Friday, June 24, 2016

3 Tips to Celebrate Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. Much like the secular new year, it is a time of celebration and reflection on the kind of person you want to be. Rosh Hashanah is a time for family, friends, joyfulness and good food. To make sure your Rosh Hashanah is memorable this year, try these three tips at your celebration:

1. Stick to tradition if you haven’t, and break it if you have. Tradition is a very important part of being Jewish, but not everyone is a traditionalist. If you don’t like to conform, you can make your Rosh Hashanah memorable by doing just that. Set the table with a white tablecloth, serve two round loaves of challah to celebrate the new cyclical year, put out proper kiddush cups and do a ceremonial candlelighting. You should certainly serve apples and bits of challah to be dipped in honey, but you should say the traditional prayers before anyone takes a bite.

If you typically stick to tradition, break out of it by getting rid of the traditional things. Serve hard cider in place of wine or kosher grape juice. Try dipping apple or pear slices into premade caramel dip. Use those New Year’s Eve decorations again. No one will forget your offbeat Rosh Hashanah celebration.

2. Play up the sweetness. Rosh Hashanah is the start of 10 days of reflection leading up to Yom Kippur. During these Days of Awe, Jews are supposed to ask forgiveness of those whom they hurt during the year.

To get your guests in this reflective mindset, ask everyone what the sweetest thing they did in the last year was. Then ask them what sweet thing they would like to do this year for another person. If you find this exercise a little too sickly, ask everyone to write their answers on slips of paper and put them in hats during your party. While dessert is being prepared, display the paper strips artfully in the living room.

If you are entertaining your family this year and they have Rosh Hashanah off, spend the day volunteering and doing something sweet for others in need. The experience combined with your celebration will be very memorable. My family did this last year. We helped out at a local soup kitchen during lunchtime. By the time we sat down for Rosh Hashanah dinner, we all had a different perception of what we consume and how lucky we are to have anything.

3. Get your children involved. Too often, children aren’t involved in Jewish holiday preparation except Purim, which is a costume-clad holiday with similarities to Halloween. This year, have your children prepare parts of Rosh Hashanah. In the kitchen, they can cut the apples and pour the honey into little cups. Let them rip up a challah for honey-dipping. With supervision, they can braise the brisket.

In the dining room, let your children create special placeholders for each guest. If you have time and money, take your children to a pottery store to paint their own kiddush cups. You also can buy simple metal goblets from a home store and have your children decorate the stems.

Sharon Estroff, The Sweet Rewards of Rosh Hashanah Rituals. Chabad.

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3 Tips for Better Indie Film Lighting

When it comes to indie filmmaking, there is one thing that is highly noticeable but yet highly disregarded at the same time. Lighting. From my professional experience, I believe that the following three tips can play a vital role in how the lighting of a film is portrayed. These are things that every filmmaker needs to keep in mind.

1) Knowing and Understanding Photography

A lot indie filmmakers do not understand the fact that making a film is only a principle of moving photography. Realizing this alone will set your lighting far above the average indie filmmaker. This means that if you know and understand photography in all aspects (especially portraiture photography), you should visually be able to create a film that looks great.

It is vital to your film to appropriately determine when to use wide shots and when to use close-ups. This also means that it is more than appropriate to initially light your set mainly for wide shots. When you go back to shoot close-ups, you can use additional light, such as a face light, as long as it can be linked to light sources that were seen in a wide shot. If you try to use additionally lighting in places that were never seen in a wide shot, or had been proven to be impossible within the wide shot, it can psychologically be confusing.

2) Knowing and Understanding Exposure

Many amateurs don’t seem to pay much attention to exposure, even though it can determine the overall feel and style of the film itself. A lack of understanding as to how to treat exposure can turn a dark concept and make it looks light hearted – Which (atleast to me) defeats the purpose, unless there is a certain type of darkness you want to achieve.

Know the difference between a high key, mid key, and low key lighting High key lighting is when the photographer purposely overexposes the shot to the point that highlighted detail blows out (or is so bright that it disappears) completely. Generally speaking it is safe to say that low key lighting is the exact opposite of high key. Low key lighting is underexposed to the point that all detail within shadows disappear completely to the point that they are pitch black. Mid key lighting is the lighting that is balanced. Hightlight detail, as well as the details within shadows can both be seen with ease.

These techniques are the bare essentials of understanding the basics of exposure – Which is what photography is. As a photographer you must know when to over expose, under expose or use balanced exposure.

3) Knowing and Understanding Consistency

In most indie films the director is also the director of photography (cinematographer)… as well as the camera man. With this in mind, it is extremely important to keep consistency in mind as you shoot. In a scene, keep lighting at the same levels and keep it logical. If you choose to shoot your film with an underexposed style, use it in every normal scene. Save different styles to establish special things in the film. For example: You could use underexposed imagery for the bulk of the film, and use overexposed imagery for flashbacks or scenes that have a different or special meaning in relation to the structure of the film. There are some filmmakers who shoot one scene with mid key lighting, another with high key lighting, and another with low key lighting just because they think it looks cool. Just like additional and/or imaginary light sources, psychologically this gets confusing to your audience. Are low key scenes supposed to be flash backs? Do high key scenes take place in a different universe? If you treat your audience like they are dumb – They will feel like you think they are dumb whether or not you really believe they are and will more likely be insulted than enjoy your film.

In Conclusion

These are three, out of many, principles that I have learned with personal filmmaking experience. These principles are things that I always consider while shooting and have never given me a bad product thus far – Hopefully they will do the same for you!

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3 Things that Will Help Your Career and Your Job Search

There are a number of ways that you can go about finding a job. Some people target one specific area of the job search and that’s all they do. For example some people will get the Sunday paper and go through the classified section and they will respond to the job offers that are listed. In today’s economy when so many people are out of work you cannot rely on one source along. Here are some things that will expedite your job search.


If you are looking for a job the best way to find a job is through networking. Statistics show that 80% of jobs are found by networking. You should make out a list of 100 people you can possible network with. When you network you have to let them know that you are actively looking for a job. Give them a business card that has your name and the type of job you are looking for. Networking should not be limited to a chosen few. It should include everyone. Even if you are not able to network completely you should let everyone know you are looking. Some of the people you should tell are the mailman, the grocery store clerk, people at your church, your hairstylist, barber shop, contacts at your previous employer, friends, family, neighbors, and the list goes on. There is no shortage regarding the number of people that you can get the word out to.

Exhaust your resources

When you start looking for a job it can become a job. You should be prepared to exhaust your resources. Whatever channel or avenue to can pursue that will help you get a job then you should do it. Sometimes visiting a chamber of commerce will work wonders. You never know who will be in attendance. You might meet someone that does not know of a job for you but they may know someone who is hiring.
Volunteering is another great way to find a job. A lot of executives do volunteer work in their communities. If you volunteer you just never know who you are going to meet. Find those things that you have an interest in and start doing some volunteer work.

Don’t forget about the websites like an d Build a profile and post your resume to these sites. Having your resume out there is just another way of communicating that you are in the job market. There is no telling what can become of this.

Fears and obstacles

Sometimes it’s a good idea to jump over into another industry. You may have to overcome some fears and obstacles. We are creatures of habit. So often we become so accustomed to doing the same thing over and over. If your career is one that you have worked in for your entire life then you may be skeptical about your level of success in another area or industry. If you do a little research and find out what is required within the confines of another industry you will increase your chances of success immensely.

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3 Tips for Dealing with Problem Behavior in Kids

When is problem behavior something to be concerned about and when is it just a phase that your child is going through? In this article, you’ll learn the difference between the two along with some strategies to get your child back on track.

Although all children go through phases during which they are moody, somewhat rebellious and difficult in general, bad behavior becomes problematic when it is chronic. When your child’s demands and disruptions constantly interfere with everyone else’s sense of peace and happiness in your home, then you have a problem on your hands. When you have tried numerous ways to reach your child with no results, then you need to act fast. This is because it’s important to stop problem behavior before it turns into a character style-a way of relating to or alienating others.

The attempts to change a child’s behavior is called behavior modification. These techniques are designed to create observable changes in behavior. When your child’s patterns change, then he has learned a new way of responding to what happens in his world.

3 Behavior Modification Tips for Parents

1. Be consistent. Don’t punish a behavior one time and then let it go the next time. Your child needs to know that the rules are the rules and they are in place to keep him safe and ensure that everyone in the household respects the person and belongings of each other.

2. When your child has a bad attitude, keep your focus on his behavior. A bad attitude cannot be changed because it is a feeling inside, but behavior is made up of external actions that you can see. If you find yourself yelling about your child’s attitude, stop. Put your focus on his actions and how they get him into trouble and harm others.

3. Although it may be difficult for you, let your child suffer the natural consequences of his actions. This alone can turn problem behavior around. Many of today’s well-meaning parents make the mistake of rescuing their kids from the consequences of their actions. When you do this, instead of learning to take responsibility for what he does, your child learns that you will rescue him. For instance, if a child fails to turn an assignment in when it is due, let him get a bad grade, rather than calling the teacher and trying to make excuses for him. Let kids learn the lesson that there is a connection between what they do and what they get in life.

If you have tried these steps or other techniques and your child or teen is still chronically disrespectful or defiant, then get help and do it fast. The studies are clear: this kind of behavior usually does not get better on its own, in fact, it can even turn into criminal behavior. Getting your child help now can turn him around. One of the best ways to do this is with simple behavior modification techniques.

You can take your child to a good therapist or to use an at-home program designed specifically to turn around problem behavior. Although a therapist can be quite effective and is usually trained in these techniques, the at-home program is highly recommended because it teaches you the techniques that will turn your kid around, rather than paying a third party to do so. This way, you’ll learn what works with your child and increase your skill as a parent.

Best of all, as problem behavior is replaced with a sense of accomplishment and personal responsibility, your child or teen will credit you with helping to turn his life around.

Laura Ramirez is an advocate who helps troubled kids get their lives back on track with an at-home behavioral modification program called Total Transformation which was developed by a therapist who was once a troubled teen himself.

She is also the award-winning author of the parenting book, Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting which teaches parents how to raise kids to develop their strengths and lead fulfilling, productive lives.

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3 Tire Rotation Methods

Tire Rotation is a much overlooked part of vehicle maintenance. All four of your tires are worn down differently. The driver side tires are worn down different than the passenger-side tires, and the front tires are worn down different than the rear tires. The regular rotation of your tires helps prolong tire life as well as makes your vehicle safer to take on the road. Tires should be rotated every other oil change. Vehicles that have four-wheel drive need it about every 1 ½ oil changes. Tire rotation can be done by professionals or it can be done by you. Getting your tires rotated professionally isn’t very expensive, but it is something that you can do for free, on your own. For those who are not knowledgeable on how to rotate your vehicle’s tires manually, here are some tips.

For those with vehicles that have all weather tires here are directions on how you should rotate your tires. The front two tires, need to go in place of the back tires, but the front driver side tire needs to go to the rear passenger-side tire. Likewise the passenger-side front tire needs to go to the rear driver side tire. The two rear tires, need to go forward; meaning that the rear driver side tire needs to go to the front driver side, and the rear passenger-side tire needs to go to the front passenger-side.

Next are those with front wheel drive tires. Front wheel drive tires are to be rotated differently than all weather tires. Instead of crossing the front tires, you’re going to cross the rear tires, meaning that the rear passenger-side tire is going to go to the front driver side. The rear driver side tire is going to go to the front passenger-side. The front passenger-side tire is going to go to the back passenger-side and the front driver side is going to go to the back driver side.

Directional tires are not as difficult, as the front and back tires are only going to switch. So the front passenger-side tire goes to the back passenger-side and front driver side tire goes to the back driver side. The same thing goes for the rear tires. They are only going to go to the front of the same side. Directional tires are made to stay on their designated side of the vehicle so you don’t have the option to cross them as in the previous two examples.

Some things are important to remember if you do choose to rotate your own tires. Make sure that you know what you’re tires’ inflation levels should be. Once you have finished rotating them, it is important to make sure that your the tires’ inflation levels are adjusted to whatever the specific cars recommendations are. Even though it is a somewhat time-consuming process, it is pretty easy. Regular tire rotation increases tire life in a big way. Increasing the vehicle’s tire life will save you money in the long run.

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3 Tips to Stay on Track with Your Diet

When beginning a new diet, it is very easy to succumb to the temptation of resorting back to a menu of comfort foods. Comfort foods are so nice because they are easy to make and we can predict how we will feel when we eat them. On the contrary, the world of dieting throws new foods and habits at us that we are not sure we are able to yet accept.

However, if your diet is going to work, you must display the utmost discipline within the first few critical weeks as you help you body adjust to your new routine. Therefore, it is vital that you avoid comfort foods and dedicate yourself to eating only those foods that you have deemed appropriate for your weight loss plan.

Here are three simple tried-and-true tips to help you stay on track with your diet:

Diet with a Friend
Dieting with a friend has proven to positively affect your morale and the attainment of your desired weight loss. The reason that dieting with a friend works is simple: there is strength and numbers. When you and a friend embark on a weight loss plan together, you can encourage and scold one another throughout the trying times of your weight loss process. Your friend can help you stay motivated during particularly difficult steps of your diet. You can also gather ensemble to commiserate when the diet gets particularly rough.

When dieting with a friend, it is important that you truly help to monitor and respond to each other’s successes and areas for improvement. You will be able to gauge your progress against your friends, which is nice, but can also lead to a friendly competition. The competition can motivate the two of you to succeed where you might have otherwise given in to temptation.

Keep a Chart
Keep a chart to help track your success and your failures. Mark which foods you eat on a daily basis, including their calorie and fat content. At the end of the day, tally the number of calories you took in against the amount of exercise you did. Weigh yourself at the beginning of each day. By the end of the week, a good diet will look like this: steady increase in the quality of exercise, increase in the healthiness of the food and decrease in the number of pounds. Your chart will make you accountable to your goal as well as being a tangible meter of your success.

Splurge Once in a While
One of the main reasons that many people fail in their diets is that they deny their bodies food that the body is craving. It is important to understand that when your body craves a particular food, it is because the body actually feels that it needs the food. For this reason, many people crave sugars. Sugars, however, are not necessarily bad for the body, but it is important to understand that they do trick the body into believing that it is hungry. However, if you crave foods that are high in fat or salt, it is most likely because you have been starving your body of these elements. So go ahead and indulge – just remember to eat all foods in moderation.

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3 Tips to Make Money Trading Commodities

Trading Commodities can be very financially rewarding. You can literally make thousands of dollars in a matter of minutes or lose that same amount in the same time span. You have a wide range of investment products to choose from such as agricultural, currency energies, Indexes and metals. It is such a lucrative asset class to trade because the value of one tick movement is worth dollar amounts in comparison to stocks upon which each stock movement is worth just a penny. One tick in the right or wrong direction, depending upon whether you are Long or Short the contract could carry a value of $5, $10 or $12.50 a tick, just to name a few! That adds up to a lot of profit potential if you are able to take advantage of the market’s rally. Here are 3 valuable tips they may help to protect your capital risk and position you to capture large profits in this highly rewarding market.

The first tip is to always trade in conjunction to the size of your account. Do not attempt to carry too many contracts that will magnify your capital risk and cripple your ability to make sound trading decisions. Your top focus should always be capital preservation because without it you cannot trade. Period.

The second tip is to always have a strategic and specific profit and loss plan mapped out before you ever enter into a commodity trade. This will sharpen your ability to manage your money, increase your development of maintaining control of your trading activity and limit exposing your capital to unnecessary depletion that over time can keep your account in the negative.

The third step is to get a quality education that will enable you to trade this highly leveraged market successfully. Read books, find a mentor or online school that can teach you techniques that will provide guidance in this lucrative market that carries an equal amount of loss potential if it is not traded properly. Once you have learned some core commodity trading techniques and mindset principles you will be positioned to make a lot of money in this ever growing market. For more information on how you can learn to make money from trading commodities please visit the link provided in my profile.

Good Luck with your future trading endeavors!

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3 Tips for Improving Your Costco Shopping Experience

We all know that Costco has the best prices on just about everything. The only problem is, the whole world knows about it now and is shopping there. We’ve all stood in that incredibly long line at check and been in bumper to bumper traffic through the bread aisle. But as a long-time Costco shopper, I have found three things that have really made my Costco shopping experiences a lot more pleasant.

Take Advantage of the Business Member Hours – Depending upon the Costco, for business members you can shop either an hour earlier or later than the store is open for regular members. I have found that this is the absolute best time to shop and the sooner you get there to opening, the better. If you don’t have a business membership, get there just as the regular hours are starting. The lines will still be better than if you wait until later in the day. The only drawback of getting there this early is that often the samples aren’t out yet!

Shop Tuesday through Thursday – Weekends are always the busiest at Costco as well all know, and Mondays and Fridays are a close second. But if you go midweek, the lines tend to be shorter and the store is better stocked simple because there are fewer people. So if you can find time to go in the middle of the week, you will save a lot of time in line and have an easier time getting around the store and will definitely improve your Costco shopping experience.

Don’t be afraid to ask! – I have found that Costco’s staff is usually willing to go the extra mile for their customers. There have been numerous times where I have asked the staff to help me find products as they often change locations due to the amount of new inventory they have coming in and out and they have always been very gracious. A few months ago I was moving so I went in to ask if they had any boxes I could have. The manager called back to the warehouse and allowed me to go back and have the pick of any size and as many boxes as I wanted. It turned out that I got almost all of my moving boxes from them for free! So if you need anything from them and are a member, don’t be afraid to ask. They are there to help you with your shopping.

I hope that these few tips help make your Costco shopping experience more pleasant next time you are there!

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