I’m Packing My Home Gym To Take On Vacation

In two days, my wife and I are leaving on a three week vacation to California. We are going to visit some of her relatives in the Sacramento area and then I’m going to show her Monterey, where I was stationed in the 60’s and again in the 80’s. Then we will visit more relatives in Arizona and return home to Texas. We have also started to get into rock hunting, so we may do a little of that as well.

As always, I want to keep my exercise program as up to date as possible, so I am taking my home gym equipment with me. Excuse me a moment while I put it in the trunk…

Ugh! Oomph! Arrrrgh!

Whew! I was worried it wouldn’t fit, weren’t you?

Oh. You can’t see it, can you? Let me describe it to you. It’s a 15 lb dumbbell.

Actually, I don’t even need the dumbbell to keep fit while I’m on vacation, but I have a reason for taking it. Each night when I unpack the car at a motel, it will silently remind me that I need to keep my exercise program going at some level. It will also remind me, by being one little lonesome dumbbell, that I am on vacation, so I might be forgiven if I don’t exercise at the same level I do while at home. Once it’s in the room, it will sit staring accusingly at me, until I pick it up. Sort of like my dog, Diamond, but I’m leaving her with our daughter.

Now, some of you may be saying, “What a wuss!” Only one 15 lb dumbbell? What the heck can he do with that?”

Well, first of all, I have been exercising regularly since 1970, so my body can go into light maintenance mode without much problem. Second, I am 62 years old. Ten years ago, it might have been a couple of 25 lb dumbbells, but we need to be able to adjust our exercise program to meet our ages and abilities. A few years ago, I could run 6+ miles without too much problem, either, but an old soccer injury has cut me down to walking speed.

Anyway, what is my plan, and what AM I going to do with all my exercise equipment?

There’s a key word up there. P-L-A-N

If you leave on vacation without a plan, it might turn into a pretty confusing and unrewarding event. Same thing with vacation exercise. If you don’t have a plan in place, you are going to arrive at each place, get caught up in whatever else is going on, and then sit in front of the TV at night…or at the bar. It’s the same at home, really. If you don’t have some sort of exercise plan to think about and work at…you probably won’t do anything except for those occasional times that you get this guilty feeling and go walk around the block.

So, here’s MY plan.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I will do Presses, Curls, Rowing, Bench Presses, Squats, and Toe Raises. Yes, you can do a modified bench press with just one dumbbell. I will do five to ten minutes of warm-up and stretching first, followed by three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions of each of those exercises, followed by some abdominal crunches, and a cool-down, Every other day, I will turn my back on my sad little dumbbell, put on my walking shoes and go out for a 30 minute walk. I may miss a day here or there, but when I get back home after 3 weeks of traveling, I will feel just as good as I do now, and I will have had the energy and fitness required to “enjoy” a vacation with the relatives.

I also long ago learned yoga, which I do regularly as well, so I will make sure that some of those evenings in the motel are dedicated to a little yoga session. I have also made sure that all the motels we are staying at have a pool that I can use for a little swimming or water aerobics…or something that looks like it and hopefully won’t be mistaken for drowning.

Now, since I am already in excellent health and pretty decent physical condition, this is going to work for me. If you are hoping to start an exercise program, starting it while you are on vacation might not be advisable, but if you are already doing something and are going on vacation, plan ahead how you intend to tackle your exercise needs while on the road. If you are really up the food chain in the area of exercise, you may want to pack a bag with a little more than my itsy-bitsy 15 lb dumbbell.

What you choose to exercise WITH is not that important as making sure you don’t skimp the exercise or cut it out all together because you’re “on vacation”.

Hey, I’m going to be in California! I wonder if Arnold will let me use his gym?

What do you think?

Well, it’s time for me to go, but remember one thing…I’ll be back.

Why Optimize Birch Hardwood Flooring

If you’re searching for alternative options to oak or acacia hardwood flooring, another wise choice is birch hardwood flooring. Engineered birch wood flooring ensure that you get all the aesthetic benefits and authentic wood class without suffering from the expansion and shrinking that real birch wood might undergo under extreme weather conditions. Birch presents a one-of-a-kind appearance that makes it distinct from other hardwoods.

Various vendors gives you a variety of hand-scraped engineered birch hardwood flooring, all of which possess the durability of real hardwood floor and a dynamic array of options for color. Depending on the species of birch you prefer, your engineered birch wood flooring may run from very light colors to elegantly dark hues. They are characterized by a mix of straight and wavy patterns of grain for those various themes you want your different rooms to exude. The light-colored ones give your space a vibrant breath of fresh air, while the darker shades are known to add a cozy elegance to the space it decorates.

A wide collection of expertly selected stain colors of hand-scraped engineered birch wood flooring are available to accommodate the various tastes of people. Nevertheless, each of these varieties still carries the same brand of excellence in each product. Expert craftsmen comprise our top-of-the-line manufacturing team which employ the latest techniques in tongue-and-groove and click-lock styles. Strict policy in quality control ensures that people experience nothing but the best birch hardwood flooring there is.

Engineered birch wood flooring planks measure in figures of 5 to 6 inches in width, 3/8 to 5/8 inches in thickness, and 48 to 60 inches in height. Installation of engineered birch flooring is made easy in three different ways: you can nail down the flooring right on, glue it down with wood adhesive, or provide a foam in between the base and the engineered floor in order to do a floating installation which can conveniently be removed anytime you wish for a change in floor pattern.

In beautifying your home or commercial space, you need flooring that not only highlights your space but make it more conducive for people to stay and feel comfortable on. The elegance, coupled with the durability and sturdiness of engineered birch wood flooring is an investment that is indeed worth your money. The very average cost range that birch wood offers make it a top choice of clients who want quality within a reasonable price.

The Faucet Handle is Hard to Turn – Repairing a Single Handle Faucet

It often happens to me as a plumber. After I repair a faucet and the homeowner turns the faucet lever for the first time they are amazed. “The faucet turns so easily!” they exclaim. What is amazing to them is not that the faucet works so easily after repairing, but that they had never noticed that it was not working well until it either leaked terribly, or was impossible to move the handle.

Think about it. You walk into the kitchen or bathroom and, as you have done thousands of times before, you reach for the handle of the faucet and turn on the water. Notice anything? Probably not. The water flows; you turn it off and go on your way. Because you use the faucet everyday, what you don’t notice is that gradually the internal parts of the faucet gain a buildup of minerals from the water, and the parts wear. This causes the internal parts to resist movement and thus, the handle is increasingly difficult to move. Think of it as arthritis in the faucet joints.

The good news is that you can save a lot of money by repairing the faucet yourself. Now, don’t let plumbing scare you. With a few common tools and some guidance, even the novice can accomplish the task and become a hero to your spouse or friend. Following, I have listed a few simple steps to help you repair a single lever faucet. I am only detailing the repair of a single lever faucet in this article because the steps for repairing this faucet are unique and I don’t have the space here to explain a multi lever faucet.

Please read the entire article before beginning the repair process. Once you begin the actual repair, you can then refer back to the individual steps to refresh your memory.

Single lever faucet repairing steps:

1) First of all, determine the brand and type of faucet you are repairing; if you can actually locate a brand imprint on the faucet that helps immensely. There are over 100 different brands and makes of faucets, and most of them take different parts. If you can’t find a name on the faucet, a great help is a digital camera. Take a picture of the faucet and show the picture to the plumbing supply store clerk. Odds are, when an experienced clerk sees the picture, he or she will know immediately what brand it is.

2) Once you know the faucet brand, or have a photo, you can purchase the necessary repair parts. You can either go to the big box type stores or a local hardware; they each have their own particular strong points. Describe the symptoms of the sick faucet to the clerk. Is the handle difficult to move? Does the faucet leak water around the base of the spout? (Kitchen faucets are notorious for this.) The clerk should know which parts to give you and may save you from having to make multiple trips to the store because you have the wrong parts. If you are repairing a Moen brand faucet, it is a good idea to purchase a “puller” tool to remove the old cartridge. There are differing types of cartridge removal tools; an inexpensive plastic design is available or more expensive heavy duty metal ones. For the homeowner, the cheaper plastic one should work just fine. You can accomplish the faucet repair without one, but using the removal tool makes life a LOT easier. (When making repairs, the lowest priority for me is saving a few cents on parts. I would much rather frequent a store or supplier that stocks a wide variety of quality parts and employs knowledgeable and helpful staff.)

3) TURN OFF THE WATER TO THE FAUCET. Did I emphasis this enough? Before you disassemble the faucet, turn off the water supply. Usually, there are small chrome or brown valves inside the sink cabinet toward the back. If you are like every other American I have ever worked for, the sink cabinet will be packed full and those valves will be buried under every kind of cleaning and shampoo bottle imaginable. Toss in a hair dryer, makeup, spare soap and toothpaste and…well, you get the idea. Dig through the debris and locate the valves. If the valves won’t turn easily, you may have to find the main water shut-off valve for the house and turn off the water there. If you need help in finding the main water valve, check out the article on how to do this at my website.

4) Once the water is off, close the drain stopper on the sink. This little trick was taught me by another plumber over 30 years ago. The reason for this? Most likely, while disassembling the faucet, you are going to drop a small screw or gasket and the closed stopper prevents the small part from disappearing down the drain. Brilliant. Before disassembling the faucet, if you want or need a detailed, illustrated breakdown of your particular faucet and its parts, these illustrations can usually be found on the manufacturer’s websites.

5) Remove the handle. There is often a removable plastic lid which covers the handle screw. Pry off the lid and remove the screw. Some handles are attached by a set screw on the side of the handle instead of the top. Look the handle over, with a little investigating, it should be obvious.

6) Once the handle is removed you will see some type of device which secures the replaceable parts in place. Sometimes this is a horseshoe shaped metal clip that slides out. Other times it is a type of round threaded cap that unscrews. Remove the retaining clip or cap.

(Some brands of faucets have a surrounding sheath that encircles the horseshoe clip. This tube needs to be removed first, and then the horseshoe shaped ring can be slid out. To remove the sheath either it is designed to unscrew or to be pulled off by grasping with pliers and pulling toward you. After the sheath is removed grasp the tab of the horseshoe clip with pliers and carefully slid it out by pulling it to the side. These parts should remove easily.)

7) Now, you should see a plastic or brass cartridge that can be removed by pulling it out. If this is a Moen faucet, this is when you use the removal tool. Follow the directions found on the tool packaging. Be careful not to damage the faucet body itself during this process. Some faucet brands contain a plastic or brass ball here instead of a cartridge. Lift or pull this part out. Under the round ball you should see two small rubber seats and springs. Remove them. (In this step, all parts removed should match the new parts which you picked up at the store.)

8) Once the old parts or cartridge are removed, it is a good idea to use a flashlight and peer inside the faucet where the old part used to live. See any pieces of debris or broken pieces of the old cartridge in there? If so, use needle nose pliers to remove it.

9) You can now install the new parts and work your way backwards through the steps as you reassemble the faucet, remembering to replace all retaining clips and rings. If you have any parts left over, take the faucet back apart and figure out where they go before turning the water on. Take your time and you should be just fine

10) This is the most important step. After the faucet is reassembled, the water is back on and you have tested it to make sure it works well, show off your work to your spouse or friends. Watch their reactions as they marvel at how well the faucet works. Now, YOU are the hero, not the plumber you would have had to pay to make the repair.

The author maintains no liability for work performed by readers of his articles. The plumbing repair articles are meant to be a helpful general guide for the homeowner.

How to Be Fit and Healthy

Is there a way to say with certainty what it means to be fit and healthy? – or are there stages of fit and healthy, as in 'fit and healthy, fitter and healthier, fittest and healthiest?' Personally I believe the latter to be true. To believe that there is only one way of being fit and healthy would almost certainly disqualify almost every person on the planet, and most of us might decide that we are so far removed from the ideal that it is not even worth trying to attain it.

Most of us think of ourselves as reasonably fit and healthy, but certainly able to aim for greater fitness and health. If we were cars, we would go for required oil changes and mechanical check ups, and we would always have gas in our tanks. But gas only needs to be topped up, if it actually gets used. A car that sits in the garage with a full tank does not need a new fill.

Food is our fuel. Good, nutritious food supplies our bodies with the energy that they need to perform the tasks we are required to do. Repeat after me: Good, nutritious food! Trying to top up a full gas tank will spill and then waste the fuel. Our bodies, by comparison, will not spill extra food; Our bodies will convert it to fat and store it as extra fuel. Our bodies will store and carry around extra fuel until it gets used up. If it does not get used, it'll stay there. That thought alone is reason enough to get off the couch.

Too many people associate being fit with being thin. If that were true, underdeveloped countries would have the fittest and healthiest people on the planet. Obviously the opposite can not be true either. What many people in underdeveloped countries lack, just as many people in first world countries have in excess. Can we strive for a healthy medium? This is not a compromise; It is the smart and logical choice.

We can not stay fit by fueling our bodies with less than they need on a daily basis. Similarly, we can not stay fit by exercising our bodies without feeding them. Let us once more look at the car comparison.

When your gas tank is empty, it needs a new fill. It needs this in order to continue to take you where you need or want to go. Depending on the type of car you drive, you choose from a variety of fuels. You choose the one best suited to the needs of our vehicle. I do not even need to ask what would happen if you filled the tank with water. While the tank would be full, even a 6 year old could tell you that a car does not run on water. Water is lacking essential ingredients.

Can you think of a comparable human fuel? How about rice cakes? Possibly you may lean more towards healthier fruits or vegetables like celery, oranges, strawberries, tangerines, grapefruit, carrots, apricots, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, cauliflower, apples, hot chili peppers, and zucchini. Some people call these fruits and vegetables 'negative calorie foods,' because our bodies need more energy to digest them then they contain. Besides that, they contain vitamins and minerals which are important to our well being. But could we live on nothing but the above? Of course not. That would be akin to trying to run your car on water.

The keyword here is 'balance.' Simply stated, if you want to maintain the status quo, caloric intake must equal calories burned. Let's for the moment forget about vitamin or mineral content. If more calories are taken in than they are burned, the body stores them as fat, and weight is gained. If more calories are burned than are taken in, the body takes from what is stored as fat, and weight is lost. Simple arithmetic!

So how do we determine 'fit and healthy?' This is an important topic for every one. Healthy aging depends on feeding our body nutritious food, avoiding harmful activities and exercising according to our best ability. It's not just for body builders, but they can certainly show us the way to a healthier, fitter lifestyle.

Dealing With Breakups – When You’re Just Not Feeling It Anymore (Part Two Of Four)

Ideally speaking, each of us should theoretically break up with everyone we ever date…except for one.

And as dark as it sounds, that’s actually a good thing.

I realize that reality isn’t always that uncomplicated, and believe me I have the track record to prove it. But I think you get my drift.

And here’s the deal: Provided you are the kind of person who is generally easy to get along with, and if you’ve had some practice at avoiding utterly poisonous MOTOS, then you are going to be faced with the inevitable: breaking up with someone who hasn’t really done you any harm whatsoever.

You’ve probably been there before already. You start dating someone who attracts you early on, but after some time has passed one of you has decided that he or she really isn’t “feeling it” anymore. Someone is starting to feel a pull towards freedom-or someone else-but this creates a genuinely awkward situation almost every time.

You see, most of us are decent, upstanding people who really don’t get off on trampling other people’s feelings. Especially people we sort of, well…like. Right?

So what happens is that when someone just “isn’t feeling it anymore” for whatever reason, things tend to drag on for longer than they rightly should-all in the name of “not hurting anyone”.

But protracting relationships that aren’t going anywhere only really leads to greater emotional drama down the road. It’s rather like sticking one’s head in the sand.

Case in point. One well-worn “exit strategy” is to tell the other person that he or she “needs some space” or even that they “should date other people”. Such euphemisms are universally code for, “I’m pretty much sick of you and want out, but I don’t know how to do that without completely flooring you.”

I see some of you nodding out there. Don’t shout me down for telling the truth.

Other people may soldier on in a relationship that has grown stale, trying to tell themselves that “it’s just a phase”, or “we’ll work through this”, or “everyone’s just under stress lately”. But deep down, the longer these feelings of indifference persist, the stronger the indication that it just isn’t “meant to be”.

So how do we get into these situations?

Well, whether you are on the giving or the receiving end is actually peripheral to gaining understanding as to what’s going on. So for the purposes of keeping this to a special report instead of a full-blown e-book we’ll operate under the assumption that each of us will at one point or another see such breakups from each respective side of the fence.

In fact, if you’re history is a particularly lopsided one in this area (i.e. you’ve either dumped everyone you’ve met or been dumped by everyone you met), you probably need to drop everything and click that bright blue book cover off to the right ->

Back to the story.

We get into these situations for one of two main reasons. First, we jump into exclusive relationships too quickly, possibly due to pressure from the other person.

Or second, and ironically sort of the opposite of the first reason, we fail to identify what our relationships actually are, which inevitably leaves one partner’s expectations very different from the other’s.

So ultimately, the issue here is one of taking the high road of being honest versus the more cowardly low road of just letting things hang indefinitely.

20/20 foresight involves being very plain-spoken from the outset about intentions NOT to enter into a “serious” relationship if such is the case. This also requires that we listen when we hear those sentiments from someone, take them at face value, and not dream of changing the other person.

It’s easy to fantasize to the contrary when you really like someone, but people don’t generally tell you “they aren’t into getting serious” without reason. Do people fall head over heels and change their minds about that sometimes? Sure, it has been known to happen. You just can’t assume it will, that’s all.

But going into casual relationships with a level head obviates the probability of heartbreaking issues later.

And therein lies a key lesson in and of itself: If you find yourself falling for someone with whom there is practically zero possibility of long-term happiness, it’s better to cut it off now rather than later. Waiting only intensifies the heartbreak.

But let’s say you’ve gone ahead and entered an exclusive relationship and you realize it’s not going to work. Instead of procrastinating, have the conversation.

It’s not like you have to invent something bad about the other person to justify the break up. Instead, explain that you simply don’t believe that the relationship is meant to be, and that you believe there is someone else out there who would appreciate him or her more than you do. I’ve personally told a woman or two that she’s someone else’s dream woman, and that it’s time to let that guy find her.

Though there’s no perfect way to end what another person believes to be a perfectly good relationship, what I’ve described above is about as good as it gets. If you get a stream of invective in response, be sure to have anticipated it in advance and handle it with grace. Such is to be expected even from high-quality people.

Have the conversation in person if you can, and be direct and sincere. As is the case when someone has done the other wrong, don’t accept any bargains for getting back together. If “just being friends” is a future possibility, at the time of initial breakup really isn’t the time to talk about it. This would only create a false glimmer of hope.

What is happening here is the start of a very real grieving process involving denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. You may get phone calls or even unexpected knocks on your door-each of which will serve to chronicle your ex’s journey through all of this.

Regardless of gender, the truth is that most of us can handle the truth better than MOTOS think we can. And we can certainly handle truth now better than we can handle divorce lawyers later, even if we don’t realize it. Right on.

So what if you are on the receiving end of such a breakup? Though it may seem devastating at first, realize that you’ve dodged a very real bullet in the form of even more pain later. Though it’s a hard expectation not to vent some at the outgoing partner, try not to completely burn the bridge.

Once you’ve composed yourself, and if you have the character to endure it, you may be able to find out some very constructive ways to improve future relationships from your ex. Or not. Your choice.

But no matter what, the key is to not let one break up devastate you to the point of giving up on future ones altogether. Just because one person wasn’t perfect for you doesn’t mean you are doomed to loneliness. In fact, it’s amazing how most of the time you end up “raising the bar”.

As you do exactly that, you’ll find yourself in control of your wildly successful dating life more and more. As you begin to enjoy increased options in the dating world, you’ll find yourself calling the shots more in your relationships. It’s all a part of deserving what you want.

Next time, we’ll talk about the particular nuances associated with breaking off short-term relationships. Among other concepts, we’ll cover why guys tend to “disappear off the map” without calling, along with some surprising thoughts about how sex early in the relationship potentially affects things.

Things You Should Know on Male Fertility

Sildenafil was officially approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1998 as a drug to treat male impotence. From studies, two thirds of all men who take the drug will overcome erectile dysfunction. In the market, this medical intervention will go by different trade names including Viagra and Revatio. There has been a growing debate over the indications of this treatment and this article will shed some light into how it works side effects and basically all the major things you should know about. You will have a better understanding and when you make a decision to buy and use this drug, you will be more confident.

Sildenafil citrate is also used to treat PHA pulmonary arterial hypertension. This drug was developed by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer and they are also involved in marketing it. This medication basically works by inhibiting an enzyme that is known to restrict blood flow in the penis. This treatment has had its fair share of competition with other drugs that work the same. Examples of other options in the market include Tadalafil and Verdanafil which are commonly known as Cialis and Levitra consecutively. The ‘blue pill’ is how Sildenafil is referred to by many in society.

The action of nitric oxide dilates vessels in the male reproductive organ to increase the blood flow to achieve an erection. For Sildenafil citrate to work, you need to take it as indicated. The best thing is to always consult a health care provider so that they can advise you accordingly. Many pitfalls are associated with those who do not consult medical experts before taking the medication. This treatment must be taken an hour before sexual intercourse and the best thing is to take just one pill a day. The product is available at many stores that are also online. Some ‘blue pills’ are fake or counterfeit and for you to avoid being duped, ask an expert and research widely before you make any purchases.

Like all other drugs, there are several side effects that you can expect from using this kind of treatment. Common side effects include headaches which come because the blood vessels are dilated. A man can also faint and this is definitely not uncommon. Other side effects that may come with using Sildenafil citrate include an impaired vision, nasal congestion, dyspepsia and others. The following are contraindications and all men looking into the drug should be especially keen on this. If you are taking nitrate medications, you should not use this treatment. If you are not sure, consult your doctor for a way forward. Always go through a relevant qualified doctor and this point cannot be overemphasized.

Men who have cardiovascular conditions may not take Sildenafil citrate for the obvious reasons; this treatment can make the condition worse. People who have had strokes, heart attacks, liver problems, hypotension and hypertension may want to be careful before buying Sildenafil. According to studies that have been undertaken, this treatment is for men and tests done to determine efficacy in women are not conclusive. Finally, you should know that buying this treatment can either bring you relief or make your situation worse. One way to avoid crisis is to buy only legitimate treatments. Also, use the drug as directed by a doctor and you can actually have the medication working for you.

The 6 P’s of Business Etiquette

Although it might not be so obvious in the lower levels of business, etiquette is actually quite important as one climbs the ranks of the business hierarchy. For them to think of you as a professional, you must look and act like a true professional. By not giving them a professional image of yourself, you are setting yourself up for a battle which is purely downhill from there. They will not trust you or accept you into the folds of their ranking business levels. Here are some vitally important business etiquette rules to help you make that most important impression:

A-Preparation

The boy scouts are “always prepared,” so why shouldn’t you be? Do your homework before the meeting. Have numerous ideas and suggestions ready before meeting with the bosses. Even if you have to read notes or charts during the meeting, at least you will have prepared yourself well enough ahead of time to have them in the first place. And that will impress them much more than giving a half-memorized speech.

B-Professional Appearance

If you are not sure what to wear, always dress conservatively. Even the low-hanging pants, wild colourful shirt-wearing music industry respects (and has mane of their own) individuals who are dressed in conservative clothes. Of course, you can also dress in accordance with the culture or the business, instead. That will certainly make an impression on them. What impression? Well, it depends on what kind of people they are.

C-Promptness

It is a sure sign of irresponsibility to arrive late for a meeting. Schedule your plans the day before, or sooner, if at all possible, so that you can even arrive early to further prepare yourself.

D-People Remembering

It’s such a compliment to remember someone’s name, and such an insult to forget it, no matter how good/bad you are with them. Write down the names and whatever distinguishing feature about the person and his position. Remember whatever details that are applicable to each individual’s person, personality, and position.

E-Please and Thank You

It almost goes without saying that minding your manners is crucial in a business environment. “Please” and “Thank you” are both expected, as well as appreciated. And, in the case of businesses hierarchy, so is eye contact. Certainly do not interrupt unless it’s absolutely necessary, but when you do speak make sure that you are clear and confident. When you listen, on the other hand, wait until the end to ask questions. You see, manners never really go out of fashion.

F-Phones On Silent, Vibrate, or Off

Hearing someone’s cell phone ring really loudly, or a downloaded song suddenly blasting out of thin air, is usually quite annoying in normal situations and conditions. But it’s a whole different matter in a formal business environment. You will live if you shut off your phone, or adjust it so it won’t disturb you or those around you. If the call is an emergency, of course, it is acceptable to take it, but outside of the meeting room.

Making a good impression on other people is crucial to a successful business relationship, and if you respect the others, they will respect you in return.

5 Tips to Get a Bikini Body Shape

Are you afraid of putting on a swimsuit? If so, maybe you don’t have a bikini body shape. But you don’t have to lose heart as we have some suggestions that can help you get that great shape.

Well, if you do your workouts on a regular basis, you can get amazing results. In fact, simple changes can help you make a big difference. For instance, you can reduce your dinner plate size so you can eat less. Here are out 5 tips to get a bikini body.

1. Size of the Meals Matters

You should eat 5 small meals instead of 2 or 3 big meals in a day. This will boost your metabolism rate. Ideally, you can go for small snacks between the major meals of the day. Your goal should be to get healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and lean protein. The reason you should go for small meals is that large meals will put extra burden on your stomach and this will slow down your digestion process. As a result, you won’t be able to lose weight faster.

2. Plan Your Meals

It is important that you schedule your workouts. Aside from this, you may also want to plan your meals. You can set aside an hour each week to put together a great meal plan as well as a grocery list. Another great idea is to head to the farmers markets as they are a great place for you if you want to purchase fresh veggies at discounted prices.

This will help you save money while getting fresh fruits and veggies at a lower price. Therefore, you should never underestimate the importance of planning your meals.

3. Exercise In The Morning

When you get up in the morning, spare a few minutes and do exercise. This will help you burn the extra fat in your body. When you go to sleep, you burn carbohydrates but when you wake up and do exercise on an empty stomach, you burn the fat stored in your body. With high intensity exercises, you can burn more calories.

4. Eat Your Breakfast

If you want to maintain an ideal body weight, you should eat a healthy breakfast. If you skip breakfast in order to save calories, you may end up overheating during the day. You may also end up snacking on something that is rich in fat or sugar. As a matter of fact, it’s breakfast that boosts your metabolism helping you lose fat.

5. Go For Body Boosters

Go for water instead of drinks that are full of sugar. This will help you cut calories, stay hydrated and save some money. You can buy a self-bronzer quality lotion at a store as this will boost your confidence.

Aside from this, you should get the most out of your time by planning homemade meals in order to reach your fitness goals and save good money.

So, these are a few tips that can help you get that bikini body shape in a short period. Hope this helps.

Cleaning Like Magic

Most people cringe at the mere sound of the word clean, but cleaning does not always have to be back breaking. When you are short on time, there are a number of ways to fake a clean house. Achieving the illusion of a clean house is simple and quick. Start with the kitchen, usually this is the first room people tend to see and if you are having company, it's the area guests seem to gravitate toward.

Clean up any lingering aromas by boiling some spices on the stove, or even light a spotted candle or two. Fold your dishtowels in a way that hides any stains or hand them from the oven clean side up. Take down any notes, magnets or drawings hanging on the fridge to get rid of clutter. As for those dreaded dishes overflowing in the sink, grab a large container and stick them away till your company is gone.

Next, move to the living room. If your windows are looking dirty, just close the curtains; It will look like you're showing off the window treatments. Grab any books, magazines or papers you have lying around and put them in a basket to the side. You can even take a few out and spread them on the coffee table for a centerpiece. If your sofa has some stains, use your throw pillows to cover them up or get a clean blanket and drape it over the couch. If you have pets, get some duct tape and run it over the furniture to pick up any hair that's been left behind.

The bathroom may seem overwhelming, but all you have to do is gather all your products and toss them under the sink for now. If the shower is dirty, just draw the curtain closed and it's as if it's not even there. Replace your hand towels with fresh ones to have a clean and crisp look for your guests. If you tend to shed, as most of us do, you can use a lint roller or tape to run over the carpets and pick up any mess that has landed there. Light a candle to make the room smell good and appear cleaner, and finally hang a nice robe over the back of the door to hide any used towels you may have piled up.

While most of us do not have guests lurking around the house, there are a few other quick fixes you may find handy. If you have any laundry piling up, toss it in the washer if your hampers are full. Stash any stray office supplies you have lying around like pencils or pens in a junk drawer; Take down calendars and notes from bulletin boards or arrange them neatly in rows to be hung up. If you have a library, fix any crooked books or back spines so things look tidy.

All of this can be done in under a few minutes and when your company arrives, they will never know you just faked it. So you do not have to panic next time you receive that last minute call of your parents dropping by or your friends surpring you to come hang out, because you are now a master of the clean house illusion.

Six Pack Abs Routine Workout

Our tension is to work more to get more results. But that is not true for a six pack abs routine workout. We need to train smart and intense not slow and moderate. In this article about six pack abs routine workout we are going to go over high intensity interval training style of working out.

Through this whole routine we will be implementing a super set style of training which means we are going to do a couple of exercises back to back with very little breaks in between.

Super set # 1

  • Pull-up, Hanging leg raises, Push Ups, Plank, Squat Jumps

Start off in a pull up bar with your palms facing away from you slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Slowly pull yourself up and go back to the starting position and then slowly raise your knee up towards your chest and slowly bring down your leg to the starting position. Get off the pull up bar and then proceed to do a push up and then hold that position for at least 1 minute doing a plank. After doing the plank get into a squat position and then jump as high as you can.

Super set # 2

  • Dumb bell squat, Dumb bell chest press, Dumb bell shoulder press

With your legs shoulder width apart grab the dumb bells on each hand and then slowly proceed to do a squat. Make sure your quads are parallel to the ground. After doing a squat use the same weight and do a chest press in a flat bench. Grabbing a lighter weight, stand with your legs shoulder with apart and slowly do a shoulder press.

Prairie House Plans

Living in a welcoming home in a lovely setting is the American dream. Maybe you have country farm house plans of your own after seeing television shows featuring old-time family life. The rich history of prairie style homes makes them a modern delight.

Updated prairie homes were originally built in the early 1900s by world famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. He designed prairie houses to blend into the flatter prairie landscape. The homes got their name after 1901 when Wright's plan entitled "A Home in a Prairie Town" in Ladies Home Journal.

The original prairie houses were made of plaster with wood trim. Some prairie style houses were sided with horizontal batten and board. Now prairie style homes use concrete block. They can be square, T-shaped, Y-shaped, L-shaped or shaped like a pinwheel.

Prairie house plans typically include certain features. A prairie style home is recognized by its low-pitched roof, horizontal lines, overhanging eaves, central chimney, claerestory windows and an open floor plan. Wright designed prairie homes because he felt the rooms in Victorian houses were confining and boxed-in. Leaded glass panels often divide the rooms for a more open, spacious feeling.

Many consider the Frederic C. Robie House the finest example of the Frank Lloyd Wright prairie style. The Frederic C. Robie House was built in Chicago in 1909. The Frank W. Thomas House in Oak Park, Illinois is considered to be Wright's first prairie house and was also one of he first times he used stucco.

Prairie style houses actually used Japanese architecture. Flowing interior areas and long, banded windows create geometric shapes and patterns. The low-lying design is meant to integrate right into the surrounding landscapes. Wright believed homes should exist in harmony with nature. Prairie house floor plans are designed so they will not intrude on the landscapes around them.

Prairie houses were the first American architecture style that was seriously considered in Europe. This attractive house design remains popular throughout the United States. Unbelievably, Wright never even attended architecture school. Wright's down-to-earth beginnings were working on his uncle's farm during his childhood.

Wright enjoyed a 70-year career and extremely designed 1,141 buildings of all sorts. Of all these designs, 532 were completed and 409 are standing today. Wright realized how noticeable his work was and stated, "The physicist can bury his mistakes, but the architect can only advise his clients to plant vines."

Other architects designed variations of the prairie style house. The American foursquare style is also known as a Prairie Box. In 1936, Wright designed a simplified version of prairie style houses called Usonian. A modern prairie style house is a luxurious oasis tucked away in lush landscapes.

Outdoor Lighting

Three Types of Outdoor Lighting

The three commonly used types of outdoor lighting are mains powered, low voltage, and solar. In some industrial applications, eg building sites, a voltage between mains and 12V is used. In the UK, where the normal mains is 240V, this is commonly 110V. The reasons for this are mainly that it is less dangerous in risky areas, while still giving reasonably strong lighting. There is also the advantage that theft of bulbs and other equipment is deteriorated, since they do not work properly off normal mains.

Mains Powered Outdoor Lighting

This gives the bright light, and is almost always used for security lighting, or where bright light is needed outside. However, because mains cable is needed to power the lights, it must be well protected. If the light is wall mounted and the cable comes straight out of the wall this is no problem. If the cable is to be buried underground, armored cable must be used, as a spade could easily go through ordinary mains cable. (Armored cable is three or four core cable, with good insulation, and covered with strong steel strands wrapped around. Because the protection is stranded, it can be cut with normal cable cutters.Three core cable – live, neutral and earth – is used In most domestic installations, four core is used when a three phase supply is in use.) All light fittings must be suitable for outdour use, ie protected against water, and earthed, without made all of plastic or rubber.

Domestic mains powered light fittings can vary from 40 watts up to at least 1000 watts floodlamps. The latter are only used if a very large area is needed to be lit up like daylight. Most gardens will be amply illuminated by a maximum of 500 watts for security and 40 to 100 watts for lighting up a small area such as a doorway. Low energy bulbs can be used in many outdoor lights, and are certainly advisable if the light is to be left on for any length of time. Specialist low energy bulbs, such as the yellow sodium lamps, used in much street lighting, usually require light fittings specially designed to take them. Photocells can be used to automatically switch lights on and off at dusk and dawn, and some light fittings come with these built in. Similar PIR detectors switch lights on when someone approaches, and these are often built in to security lights. Photocells and PIR detectors are also available as separate, stand alone units, which can be connected to one or more light fittings.

Low Voltage Garden Lighting

This type of lighting gives less bright light than mains, but it is often still good enough to light up a path, bedding area, or even useful practical light if there are enough lights and they are near enough to where the light is wanted. The main advantage is they all work off a main transformer, which plugs into a mains socket, but drops the voltage to (usually) 12V. This will still cause the lights to fail if someone puts a spade through the cable, for example, but the person will not be electrocuted. 12V is quite safe, so no special protection is needed for the cable.

Solar Powered Garden Lighting

Solar lights are the dimmest outside lights, but the LED bulbs are getting brighter all the time. They are usually used for effects in gardens, or to light the edges of a path. They are no use for practical lighting. Their big advantage is that no wiring is necessary. They work off power from the sun, and just need to be stuck in the ground (most come with a spike for doing this).

These work by light operating a solar panel during the day, to charge up a rechargeable battery. A photocell switches on an LED light bulb during darkness and this is powered from the charged up battery. During summer the light will generally last all night, but in winter it may not last more than a few hours. The light depends on the battery quality and capacity. If a solar light fails, goes dim or does not last very long, it usually means the rechargeable battery needs replacing.

Hair Curling Iron Buying Guide

1) The Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron gives its user 25 settings for instant heat, allowing unprecedented flexibility for styling and control. The Instant Hear Iron has a “Euro Design” handle for increased comfort in the hand. With a uniform heat recovery system, ON-indicator light, and an automatic shut-off, this iron 1″ is a great basic iron for larger curls and waves, available on a tight budget.

2) Revlon’s V068 Perfect Heat Professional Ceramic Spiral Iron uses a ceramic barrel to attain a higher heat and produce lovely, healthy curls. 30 heat levels are offered by this ¾ (.75) inch iron, giving you the maximum amount of control over your curls. With an ON-indicator, a built-in safety stand, and a swivel cord that is tangle-resistant, this unique-looking iron provides a decent quality iron for slightly smaller curls at a price most people can agree on.

3) Hot Tools has released its 2″ Supertool Curling Iron with Multi-Heat Control, with a Multi-Heat Control and a separate ON/OFF button to remember your heating preferences and the ability to reach high temperatures up to 220° C, this classy iron delivers a gigantic 2″ 24 Karat gold-plated barrel that can even straighten hair. Coming standard with a safety stand, this fairly-low priced curling iron is a must for someone looking to put a shimmer of style in atop their vanity.

4) At a slightly higher price, the Hot Tools Professional 1110 Curling Iron with Multi-Heat Control are available with a slightly higher quality. The Hot Tools iron offers a 1″, 1 ¼”, and a 1 ½” series of irons, each with a unique 24 Karat gold plates barrel, and can attain temperatures as high as 428° F. This iron is suitable for many hair types, and comes with an 8-foot long swivel cord. The Conair offers a clean, professional look, high-heat curling with only 30 seconds of heat-up time, a 9-foot swivel cord, and a protective heat shield for storage.

5) If clip-less design is what you’re looking for, and budget is not an issue, the HerStyler 3P Ceramic Curling Iron Set offers up-to-date ceramic and digital technology, and is designed for use by professionals. With a heat range up to 200° C, the ceramic barrel can produce high heat without damaging your hair. One downfall of the HerStyler 3P is the clip-less design requiring the use of a thermal glove, which is not included. This means the user must purchase the glove in order to safely use the product. However, the quality of this is very high and comes recommended by many satisfied consumers. Another clip-less option is the Enzo Milano Conico Grande, priced at over $100, but offers the glove with the product.

Conclusion

However, the Enzo Milano does not come with a stand, so it can be dangerous to leave it unattended after use. Regardless of price and requirements, there are many options out there for curling irons of many designs, styles, and types for people of all classes and lifestyles. All one needs to do is open the eyes and look. You can also choose the automatic hair curler, if you are too lazy to curl you hair.

Outdoor Lighting

Three Types of Outdoor Lighting

The three commonly used types of outdoor lighting are mains powered, low voltage, and solar. In some industrial applications, eg building sites, a voltage between mains and 12V is used. In the UK, where the normal mains is 240V, this is commonly 110V. The reasons for this are mainly that it is less dangerous in risky areas, while still giving reasonably strong lighting. There is also the advantage that theft of bulbs and other equipment is deteriorated, since they do not work properly off normal mains.

Mains Powered Outdoor Lighting

This gives the bright light, and is almost always used for security lighting, or where bright light is needed outside. However, because mains cable is needed to power the lights, it must be well protected. If the light is wall mounted and the cable comes straight out of the wall this is no problem. If the cable is to be buried underground, armored cable must be used, as a spade could easily go through ordinary mains cable. (Armored cable is three or four core cable, with good insulation, and covered with strong steel strands wrapped around. Because the protection is stranded, it can be cut with normal cable cutters.Three core cable – live, neutral and earth – is used In most domestic installations, four core is used when a three phase supply is in use.) All light fittings must be suitable for outdour use, ie protected against water, and earthed, without made all of plastic or rubber.

Domestic mains powered light fittings can vary from 40 watts up to at least 1000 watts floodlamps. The latter are only used if a very large area is needed to be lit up like daylight. Most gardens will be amply illuminated by a maximum of 500 watts for security and 40 to 100 watts for lighting up a small area such as a doorway. Low energy bulbs can be used in many outdoor lights, and are certainly advisable if the light is to be left on for any length of time. Specialist low energy bulbs, such as the yellow sodium lamps, used in much street lighting, usually require light fittings specially designed to take them. Photocells can be used to automatically switch lights on and off at dusk and dawn, and some light fittings come with these built in. Similar PIR detectors switch lights on when someone approaches, and these are often built in to security lights. Photocells and PIR detectors are also available as separate, stand alone units, which can be connected to one or more light fittings.

Low Voltage Garden Lighting

This type of lighting gives less bright light than mains, but it is often still good enough to light up a path, bedding area, or even useful practical light if there are enough lights and they are near enough to where the light is wanted. The main advantage is they all work off a main transformer, which plugs into a mains socket, but drops the voltage to (usually) 12V. This will still cause the lights to fail if someone puts a spade through the cable, for example, but the person will not be electrocuted. 12V is quite safe, so no special protection is needed for the cable.

Solar Powered Garden Lighting

Solar lights are the dimmest outside lights, but the LED bulbs are getting brighter all the time. They are usually used for effects in gardens, or to light the edges of a path. They are no use for practical lighting. Their big advantage is that no wiring is necessary. They work off power from the sun, and just need to be stuck in the ground (most come with a spike for doing this).

These work by light operating a solar panel during the day, to charge up a rechargeable battery. A photocell switches on an LED light bulb during darkness and this is powered from the charged up battery. During summer the light will generally last all night, but in winter it may not last more than a few hours. The light depends on the battery quality and capacity. If a solar light fails, goes dim or does not last very long, it usually means the rechargeable battery needs replacing.

How You Can Improve Your Bathroom Lighting

A home decor designer knows that lighting is one of the most important elements of design. It can make a room come alive, if applied in the right way. However, when applied in the wrong way, lighting can make a room gloomy and depressing. Basically there are three types of lighting that should work together to light up a room, the bathroom included. A good lighting plan should include those three types, and sometimes a fourth, called decorative lighting. Here are ways that you can use task lighting to make your bathroom come alive.

Task lighting is very important, especially in areas where you need specific lighting. In other words you can use task lighting for tasks such as shaving, applying make-up and other forms of personal grooming.

First, it is advised to affix task lighting either above the vanity mirror located near the sink or on both sides of the mirror. This ensures that your bathroom has good task lighting.

Secondly, it is advised that the vanity lights fixtures around the mirror be glowing or halogen types as they will allow you to have easy access to controlling the brightness of the fixtures with a dimmer, which is also very energy efficient.

Further, ensure that the vanity light fixtures you have selected provide more than adequate light. One of the classical methods that you can use to make sure of this is to over light the room. Then use the dimmer switch to bring down the brightness to the glow that you want or will need, depending on the mood.

It is also a good idea to use special neodymium light bulbs in the vanity light fixtures, as they provide excellent lighting that has a slight tint to it. The lighting will create light that is more like the sun, which is created by the coating of neodymium.

Avid using recessed lights to light up your face while standing at a mirror. The illumination caused by these types of fixtures will cast too many shadows on your face. Alternately, you can use recessed lights anywhere else in the bathroom.

Try placing a small, lit concave mirror near the vanity mirror. The shape of the mirror will amplify what you see in it, and the excess light will help you in tasks such as shaving and applying makeup.

Recessed lights can also be used to light up the shower or tub, which are usually overlooked. To illuminate these areas, it is recommended that you use two recessed down-lights for this task.

Be careful not to place any lights near the sink or elsewhere where they might get wet, as this could lead to you getting electrocuted. The above tips will help you in creating the look that you want for your bathroom. Take note to remember that lighting is very important and completes the image you intend for your home.