Tuesday, December 6, 2016

10 Tips for Safe Winter Driving

The cold season is almost here and, unfortunately, not all drivers are ready for it. While most of us have a lot of experience and know what to expect from winter, the more inexperienced drivers should be aware of several facts in order to avoid getting involved in more or less serious accidents. Here are a few tips to make sure you don’t have to worry about anything while driving this winter:

1. The tire’s contact surface with the road is the size of your palm. Yes, that small. The tire is the only contact point your car makes with the road and this is why you need to make sure the tires are inflated at the pressure indicated by the manufacturer, in order to offer the best possible grip. Also, make sure you check your tire pressure frequently to make sure it’s always the recommended one on all tires and at all times.

2. 44 Fahrenheit, the moment when “M+S” makes a difference. When outside temperature drops below 44 F, that’s when you definitely need snow tires.

3. Used snow tires, an useless risk. Even though it’s legal to run with used tires, this is a big risk every driver takes. Whether some choose these because they’re cheaper or because they’re too lazy to get new ones, used snow tires don’t offer the same safety as new ones. And if the tires are too used, then they don’t offer any safety at all.

4. Drive carefully. Snow tires and all modern safety systems like ABS, traction control, stability control, etc. are useless if you are hastening your car like you’re playing an XBOX video game. Be gentle and drive carefully.

5. Control sideslips. If you’re front wheels lose grip, lift your foot of the gas pedal and, if necessary, also brake a little. Not too much and too sudden, because you’ll block the brakes and that’s worse. On the other hand, if the rear wheels lose grip but you still have control over the front wheels, give it a little more gas. This advice is only suitable for front wheel drive cars. Rear wheel drive is a little more difficult to react to on snow.

6. Don’t forget about antifreeze and windshield washer fluid. Usually, the main concern when winter approaches is to change your tires. And this is why many drivers forget about another important aspect, the antifreeze. You must check and, if necessary, change the type of antifreeze you’re using. The recommended antifreeze is one that withstands temperatures of -22 F.

7. Oil and spark plugs, the engine’s friends. Regularly check your oil level and add some if necessary. Also, when you start your car in the morning, hold the key in the second position on the ignition until all warning lights are off and then start the engine. This way, you’ll allow the spark plugs to warm up.

8. 32 F, the most dangerous temperature. The worst grip on the road is when the temperature is 32 F. It’s the time when the ice on the road is either melting, either just forming and the grip is extremely low. When the temperature indicators shows this value, drive extremely careful.

9. Clean the snow off the car. After heavy snow, all cars are usually completely covered in snow. If you decide to go for a ride, make sure you remove all the snow and ice before setting off. If you only clean the windows, the snow on your hood could all drop on the windshield on the first brake, or if you accelerate it might fall right on the cars driving behind you. Both cases are dangerous.

10. Wash your car. People don’t usually wash their cars in winter, thinking it will get dirty again soon anyway. That’s wrong. Because local authorities usually sprinkle salt and other similar materials on the roads. What you don’t know is that this kind of materials damage your car’s paint and bodywork, so wash you car on a regular basis, even though it will get dirty as soon as you leave the car wash.

In 2007, Vlad Balan founded RPMGO (rpmgo.com) a blog which offers insights and news on the automotive industry. Originally named Auto Unleashed, the blog was rebranded to RPMGO in March 2009 and is now considered one of the most important blogs in the industry. Featuring a lot of fresh and interesting content, RPMGO was named by Forbes magazine a “must-read auto blog” in October 2009.

Labels: 10 Tips for Safe Winter Driving

10 Tips to Reduce the Stress of Planning a Dinner Party

To take the stress out of a dinner party, you have to think like a caterer. Obviously, you are not preparing the family dinner. This means that you really do want to please your guests. It can mean return invitations and their future attendance at other events that you may host. The food needs to be fresh, prepared properly and served on time. The caterer knows that if these criteria are not met, future business will be lost. This is true for the current customer and for any friends that may be told.

Determine if the party will be considered more formal or informal.

Most home dinner parties that are not business related will be best handled as an informal dinner party. The guests can come dressed comfortably in casual clothes. It will make for an immediately more relaxed affair. If it is to be formal, you will need to get place settings and table coverings that reflect this. With informal dinner parties, you can even make the dinner be served buffet style if desired. Informal dinner parties can use food dishes that serve larger numbers like a lasagna or spaghetti.

For more formal parties, the entree should appear to be a single serving prepared for each guest. The number of courses are relevant. A formal party requires a clear cut distinction between courses. Appetizers, salad, entrée and dessert should all be served at the correct time to each guest.

Plan a guest list carefully.

Avoid the temptation to turn the dinner party into a dating service. It also is not the right venue for helping enemies become reunited as friends. Try not to invite people whose personalities clash to the same dinner party.

You will need to make the decision about children from the beginning. You face several problems with this because some people with children are extremely offended if you exclude children. Others with children really do not like to take their children or deal with the children of others when they go out for the evening. It is best not to mix and match these types of couples. Go one way or the other and stay committed.

Do not invite more people than your table or entertainment space can accommodate. Except for outdoor events, a dozen or so should be considered a maximum. As few as 4 or 5 will still make a nice party.

Set the menu based on who you intend to invite and the reason for the party.

If you have guests that have to be invited because of business connections, try to learn something about their dietary likes and needs before completing the menu decisions. For most dinner parties, you should already know this information about most of your planned guests. It is better to avoid extremely messy or spicy foods for business dinners. For informal dinner parties where the guests are friends and family, almost any menu will work that you are able to prepare properly. Try to pick foods that you have experience preparing to lower the stress level on preparation day.

Send invitations that request an RSVP.

Specify in the invitation anything that the invited guests need to know to make a wise decision about accepting or declining. Make a firm date for the response about a week ahead of the dinner party. Let the guests know how to respond. You can include a stamped self-addressed post card with the invitation or request a phone call. The date, time, place, and a partial menu should be included on the invitations. The purpose of the dinner should also be a part of the invitation. If it is just to visit and have a good time, mention that. If your guests can encounter fewer surprise upon arrival, they will be much happier most of the time.

Do not skimp on food, drinks, or quality.

When you buy the supplies for the party, build a shopping list based on the menu and needed decorations. A lot of dinner parties do not need elaborate decorations. In fact, if the food is good, most guests will not care how you have decorated beyond the first 2 minutes. If the food is bad, you cannot decorate nicely enough to compensate. So, concentrate on high quality ingredients and purchase enough to prepare for about double the expected number of guests. Many people do not enjoy a dinner party where they have to count the pieces to see that everyone gets just enough. Have a surplus. This also helps in case someone who declines has a last minute change of heart.

Set up the dinning area a day ahead of time if possible.

All place settings, table cloths, chairs, drink glasses, and cups should be ready to go a day early. This way, if you have a shortage or something is damaged, you will have time to recover before the party. It will also let you plan the traffic flow for serving and whether help will need to be recruited. All cleaning and polishing should be completed during this same time frame. Any decorations should be prepared and placed unless fresh flowers are being used. Those should be put into place a few hours before the party.

Prepare as much food early as possible.

Appetizers, salad, and dessert can almost always be prepared well ahead of time. Entrees often need to be fixed so that they are ready to be eaten within a few minutes of being completed. Some can be held in a warming drawer or other type of heated environment for a short time before serving. You may need to recruit a little help to watch over the entrees while you get ready to greet your guests.

Either have place cards or personally seat your guests as they arrive.

No one enjoys staring at a table of empty chairs and being uncertain where they are to sit. Give your guests guidance. This will make them more comfortable and assure that each guest will be seated near the best possible table mates. Explain the evening to your guests once they are seated. They will need to know if the food is to be served to them or if it is a serve yourself arrangement. Tell them what to expect at each stage of the evening during the meal and after.

Have a plan to put away the dirty dishes and linens without being away from your guests for an extended period.

Put away all of the dinner plates and materials immediately after the meal has ended. You may have to return and finish washing them at the end of the evening. It might be a good idea to hire someone who is acquainted with your kitchen to spend a couple of hours during and after the meal assisting you.

Keep after dinner activities minimized.

You will tired after the dinner. An hour or so of good conversation to round out the evening may be all that is required to end the night on a high note. Avoid games unless you know that your guests are expecting them. Always work to keep things as simple as possible. People can usually entertain each other for about an hour with no problem. After that, it can get tough to keep them occupied. Just let the party wind to a natural conclusion.

Labels: 10 Tips to Reduce the Stress of Planning a Dinner Party

10 Tips for Organizing Your Apartment

Most people start out in life with an apartment, and most times it’s not spacious. The only way to feel open in a smaller apartment is to keep it organized and clutter free, which at times seems impossible. If you’re out on your own for the first time or have to downsize from a house into an apartment, here are 10 tips to organize your new place and make it as roomy and spacious as possible.

Tip #1 Since the floor plan may seem small, the best way to add storage as well as décor to your apartment is through wall shelving. By adding shelves, you’re able to make use of wall space by storing CD’s, books, videos or any other collections on the shelves and off the floor. Wall shelves are also a great way to display framed photographs or other knick-knacks.

Tip #2 As an avid shoe collector, I know that small closet space can be a problem in most apartments. A great way to get shoes off the floor and allow space for other items is to purchase a shoe organizer. They can be found just about anywhere, and are a great low cost alternative to closet clutter. The best ones hang right over your closet door, allowing easy access to your favorite pair of shoes. By organizing your shoes, it also cuts down on time spent looking for them, especially when you’re in a hurry!

Tip #3 Another great way to make the most of limited closet space is to buy adding an additional closet rod. This apparatus is simply hung from both sides of your original rod by ‘hangers’, allowing for a second row of clothing to be added below the first. A great space-saver, this item can be found at Bed, Bath and Beyond for a low price.

Tip #4 Depending on available floor space, a common storage unit can come from the form of a trunk, or chest. These are good for putting away seasonal items or even extra towels for the guests. They’re also a great additive to room décor, and can also provide additional seating in a bedroom or be used as a table for pictures or flowers.

Tip #5 In the living room, store books or games in storage furniture like Ottomans or coffee tables with drawers and shelves. Ottomans are essential for living rooms in that they provide a leg rest instead of the coffee table, and they can store things away from sight. You can also use them to store everyday items like the remote controls, or a TV Guide to reduce clutter in the living space.

Tip #6 Another good space for storing items is under the bed. While most people do hide things under the bed, most often they’re not stored properly and items can get dusty and sometimes damaged. Plastic bins are an easy way to store winter sweaters, extra bedding or items you just don’t know what to do with. There are specially sized plastic bins that are made thin enough to fit right under the bed, allowing for easy accessibility and freshness when particular items are needed.

Tip #7 If you have extra space on your closet floor, adding plastic drawers can organize and reduce clutter from other areas of the house. Organize belts, scarves, ties or anything else in the plastic drawers to make room in your regular drawers for clothing or undergarments. You can also use these drawers to hold gym clothing, extra shoes or slippers, or laundry supplies to keep with the laundry pile. These drawers, as with any size or type of plastic bin, can be found at discount retailers like Target or Wal-Mart for a low price.

Tip #8 Cut down on clutter by adding hanging hooks to the living room, kitchen or bathrooms. These inexpensive items allow for usable wall space to be turned into a storage area for day-to-day items like your cell phone, keys or hats. Use hooks in the bathroom to hang bathrobes or wet towels, or even decorative towels can be used for both display and practicality. In the kitchen, hang dishtowels or spare keys for easy accessibility or organization.

Tip #9 An easy way to store a lot of items is to have a TV entertainment center with lots of drawers and shelves. Since they are usually large, make the most of the space it takes up by storing DVDs, CDs, books or video games. Try to find enough shelves to fit the electronics, and when you’re all finished setting everything up, clip together the electrical cords to make it look more neat and clean. By clipping all the cords together, it’s also easier to vacuum and reduce the amount of dust buildup behind the furniture.

Tip #10 The last tip is to shop around for furniture that has multiple uses. You have a limited amount of space to work with, so make the most of it. Most bedroom sets offer beds with drawers, so this is a great way to attain additional storage. Ikea is a great store to shop for storage solutions for affordable apartment settings. Coffee tables, end tables, and even miniature bars all have shelves or storage space, so use it wisely!

With a few tips, turning a small apartment into a large living space is not that hard. Just keep it organized and clutter free. Hanging mirrors on walls can make the room appear bigger. Also use light colored paint to make the room seem more airy and open, and space out furniture instead of clumping it all together.

Labels: 10 Tips for Organizing Your Apartment

10 Tips for Metal Detecting at the Beach

Here are some tips to help you find more treasures while metal detecting at the beach.

Be familiar with your equipment. For most of us, we only get to metal detect at the beach a few days a year. Getting to metal detect in such a promising place is quite a treat and you need to be ready to make the most of your time.

Once you arrive at the beach (or before) contact local authorities to assure that you follow all rules. Most beaches are open to metal detecting, but some only allow detecting during ‘off’ hours.

Have extra batteries and head phones for your metal detector. An extra metal detector is great as well if you have one. If you are taking long trips from your lodging carry the batteries and head phones with you while detecting.

You should scout the beach out during the day to see the spots that are most used. The more people in a specific area, the more likely they are to lose something.

Hit the beaches with you metal detector as the tide is going out. The receding water will allow you to work newly exposed areas and increase your chances of success.

Be respectful of others. Don’t detect or dig right beside people and fill in your holes. Not bothering other people keeps them from complaining and getting beaches closed to metal detecting.

Carry a container or bag to keep the junk that you find with your metal detector and properly dispose of it.

Have a plastic shovel or scoop to dig with when metal detecting at the beach. When your metal detector indicates something, scoop up the sand and wave the scoop over the coil to determine whether or not you have picked up the object.

A plastic strainer or sifter is also a great tool for metal detecting at the beach. When you have found the scoop with the object throw it into the strainer or sifter to find the object. If the sand is really dry this will work great, wet sand will require some work. I take along a cheap spaghetti strainer for this purpose.

Areas that are frequented by fishermen will have a lot of hooks, sinkers, and lures in the sand. However they also lose coins and other interesting stuff. As a fisherman myself I like to find others stuff and use it myself!

Metal detecting can be a fun way to spend some time at the beach. If you are lucky you might even find some treasure that can pay for the whole vacation!

Labels: 10 Tips for Metal Detecting at the Beach

10 Tips on How to Reduce or Prevent Wrinkles and Signs of Aging

For years, I’ve looked younger than my age. When I was a kid, I hated this. In fact, as a young adult I hated it too! I was still being IDed to purchase tobacco products in my early 30s! Of course, now I don’t smoke, and I don’t drink, but I’m pretty sure no one is going to ask for my ID for anything these days. Red Robin said they IDed anyone younger than 39-1/2 and I’m 38, and they didn’t even blink.

Eventually, we all start to show age, even if we don’t show our age. I’ve noticed a few more fine lines around my eyes and a few more deeper lines on my hands and neck in particular. As I surf around the internet, I’ve been bombarded with anti-aging cream product advertising, anti-aging product spam, and those ugly ads that show the obviously picture altered faces of women and then the picture changes to a beautiful young face of the same woman.

Those products are expensive, and often do more damage to the skin than not using them. So I set on a quest to find tips for reducing and/or preventing wrinkles and the signs of aging in a more natural, and a whole lot less expensive, way.

How to Reduce and Prevent Wrinkles

1. Drink Plenty of Water – Water keeps skin hydrated, plump and moisturized, so fine lines and dry skin don’t increase the appearance of wrinkles on the face and skin.

2. Avoid the Sun – This is a big one for anti-aging and wrinkle prevent. The sun prematurely ages our skin. While a small amount of indirect sunlight is very healthy for our bodies, prolonged sun exposure or tanning can prematurely age and weather the skin, leaving it more likely to show signs of aging and premature wrinkles.

3. Use Sunscreen – Sunscreen is an absolute must when you are going to be in direct sunlight for extended periods of time and want to prevent wrinkles and reduce the signs of aging. Don’t forget that even when it’s cold outside, you can still get burned by the sun and the UV rays still can cause premature aging and wrinkles.

4. Use Sun Protection Cosmetics – Don’t think that your foundation and powder will protect you from the sun. Using foundation and powder that has SPF will help reduce or slow the signs of aging and prevent wrinkles.

5. Use a Moisturizer Regularly – Much like drinking water hydrates the skin from the inside, moisturizer hydrates skin from the outside in, helping to prevent wrinkles and slow the signs of aging. Moisturizer can be used all over the body too, not just the face. Pay particular attention to the hands and neck.

6. Eat a Well-balanced Diet – A well-balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and good dairy products that is moderately low in bad fats and red meats will help prevent the signs of aging and keep skin healthy while reducing or preventing wrinkles. Take a good multi-vitamin if your doctor or health professional thinks it is necessary.

7. Keep Face Clean – Keeping your face clean can help prevent wrinkles and some signs of aging. However, pay attention to the next tip:

8. Don’t Over Wash Your Face – Over washing your face can dry and peel off good layers of fresh skin, causing the skin to get dry and tough and that can increase the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. A face should never be cleaned with anything rougher than a soft cloth and then should be cleaned gently.

9. Don’t Use Soap – Bar soap is tough on the skin. A moisturizing body wash will help with your body and your face should use gentle facial cleanser with no chemicals and no alcohol or peroxide, as these things damage the facial skin and can cause wrinkles or increased signs of aging.

10. Get Plenty of Sleep/Rest – Nothing can make a person look older and show their true age than being sleep deprived. People who regularly fail to get enough sleep will show signs of aging much faster than people who are well rested. Always try to get plenty of sleep each night.

If you already have some signs of aging or wrinkles and want to consider an anti-aging product, you should consider a visit to a dermatologist to discuss options. Using untried and unproven products, especially the ones you can find on the internet and being spammed to your inbox, can actually cause damage to your face and skin, which can increase the signs of aging.

The best way to stay looking young and healthy is to treat your body right, eat right, sleep well, and live a life you love surrounded by people who love you. Nothing looks more youthful and beautiful than a happy smile from a peaceful person living a good life!

Labels: 10 Tips on How to Reduce or Prevent Wrinkles and Signs of Aging

10 Tips for a Safe and Healthy Trip

Whether traveling on business or taking a long-anticipated vacation, there are things you can do to avoid injury and illness. Here are 10 tips to help you have a safe and healthy trip.

1. Take more than enough of your medications to last the entire trip. Keep medications in your carryon bag so that if your checked luggage is lost or delayed, you will not have to forego them even for a day.

2. Take important medical information with you when you travel, including a list of all your prescription medications and their generic names, copies of manufacturers inserts for your medications, your doctor’s and pharmacist’s names and telephone numbers, and information about your allergies (including drug allergies) and medical conditions. A Medical Alert wristband is a good idea for serious medical conditions. Keep this information in your purse or in a carryon bag.

3. Put together a simple first-aid kit. For short trips your first-aid kit should include band aids and bandages, tweezers (to remove splinters), scissors, a thermometer, aspirin (or another analgesic), antibiotic ointment, an antacid, sunscreen, and insect repellent.

4. Keep moving. Sitting still for too long increases your risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a blood clot, usually in the leg, that can cause pain or, if dislodged, can result in serious damage to the lungs and other organs and even (in rare cases) death. To lessen your risk of developing DVT when you travel, get up and walk around every two to three hours on long flights. If you are driving, take a break every few hours to get out of the car and stretch your legs.

5. Stay hydrated. Low humidity and recirculated air in airplanes is dehydrating, so drink plenty of water, especially on long flights. Take a large bottle of water with you on the plane and don’t hesitate to ask for extra water with your meals and in between. Also, avoid alcohol and too much caffeine, both of which are dehydrating, and carry moisturizing lotion or cream in your carryon bag.

6. Carry healthy snacks when you travel. Healthy snacks, like nuts, dried fruit, or low-sodium crackers, can be good for your health and your wallet (given the high price of airport food).

7. Be careful how you lift luggage. Use good lifting techniques when you put your bag in the overhead bin. Use your legs not just your back when lifting. And don’t be a hero. Ask for help if you need it. Another passenger or a flight attendant will surely be happy to give you a hand.

8. Open overhead bins with care. Overstuffed bins and items that have shifted during flight can create hazards, so open bins slowly and carefully to avoid being hit by falling bags.

9. Eat healthy. When you travel, there will be times when you want to (and should ) indulge, but don’t give up on healthy eating entirely. Look for healthy but still tasty alternatives on menus and try not to overeat.

10. Wash your hands frequently when you travel and carry hand sanitizer.


www.travelhealthy.net, Travel Healthy

www.thereareplaces.com, Thing Travelers Need to Know (healthy travel at home and abroad)

Labels: 10 Tips for a Safe and Healthy Trip

10 Tips for Preventing Halloween Weight Gain

Halloween marks the official start of the food orgy season, which begins with the first trick-or-treating doorbell sound and runs through Valentine’s Day. (Is it any wonder many folks choose to refrain from sweets during Lent?)

How can weight-conscious individuals keep from packing on pounds on Halloween?

Here are ten tips for preventing Halloween weight gain and saving calories for upcoming holiday celebrations.

Don’t buy Halloween candy in advance.

Retailers begin displaying aisles of Halloween candy earlier each year, usually before schools even reopen in the fall. Sweet-toothed shoppers may find these offerings difficult to resist,

However, procrastination can pay off, if you are a Halloween dieter. If you wait until the last minute to purchase your give-away candy for Halloween, you will face fewer days of temptation to munch such high-calorie items.

Choose to give out Halloween candy you don’t really like.

This is a surefire way to stave off the urge to splurge on Halloween candy treats. What is your favorite candy? Are you a sucker for Snickers, addicted to Twix or a wholehearted Hershey chocolate bar fanatic?

Skip your strongest temptation, and buy a bag of Nerds, Laffy Taffy strips or War Heads. Neighbor kids will love these treats, and you will be more likely to say no to these sweets.

Besides, if you have your own trick-or-treaters, they will probably bring home plenty of your favorite candy.

Try to buy only as much Halloween candy as you expect to give out.

It is easy to overspend and overindulge with Halloween candy purchasers. As a prudent shopper and calorie counter , you might consider how many trick or treaters came around in past years and shop accordingly.

Many dieters are tempted to scoop up candy corn, caramel popcorn, seasonal M&Ms and other Halloween treats – in addition to the treats they intend to give out to costumed callers. Placing these loose goodies in candy dishes around the home heralds a call to caloric disaster.

Have a sturdy meal before trick-or-treating hours open.

Halloween hosts may be enticed to nibble on their own give-away treats, while sitting at home waiting to answer those doorbells.

By eating a hearty meal ahead of time and perhaps making some low-fat popcorn or cut-up apples for munching, you can keep hunger and extra sugar urges at bay.

Walk Halloween trick-or-treating routes with your kids.

Do you accompany your children for trick or treating? Walking briskly through the neighborhood (and up and down each driveway and walkway) can improve physical fitness and burn calories for dieters and the rest of the family.

Many parents drive lawn tractors, pulling carts or wagons with their costumed kids. What happened to outdoor exercise before Halloween candy feasts?

Limit daily Halloween candy consumption.

Plenty of families have traditional rules to cover how much Halloween candy their children may eat each day after Halloween. Why not extend this concept to adult dieters too?

One or two fun-sized candy treats may not damage a diet dramatically, although five or six might lead to caloric consequences and packed-on pounds.

Freeze chocolate bars from Halloween trick-or-treat bags.

Here’s a super secret our own family has practiced for many years. We sort the Halloween candy after trick or treating and stash all of the chocolate bars in an ice cube tub in the freezer. This way, we don’t walk by a big bowl or pumpkin bucket of chocolate all day long.

Frozen Baby Ruths, Heath Bars, M&Ms, Milky Ways, Kit-Kats and other chocolate bars taste extra delicious as well, but they also take a lot longer to eat, which tends to cut consumption.

Take leftover Halloween candy to your workplace.

If you have lots of candy left after Halloween, either from trick or treating or from purchasing a surplus, you might take the sweet supply to your workplace to share with your fellow employees. Stick a basket in the break-room, the kitchen or by the coffee station.

Bake treats to share with leftover Halloween candy.

With the holiday season approaching, creative cooks may come up with delicious baking recipes to use up Halloween candy. By making leftover treats into holiday desserts, dieters can postpone significant indulgence – or even give away delicious home-baked gifts for hostesses or holiday gatherings.

Here are a few examples of fresh-baked desserts you might make with extra Halloween treats: “Make Butterfinger Drop Cookies from Leftover Halloween Candy,” “Make Peanut Butter Cup Pie from Leftover Halloween Candy” and “Make Snickers Fudge Bars from Leftover Halloween Candy” (CTRL-click on each title to read that recipe in a new internet window.).

Donate leftover Halloween candy to a local food pantry.

Most communities have food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and other practical philanthropic outreaches. And many of these groups do welcome donations of Halloween candy, particularly if each piece is still securely wrapped.

Calorie counters can resist temptation and help others at the same time by turning superfluous sweets over to others in this way after Halloween.

Need a few more tips for Halloween candy surpluses? CTRL-click here to read “10 Ways to Use Up Leftover Halloween Candy” (in a new internet window.).

Labels: 10 Tips for Preventing Halloween Weight Gain

10 Tips for Obtaining Search Engine Friendly, Outside Links

One of the most beneficial ways to gain a high serach engine rank is to place your website’s link onto other highly ranked websites. Here are some guidelines to observe and instructions to follow when obtaining outside links for better search engine optimization.

NOTE: These tips are exclusively geared towards obtaining outside links that search engines will index properly, and for SEO purposes. The guidelines do not account for gaining readership due to links. For example, placing your link more than once onto a domain name, might count against you for search engine indexing; But, you may have more people click those links, and gain readership that way.

1. Outside links should be in static HTML format. JavaScript does not get indexed through search engines, including RSS feeds generated by using JavaScript. If you want to use RSS feeds to market your content, you can use a server side computer language like PHP.

2. Link anchor text should contain one of your website’s Meta title tag keywords. These keywords will correspond to the relevant content that you are linking to on your website. For example, if you own a website that sells dog accessories, one example of a link might look like this:

Dog Collars for every breed

3. Outside links must come from completely different domain names. For example, if you plan on using a site like Associated Content to gain links pointing into your site, it is counter-productive to make more than one article with links to your site.

4. Each outside link should come from a website with a Google page Rank of 4 or more. To find out what a website’s page rank is, download the Google Toolbar and it will tell you whenever you browse to a new site. The Google toolbar has many benefits for website owners, marketers and developers. Find Google’s toolbar link in the resources section.

5. Myspace, Friendster and Facebook sites do not hold much water as far as outside links.
It might be beneficial to start a group, forum or blog within these sites and link only once to your site instead.

6. Write articles and submit to E-zines, but try and vary the content of each article using different keywords from your website. Using the previous example: If you have a website that sells Dog Accessories, don’t write 10 articles about your website. Instead, write different articles that concentrate on things like, “Dog Training,” “Great Gifts for Dogs,” etc. and place your link within the article for a reference using your anchor text.

7. Getting your website listed in directories is different than getting your website listed on search engines.
You may wait a year or more to hear back from directories letting you know you’ve been accepted. Some are free, and some may cost money. Best to start with the free directories, unless you have a niche group that you want to target right away and are willing to spend money on it. They are a great way to get permanent, static outside links. You can find lists of web directories to submit to online.

8. Start blogs, but don’t place your link in every nook and cranny. Make sure your link makes sense within its context, and that the reader is getting some use out of the content on your blog.

9. Surround every one of your links with useful, keyword optimized and pertinent content. Placing the link to your site, with anchor text, inside an article discussing relevant topics to your site is the best way to have search engines index your site and prioritize your specific domain name.

10. Do not pay companies to get you a ridiculous amount of outside links in a very short period of time. The only way to get quality, optimized, search engine friendly links into your site is to either hire a company to produce relevant articles and content for you or follow these steps or do it yourself. Anyone claiming differently probably owns link farms, and search engines do not regard these very highly, and could hurt your search engine credibility.

Labels: 10 Tips for Obtaining Search Engine Friendly, Outside Links

10 Tips on How to Plan an Affordable Vacation

Thousands of dollars are spent during a vacation that most can’t afford. A majority of us end up paying interest on a vacation that we put on credit cards that we really couldn’t afford at the time. Here are ten tips on how to plan an affordable vacation.

1. Make reservations for vacations many months in advance. You can get the best cheapest rates usually when you book reservations for a vacation months in advance.

2. Look around on the Internet for the best cheapest vacation deals. You want to compare prices as much as possible in advance in order to find the best cheapest prices.

3. You can save up in advance for the vacation. This way you will be able to afford it without going broke. You won’t have to pay interest on your credit card due to saving the money in advance. This will save you money long term by having the money in advance.

4. Split the cost of the vacation with a friend or family member. It enables both of you to be able to afford the vacation without having to save as much money.

5. Cooking in the kitchen at the hotel on vacation will save you greater amount of money. You could eat out at a less expensive place for dinner or lunch. See if you can find any coupons for any restaurants that may want to dine at while on vacation with family or friend.

6. If possible don’t buy many gifts at the tourist shops since they raise the prices by a large amount. You can often order the same identical items cheaper over the Internet than you can in the tourist shops.

7. You can use public transportation when on vacation instead of renting a car. It might be cheaper to use public transportation instead of renting a car depending upon the area that you are going to vacation. Look into the rates and see which is best for you while on vacation.

8. Sometimes you can save money when you purchase food vouchers in a package deal for your vacation. Check the vacation package prices to see which is better deal. You might be able to get a better price with food vouchers than you would cooking in the kitchen at the hotel.

9. Get as much discounts as possible when you pay for a vacation in advance. Make sure to use your triple a membership card or any other membership cards that have vacation discount features. This is another method to save an additional amount of money when going on vacation.

10. Don’t pay more money for a vacation than what you originally wanted to. If you hunt around then you should find the perfect price that you wanted to pay for the vacation. Call around to the vacation agents and look around on the Internet for the best deal on vacations.

Labels: 10 Tips on How to Plan an Affordable Vacation

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