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    8.8 of 10 on the basis of 2812 Review.
     

     

     

     

     

     

         
     
    Creating A Boutique Hotel

     

    Renovating and designing a new hotel is a daunting task; even more so when you’ve decided to create a chic, boutique place to stay. How do they do it? Owners of boutique hotels often transform buildings no one would touch into hotels that everyone wants to go to. It takes a lot of hard work, planning and an eye for design and detail to create a successful boutique. Imagination Imagination is a key skill when it comes to creating a stunning small hotel. To see a building that is either derelict or in need of substantial renovation, and know that you can transform it into a stylish, desirable place to stay is a talent that not many people have. You need to be able to see the arrangement of the guest rooms, the provision of public spaces, the kitchens and offices and the outdoor spaces. If you don’t have a vision, it can be very difficult to pull off a successful make over. Experience Although many boutique owners are first time hoteliers, many have either hospitality or design experience. This helps to ensure that every angle is considered and that as much attention is paid to the running of the hotel as to its style. Understanding the market you are trying to attract, and designing your hotel with that in mind means that you are more likely to be successful. Equally, a knowledge of which design ideas work and which don’t is invaluable when creating a boutique hotel. Design is a key factor in turning a basic small hotel into an individual chic hotel and you need the experience to get it right first time. Determination Transforming a building into a hotel is a long, hard job. You need determination, focus and strict controls to ensure that everything is finished as close to your deadline as possible and within your budget. Research at the beginning of the project should allow you to set realistic deadlines and financial plans which in turn will contribute to the success of your project. There are bound to be times when things go wrong, but determination and a clear vision of the end product will help you succeed. Personality Some of the most successful boutique hotels are those where the personality of the owner or designer shines through. This is what gives these hotels their characteristic individuality, which attracts a lot of guests and repeat visitors. Personality can be evident in themed rooms, the choice of art, music or food and in the way that guests are treated during their stay. Never underestimate the importance of a hotel’s personality when it comes to marketing and occupancy rates.



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    Natural Health Maintaining A Healthy Colon

     

    Natural Health – Maintaining A Healthy Colon Maintaining a healthy colon prevents the body from 65 chronic diseases. Among these are constipation, malnutrition, irritable bowel movement, diarrhea, candida, crohns, cardiovascular problems, and cancer. The colon is the part of the digestive system that drains excess and waste material out from the body. It is around five feet long. Its main function is water, vitamins, and nutrients absorption that goes to the blood stream which is then distributed to all parts of the body to keep it functioning normally. Excess and unneeded, and toxic materials are excreted from the colon as feces. Overtime, plaque forms in the colons lining making it less efficient in the absorption of materials that the body needs. As the plaque builds up, the colon clogs with decaying materials. The decaying materials stick to the colons lining that in turn breed unhealthy bacteria that form toxins. These toxins are then absorbed into the bloodstream causing various illnesses and diseases. Before the onset of illnesses though, a possible sign of an unhealthy colon is when the body feels sluggish and is having mood swings. To keep the colon healthy, colon cleansing must be performed at least once a year. Colon cleansing programs scrubs the intestines of decaying materials and flushes it out of the body. It also reduces the plaque that were formed if not totally eliminate them. When that is done, the colon starts absorbing all the nutrients that the body needs and it starts hosting good bacteria that helps the body to stay fit and healthy. Then the body feels energized and active. To reduce the risk of having an unhealthy colon the following are suggestions that are proven to keep the body healthy. Drinks water. It is a popular belief that we should drink eight glasses of water daily. Professionals though will agree that that is only the basic requirement. Water is a natural and universal cleaning agent that could be taken in large quantities without ill effects. If ever, the only side effect is a more frequent need to empty the bladder, but even that promotes health too. The flushing out of toxins through the colon the urinary tract and the skin promotes natural health that no amount of medication could replace. Next to that is eating foods that have high fiber content. Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber. True there are those that have less but even a little amount of food with fiber content will do the body good overtime. Fibers are natural colon cleansers as they attract materials in the lining of the colon and flush it out with the feces. There is really no need for high sounding well advertised juices, smoothies, and concoctions. Most of them are a waste of money compared to the benefit that they provide, more so if the benefit could be had trough natural means. Maintaining a healthy colon does not take much. All it takes is refraining from overly processed foods, eating instead a variety of fruits and vegetables, drinking liters and liters of water and exercising.



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    Phentermine And Healthy Weight Loss

     

    Today’s World is the age of competition and to be ahead of others one needs to be smart and dashing. In this regard, weight is the most distracting factor that hinders the youths in present day scenerio. To over come the over weight factor, there are various medicines and pills available in the market. But all these medicines do not fulfill the requirement of loosing weight and at same time you invite various types of side effects. Here is a magic pill that will help you in shedding your extra weight in shortest possible of time with out any side effects. This magic pill is none other than Phentermine. This medicine has been showing best results and is commonly recommended by the health authorities for all of the age groups. Phentermine started to spread its roots from 1950 onwards and do due its positive results it was approved by the FDA in the year 1959. Phentermine is a medicine that makes you slim you in a short period when compared to other medicines available in the industry. Various people and dieters have been using this medicine for the last 55 years. The main cause of increase in weight is the metabolism and this particular magic pill reduces the metabolism and helps the individual to fight against obesity battle. Phentermine has provided a new dimension in the field of medicine. The process of medication is simple and pleasant. Phentermine contains amine, which resembles to amphetamine and various properties of phentermine are similar to that of amphetamines chemical. There are two methods that help to reduce weight with the help of Phentermine. First method is by stimulating the central nervous process that helps in reducing the food intake or the appetite of the individual. In this process, the neurotransmitters available in hypothalamus are affected and make the nervous system active. The second method utilized in Phentermine is, increasing the heart beat rate of an individual and in turn the metabolic rate is increased to the required level that helps in destroying the extra calories. Along with this Phentermine, if regular and simple exercises are performed, it provides a faster result. It is advised that you should follow the calorie controlled diet schedule along with the regular exercises. Both these programs work in conjunction with each other so that one can achieve the result in quickest possible time. In case of the first medication, if the results are not up to satisfactory level then you have to provide enough rest to the body and then only you should start the second medication process. There are various combinations followed nowadays and one among them is the union of Phentermine and Fenfluramine and that is popularly known as Phen Fen. Even though this combination was effective but resulted in various side effects of hearts. Due to the heart problems the FDA was forced to withdraw the approval but Phentermine was not blamed for the side effects. Second combination was with the Dexfenfluramine and that was known as Dexphen Phen but in this case also, the Dexfenfluramine was not up to the satisfactory levels of the FDA approval. Next combination was with Prozac and was called as Phen Pro. The Prozac may be replaced either with Luvox, Trazadone, Celexa, and Effexor or with Zoloft. Nowadays, this combination is very popular as there are no side effects of this combination and in other words, it is a super slimming cocktail available in the World so far. In case of United States of America, this super combination is normally recommended by the health practioners to their patients but yet there is no approval from the FDA authorities. The major advantages of Phen Pro combination are that it has longer effects to hinder the appetite strongly and the phentermine is well suited for over weight patients.



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    5 Reasons To Stop And Think Before Taking Out A Secured Loan

     

    Secured loans are a popular way of raising funds for homeowners, and there's no denying that taking one out can be a great way of organizing your finances. Debt consolidation, financing home improvements, even paying for a new car secured loans can be used for all of this. However, as with any financial agreement, it's only sensible to take your time when deciding whether to proceed. After all, with a secured loan, you could be betting your home on a successful outcome. So what things do you need to consider before finalizing your application? Firstly, as just alluded to, it's an inescapable fact that taking out a loan that's secured on your home could potentially put your home at risk. Should you fall behind on your repayments, the lender can apply to seize your property, evict you from it, and then sell it at less than market value to clear the debt. Scary, huh? This is, of course, a fairly rare outcome, and most lenders are happy to work with you if you do get into trouble, using repossession as a last resort, but you should consider this carefully before taking out a loan, especially if you'll be converting existing unsecured debt into secured though debt consolidation. The second problem with secured loans is that they tend to be for fairly high amounts, and repaid over a fairly long term. This means that the amount of interest you'll pay over the entire term may be substantially higher than you might think. Even with a low APR, secured loans aren't necessarily a cheap option. Thirdly, if you use a secured loan to wipe out some existing unsecured debt, you may get the illusion that your debt levels have lessened. There's then always the temptation to use your credit cards etcetera to build up fresh debts, so you now have secured AND unsecured debt hanging over your head, and you'll be in a worse position than ever before. A fourth problem with a secured loan is that you'll by its very nature be removing equity from your home. In other words, the value of your home and the amount of debt secured on it will be much closer. Considering that today's property prices are at record highs, and that many experts are predicting a fall in the near future, you could then be left in the unenviable situation of owing more than your home is worth that is, you could fall into negative equity. The fifth problem we'll cover is also related to the removal of equity from your home. Should you in the future wish to take advantage of a refinancing offer to reduce your mortgage costs, it helps to have as much equity available as possible in order to secure the best deal. A secured loan now could harm your remortgage prospects in the future. So has all this put you off the idea of getting a secured loan? It shouldn't do, as you may still benefit greatly from the financial restructuring one will allow you to do. However, it's a big decision, and this is why you need to be aware of the possible problems first, so that your decision can be as informed as possible.



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    Quality At A Cheap Price

     

    Quality At A Cheap Price There has never been a better time than now to have your audio book, music project, computer data, or CD R business card duplicated. Unlike the days gone by, these processes are cheaper than ever before even for those on a budget. Over the last several years, the costs of blank CDs have dropped quite a bit. The retail chains such as Office Max, Staples, and Best Buy run specials on blank CDs where you can purchase a 50 CD R spindle for under $20. You can even find similar deals on Froogle, such as a 50 pack spindle of blank CD R disks for less than $12. Those interested in CD duplication at home, will find that many of the newer computers come packages with a CD burner included at prices under $500. If you already own a computer and want to add an internal CD burner, several retailers have brands for under $50. You can also purchase an external CD burner for all your needs for under $100. Making cheap duplications of CDs even more affordable are the powerhouses such as DiscMakers, Oasis, and CDman, all of whom specialize in duplicating large quantities of CDs at low prices. Not only do these powerhouses offer superior quality at a great price, but they also give great deals on graphics, CD inserts, and jewel cases as well. With cheap prices, you can get everything you need at a price you can't argue with. If you've copied CDs in the past, you can quit paying high costs and save yourself a ton of money. Those who offer CD duplication at a cheap price are great at what they do saving you a ton of money for your CD duplication needs. (word count 288) PPPPP



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    Understanding Forex 3 Fundamental Analysis

     

    This is a series of articles about The Foreign Exchange Market. You will learn here what Forex is , how it works and how profitable it can be. The whole series contain the following articles . . . 1. What is Forex 2. Technical analysis 3. Fundamental analysis 4. Money management 5. Compound interest Fundamental analysis. Forex fundamental analysis strategies consist on studying economic factors of a country to forecast the future value of its currency. This includes, but it is not limited to: economic condition, monetary policy, etc. Fundamental analysis focuses on studying economic, social and political factors that drive supply and demand. Some important indicators are interest rates, inflation and unemployment. Political decisions are also important. Bellow you can find some of the most important fundamental analysis indicators and their definition. You can learn more about these indicators and how they are used on . investopedia. com. Producer Price Index PPI A family of indexes that measures the average change in selling prices received by domestic producers of goods and services over time. PPI measures price change from the perspective of the seller. Consumer Price Index CPI A measure of price changes in consumer goods and services such as gasoline, food and automobiles. Sometimes referred to as "headline inflation". Gross Domestic Product GDP The monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period, though GDP is usually calculated on an annual basis. It includes all of private and public consumption, government outlays, investments and exports less imports that occur within a defined territory. It is important that you pay attention to financial news when you trade using a fundamental analysis trading system. You can find financial news on the following websites . . . 1. . bloomberg. com 2. . businessweek. com 3. money. cnn. com 4. . economist. com 5. news. ft. com/markets/currencies 6. . fxstreet. com Fundamental analysis is very important as you can see, but it is also important to implement some other techniques on your trading strategies. You can learn about other aspects about Forex trading like technical analysis and money management in my other articles on this series. EasyWebRiches © 2006



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    Roth Ira Distributions At Death Pitfalls To Avoid

     

    One of the most attractive features of a Roth IRA is the ability to control the timing of the eventual required distributions. However, this ability mandates the withdrawals to be made within a prescribed set of rules. The distribution advantages of a Roth IRA extend beyond the death of the IRA owner. But to make sure the spouse and children can benefit, things have to be set up properly. Here is a summary of the Roth IRA distribution rules at death. Many people do not like the requirement that a traditional IRA must start required minimum distributions (RMDs) at age 70 1/2. Perhaps they don't need the income yet. Maybe they would just as soon let the IRA continue to grow. In any event, the RMDs are taxable. Depending on the circumstances, they may even make part of Social Security retirement benefits taxable. RMDs during the life of the Roth IRA owner are not required. If and when income is needed, withdrawals can be made, but there is no IRS requirement. When the Roth IRA owner dies, RMDs must begin. When they are required to begin and how the distributions are received is a function of several factors. Your Spouse is the Beneficiary If your spouse is the sole beneficiary of your Roth IRA, your spouse can make an election to be treated as the owner of your Roth IRA. In this case, RMDs can further be postponed until the spouse's death. Note the word “sole” beneficiary, as this is an area where a mistake could inadvertently be made. For example, let's say you named your spouse and your children as beneficiaries. The spouse would be prohibited from making the ownership election and RMDs would be required over the life expectancy of the spouse, thus reducing (the spouse could die before their expectancy) or exhausting the Roth IRA balance altogether. So much for your desire to leave part to the children. If the Roth IRA owner dies before age 70 1/2, the spouse doesn't have to start the RMDs until the IRA owner would have reached age 70 1/2. Here is another area where the spouse needs to pay attention. If RMDs are not started when required (or less than the required amount is taken out), the penalty tax is a whopping 50% of the difference between what was required and what was withdrawn. If your desire is to extend the RMDs all the way to the death of your spouse, here is another “heads up”. Let's say you named a trust as the beneficiary of your Roth IRA. Even if your spouse is the sole beneficiary of the trust, the election to have the spouse treat your Roth IRA as their own cannot be made. There technically may be a work around (a rollover), but why not just set things up right from the start? A Person Other Than Your Spouse is the Beneficiary In this case, distributions must be made over the remaining life expectancy of the beneficiary. If there is more than one beneficiary, the life expectancy of the oldest is used. If the beneficiary is a trust with multiple beneficiaries, the oldest beneficiary's life expectancy is also used. Another caution: If an entity other than an individual is a beneficiary of an IRA (even if an individual is also a beneficiary), the IRA is treated as having no beneficiary. The distribution requirements for an IRA with no beneficiary are outlined below. Probably the most common scenario involving a “non person” is a charity. If you name a charity as one of the beneficiaries, the distribution rules are different and may be contrary to your desires. The solution is to roll part of your IRA over to a new one and name the charity as the sole beneficiary. No Beneficiary Where no beneficiary is elected, the entire distribution must be made over five years. This five year rule would also apply even if there were a beneficiary and the distributions were not started when the rules dictated they must start. As I hope you can see, there are several ways to make mistakes which would have the distributions occur in a much different manner than your wishes. These examples are my interpretation of the rules and cannot be relied upon for tax advice. I would recommend sitting down with your financial planner, your accountant and an estate planning attorney to make sure everything is set up properly.



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    How To Extend The Life Of Your Treadmill

     

    When purchasing a treadmill, you really don’t think about the importance of proper maintenance. When you purchase a treadmill, you must be willing to take the time to maintain it just as you would any other major investment. Just like anything else, you must make a conscience effort to factor the maintence time into your schedule. Consider this prior to purchase. If you are proactive in the maintenance of your treadmill, you will add years to the life of your investment. Proper cleaning for the exterior of the treadmill is required, due to the fact that sweat is highly corrosive. This can be accomplished by merely wiping down the unit after each workout. Also, wiping down the belt and deck with a damp cloth will clean any debris that may effect the performance of the treadmill. That being said, the most important component of a treadmill is the belt. The belt is what drives the motor and your workout. A malfunctioning belt can cause many problems internally that can damage the motor, control board, belt or other major operating parts. There are really just a few rules to follow in maintaining and insuring the longest life of your walking belt. *The most important maintence item is adding supplemental lube when recommended (see your owners manual). Proper Lubrication will considerably extend the life of any treadmill walking belt. *Keep the treadmill clean, and evacuate any debris on or around the treadmill. *Do not place your treadmill in any extreme conditions. Treadmills should always be in a climate controlled room. *Keeping proper belt tension and tracking (belt should run parallel to the treadmill frame). This will maintain the belt in good working order. *Keep your treadmill on a level surface. Some treadmills have level adjustments on the rear supports. A treadmill will not track if not on a level surface. When to Change a Walking Belt It is never too soon to change a walking belt, but it is often too late. Although the exterior or walking surface of the belt may not be esthetically pleasing, the part of the belt that is not visible is the most important. If your treadmill belt is torn, curled up or bare you are in need of a new belt. Also, any problems with speed change when you begin walking are sure signs of belt wear. Regardless, the belt should be changed every 2 to 3 years with regular usage. Many times you can change a treadmill belt yourself. If you are not comfortable with this procedure, call a reputable Treadmill Repair Company. While changing the belt, you may notice that the deck of the treadmill also has major wear (bare areas, or ruts). Many times you can turn over the used deck (again, see owners manual). If this is not an option, you may need to completely replace the deck. You can go directly to the manufacturer, or any well rated treadmill replacement parts website (we recommend Treadmilldoctor. com). All of the things listed will greatly extend the life of your treadmill, treadmill belt, and your ability to utilize your treadmill to its fullest capacity.



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    Retro Or Heritage It Is All The Same To You

     

    : Words matter, they really do. In some cases the wrong words or phrases can summon up a whole host of thoughts or feelings, negative or positive. Marketing professionals spend millions of dollars per year testing products with consumers to see just how well they are received. The automotive industry is no exception with vehicles living or dying based on name only. Beyond specific model names, there are other “killer” terms that must be avoided at all costs. Let’s take a look at current accepted automotive vernacular and those terms or words that are resoundingly rejected. Crossover – A rather vague term, a crossover vehicle defies easy description. One of the earlier crossover models was Chrysler’s Pacifica – a tall wagon, while the all new Dodge Caliper also is given that designation. Sometimes the designation hides what a vehicle really is: a hatchback. Ask anyone who drove one of these cars during the 1970s and 1980s and you will quickly learn why it is one term avoided by automakers at all costs! Retro – Suggesting something old made new, this term has been attributed to a particular breed of vehicle that borrows styling cues from an earlier model.

    Current examples include the Ford Thunderbird and Ford Mustang. While retro is positively received by some, automakers are now using a different term – heritage – to describe this category of vehicles.

    Chevrolet, for one, has named its new compact vehicle the HHR [heritage high roof] specifically to invoke the heritage name. Ragtop – Oh, this old term for a convertible has certainly died a nasty death. Rags are nothing more then spent clothe at least in the eyes of most motorists.

    Substitute the term “cabriolet” and you have the preferred name for a vehicle whose roof retracts. Wagon – Drop the word “station” from station wagon and you have a word that describes the Dodge Magnum. Unlike previous generation vehicles that were used to drop Dad off at the railroad station to catch a ride to work, the Magnum puts the sport into what many have long considered to be the bane of suburbia: family wagons.

    SUV – Owners of Ford’s Explorer, the Jeep Cherokee, and the Chevy Blazer have long been accustomed to calling their rides sport utility vehicles. Some manufacturers, including BMW, have adjusted the term SUV to SAV – sport activity vehicle suggesting that their vehicles have a more refined use than their more prosaic competitors. Green – No longer just a color, the term “green” is used to describe eco friendly vehicles such as gas electric hybrids. These vehicles still pollute, but their share of fuel consumption is much lower as are its overall negative impact on the environment.

    No word yet just how all of the dead batteries will be recycled when the time comes. So, no matter how you slice it a favored term with one generation may be avoided at all costs for another one. Usually, you are still talking about the same thing, but by using terms that evoke a positive response you are much more likely to look at that product favorably. Clearly, this “wordsmithing” is something automotive marketers are keen to emphasize with consumers.



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    14 Rules Of Business Referral Etiquette

     

    One of the key roles of management is to build business through relationships. A common way to build relationships is through referrals: with, for and through banks, attorneys, employees, peers, and anyone else who has something that someone else wants or needs. The better you are at managing the referral, the better off you and those in your organization will be. Unfortunately, even though most referrals start with good intentions, they’re conducted haphazardly and don’t yield the results people expect. It’s often the reason that referrals are not offered. Who wants to be burned? The tips in this article should help you control the outcomes and get what you want. Everyone has been embarrassed by their association with another person at one time or another. How about that cousin you wouldn’t want anyone to know about? But what happens when the embarrassment happens in a business situation: more specifically, when you refer one person to another and one of those parties is unprofessional or just plain screws up? Making a bad connection could cost you money or something more valuable and much harder to recoup—your reputation. We once stepped into an awkward situation when we referred a business peer, seeking a specific product, to one of our clients, who just so happened to offer that very product. We thought we were doing a good thing, a win win win thing…until we received a phone call from our client explaining that the referred person made a vulgar offer to a woman on the client’s staff when she said she couldn’t go any lower on her price. We were shocked. Our client ended the conversation with, "I'm not sure what to do, but what he [the business peer] did was disrespectful to my staff and to you. I'm going to let you handle this." The outcome was hardly the one we were shooting for. All we could do was apologize and hope our reputation didn’t take too big a hit. The referral is part of Business 101, and it’s a valuable way to extend your business connections. Typical referrals involve three parties: the person who wants something, the person who has something to give, and the person who connects the two. Sounds simple and clean…but as our bad experience shows, sometimes things get messy. So what can you do to facilitate successful referrals? That depends on which of the three roles you’re playing. Here they are. The person who wants something. If someone connects you to another party, remember to: 1.…respect relationships that others have developed. Consider it your way of saying “thanks” to the person who made the connection. 2.…stay professional and avoid being too casual or friendly. A referral ONLY opens a door of opportunity. You’re still responsible for building your own relationship. 3.…conduct yourself in a way that honors the “referrer.” Your actions represent yourself AND the person who gave you the referral. 4.…leave foul language at the door. Everyone has a different tolerance point. 5.…keep ethics above board. To do so will net you a double win. To fail will curse you with a double loss at the very least. Good news travels; bad news travels faster. 6.…check the ego. Don't believe that your credentials, awards, accomplishments and the referral impress everyone so much that you can leave your manners at the door. The person who has something to give. If someone sends business your way, make sure you: 1.…deliver what you promise, and promise only what you KNOW you can deliver. If you find that you can’t help out, be honest about it and say thank you. 2.…make good on any mistakes that occur. People understand that errors happen. Keep both of the other two parties’ interests in mind when taking responsibility for those errors. 3.…if you want to keep the referral business pouring in, make sure you meet or exceed the expectations of the person doing the referring. Hint: they’re expecting you to make them look good. 4.…never “bad mouth” the person who referred the business or the one providing the service. What you say will almost surely get back to them. The person who connects the two. Before you connect one person to another, make sure you: 1.…know whom you’re dealing with. Only connect people who will show you in a good light…that goes for the person who wants something as well as the one who has something to give. 2.…aren’t connecting people for the soul purpose of getting reciprocal referrals. A client in Boston complained about giving out referrals but rarely getting them in return. Instead of expecting referrals, he learned that the real value came back to him in the form of strengthened business relationships with others. 3.…kick off the transaction in a professional fashion. Whether by telephone, email, or in person, set a tone of respect by introducing each person as a respected professional. 4.…butt out when you see the relationship blossom. Chalk up the connection as another success and move on. Referral etiquette is basically pretty simple. Behave yourself, respect others, and do the right thing. Then make sure you deal only with those who do the same. The combination is a winning formula for building new business relationships and strengthening old ones. © David and Lorrie Goldsmith



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    Exterior Lighting Improving Your Lot

     

    Everyone’s home needs some sort of outside lighting. Whether it’s to help you get the key in the lock after a night out, or to emphasise some of your favourite garden features, outdoor lighting is a must. The most common and practical lighting fixture is one that is activated by movement or an infra red motion detector. These can be set to become active at dusk and any movement will turn the light on. It means that energy is saved as the light is off when not required but it switches on when someone moves. This type of light has the added bonus of deterring unwanted visitors and also lighting up any callers who come to your door giving you added security. Another form of exterior lighting is solar lighting. This stores energy from the sun when lights are not required, and releases it as light energy when needed. Solar lighting can take the form of individual lamps or a major lighting installation that uses a central store of solar light stored in a battery. The individual lights each have their own solar mechanism and can be used to light paths or driveways with the minimum amount of installation work as they do not need electric cabling between them and the power source. A major garden lighting installation will need to be done by a qualified electrician who knows all of the current regulations. Cables need to be laid in ducts to prevent damage from the weather and wildlife and so they cannot be disturbed by general garden activities, digging and the like. An overall garden lighting scheme should not be too bright so as to annoy you neighbours but must be bright enough for the purpose they are intended. Some fairy lights strung between two trees make your garden look much more inviting than a 1000W floodlight that bathes everything in harsh white light. Many people only venture into the garden with lights at Christmas when taste and practicality gives way to neon Snowmen and flashing reindeer all done “for the children” but often a competition between homes to see who can improve on last year’s display. I say why not? It’s the holiday season and anything that brings a bit of sparkle to an otherwise unused area in the winter months is more than welcome. Other lighting in the garden can be used to highlight specific features. A well positioned spotlight can emphasise the features of a garden statue or a particularly precious tree or shrub. Many ponds have underwater lighting to help you see your fish and outdoor swimming pools often have lights set into the sides to improve vision in the pool. Whatever route you decide to travel down to light your garden ensure that you have a plan before you start and you will increase your enjoyment of your outside space after daylight hours.



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    Countdown To Cruise Time

     

    Are you ready to go cruising? You probably think you are! However, take a break from the fantasy cruise running through your mind. It’s time to think of a few sensible matters to ensure you have smooth sailing from the get go. A few months before you go on your cruise, you might want to touch base with your travel agent to see what type of identification you need for your cruise and ports of call. If you did not book through a travel agent, call the cruise line itself to confirm your identification needs. Sometimes, you just need your United States Driver’s license. However, often times you will require a passport. Get all your identification together that will be needed for travel. You should make sure you have a valid passport. If it is to expire soon, get it renewed while there is still plenty of time to do so. If you apply for or renew your passport at the last moment, you will pay a lot of money to get it expedited. Make sure to check with your travel agent or cruise line to see if any visas are needed for your ports of call. If so, you will have to fill out applications to start that process. About a month to month and a half before you leave, make sure your payments are current for your cruise. Sometimes, if you do not pay the remainder of your cruise tickets in a timely manner, your reservations could get cancelled with no refund on what you did pay up to that point. Start planning what you will pack. Try on clothes to ensure they will still fit. This is not the time to diet and try and lose ten pounds! By planning your wardrobe early, this will give you time to go shopping. Rushing around at the last moment makes for frazzled nerves and you want the experience to be smooth. If you have children who are not going with you, make sure their temporary guardian for that time has their school schedules. Write permission notes for your children’s schools to ensure that they can be picked up by someone other than you. If your house will be empty while you are gone, arrange for a neighbor to pick up your mail and water your plants. Set timers on your lights to make it look like someone is home. Have the neighbors feed your pets or arrange a pet sitting service or kennel. A few weeks before the big day, have your hair cut or any other personal services done. Check to make sure your luggage is in good shape or decide if you should buy something new. Baggage tags should be labeled properly and in a legible print. Go over your cruise documents carefully to look for any inaccuracies like the spelling of your name or a different cabin or deck than what you paid for. A few days before you leave, make two copies of all your travel documents, including identification, credit cards and traveler’s checks. Leave a copy for a trusted family member or friend should you run into any trouble. Keep the other copy with you, but separate from the originals. Refill any pertinent medical prescriptions and make sure you have plenty of batteries and film for the camera. By creating a to do list a few months before and following it as needed, you should be able to accomplish everything you want including the care of your home, children and other necessities like your plants, pets and mail. This will keep you focused and ready for cruise time. Now, there will be no worries as you board for your adventure.



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