, since online dating doesn’t establish exclusivity to either party, singles that are into it can even look for other interesting people who they can connect with.

A Practical Option

Veering away from the common notion that online dating is creepy and unsafe, online dating today has unveiled a new and refreshing face that has become acceptable to many.  Banking on the concept of a hassle-free and time-saving socialization alternative for people on-the-go, online dating has become a credible and reliable avenue in expanding one’s social pool and connections.

Online dating is considered by many people a practical option on Valentine's Day because it gives the person fewer hassles.  Unlike regular dating which will require one to reserve seats in restaurants or movie theaters, dress properly, look for possible date gifts, and leave behind his/her schedule, online dating on Valentine's Day will give each individual enough time know each other without exclusive commitment.

Aside from saving the hassles of money and time, online dating also gives the person ultimate comfort since all one needs is a computer and a fast Internet connection.  Also, there are fewer restrictions and definitely no dress codes.  Instead of dressing up when you go on a date, you can date online without worrying about your physical appearance.

When you go online on Valentine's Day, you also have more dating options and preferences to choose from.  Since online dating includes so many people across the globe, you have wider reach to as many cultures as possible.  You can also create stronger relationships when you continue communicating with the person on a regular basis.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011