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Who doesn’t dream of someday taking an expensive, fancy vacation? The problem is, money still doesn’t grow on trees and last time I checked, neither do luxury vacations. The great news is that it might be possible to take that dream vacation on your current budget, however tight it may be. Here are a few simple tips that will help in planning an affordable, once in-a-lifetime vacation.

Decide which aspects of your “luxury vacation” are the most important (and which things don’t really matter). For example, for you, the most important thing may be doing expensive activities like visiting theme parks, going on guided tours, skiing, or snowmobiling. 

To compensate for the big ticket events and activities, cut back on something you won’t mind doing without, like perhaps, fine dining or a five-star hotel. 

Ask yourself if you are even going to be in your hotel during the day? If you’ll be lying on the beach, not your bed, then why pay for the nicest hotel? Or maybe luxury is of lesser importance when it comes to grub. 

Just by reducing your food budget by avoiding expensive restaurants can really save you a load of cash. 

Consider using that small fridge in the hotel (you’ve always wondered why they had it) by visiting the local…dare I say it…grocery store. If you must eat out, then look for less expensive dining options. 

taking a fancy vacation?

Where To Stay

If you want to really save money on lodging, note that luxury destinations often have locals who are willing to rent out their houses or condos for a much cheaper price. 

These will be away from other tourists, have a fabulous location, and you may even have access to a kitchen and more space. Also consider a mom and pop-type Bed n’ Breakfast hotel. 

Travel

We’ve all heard discount websites, so use them!! Just as a helpful hint, if you buy discount airline tickets during high traffic seasons, you could get bumped to a less-than-desirable flight instead of the direct flight you originally purchased. 

In this case, the price wouldn’t change, but you may lose valuable vacation time! It may be worth the risk, or the hassle, but remember; even the discount prices are more expensive during peak tourist seasons. Instead, consider traveling during the “off” season. 

Transportation

There are a few tricks to renting a car which may fall in your favor. For example, before renting, call your credit card’s customer service hotline (on the back of your card) and ask if the card’s features include car rental “loss and damage” coverage or other insurances. If so, then you may be able to waive the car rental’s insurance, saving around $10-15 dollars per day, which can definitely add up if you are staying several days or even weeks.

Some vacations may allow for an alternative mode of transportation. If you are planning a trip to Europe, Africa, Argentina, for example, try taking a train. In Europe, the “Eurail” offers 1st Class tickets for weekly use starting at around $33 a day. This may be cheaper than driving all over Europe in a rental car, paying for gas as you go. 

Other Helps

If you are planning visits to theme parks or museums-- check the particular website of the place you are going. They often offer great discounts, printable coupons, or package deals. 

If a fancy cruise has always been one of your dreams, consider this: did you know that if you sign up for a cruise as early as possible, it is likely you are going to get bumped to upper class lodging? This is because most people taking a cruise want the cheaper packages, and the lower class rooms fill up quickly.

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Probably you’ve heard about all the money that can be made on the Internet. Maybe you’ve tried Internet Marketing and been unsuccessful. I very much doubt that anyone reading this has been successful because most of the talk about how you can make your fortune on the Internet is hype to take your money. 

What you want and need is a way of bringing in large volumes of visitors to your site, most of whom are interested in buying your chosen product. 

The following are the most common methods offered to the aspiring entrepreneur and none of them work. We thought it best to share them with you first of all. 

What Doesn't Work? 

Mass Mailing Programs: These are programs which you load into your computer and which then enable you to mail thousands of addresses per night with a sales letter. They do not work because you cannot ordinarily obtain good addresses. You have to buy the program to learn this of course. 

Mass Mail (Spam) Lists: These are sold cheaply by the million for use with the programs above. People do not realise that not only are the addresses random rather than targeted-by-interest but they are all mailed thousands of times by everyone who purchases either the Mass Mailing Program or lists. Expect one per ten thousand with a good letter and appealing, cheap product. And your ISP will shut down your Web Site. 

Opt-In Lists: These rented mailing lists are much more expensive and hardly any better than those above. The names on the lists have allowed incoming mail in a certain subject in return for some other benefit. This does not mean they are interested in buying anything and they usually get 500 offers per day. You never see the names but have to trust the list owner that the names exist and are mailed. You have no recourse following a negative result. And a negative result is what you will get. 

Banner Advertising: For a set (and hefty) fee your advertisement appears a certain number of times on the screen of a number of computer users. (Allegedly) The ad can be slightly targeted but, again, there is no reason to suppose the viewer wants to buy anything. Banner ads do not give a cost effective return for anyone other than the person who sells the banner space. 

Affiliate Programs: These are where you recruit and set up people to sell your product for you on the Internet. The system has part of an idea which works and which we will examine elsewhere, affiliates in principle are a very good thing, but normally it involves other people trying, hopelessly, to do what you cannot - find clients on the Internet. You end up with a large recruiting bill and lots of affiliates doing nothing. (Unless you know how to sell on the Internet and can tell your affiliates. See below.) 

News Groups: There are tens of thousands of news groups on the Internet where people meet to exchange ideas on all manner of subjects. Some are concerned with marketing. If you post an advertisement on a news group which is not related to your business the members get really cross and do not buy - they shut you down. If you post to a group which accepts marketing your ad is buried under thousands of other ads which people post and no one ever reads. Expect zero results.

The following are the most common methods offered to the aspiring entrepreneur and none of them work

So What Does Work? 

Targeted Emailing: This is similar to direct mail by post with one vital exception - The % take-up rate is lower. Delivery is cheap but the rental lists are still quite expensive. Rental prices are coming down and there are now some "fair" lists around. 

This will improve as the Internet gains acceptance amongst the population and people become more used to buying directly from an email approach. The advantages are that return on investment is already much higher than snail-mail and it is much quicker and more amenable to automation. 

Internet Two-Step Is Currently By Far The Best Way To Sell Effectively Using The Internet. 

This is how it is done: You have to use a web page as a sales brochure and run it like "Two-Step" in a conventional mail order business. We call this - strangely enough - "Internet Two Step". Using this secret, known only to a few marketing professionals, is how you can make your own fortune and keep the money rolling in for the rest of your life. 

What Is Conventional "Two Step"? 

In conventional mail order there are two ways to sell a product: Either "Off the page" or "Two Step". Off The Page involves a large and expensive advertisement in a magazine or newspaper. It includes the order form and asks for payment with order after "selling" the product. The disadvantage is the size of ad-space, and therefore expense, required to explain and sell a product. The advantage is that with low cost products, say under $200, it "pulls" well and avoids the immense amount of administration and expense necessary to handle many thousands of enquiries. 

Two Step is where a much smaller, cheaper ad is used to attract the potential client’s interest and he is asked to telephone for free details. The disadvantage is that there is a great deal of expense and administration involved in collecting names and sending out a sales brochure to each enquirer. The advantage is that the ad is much cheaper. With conventional media it’s a case of "Horses for courses." 

How Does "Internet Two Step" Work? 

First you set up a web page as your "sales brochure". The Internet is extremely well suited to this use with full color display and also sound and movies available. An Internet web site can be immeasurably more appealing and effective as a sales tool than can a printed brochure. Your potential market for the right product is the entire civilised world and you can offer your web page in translation to reach everyone. 

You doubtlessly know it is possible to collect money over the Internet by credit card. Be aware that many people still prefer to send cash or cheque so you might offer this facility with a "print out" order form if your product is appropriate. The hurdle which stops most businesses is that, having put up their Web Site Brochure, they then try to use the Internet to drive clients to their site: This is difficult to do cost effectively as you have seen above so do not try. 

Instead, run the same type of ad in conventional media that you would use to attract enquiries for "Two Step" but ask the reader to visit your Web Site instead. A huge number will if your ad is right. You gain the same advantage of a far lower advertising spend and combine it with zero brochure production and distribution costs. 

You also obtain a much higher conversion rate on enquiries because a well designed site sells the product better than a brochure ever could. Once your site is set up you just have to get an advertisement in front of your target audience and the orders will flow in as fast as you can process them. And orders can be processed automatically with the right product and set-up. 

A few (pounds or dollars) invested in advertising can bring in tens of thousands of (pounds or dollars) worth of orders. 

Internet Two Step is the future of mass marketing and you are among the first entrepreneurs to learn of it. Use it well and make your fortune. 

The beauty of the Internet combined with the power of computers is that just about everything can be automated. 
Running a shop you have to be there or get a headache employing staff. 
Running a direct snail-mail program you spend all your time chasing mailing houses and fretting over delivery and responses. There is also masses of work to handle a successful response - orders to process, cheques to bank and orders to ship. There is more work than an outsider would credit. 
Selling from a web site, however, is a different animal entirely. 

Yes, you do have to get the site set up in the first place and complete the following once-and-for-all tasks: 
  • Choose the right product 
  • Design your Web Site 
  • Arrange to accept payment by credit card 
  • Arrange for the automatic despatch of the information-based product 
  • Publish your site 
  • Place your advertising and recruit your affiliates 
When this list is completed you have little else to do because the advertisements or affiliates bring the visitors to your site. The site sells and ships your product automatically. You can check your bank account over the Internet from any beach in the world. You can even re-book advertising from your deck chair. 

Do you know a better way to make money?

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There are two key changes in the body that, for many women, cause a variety of sexual problems, including inability to properly lubricate, pain or discomfort during intercourse, increased urinary tract infections, and for some, urine leakage, especially when laughing, sneezing, or crying. 

Not too pleasant, any way you look at it, is it? All this happens for two reasons: your body isn't producing as much of its feminine hormones as it once was, causing you to lose lubrication. Secondly, as you grow older, your muscles start to thin, including the muscles making up the walls of your vagina. 

Fortunately, choosing diets rich in Vitamin E and soy products seems, for most women, to keep your muscles strong. In addition, pelvic exercises known as Kegels will strengthen your muscles, helping you to maintain a healthy and well-lubricated vagina. 

What happens to your feminine parts during menopause ?

Kegels are deceptively simple to perform, and you can often exercise your pelvic muscles at the checkout line at the grocery store, while watching television, or while holding a conversation with someone - once you know what you're doing, no one will know! 

To perform Kegels, imagine you're trying to stop your urine in mid-stream (or better, the next time you go to the toilet, go ahead and try it!). The muscles you engage in doing so are your pelvic muscles, and these are the muscles that you're aiming to exercise. 

The exercises themselves are as simple as flexing and relaxing your leg or arm muscles. Over a count of four, slowly tighten these muscles, making sure you're mimicking the action of trying to stop urinating and not engaging your abdominals, and hold the muscles tightened for a few seconds. 

Then, in a slow and controlled motion, over the same count of four, relax these muscles. Do several sets of slow flexing and releasing, followed by repetitions where you flex and release the muscles as quickly as possible. 

Repeat this several times a day, whenever you think of it, and as the muscles grow stronger, increase the length of time you hold the muscles tight. Remember to keep breathing deeply and regularly throughout - this should not be a strenuous workout! 

Remember to exercise your Kegels as often as possible, and don't be too modest or embarrassed to share the tip with others!

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Salon visits can be scary experiences for small children, They are boring, full of strangers and strange smelling products, you are being ordered to sit still for ages, whilst some idiot is doing terrible things to your hair which you didn’t want to happen in the first place. Life is sooo unfair! 

So how do you as a parent, avoid, annoying the stylist, upsetting your child and getting yourself stressed? Well this is where your best child psychology skills come into play! Sometimes your child will have unwarranted fears and you have to help to overcome them. Creating trust by taking their concerns seriously is the first and most important step. Promising a treat can also help. 

Best of all is to check in your local area to see if there is one of the growing number of new specialized children’s salons available. Salon chains like Cartoon Cuts are designed to make the hair cut experience more positive and entertaining for small children: toys, video games, specially shaped chairs and specially-trained stylists, all help to ensue the experience is more like going to a theme park rather than a visit to the doctor. 

Home Sweet Home 

What’s your experience of your kids’ hair care ?

However, if your child is afraid of the hairdresser’s, then try to cut their hair at home. They will feel safe and comfortable and you will save time and money. You can do it yourself if you have the skills – or the bravery. Cutting hair for a child is basically the same for an adult, except that a child's hair is usually thin and baby soft. 

Keep the bangs approx. 1/2" from the eyebrows. If the child's hair is thin, avoid short cuts for now until their hair comes in thicker. Shape around the face if you're trying to grow it long. If you don’t have any haircutting experience, you might want to seek out a step by step guide on children’s hair cutting, or get someone to do it for you. 

Putting on the Style 

Whatever you do, remember that today’s media-savvy, celebrity-crazy kids want to look good. Children start to take an interest in their own hair style from an early age; even the kindergarten set want to be in-style. They want their hair to be like their best friend or even a television character. Boys that used to be seen only in ball caps are now having their hair bleached and highlighted. 

Finding the right hair style for a child is usually about finding a cool, fun, and easy-to-manage child hair style that suits your youngster’s active lifestyle. But you may experience resistance - as children get older they start to have very definite opinions of how they want to wear their hair. 

This hairstyle preference will surface in early childhood and continue throughout the teen years and into adulthood. Many a growing child will argue with their parents over how they want to wear their hair to school. At this stage of development the hair becomes a major identity factor. 

Hair Care 

The key is to be encouraging; as children start to take an interest in their own hair and how they style it, this is the time to encourage them to follow an entire regime of good hair hygiene practices. It is important to show a child (when they are willing), how to properly shampoo and rinse their own hair. You can also teach them about towel blotting, detangling, combing and brushing their hair.

Help them build a good hair hygiene schedule so that they learn the importance of keeping their hair clean and neat. Try also to get them to develop good eating habits because healthy hair is very dependent on high quality carbohydrates and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Good nutrition will promote shine and condition at any age. 

Tips for Tip-Top Hair 

Washing - use a mild shampoo, preferably in the child’s favorite color or scent. Sometimes children are more willing to wash their hair with a fun shampoo, especially if it doesn’t sting their eyes. 

Combing/brushing - try to create trust and reassurance by allowing them to comb and brush their own hair on their own terms. 

Do not brush your child's hair 100 strokes before bedtime in the traditional manner – this will over stimulate the sebaceous glands and make the hair greasy and heavy. Doing a quick brush to get the tangles out should be sufficient. 

Combing the hair will promote shine and condition. Remember to use a comb on wet hair rather than a brush or you risk creating static electricity, which leads to breakage. 

Accessories - give your child high quality combs and brushes and teach them the proper way to care for their hair to instill good grooming habits that will last a lifetime. 

Purchase some "hair friendly" clips and hair ties to help a child keep their hair off their face, and reduce the chance of tangling or matting. 

Stay away from any hairclips with sharp teeth, because they can cut into the hair and cause potential hair damage. 

Tangles - all parents know that dealing with tangles is a nightmare for both parent and child. Here’s how to reduce the trauma of removing tangles: 
  1. Hold the section of hair you're trying to comb out. 
  2. Hold it taut so the child won't feel you ripping through the ends. 
  3. Spray a good leave-in detangler on the knot. 
  4. You can also comb conditioner in while the child's hair is still wet. Children need conditioner too (avoid heavy types and stick with conditioners that are specifically called "light" conditioners). 
What’s your experience of kids’ hair care – tears and tantrums in a busy salon, or cosy mother-daughter hair-brushing sessions? Well, here is some great advice to help you navigate around some of those emotional flashpoints that often occur when you combine kids and hair care.

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Something important that helps us to avoid nightmares is to relax, especially before bed time. Try drinking herbal tea – chamomile and honey and lemon are particularly soothing flavours available. 

Light exercise also helps us to relieve the day’s tension and avoid nightmares. Try following a yoga video before climbing into bed. Once you lie down you’ll feel lovely and relaxed and will hopefully avoid nightmares. 

Having a nice, warm bath also helps us to relax and thus avoid nightmares. You could even give yourself a double dose of relaxation – have a cup of tea while you soak in the bath! Use fragrant soaps and body cleansers in your bath and add to the water relaxing oils such as rosemary and lavender. 

How can we avoid nightmares?

Try having a light snack such as a glass of warm milk or some yoghurt. The calcium in things like this can have a relaxing effect, helping you to avoid nightmares. 

Something you should definitely avoid before bed time is any food that is high in fatty acids or is spicy. These foods can give you gas, which will do nothing to avoid nightmares… in fact, it might even have the opposite effect. 

If you must watch TV before you go to bed, avoid watching scary movies, things with graphic images and the evening news. These things are more likely to give you nightmares than help you avoid nightmares. 

Something very positive that you could do, not only to help avoid nightmares, but also for your general health, is to quit smoking. Studies have shown that nicotine can actually cause some sleep disorders, which can at times prompt nightmares.

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Wherever your family decides to host the meetings, remember this point is very important because, family gatherings provide opportunities for feelings to be aired and validated. They also allow younger children to feel they are an important part of the decision making process when it comes to family holidays and function of other large and small families.

Before the first meeting commences, set a few ground rules such as: 
  1. Speak in a calm tone. 
  2. Avoid name-calling, finger-pointing, and sarcasm. 
  3. Turn off the TV, radio and telephones. 
  4. Allow each person to voice his or her concerns and ideas. 
  5. Listen to all opinions before making a decision. 
  6. If a person voices a complaint, they must also bring to the table at least one possible remedy to the situation. 
  7. Locations for future family meetings may also be brainstormed at the first meeting. Here are a few examples: 
Always end each meeting with a hug!

Circle Time 

Very simply, sit on the floor together, in a circle. Designate an object as a "talking token". This can be a small stuffed animal, a necklace to be worn, a hat, or any other item that will be passed around. 

Whoever holds the talking token may speak. Once they are finished, they must pass the token to the next person. 

Hobby Haven 

I know of several families who hold their meetings at places that cater to their favorite hobbies. For instance, one family conducts their meeting at a bowling alley. 

Once the meeting is over, they enjoy bowling together. Another family combines their gathering with their love of books, by meeting at a cafĂ© in their favorite bookstore. 

And yet another family I know holds their weekly meeting after a joyful round of put-put golf. This option combines family communication and fun. 

Restaurant Rendezvous 

Take turns choosing a favorite restaurant to host your family meetings. 

For this option, choose an afternoon or evening in the middle of the week, or at off-peak times, to avoid heavy crowds. End the meeting before dessert arrives, so everyone can indulge their sweet tooth happily.

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In starting an online business, it is important to consider what type of business will be suited to your type of personality. For example, if you are an outgoing and sociable person, you might be better suited for an online business involving sales. On the other hand, if you are introverted and shy, your personality might be better suited towards data entry. 

In starting an online business at home, it is good to look at your past experiences and jobs. If you were previously employed with a marketing firm, then maybe you should consider letting them know you have started your own online marketing and public relations business.

They might hire you to do freelance work for them. Another example is if you were a secretary or still work as a secretary, you can start an online virtual secretarial or related enterprise. Regardless of the type of online business you start with, it must be something that you enjoy doing. 

After you have decided on what online business that would be good for your personality and previous work experience, it is necessary to consider the time commitment involved in making your dream into a reality. In order to make this into a reality, you should consider writing a business plan for yourself. 

In starting an online business at home, it is good to look at your past experiences and jobs

The business plan should include the online business's name along with your company's finances such as the amount of money you would like to make in order to achieve a profit. Also, it is a good idea to write down the projected costs that your online business might incur. These would include buying office equipment and marketing ads. 

If you are considering registering to sell another company's products online, it is important to investigate the company before signing up. If the company promises large sums of wealth that can be made in a short period of time, it is advised that you stay away from them. Make a point to search forums and newsgroups online to see if anyone has reported the company as a scam. 

If you plan carefully and give much thought to your decisions, you should be able to find many similar onine businesses with proven success. There is no need to re-invent the wheel. Take advantage of the experience of successful marketing experts by purchasing e-books, subscribing to e-zines and e-courses offered by the many people making modest and even hugh incomes from their home-based online businesses. 

Starting an online business is, for some, a difficult decision to make. Choosing which home based business to become affiliated with is an even harder decision. It is important to find an online business that will generate a profit in the shortest time possible.

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There are two types of skin problems caused by acne that can be recognized as acne scars, one is the red pigmentation that appears after acne has healed. These contrary to popular belief, are not scars, rather, these are post-inflammatory lesions which occurs as the acne heals, and these can be present for up to 6-12 months. If however the pigmentation that you see lasts longer than the said period, you may be facing acne scars. 

Acne scars come from connective tissue that the body uses to repair damage done to a certain area. Together with antibodies and white blood cells, they work together to heal the wound. After the healing process, you are left with a scar. 

Acne scars can develop as long as acne is present, so one good form of prevention is actually preventing acne. However, Acne scars can also be prevented even with the presence of acne. This is done by facilitating the healing of the acne, the faster it heals, the shallower the acne scar will be, making it easier to treat, or may need no treatment at all. 

There are two dermatologically tested ways to facilitate the healing of acne, one is the use of Tretinoin, it’s a form of vitamin A, which speeds up the skin’s healing and renovation process shortening the inflammation period, thus preventing Acne scars. 

You can also help prevent acne scars by treating your skin righteously

The other treatment used by most dermatologists for Acne scar prevention is the use of Aplpha-Hydroxy Acids of AHA’s and Beta-Hydroxy Acids or BHA’s. These help the skins remodeling process, with the right concentration and proper application; these can also prevent acne scars. 

Without the complicated chemicals and difficult dermatological treatments, you can also help prevent acne scars by treating your skin righteously. Avoid sun exposure, this can cause even more skin damage and may hamper the healing process of your skin. Wear sunscreen that has SPF 15 or higher. Picking at scabs never helped either. Never pick on acne as it heals; it interferes with the healing process and might worsen the resulting acne scar. 

Of course, not even the most rigorous person can prevent acne scar, with the stress of everyday life, facial and other skin problems are really hard to avoid, there are however treatments available for acne scars, here are some of them. 

Dermal Fillers 

Collagen or other fillers are injected into the acne scar to raise is just a bit, so that it will be the same level as your skin, these treatments aren’t permanent though. They mostly last 3-6 months and you’ll need additional injections after that. 

Punch Excision 

This method is effective for some types of scars. It includes the surgical tool that matches the size of the scar; it can be compared to a cookie dough cutter. This tool cuts the scar out and the remaining wound is then sewed back together. The resulting scar will be unnoticeable, but if it is, it’ll be easier for laser resurfacing to treat it. Other types of this treatment include the use of skin grafts. 

Laser Resurfacing 

Laser resurfacing is a very popular and fast treatment for acne scars. Laser resurfacing basically works by burning a measure upper layer of the skin, and then letting it heal, leaving a newer looking skin. However, care must be taken after the procedure; the correct post operative procedure determines the success of the operation.

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The cost of air conditioning just seems to keep going up and up. This year is no different. We like the cool comfort of dryer less humid air and we are willing to pay for it. However, there is no reason to just give your money away to the utility company. 

Older homes are typically thought of as energy wasters. However, newer homes from the 70’s and later also have issues when it comes to energy efficiency. More often than not there are mature trees surrounding the older homes. 

New construction generally stands in a flattened area with new landscaping. If you have ever lived in this new construction, you know immediately that there is a difference in the temperature of your rooms because there is no shade.

There are some common sense things you can do to cut your energy costs and keep your homes and businesses cool at the same time

Check the thermal envelope of the home. If you are asking what a thermal envelope is, it is everything that protects the indoors of the home from the elements and the outdoors. This includes the wall and roof assemblies, insulation, air/vapor retarders, windows, weather stripping and caulking. 

If you are considering buying a home or you just need to remodel and improve your existing home, know as much as you can about the shell and what is protecting you and you will be ahead of the game when it comes to lowering utility costs. 

There are some common sense things you can do to cut your energy costs and keep your homes and businesses cool at the same time. 
  • Have your utility company come out to do an energy audit. They will do a walk through and determine where you have wasted energy or leaks in your home 
  • Check your attic, garage walls, and basement to make sure you have the proper R values for insulation. If you don’t add some, it’s usually quite easy 
  • Have your central air conditioning unit serviced yearly, and have them plug any leaks that may occur throughout the year. Keep your unit outdoors clean and clear of debris, shrubs, etc. 
  • What is the age of the furnace? Furnaces that are less than 12 years old can save you 25 – 40% on your utility bills 
  • What is the age of your hot water heater? This appliance is the second most energy waster in the home. Newer models will also be more efficient. 
  • Install a programmable thermostat to keep the temperature cooler or warmer when you are not at home. These thermostats are great in winter and summer 
  • Install blinds or heavy drapes. They keep the warm air in and cold air out. 
  • Put in double paned windows and clean out all air ducts 
  • Install a ceiling fan in every room of the house. You can rotate the fan blades in either direction in winter and summer. Moving and circulating air helps you feel cooler even when the air is not “conditioned” 
  • Make sure shrubs are trimmed for proper ventilation 
  • Plant a tree for natural shade around your home. Properly positioned trees can save you up to 50% on your utility bill. If you live in a trailer house, shade trees can save you up to 75%. 
  • Clean all air filters regularly 
  • Apply a reflective light coating on your roof. Dark dull colors will absorb heat and your home will be hotter. 
  • Check electrical outlets for leaks, and if you have them put in foam insulation 
  • If you have recessed lighting, you may have a lot of leaks of energy 
Make sure you are cooling your home with the proper size of air conditioner. If you have the wrong size, it won’t be energy efficient either. If you follow some simple ideas, you will be cool and comfortable in your home in the summer and warm in the winter.

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Follow these four simple rules, and you'll begin to see a dramatic improvement in your photos!. If you pay attention to some simple rules of photographic composition, rather than simply "pointing and shooting," you'll begin to notice a significant difference in your snapshots, even the ones you take of family events. 

1) Remember, centered photos are boring. 

Pay attention the next time you're in a movie theater; nothing is ever centered. Follos the rule of thirds - mentally divide the frame into thirds both vertically and horizontally, and place the center of interest (usually your subject's eyes) on one of those 'third lines.' 

Follow these four simple rules, and you'll begin to see a dramatic improvement in your photos!

2) Frame your pictures. 

If you're taking scenics of a distant lake or mountain, look for an interesting frame. This is no different from framing a photo on your wall. Your frame can be tree branches, rocks, or some other interesting foreground object. 

3) When shooting portraits, use the longest zoom setting your camera will allow (without using the "digital zoom"). Also use the widest aperture (or the lowest f-stop number). This will throw the background into a nice soft focus, drawing your viewer's eyes right to your smiling subject. 

4) Look for distractions in the frame. 

It's hard to learn to do this, because your brain naturally filters out the telephone pole growing out of Uncle Joe's head - but the photo printer won't. Look for objects which will draw your viewer's attention away from your desired center of interest.


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