Sunday, November 30, 2008

Envelope Creations

Make envelopes out of your old maps. Not only will this create a colorful envelope, but you will be amazed at how long people will study it to try to figure out what the map displays! Here's how to make the envelope:


Open an envelope at the seams to use as a pattern.

Copy on the WRONG side lightly and draw the envelope.

Your card can dictate the size as you get more proficient.

Glue at the folds with school glue.

Beware Of The Repairs

When choosing a shop for a vehicle that is not under warranty, first talk to friends and family to see if they recommend a place to take your car.

Also see if the facility as been certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The certification means that some or all of the mechanics at the shop have met basic standard of knowledge in specific technical areas. For example, some areas may be brake work, collision repair, engine repair, painting and alignment.

Even better, find out if the shop is in the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence program. The initiative recognizes shops that have 75% of their mechanics ASE certified and have a mechanic certified in each area of service that they offer.

Often shops display the Blue Seal plaque in the customer waiting area. If you don't see it, don't be afraid to ask if the facility is Blue Seal certified. You can also visit the ASE Web site.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Salad Greens For Dinner

Mixed salad greens and Mesclun mixes are attractive and fun to grow, and they make a great container garden, indoors in a sunny window or outdoors.

Here’s a fun idea: Have the kids plant their own salad garden. They will enjoy cutting their own salad for dinner (little ones will need supervision) and as they cut, the greens will regrow.

Storm Warnings

Since the air always seems fresher after a thunderstorm, ever wonder why some people with asthma find their condition gets worse, not better?
Grass pollen is a common allergen that can trigger hay fever and asthma attacks. But grass pollen granules themselves are usually too large to find their way deep into the lungs, which could cause an even more severe attack.

But when they are exposed to water, the pollen grains break up. And when this happens, each pollen granule releases as many as 700 starch particles. These particles contain the real allergen, and they're small enough to work their way deep into the lungs.

Night Vision Mirrors

Headlights -- particularly those coming from thoughtless folks who refuse to dim their brights -- can momentarily blind the on-coming driver, creating a safety hazard.

It's almost as bad when someone shows up behind you, those beams shining directly into your rearview mirror.

The day/night rearview mirror, which first appeared four decades ago on lists of standard or optional equipment for new cars, alleviated reflective glare to some extent. Yet in night mode any mirror objects save for the offending headlamps seem obscure and hard to see.

A more recent spin-off from the day/night mirror uses electrochromic technology to automatically dampen the effect of bright headlights.

Electrochromic technology is a process of darkening glass by applying an electrical current. Such a mirror contains a thin layer of electrochromic gel sandwiched between layers of glass. When sensors detect glaring light, they energize an electronic system that causes the gel to darken and absorb the light's brightness, thus paring the glare's intensity. Once the glare passes, the mirror reverts to normal mode of high reflectivity. Driver never has to lift a finger because the mirror changes automatically, much like photosensitive eyeglasses darken relative to light exposure.

A few pricey automobiles today provide an electrochromic mirror as standard equipment, but now you may add a deluxe electronic mirror to virtually any car -- thanks to a multi-functional design by Gentex. The Night Vision Safety Mirror, which dims automatically, also has a built-in digital electronic compass, a digital thermostat to display outside temperature, plus an ice indicator that pops on for one minute when the temperature dips below 37 degrees. The mirror's wiring package fits most vehicles.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bleach Spray

Bleach is the best and truest disinfectant of all time, not to mention inexpensive. Here are a few simple ideas on strecthing your bleach, and how to use it other than on laundry.

Place a small amount of bleach in a squirt bottle and fill it to the top with water. Use for spraying in bathtubs to get rid of mildew, cleaning counter-tops, spot-spraying shower curtains, washing off cutting boards, and wiping down the bathroom counter and toilet seats. Trust me, you will find so many uses for this spray- when it is cold and flu season ( the really bad part), you can spray down toys,light switches,steering wheels,remotes,keyboards,keys, handles too.If you have 1 or 2 sick loved ones, soaking their dishes(separately) with a couple of drops of bleach and some water in the sink will keep others in your household healthy.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Service Centers

For the average person with little mechanical knowledge, leaving a car with someone for repairs is a big act of trust. You know your car has a problem, and you want it to be fixed without paying outrageous prices for repairs that weren’t needed, or unexpected charges for services you didn’t ask for. There are some ways you can assure yourself that you won’t be pushed over by zealous technicians that may try to talk you into doing things you don’t understand or need.

One place to start is to ask everyone you know where they take their cars, and what their experience has been. Word will travel fast if there is an unscrupulous repair center. If you’re lucky enough to have a friend who has mechanical knowledge, invite them to go with you to check out a place. If you know your car is having problems but you cannot define what that problem is, having a more knowledgeable friend come along for a test drive could be very enlightening. A noise or other problem that you might not be able to describe will be more obvious to someone with auto repair experience.

If you don’t have anyone you can ask for help, then walk into the repair center armed with all of the information you can come up with. Have your car's symptoms written down to the best of your ability. If you get nervous, you won’t have to try to remember exactly what you were going to say. Make sure you tell the shop to call you with an estimate of charges before any work is done. Ask them if they have any minimum charges. Let the technician know that you will only pay for work done that you actually authorized.

Another important thing to do is to ask for your old parts back. You will then be able to look at the condition of your old parts and perhaps gain a better understanding of your car’s systems. Not only that, but if you’re stuck somewhere, you’ll have your old parts to either put back on in a pinch or know what to order. If possible, you should pay your account with a credit card. This way, if there is a problem later, you can refuse to pay the bill and the incident will be looked into. Finally, a little courtesy goes a long way. Be firm, but not rude when talking with your technician.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Get Paid To Shop (Really)

I have always been leary of make money companies,concepts and ideas. Earlier this year I was low on cash and and came across this program that sounded too good to be true... Wondering if I was wrong or should check this one out, I decided since it was a free program I would indulge my curiosity a bit. I was surprised to see not only was it free, but easy and a lot of fun- THEY ACTUALLY PAY YOU!! I am talking about what I believe some of you have heard about: Shopper's Hotline. This program pays you to scan all of the purchases you make each and every week ( you do this at home with a provided scanner, yes it comes with a holder to set it in, or you can do this via the internet). Every week that you particpate you earn points that add up really fast which then get redeemed and cash is then added to a Visa debit card they send you- It's that EASY. You also have chances to earn points through recording you prescription purchases and doing quick easy surveys once a month. They have monthly and quartely drawings for realy great prizes- hey, I just won a dvd player,this week as a matter of fact! I really do like working for them and you will to- If you can get picked to be a member. And yes you can use the provided Visa debit card anywhere just like any other. The whole point of Shopper's Hotline is to tell companies that make all the products you can buy- what is being sold, why and to whom, how often, and for what cost and what suppliers are selling their products the most. If you want to see if you qualify to become a Shopper's Hotline member just call: 1-877-999-2949 Ask for Operator 10 and when prompted give them this special code: 048126136
Good Luck - make that $$$ :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Best Cookies Ever!

Storing holiday cookies?
Keep them soft by adding a slice of apple to the container (do change it frequently). And never store soft and crispy cookies together.

Damper Advice

Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is going. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a 48-inch window wide open during the winter -- it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.

Herbs in Window Boxes

If you don't have room for herbs in your garden, consider planting herbs in window boxes. Choose a sunny south window for your herb window box, and fill it with a good quality potting mix. Use four plants in a two foot window box, or six plants in a three foot box. Chives can be planted more densely. Many herbs lose flavor if they are fed too much fertilizer, so use half-strength liquid fertilizer or a half dose of slow released fertilizer. Any of these herbs will do well in a sunny window box, but some may require frequent pruning to keep them down to a reasonable size:

Chives
Tarragon
Oregano
Thyme
Basil
Sage

Friday, November 7, 2008

Green Is The Word

It's easy to be green with the following eco-friendly tips and facts:


1. Recycling ONE aluminum can saves enough energy to run a t.v. for 3 hours

2. 60,000 trees would be saved if EVERY household reused a paper bag for just 1 shopping trip

3. Reycyling plastic saves TWICE as much energy as burning it in a incinerator

4. Producing 1 lb of recycled rubber uses ONLY 29% of the energy it takes to produce new rubber

**These tips and facts save the enviroment and saves all of us money- TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW and preserve this beautiful earth

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Chew on this One

The experts all advise that if you think you're having a heart attack, the first thing you should do is chew an aspirin tablet.
But because aspirin starts to break up as soon as it touches your tongue, why chew it instead of swallowing it?

Here's why, when measured the length of time it took for the aspirin to inhibit blood clotting, which is the reason to take it after a heart attack. Swallowing a whole aspirin takes 12 minutes to have any effect on your blood's clotting time; drinking a liquid remedy containing aspirin takes seven minutes to work, but chewing a regular aspirin tablet shows benefits in only five minutes.

Cutting Back Geraniums

If you're overwintering your geraniums indoors, they are probably getting tall and leggy because of the reduced light indoors. Now is a good time to cut them back to about a foot in height. Save a few 4 to 6- inch pieces to root. Dip the cut end of the stems in rooting hormone, then place them in a pot filled with a mixture of peat moss and sand. Keep the pot out of direct light while the cuttings take root, which should take a few weeks. Don't tug on the stems to test for roots -- you'll damage any tender rootlets that are forming. When new growth appears, you'll know that your cuttings have rooted.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tape or Tweezers?

When you get a splinter, reach for the roll of tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put a strip of clear plastic tape over the splinter, then pull it off. Tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Winter Home& Garden Tips

A few tips on savings for the winter:

1. Set your thermostat as low as will keep you comfortable in the winter.
2. Clean or replace filters on furnaces once a month.
3. Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed.
4. Place heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators.


Seeds You Can Start Indoors Now

Cool weather perennials such as Columbine and Hellebores can be started indoors now and transplanted outdoors in two or three months. The seeds need a chilling period and should be placed in the refrigerator for at least three weeks before planting. They can take up to a month to germinate, so don't give up on them too soon. Columbine seeds need light to germinate, so don't cover them with soil.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Saving Forced Bulbs

Have you ever wanted to save your bulbs and was not sure how or if? Here is what you can do to achieve your goal, it may take awhile but it is worth the effort.

Paperwhites, tulips and hyacinths that have been forced indoors don't usually rebloom the next year, even if planted outdoors. If you have forced bulbs that you would like to try to save, cut off the flower stalk and keep the bulb watered and fertilized. Keep the bulbs in a sunny window until danger of frost has passed, then plant them in the flowerbed. You will probably only see foliage the first two or three years while the bulb builds itself up enough to flower again.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wax On Wax Off!

If you are like me, you love the look of your car after it has been polished and waxed

But waxing your car isn't the timely, labor-extensive chore you might think it is. A few hours spent a couple times a year will give your car a new look. Once you finish the job, you have the satisfaction of giving your car that showroom gleam that not only looks great but also will protect the vehicle's paint from the elements.

When to Polish and Wax

Before getting started, you probably want to know the best time to polish and wax your car. Most people do it twice a year, once in the spring to remove the ravages of winter and once in the fall to prepare it for the upcoming winter.

One way to tell if it's time to polish and wax your car is to watch what happens when you wash your car. Does the water bead up on the roof and hood or does it run off in sheets? Experts say the rounder the beads of water, the better. As soon as the beads start to flatten out, it's time to wax.

Some people also recommend applying the wax when your car is in the shade. But sometimes you may not have to have your car parked in the shade. One way to determine if it is too hot to wax is to put your hand on the car's surface. If you have to pull it away, then it's too hot to wax.

All About Paint

New cars and trucks are almost all painted with a clear-coat finish. This paint is much more resistant to oxidation. This happens when ultraviolet radiation from the sun causes the paint to gradually deteriorate into white chalky dullness.

Clear coats protect better than conventional finishes, allowing new car paint to hold up many years longer. Older cars painted with a conventional finish will face more problems with oxidation than vehicles painted with clear coats.

Although they do protect better than conventional paints, it's a myth that clear-coat finishes don't have to be waxed. They are still subjected to contamination from elements such as bird droppings, bugs, tree sap, industrial fallout and airborne pollutants.

Selecting a Wax

When choosing a wax, make sure it is the right product for your paint. Check the label to see if the wax can be used on clear-coat finishes. Most waxes on the market can be used on clear coats, but there are exceptions. Clear coat paints are quite thin and an abrasive wax may damage the finish.

Car enthusiasts recommend using a carnauba wax. It gives your car a great look, but use caution. It is the hardest natural wax available. If you see a wax that says it's pure carnauba, it means the part that is carnauba is pure, not that it's 100-percent carnauba. Start with a mild wax and go to a more abrasive product if you feel your car needs more protection.

In addition, select a quality wax. This will help you better achieve excellent results. Ask your local detailer or car dealer for recommendations.

Pizza From Scratch?

Homemade Pizza

Instead of buying frozen pizzas, make your dough from scratch. A plain bread dough can be made in advance and frozen. A paste can be made with fresh or canned tomatoes & tomato paste mixed together. Top with your favorite topping and your expense should be somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.00. It can be a lot more fun to really creative with toppings, like for example have a member of the family get to choose all the toppings, which you can rotate who gets to pick each time. Also, you can have more than one person make the pizza like the kds or spouse- even invited guests!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Thermoelectric Cooler

Wouldn't it be convenient if the family's automobile, the one used for all-in-the-family trips, contained a refrigerator and warming oven to keep beverages or food chilly cool or toast warm?

A car rigged with a refrigerator and oven would perhaps resemble an oversized mobile home rather than a conventional sedan or wagon, so the idea is obviously impractical.

The only practical way to keep foods warm and drinks cool while on the move in a car until recently was to use sloppy ice chests and leaky thermos bottles. Now, however, there's a slick alternative chest that brings properties of both a refrigerator and warming oven to a compact package that stows within reach of driver and passengers.

The Thermoelectric Travel Cooler and Warmer is the size of a console ice cooler but eliminates the hassle of either a messy ice chest and thermos -- there's no need to stock ice or contend with a breakable thermos lining.

Instead, the unit plugs into a 12-volt power socket and taps the battery for electric current. The charge powers an electric motor that cools or heats an internal metal element. Then a small fan blows air across the metal element to circulate cool or warm air through the insulated plastic chest's storage compartment.

Each unit cools to 40 degrees or warms to 140 degrees. Fruits, sodas and other soothing snacks stay refreshingly chilled, while beverages like coffee and tea -- or to-go orders like hamburgers and fries -- remain piping warm, depending on whether you use the box to chill or warm.

The interior holds even two six-packs of sodas, yet the package fits easily into a family car, while a detachable shoulder strap lets you tote it too.

Workday Sentiments

I have the most romantic and attentive husband there is. I was working really hard one particular week and didn't have much time for anything else. It was starting to get to me. One day at work, I went to get my mail and noticed a handwritten envelope. When I opened it, I started to cry for two reasons: first, my husband had mailed me a poem that he had written, and second, I couldn't go home right then to show him how much I loved it. But when I did get home I must say Donna Summers 'Love To Love you Baby' was blaring all through the evening- oh, I did marry a very smart man :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cookie Decorating

If you just want great looking cookies but don't want to make an all-day production out of it, there are a few ways to add a special touch before the cookies are even baked.
One easy way to spruce up cookies is to roll them in colored sugar, finely chopped nuts, coconut, sesame seeds or sprinkles before baking. This looks wonderful on thumbprint cookies and sugar cookies.

Even a light dusting of confectioners' sugar or cocoa powder will give any cookies an elegant finish. Dust the cookies again, right before serving, to freshen their appearance.

* Don't forget to get your little ones to help or your sweetheart- inexpensive and truly "homemade" :)

Checking Fluids

In all their various forms, the fluids that run through your car are like blood running through our bodies - they are essential to keep the car operational. You can maintain fluids yourself or take your car to a mechanic and let him take care of your vehicle. Regardless of who services your vehicle, you must keep fluids in good condition and at proper levels or you will have car trouble.

Generally, oil should be changed every 3,000 miles or three months, which ever comes first. When changing oil, it's important to check the oil filter at the same time to see if it also needs to be changed. You don't want a dirty filter contaminating the new oil.

For your information: Coolant and antifreeze are the same fluid. Regardless of what you call it, this fluid should be changed about once a year and the system should be flushed to remove any built-up deposits. Check your owner's manual for details.

Brake and steering fluids are both critical in the operation of your vehicle. Having the right amount of these fluids is vital for adequate braking and steering power. Check your owner's manual for a maintenance schedule regarding these fluids. Although it may be bright and sunny when you leave for your trip, rain (or snow) will likely come down at least once on your vacation. Make sure you have plenty of washer fluid so you can see clearly through your windshield.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Batproof Your Attic

Bats are nasty creepy and gross- who in the world wants them anywhere in their home? Here is a great tip on how to proof your home and keep icky bats out (hmm...wonder if this works n other pests... need to husband proof the house as well!)

This time of year, bats are looking for a cave to settle down in for the winter. So that your attic won't be mistaken for a cave, cover any holes and repair any ripped screens. They only need a hole the size of a quarter to enter your house.
After the house is sealed up, consider placing a bathouse nearby. Bats are wonderful natural insect predators, and will consume mass quantities of mosquitoes and garden pests.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hookin Up Da Dollars

10 Certificate Programs Than Can Add $$$$ to Your Paycheck

How do you train for the next level up on the company ladder, get skills that will match a new promotion, boost your earnings or even change careers without a hefty time commitment? A short-term certificate program that focuses on specific skills within a profession or trade might just be the answer. Often offered online or part time for working professionals, they can take less than two years to complete and often springboard into of-the-moment careers that offer top earnings and job security. Here are some of the hottest certificate programs at campuses nationwide:


Take Action
Make the most out of your career. Check out these degree programs!

Business
Marketing
Engineering
Accounting
Computer Science

1. Financial Planning: With a nationwide focus on retirement savings, investing options, and other financial issues, Certified Financial Planners (CFP) are a hot commodity, and schools such as the University of Texas, Austin are meeting the demand with certificate programs. The University or Texas’ program, like that of other schools, is short term, comprised of just seven courses.

2. Database Administrator: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), database administrators in May of 2006 were earning anywhere from $62,000 to over $100,000 annually. The University of Denver is among the many institutions at which you can earn a certificate to break into the field in less than a year, says Mike Whitford, enrollment manager. All six courses (24 credits) are offered online in this graduate level program.

Eighty percent of our students are working professionals. They are interested in becoming database analysts, architects, and engineers, While the program is new, one recent graduate scored a job as a database management advisor making $95,000 annually,

3. Oracle: The largest vendor of database systems and the second largest independent software company in the world, Oracle is one of the most sought after certifications at the post secondary level. At Penn State Great Valley campus, you can earn a certificate in an Oracle workforce development program using textbooks and taking just three courses.

4. Information Security Management: In a post 9/11 world, more and more professionals are needed to manage and safeguard complex technical security for companies and government agencies. Syracuse University is among the many schools with coursework to help meet this societal demand. Syracuse's five-course (15 credit) certificate has been popular since 2003.


5. Negotiation or Leadership and Management: Certificates [in these areas] can make an executive more marketable, or a CEO gain the knowledge they may not have to lead the company.

The University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza School of Business in conjunction with University Alliance offers these two executive certificates each consisting of three, eight-week courses. Taught by Notre Dame professors in streaming video lectures, voiceover IP and interactive chat rooms, e-mail and whiteboards, for many executives it's a chance to learn specific skills that will further their careers.

6. Entrepreneurship: When students at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania asked for courses in entrepreneurship two years ago, a new certificate was created to fulfill their needs. Under the executive education umbrella and Wharton Programs for Working Professionals, many students who take this six-course certificate are working in other industries or are in middle management and want to launch a business, a new department, or help others do so.

Course credits can be applied toward an MBA if students choose to further their studies. Additionally, students can put their courses to work in the Wharton Small Business Development office, which assists Philadelphia small business owners who need help growing their businesses.

7. Legal Nurse Consulting: Legal nurse consultants are the liaison between lawyers and the health care community, often giving testimony in the courtroom during cases related to medical litigation. These professionals even have their own American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants. (AALNP).

With many certificates taking less than one year to earn, such as the University of Delaware's program, becoming certified often brings an excellent return on investment. There, registered nurses with three years of experience can earn a certificate in this emerging field in just 36 Saturdays. Graduates often end up going into business for themselves, and with experience can earn up to $150 per hour.

8. Forensic Nursing: The 10-course program, which can be completed in a year, requires an LVN (licensed vocational nurse), LPN, RN or paramedic background.

Kaplan University, which also offers the one-year program, cites salary ranges from the International Association of Forensic Nurses at $55 to $300 per hour.

9. Commercial Real Estate:
According to Salary.com, commercial real estate managers earn an average of $120,000 to $162,000 annually. Boston also offers a certificate in real estate finance and property management. Which takes less than a year, to complete the course- some real estate agencies offer in- house training courses and on the job training. (for me because this is my chosen field, took only 2-3 months)

10. Computer Forensics: The industry is clamoring for techs right now because there are many people in the next 10 years who will be retiring from the field, There will be a greater need for programmers, database managers, and networking and security specialists in the next decade, but one of the hot commodity predictions is in computer forensics. A new 32-credit certificate at BCCC in computer forensics includes a former FBI agent as an instructor. The program presents an examination of computer science, criminal justice, and computer forensics–recovering deleted files–and jobs can be found working in regional computer forensics labs or in homeland security. Because it's a fairly new and fast-growing field, the job outlook is favorable, as is the possibility of a hefty salary.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

1 Of The Best Tips Around!

Stress !!!!


A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience,
Raised a glass of water and asked:
'How heavy is this glass of water?'

Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.

The lecturer replied, 'The absolute weight doesn't matter.
It depends on how long you try to hold it.

If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem.

If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.

If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.

In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.'

He continued,

'And that's the way it is with stress management.
If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later,

As the burden becomes increasingly heavy,

We won't be able to carry on. '

'As with the glass of water,

You have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again.

When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden.'

'So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down.

Don't carry it home.

You can pick it up tomorrow.

Whatever burdens you're carrying now,

Let them down for a moment if you can.'

So, my friend, put down anything that may be a burden to you right now.

Don't pick it up again until after you've rested a while.

Here are some great ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

* Accept that some days you're the pigeon,
And some days you're the statue

* Always keep your words soft and sweet,
Just in case you have to eat them.

* Always read stuff that will make you look good
If you die in the middle of it.

* Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be
Recalled by their maker.

* If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

* If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again,
It was probably worth it..

* It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply be kind to others.

* Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time,
Because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

* Nobody cares if you can't dance well.
Just get up and dance.

* Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

* The second mouse gets the cheese.

* When everything's coming your way,
You're in the wrong lane.

* Birthdays are good for you.
The more you have, the longer you live.

* You may be only one person in the world,
But you may also be the world to one person.

* Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

* We could learn a lot from crayons... Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colours, but they all have to live in the same box.


*A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour..

Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today ... I did.

Made In the Shade

If you'd like to create a garden under a shade tree, but the soil under the tree is dry and root-clogged to the point where you have difficulty digging a hole, you may have to improve the soil before you can plant. A layer of organic material several inches deep is the best remedy. The tree will provide you with an abundance of organic material in the form of leaves. Chop them to the size of fifty-cent pieces with a bagging lawn mower and spread them under the tree. Sprinkle them with compost activator and keep them moist. Repeat this procedure annually until the leaves have rotted into a deep humus. Earthworms will move in and loosen the subsoil, making it possible to plant the shade garden of your dreams.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Remodeling on a Budget

Are you in the mood for a new look in your home? There are a couple of simple things that you can do yourself that will make a huge difference.

1. Start in your bathroom by changing the shower curtain. You can make a great shower curtain yourself - just look for large quantities of fabric on the clearance rack, or a nice queen-sized sheet works perfectly.

2. Go to a local paint store and take some of their free painting classes. Learn how to paint properly and do it yourself. Most of the cost in home remodeling is the labor. If you do the labor yourself and shop around for the best price on paint, you can achieve the look you want without "breaking the bank.”

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Garlic and Peanuts

Plant Garlic

Garlic that you buy at the grocery store will do, but you may want to take a look at some of the specialty garlic in gardening catalogs or your local garden center. Plant the bulbs in a well-drained location in full sun. If you are concerned about drainage, build a raised bed. Break the heads into individual cloves and plant the cloves six inches apart so that the tips are showing. Water well and apply a thick mulch after the first freeze if the ground freezes in your area



Planting with Peanuts

Use the "packing peanuts" you get in packages as a base for repotting plants. They provide drainage and are lightweight. Crumble the peanuts and place them in the bottom of your pot, put in the potting soil of your choice and plant as usual.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Call me about the the tag sale on lime/soil

Free calls Anyone?

If you would like to make calls all over the U.S. and cannot afford it- www.bored.com is offering a free service that lets you make free calls- limited to 3 a day



Lime for Acidic Soil
Fall is a good time to add lime to your soil if it tends to be acidic. You can buy an inexpensive pH test kit from your local garden supply store. Most plants prefer a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. If your soil is on the low end of this range, it is considered acidic.

It takes 30 - 100 pounds of lime to raise the pH of a 1000 square foot area from 5.5 to 6.5. Sandy soil will need the lesser amount, and heavy clay soil will need the greater amount.


Tag Sale Savvy
If you usually shop garage sales for clothing, and you find one particular home that has the perfect sizes you need, leave your name and number with the seller and ask them to call you next time they have clothes to sell. This will do both of you a favor. It will save him/her the work of a garage sale, and will provide you with an outlet for the perfect clothing.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Changing A Tire-The Beginning...

Now, I understand why some people dread doing this task. Changing a tire is sometimes not as easy as it sounds. This is especially true if a person has never changed a tire. It requires some muscle, a willingness to get a little dirty, and some fundamental knowledge about what you need to do before starting.

Speaking from personal experience, the first time I ever had to change a tire was on the side of busy freeway when it was cold, snowing windy. While I managed to change the tire and be on my way after some initial struggles, I wished I had some practice doing this task before I had to do it in that situation.

Don't Forget the Jack

Before you even drive your vehicle for the first time, you should make sure you have all the proper equipment you need for changing a tire. These tools generally are located in the trunk of cars and in wells of sports utility vehicles.

Probably the most important piece of equipment you will need is the jack. Without one, you will not be able to change your tire. Make sure it is in your car and that it is working properly. If you need a new jack, you can buy either the tripod of scissors type, or if you do much under-the-car work, you may want to invest in a hydraulic jack. It is faster and safer than other jacks and doesn't cost too much more money.

If you unsure about how to use the jack, consult your vehicle's owner's manual. If for some reason you don't have an owner's manual, you can take the jack to the local mechanic and he can show you how to use it

Sunday, June 15, 2008

** 100th Entry** Frugal=Free

Oh my I cannot believe this is the 100th entry I am posting for this blog. I cannot remember all the stuff I have put on here, but I hope it has made a difference in someone's life. Since this is a special and final entry ( I will be taking some time off from blogging the next 2 weeks for I am getting married next weekend on my 30th birthday) :) Anyways,I have found 10 cool tips on freebies that save you time and money. Here is what and where you can access them. And yes they are all FREE!!!

1. Learn a new language through 12 week courses (online)
bbc.co.uk/languages

2.Online business classes that teach you how to finance your ventures and write business plans etc..
sba.gov

3. Used household items by swapping with others
freecycle.org

4. Expert computer help
protonic.com

5. Online savings and checking accounts that earn interest
ingdirect.com

6. credit reports by the top three credit bureaus
annualcreditreport.com

7. Directory assistance
dial 1-800-free-411

8.Get this download to filter spam more effectively
spamato.net

9. Create your own radio "station" with this service
pandora.com

10. Organize all the photos on your computer with this software download
picasa.google.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Harvesting Sweet Potatoes

You can begin harvesting your sweet potatoes as soon as the leaves start to yellow, but keep in mind that the longer they are left in the ground, the more vitamins they will have. After a frost the vines will turn dark. At this point, the tubers should be harvested as soon as possible to prevent rot.

On a sunny day when the soil is dry, use a spading fork to dig sweet potatoes. Take care not to nick the tubers because this will encourage spoilage. The tubers can grow out as much as foot from the plants.

Dry your harvest in the sun for a few hours, then bring them indoors and continue drying in a warm, humid place for a couple of weeks. An open area in the kitchen is a perfect spot for drying them. As the tubers cure, the starches are converted to sugars.

Properly cured sweet potatoes will last for several months. For long storage, wrap individual tubers in newspaper and store them in a 55F to 60F basement.

Baked Sweet Potatoes
4 good-sized sweet potatoes, washed and cleaned
3/4 cup low-fat sour cream
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 tablespoon powdered ginger
1/2 tablespoon nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
butter
1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Slice each potato carefully in perfect halves and bake them for about 40 to 50 minutes until they are tender. Remove them from the oven and lower it to 350°.

2. With a spoon carefully scoop out the pulp or insides of the potatoes and put the pulp into a large bowl. Make sure the skins of the sweet potatoes remain intact. Mash the pulp with the help of a masher; add the sour cream, maple syrup, ginger, nutmeg, and salt and pepper, and mix this well.

3. Fill the sweet potato shells evenly with the pulp mixture. Put the potatoes in a buttered flat baking dish, and dot each half with a bit of butter. Place them in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes. (The potatoes are done when they turn brown on the top.)



Note: This is a delightful and appetizing accompaniment to meat, fish, or egg dishes, especially during the fall or winter.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Goin' To The Desert

As people who live in these areas know, driving in desert and mountain regions is not like driving in other places. The conditions in these areas put added stress on your vehicle due to either extreme temperatures or altitude, which can lead to problems that may cause your vehicle to break down.

So when travelling through a desert or mountain, drivers need to be aware of the conditions surrounding them and prepare accordingly. This is even more important if you are travelling by yourself.

Remember, desert and mountain regions are often remote and don't have places to service your vehicle like you would find in other parts of the country.

Preparing Yourself

The first thing you should do (and this is something you should do whenever you travel) is to let someone know when you are leaving and when you plan to return. Call this person when you arrive at your destination. And if you have a cellular phone, give that person the number in case of emergency. You don't want to get stuck 50 miles from the nearest town without anyway to reach the outside world.

There are several items that you may want to take with you when you travel in the desert or mountains. Some of the items you might want to pack in your survival kit include: bottled water, extra brake fluid, collapsible shovel, concentrated food, emergency blankets, engine coolant, utility knife, matches, extra motor oil, oil filter, spray bottle, wire brush and baking soda (both for the vehicle's battery).

Bring a map of your destination as well as maps that show the best way to get there. Many auto insurance agents offer free maps, or your can purchase them at gas stations or convenience stores. You can get maps that show route and driving directions through a travel club or on the Internet.

Preparing Your Car

Besides taking care of yourself, you also need to make sure your vehicle is ready for the journey. It's a good idea to get full-service tune-up at least a week or two before you leave. Don't wait until the day before because if there is a major problem with your car or truck, the repair shop may need a few days to fix it.

While the car is at the shop, have your mechanic check for "play" in the water pump. Also have the radiator "pressure checked" for leaks that are not as obvious on a visual inspection.

Either do it yourself or have your mechanic check the coolant strength in the radiator overflow reservoir with a hydrometer. The antifreeze should be clean and up to the proper level. Check all belts and hoses associated with your coolant system carefully. Make sure there are no cracks. Replace any ones that you are not sure of and carry extra belts and hoses.

Check all your vehicle's fluids. This includes oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering and automatic transmission fluid, hydraulic clutch fluid and windshield wiper fluid. If you are unsure how to check these fluids, have your mechanic do it. Change the oil and filter - they should be changed every 3,000 miles.

Make sure your battery is ready for the strenuous task ahead. Triple-digit temperatures of the desert and high altitude of the mountains can wear down a battery easily. Have your battery "load tested" if it's more than four years old. Replace it if it's more than five years old. Check the battery terminals yourself for corrosion. Terminals can be cleaned with a wire brush dipped in baking soda and water. Make sure it is properly secured so it can't tip over and lose electrolyte.

Extreme heat and higher speeds are tough on old worn tires and brand-new ones. Inspect your tire-tread wear and maintain proper tire air pressure according to your owner's manual. Check that your spare tie, jack and tire tools are in good condition. Put air in the spare tire. It is also good tire to carry an extra spare tire. Sharp rocks could render more than one of your tires useless.

When driving get into the habit of watching gauges and warning lights. If the temperature gauge gets too high, turn off the air conditioning. Be sure your headlights, taillights, brake lights and turning signals work, and replace any burnt-out bulbs.

Road Conditions

The conditions of desert and mountain dirt roads are foreign to most people. They can be snow covered, full of potholes and they can change from season to season. A road that might be fine in the summer may be unreachable in the winter.

Low-riding cars with little clearance will have a hard time navigating a rugged road. Pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles will do better on a back road because they have higher clearance.

Regardless of the vehicle, make sure you check its bottom for vulnerable spots. Knowing where important components like your muffler, catalytic converter, air conditioner, oil pan and exhaust pipes are will help you carefully steer you way around a dicey spot. A punctured oil pan is not something you want to deal with while you are driving in the middle of nowhere.

Getting Stuck

If you get stuck in the middle of the wilderness, think before you act. You don't want to try anything that will endanger yourself. A road that is mud in the morning may turn into dirt in the afternoon. If you are not sure of the way out, don't leave your vehicle unless you have no other alternative.

If you have a cellular phone, you may want to try it. However, lonely stretches of back road are often out of the range of cellular phones, so don't count on it working all the time. If you told someone where you are going and when you are supposed to be back, you could sit in your vehicle and wait for help to arrive.

If you didn't tell anyone where you are going, you may have to walk out. A reasonably fit person can walk about three miles an hour. You should consider weather conditions and availability of food and water before you start walking. Leave a note with car describing your walk routing and take a map with you showing your vehicle's location.

Regardless if you are on a dirt road in the middle of the desert or snow-covered path in the mountains, remember to use caution. Being prepared will save you from potential problems that may arise.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Birdhouses & Cages

Grow your own birdhouses

Bottle gourds (Lagenaria siceraria) are easy to grow on fences or trellises, and once dried they make an ideal home for purple martins, swallows, chickadees and wrens. Besides bringing beauty and interest to your home, these birds will eat thousands of insects each day.

Although gourds can be grown in hills as you would grow squash and pumpkin, gourds that are left lying on the ground will flatten on one side and may be susceptible to rot. If you prefer to grow them in hills, try providing several inches of hay as a mulch to keep the gourds off the ground. Bottle gourds will tolerate a light frost; so allow them to dry on the vine as long as possible. Once harvested, they will need a cool, dry place to complete the drying process. They are completely dry when you can hear the seeds rattle inside when you shake them. This may take several months.

To fashion your birdhouse, drill a hole 1 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Smaller holes will accommodate small birds such as wrens, while a larger hole will allow larger birds such as martins to take up residence. You should also drill a few tiny holes in the bottom of the gourd for drainage. Drill two holes in the top, and thread a cord through them. Now your birdhouse is ready to hang. It will last up to two years untreated, or you can varnish the gourd for a longer lasting birdhouse.

For the birds
Stack six or seven pages of an old catalog in the birdcage and remove each one as they get soiled.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tip Mix Clips

Larger blooms

For larger blooms on your fall-blooming chrysanthemums, dahlias and camellias, pinch off the small side buds surrounding the large main buds. The plant will concentrate it's energies into making one large flower instead of several smaller ones.


Coupon savvy

Make notes on your shopping list marking which items have coupons. It will save you time and money in the long run!



Talking photo cube

For my boyfriend's birthday I got him a talking photo cube. I put 5 pictures of us together in the frame. Then for the speaking part I said, "Happy Birthday Honey! Thanks for all the wonderful memories." This is a great gift idea for any special day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Berry Pickin' Good!

Whether you pick strawberries from your own garden or at a Pick-Your-Own farm, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Be careful that your feet and knees don't damage plants or fruit in or along the edge of a row.

Remember that heaping strawberries more than 5 inches deep will bruise the berries.
Only pick the berries that are fully red. Part the leaves with your hands to look for hidden berries.
Remove berries that show rot, sunburn, insect injury or other defects and destroy them.

Pick berries for immediate use any time, but if you plan to hold the fruit for a few days, try to pick in the early morning or on cool, cloudy days. Berries picked during the heat of the day bruise easily and will not keep well.
Keep picked berries in the shade and cool them as soon as possible after picking. Berries that have been handled carefully will keep up to three days in the refrigerator.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Parking Lot Protection

If you leave work, feeling nervous because the parking garage is dark and empty. Here are some tips on what you can do to protect yourself....

Change from your work shoes into sneakers before leaving the office. You’ll be happy to be wearing the sneakers, in case there’s a need for a sudden sprint.

At night, don't go into a parking structure or lot alone. Ask a co-worker, a building security guard, a janitor or even the police to escort you to your car.

Carry your car ignition key pointed out between your index and middle fingers. In case of trouble in close quarters, it can double as a jabbing weapon.

Watch the parking structure or lot, especially the area right around your vehicle, for any suspicious activity. If anything feels funny, stay away until it goes away or call the cops.

Scan the interior of your vehicle, especially the back seat, before getting in.
Keep your doors and windows locked at all times.

Yummy Showers

I love this tip and a guy or a girl can do it. If you have a sweetheart like mine who
In the morning,wakes up and heads straight for the shower. Try this to sweeten their day. At night while your sweetie is asleep, tie a few Hershey's Kisses with curling ribbon, and hang them from your ceiling in the shower. Along with it attach a note that reads, "Shower yourself with my kisses!" they will absolutely love it.
You can also leave a little coupon next to the towel they use to dry off, that says "1 shower with (your name)" That they can cash in anytime :)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Getting Ready for the Heat!

I’ve removed the snow tires, changed the oil, and had the salt underneath my car washed off. Do I need to do anything else to get my car ready for the warm weather?

Quite a bit, actually. Let’s start with your wipers. They slogged back and forth more dependably than snowplows, clearing the grime and brightening your vision. They sacrificed their little lives for your safety, so give them a decent burial in the proper refuse can, and install some new vision vigilantes.

Then, clean up. Lift up the wiper arms to purge all the twigs, dead leaves, weathered parking lot stubs and other debris. Clean off the air and radiator intakes.

Next, pop the hood and have your cooling system checked. If the mechanic says you need new antifreeze, but the color is still bright green or blue, you need a new mechanic. But if it's dull or obviously dirty, change it. In the interest of keeping cool (for both you and your car), have the thermostat checked. They’re cheap; so don’t be shy about replacing it. While the hood is up, check the belts and hoses.

Are your brakes grinding, squealing, screeching or chattering? Give yourself and everybody else on the road a break by going, non-stop if possible, to the best local brake specialist.

Finally, don't get the cold shoulder from too-busy air conditioning shops during their busiest season. Have your AC checked ASAP!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Plants,Crops & Dishwashers

Coffee for your Plants

After your morning coffee, remove the filter and grounds and set them aside to dry. When the grounds are thoroughly dried, scatter them around the garden as an organic plant food. Don’t use too much in one area because coffee grounds tend to raise the acidity of the soil. Use the filter to line the bottom of flowerpots to keep the soil from falling through drainage holes


Squeaky Clean Dishwasher
For a quick and simple way to remove odors from your dishwasher, just add 2 tablespoons of white vineager to your next wash. Your dishwasher will smell fresh and clean



Get More from your Potato Crop
As your potato plants begin to grow, pull the soil up around them to encourage more tuber formation. You can cover all but the top six inches of the plant.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lets Get Super Frugal!!!

Check out these tips to improve the appearance,atmosphere around your home & save $$$ too!

Wash and Save
Use quality dryer sheets and cut them into 6 parts. Put only one strip in per load and you will never know the difference!

Save On Hot Water
Set your hot water heater to be used only at certain times of the day, and always turn it off at night.

Crystal Clean
Place a small amount of bleach in a squirt bottle and fill it to the top with water. Use for spraying in bathtubs to get rid of mildew, cleaning counter-tops, using as a stain remover on clothing (test for color fastness first though!), spot spraying shower curtains, washing off cutting boards, and wiping down bathroom counter and toilet seats.


Spotless Fixtures
Clean bathroom and kitchen fixtures with alcohol, they will be shiny and spot free!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Road Trip!!!

I'm Planning a driving vacation. What should we carry in case of emergencies?

You didn't say where you are going or what you're driving. If it's a new Benz and your plan is to compare pedicures from every spa and resort between Palm Springs and Palm Beach, then the only emergency kit you need is a fistful of no-limit credit cards.

But if you're simply going to tour our fruited plains and amber waves of grain, from Seattle to shining Sea Island, Georgia, don't leave home without a car phone, along with a bag packed with these potentially life-saving goodies:
Flares
Flashlight with warning beacon or red lens
Jumper cables
First aid kit; the big, semi-industrial one
Towels or clean rags
Bottle/can opener
Thermal blanket
Bungee cords or rope
Tire inflator and pressure gauge
Bottled water
Protein bars

Tool kit: Multi-tool knife, pliers, large and small Phillips and slot head screwdrivers, large and small adjustable wrenches, heavy duty tape, extra fuses and light bulbs.
Disposable camera

Thursday, April 3, 2008

20 Things You Should Know About Suicide

I found these signs about suicide and I want to share them with all of you

suicides are in early spring and early autumn. In the US, suicides for both men and women peak in April and May, while suicides in women alone show a rise in September and October.

2. One suicide can trigger other suicides. Like the flu, suicide can be contagious, encouraging copy cats.

3. More suicides occur between 4 AM and 7 AM, when depression is often at its worst.

4. More suicides occur on Monday.

5. Persons who experience mixed states—fluctuating between depression and mania or hypomania—are most at risk for suicide. (Again, because they have the energy, while a severely depressed person is too lethargic to end his life.)

6. Official statistics show that 30,000 Americans take their lives each year, but that number could be considerably higher since suicide often goes unreported; suicide takes more lives than traffic accidents, lung disease, or AIDS.

7. Worldwide there are more deaths due to suicide than to accidents, homicides, and war combined.

8. About 19 percent of young people (high school and college students) contemplate or attempt suicide each year. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death in college students ages 20 to 24, and is the third-leading cause of death among people ages 15 to 24.

9. Approximately 6 percent of all people with major depression and about 15 percent of those treated for severe depression take their own lives.

10. The suicide rate among those with bipolar disorder may be highest among all psychiatric conditions, with one in 10 persons ending their lives, and as high as one in five for those persons with bipolar disorder who have experienced depression severe enough to require hospitalization.

11. According to the World Health Organization, suicide is the second-leading cause of death worldwide among females ages 15 to 44, and the fourth-leading cause of death among males ages 15 to 44, after traffic accidents, TB, and violence.

12. Every day, approximately 80 Americans take their own lives, and 1,500 more attempt to do so. A person dies by suicide every 18 minutes in the U.S. An attempt is estimated to be made once every minute.

13. There are more than four male suicides for every female suicide, but twice as many females as males attempt suicide.

14. Firearms are the most frequent method of suicide among adults in the US.

15. Women most often overdose on pills to end their lives.

16. About two-thirds of the people who take their own lives suffer from major depression or bipolar disorder. Almost everyone else has depression, alcohol or substance abuse, or a delusional illness like schizophrenia.

17. Alcoholism is a factor in about 30 percent of all suicide deaths.

18. Between 20 and 50 percent of people who kill themselves had previously attempted suicide. Although the majority of people who die by suicides have not made a pervious attempt, a serious suicide attempt is a clear risk factor for suicide death.

19. In the year 2005 alone, at least 6,256 veterans committed suicide. According to a Veterans Affairs study published in October 2007 in the "American Journal of Public Health," veterans took their lives at a rate of nearly 90 per 100,000 between 1999 and 2004.

20. Suicidal individuals often talk about suicide directly or indirectly using statements like, “My family would be better off with out me.” Sometimes they talk as if they are saying goodbye or going away, and may arrange to put their affairs in order. Other signs of contemplating suicide include giving away articles they value, paying off debts or changing a will.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Rush Hour Plan + Kit

What can I do to avoid gridlock?

Traffic standstill is like the great white shark in Jaws. As soon as you pull into the line at the on-ramp, you can hear the eerie soundtrack. It’s out there, it’s coming, and our best minds can’t seem to stop it.

The best way to avoid it, of course, is not to be there when it happens. So plan ahead. Check the radio for alerts and warnings. Read the newspaper in the morning to find out what’s going on in your community and when it’s happening. Then do what your department of transportation should have done for you years ago: work out perimeter routes. You’ll cover more distance, but in the long run, they’ll save you extra hours of anger, frustration, and a possible angioplasty.

Even with the most carefully planned escape routes, though, you can still get stuck. So be prepared. Depending upon where we live in this nation, we motorists carry a variety of disaster caches in the trunks of our cars. We’re ready for blizzards, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods -- you name it. However, we never seem to be prepared for the hours of grinding, infuriating, despair caused by gridlock and traffic jams, which are increasingly a simple fact of life.

I never leave home without my wait-it-out kit. It contains books on tape to take me out of there metaphysically if not physically, energy bars to sustain me and several large containers of my favorite bottled water to hydrate me. A cell phone and a Prozac or two are optional.

One last tip: Turn off your engine after five minutes of idling. If it overheats, when Officer Moses parts the traffic to let everyone through, you’ll be sitting there steaming and may become the cause of another major traffic tie-up.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fruit Tease

Here is something fun to try with your honey to entice your evening into passion filled ectasy....
If you enjoy doing something different for your mate, this is it.
Fill the tub with water and bubbles.
Then, fill the top of the water with slices of lemon, orange, limes and grapes. Light candles around the bath.
Place a small table or stool within easy reach and leave your love's favorite book and cool drink on it. Let your love relax in the fruit scented bath. They will love it! You can also serve this book or drink in a hot outfit or nude- hey you might even be invited to hop into the tub!

Shade Tree Gardener

Gardening Under Shade Trees

If the soil under the tree is dry and root-clogged to the point where you have difficulty digging a hole, you may have to improve the soil before you can plant. A layer of organic material several inches deep is the best remedy. The tree will provide you with an abundance of organic material in the form of leaves. Chop them to the size of fifty-cent pieces with a bagging lawn mower and spread them under the tree. Sprinkle them with compost activator and keep them moist. Repeat this procedure annually until the leaves have rotted into a deep humus. Earthworms will move in and loosen the subsoil, making it possible to plant the shade garden of your dreams.

If you’re in a hurry to create your shade garden, fill your bed with container plants while you build your soil.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Swerve Away From Road Rage

Has the whole world caught road rage?

It used to be that when people got angry they would take a long drive and cool off. Today, it's more like they take a long drive to take their anger out on somebody else. Where it used to take two to tangle, police reports now show that an increasing number of vehicular and car-related personal assaults have absolutely no inciting factors. More and more drivers are taking out their frustrations by deliberately attacking innocent drivers.

Arrive Alive is the official slogan printed on some state's license plates. What it means is: Don't let road rage ruin your day or life.

To avoid problems try these tips:

Avoid eye contact. Eyes on the road.
Do not shout, threaten, tease, or flip off other drivers for any reason.
Use your horn only if absolutely necessary.
Give speeders, road hogs, weavers and cutters the right of way.
If someone is threatening to attack you, or is following you, drive to the nearest police station, highway patrol or sheriff's station.
Notify the police immediately about any deliberately hostile or aggressive driving actions against you or others.
Always keep your seat belt fastened. Your chances of surviving an accident are greatly increased if buckled in.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Address Labeled

Smart new ways to use address labels

I have so many address labels because I get them for free most of the time, I wonder what to do with them all
I have come across some great ways to put them to use:

Like to loan out books?
place a address label on the inside cover, which is a great reminder to the borrower

Going to a potluck?
Place a address label on the bottom side of the dish, and the hostess will know which one is yours

Hate to lick envelopes?
Apply a address label to the back flap and there will be no need to lick at all!

Love to sign up for sales?
Try this next time you go shopping
put a bunch of address labels in your purse so you can quickly add yourself to store mailing lists

Like to make your own?
Did you know Microsoft Word lets you make your own address labels on your computer?
It's easy and inexpensive!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Teen Dental Wear

Tooth Decayers

You have to take care of your teeth because you know you don't get a second chance. Once they're gone, they're gone.

So here's a Community Dental Health report on the major causes of dental wear among teens.

On the list of things you shouldn't do:

Grind your teeth
Eat most kinds of pickles
Drink soda

On the list of things that you can do without risking your teeth:

Have a stomach upset
Be overweight
Not brush after every meal
Eat ketchup
Eat pickled onions


***Have a great smile even if you don't do it much- it is a priceless way to open many doors to warm friendliness

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Saving in the Garden

Spring-Flowering Shrubs

Cut back your spring-flowering shrubs as soon as the blooms have faded. Many spring-flowering shrubs will begin forming the buds for next year’s blossoms this spring, and if you wait too long to prune them you will end up clipping off next year’s flowers.

**Slow evaporation of water by using layers of mulch around your trees and plants. This will also save time by keeping weeds at bay.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ugh! 3's A Crowd

Best Way To Fix Up Friends

Most times we want to fix up our lonely and unhappy friends, because it just makes life for everyone a lot easier
three's a crowd anyone? Exactly- who wants to put up with the unattached friend everytime there is a social gathering?
I don't and neither do you-right? Ok so lets say the friend resents being set up, or you always pick the wrong guy or girl when you do? I have a great tip that works way better for all involved.
Throw a party and invite all the single people you and your spouse know. When you have eveyone gathered together
bring up something they have in common and leave them alone to discuss it- great ice breaker and
no will accuse you of matchmaking!- Give this a try,it works. If you notice after awhile conversation has died in the group
walk back in and do the same thing, bring up something else they all have in common. Also remember not to take the outcome personally -remember alls fair in love an matchmaking!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Red Pepper Spray?!

Make Your Own Insecticide

Red pepper spray is a good general insecticide and is especially effective against caterpillars. You’ll have to use this homemade spray more often than a chemical spray, but it’s much gentler on the environment. For your own safety, wear gloves when handling peppers and pepper spray.

Red Pepper Spray Concentrate:
1 unpeeled onion
1 unpeeled head of garlic
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
3 pints water
1. Chop onion and garlic and combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer 20 minutes.

2. Cool and store in jars in the refrigerator for 6 weeks.

3. Strain and store in jars.

To use, dilute 1 tablespoon of concentrate with 1 pint of water. Add a little Ivory snow. Shake and spray on plant.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

When Good Parts Go Bad

Here are some ways to tell if you have worn shocks or struts:

Excessive bounces (3 or more) after crossing a dip.
Vehicle rocks back and forth after stopping.
Vehicle drifts left or right when braking hard.
Vehicle rocks side to side when changing lanes.

Recognize any of these signs of impending strut or shock failure? Think now. Sometimes, these symptoms sneak up so gradually, motorists think that's the way the car always reacted. Okay, now that you've considered it again, and might consider that something may be wrong, take it to a good repair tech who will (or should) look for any of the following potential or actual trouble spots:
Leaking shock or strut. The component is losing fluid and can't provide the correct resistance.
Coil clash. Topping and bottoming of the spring coils created by too much suspension travel.
Broken or loose mounts. Shock or strut connection may be broken at either end.
Broken or damaged piston rod. Unit can't operate properly.

Any of these symptoms can be signs of a damaged shock or strut. Not only can that damaged or worn component affect your ride comfort but it can also drastically affect your safety comfort because the entire front-end alignment, the steering, the braking and overall handling can be headed toward heavy damage and so can your entire vehicle and you

Friday, February 29, 2008

Diagnosing Engine Problems

What's Wrong With My Engine?


It's a good idea to know how your car behaves when it's healthy, because if something starts to change, you'll know there's a problem. Your engine exhibits certain symptoms depending on the problem. A trained mechanic has many diagnostic tools at his disposal to pinpoint the noise you're hearing, but here are some common worries:If you're getting bad fuel mileage and your engine is missing a beat, there's probably a dead cylinder. You'll need to find the problem cylinder to find out why it's not firing.Are your spark plugs sparking? Are the tips covered in gunk? While disconnecting spark plug wires, be sure the engine is turned off to minimize risk of shocking.If you have sparks and your tips are clean, you may have a dead fuel injector.An oil test can help determine the problem. A sample of oil sent to a lab can reveal traces of metals in your oil. Aluminum in oil comes from pistons. Bearings and radiators are made of brass or lead. Steel comes from the crankshaft. If the test shows coolant or water, you know there's a leak.A badly tuned engine will use more fuel and money. Pay attention to when your dashboard engine lights come on and what you're doing. For instance, does your "check engine" light come on when you're going uphill, or at certain speeds?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Overheating Advice

An Overheating Overview

Have you ever had this problem with your vehicle?
Your car is starting to run a little hot. You don't want to be stranded by the side of the road with steam coming out of your ears and the hood. What should you do?
I'd say take it to a professional repair shop and let them handle it, but the cost of diagnosis alone could be enough to give you a full head of steam without even opening the radiator. Instead, let's do some under-cover, err, under-hood detective work ourselves and save the $50.00…$60.00…$75.00 an hour most repair shops would charge to run the same tests.
First, either clean the engine yourself or have it done professionally. Too much grease, oil and dirt can hide leaks and keep cooling air from the engine. Inspect the radiator for damage and clean it of bugs and debris. Get a new radiator cap if the rubber gasket on the old one is dried-up, cracked or missing.
Check to make sure it is the correct cap for your make and model. Look into the radiator or the radiator overflow bottle. If the coolant looks rusty, flush the system and fill with 50% plain tap water and 50% ethylene glycol anti-freeze. Inspect all radiator and radiator hoses and replace any with leaks, cracks or soft spots. Also tighten all hose clamps.
Check all engine belts for excessive wear or cracks, especially the V-ribbed serpentine belt which operates many of the engine's hangons. If the belt grooves show excessive cracks or if pieces have actually been "chunked" off, replace them. There you have it. The basic repair shop procedures for finding and repairing most over-heating problems.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fertility Diet

Having trouble with conception? It just may be your diet and weight. There are so many foods and eating habits we take for granted, forgetting they may be an issue when trying to conceive. Having a healthy body is always the first and final step in pregnancy- so why not before conception? Although I think this diet is gold and accurate there happens to be some
plans under way to conduct a randomized, controlled study to test the diet in a more scientifically rigorous manner. In the meantime, achieving a healthy weight is a good first step for any woman planning a pregnancy, 10 ways to enhance fertility“The Fertility Diet,” based on a Harvard study, offers 10 key recommendations to enhance fertility:

Avoid trans fats.
Use more unsaturated vegetable oils, such as olive or canola oil.
Eat more vegetable protein, such as beans and nuts, and less animal protein.
Choose whole-grain sources of carbohydrates instead of highly refined carbs.
Drink a glass of whole milk or have a small dish of ice cream or full-fat yogurt each day.n Take a multivitamin that contains folic acid and other B vitamins.
Get plenty of iron, but not from red meat.
Avoid sugary sodas. Coffee, tea and alcohol are OK in moderation.
If overweight, lose 5 percent to 10 percent of your weight.
Start an exercise program. If you already exercise, keep it up but don’t overdo it if you are quite lean.

I Made This With My Own 2 Hands

I Design

This idea is for a personalized gift for your sweetie. Iron-on T-shirts are easy, very fun and cheap. You need a t-shirt or sweatshirt, a computer, an iron and transfer paper. (Try Staples or crafts stores for the paper.) Then, simply find a favorite picture online, scan an image, or write something racy! Print the picture onto the transfer paper, and iron the picture onto a shirt. This gift is great because it is so versatile! I also like this idea because it never gets old, most people love and wear out a good t-shirt/sweatshirt. Have fun with the endless creative ideas on the designs too. Trust me, your sweetie will cherish and keep the shirt which is the real bonus!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Don't Buy These Cars!

The Right Car for Teens

Your teenage son wants a souped-up foreign sports car. You want him to have a sluggish American tank. Is there anything in the middle? Okay, for one arguable reason or another, the kid is getting his own car. Because you can't hold his hand (or his steering wheel) forever, and you are weary of being the household hauler, the best parental protection you can give him now is heavy-gauge metal and a lot of it. You've done enough in giving him the right to drive, you don't have to give him the right to have an early funeral. Here are some general car-selecting no-nos that might help keep the kid out of traffic court, jail, hospitals, and the mortuary:
Do not give him a super-charged, turbo-charged, "Super Zoom" anything. Drivers, every one of them, in hot, high-performance cars automatically catch "Fast Foot Fever;" an incurable ailment that often leads to premature loss of license at a minimum – life, at the ultimate.
Do not give him a "roller." High center of gravity vehicles like SUV’s, especially the small ones, are not an intelligent choice for new drivers who have little experience with the limits of vehicle stability. One bad over-correction because of too little judgment or too much machismo, can easily make the high vehicle topple and roll, leading to tragic consequences.
Don't get him a mini-car. New drivers should have a lot of metal around them. If he doesn't want, or you don't want to give him the family barge, today's mid- and full-size cars offer a lot of crash energy-absorbing metal for your money.
Don't buy him an older car. Give him the best chance to drive and survive with a car that's less than five years old. Most of these will have the newest built-in safety equipment including the two absolute mandatory items -- airbags and ABS brakes.

No More Work Stress

Why did you quit your last job -- assuming you left voluntarily? the No. 1 reason why people quit is excessive stress. Yet employers seem unaware of this, or in denial: When asked why they thought employees were leaving, most HR managers gave insufficient pay and lack of career development, including promotions, as the main reasons.On top of the usual stressors -- ever-higher productivity targets, only 24 hours in a day, and the struggle to carve out some kind of life outside of work -- economic uncertainty adds "the fear of layoffs and feelings of powerlessness. If You're Overwhelmed By it All,Try These Four Stress-Fighting Tactics:

Make a long-term to-do list. Think about all the small, incremental things you can do to build career success over the course of a year, or five years -- take someone out for a networking lunch now and then, work on picking up a new skill, put in a little extra time helping the boss solve a knotty problem. Making a list of these, and doing something on the list when you feel "stuck" in your regular job, will help you feel you're getting somewhere and not just spinning your wheels. That sense of accomplishment is a powerful stress reducer.

Several times a day, just chill. From taking a deep breath, to stretching, to going over your schedule to cross off non-essential commitments, we each have things we know we can do to ease our stress level. Get in the habit of taking a few minutes several times a day to consciously manage stress. Take a short walk. Call a loved one on the phone. Check out a web site that makes you laugh. It sounds simple but, over time, you'll probably find you're less exhausted.

Fight perfectionism. Many successful people suffer from a neurosis I call "A-student syndrome," which makes them feel they have to be perfect at everything. This is a dandy way to stress yourself out even more than your job, or your life, actually requires.

Mark necessities on your calendar in ink, not pencil. Sure, we all know people who seem to fit in a weekly massage, get a haircut every six weeks without fail, and somehow make time for volunteer work and book clubs. Never mind those people. Instead, ask: What are the things that you know are non-negotiable to you over the course of a year? From dental exams to your annual vacation, commit to the really necessary stuff as soon as possible. By holding these times as 'sacred' in your calendar. You'll carry a calming sense that there is a baseline of self-care in place no matter how chaotic things get in the meantime

So next time you feel super stressed at work, just take a deep breath,remember you could be unemployed, and that its ok not to be perfect - Nothing is the end of the world and you'll be fine- well... at least stress free!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Recycle The Clutter

Get a jump on Spring cleaning this year
Let the internet help you rid your house of clutter
Wheter its clothes,books or cell phones, I have listed below how to recycle your unwanted items

Find a new home for that old computerInstead of tossing it contact the National Cristina Foundation (www.cristina.org)They will match you with a school or organization that'll be happy to take it

Clear the closetYou can donate old prom dresses for low income girls at www.fairygodmothersinc.com)And your old business suits can helpout of work women interview for jobs if you donate them to(www.dressforsuccess.org)

Got an old cellphone?The wireless foundation reprograms phones and gives them to women at risk for domestic violenceVisit (www.calltoprotect.org or www.charitablerecyclng.org) for locations by you

Kids Outgrown their books?Donate them to (www.readertoreader.org) which will send them to kids all over the country

Let your unused electronics help save livesOld TVs,PDAs,cameras,and MP3 players can find a new home at (www.recycleforbreastcancer.org)The group will recycle your goods for a profit and donate the money to a national breast cancer charity

Let your old glasses help someone else seePrescription glassess or sunglasses are welcomed by (www.givethegiftofsight.com)They'll clean them up and send them to people in developing countries with similar vision needs

Friday, February 15, 2008

Just A Spoonful

Discount Dishwashing Detergent

I learned this tip from my grandmama when I moved into my first apartment a few years back- it is so good and works so well- I had to share with all of you
In your dishwasher, use baking soda in the first detergent dispenser and dish washing detergent in the other. You won't need more than a heaping tablespoon full. Your dishes, pots and pans will be spotless and there will be no need to use the liquid rinses.

Benefits of Car Donation (pt.1 )

Donating Your Car To Charity – Part I

All these appeals! What actually happens to the old, used cars that are donated to charities? I know, I know, giving your unloved vehicle to a charity is supposed to be a wonderful thing. And it can be. But often for the wrong people. In many cases, too many cases (some, actual court-type cases), well-meaning donors of used cars to charities are aiding and abetting a rapidly growing mini-industry in charity-blessed scams. What started out as an innocent, well-meaning way to raise a few bucks for established religious, medical, and public welfare charitable organizations, has – in a number of cases – become a great groaning board of free lunch for the operators, the opportunists and even the downright dishonest. For a number of years now, tax season has become peak season for donating the unloved, the abandoned, and the broken vehicles to good causes – especially good causes like a good, healthy tax deduction. Charitable groups now report that an increasing number of vehicles are being donated all year around. Unfortunately, regardless of how generous the vehicular gift, only a percentage of the value goes to good works, the rest goes to people working the system. Donors are deliberately misled by these scammers to believe that their contribution is going to help hungry orphans, or kidney transplants, or remedial schools, or the disabled -- when actually only a percentage of the car's worth actually gets to the charity. In fact, the invasion of the commercial fundraising money-snatchers has become so blatant that in 1999, the state of California initiated some heavy-duty legislation to start controlling some of the charity-cloaked cons. So bad had their incursion been into charity donation coffers that a couple of years back, financial papers turned in to the state attorney general's office by eleven fund raisers showed that only 20 cents out of every dollar collected actually went to the charities.
Tomorrow: Part II. Where your car donation money goes…

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Valentines Night

Bedroom Antics

You will need several small index cards to make this playing deck. Split the cards into two equal piles. On one pile write romantic actions (kiss, massage). On the other set, write body parts. The more unusual the suggestions, the better! Keep the two piles separate. Each partner takes their turn to choose one card from each pile, and whatever combination they get, they have to perform what it suggests on their partner. Have fun!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bottle Of Bliss

Before Dinner Sampler

I wanted to surprise my boyfriend before we went out for dinner one night, but I didn't have much cash, so I went to the store and got a bottle of massage oil and 2 bags of Hershey’s kisses. I spelled out "I LOVE YOU" with the kisses on the bed. I put the massage oil in the middle of a whole bunch of hugs and kisses. Then I turned off all the lights in the room and lit a whole bunch of candles. I also put some nice, soothing piano music on. So he thought he was coming over to take a nap before dinner, and he was surprised with a nice massage. He loved it.

Hershey Kissed

I Can't Wait

I wanted to do something to let my sugar pie know that I’m thinking about him. First, I bought a large bag of Hershey’s kisses. Next, on the outside of the package, I taped the message “I CAN'T WAIT TO...” Then, on each kiss, I taped a little message of special things I want to do with him. I made some romantic, some funny, some serious, etc. He is now waiting with tremendous anticipation to cash in all 127 of them! I suggest trying this for Valentines Day
it is perfect with the festive kisses candies and the sentiment of the special day- good luck!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Cholesterol Cut

Take the Stairs

If you're tired of waiting for the elevator at work, take the stairs – and cut your cholesterol.
The University of Ulster at Jordanstown in the United Kingdom enrolled 22 women in a study to evaluate the effects of short periods of exercise on overall health. One group made no changes in their lifestyles, while the other stopped using the elevator and started taking the stairs.
Using a rather long staircase -- 199 stairs -- the study group started with one ascent a day, and at the end of seven weeks was going up the stairs six or seven times each day.
At the end of the seven-week study, the control group's health hadn't changed. But the study group had lower overall cholesterol, a higher HDL (good cholesterol) level and could climb the stairs with lower oxygen consumption and a slower heart rate.

Improving Your Car's Fuel Efficiency: Part 2

Purchasing a Vehicle

When showing for a car, people need to decide between purchasing a new or used vehicle. But what people should really focus on is the average miles per gallon a vehicle gets, whether it is old or new. A car or truck that gets high gas mileage will save thousands of dollars in fuel bills over the lifetime of a vehicle compared to a vehicle with low gas mileage. This vehicle will also reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. As you may now realize, there are many opportunities to reduce your car's fuel economy. So take some time to explore which ones work for you and you will soon be saving money and reducing wear on your vehicle. Just say no to "gas guzzlers"
you'll be better off,car and wallet too.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Improving Your Car's Fuel Efficiency: Part 1

Maintaining Your Vehicle

There was a recent study that says a majority of the vehicles on the road today are riding on under-inflated tires. Not only do under-inflated tires reduce fuel economy, but they also wear quicker and can make it more difficult to handle your vehicle. One of the easiest things you can do to improve your car's fuel economy is to make sure your tires are properly inflated. If you are unsure of the proper tire pressure for your vehicle, consult the owner's manual. Also, if you have them, remove snow tires during good weather seasons. These deep-tread tires reduce fuel economy. Changing your car's oil on a regular basis will also help improve fuel economy by increasing the life of the engine. Clean oil reduces wear caused by friction between moving parts and also removes dirt and grime from the engine. A clean air filter will also improve fuel economy and protect your engine. A properly tuned engine will also help lower fuel costs. Consult the maintenance schedule in your owner's manual for tune-ups and you will help your car save fuel and run better. It's also a good idea to buy gas from a high-volume station. Since its tanks are refilled often, there is less chance of the fuel having impurities such as water or rust. In addition, don't waste money on premium fuel if your vehicle doesn't need it.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Meatless Meals

If you go to the market and have noticed that meat has become pricier than ever,(I know I have) Here is a quick tip for you and your budget. Try to have 2-3 times a week, a meatless meal. Eating a dinner consisting of just vegetables is extremely budget friendly, as well as very healthy. I have listed below a meatless recipe that is cheap, delicious,and simple to make. I also like it because it uses a vegetable people usually seem to skip over,eggplant-bon appetite!

Eggplant Gratin
Good olive oil, for frying
3/4 pound eggplant, unpeeled, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 extra-large egg
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good bottled marinara sauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat about 1/8-inch of olive oil in a very large frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is almost smoking, add several slices of eggplant and cook, turning once, until they are evenly browned on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Be careful, it splatters! Transfer the cooked eggplant slices to paper towels to drain. Add more oil, heat, and add more eggplant until all the slices are cooked.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg, half-and-half, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
In each of 2 individual gratin dishes, place a layer of eggplant slices, then sprinkle with Parmesan, salt and pepper and spoon 1/2 of the marinara sauce. Next, add a second layer of eggplant, more salt and pepper, half the ricotta mixture, and finally 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan on top.
Place the gratins on a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the custard sets and the top is browned. Serve warm. ll usually skip over: eggplant- bon appetite!Give me courage to face anything, to endure everything--with you by my side.

-courtesy of www.foodnetwork.com

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Best Part Of Waking Up

Morning Romance

Try this very early in the morning ( around 5:30 am) to surprise your sweetheart. Wake and tell them
to hurry and come out of the house. On the lawn have a blanket thrown out with little scented candles, fruits, cheese, coffee, croissants and muffins, and have breakfast on the front lawn watching the sunrise. It is so beautiful, romantic and totally unexpected- no doubt your face will be covered in smooches!

You Did What With Your Thoothbrush?!!

Wait! Don't throw out that ratty old toothbrush! Here are some great ways to reuse old toothbrushes:


Scrub the corners of your shower, tiles and sliding door.
Clean your keyboard.
Clean your nails after gardening.
Clean small spaces in your car that you can't get to.
Save it to clean off your cheese grater next time you use it.
Ah, yes, and let's not forget this gem ... Clean dog poop off your shoe.
You can use thoothbrushes for painting and all types of crafting projects also
Obviously, you may want to keep separate toothbrushes for some of these tasks.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Read This 1st Tax Filers!!

Here are the 13 most overlooked tax deductions- making mistakes can and does cost us taxpayers millions a year- do not be one of them losing out on good $$$

State Sales Tax
1.Although all taxpayers have a shot at this write-off, it makes sense primarily for those who live in states that do not impose an income tax. You must choose between deducting state income taxes or state sales taxes. For most citizens of income-tax states, the income-tax deduction is a better deal.

2. $250 Educators' Expenses
Teachers and their aides can deduct up to $250 they spent in 2007 for books and classroom supplies. If you qualify, put your deduction on line 23 of the Form 1040. You get this deduction regardless of whether you itemize. ax. You must choose between deducting state income taxes or state sales taxes. For most citizens of income-tax states, the income-tax deduction is a better deal.

3. College Tuition
You may qualify to deduct up to $4,000 you paid in college tuition in 2007 for yourself, your spouse or a dependent. This break can pay off if your income is too high to qualify to claim the Hope or Lifetime Learning credit.

4. Student Loan Interest ... Paid by Mom or Dad
Until recently, if parents paid back a student loan incurred by their children, no one got a tax break. To get a deduction, the law held that you had to be both liable for the debt and actually pay it yourself. But now there's an exception. If Mom and Dad pay back the loan, IRS treats it as though they gave the money to their child, who then paid the debt. So, a child who's not claimed as a dependent can qualify to deduct up to $2,500 of the loan.

5. Out-of-Pocket Charitable Contributions
It's hard to overlook the big charitable gifts you made during the year, by check or payroll deduction. But little things add up, too, and you can write off out-of-pocket costs you incur while doing good works. Ingredients for casseroles you regularly prepare for a nonprofit organization's soup kitchen, for example, or the cost of stamps you buy for your school's fundraiser count as a charitable contribution.

6. Jury Pay Paid to Employer
Some employers continue to pay employees' full salary while they are doing their civic duty but ask that they turn over their jury fees to the corporate treasury. The only problem is that the IRS demands that you report those fees as taxable income. You've always had a right to deduct the amount, so you weren't taxed on money that simply passed through your hands. But now tax forms include a line dedicated to this deduction.


7. Military Reservists' Travel Expenses
If you are a member of the National Guard or military reserve, you may deserve a deduction for travel expenses to drills or meetings. To qualify, you must travel more than 100 miles and be away from home overnight. If you qualify, you can deduct the cost of lodging and half the cost of your meals, plus 48.5 cents a mile (and any parking or toll fees) for driving your own car. You get this deduction regardless of whether you itemize.

8. Child-Care Credit
It's easy to overlook the child-care credit if you pay your child-care bills through a reimbursement account at work. The child-care credit applies to no more than $6,000 (for two or more children) of qualifying expenses. And, the law allows you to run up to $5K of such expenses through a tax-favored reimbursement account at work. So, if you run the maximum $5K through a plan at work, but spend more for work-related child care, you can claim the credit on that extra $1K. That would cut your tax bill by at least $200.

9. Estate Tax on Income in Respect of a Decedent
This sounds complicated, but it can save you a lot of money if you inherited an IRA from someone whose estate was big enough to be subject to the federal estate tax. Basically, you get an income-tax deduction for the amount of estate tax paid on the IRA balance.

10. State Tax You Paid Last Spring
Did you owe tax when you filed your 2006 state tax return in the spring of 2007? Then remember to include that amount with your state-tax deduction on your 2007 return, along with state income taxes withheld from your paychecks or paid via quarterly estimated payments. withdraw the money from the IRA and pay tax on it, you also get to deduct a proportional amount of the estate tax paid. If you withdraw $50,000 in one year, for example, you get to claim a $22,500 itemized deduction on Schedule A.

11. Refinancing Points
When you buy a house, you get to deduct points paid to get your mortgage in one fell swoop. When you refinance a mortgage, though, you have to deduct the points over the life of the loan. That means 1/30th a year if it's a 30 year mortgage -- that's $33 a year for each $1,000 of points you paid. Not much, maybe, but don't throw it away.


12. Reinvested Dividends
This isn't really a deduction, but it is a subtraction that can save you money ... and this is a break that many miss.If, like most investors, you have mutual fund dividends automatically invested in extra shares, remember that each reinvestment increases your "tax basis" in the fund. That, in turn, reduces the taxable capital gain (or increases the tax-saving loss) when you redeem shares. Forgetting to include the reinvested dividends in your basis means overpaying your tax.get to deduct points paid to get your mortgage in one fell swoop. When you refinance a mortgage, though, you have to deduct the points over the life of the loan. That means 1/30th a year if it's a 30 year mortgage -- that's $33 a year for each $1,000 of points you paid. Not much, maybe, but don't throw it away.

13. Jury Pay Paid to Employer
Some employers continue to pay employees' full salary while they are doing their civic duty but ask that they turn over their jury fees to the corporate treasury. The only problem is that the IRS demands that you report those fees as taxable income. You've always had a right to deduct the amount, so you weren't taxed on money that simply passed through your hands. But now tax forms include a line dedicated to this deduction.

Fancy Table For Less

Here are some easy and thrifty ways to impress your guests at the holiday table.

Make your own placemats simply and easily. Use pinking shears to cut sheets of fabric to size - approximately 12"x 17" works well. Create a simple pattern by stitching a ribbon to the placemat.
For matching napkin rings, simply tie a length of the same ribbon around your napkin.
This tip is simple and fun for anyone who has these few items- you can also make a whole bunch of these sets using different colors, impress company every time!

Wipe Out Whiteflies

Whiteflies are small, triangular, white-bodied insects that love to take up residence on houseplants. They are an annoyance to plant owners and can cause the leaves of your plants to yellow and drop off.
Here are some control measures:

Use yellow sticky traps.
Use soap spray at five to ten day intervals.
Alcohol spray: 4 parts water to 3 parts rubbing alcohol. Add a squirt of liquid soap.
Remove and destroy all leaves that are more than 50% damaged.

Find The Treasure

Here is a fun exciting game to play to keep romance fresh and exciting. When he comes home he finds a treasure map that you made for him. Then, he goes on a hunt throughout the house, and at the end, you are waiting for him with a room full of candles, roses and chocolate-covered strawberries. It is a silly little game, but it is fun to play.
You can change up this game in many ways with locations,hints,clues and the surprise ending.
That's why I like this game it never has to become boring for you two and both can play.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Meadow Of Wildflowers

Plant a Wildflower Meadow
Wildflower Meadow Fiction: To create a beautiful wildflower meadow, just buy one of those pretty shaker cans of wildflower seeds, spread them over your lawn, and stop mowing. Wildflower Meadow Fact: Although a wildflower meadow is easier to create than a flowerbed, you will need to prepare the soil by tilling thoroughly, and encourage your meadow by watering regularly. Here are some basics to help you establish your wildflower meadow:
Every wildflower mix should contain some meadow grasses. These grasses add texture and help stabilize the soil.
The label on your mix should list every species contained in the mix. Try to find a good mix for your region.
Try to rid the meadow of weeds before planting. Weeds are the most common reason for the failure of a wildflower meadow.
Solarization usually does a good job of ridding the soil of weeds.
Till and prepare the soil as you would for any seedbed, then apply the seeds at twice the rate recommended on the package. To facilitate even spreading, mix seeds with equal portions of clean river sand.
Keep the seedlings moist and weed diligently.
Cut to 6 inches high in late winter to prevent invasion by woody plants and to help disperse flower and grass seeds.
Sow annual seeds yearly, since they seldom reseed themselves as expected. After the second year the perennial seeds will begin to come into their own, and annual seeding may not be necessary.

Today's $$ Tip

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