Home Decor For Newlyweds

Yours, mine … and Ours!

Combining Two Personal Styles into One Beautiful Home

It is that time of year again, and many couples are just about to say "I do". But getting married can also mean trying to merge a collection of sports memorabilia with a canopy bed upholstered in bright pink silk. Sound scary? For many people who are about to start decorating their first place together, it just might be.

Let's call this the Panic Phase.

What stays and what has to go? Who gets to keep what? What if one person likes contemporary and the other prefers traditional? Both of you have their own unique backgrounds, tastes and traditions. You may be coming from two separate homes or apartments, each filled with possessions. How do two different styles come together in a way that works for both individuals – and with minimal stress?

Read on for some survival tips!

Combining households is not simply about "stuff". The things we own bring back memories, sometimes from long ago, like that armoire Grandma Anne gave your parents on their wedding day, or from the not-so-distant past, like that huge, yellow corduroy bean-bag that you won in a college poker game while "studying" for a math exam.
How do you deal with pieces that do not fit the other person's vision for the new home? How do you build a shared vision – the foundation of shared memories?

First, each of you has some homework to do. This is the Inventory Phase. Start by making a list of everything you own. Evaluate each piece. Be brutal with yourself. Ask, do I really need this? Is it an heirloom? Is it something that really matters, or am I just hanging on to it? If the item is relatively new it should be in good shape with the potential to last. Let quality be your guide. You may not be wild about the fabric on a particular sofa, but if it's a solid piece it can be reupholstered and serve you much longer than a trendy new item from Ikea.

Both of you should finish this phase by deciding exactly what to keep, and what can go. Now you are ready to start working together – and to begin to compare notes. This phase is called Dialogue and Compromise. And it is the hardest part.

The idea is to have an open discussion about what matters most to each of you. Acknowledge that it is not easy for the untrained eye to mix styles. In terms of process, neither should be totally in charge, but it is fine to recognize that each of you has particular strengths. Perhaps one takes the lead with interiors and the other focuses on landscaping, or vice versa. Whatever works for you!

What happens if the discussion does not go easily? OK … it hardly ever does. Perhaps the conversation degenerates, and you end up sitting there thinking, "I just can not believe the man I married actually expects me to put that in MY house! Who could imagine he would care so much about how the house looks? It certainly was not obvious from looking at this bachelor pad! "

Let's take a look at some common issues and solutions.

Collections and Designated Rooms
That's a tough one. People have a natural desire to collect things. Some collections are easier to swallow for a new spouse than others. While most men can live with a china collection in a dining room hutch, I could not imagine looking at model cars, sports posters or "original GI Joes" collections in my family room. Call me old-fashioned! There is a place for those kinds of beloved displays – a place where time had stopped. Try to find a room that would be just for him. It may be his home office or a little workshop in the finished part of the basement – a place where he can do whatever he wants when it comes to décor. You do not have to see it. Just keep the door closed. 

Heirlooms
Speaking of collections, sometimes they are hand-me-downs, which brings us to another difficult topic: heirlooms. If your wife is not in love with that table your grandmother gave you, it does not mean she rejects your grandmother – to her it is just a piece of furniture that does not fit her vision for the new dining room. Try to compromise. Let her keep a piece that is important to her – assuming she lets you keep your table.

Trade Up
What to do with pieces that you let go? Sell ​​them. There are consignment stores that accept furniture of different provenance and value (not necessarily traditional or antique) that may come and pick up your stuff. Selling a couple of pieces you do not want may help you to buy a piece that you truly need. Oh, I forgot … you were trying to pare down your furniture. OK, how about putting the money into a weekend getaway, or a nice dinner out? After all this stress, you will need a break.

When the time comes to blend houses, let's hope you are not looking at two moving trucks filled with enough stuff to fill two or more houses. In that case, go back to the Dialogue and Compromise Phase. Two of everything is for arks, not households.

But if your possessions are nicely condensed, you might find yourself in the position of actually needing to buy things. Congratulations! Life is about to get a whole lot easier, especially if you can make the next decisions together.

You are now in the Ours Phase. Here's what to do next:

o Make an inventory of all that you've decided to keep, noting what is useful as-is versus what needs refinishing or reupholstering.

o Make a list of what you need to add.

o Prepare a budget – it will help you stay focused.

o Buy the main pieces first (like a bed for a bedroom) but be flexible – if you see an absolutely gorgeous rug but buying it now would mean having no desk for a while – go for it. It is much better to collect pieces that you love over time than to rush out and buy a complete set of so-so furniture.

o Look for versatile pieces that could "travel" from room to room and ultimately from house to house.

o Make your place unique by bringing in accessories that mean something to you – travel mementos, flea market finds and interesting art. It will not feel like home until it is really yours.

To couples everywhere, just starting out – good luck, and have fun!

The History Of The Air Hockey Game

The air hockey table game you know and love today was invented in 1969 by a group of Brunswick engineers of Brunswick Billiards. It was initially drafted for commercial release, but set aside. Many years after the development of the initial concept, the engineers designed the first air hockey game, including mallets and disks.

The game was originally played on a table, utilizing a disk and squared mallets. The game is now played utilizing round mallets. The table is meant to be a table that provides a smooth surface that generates zero friction. Generally, the game surface is dotted with hundreds of tiny holes, through which a steady supply of gentle air is pumped. The puck then glides on a cushion of air just above the table’s surface. Some surfaces are merely smooth surfaces without holes, and the air is generated by a battery-operated air hockey game puck that generates its own cushion of air. It should be noted that these are not regulation or approved for use in any United States Air Hockey Association-approved events, games or tournaments.

The air hockey game rose to popularity in the 1970’s, as an arcade toy sensation, a college dorm rec room staple and as an amateur sport with tournament play. Tournament play began in the early 1980’s in Houston, Texas with the formation of the first professional league, The Houston Air Hockey Association. After the establishment of the Houston group, a state-wide Texas Air Hockey Players Association formed and developed formal rules and regulations for the game, qualifying it more as a sport. USAA-approved tables will be suited for two player games only, though four-player game tables do exist for novice and recreational use.

Present day rules for the sport are now determined by the USAA, and include the following rules:

1) At the start of the game, a coin toss or face off determines the player that will start the game with first possession of the puck in play.

2) The first player that scores seven points wins the game.

3) Once the puck crosses into a player’s zone of the table by crossing the center line, that player has up to 7 seconds to return the puck to the opposing player’s zone, or else has committed a foul.

4) Other fouls include holding down the puck with one’s mallet, touching a puck with any part of a player’s body or the puck leaving the table entirely.

Competitive play and tournaments are still played on an international level today, with professional tournaments being played throughout Europe and the United States. The USAA is the only known governing body over the sport, in any country or continent, and therefore, the USAA rules apply to any tournaments played worldwide. Despite this level of success, the air hockey game is still considered to be a recreational non-sport amongst most players, who affiliate it with arcades and bar-play. It is still seen in many recreational venues and arcades, but is often over-shadowed by the presence of video gaming systems.

Brick Fundraisers With Engravings and Carvings

Importance of Brick Fundraisers

Fundraising is a noble activity and is inspirational to watch people finding time out of their busy schedules to help collect money to support charity organizations. Raising funds for a cause whether it is to repair the neighborhood road or to support the old age home, to help improve medical facilities or to support education of children is great indeed and needs all the help to gather momentum. Brick fundraisers are an innovative idea to encourage and motivate people to donate money for charity. Donating your hard earned money might not be something that comes spontaneously to some people. However, finding their name etched on a cause through brick fundraisers is definitely an incentive that can invite more people to donate for various causes. It is also a noble idea to acknowledge those who wished to join a cause by contributing to the funds.

Vitrification

Engraving of the bricks by the use of laser technology is called vitrification and is quite commonly used to etch the names of people on mortar bricks. Brick fundraisers use this idea to engrave names of those who contribute heavily to a cause. This is a great way of permanently marking one’s contribution and support to a cause and it would be there for everyone to see for a large time. The laser engraving is of high quality and is also used to carve out the bricks to include letters and words depicting names, motto, dates and other such information.

How are Brick Fundraisers used

Bricks are used as a standard way to acknowledge contributions especially to buildings like libraries, monuments, houses or even pavements. The size of the brick in a way is used to show the size of the contribution too. One can find a variety of brick fundraisers. The common sizes standard full paver which is 4 X 8 X 2 inches in dimensions. Generally donations of around 125 dollars are depicted through this brick. Engraves bricks also come in sizes such as standard half paver and double paver, which are half and twice the standard size respectively.

Construction and texture

Brick fundraisers can be made of any finish like black, glossy or aesthetic depending upon where they can be used. The laser engraving is done by melting the brick ingredients to produce the marking of the letters. There are various shades of these brick colors too that can be achieved through vitrification. These include cinnamon, mahogany, Caribbean, Cimmerian, Ivory and Imperial shades. Different colors such as cobalt blue, black and green are also achieved through the laser engraving on the bricks.

Apart from engraved bricks, ceramic tiles, granite and marble are also used for places such as memorials, school and sport facilities etc. The donor names are displayed through engraved names and photo images along with the logos of the social cause. Various exotic colors like blueberry, mocha and strawberry can also be produced on ceramic tiles and the detail stays on for a long time carrying the engraved names.

The Big Secret About NYC Apartment Rentals

The key to finding the right NYC apartment is … not your broker, not the free websites, not even having lots of money (although that helps). The key to finding the right apartment is both obvious and hidden inside you.

It can not be the "free" apartment websites, such as craigslist.org, because …

The free websites do not employ anyone to validate the truthfulness of their listings, nor does anyone remove a listing when the apartment has been rented. Many free listings are bait-and-switch come-ons posted by brokers or are total frauds run by unscrupulous con artists who take advantage of New York's costly rental market.

The Associated Press released a story describing the problems with fraud on craigslist.org: "The New York section is now so rife with con artists that they may begin charging landlords to discourage illegitimate listings." Always beware of the con artist's creativity when you use a free website.

It can not be newspaper classified ads because

The old-fashioned method of using the real estate ads in the local paper is not as effective in New York as it is in other towns for two main reasons:

1 – In New York, most of the ads you'll see are from brokers who will charge you a broker's fee, or the apartments will be in very expensive buildings with high monthly rents where the owner will pay the broker to bring them a renter for their overpriced apartment.

2 – Most of the apartments listed will be off the market by the time you read the ads. Newspaper ads have a long "lead time," that is, they must go to the paper several days ahead of the day they'll actually be published. Apartments are rented very quickly in New York, and what's available on the day the ads go to the newspaper can be very different from what's available the day the paper is printed. Many ads are used by brokers to grab your attention so you'll call and become their client, even if the apartment you're calling about is no longer available (or was never available).

The Biggest Secret of All in Finding a Good Rental Apartment …

… Is this: the right attitude. Have the right attitude and you'll find the right place. Have the wrong attitude, and your hunt for an apartment can be difficult. But what do I mean by "the right attitude"?

To a landlord, renting apartments is a business, no more, no less. If you do not pay the rent, the landlord loses money. If you damage the apartment, the landlord loses money by having to make repairs. If you're a bad neighbor, the landlord can lose other tenants because of your behavior. For small landlords, it does not take too many nonpaying or destructive or disruptive tenants to put their business in financial jeopardy.

The "right attitude" for you is to let the landlord know that you understand their business. Let the landlord know that paying the rent on time is of paramount importance to you. Let the landlord know you'll be a good neighbor, and that you'll take good care of their apartment. No troublemaker here!

You will also convey the right attitude by dressing well, by being polite to everyone you meet, and by being prepared with all of your necessary paperwork when you visit apartments. Take this advice, and you will be ahead of most renters.

Are On more terrific there tips and hints available to you in "Essential Guide for Smart 's Renters" . I know of no better free compilation of information about finding a rental apartment in New York City. Go take a look right now!

Facts on Flat Speaker Wires

Speakers can be complex items to deal with without the proper knowledge and tools. They can become cumbersome, messy and expensive even though they do not have to be. This is where the notion of flat speaker wires comes in. These types of wires eliminate the hassle of tinkering with round, heavy, and entangled wires for your speakers. The key to knowing more about this doing some research to help you on your journey for a better, more effective and safer entertainment area.

Flat speaker wires come in an abundance of ways. Of course, a lot of it has to do with what you are trying to hook up and what brand is it. Today, with high-definition technology, manufacturers make their products with flat speaker wires in mind. Flat speaker wires are as thin as paper and can be very flexible if needed. This can prove quite useful in tight quarters as well as turning corners. Let it be known that flat speaker wires were ideally made to be put on wires rather than behind them. This indeed gives them an edge that your traditional wires cannot supply.

Flat speaker wires, although thin, can transfer sound as well as any other set of wires. Sometimes people can forget that size does not matter when it comes to technology. This statement reigns true for the simple fact that more advanced technology gets, the smaller it gets. This is the whole idea behind flat speaker wires. Of course, flat speaker wires are not cheap; they can range from $50-$75. The whole idea, however, is to save money when it comes to installation. These wire, although their established as flexible, also can have the length of 25 to 500 feet. Therefore, there is no limit on where these wires can go, even if you live in a mansion or loft. Every size was accounted for. These wires can literally put your speakers in any location you wish. Which is the whole point of have these kinds of wires to begin with. Installation usually consists of taping the wires on the wall and concealing them with a high solution adhesive. This will help blend the wires into the wall itself and you would not have to worry of it sticking out like a sore thumb.

Flat wires are becoming more and more the way of the future. If anyone chooses to embrace it, then it will make a whole world of good for you and your home. Sometimes, new things do not always have to be shunned upon. Technology that everyone is use to does not mean it have to stick around. Easier solutions are available and these are one of them.

Tips on Buying a Cheap Motorcycle Helmet

Congratulations! As a proud new motorcycle owner, you’re undoubtedly itching to hit the road on your sleek set of wheels. Riding your bike down scenic byways or city freeways is an exhilarating experience–but as all riders know, motorcycling comes with plenty of risks. Motorcycles can be hard for automobile drivers to see, and in the event of an accident, a motorcyclist doesn’t have the benefit of thousands of pounds of steel protecting him (or her) from the impact. The best way to reduce the risk of serious injury or death is by wearing a helmet.

After buying a new bike, many riders are chagrined to find that a standard helmet purchased from a dealer can set them back an additional several hundred dollars. Many higher-end models can easily approach $800 to $900 or more. Fortunately, a helmet’s safety and quality doesn’t necessarily go up with the price; cheap helmets can also provide ample protection. Basic helmets can be found for around $100, and it’s very possible to get full protection from one of these less expensive models.

The most important thing to look for when shopping for a helmet is certification from either the DOT (Department of Transportation) or the Snell Foundation. These organizations certify helmets based on their ability to absorb the force of an impact and other stringent safety criteria. Their standards are similar and an approval from either one will ensure that you’re getting a quality helmet.

Whether you’re looking at cheap helmets or the pricier versions, be sure that the one you select fits you properly. Even the best helmet won’t be able to protect you if it falls off your head during a collision. A simple test is to fasten it properly and then push up firmly on the back. If you’re able to get it off, it’s not a good fit.

While it may be tempting to pick up a second-hand helmet from a yard sale or a thrift store, don’t–even if it’s certified. The typical lifespan of a helmet is about five years, as the protective foam material inside degrades fairly rapidly. If you’re using one older than that, it may not be as effective. Similarly, a helmet that has been involved in an accident, even a minor one, has been permanently altered even if there is no visible damage. If you’re considering buying a used helmet, you’ll want to be certain you know everything about its history.

Wherever you purchase your helmet, making sure it’s a certified, properly-fitting, and recent model will give you the best chance at a safe and enjoyable motorcycling future.

Speed Reading Exercises For All

There are many speed reading exercises available in books and on the internet, which you can use to help yourself improve your reading speed. First of all it’s a good idea to do an exercise to measure your reading speed, just to know your starting point, and then there are many exercises which are actually designed to help to improve the speed of your reading.

The internet has a wide variety of self help exercises freely available and as with anything else, they won’t all be suitable but there are so many to choose from that you’re sure to find something which you’re happy with.

When we first learn to read as children, we learn word by word how to understand and pronounce each word in its written form. This is all well and good for when you are learning to read, but it is a habit which needs breaking if we are to considerably improve the speed of our reading.

One of the most effective speed reading exercises which I have found is to use a book which is easy to read and a stopwatch or timer. As you begin to read the page use your finger or a pen and point to each word as you read it. Try to move your finger faster and faster, and to take in more than one word at a time. Try to form some sort of smooth rhythm to your reading.

When you get to the end of the page check your timer and see how long it took to read. Keep practicing this exercise until you see some improvement.

Another one of the useful speed reading exercises which I have found is to practice reading small blocks of words at one time. This exercise can also be useful to improve your comprehension. One way to loosen up your eyes is to practice reading without worrying about comprehension, just looking at the words.

Another technique is to find a book which is easy to comprehend and read for 1 minute and then count the number of lines which you have read. The next minute try to read 2 lines extra, and then continue to increase the number of lines until you are unable to comprehend what you have just read. Stay at this level until your comprehension improves, then try to increase the number of lines again.

Of course, the real key to improving your speed reading is the same as the key to improving any other technique, practice. The more you practice, the better you will become.

Green Power Tool Tips – How to Replace the Brushes in Your Power Tool

Maintaining a greener lifestyle is becoming more than just a trend these days and we craftsmen can do our part as well. The Earth is, essentially, what keeps us in business, what keeps birch, cherry, maple and mahogany in our woodshops, what keeps beauty in our projects, and food on our tables; we might consider this fact a little more closely the next time our tools run slow or stall in action – you see, most minor tool repairs are pretty simple and most craftsmen can manage these repairs fairly easily. Additionally, repairs are significantly cheaper than replacements, they're relatively simple to perform, and they're kinder to the environment as well.

Imagine all the power tools on the planet that get tossed aside every day. Now imagine that each one of those power tool's requires some kind of expensive replacement for its user, which, in turn, will also be tossed aside when its time comes. Everyone of those tools is now also emitting toxic pollutants into our atmosphere. This is not the most exciting scenario, in fact, its really quite depressing – so save yourself a few dollars and save the environment from another addition to the landfill problem by repairing your power tools instead of buying new ones.

One of the simplest and certainly most common power tool repairs comes in the form of brush replacements. The carbon brushes in your power tools are the things that transfer electric current and working energy from the tool's motor to the rest of the tool's working parts. Because there is so much happening inside your tool and the brushes are the bridge that make it all possible, it is no surprise that they will eventually wear down, they get trampled on, and in time they can no longer move that electrical current from one component to the other with and degree of real effectiveness.

So it's true then, that there comes a time in the life of every power tool that its brushes need replacing. It's an inevitability. No matter how hard you try to avoid the change, wear and tear will catch up with you, your tool will get sluggish or completely fail, and you'll know its time to take on that brush replacement. The procedure, however, is not as frightening as all that; in fact, its relatively simple; certainly easier, in my opinion, than buying an entirely new tool. So now, let me provide a bit of direction, and you, my friend, will be a drill-brush doctor in no time.

To begin, you always want to be sure of three things: one, if you have the tool's manual check for specific brush replacement instructions, this will ensure a smoother process. Two, be certain you have the exact brushes that were designed for your power tool – not all brushes are universal, and they are always specific to their motor. And three, be sure the tool is disengaged – unplug your corded tools and remove the battery from cordless tools to be safe.

Now, locate the brushes on the tool's motor, they are usually about one inch long rectangular carbon blocks with a coil-spring tail (the spring is used to apply force on the carbon block which ensures the brush remains engaged with the motor as the carbon wears-down). The brushes slide into guide sleeves which keep them in position on opposite sides of the motor. Sometimes the brushes are a little difficult to find, but most newer models offer externally accessible brushes to ensure you do not have to crack to deeply into the motor. Its important here to keep in mind that whatever you remove or take apart, you also to have to replace and put back together – focus to ensure you can properly reassemble the tool. Once you find the brushes, carefully remove the brush caps, slide the old brushes out, and slide the new ones in in the same position as they were removed. As you do this, ensure the brush is making contact with the commutator of the armature.

Lastly, put everything back together tightly and precisely making sure everything is in its right place. Before you're entirely finished though, you should engage the tool to ensure all is is working order. If the tool is still malfunctioning in some way or emits a smell, you may have a bigger problem than a brush replacement can fix – in this case take the tool to an authorized service center for a more thorough, professional inspection.

In the end, a brush replacement is nearly as easy as pie and certainly more rewarding; it helps you keep your wallet full and allows you give a little goodness back to good-old Mother Earth. Its a win win situation, no question about it.

How to Become an Engineer

Engineering is a profession that covers a wide variety of disciplines. The tasks and studies of the various fields of engineering are vastly different, though each require problem solving through the use of mathematical and scientific principles. Such fields include civil, electrical, aerospace, computer, chemical, environmental and mechanical engineering. No matter what the specialty, becoming an engineer requires a time-consuming, intense course of study, beginning as far back as high school. Below are the steps involved to become an engineer.

When choosing high school courses, do as many math and physical science courses as you can. Opt for AP or advanced placement courses where possible. The stronger your background in these areas, the better your chances of getting into the school you want.

Make sure that you include the math and science subject test when taking the SAT, as this is required for admission into many engineering programs. Be sure you work hard and get a good SAT score also in order to have your choice of good schools.

Investigate the different fields of engineering that exist and the typical job description for an engineer of each type, so you will see what each does during a workday. This will help you to determine the type of program that appeals most to you. Not every college offers every discipline, so determining what area you want to work in will also help you choose the college you should go to.

Investigate the college programs that exist for engineers. Usually, they include a pre-engineering program for 2-3 years and a more specialized engineering program that takes a similar amount of time and results in a bachelor's degree. You should also check out the reputation of each college's faculty of engineering. Some are much better than others, especially in certain fields

While going through college, it is wise to take breaks during the summer and work under an engineer. There may be structured internships that you can avail of or simply student jobs that focus on the area of ​​your studies. This will help you to gain a great deal of practical experience and put together a resume that will attract attention when you finish school.

When you have completed a bachelor's degree, you can specialize further by going on to graduate school and getting a master's degree in a particular engineering field. However you can also get engineering jobs with just a BS degree.

Get your professional engineer license. It will help your career advancement greatly if you do. In order to do so you will first need to pass the Fundamentals in Engineering exam and complete four years of work experience in an acceptable position, as well as meeting your state's requirements. The final step if to pass a Principles and Practices of Engineering exam.

Engineering is a great field to work in. It is a creative discipline that is also challenging. Starting salaries for engineers are relatively high and there is typically much room for advancement. Choosing to become an engineer is a sound move for the future. It provides a solid foundation for a successful career.

Learning Detachment

Meditation

A guided meditation from the Carriers of Light

Let your desires float by you. Let yourself ease into a relaxed state of mind. Let your body relax; let your bones sink into the muscles around them. Let your bones move around. Feel the muscles soften around them. Let your mind come to a point of stillness. Let your thoughts no longer be busy with themselves. Let yourself feel a oneness with all of your parts.

Then feel freshness; feel as though you are in a garden. Above you is the sun – not just an ordinary light, but the sun of your consciousness, that which lights your awareness. Feel the warmth of this light, of this conscious sense of light, how it feels to be warm. Everything that you are is in this consciousness. You are this light. Let yourself feel this heat. Your thoughts are light, your feelings are light. This light is what you are, and it pours itself into you.

Then sense your awareness changing as you shift into a higher gear. Notice your vibrations changing. The new being that is you is now forming where the old being was. What you are now is your self, its newness forming around you within your consciousness. What you once were is now larger than it was … that's all that happened. Sense this awareness as you grow larger in your consciousness. Become aware of the smaller parts of yourself. Feel yourself pulling toward things. Sense something, let yourself remember something that happened today, something you wanted. Notice how it feels to become aware of this. You'll notice a physical sensation, something happening to you; you may find a muscle twitching, a sensation like this, a pulling toward the thing you remember. As you explore this further, you find that if you hold this in your consciousness – if you let yourself just hang on a little, "freeze" the idea – you may find that you can expand the energy. You can move to a higher plane of reality by using this energy as a focal point. Then you begin to see what you are. You can expand your frequencies, the meaning of your consciousness, how you see yourself at the new frequency levels. By focusing on something lower, you reach something higher. It's like a stepping stone. Becoming aware of lower conscious thoughts brings you higher if you use it in this way.

Now focus again on something you once desired. Hold it in your consciousness, let it rest there. See it clearly for what it is: something that is just there. Now that you are apart from it, can you believe that it once held you so tightly in its grip? By separating yourself from it, you loosen its hold. By seeing it as a form of energy, you can keep it at a distance. The more you see it this way, at a slight distance from yourself, the less it holds you. Do not struggle against it: simply hold it there and remain aware of it.

Soften your consciousness, let it loosen, let yourself feel loose and relaxed. Feel yourself sensing life. How does it feel to be alive? How does it feel to be conscious? How does it feel to be in the world? See what happens when you let these ideas come to you. They take over! If you think of stress, stress takes over; if you think of your worries, your worries take over. By learning to detach, you will not be affected so much by this.

So learn to relax sometimes. As you are relaxing, think about the stresses of the world. See how they take over only a part of yourself, and how there is still a part that is unaffected by any of this. You are this consciousness, as well as the part of you that is affected. Even if the world is getting you down, a part of you is unaffected, it is not worried by anything. When you achieve more of that consciousness, you will be unaffected more of the time, and so you will be more even.

Now let yourself relax again. Sense your consciousness coming back. You'll be getting up in a moment. Sense what happens when you tell yourself that you are going to get up. Notice how busy your thoughts become. Notice the difference between one state of mind and the other. Growth happens when you see this difference; at each new level of growth, you see a difference. Things grow and change. You are also a growing thing. Thus, if you have been hurt in the past you will grow out of it; problems of the past will become smaller as you grow. The things you used to be attached to will become less significant in relation to the higher wonders of the universe that you will find inside yourself.

You may now get up and return to where you were before we began. You know more now than you did before.

In a Nutshell

You are in a garden under the warm sun of consciousness.

As you grow larger, your old self seems smaller.

Visualize something you want. You see it pulling to you like a magnet.

Focus on this thing mentally, and hold it away from you.

Notice that whatever you think of seems to take over your mind.

Notice also that there is always a part of you that is separate.As you grow, this separate part of you becomes larger

and the problems of the world appear smaller.

You find the higher wonders of the universe within you,

and the things that you were attached to seem less important.

Foam Roof Insulation – Is it Safe?

The benefits of foam roof insulation are countless. The insulation material used is created from polyurethane foam. It is applied in liquid form and dries up to create a single film lining that covers the entire roof. This creates a seam free area, which is ideal because this is normally the source and reason for most leaks in roofs. It is actually safe to apply the foam directly to the roof. There is no reason to worry. The foam can actually be applied to just about any chosen surface and it easily molds into irregularly shaped roofs and overhangs.

Polyurethane is a lightweight yet very durable and firm material. On the average, one square foot of foam insulation is equal to about 50 pounds of worth as compared to 100 to 800 pounds for other roofs. It has a higher R value, which is a measure of thermal resistance or resistance to heat flow. Correspondingly, the higher the R value the more effective the insulation is. Polyurethane foam roof insulation has a higher R value than even the standard fiberglass. This allows for the home to be cooler. Homes with attics know that attics store heat even after the sun has gone down. This makes the foam roof insulation a necessity for homes even those without attics because it is able to cool the home significantly.

Foam roof insulation can also be used for mobile homes and trailers. This in effect, increases the R value of the mobile homes and trailers to nearly double. As for air-conditioned buildings such as livestock operations, barns and commercial buildings, it is quite an essential to have to be able to maintain the right comfortable temperature inside. The versatility of foam roof insulation is quite admirable. It can be painted on and even be covered over with shingles or an asphalt layer.

Foam roof insulation is very practical. Instead of having the air-conditioning run twice as long without insulation, having the roof insulated significantly reduces the heat that penetrates the home. Poor insulation can also result to water and wind damage to the roof. The good thing with foam roof insulation is that it is preventive. The foam sprayed into the roof and in between the tiles is a very cost efficient way to correct future problems. It is also an effective way to prevent those roof tiles or shingles from being blown off by strong winds during storms. Foam roof insulation has proven to withstand over two hundred mile an hour winds. Which goes to show that it is very reliable. Foam roof insulation also reduces the risk of dew point issues. Left untreated, this will later lead to water condensation. Water condensation or moisture that penetrates into the building is actually the primary reason behind the structure being damaged. By having a layer of foam in between the roof, it allows a the same layer to stop any leakage from penetrating any further even if the top layer of the foam roofing gets ruined. Many hairline fissures may appear in the top layer, but no leaks can get through even after a decade without repair as proven by the incident with the Super Dome in New Orleans.

Another good thing about foam roof insulation is that it requires very minimal to almost no maintenance whatsoever. Foam is proven to last longer than any popular roof coverings available in the market today. And what’s more is that it certainly costs much less compared to having to repair the roof and it takes much less time to complete. Foam roof insulation costs anywhere between $0.50 to $2.25 per square foot. This costing would depend on the climate in a specific area and on the desired R value in the product. A standard attic may go from $750 to around $1,100.

Coconut Oil Face Masks and Treatments

Why use coconut oil face masks?

Stimulates collagen and cell regeneration:

Coconut oil is jam packed with beneficial nutrients and vitamins for skin including vitamin C, a natural anti-oxidant which scavenges free radicals that causing skin to age prematurely.

Vitamin C in fresh coconut also offers regenerative properties stimulating collagen production in skin cells.

Another benefit of vitamin C in homemade skin care and coconut face masks is that it improves circulation which helps healing by increasing blood flow around your skin leaving you with a healthier glowing complexion.

SPF protection:

One of the reasons coconuts and their oil been prized for centuries in hotter climates is for their natural sun protection factor (approximately SPF 4 to 6) and is also popular in modern tanning lotions and sunscreens for its protective and moisturizing properties.

Coconut oil for acne:

Face masks, washes and moisturizers made from this oil are naturally antibacterial because of several active compounds in the flesh and oil. This along with its ability to soothe and heal wounds and inflammation makes it a perfect base ingredient for homemade acne masks, serums, and cleansers. It is also excellent as a gentle base for children's diaper rash or cuts and and grazes.

Coconut oil face moisturizers or serums:

This wonderful oil is full of fatty acids or "good oils" that protect your skin from moisture loss locking it it whilst helping to deliver beneficial nutrients from other companion ingredients deep into your skin giving it the maximum "bang for your buck" so to speak .

Essential fatty acids are known to boost your skins ability to absorb moisture, vitamins and other nutrients, locking in moisture and ingredient benefits deep into your skin.

Here are some very easy to make Coconut Oil Face Masks to make at home:

Coconut Oil Cleanser Mask:

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice or aloe vera juice or apple cider vinegar (leave out if you have very dry skin)

2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil

1 tablespoon yogurt or honey (or half and half of each)

For acneic complexions add a few drops of tea tree oil, lavender oil with half a teaspoon of turmeric powder.

Instructions:

Mix well and apply to skin like you would your usual cleanser before washing off.

Coconut Oil Carrot And Honey Mask:

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon coconut cream or coconut oil

4 drops of almond, apricot, avocado or olive oil

1/2 a mashed carrot, sweet potato or a little carrot juice (if you want to splash out just a little and really boost this recipe, add 5 drops of carrot seed oil for extra stimulation and a healthy glow).

Instructions:
Mix together thoroughly and apply to skin. Leave on for 15 minutes and wash off with warm water.

Coffee Coconut Chocolate Antioxidant Mask:

Ingredients:
1 small chocolate bar
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon strong filtered coffee (espresso)
1 teaspoon molasses or honey

Instructions:

Melt these ingredients together and apply to your skin once cooled a little. Leave on for ten minutes and wash off. This is rich in antioxidants and stimulates cell repair and regeneration.

Coconut Cream Avocado Hydrating Mask:

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon coconut oil or coconut cream

1/2 a mashed avocado

Instructions:

Add essential oils optionally to reduce lines and wrinkles or even red veins. For scars or stretch marks add some rose hip and carrot seed oil.

Conclusion:

These are just a few recipes you can make. You can also try many coconut serums (try using a serum wizard to create the perfect oil serum recipe for your skin) and other potent and effective but easy to make coconut recipes to nourish, hydrate and repair your skin.

Facial and Body Clay Masks -All You Ever Wanted to Know About Facial Clay Masks

Facial Clay Masks are part of a complete skin care regime and should be included at least twice a week in your daily skin care regime. There are however clays, and then there are high quality, premium cosmetic / beauty clays.

Argiletz clays are amongst the best clays on the market today. They are free from any contaminants and have many beneficial effects on the skin, making them ideal clays to use for facial and body clay masks. But what exactly are these facial clay masks and what do they actually do to your skin that is so beneficial? In this article we will take a close up look at facial clay masks, how they work, what makes them an essential part of your skin care regime and how your skin benefits from their use.

What are clays?

Clays are naturally occurring substances containing minerals, trace elements and nutrients. Clay is a part of most soils and gardeners the world over are very familiar with the properties of clay rich soils.

In the beauty industry however, clays are used in different ways, however, the properties of the clays do not change, their applications however, do.

Argiletz clays are high quality sun dried clays that come from Argiletz, a region in France, where they are extracted at specific depths in areas that are free from contamination. They are quarried under strict conditions to ensure that their mineral content and purity is retained.

Green Argiletz clay for example is a bio-mineral, which is naturally concentrated, containing various mineral salts and trace elements including: Silica, aluminum, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, copper, zinc, selenium, cobalt, manganese and many others.

What do facial clays do? and How do they Work on the skin ?

These mineral salts, trace elements and other nutrients listed above have a detoxifying, nourishing, restoring and soothing effect on the skin.

Clay is naturally absorbent and draws toxins from deep in the skin's tissues, thus cleansing and detoxifying the skin. Its slight grainy texture exfoliates dead skin cells from the surface layer of your skin, while the nutrients contained in the clay have a toning and firming effect on the skin.

By adding plant hydrosols such as Melissa, Niauoli, Rose and others, the natural benefits of the different facial / body clays can be further enhanced.

Types of Clays used in our Facial / Body Clay Masks

There are many clays and types of clay, however in this article I will focus on what are arguably the best quality clays on the market today. The different Argiletz clays used in Wildcrafted Herbal Products' facial / body clay masks.

Green Clay

The most absorbing of the Clays, Green Clay is generally used as a Face Mask for tissue repair, drawing toxins from the skin and to normalise excessive secretions of oil or sweat. Applied as a Face or Body Mask, facial clay masks cleanse, exfoliate, smoothe and soften the skin. Green clay is especially good at drawing toxins out.

White Clay

White clay is a mild clay used for normal skin. It has similar properties as green clay and is suitable for Face and Body Masks for young and sensitive or mature and delicate skins. Applied as a powder, White Clay is an excellent body deodorant and a natural alternative to talcum powder. White Clay is the Clay of Choice for use as a Hand Mask to soothe and soften dry hands.

Red Clay

Red clay is high in iron oxide, hence its colour, and helpful for broken capillaries, bags under the eyes and sensitive skin types. It is used for toning the bust, thighs, stomach and upper arms. Red clay is an oily, mildly absorbent clay and is used for Face and Body Masks in cases of dry, sensitive or mature skin.

Pink Clay

This Clay is intended for use in a maintenance programme for the face and body. The softening effect of Pink Clay refines the skin's texture while toning the epidermis (outer layer of the skin).

Yellow Clay

Yellow clay is used for normal skin and has similar properties as green clay. This clay is derived from the iron oxide, Xanthoria Parietina. Yellow Clay is generally used for Face and Body Masks, particularly in cases where the condition of the skin and body needs revitalising. Yellow Clay is recommended for most skin types to restore tired and neglected skin.

Note: Be careful of coloured clays, there are many manufacturers that add dies to clay to produce artificially coloured clays, which do not have the same properties of effects and may well do you more harm than good. So choose carefully

What are the effects of Natural Clays on the skin?

As indicated above, Argiletz Clays are pure, mineral-rich clays that help detoxify, cleanse, tone and revitalize your skin when used in masks and / or in body / face creams. They also have a nutritive effect on the skin. It is important to choose the right facial clay for your skin.

How to use the clays?

The Earth Medicine Facial Clays should be used once or twice a week, prior to toning and moisturising, as a special cleansing skin treatment. The gel based clay blends can be used as a gentle, conditioning exfoliant scrub, whilst the cream based clay blends can be used as a mask to nourish, moisturise and hydrate.

Masks

The Cream based clays are designed for use as masks. Apply sufficient Clay Crème to the face and neck and leave on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off in warm water.

Facial Gel Wash

The Gel based facial clay washes are designed for use as gentle exfoliant and toning scrubs. Simply moisten the face and neck with warm water and apply a small amount of Clay Gel and massage into a light foam for 2 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Magnesium Stearate

Magnesium stearate is the magnesium salt of stearic acid, which is chemically known as octadecanoic acid. Its chemical formula is (C18H35O2) 2Mg. It is a white soapy powder with an alkaline pH. Magnesium stearate is obtained from stearic acid, which is mostly derived from plant sources. However, some manufacturers derive stearic acid from animal sources, pork included.

Its major use is in the industry as a lubricant, dusting powder, emulsifier, binder and paint and varnish drier. Magnesium stearate is used in the pharmaceutical drugs in order to bind tablets and make them smooth. It is also a common additive in several foods as it is cheaply available.

When used as an industrial binder, magnesium stearate is always taken in lower concentrations. It is an effective binder and even concentrations as low as 5 to 15%. Higher concentrations can cause compaction problems. As a lubricant, it is added in the powder blend. This is done so that the powder blend does not adhere to the capsule or mould when it becomes compact.

Magnesium stearate is a hydrophobic substance, ie it has negative affinity with water. Hence, it can be used in designing firefighting equipment. However, it can not be used in large proportion as its particles may form an explosive mixture in air. An overdose of magnesium stearate can also give off toxic fumes resulting in asphyxia.

Magnesium stearate has been graded to be a safe chemical compound, with no side effects known. Several foods use magnesium stearate as an additive or preservative. Magnesium stearate is an effective emulsifier used in syrups, ketchups, sauces, etc. It is also used as an anti-caking agent in preparing certain foods. Confectionaries use magnesium stearate for binding candies, etc. Baby cosmetic powder contains magnesium stearate as it provides a softer texture than talcum powder.

Magnesium stearate is retailed in the form of a powder. As a food additive, it is not available in pure form, but it is always mixed with some other additive. It is mentioned on the label whether it is derived from vegetarian or animal sources.

Acne Remedies from the Kitchen

While it is true that experts are still arguing whether or not certain foods cause acne or aggravate acne outbreaks, one simple fact remains – “Eat healthy, be healthy”. That is why health professionals advise everyone to eat sensibly and to consume a wide variety of foods. For a healthy and radiant skin, it is advisable to supplement your daily diet with lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, sprouts and fruit juices. The vitamins and minerals naturally present in these types of food help maintain that radiant skin everyone is dreaming of.

Foods may also help you fend off embarrassing acne in more ways than one. You had better believe it, there are certain food types, which can be turned into magical homemade acne treatment! There are effective treatments which can be found in your ordinary kitchen cupboard or refrigerator, just waiting for you to tap into their powers.

Here is a list of these wonderful food items!

Lemon. Lemon contains citric acid, which is very effective in treating acne. The vitamin C found in citrus fruits is vital for that healthy glowing skin while its alkaline nature kills some types of bacteria known to cause acne. Using fruits belonging to this family naturally dries up the pimples. Here are some suggestions on how to prepare a homemade acne treatment using lemon.

. Apply fresh lemon juice on the acne and leave it overnight. Wash with water the following morning.

. Mix one part of freshly squeezed lemon juice with an equal part of rose water. Put the mixture on affected areas for at least half an hour. Wash it afterwards with water. In 15 days, the problem will definitely be minimized, if not eradicated totally.

. A slice of lemon in boiling water can be used as a substitute for tea or coffee to fortify the body’s natural defenses against acne.

. To provide relief from acne, mix one part of lemon with four parts glycerine and rub onto face.

Lime. Like lemon, lime belongs to the citrus family and as such, is a valuable resource of citric acid. To use lime in treating acne, consider the following suggestions:

. An equal amount of groundnut oil and fresh lime juice can be mixed and applied directly on affected areas. Leave for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off.

. Combine roasted and powdered pomegranate and fresh lime juice. Dab the resulting mixture over acne.

. Lime juice and rose water in equal proportions can be applied directly on affected areas. Leave on for 20 to 30 minutes then rinse off with lukewarm water.

Orange. Orange also belongs to the citrus family and exhibits very much the same effects as those of lemon and lime in treating acne. In using orange for the purpose, make a paste out of ground orange peel and water and apply on affected parts.

Garlic. Although you may not like the smell of garlic, it is considered one of the most effective acne treatments ever! Following are simple suggestions on how to use garlic in treating acne:

. Just rub raw garlic on and around acne and the offending zit will be gone with repeated application.

. Garlic juice (1 part garlic, 3 parts juice) serves as an effective cleansing agent.

. To help clear infections quickly, mix 3 cloves of raw, skinned and chopped garlic with puffed rice and swallow with water.

Milk. Make a paste from sandalwood powder, turmeric and milk. It is proven very good in treating the problem. You may want to add the juice from half a lime with a glass of boiled milk. Let the mixture cool before applying on to affected areas. The mixture is excellent for treating acne and cracked skin.

Ice. Treating the acne with ice before going to bed is proven to lessen the swelling.

For a most satisfactory experience, remember that these homemade remedies are enhanced by proper vitamin and mineral supplementation, a healthy diet and proper exercise.