Monday, April 25, 2016

5 Fun Beach Toys for Small Children

A trip to the beach can be a great way to have fun, relax, and enjoy being outdoors – that is unless you have children and have become unprepared with ways to keep them entertained. Keeping the kiddies happy is pertinent when planning to enjoy a day or two at the beach. If the kids aren’t happy, then believe me, the parents won’t be happy. Here are five toys for small children that will help keep them busy, entertained, and out of your hair, at least a little while.

Shovel & bucket kit – Don’t leave home without them! This is probably the one set of toys that can keep almost any child entertained for hours on end. Digging holes and trenches in the sand, filling the bucket with sand and shells, or building fortresses and channels to the sea can make for a day of entertainment, and all your children will need are a couple buckets and shovels.

Castle building equipment – These items are sometimes sold in combined with the ol’ shovel and bucket kit. Castle building accessories come in various shapes and sizes. Some are plastic molds others are buckets that are formed in the shapes of turrets or castle walls. Many of these forms come sold in packages and often include other plastic molds of a variety of sea life or other ocean associated shapes.

Plastic toys – There are a whole slew of other fun plastic toys out there for making an entertaining day at the beach. There are little toy bulldozers, plastic boats of all sizes, flippers that fit on your feet that either help you to swim or make tracks in the sand, the list goes on and on.

Balls – From beach balls to Styrofoam balls and beyond, you should always come to the beach prepared to play a little ball. Even little kids like to throw the baseball around, but if such activities are still a year or two in their future, a good bouncy ball works just as well. Just remember to watch those ocean breezes. Otherwise, by the time you realize your ball is missing it might be half a mile down the beach.

Inflatable toys – From animal themed inner tubes to arm floats and rafts, inflatable toys can make any kid’s day at the beach. Typically cheap and easy to find at many beach and/or discount stores, inner tubes are the perfect toys for beach fun. Some stores will even offer to blow up larger rafts and floats for you if they have an air compressor, while others sell some items pre-inflated.

Disclaimer:

This article is for informational purposes only. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is at the reader’s discretion.

Tags:5 Fun Beach Toys for Small Children

5 Funny Ideas to Innovate First-Person Shooters

The First-Person Shooter genre tends to take itself too seriously. Games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, Halo, and Crysis all have a realistic or serious tone to them. It gets exhausting. People want innovation within the FPS genre but I think part of that is diversifying the genre through simple additions like humor. A game like Gothom City Imposters is on the right track.

Here are five comedic–and slightly unrealistic–ways the FPS genre can develop variety.

1. A full beatdown mechanic. Forget the overused, one button, bash to the face. Add a full fighting mechanic.

When a player throws the bows to his adversary, the camera changes to a third-person overhead shot, and for seven seconds, the players can duke it out, bar fight style, while being invulnerable to opponent fire. If no one is drained of their health, they return to first-person perspective to finish the fight the traditional way.

What happens if someone gets attacked from behind? A sweet third-person beatdown animation is awarded to the duplicitous one.

2. Real environment effects. Some games have weather effects but they don’t affect the actual gameplay. If it’s going to be added, let it affect the gameplay. If there is rain, the ground could be slippery and it may blur vision a little bit. Snow would cause movement to be sluggish. A bright sun would blind you. What if you could shoot out the lights in a building in multiplayer mode?

3. Water guns. Lose the bullets. Grab some water guns and fight to stay the driest. You will never die but you can get soaking wet. The damper you are, the worse you are doing. Running around pays off in drying faster while camping dries you slowly. You can have a variety of water guns from squirt guns to super soakers-water balloons are your grenades. And maps can have destinations of a level that people can get super wet like waterfalls or pools.

4. Primitive weapons. Guns are not the only thing a person can shoot. There are other volatile firearms like a Crossbow. Bow and arrows are even more primitive. Don’t count out the slingshot either. That could have some very cool consequences when used.

5. Timesplitters. This one is actually serious. Timesplitters set the tone for FPS’s that were competitive and were over-the-top goofy. There wasn’t a single serious character in the game, many weapons were fantasized and the animations were downright outrageous. It is a gold mine in the FPS genre where people want something quick and meaningless. Why not have funny too?

While most, if not all of these, will never see the light of day except–maybe–in the indie scene, it’s funny to dream about ways developers can add variety to FPS’s. What would you come up with?

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5 Fun Ways to Add Pizzazz to a Drab Kitchen

Whether your kitchen is all white or all wood, leaving it decorated in a single hue will likely result in a very ordinary space. But with five simple steps you can add pizzazz to your drab kitchen and give it a personality all its own. From unique kitchen cabinet knobs to a homemade pot rack, here are 5 simple ways to introduce beauty and color to your drab kitchen.

Create a unique floral centerpiece

Look for a unique ceramic pot at home stores, garage sales or thrift stores. Select something large and extraordinarily beautiful. Once you place a floral potted plant inside, such as Jasmine, gardenia or an orchid, display this centerpiece on your island or kitchenette table. This new focal point will draw the eye and add a splash of pizzazz to your kitchen.

Hang pots on a homemade pot rack

Reminiscent of a country kitchen, shiny, hanging pots will both liven up your kitchen and prove convenient to reach. You can fashion a cheap pot rack from a broom stick and lamp chains. Suspend the stick by looping the chains and hanging them on swag hooks from the wall or ceiling. Drive screw hooks into the stick, then hang your pots. Copper pots are especially rustic and will add chic and pizzazz to your kitchen.

Display whimsical kitchen towels

Hang a wide towel rack from your kitchen island or side cabinet, with room enough to display two kitchen towels side-by-side. Look for unique towels at arts and craft shows. Or choose cheap but handsome towels at drugstores or discount home stores. Once the towels fade from washing, replace them with new ones to keep your towel rack a beautiful spot of color.

Replace your drab kitchen knobs

Replacing your knobs or handles with more stylish ones will modernize the look of your cabinets and add pizzazz to your kitchen. Look online for a huge selection of styles and colors. Leaf-shaped knobs or twig handles are ideal for a modern kitchen. Strawberry or apple shaped knobs will liven up a rustic kitchen. Granite kitchen knobs will add formality, metal ones an air of cold precision.

Let runners run the show

Use runners to add a splash of color to your kitchen floor while helping keep it clean. Select bright colors that complement the accessories you’ve already added to your kitchen, from your floral centerpiece to your kitchen knobs. Then add a complimentary runner on your island or kitchen counter, using similar hues that will add pizzazz to the space.

More from this contributor

Decorating My Guest Bedroom for Free
4 Ways to Make a Small Backyard Seem Larger
Storybook Ways to Decorate a Kid’s Room

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5 Georgia Spas that Are a Must

Here is a review of five Georgian Spas that are a must for every tired, stressed, Southern woman.

Chateau Elan: This spa is out of this world. Located outside of Atlanta on the beautiful Chateau Elan Winery and Resort property, guests are transported far from the hustle and bustle as they drive into the gates and pass the grapevines. This spa offers a variety of packages and a la carte treatments. Overnight spa suites are available with complimentary access to all Spa facilities and classes. Tea is served at 4 p.m. to all guests. Visitors must try the unique Chateau Antioxidant Winery Facial. Prices range from as low as $25.00 to as high as $500.00 for a la carte treatments. Weekday specials and package deals are available. For more information or to make and appointment call 678-425-0900 ext. 41

Foundry Park Inn and Spa: Located in the middle of Dawg country, this Athens Inn and Spa offers the perfect retreat after an University of Georgia sporting event. The staff here is wonderful and they offer everything from body wrapping to body waxing. Prices begin at $15.00 for waxing and can go up to $170.00 for a 100 minute Deep Tissue Massage. The Detox Body Wrap at $80.00 is perfect for all the UGA fans who need a little detoxing after the game. The Spa is opened 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.. Advance reservations can be made by calling 888-869-2376.

The Cloister Sea Island: The Cloister Spa at Sea Island offers timeless luxury. With big oak trees, sandy beaches, and salty air enclosing guests as they arrive, each person who splurges here will not be disappointed. This is a 65,000 square foot spa facility with spa packages beginning at prices over $200.00, with many extra amenities included. Spend a day in the pools and sauna, or attend a private yoga session before a facial or massage. Dine at one of the three eating establishments on site between services. Guest can even bring their children to the Kid’s Spa on site. Whatever the guest choose will be a wonderful experience. Call 912-638-5148 for more information or to book an appointment.

Heavenly Spa by Westin: This spa combines a guest’s spiritual, mental, and physical senses in each spa service. The staff at the Heavenly Spa by Westin is Savannah, Georgia are exactly that, Heavenly. Let serenity float into your presence as each need is catered to. Services include waxing, hydrotherapy, massage therapy, and many other body treatments with prices beginning at $20.00. The Heavenly Spa Journey is must try for any guest who wants to immerse into the relaxation sanctuary. Call 912-201-2250 for more information or to book an appointment.

Bliss Spa the W Hotel: This is a hip, fun spa, with tons of amenities in store for its guests. From the legendary brownie buffet and retail boutique to the Betweeny Wax and Hangover Herbie, Bliss Spa offers something for everyone. Prices are reasonable starting at about $15.00 for a lip/chin wax. If you like the products that the staff uses, you can buy most of it at the retail store located on site. The spa is open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. W Hotel offers free valet parking to all Bliss guests.

Happy Relaxing!

Tags:5 Georgia Spas that Are a Must

5 Good Reasons Why Older Women Shouldn't Date Younger Men

Although younger men can be oh so very tempting in many ways, you may want to think about the drawbacks of dating one first! Yes, we all have heard about the many things that can attract an older woman to a younger man. But it’s not all a fantasy land, or maybe it is, and that’s part of the problem. Anyway, I thought I would share some of the drawbacks of dating a younger man, as shared by me, my friends, and other women I have talked to over the years.

1 – Too Much Sex- Yes I know what your thinking, So, where’s the drawback. Well, realistically, I know lots of sex sounds, really, really good, however, there is too much of a good thing. As we get older we tend to care more about quality, than quantity. Don’t get me wrong younger men do put in the quality as well. But you know, a honeymoon is only a few weeks long for a reason. We want to live long enough to enjoy the rest of our life. It can be difficult over a long period of time keeping up with that younger man. This is something you may want to consider.

2 – Immaturity & Silliness – At first the cute little things he does, is oh so adorable. After awhile, it starts to get on your nerves. Let’s face it Disney World is a nice place to visit, but would you want to live there? I’m not saying younger men don’t have a mature, serious side to them, but when they get silly and immature about things, it’s downright infantile. You can feel like your trapped with Jim Carey on crack. So if you are a fairly serious, conservative type person , think about this one Big Time!

3 – Lack Of Career Direction – Some younger men are still what I call exploring. They really don’t have any clear direction about what they want to do in life. They may go from one job to the next, and quite possibly take little mini vacations from work in between. If you’re an older woman with a settled profession, or longtime stable job, this may just irritate you just an itty bit. Okay, a whole lot. You may want to seriously think about whether you want to help support him along his journey to the land of work ethics.

4 – Flighty and Unsure – You have to remember he has not had as many years to figure out what he wants out of life, and that includes you. You may be taking a risk here, if you are expecting him to stay around for any length of time. Remember he is still exploring, and trying to figure out where he wants to go. He may be there today, but don’t count on tomorrow.

5 – The Kids Issue – He swears up and down he really loves you and doesn’t care about having kids. Well, that may or may not last. Wait till his mother is aching to have grandchildren, and pounding her chest that he has forever broken her heart. He may start to waver. The older they get the more chance is that they will decide they don’t want to leave this world without a little one of them running around. By then it’s too late, your eggs have already been scrambled, and he will go elsewhere for his reproductive urge.

Well, that’s just some of the possible drawbacks to dating a younger man. If you’re just in it for a good time, and realize that it probably isn’t going to last, Go for it. But alas, as most women, I still haven’t figured out how to really care about someone, and just think of them as a temporary good time. Maybe, you will have more luck with that than me!

Tags:5 Good Reasons Why Older Women Shouldn’t Date Younger Men

5 Free Games Similar to Minecraft

Minecraft is a unique game that involves mining resources, crafting items and materials, building structures, and otherwise manipulating the environment in a near-infinite, randomly generated 3-D world made of blocks. Oh, and there are monsters. It’s a one-of-a-kind concept that was influenced by many games that came before it and has inspired more than a few games since. The following is a round-up of the best free games like Minecraft. Some of them are more obviously similar to Minecraft than others, but all of these great games incorporate at least a few of the elements that make Minecraft so much fun. Enjoy!

Dwarf Fortress:

This is probably the game most often cited as having similarities to Minecraft, but if you’re new to the game, you might not understand the comparison right away. Dwarf Fortress uses 2-D text-based graphics and controls, which makes it appear to have nothing in common with Minecraft at first glance.

The 2-D rendering actually represents a 3-D world, however, and the map you start with is quite large and randomly generated, similarly to Minecraft. Also like Minecraft, there are dangers in this world, and you must direct your dwarves to find or construct shelter. They must also mine and otherwise gather raw materials in this world, at your direction, and then use these materials for building and crafting. The similarities are definitely there, but Dwarf Fortress will probably take some getting used to. If you’re having trouble figuring it out, try this tutorial for newbies.

Dwarf Fortress is a free download.

Blockland:

Blockland is a building game that is often compared to playing with Legos. In the game, you are given a nearly endless supply of many, many different types of blocks with which to build whatever you want. If building and creating is what you enjoy most about Minecraft, then you will love Blockland. Beyond just building, various effects can be applied within the world you create, which makes the game more interesting and allows for mini-games. Like in Minecraft, there are single and multi-player modes.

The free demo of Blockland includes 150 different kinds of blocks. The demo can be upgraded to the full version.

Cubelands:

This is another building game, but it may have more in common with Minecraft than Blockland does. The blocks in Blockland are of many different shapes and sizes, but Cubelands uses only different varieties of cubes. The controls are extremely reminiscent of Minecraft, moving and jumping with the same keys, adding and subtracting cubes with right and left mouse clicks. It is entirely multi-player.

Cubelands can be played online for free.

Wurm Online:

This MMO was co-created by Notch, the developer of Minecraft, and the two games contain many similarities. In Wurm Online, you are set down on the map of your choice with only a few basic tools. From here, you can explore the vast landmass. The world is entirely interactive. You can forage for food, cut down trees, dig, mine, plant, and much more. As you gather resources, you can begin to craft a wide variety of items and build structures. You must keep your health up by eating and staying hydrating, as well as avoiding injury. There are dangers and enemies in this world that you must protect yourself from.

Sound familiar? The two games are not exactly alike, however. The graphics in Wurm Online are much more realistic. Though you can choose to avoid other players, it is a multi-player game, and much of the environment is player-built. Wurm Online also has a much slower pace and some more complex features. The concepts sound deceptively similar, but these two games play quite differently.

After registering, Wurm Online can be played for free.

Bunnies of Fury 2:

In this game, you start with a flat plane of Minecraft-esque squares (they’re really cubes, as you’ll discover once you start digging in). You have a few simple controls that allow you to add, subtract, and paint individual blocks or large numbers of blocks all at once, but only from a fixed location. When it comes to free games like Minecraft, this one doesn’t have quite as many similarities, but it does involve building and destroying cubes. It’s also oddly addicting, very pretty, and a superb time-waster.

Bunnies of Fury 2 is free to play online.

—–

Sources:

The Complete and Utter Newby Tutorial for Dwarf Fortress. After Action Reporter.

Tags:5 Free Games Similar to Minecraft

5 Genius Ways to Optimize Your Budget and Save Money

As a single mother of two, I am always looking for ways to save money. I want to share with you some of what have proved to be very valuable money-saving tips. Using some of these ideas, you can more easily optimize your budget and even save thousands of dollars per year.

One of the great ways to save money that is greatly overlooked is clipping coupons. You’d be amazed at how much money you can save just by taking the time to look through circulars, value packs, and coupon booklets. When you are trying to save money and budget your finances, this is perhaps the number one rule-of-thumb – Use Coupons.

Another idea that can save you a ton of money is when you seize the opportunity to take advantage of sales, by buying in bulk. Anytime your favorite foods or household items are on sale, you should stock up. You’d be amazed by how much money you can save and increase your budget, just by using this one small tip.

There is another money-saving tip, which I learned years ago, and it has helped me tremendously. I saw this idea on TV one day, though I can’t tell you the exact source, because it was several years ago. It is a very simple way of saving a lot of money, and saving effortlessly. All you do is spend only dollar bills and save all your change. At the end of the day, empty your pockets and put your change in a jar. The concept is simple; never spend your change. The amazing thing about this practice is that you can easily accumulate $50 or more every single month, just from the change in your pocket. Budgeting will be even easier, once you have that extra money that you saved all month long.

There is another very easy way to optimize your budget; and that is something as simple as taking a small portion of your paycheck and putting it into a savings account every week. It could be as little as $5; it really does not matter. The important thing is that it is SAVINGS, so you don’t touch it. And with savings, you earn interest on all that cash that you leave untouched.

The last idea for saving money and optimizing your budget, is something so simple and should be very obvious too. Still, a whole lot of people ignore this one: Do not buy on impulse. The easiest way to do this is to PRACTICE writing a list **before** you go out shopping. At the top of your list, and in between list-items, you should put a reminder “Do not purchase anything not on list.” Of course, you know that there is an exception to this rule. And that is if you find something on sale that you know that you buy frequently, so the purchase is going to save you money that you would already be spending. Bottom line is that you should not buy something just because it is a good deal or just because it is appealing. If you want, you can set aside your own personal stack of cash, which you are allowed to spend on anything (impulse stuff too). And if you have some of this cash available, then you can spend it. Otherwise, just ignore the impulse to purchase items not on your list.

These are 5 of what I have found to be great money-savers and that is why I highly recommend that you use them if you are looking to optimize your budget. Making wise decisions about how you spend your money will ultimately increase your assets and thus allow you to be able to do other things that you might not otherwise be able to afford. Now, you can finally take that family vacation that you thought you couldn’t afford

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