Innovative Solar Appliance Makes Use of the Sun to Cook Meals

A solar appliance makes use of renewable energy from the sun to perform specific tasks, such as cooking or heating. An excellent example of this type of appliance is the solar oven.

Solar ovens are outdoor cooking devices that utilize the sun's energy. While there are different types of sun ovens available in the market, they all share the same main principles: concentrating sunlight, converting it into heat, and trapping heat.

These devices are cost-efficient and environmentally-viable alternatives to conventional ovens that require fuel for cooking. They can be used to prepare anything that can be cooked in a conventional stove, and are much cheaper to operate and maintain compared to traditional cooking devices. Aside from basic cleaning, little or no maintenance is required for this solar appliance. This also reduces the demand for burnable fuels such as gas, wood, or charcoal, which can have a detrimental effect on the environment.

While it is possible to create a DIY solar oven, its efficiency largely relies on the materials used. A well designed oven should reach 350-400 degrees F. within 25 minutes and hold a constant temperature through the cooking or baking process. And because sun ovens rarely only on the sun's energy, there is no danger of fire.

Sun ovens are becoming popular not just in developing countries, but in many homes across the United States. Aside from helping to significantly reduce fuel consumption costs, this solar appliance also provides an effective means for contributing to the worldwide drive to save the environment.

Gratin Dauphinois

Please put down the boxed mix and step away. If you have 20 minutes and potatoes you can make a dish that will make your grandmother proud, impress your friends or is just right as a meal-for-one. The combination of flavors is perfect for a cold, dreary afternoon or reheated in the morning with poached eggs. There is no wrong time to eat this and no need to go back to a boxed mix again when you have a recipe which is so simple, yet delicious.

What you need

  • 800g potatoes, peeled and sliced ​​thin
  • 2 comments, sliced ​​into rounds
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 200 ml crème fraîche 100g cheese, shredded (Gruyère or Emmental both work well)
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Nutmeg

What you do

Preheat oven to 425F.

In a baking dish, smear crushed garlic and a little softened butter. Spread a layer of potatoes, onion, salt and pepper, nutmeg and a little crème fraîche. Add a bit of cheese, not too much, as you want to save most for the top to form a crust while baking (au gratin). Continue layering and top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 25-40 * minutes until bubbling and top has browned.

Serve hot.

* The baking time will depend on your oven and the thickness of the sliced ​​potatoes. Use your culinary judgment, test the potatoes to make sure they are cooked through. If the potatoes need more cooking time, cover the dish with foil so the top does not burn.

Sex Toys

Health care is an important aspect of our lives. It becomes even more important when we are sexually active. Health care begins with education. We gain knowledge about health care from parents, books, friends, counselors and health care professionals. But we get careless when it is a matter of sexual health. In today’s world when the danger of sexually transmitted diseases at a rise we need to take extra care when it comes to sex health. Whether we are fore playing or are into serious sexual activity we need to take care about are decisions and actions.

When we talk about sex and sexual health we should not ignore even what we consider just for fun and pleasure. Yes you have got it right! Sex toys are what we should also take into deep consideration as it is a matter of health.

Sex toys are devices that help you stimulate and give you pleasure during sex. There are numerous types of sex toy available that are made from different materials. The entire sex toys have their own advantages and disadvantages. A lot has been said about some of the material being harmful or dangerous. The reason is that these material have never been clinical studied as sex toys and as such it is not possible to make an exact statement.

There are a number of sex toys available in the markets that have used different materials and need to be taken care differently. There are sex toys made of plastic, silicone and latex.

Silicone dildos what are they. Sex toys made from silicone are also available in different range of shapes and sizes that give you a real feel. They are made of soft material that is chemically inert and hypoallergenic. Silicone sex toys are relatively non porous therefore much easier to clean. These toys warm the body and thus give a realistic feeling.

There are sex toys made of plastic. They are usually hard and yet smooth. But there are a few plastic sex toys that have textured shaft. These toys are ideal for creating vibrations and are more intense in hard plastic than in a jelly vibrator. You can clean them easily. You can use soap, rubbing alcohol, bleach. You can boil them in water, or put them on the top shelf of your dishwasher. If the toy is being used by you on your own and are not sharing and not using it vaginally and anally, you don’t need to use condoms with silicone toys.

Jelly toys are similar to silicone sex toys. But most of the sex toys are made of latex as they are low cost and less flexible than silicone and jelly.

There are more kinds of sex toys than above that have been designed for sex but all need to be used safely.

Find more information visit: Sex Toys []

An Introduction to the World of Minecraft

On May 17th, 2009, Markus “Notch” Persson brought to the world the game that would leave hundreds of thousands of people very happy – Minecraft. This amazing game started as a sandbox construction game but eventually progressed to the adventure-like challenge that it is today. For the beginning player, Minecraft can appear to be a little confusing and perhaps a bit overwhelming. A few Minecraft tips can go a long way towards getting them on their way.

Your character starts out in the middle of a randomly generated world with nothing on his person. By looking around you may notice some things, such as trees and animals roaming about. You may also notice that it is day outside, though the sun is moving steadily across the sky. Once the sun goes down the monsters come out, so getting together a shelter is the first thing that needs to be done.

Pressing the “E” button will open up your inventory, but also allows access to the crafting box. In the upper right-hand corner there are four squares where items can be placed to mix them together and create new, useful items. For example, by placing a piece of coal on top of a stick a torch is made. Actually, four torches are made, as Minecraft generally gives things in multiples when you craft.

Now, in order to start crafting anything, the first thing that is needed is some wood. Punching trees (by using the mouse button) until they break will allow you to pick up the piece that broke off. Taking that piece of wood and putting it into the crafting box will turn it into a stack of planks. Once four planks have been collected they can be placed in each of the four squares of the crafting box and turned into a workbench, which allows a crafting box of nine squares and the ability to create more items.

You will find yourself running around beating up on a lot of trees in the beginning. The first thing to make is that workbench. From there, a pick can be made. First, take two planks and place them one on top of the other to make some sticks. Then two sticks, one on top of the other with three planks across the top in a “T” formation will produce a wooden pick. This pick will allows stone and other hard objects to be mined. Then you need to run around and find some coal. After mining that you will need to make some torches using coal and sticks as mentioned above.

Now that you have some torches, a pick, and a workbench you need to hide. Find a nice piece of the landscape and mine your way into it. Hollow out a little area and put some torches up for light. Monsters can only spawn in areas without light, so torches will keep them away. Cover the entrance with some more blocks (to keep monsters out) and wait for daylight again. Nighttime is a good time to go digging into the ground as well, looking for more resources to use to make better items. The most common resources you will find at the surface of the world are iron and coal. Iron can be used to make better weapons and tools as well as some armor to keep you alive.

After the first night is up, you can go out into the world again and explore. Once you know how to survive the night, the rest is easy. Experiment with the workbench and different materials to create things. If you really need a boost, some Minecraft cheats are available online as well as many pages that show all the recipes for crafting items. Once you have the good materials you can make anything from railroad tracks to musical instruments to electrical powered pistons. By using all these items, you can build a world for you and your friends to enjoy and explore, complete with castles, towers, underground railroads or whatever else your can imagine.

California Health Insurance – The Keys To Finding The Most Appropriate and Cost-Effect Plan

California's health insurance market has unveiled many cost-effective health insurance plans. With a little bit of research consumers can save a significant amount of money each year by securing the most appropriate health insurance plan for themselves, their families, and their employees. In the end, they might just have more positive feelings about California's health care system.

Despite the highly visible social action efforts taking place in Sacramento to heal our health wounds, it is likely that big changes are still a while away from taking effect. So, in the next few years there is a lot that you as employers, individuals, and families can do to quell the negative reputation that the health care system gets and start making the insurance process work in our favor.

In this age of internet shopping, more and more people each year are purchasing their health insurance plans online without knowing which plans are most appropriate for them. Most choose the health insurance plan that has a low monthly premium, but later find that this plan does not fit their needs or the needs of their loved ones or workers. As a result, the costs can be much greater in the long run. Typically, the most eligible health insurance plan will end up being the most cost-effective health insurance plan, even if it is not the plan with the lowest monthly premium.

Finding the most appropriate and cost-effective health insurance plan can be accomplished through a few simple steps:

1) Contact a professional health insurance agent from a referral or call the agency that you find online

2) Ask the right questions:

a. What is the difference between a PPO and an HMO? Which one would benefit me the most?

b. What is a deductible, co-pay, co-insurance, maximum out-of-pocket limit?

c. If I have pre-existing conditions, how will that affect my family's rate and approval probability?

d. Should I sign up separately from my family?

e. Are there $ 0 deductible plans available? Would this be appropriate for me? Why? Why not?

f. If I get declined, what are my alternatives?

g. Which plans am I more likely to be approved or declined for?

3) Learn about the different types of health insurance plans in the market. This will only take a few moments to understand.

The following are a few great health insurance plans in the market that have very comprehensive coverage and can help you save money.

Cost-Effective PPO's

First Dollar Plans: These plans have a $ 0 deductible so the member is paying only a percentage (usually 40%) of the negotiated rate for services from the very start of the policy. First Dollar Plans normally carry a doctor's visit co-pay from $ 25 – $ 40. Such plans do not include maternity benefits *, which helps to keep the monthly premiums down.
* This may be a concern for women, but companies that carry these plans will often let you slide into their high deductible plan (~ $ 5000 deductible) that includes maternity benefits should the member become pregnant.

These plans include different drug options to choose from … No Rx, Generic Only Rx, or Comprehensive Rx (Brand Name).

Some Popular First Dollar Plans in the Market include:

o Blue Cross Right Plan PPO 40

o Blue Shield Active Start 25 & 35

o Aetna MC Open Access 25

o Kaiser Permenteente $ 25 & $ 50 Copayment Plan

o Health Net Simple Value 30 & 40

Medical / Dental / Vision Plans: These plans carry low deductibles that are often equal to their maximum out-of-pocket limits. They also include basic dental benefits and vision exams. These plans do not include maternity benefits and only include a Generic Drug option. Such plans are marketed toward the 19-29 age group, but these plans may be appropriate at any age.

Some Popular Medical / Dental / Vision Plans in the Market include:

o Blue Cross TONIK (has 3 different deductible options)
* TONIK has strict underwriting guidelines. It is advisable to consult your health insurance agent before applying.

o Blue Shield Essential Plans

Cost-Effective HMO's

Saver or Value HMO's: These plans provide the extremely comprehensive coverage of an HMO, but the addition of a deductible lowers the monthly premium. These plans still carry low co-pays. HMO's are a good option for women who are planning to become pregnant. The maximum-out-of pocket limit is typically significantly lower than a PPO. When the math is done to equate the difference in total spending one may get more for the money with a Saver or Value HMO.

Some Popular HMO Plans in the Market include:

o Blue Cross Saver HMO

o Blue Shield Access Value

HSA Plans

Health Savings Account Plans: These plans are tax incentive health insurance plans that are growing in supply and popularity every year. Many HSA plans lack co-pays, so general coverage does not start until the deductible is met. This often lowers the cost of the monthly premium which makes these plans enticing at first glance.

Your accountant may recommend an HSA health plan because of its tax advantages. When you open a Health Savings Account through a compatible health insurance plan it allows you to put money away (up to $ 2850 per year now) tax free. This money can accrue interest and can be used to pay for your medical services and Medicare premiums (when the time comes) with the use of a debit card that is authorized only for these uses. Also important, your accumulated funds and interest will rollover year to year.

Blue Cross Lumenos Plans are designed to encourage preventative care. They cover Annual Physical Exams, OB-GYN Exams, and Well Baby Care at 100%.

Some Popular HSA-Compatible Plans in the Market include:

o Blue Cross Lumenos HSA plans

o Blue Shield Shield Spectrum Savings Plans

o Aetna MC Open Access HSA Plans

o Health Net Simple Choice HSA

Becoming educated about the health insurance market is not as daunting, as difficult, or as time consuming as most of us are afraid of. In fact, a trustworthy and professional health insurance agent will be able to help you narrow down your choices so that you may choose the most appropriate plans for you, your family, or your employees in just a few minutes.

The next time you are searching for health insurance in California, please take the above suggestions to heart. Asking the right questions will make you a more proactive, educated, and responsible consumer and the knowledge that you gain will not only help you to find the right health insurance plan, but will reimburse you from future aggravation and will save you valuable time and money in the long run.

By Erin Fish

Agent / President

EMF Insurance Agency, Inc.

(866) 601-8790

Bait and Switch by Vets

From past experience we have had GREAT veterinary that always took care of our dogs. We have two golden retrievers who we take great pride in. Our vet’s husband passed away so it was the wife and a couple other vets who would rotate in and out to help them with the process of selling the clinic.

We get a letter in the mail said that one of our dogs was due for a shot. I said OK that sounds good and we phoned the vet to see when we could get our dog in for the shot. They set a date with us and that day woke up and went into the vet’s office to get the shot. I sent the wife to deal with it because I was currently working that day.

I got a phone call around 3pm at work and it was my wife. I asked what the matter was and she WAS PISSED! She told me that the vet has taken advantage of her and this one shot turned into a $400+ bill. I asked why the bill came out so high. This is where their bait and switch scheme comes in affect. If you do not know the definition of Bait and Switch here is it. An illegal sales tactic in which a consumer is lured by a low price only to be told that the “special offer” is no longer available and steered to a higher priced product.

What happened was that they sent the letter to have a shot done; when my wife went in she told my wife that the dogs needed, TWO BLOOD TESTS, TWO WORM TESTS, and some other odds and ends. My wife asked do they really need this and the vet responds with “YES, I strongly suggest you to!” My wife was a little hesitant by the Vets PUSHYNESS pretty much telling my wife if you do not get these other shots and tests you don’t care about your dog.

So my wife said OK if you say so, usually before they sold the clinic they will discuss how much or around how much everything will cost. This lady didn’t say a word about money so my wife thought it wouldn’t go over 100 dollars. After all is said and done it came out to $400.00+ so what they did was Baited my wife in and switched everything on her. They had multiples of the same tests but different ways of doing it. Double charging for the same test.

Here is the run down if you think it is a bait and switch from a vet. If you get a letter in the mail that says you need to get a shot for your animal. Call for the animal to get taken in for the shot. Secondly, go to your clinic on the day of your appointment and MAKE SURE YOU TELL THEM WHAT YOU ARE THERE FOR AND ONLY FOR THAT REASON. If they keep telling you that you need this and that, either Walk out or be VERY stern and say “I AM ONLY HERE FOR THE SHOT NOTHING ELSE” if they keep trying to push other shots, meds on you, simply just walk out. Do not fall into a Bait and Switch from a Vet.

Down Towns in the Suburbs are Changing

Down Town re-vitalization projects use to be for Cities, but now downtown suburbs are getting a face lift too. And with so many people living in the suburbs often down towns are now a traffic mess; indeed cars are clogging town areas.

Many Downtown Beautification Projects, revitalization in suburbia have gone to single lanes, with angled parking and open eating areas, big sidewalk walkways and tilt up construction (quick up) buildings with nice facades, people living over businesses, parking in rear too or paid to park. But throw in more daytime people and you fill up all the Starbucks and all the parking and all the streets. Of course the cities have this problem too, both large cities and medium size cities like let's say Portland, ME.

If you go to Urban you will see people talk about the problems with Town Centers when people will not ditch their cars. Some say it is more efficient to have people in one place (City) in order to enjoy economies of scale, true enough but people live how they want to live and you can not force them into a master designed city.

They want to live in the "Subs" but in doing so they have more duplication of government services with each new city boundary and that costs more; meaning higher costs of living, higher taxes and more people using credit cards to prop up life style to maintain quality of life. I think all these topics are related. And yes, the cluster traffic messes in town center areas are problematic. Did you see what they did on Winslow Way in Boston?

Now I want to tell you about the cost of traffic on service businesses and remember they now make up 35% -45% as Manufacturing went from 35% to 17% to 10% to 9% OMG, help! It costs small business owners dearly as their units burn up $ 20.00 a day in fuel and it slams the schedule between stops with labor costs while stuck in traffic. It is a huge burden, we pass that cost on.

Standard of living issues for our customers – higher prices. The increased labor, raises costs, then fewer people want services at a certain price point the whole thing goes hyperbolic on you. For instance let's take a mobile car wash and at $ 25.00 for a car wash and no one wants it, keep it at $ 10.00 to $ 15.00 everyone wants one, then economies of scale prevail and everyone wins, consumer and high profiting service business.

One could go on for hours on this subject if you want I have lots of stuff on the subject. I just think people are missing the point with city planning sometimes and not looking ahead, could I do better? Absolutely and someone very smart needs to do a huge research study on this so everyone gets it and all those in charge see the whole picture;

How to Tattoo

If you want to learn how to tattoo the first step you must take is learning everything there is to know about the tools involved in tattooing there are numerous different types of tools available on the market. Whenever possible, always try to obtain the best quality equipment you can afford. While this may mean you need to go about it more slowly, it will definitely be worth it. Purchasing inferior quality tools and equipment will result in hassles that simply are not worth it as well as poor quality work.

One of the most important tools you will need is a tattoo machine. Actually you will eventually need some tattoo machines because there are different machines used for different applications. For example, one machine is used for color shading, while another is used for lining. You will also need a power supply to run to your machine as well as a foot switch and clip cords to make the connection between your power unit and your machine.

If you are planning to open a tattoo shop, or even if you are planning to work out of your home for that matter, you will also need a work table, artist chair and customer chair. A work table should ideally be large enough to hold all of your tools and equipment and have a top that can be easily cleaned and sanitized. Look for both an artist chair and a customer chair that are comfortable. You may wish to choose a chair for yourself that allows you to move easily around. Do not forget to also include a good light source that is free standing. If you can obtain one that can be used at different angles; all the better.

In addition, to learn how to tattoo you will also need various needle supplies such as regular needle bars to hold the main needle group as well as a needle jig, needle bar jig and a soldering gun and stainless solder. Naturally, you will also need various colored inks as well as black ink. If you plan to do flash sheets you will also need watercolors and pencils.

It is important to note the importance of taking proper safety and sterilization precautions when you learn to tattoo. An Autoclave is used to sterilize most tattoo equipment by steaming it at very high pressure. This is an essential piece of equipment. Do not skimp here. You will also need autoclave bags for this piece of equipment. You can use them to store needles and other equipment after you have sterilized them in the autoclave. Another important piece of equipment is the main ultrasonic cleaner and the solution to go along with it. This is used to clean any leftover residue from your needles and tubes. An ultrasonic tray can also be used to submerge inside the ultrasonic cleaner with the tools attached.

While this may seem like a lot of equipment to gather, if you take your time and make sure you are getting quality tools, you will be glad of it. Remember you can always make slow additions to your collection until you have everything you need to progress to the next step in the learn how to tattoo process.

Repairing a Damaged Wetsuit

It is inevitable that if you are active in the water with your wetsuit at some time you will get a rip or tear in the neoprene. In most cases, there is no need to panic or despair. With a few simple items, repairing a torn or damaged wetsuit is a fairly easy procedure. It may not look as good as new when you are done but the function of the wetsuit will be maintained.

A lot of times when you rub up against rocks or coral or some other rough object the surface of a wetsuit will get roughened up and expose the softer more vulnerable black neoprene below. Short term your wetsuit will work just fine this way but in time the abraded area will grow and it may deteriorate to the point of causing a tear or hole. The best way to repair this kind of damage is to apply neoprene glue to the area. What is called neoprene glue is usually a special contact cement formulation for gluing pieces of neoprene to each other. You can usually get it where you bought your wetsuit and it is usually black or yellow in color. Aquaseal and Black Witch are two popular brands of neoprene wetsuit glue. Lay the damaged area out flat if you can and apply lots of the glue to the area. Spread the glue out with a flat wooden stick, application brush, or other spatula type tool to at least a centimeter or two past the abraded area. Try to spread it out as evenly and smoothly as you can. It is almost impossible to make it look pretty but that is not the goal anyway. You want to reinvigorate the area as best you can and still maintain the flexibility of the wetsuit. Neoprene glue is very smooth and slippery when dry. If the damaged area needs to be used for gripping with most neoprene glues, you can sprinkle a small amount of dry sand over the glue approximately 30 minutes after you apply it. This will give the area some texture for gripping. When you are done let the glue dry at least overnight. Some glues will need longer to dry so follow the directions on the glue containers label.

If the damage to the wetsuit is a simple straight cut or tear with no missing material, you can simply glue it back together using the neoprene glue. Very carefully separate the two edges of the cut and apply glue to each of the sides. Try not to increase the cut when you do this. Then hold the two edges together for a few minutes to let the glue set. With some neoprene glues, you have to let the air air dry for a minute before pushing the two sides back together. As above, let the glue dry at least over night.

If the damage to your wetsuit involves missing material, repairs get more complicated. Most often, the best thing to do is patch the hole like you would a hole in a bicycle tire. Most dive shops have patch material or old neoprene lying around you can buy for patching. Cut a piece of neoprene patch material a few centimeters larger than the hole, apply glue to the top edge of the hole and the underside edge of the patch and apply the patch. Sometimes you will need to fill the hole with material and glue and sew it to the edges of the hole and apply a patch over that but sewing neoprene is often not recommended. The thread usually will not stretch with the neoprene when you dive and over time the thread will cut through the wetsuit.

Finding the Perfect Fire Resistant Safe

Today we have many options available to protect your documents or computer records. Whether it is for the home or business there are safes of all sizes that can keep your documents safe from fire. These safes only provide a limited time period of safety though.

Fire safes keep the interior of the safe at less than 350 degrees for a stated period of time. This allows the contents to remain secure from the actual flames of the fire. Most manufacturers of fire safes will not call them "fireproof" but use "fire resistant" instead. In order for a safe to successfully resist heat, the special composite material sandwiched between the outer and inner metal walls gives off moisture. This creates steam inside of the safe. The steam will never go any higher than 350 degrees fahrenheit. The manufacturer has to insure that the "steam" created by the composite fire-retardant material will be released from the safe. So safes are engineered not to be air tight. They must release the steam created inside while the fire is red-hot outside.

Check the label found on all fire safes to determine the length of time tested and that the safe will maintain a temperature of 350 degrees fahrenheit or less during that time. There are safes available that can withstand flames for 1 hour and up to 3 hours. When purchasing a fire safe, take into account how far you are from the fire department to determine how much protection you will need. The safe will still protect your paper documents, however, when the fire retardant, composite material runs out of moisture (usually after the 1 hour or 3 hours that it is rated for), the safe will no longer resist the blaze.

One of the alternatives is the mixed media file cabinet which is the preferred choice for both paper and computer record safety. These cabinets come in 2-4 drawer models, and look like regular file cabinets. You can choose to have computer media protection drawers for DVDs or fire rated drawers for paper records, or both. The paper record storage drawers rated by UL to be Class 350, indicating that temperatures stay below 350 ° F when exterior temperatures are reaching 1700 ° F. During the same 1700 ° F test, media drawers were UL classified to maintain an internal temperature below 125 ° F without going over the 80 percent humidity level. This tight standard is required to protect computer media like hard drives and DVDs. The file cabinet is engineered to protect against magnetic interference as well.

Another, less expensive option are the fire and impact file cabinets that are for paper records only. They can have 2 or 4 drawers and are about 1/2 the price of the models mentioned above, and still provide the 350 degree protection needed for paper files.

Fire & burglar safes are another much smaller option and provide both fire and burglary protection. They are usually 20 "to 30" square, with the interior being even smaller. They come with UL 350 safety for 1 to 1.5 hours. There are generally 2 "of concrete between the steel inner & outer walls which provides the needed burglary and flame safety.

Oscillating Fans – History and Advancements

Oscillating fans are used to aid air circulation throughout a space. These electric fans feature the ability to direct airflow from one side to another. This allows the fan to cover more space with the breeze it produces as opposed to box fans and ceiling fans that cover only a single direction or a single area with their wind.

The earliest oscillating fans were first developed in 1907, based on a concept for ceiling fans. Previously, all electric fans were like ceiling fans, in that they could direct air towards one direction only. Engineers found a way to improve on the original design of electric fans by adding a split-ball joint, which allowed for the fan to be redirected. This was a big improvement from previous fans that only pointed one way. The design for this was further improved by mechanizing the fan’s directional control. By moving the fan’s head from side to side, the new fan could effectively push a breeze to more than one direction. Thus was created the first version of the modern oscillating fan.

Some more improvements on the electric fan have been developed over the years. There are models that also have a built-in electric heating system. These warm the air and expel it, creating a warm thawing wind.

Majority of oscillating fans are used to help provide a cool wind in households, office spaces and other indoor spaces. The most advanced electric fans bend the air as they it expel in different directions, covering the entire room while doing away with mechanical motions characteristic of traditional oscillating fans.

Cefalu Sicily: One of Italy’s Best-kept Secrets

Gaining in popularity as a new Italian resort is Cefalu, a quaint little village nestled between a rock and a beautiful beach, on the northern coast of Sicily with tons of Sicilian charm. Long a favorite vacation spot for many Europeans, Cefalu is quickly becoming known outside of Europe as a great place to spend a vacation. After all, would Club Med put a resort somewhere that wasn’t worth visiting?

Still maintaining much of its original medieval charm as a fishing village, the tourism industry is now becoming a major factor in the city’s economy. Hotels, pubs and cafés are easy to find. There are many excellent restaurants to choose from in this town, as getting lost down an alley-way can lead you to a nice hidden jewel of a place to eat. The town seems to jettison itself out of the mountain and into the sea, with its houses right upon the water.

The beach in Cefalu’ is worth a visit, and is one of the unique selling points of the town. With golden brown fine sand, it is one of the most sandy beaches in all of Sicily, and stretches from the older part (near the historic center) down to the newer Club Med. Walking along the “lungomare” you can find some lush and tropical vegetation. Keep in mind that during the summer, the beach will be crowded.

If you are in good shape, you can climb to the top of the “rock” or “la rocca” and witness some spectacular views of the town and the red roof houses along with the Mediterranean (Tyrrhenian Sea) where the vegetation is lush with citrus, including blood oranges, cactus figs, almond and olive trees, etc. You can also visit the Temple of Diana, an ancient structure with Greek and Roman characteristics, which possibly dates back to 5th Century B.C., along with other remnants of a medieval fortress. Make sure you wear good hiking boots and bring plenty of water.

Before dinner you can partake in one of Italy’s most favorite past-times, and that is the “passegiata”, or stroll along the quaint and narrow cobblestone streets stopping in some of the small “piazzas” or squares. It is a great place to people-watch, or to savor some of the historic sights and trendy little shops.

Another major attraction is the cathedral, built in 1131 by Roger II, probably as a result of a power struggle with Pope Innocent II. The mosaics are noteworthy, although not as much as Monreale (outside of Palermo). The Norman cathedral does have some Gothic influence along with Byzantine or Arab characteristics that were alive in Sicily at the time the church was built. And at night, when it is lit against the backdrop of the mountain, it really is a fabulous sight to see.

So don’t miss your chance to discover one of Sicily’s best-kept secrets, Cefalu’. It won’t be long before Americans discover that this is truly an excellent place to vacation, because it truly is spectacular. Whether you are a first-time traveler to Italy, or even a seasoned veteran, you should not miss the opportunity to visit Cefalu’.


Getting There

You can get to Cefalu’ from Palermo by Autostrada 20 (about 45 min to 1 hour), or by train (usually hourly) from Palermo Centrale along the Palermo-Messina line. From Messina, the train ride is about 3 hours.

You can also get there by boat from Palermo or the Aeolian islands (usually seasonal). There is a port on the Eastern side of town, just on the “other side of the rock”.


Can be expensive in July and August. Make sure you book early. Many hotels will be closed from November through Easter.

Getting around

Depending on where you stay, you won’t really need a car to get around town because mostly everything is in walking distance. However, a car does come in handy if you want to see some of the beautiful Sicilian countryside outside of town (i.e. Le Madonie).

Day trips

  • Palermo – the boisterous Sicilian capital, plenty of shopping, art, history, etc.
  • Le madonie – beautiful mountain park, snow-capped in the winter, excellent way to get back to nature.
  • Taormina – Sicily’s other resort town, much more renowned

5 Things Plastic Surgery Can Do For You

These days plastic surgery is not just for the rich folks in Hollywood. As it becomes cheaper, easier and more commonplace, plastic surgery is getting more and more popular with ordinary people like you and me.

Why do so many regular folks decide to get work done? The simple reason is that you can make changes to your face and body that you've always wanted. You can reverse the signs of aging, take off extra flab, and contour your body in any way you desire. Who would not choose plastic surgery?

Lose The Abdominal Fat With A Tummy Tuck

Probably the most popular procedure is the tummy tuck. It is technically known as "abdominoplasty." It is a fairly simple operation that removes the extra tissue around the gut. We could all use that as we get older. This is why the tummy tuck is all the rage.

The fat that accumulates around your abdomen is the hardest to get rid of. Many people find that diet and exercise can only do so much. This may not be fat, but skin and other tissue. This is why tummy tucks are effective in decreasing the belly.

Shot In The Face With Botox

Botox is another option that many people choose as they get older. Actually, Botox is a non-surgical procedure. The aim is to get rid of wrinkles, blemishes and other signs of aging in the face. It's a non-invasive therapy that uses injections to naturally relax the tissue under the skin. There are many reasons why people love Botox. It is cheap, very simple and involves no cutting. There is little pain or risk, and the results are great.

Boost Or Reduce Your Boobs

Breast work always ranks high among plastic surgery procedures. What woman would not want the perfect breasts? There are implants, breast lifts and operations to adjust the positions of the nipples.

You may be surprised to hear this, but breast reduction is also very popular. Many women choose to reduce the size of their breasts. Many men do too! Breast reduction is becoming a popular operation for men with "man boobs."

Breast augmentation or reduction can also be used to correct nature's mistakes. Women who suffer from misshapen or irregular breasts can now use plastic surgery to make them just right. Breast reconstruction is also a great way to get your breasts back after losing one to breast cancer.

Get A Lift With The Body Lift

The body lift is a combination surgery. It uses takes off a little here, contours a little there, and finally gets you exactly the body you want. It uses a variety of small operations to achieve an overall effect. The result is that you have total control over your body's shape.

Suck It Out With Liposuction

Liposuction is still a popular option, and it gets more attractive as techniques improve. These days, a plastic surgeon can use lasers to zap the fat, making it easier to remove. Liposuction is effective in getting rid of leftover pockets of flab that do not go away to easily with diet and exercise. Whatever you want to do with your body, plastic surgery offers a solution. Whether you want to lose weight, touch up your breasts or reverse the signs of aging, plastic surgery offers something for you.

Drop Shipping – The Easy Way to Profit From Wholesale

One of the easiest ways to make a profit through wholesale is to align yourself with a drop ship wholesaler.

I have been doing business with a company for the past nine months. I am very satisfied with the results. The main points of satisfaction are that they have quality products, and usually ship by the next day of the order being placed. They ship by Fedex, and the shipping rates are reasonable.

The first thing you do is set up an online store. This store is purchased through them, and it is pre-stocked with their products. This is not a monthly fee. The first step is to pick a name from what they have available, or use your own store name, that you register as a domain. The support does not stop there. The administration area gives good information, and many "how-to's" on how to set up the store.

Some of the points that I like are:

1. When a package is sent the name of your store, like One Stop Gifts

Shop is on the shipping label, but with their address.

2. You can delete any items you do not want to carry in the store.

3. You can decide on the markup you want for the price.

4. There is an eBay form that can be used to sell on ebay.

5. A phone number and multiple email addresses are provided for order support and questions.

6. You can get some good deals at the wholesale price for yourself.

7. You are given guidance on how to promote your store, and how to have affiliate advertising on the site.

8. You can add your own pages, either from affiliates, or your own products.

9. If someone orders directly from your site, you do not even touch the product, it is shipped directly to them.

10. You are given the customer's information, and a tracking # so you can check on the order, if there seems to be a problem.

In the past I had signed up with a free store. I got the store, but that was it. There was no way to contact them, I could not make any decisions with the store, and there was not an explanation on promoting the store.

Another way to make a profit through wholesale, is to get your state's tax resale number. This is for the US, I do not know the procedure in other countries. Then you can look in your area for companies, and products you would like to sell, and purchase them wholesale. The drawback to this is that most companies require you to purchase in bulk. Also, check out companies online that sell wholesale, but check them out first to know if you are really getting wholesale, and what the requirements they have set up.

Still, the easiest way, with no product to purchase is by aligning with a good drop ship wholesaler. Nothing can beat not having to pay ahead, or hold the inventory of a product. Plus the hassle you save with the product being shipped for your company, is well worth it.

Do You Know How Many Ways There Are To Eat A "Cat Head Biscuit"?

A time honored Southern tradition, the infamous "Cat Head" biscuit has become as much an icon of southern cooking as fried chicken. Just say the words "Cat Head Biscuits" almost anywhere in the South and you will instantly conjure up memories childhood and of mouthwateringly delicious meals.

Born of humble beginnings, the "Cat Head Biscuit" was never anything fancy. Just a few simple ingredients, usually mixed and "patted" out by hand, these delicacies bring back wonderful memories like no other food can.

What makes a "Cat Head Biscuit" so special; it's just a biscuit after all, right? I can not honestly say why they are loved so much or why just the mention of the name sparks such comforting memories. Maybe it's the thoughts of our mothers and grandmothers standing in hot kitchens, over wood burning stoves, lovingly preparing food for their families or maybe it's that first bite fresh from the oven. This is the very definition of "Comfort Food". From that first savory taste of butter as you bite through the crispy crust to the soft, warm inside; you know you are in for a real treat!

As in days gone by, the "Cat Head Biscuit" is enjoyed with almost every meal. In fact this versatile bread can easily be eaten in a different way with every meal or become a meal in itself.

Here are just a few ways to enjoy them:

Aside from the usual biscuit filled with various homemade jams and jellies, we sometimes eat them hot from the oven, filled with a generous amount of brown sugar and butter. The butter melts over the brown sugar and creates a breakfast food that no store-bought brown sugar and cinnamon toaster pastry can even touch. This is what my grandmother would fix me for breakfast as a child.

Split open or torn into small pieces and smothered with one of the delicious southern gravies such as Chocolate Gravy, Sausage Gravy, or one of the homemade fresh "Fruit Jams".

Not much in the world of food is as good as a sandwich made out of a big ol '"Cat Head Biscuit" with a large slice of a ripe, red tomato and a little salt or with a slice of pork tenderloin or ham.

"Cat Head" biscuits also make great desserts when served warm and covered with your favorite berries, ice cream, and whipped cream. This is also a very easy way to make a wonderful strawberry shortcake.

Another way I remember eating them was to cream butter and honey or butter and molasses together and spread over the hot biscuits.

The list goes on and on. Bake up a big ol 'batch for yourself and you will find that the "Cat Head Biscuit" is one of the most versatile and delicious foods ever to come out of your oven.

Cat Head Biscuits (as big as a cat's head)

2 cups of flour

1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

5 tablespoons of lard or shortening

About 1 cup of buttermilk

Sift the dry ingredients together and cut in the lard or shortening. Add enough buttermilk to make a soft dough. Pinch off about a lemon-sized ball of dough for each biscuit and pat out with your hands. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes at 450 degrees or until the tops are golden brown. Remove the biscuits form the oven and rub butter on the tops of the hot biscuits to coat.

© Copyright Joe Harris – , All Rights Reserved

Note: This article may be used freely as long as the "About The Author" resource box at the bottom of this article is included and links remain intact.