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A Guide To Country Music

Hillbilly music, country, western music or country and western all refer to country music. This genre of music is diverse. Most modern country music artistes have developed their styles from earlier singers. Whether it is a classic or contemporary tune, for most who are new to country music it would be difficult to understand the different styles. A guide to country music offers comparisons that allow people to identify with inimitable performers. People may read guides to identify with the different instruments that are used to create the styles and rhythms. Since country music is a genre filled with many talented musicians, a number of guides offer details about upcoming artists. They are authentic and allow fans to understand and read about their idols.

People who aren’t terribly familiar with country music may need some help differentiating between the types of music. Guides offer information and help comprehend the varieties included. This includes pop country that is perfected by artistes like Shania Twain. Rebel or rock country music includes songs that are performed by free spirited singers. They are usually independent and use bold rhythms. Texas country has produced singers such as Robert Earl Keen and Pat Green. Old country music is considered to be slow whereas real old country included yodelling. This was the original folk derivation and continues to be popular.

Guides offer an insight into new developments, artists, functions and country music performances. Guides help provide information regarding country music legends and compare modern artistes. These guides discuss a singer’s drawbacks and unique talent. These guides may be written by enthusiasts or critics and may at times reflect only the writers point of view. It is easy to find a country music guide online or in magazines, journals and reviews.

Maclaren Techno XLR Buggy – Is it Really a Best Buy Pushchair? (Review)

If you are in the market for a new buggy and you do your research online, almost every review you will read about the Maclaren Techno XLR pushchair is favourable. Every owner who gave their feedback about this baby stroller usually have only good things to say about the XLR, which is probably why it’s one of the most popular and highly rated pushchairs around – but is it the perfect pushchair for your needs? Read on and find out.

Maclaren Techno XLR: The Pros

The Techno XLR is Maclaren’s version of a luxurious Techno XT which is one of the bestselling pushchair in the Maclaren range. So if you like the XT but want the best in both functionality and comfort, the XLR is the one for you.

Most owners have observed that the XLR pushchair is very sturdy/durable even after prolonged, daily use. It is no wonder that Maclaren is known for excellent workmanship.

For parents who are aggravated with logging around their pushchairs in public transportation, the XLR offers them the solution. It is so easy to push up curbs and maneuver around tight corners. This feature makes it different from the rest.

Another benefit of using the Techno XLR, is that it’s lightweight. It’s perfect for people living in upstairs apartments. With only 8kgs, together with the hood and shopping basket, parents and carers will not have to be troubled with carrying their pushchairs up and down the stairs.

The XLR has been designed for tall people who would otherwise encounter problems with low setting handles at 110cm, usually available with other pushchairs. Its unique feature is its high setting handles which can be adjusted up to 130cm with the lowest setting at 110cm.

Another plus is the Techno XLR’s hood with viewing window and sun visor, which is big enough to unzip from the back and extend forward. This would give your babies protection from the sun. For your added convenience, it is installed with pockets and net bag at the back of the hood for your traveling accessories.

The seat reclines to 4 positions, and yes it reclines to more than 150 degrees, making it perfectly suitable for newborns. The new 2009 model has a simple lever used for recline adjustment that you can operate with one hand. Again, this will tickle your fancy if you rarely have both hands free.

Maclaren Techno XLR: The Cons

The shopping basket is a disappointment in my opinion because it can only hold up to 2 kg.

For those vertically challenged, the handle height will be a difficulty. For those standing 5’1” to 5’3”, the lowest handle setting will be at chest to armpit level.

Another thing is that the seat is not reversible so it’s not a good choice for parents who want a travel system to use from birth likes to face their baby during the first few months.

The last thing to consider is that the XLR is not designed as an all terrain pushchair. For those planning to use the pushchair extensively on rough country roads, an all terrain type would be more suitable. The XLR is recommended more for people living in the city.

Conclusion

The Techno XLR would be perfect for people living in the city. From its sturdy, easy to use design and lightweight features to its easy to maneuver features in narrow spaces, this pushchair would definitely be the best choice for you.

Online World Travel Guides – The Top 4

Online, world travel guides are coming into their own. While they may never beat a solid guidebook that you can dog ear and mark up as you travel the world, they are becoming more valuable for research pre-departure. Thanks to the minimal resources required to create a travel guide online (no publishers, distributors, materials, etc.) we will continue to see more pop up as the world gets smaller. However, as the quantity of world travel guides increases, the need for quality, dependable information becomes more scarce. Here are the most authoritative spots online to help you prepare your next big

Travelfish.org. If you are looking for intelligence on Southeast Asia, look no further than Travelfish (even Lonely Planet, creator of the classic “Southeast Asia on a Shoestring” acknowledges their hard hitting advice). They provide detailed information about all of Southeast Asia, with a focus on Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, with additional sections on Singapore and the Philippines. Their FAQ for each country is an exercise in mind reading: they answer questions you didn’t realize you had such as “What kind of lock works best in a bungalow?” They also break down electrical requirements and other technical advice pertaining to cameras, laptops and mobile devices.

Gridskipper. Let me put it this way: Gridskipper is the premier website for big city types. They offer the best information on major cities in the world (San Francisco, London, Paris, Berlin and Tokyo seem to get the most coverage) including restaurant reviews and advice on the best clubs. If you want to explore the rice fields of Vietnam, you are in the wrong place! A word to the wise: this isn’t a site for the faint hearted, and you probably don’t want to check this out at work.

Virtualtourist. The biggest world travel guide online, loaded with information about travel hotspots around the world.

Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree forum. Here you can seek advice from people close to the ground. Visa requirements change, roads get blocked, storms may hit… save yourself the trouble and run it up the thorn tree.

Health Care Reform – Busting The 3 Biggest Myths Of ObamaCare

In the last few months we’ve seen a lot of Health Care Reform rules and regulations being introduced by the Health and Human Services Department. Every time that happens, the media gets hold of it and all kinds of articles are written in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the TV network news programs talk about it. All the analysts start talking about the pros and cons, and what it means to businesses and individuals.

The problem with this is, many times one writer looked at the regulation, and wrote a piece about it. Then other writers start using pieces from that first article and rewriting parts to fit their article. By the time the information gets widely distributed, the actual regulations and rules get twisted and distorted, and what actually shows up in the media sometimes just doesn’t truly represent the reality of what the regulations say.

There’s a lot of misunderstanding about what is going on with ObamaCare, and one of the things that I’ve noticed in discussions with clients, is that there’s an underlying set of myths that people have picked up about health care reform that just aren’t true. But because of all they’ve heard in the media, people believe these myths are actually true.

Today we’re going to talk about three myths I hear most commonly. Not everybody believes these myths, but enough do, and others are unsure what to believe, so it warrants dispelling these myths now.

The first one is that health care reform only affects uninsured people. The second one is that Medicare benefits and the Medicare program isn’t going to be affected by health care reform. And then the last one is that health care reform is going to reduce the costs of healthcare.

Health Care Reform Only Affects Uninsured

Let’s look at the first myth about health care reform only affecting uninsured people. In a lot of the discussions I have with clients, there are several expressions they use: “I already have coverage, so I won’t be affected by ObamaCare,” or “I’ll just keep my grandfathered health insurance plan,” and the last one – and this one I can give them a little bit of leeway, because part of what they’re saying is true — is “I have group health insurance, so I won’t be affected by health care reform.”

Well, the reality is that health care reform is actually going to affect everybody. Starting in 2014, we’re going to have a whole new set of health plans, and those plans have very rich benefits with lots of extra features that the existing plans today don’t offer. So these new plans are going to be higher cost.

Health Care Reform’s Effect On People With Health Insurance

People that currently have health insurance are going to be transitioned into these new plans sometime in 2014. So the insured will be directly affected by this because the health plans they have today are going away, and they will be mapped into a new ObamaCare plan in 2014.

Health Care Reform Effect On The Uninsured

The uninsured have an additional issue in that if they don’t get health insurance in 2014, they face a mandate penalty. Some of the healthy uninsured are going to look at that penalty and say, “Well, the penalty is 1% of my adjusted gross income; I make $50,000, so I’ll pay a $500 penalty or $1,000 for health insurance. In that case I’ll just take the penalty.” But either way, they will be directly affected by health care reform. Through the mandate it affects the insured as well as the uninsured.

Health Care Reform Effect On People With Grandfathered Health Plans

People that have grandfathered health insurance plans are not going to be directly affected by health care reform. But because of the life cycle of their grandfathered health plan, it’s going to make those plans more costly as they discover that there are plans available now that they can easily transfer to that have a richer set of benefits that would be more beneficial for any chronic health issues they may have.

For people who stay in those grandfathered plans, the pool of subscribers in the plan are going to start to shrink, and as that happens, the cost of those grandfathered health insurance plans will increase even faster than they are now. Therefore, people in grandfathered health plans will also be impacted by ObamaCare.

Health Care Reform Effect On People With Group Health Insurance

The last one, the small group marketplace, is going to be the most notably affected by health care reform. Even though the health care reform regulations predominantly affect large and medium-sized companies, and companies that have 50 or more employees, smaller companies will also be affected, even though they’re exempt from ObamaCare itself.

What many surveys and polls are starting to show is that some of the businesses that have 10 or fewer employees are going to look seriously at their option to drop health insurance coverage altogether, and no longer have it as an expense of the company. Instead, they will have their employees get health insurance through the health insurance exchanges.

In fact, some of the carriers are now saying they anticipate that up to 50% of small groups with 10 or fewer employees are going to drop their health insurance plan sometime between 2014 and 2016. That will have a very large effect on all people who have group health insurance, especially if they’re in one of those small companies that drop health insurance coverage.

It’s not just uninsured that are going to be affected by health care reform, everybody is going to be impacted.

Health Care Reform Will Not Affect Medicare

The next myth was that health care reform would not affect Medicare. This one is kind of funny because right from the very get-go, the most notable cuts were specifically targeting the Medicare program. When you look at Medicare’s portion of the overall federal, you can see that in 1970, Medicare was 4% of the U.S. federal budget, and by 2011, it had grown to 16% of the federal budget.

If we look at it over the last 10 years, from 2002 to 2012, Medicare is the fastest growing part of the major entitlement programs in the federal government, and it’s grown by almost 70% during that period of time.

Because of how large Medicare is and how fast it’s growing, it’s one of the key programs that ObamaCare is trying to get a handle on, so it doesn’t bankrupts the U.S. Medicare is going to be impacted, and in fact the initial cuts to Medicare have already been set at about $716 billion.

Medicare Advantage Cuts And The Effects

Of that $716 billion cut, the Medicare Advantage program gets cut the most, and will see the bulk of the effects. What that’s going to do is increase the premiums people pay for their Medicare Advantage plans, and reduce the benefits of those plans.

Increased Medicare Advantage Costs

Right now, many people choose Medicare Advantage plans because they have zero premium. When given a choice on Medicare plans, they view it as an easy choice because it’s a free program for them, “Sure, I get Medicare benefits, I don’t pay anything for it; why not.” Now they’re going to see Medicare premiums start to climb, and go from zero to $70, $80, $90, $100. We’ve already seen that with some of the Blue Cross Medicare Advantage plans this year. It’s going to get worse as we go forward in the future.

Reduced Medicare Advantage Benefits

In order to minimize the premium increases, what many Medicare Advantage plans will do is increase the copayments, increase the deductibles, and change the co-insurance rates. In order to keep the premiums down, they’ll just push more of the costs onto the Medicare Advantage recipients. Increased premiums and reduced benefits are what we’re going to see coming in Medicare Advantage plan.

Fewer Medicare Physicians

And then if that wasn’t bad enough, as Medicare doctors begin receiving lower and lower reimbursements for Medicare Advantage people, they’re going to stop taking new Medicare Advantage recipients. We’re going to see the pool of doctors to support people in Medicare starting to shrink as well, unless changes are made over the course of the next five years. So Medicare is going to be affected, and it’s going to be affected dramatically by health care reform. Everybody’s kind of on pins and needles, waiting to see what’s going to happen there.

Health Care Reform Will Reduce Healthcare Costs

The last one, and probably the biggest myth about health care reform, is everybody thinking that ObamaCare will reduce healthcare costs. That’s completely hogwash. Early on in the process, when they were trying to come up with the rules and regulations, the emphasis and one of the goals for reform was to reduce healthcare costs.

But somewhere along the line, the goal actually shifted from cost reduction to regulation of the health insurance industry. Once they made that transition, they pushed cost reductions to the back burner. There are some small cost reduction components in ObamaCare, but the real emphasis is on regulating health insurance. The new plans, for example, have much richer benefits than many plans today: richer benefits means richer prices.

Health Care Reform Subsidies: Will They Make Plans Affordable?

A lot of people hope, “The subsidies are going to make health insurance plans more affordable, won’t they?” Yes, in some cases the subsidies will help to make the plans affordable for people. But if you make $1 too much, the affordable plans are suddenly going to become very expensive and can cost thousands of dollars more over the course of a year. Will a subsidy make it affordable or not affordable is really subject to debate at this point in time. We’re going to have to actually see what the rates look like for these plans.

New Health Care Reform Taxes Passed On To Consumers

Then there’s a whole ton of new health care reform taxes that have been added into the system to help pay for ObamaCare. That means everybody who has a health insurance plan, whether it’s in a large group, a small group, or just as an individual, is going to be taxed in order to pay for the cost of reform. Health care reform adds various taxes on health care that insurance companies will have to collect and pay, but they’re just going to pass it right through to us, the consumer.

Mandate Won’t Reduce Uninsured Very Much

During the initial years of health care reform, the mandate is actually pretty weak. The mandate says that everyone must get health insurance or pay a penalty (a tax). What that’s going to do is make healthy people just sit on the sidelines and wait for the mandate to get to the point where it finally forces them to buy health insurance. People with chronic health conditions that couldn’t get health insurance previously, are all going to jump into healthcare at the beginning of 2014.

At the end of that year, the cost for the plans is going to go up in 2015. I can guarantee that that’s going to happen, because the young healthy people are not going to be motivated to get into the plans. They won’t see the benefit of joining an expensive plan, whereas the chronically ill people are going to get into the plans and drive the costs up.

Health Care Reform’s Purpose Is Just A Matter Of Semantics

The last portion of this is, one of the key things – and it’s funny, I saw it for the first two years, 2010, and ’11 – one of the key things that was listed in the documentation from the Obama administration was: Health Care Reform would help reduce the cost that we would see in the future if we do nothing today. That was emphasized over and over again. That was how they presented health care cost reduction, that it would reduce the future costs. Not today, but it would reduce what we would pay in the future if we did nothing about it now.

Well, that’s great, 10 years from now we’re going to pay less than we might have paid. And we all know how accurate future projections usually are. In the meantime, we’re all paying more today, and we’re going to pay even more in 2014 and more in 2015 and 2016. People are going to be pretty upset about that.

Conclusion

Those three myths, that health care reform is only going to affect the uninsured, that it won’t affect Medicare beneficiaries, and that ObamaCare is going to reduce healthcare costs, are just that. They are myths. There’s nothing to them.

It’s really important that you pay attention to what’s happening with health care reform, because there are more changes that are coming as we go through this year, 2013. Knowing how to position yourself so that you’re in the right spot to be able to make the best decision at the beginning of 2014 is going to be really important for everybody.

The Most Important Supplement – Multi Vitamin

Multi vitamins are so common these days you wouldn’t even think of them as a supplement. A multi vitamin is defined in the dictionary as “a preparation intended to supplement a human diet with vitamins, minerals and other nutritional elements.” The US government categorizes multi vitamin under “food”, because it contains 3 or more vitamins or minerals but does not contain herbs, hormones, or drugs.

The multi vitamin can come in many forms such as tablets, capsules, packs, powders, liquids and even injections; however, injections can only be prescribed by a doctor. There are many different combinations and doses of vitamins and minerals and many of them exceed the 100% recommended daily allowance. Depending on your physical needs, many of the excess vitamins and minerals that cannot be digested are harmlessly excreted out of the body. There are a few that will not exceed the RDA such as Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Iron, and many of the trace elements because they are not easily depleted unless under extreme physical stress and could become toxic if too much is retained in the body. Because the body’s nutritional requirements will differ depending on your physical requirements and diet, most multi vitamins are formulated for specific groups of people such as men, woman, over the age of 50,prenatal, stress relief and athletic.

Most multi vitamins will include these standard nutrients:

Vitamin A- Vitamin A plays a role in several functions throughout the body such as vision, bone metabolism, skin health, immune function, antioxidant activity and reproduction. It is found in many foods but these particular foods contain large amounts; liver, sweet potato, carrots, broccoli, kale, butter, spinach and leafy vegetables. Deficiencies in Vitamin A can cause impaired vision, particularly in reduced light (night vision), impaired immunity and red bumps on the skin called Keratosis pilaris. Too much Vitamin A can be toxic so do not take more than 5000 UI per day for males and 4000 UI per day for females.

Vitamin C- Vitamin C helps keep your immune system strong and is a powerful antioxidant, helps reduce the risk of heart disease, plays a major role in collagen production and it helps the body recover faster from a hard workout. Vitamin C can be found in many fruits, vegetables and in animal products such as raw cow’s milk and liver. Deficiencies in Vitamin C is known to cause Scurvy, liver spots, feelings of depression, their skin looks pale, and are more susceptible to lung borne diseases.

Vitamin D- Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus and is necessary for thyroid function and bone growth. Vitamin D is naturally produced by the body when it’s exposed to sunlight however due to the negative effects of UV rays; many foods such as dairy products, oil, cereal and bread are now enriched with Vitamin D. You can also find Vitamin D in fatty fishes, eggs, and liver. Deficiencies in Vitamin D in children can cause Rickets, a growth deformity of the bones. In adults deficiencies can cause thinning of the bones (Osteomalacia) and reduced density of the bones (Osteoporosis). Vitamin D deficiencies have also been linked to diseases such as type 1 diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and multiple sclerosis.

Vitamin E- Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant and is important for a healthy immune system. Vitamin E is important for hard training athletes as their immune systems can be worn down and make them susceptible to health issues. Vitamin E can be found in foods such as whole grains, nuts, milk, eggs, asparagus, vegetable oils and avocados. There have been no known symptoms of deficiencies in Vitamin E.

Vitamin K- Vitamin K plays a key role in blood coagulation, bone metabolism, and the circulatory system. Vitamin K is found mainly in green leafy vegetables but can also be found in avocados and kiwifruit. There are usually no symptoms of deficiencies in adults; however, adults that suffer from liver damage, cystic fibrosis, who have recently had abdominal surgery, bulimics and certain drugs may inhibit the absorption of Vitamin K. Symptoms of deficiencies are anemia, bruising and nose bleeding. Vitamin K should be stored in the cupboard as it will lose its potency in sunlight.

B Vitamins- There are 8 distinctive vitamins that fall under B vitamins umbrella and are discussed in detail in my previous article “B Vitamins Play an Essential Role in Metabolism”. B Vitamins play a key role in increasing the rate of metabolism, maintaining healthy skin and muscle tone, enhancing immune system and nervous system functions and promoting cell growth. B Vitamins can be found in a variety of foods such as animal products, legumes, yeast, fish, seeds and whole grains. Deficiencies in B Vitamins can cause various symptoms such as weight loss, weakness of the limbs, depression, sensitivity to sunlight, diarrhea, insomnia, acne, water retention, and high blood pressure.

Calcium- Is the most abundant mineral in the human body, 99% of it is contained in the bones and teeth. Calcium plays a role in many biological functions such as muscle contraction and as a neurotransmitter between cells, but Calcium’s claim to fame is its role in bone development and sustaining bone density. Calcium can be found in many foods such as dairy products, nuts, sesame seeds, lentils, and eggs. Symptoms of Calcium deficiencies are Osteoporosis and Osteomalacia, thinning of the bones.

Potassium- Potassium is a mineral that can reduce hypertension, heart disease and stroke. Potassium also plays a role in neurotransmission, muscle contraction and heart function. Most fruits, vegetables and meats contain Potassium in low quantities, but orange juice, bananas, kiwi, potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, soybeans, brown rice, and garlic are rich in Potassium. Deficiencies of Potassium are rare but in severe cases of vomiting and diarrhea can lead to symptoms such as muscle weakness and cramps.

Zinc- Zinc is an essential metallic trace element which assists in many functions within the body. It is instrumental in immune response, brain function and plays a role in prostate gland health and reproductive organ growth. Zinc plays a major role in cellular metabolism as over 100 enzymes rely on zinc to be a catalyst in many chemical reactions. Zinc also helps DNA tell cells what to do such as hormone secretion and nerve impulses; which is important for growth and disease prevention. Zinc is found in red meat in high concentrations but it is also found in whole grains, beans, almonds, and various seeds. Deficiencies in Zinc can cause repressed growth, diarrhea, impotence and weakened immune system.

Magnesium- Magnesium is another metallic trace element that is essential for all cells in a living organism. Over 300 enzymes require Magnesium to be the catalyst in various chemical reactions including synthesis of ATP into energy. Magnesium also facilitates calcium absorption into the body. Magnesium is found in spices, nuts cereals, coffee, cocoa, tea and green leafy vegetables. Modern countries have inadvertently reduced the amount of Magnesium intake due to the food refining process and modern fertilizers; which do not contain Magnesium. Deficiencies in Magnesium do not usually show symptoms, however deficiencies have been associated with the development of certain illnesses such as asthma, osteoporosis and ADHD.

Chromium- Chromium is another metallic trace element that is required for the body’s production of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the body’s blood sugar levels. Chromium helps transport blood sugar from the bloodstream into the cells and is critical in the process of turning fats, carbs and proteins into energy. Good sources of Chromium are brewer’s yeast, meats, whole grains, nuts and cooking with stainless steel cookware. Symptoms of deficiencies in Chromium are rare; however, in severe cases it can cause weight loss, confusion and insulin resistance.

Manganese- Manganese is another metallic trace element that ensures healthy bones, bone metabolism and helps the body absorb Calcium. It is also involved in, insulin regulation, formation of connective tissues, thyroid regulation, collagen formation, metabolism of fats and carbohydrates and is a powerful antioxidant. Manganese can be found in many foods such as meats, nuts, garlic, green vegetables, brown rice, and raspberries. Deficiencies in Manganese are rare but can occur. Symptoms include bone malformation, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and muscular contraction.

Iron- Iron is another metallic trace element that is essential for life. Iron is essential to the proteins that are involved in oxygen transport and for regulating cell growth and metabolism. Iron can be found in meats, cereal’s fortified with iron and cooking with iron cookware. Deficiencies in Iron cause a lack of oxygen to be delivered to the cells and therefore results in fatigue, restless sleep, lack of concentration and decreased immunity. Conversely, too much Iron in the body is very toxic and therefore many vitamins state on the bottle either “with Iron” or “without Iron”. Iron’s RDA for men are 10 mg and for women is 15mg a day, but for athletes, it could be as much as 25 mg a day.

Selenium- Selenium is another metallic trace element that is essential in the activation of glutathione peroxidases, a powerful antioxidant. Selenium is also required for the proper functioning of the thyroid. Selenium can be found in many foods such as nuts, fish, meats, eggs crab and lobster. There are no symptoms of deficiencies of Selenium however when supplemented it seems to have a positive effect on male infertility, cancer cells, and tuberculosis.

How is your diet and what are your physical needs? The majority of Americans do not eat a balanced diet to provide them with all the nutrients to fight off disease, keep bones healthy, protect the skin, cardiovascular health, give us energy and in general to keep us healthy. The proper amount of each nutrient is dependent on your physical needs. Choosing the right multi vitamin can be difficult but here are some things to consider when purchasing a multi vitamin.

Athletes- You will need a multi vitamin with higher overall content as many of them are depleted or excreted out of the body via sweating or urination. These vitamins are especially susceptible to being depleted, B vitamins for energy, potassium for muscle regulation, iron for proper oxygen transport and muscle growth, Vitamin C for proper immune system regulation and calcium for strong bones. If your body’s Calcium reserves are depleted your body will “steal” it from your bones and can lead to future skeletal diseases. Many vitamins will contain amino acids for muscle building and recovery and high levels of antioxidants to eliminate the free radicals produced by a strenuous workout.

Adults over 50- May want to take a multivitamin that is higher in Calcium and vitamin D for bone health and to prevent osteoporosis. B vitamins are important for energy and proper absorption of nutrients from food and as we age, our bodies are less able to absorb them. CoQ10 for heart health and energy and as we get older our production levels decreases. Vitamin K for bone health and its antioxidant properties have been shown to prohibit the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Lycopene to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and has been shown to have positive effects on prostate health.

Prenatal- Will have a higher concentration of B9 (Folic Acid) for proper brain, spine and skull formation in fetuses, calcium for proper bone formation and iron for the proper development of red blood cells. It will also have a reduced level of Vitamin A as it can cause health defects in fetuses.

Women- Need to have a multi vitamin higher in calcium for strong bones, as women usually do not get enough from their diet alone. Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) for overall health, preventing genetic diseases, and may also prevent cancer and heart disease. Women also need more Iron as women do not eat much meat and they lose a lot of iron every month through menstruation.

Men- Need Boron for prostate health, calcium for healthy bones, chromium to regulate blood sugar levels, Folic Acid for regulating blood flow and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, glucosamine for joint health, and the omegas to reduce blood pressure and for heart health.

Stress Relief- Will be loaded with B vitamins as they produce anti stress hormones and vitamin C to prevent stress related illness.

Conclusion Most multi vitamins should be taken in the morning with a meal as some of the nutrients may cause an upset stomach. Multi vitamins are fairly inexpensive unless they contain high levels of expensive nutrients such as Biotin ($4,000 per active pound!) or contain other nutrients that are condition specific such as bodybuilding. Multi vitamins are worth the price and it the single most important supplement you can take to stay healthy. Think of multi vitamins as insurance for your body. You may not feel much of a difference right away but over time, when you are healthy, you will be glad that you took them.

Hair Styles Makeovers – See What You Can Do Now to Have a Fabulous Hair Style

How many times a week do you wake up and just hate the way your hair looks? Is your hair too frizzy, too dry? Is it too thick, too thin? Do you have a unappealing hair cut? Do you ever get compliments on the way your hair looks?

Don’t despair, because there is hope for your hair style. The options for changing or fixing your hair are many and whether you are willing to spend thousands of dollars or just a few dollars, there is something that you can do.

Some of the major hair problems are Damaged Hair, Frizzy Hair, Thinning Hair and Unflattering Hair Styles. There are quick, inexpensive fixes. See below for complete details:

Damaged Hair:

The easy fix for damaged hair is deep conditioning treatments. Ask your hair stylist for the best product for your hair, or take a trip down the hair products aisle at your local drugstore. If your hair is extremely damaged, you may want to start with a once weekly deep conditioning treatment. Wash your hair normal in the shower and towel dry. Apply the deep conditioner all over the hair and wrap the hair with plastic. The plastic helps to keep heat in and make your conditioner go to work. Leave the conditioner on for about 30 minutes.

Also, try to give your hair a rest from heat appliances such as curling irons and blow dryers, as well as chemical processing.

Frizzy Hair:

It seems that as you get older, your hair tends to get frizzier. The weather and humidity never help. The easy fix for frizzy hair is to use lots of conditioner every time you shampoo, and follow with a serum or balm that contains silicone. Some products work better than others and it may take some experimenting to find just the right product for your hair. Although flat ironing your hair can zap away the frizzies in just a few minutes, you should limit using the flat iron since you might be adding to the frizzy problem in the long run with repeated use of the iron.

Thinning Hair:

As more and more women are experiencing thinning hair, the hair products industry is developing more and more products to help with this issue. If you have serious thinning, you may want to visit a dermatologist for more treatment options. Find a good daily vitamin to take that is designed for hair and skin issues. Many of the hair loss products companies, like Nioxin sell a daily vitamin that is supposed to support hair growth.

Hair extensions offer a temporary solution to camouflage the thinning hair, but you must be very cautious about the type and method used as hair extensions have been known to cause even more thinning issues if not done properly.

Unflattering Hair Styles

If you are not happy with your hair style, then you may want to start over by evaluation your face shape. The shape of the face can really make or break a hair style. Knowing what you should have or shouldn’t have in a style can be crucial to the outcome. With the invention of hair style imaging software, you can do a little research before you get your hair cut. Some programs even allow for you to try on a hair style by uploading a picture of yourself. This software even works for checking out a color change.

In short, if you want to do something about your current hair style and feel lost, then you should know that there is hope out there and you could make just a small change to update your hair and grow to love it.

How Do You Find the Best Natural Skincare Products Available?

Every woman starts to become interested in skincare as she ages and sees those fine lines forming around her eyes and mouth. Those wrinkles and sagging skin that just doesn’t glow like it used to. And many women start to realise that natural skincare products are by far the best skincare products. But how do you find the best natural skincare products?

However the first question to ask is why would you want to use natural skincare products? What does “natural” mean and what is the difference between “natural” skincare products and other skincare products?

There is no formal definition of “natural” when it comes to skincare and anti aging products. However to me “natural” means “safe” skincare products.

Safe? Aren’t all skincare products safe? Why would they be unsafe?

Sadly the answer is that not all skincare products and anti aging products (or cosmetics or beauty products for that matter) are safe. It is gradually becoming known that many skincare and anti aging products and cosmetics, perfumes, body care and beauty products contain ingredients that may in fact be damaging to your skin or even your health. I first became aware of this when my young daughter had a terrible skin reaction to her first use of cosmetics when she had her first ballet concert, and have been interested in this ever since.

Many ingredients that go into our skincare products and cosmetics in the US are banned in other countries, like European countries. But here it’s perfectly legal to use suspect ingredients in our skincare and anti aging products and the FDA doesn’t regulate against this. The problem is so bad that there are whole organizations set up to try and foster the manufacture of safe skincare products and cosmetics.

I’ll give you an example. A recent study found lead in over 50% of big brand lipsticks tested. Scary isn’t it?

So many people are turning to natural skincare products and cosmetics to find safe products. And of course they want to find the best natural skincare products because the companies that make skincare products from all natural, and safe, ingredients, aren’t the big brand name companies.

Most companies that make natural skincare products have signed the “Compact for Safe Cosmetics” to evidence their commitment to producing safe products. And these natural skincare products are usually much more effective than their less safe but more well known cousins which you see advertised on TV and on the shelves of the stores.

That’s because the companies that make the best natural skincare products are small niche companies. They can’t compete on marketing budget, so they compete on product quality. To survive they need to produce top shelf products so that customers come back over and over again. So they don’t need to spend up big on TV advertising.

There are excellent natural skincare products made up into a complete scientific skincare system that are available to buy and are safe to use, and extremely effective. They aren’t made by the big name skincare companies or cosmetics companies, but if you manage to find them they are cost comparable or even cheaper than the big brands, and safe to use.

Quality Wooden Furniture

Furniture, especially wooden furniture, plays a very important role in emanating a pleasant and peaceful atmosphere in your home. However, while everybody wants to have wooden furniture to deck up their homes, not many are aware about what furniture to buy. It is very important to know several aspects involved in the buying of furniture. These include the type of wood you’re looking for, the place where you want to place your furniture, the color of the furniture that would be ideal for you etc. These are some of the basic questions that one has to answer ahead of buying wooden furniture.

If you’re a person who is intending to buy some quality wooden furniture and also appreciate quality then you have to spend some time on determining the type of furniture you want to buy. Your budget, of course, would be the most important factor while buying wooden furniture. There’s no denying of the fact that quality wooden furniture is expensive. Wood has become dearer these days because of the strict tree felling norms imposed by governments worldwide and the move to conserve forests and balance the ecology. This has led to the emergence of alternative materials like metal and plastic for furniture manufacture.

Wood, however, has managed to retain its position among furniture enthusiasts. The expensiveness of fresh wood has led to the use of recycled wood in furniture. Here, wood is sourced from old buildings that are being torn down. Sometimes, old furniture is spruce up, painted and given a new updated look. This has also resulted in refurbished wooden furniture finding dedicated connoisseurs in the market.

As regards the wood, be careful in selecting it properly. Certain conditions would determine the type of wood you’ll want i.e. hardwood or softwood. For instance, if you plan to use the furniture outdoors, you have to select hardwood that can withstand the elements of nature better. They warp less and also absorb lesser amounts of water. Oak and teak are the two best woods that can be used outdoors. If you plan to use your furniture indoors, you can go for some variety of softwood like mango wood or rosewood. Indian sheesham is also used extensively for the manufacture of indoor furniture.

As already said, the placement issue plays another big role in determining the furniture that you want to buy. You must always have an idea of the space available to place your furniture. This is because you may have trouble if you find that you have bought a furniture item and there’s insufficient space to keep it. It would be nothing short of a disaster. Also, too small a furniture piece at a relatively larger space would be an eyesore.

Of late plywood and particle-board furniture have become very popular because of solid wooden furniture becoming dearer. They, however, lack the longevity of the latter and have no resale value. They simply have to be disposed off when their lifespan is over. Sometimes disposed-off wood is mixed with ply for making new furniture.

How to Find the Right Designer for Your Interior Design and Decorating Projects

Looking for an interior designer or interior decorator can be overwhelming if you are not sure which designer you need for the scope or your project. Are you building, renovating or moving and need professional advice? Are you planning to sell your property and not sure how to get ready for the first inspection?

This document gives you answers to frequently asked questions in regards to interior design, interior decorating, colour consulting and property styling.

It will help you finding the right designer for your interior design and decorating projects and eventually create your individual style in your home.

What is the difference between an interior designer and an interior stylist?

You may have asked yourself this question already when facing a building or renovation project. Do I need an interior designer, an interior decorator, a colour consultant or an interior stylist?

The answer is that it depends on the scope of the project.

An interior designer is a skilled professional who is designing interior environments according to your briefing. The interior designer either modifies what already exists (renovation) or provides an entirely new design for a space (new build). In this case the interior designer works closely with the architect and comes in at an early stage of the project. Interior designers work either along a team in design firm or on their own.

What is the job of an interior stylist? An interior stylist is a designer or consultant in a field subject to changes in style, especially fashion or interior decoration. An interior stylist cultivates or maintains any particular style and in most cases stylist are finders, keepers and collectors of beautiful objects.

The interior stylist can help you finding your own style, creating beautiful interiors that are unique and meaningful. This can be achieved with the simplest things and does not have to be expensive. The only thing you need to do is keep your eyes open to beautiful things in nature, architecture, design, museums, art, exhibitions, books, textiles and travel. There is only one rule: Only collect or buy things that mean something to you!

How does a colour consultation work?

The colour consultation focuses on creating a colour scheme for a specific room or space or the whole house according to your briefing. A qualified colour consultant can help you with interior and exterior colour schemes.

Prior to designing a colour scheme for you the colour consultant should always talk to you about the mood and atmosphere you would like to achieve in your space. He will explain to you the differences between the paint companies and their products and choose the right product for your needs. After designing the colour scheme you will receive a written recommendation including a specification sheet and brushouts ready for your painter to start.

Why is it important to seek advice from a designer when choosing colours?

Colour is the most powerful tool when it comes to non-verbal communication and the design element that makes a space come alive. Colour brings individuality in a space and it is one of the most useful tools to master when finding your own style.

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, says in her book Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color: “Among other uses, color stimulates and works synergistically with all of the senses, symbolizes abstract concepts and thoughts, expresses fantasy or wish fulfillment, recalls another time or place and produces an aesthetic or emotional response.”

When choosing a colour for a room or house it is important to think about the mood and atmosphere you would like to achieve. Is it a dark room or flooded with natural light? In which direction is the room facing? How are the proportions? Do you live in a small apartment or a contemporary newly built house with open plan living areas? All this needs to be considered when choosing colours for a space.

If you are overwhelmed by the choice of colours available – yes, there are thousands on the market – how can you start finding your personal colour scheme?

For some people it is a longer journey, for others it comes more naturally. The most important thing is to take some time, open your eyes, walk around your home and absorb the colour combinations you see. Then start gathering all the pieces you love. This can be anything from old porcelain, travel souvenirs, photographs, artwork, clothes, tear sheets from magazines, fabric swatches, stationary, a collection of stones, feathers or glass objects.

And don’t forget nature as inspiration for a colour scheme (interior or exterior). If you live near the ocean, shades of blues and greens can be used to link your interior with its surroundings. Flowers, butterflies, stones, shells, driftwood are fantastic inspirations for colour schemes.

Once you have gathered all your beloved treasures in one spot, play around with the pieces, group them by colours and you will see a colour palette emerge. This “moodboard” is a great starting point for your interior designer, interior stylist or colour consultant to help you creating an individual and personal space, a home that reflects who you are and a place that you love coming home to.

Stylist’s tip: Before you start painting always buy a test pot and paint a large sheet of paper or cardboard (one square metre) with your colour. Tape it to the walls in your room and study it for a couple of days. Look at it in daylight and artificial light. This is very important as colours change depending on the light, the orientation of the room, other colours in the room and spatial elements like furniture and artwork for example.

What is the difference between a colour and a styling consultation?

The colour consultation focuses on creating a colour scheme for a specific room or space or the whole house according to your briefing. A qualified colour consultant can help you with interior and exterior colour schemes.

The styling consultation focuses on creating a certain (Your) style in your home or simply on answering all your questions about colours, style, furniture sourcing and placement, art sourcing and placement, displays of your collections, accessories, proportions in a space, lighting etc.

Again it is vital that the designer listens to what you would like to achieve (briefing) and makes sure that he understood what you want (debriefing). Don’t let the interior designer or interior stylist talk you into something you don’t like!

How do I maximise the output of my styling consultation?

Are you planning to colour, redecorate or renovate, but don’t know where to start? Do you have lots of questions about colour schemes, furniture placement, how to display your collections, books or other beloved things? Are you not sure whether to redecorate with your old furniture and accessories or to renovate and create a new look? Do you need inspirations where to source furniture and accessories, second hand pieces or antiques?

If you prepare your first consultation with your stylist properly, you will get answers to all the questions you have. Here are my tips how to maximise the output from your styling or colour consultation:

• Be clear what you would like the outcome of the consultation to be.

• Decide which room or space you would like to focus on. Is it only one room or the whole house?

• Prepare yourself with tear sheets from interior design magazines like Real Living, Inside Out, Belle or Vogue Living. There are plenty on the market so choose the one that speaks to you most and start collecting pages of everything you like: colour schemes, furniture, accessories, room layouts, rugs, flooring, wallpaper, decorative items and everything that speaks to you. If you do this for a couple of weeks you will clearly see what you like and find your own personal style.

• Keep your eyes open to the beautiful things around you: nature, architecture, design, museums, art, exhibitions, books, textiles and travel.

• Make sure that your stylist is listening and explain what you want to achieve with your styling project, what you would like a room to do for you and what mood you would like to create in your space.

And finally one of the most important things: Don’t let the stylist talk you into something you don’t like! You have to live in the space and you need to feel comfortable and at home! It is all about creating your home with your personal touch.

How do I find my own style?

The answer is as simple as this: explore the world around you and appreciate the beauty that lies within everything you discover!

Keep your eyes open and your mind excited! Discover and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you every day! Find inspiration in nature, buildings, shops, exhibitions, museums, art, events, markets, magazines and of course books.

One of my favourite books I spotted in a museum shop is called: How to be an explorer of the world by Keri Smith. On the back it says: “At any given moment, no matter where you are, there are hundreds of things around you that are interesting and worth documenting.”

A stylist’s tip: always carry a little notebook and a pen with you in order to be able to sketch, doodle and write down what you discover.

Keep all your findings, notes and pictures in a folder or box and keep searching for at least four to eight weeks. Then start to group things by colour or theme and you will discover what your style is. And there are no rules. It is all about finding what you like!

Books for your inspiration

This is a list of books that I personally own and love! They are all a fantastic source of inspiration and creative ideas for your home.

Sibella Court: Bowerbird

Shannon Fricke: Sense of Style

Megan Morton: Home Love

Holly Becker: Decorate

Susanna Salk: Be Your Own Decorator

Geraldine James: Creative Walls

Hans Blomquist: The Natural Home

Is it necessary to seek advice from a stylist when I want to sell my property?

If you plan to sell your house it is worth investing in a styling consultation. A professional property stylist can help you to achieve maximum impact when presenting your home to potential buyers. A property stylist will help you to get ready for the first inspection by giving you advice on how to style your house with what you have. He will help you with colour schemes that attract potential buyers. He will also advice if you need rental furniture to style each room according to its function and help potential buyers to envisage themselves in the space. Property styling is all about creating a wow factor in key areas of your home and help the buyers to envisage themselves in your space. Once the styling is done don’t forget to book your stylist for the real estate photography shoot to make sure everything looks perfect on this day!

Cold Appetizer Recipe Ideas: Creamy Onion Artichoke Dip Recipe

Are you in the mood for some delicious cold appetizer recipe ideas? If you are, you are in luck, because we love eating great tasting foods and we have some great ideas to share with you. Whether you are meal planning to feed a hungry crew at home or you need to prepare a fast and easy recipe to take to a holiday party, you want to make something so good that no one can get enough of it. You actually want to create the best tasting and flavorful dish you can.

Easy Party Appetizers for Your Next BBQ Grilling Party

Do you realize that some of the most delicious of appetizers are most welcome in any setting? Whether you are having a small family barbeque grilling party or you are planning the menu for your wedding, you want to serve foods and beverages that are unforgettable. Serving a dish that everyone likes is special, and you will know just how special as you watch people return for more or ask you how to make it.

Recipe for Creamy Onion Artichoke Dip

What You Need

 

  • ½ package soften cream cheese 4 ounce
  • 1 large container onion dip 15.5 ounce
  • 1 large container drained chopped artichoke hearts 15.5 ounce
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup diced scallions
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cups diced bell pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pound round bread
  • Assorted fresh cut vegetables
  • Assorted crackers

 

How to Make It

Allow the cream cheese to soften to room temperature by setting it out on the counter for at least 20 minutes before preparation time. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the diced scallions for garnish.

Using a large mixing bowl you will add the soften cream cheese and then beat until fluffy and smooth. Stir in the onion dip and then add the artichoke hearts. Mix to thoroughly combine.

Add the parsley, scallions, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and pepper. Stir to combine ingredients completely and then place in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

Cut the top third of the bread horizontally off using a serrated knife. Cut along the inside edge of the bread and then remove the large pieces of bread you cut away. Trim the inside edge to about a ½ inch thickness, leaving the bread shell. Cut the large bread pieces into 1 inch bite size cubes and then reserve the bread cubes.

Spoon the creamy onion artichoke dip into the bread shell and then garnish with the 1 tablespoon of reserved scallions and the bell peppers before serving.

Alternately, you can make this dip and leave it in the bowl for dipping if you are not using round bread with this recipe. Choosing red, green or yellow bell peppers with add some color interest.

Serve to your party guests, family, and friends with plenty of fresh cut vegetables, assorted crackers and the reserved bread cubes. Another great idea is to prepare the bread cubes by brushing them with herbed butter and then toasting them in the oven.

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