10 Ideas to Get Children Involved in Charity

As I was running from store to store picking up presents for my family yesterday, I started noticing collection boxes and signs for charities who are in need of donations and volunteers at this special time of year. Charitable organizations are a kind of business that fits within the nonprofit organization (NPO) category.

That got me to thinking… this might be the first year that all of my children are old enough to really understand the importance of giving.

With that in mind, my youngest two and I talked through charitable ideas that we could do as a family to help others.

Their input was invaluable, as they gave insight into what would be fun for children to do, yet meaningful to them at the same time.

This is a list of 10 ideas that we came up with to get children involved in charitable activities.

1 – Decorating Cookies for Elderly Neighbors –

In keeping with the jolly theme of the season, we decided to turn this fun little task into a small party.

Here’s how: Invite 3 or 4 of your favorite friends and their children to participate and assign each of the families an item to bring.

For example, one can bring jars of sprinkles, while another brings cans of frosting.

Make sure that every family has an assigned item, so that they feel like they are an important part of this project.

The host can supply baked cookies, serving trays, plastic wrap, and a light lunch with drinks for party guests.

Once all of the cookies have been decorated, split up into 2 or 3 groups and deliver the cookies to elderly people who could use a special treat.

2 – Kid’s Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt for a Care Package Organization –

These worthwhile charities send warm holiday wishes through care packages to deployed troops.

To ensure that the project really makes a difference, include a large number of people, such as a neighborhood.

To do this: Gather a group of kids and parents from your neighborhood, then divide them up into teams by which street they live on.

Using the organization’s wish list, each team runs from house to house asking people if they have items on the list to donate.

To get maximum benefit, fliers can be circulated throughout the neighborhood the week before which include items to donate as well as the pick up date (day of party).

People can even leave bags of goodies on their front porch with a note for you, if they are not planning to be home.

Use the Neighborhood Association, Book Club, Bunco group, Wine Club, and Mom’s group, to spread the word and get people to join in on the scavenger hunt fun, as well.

Tastefully decorated signs and neighborhood newsletters are also a great route to get participation and donations.

Once the items are collected, have Santa make a surprise visit and take pictures with all of the kids.

3 – Decorate a Homemade Christmas Tree for a Nursing Home –

One of my kid’s most memorable Christmas activities was decorating a tree with nothing but handmade decorations.

We made (construction) paper chains, strung popcorn garland, made (construction) paper snowflakes covered in silver glitter, dried gingerbread men and women cookies, and reindeer candy canes.

To put a special spin on this, make these items for a nursing home and take them up one afternoon to decorate their Christmas tree.

You can even take extra supplies and work with the elderly to make additional ornaments, using yours as examples.

Then everyone can decorate the tree together.

Don’t forget to take Christmas cookies and a beautiful poinsettia plant for their living area.

4 – Volunteer at a Holiday Charity Event –

Sometimes it is just impossible to plan a charity project during the season, or even months before.

However, with a little bit of online research or asking around, there are many charity events that would love last-minute volunteers.

Don’t let the overwhelming thought of adding another party or project stop your involvement with charities during the holiday season.

In many instances, the work has already been done for you… just show up!

5 – Plan a Neighborhood Toy Drive –

Every year in our neighborhood Santa drives down the streets on a fire engine, while the kids clamor with excitement.

What better way to greet Santa at the street than with a brand new toy in hand for a less fortunate child?

Just pick a charity that you want to donate to… Toys for Tots is a great one to consider, then circulate fliers much like as described in #2 – the Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt idea.

As the child hands the present to Santa, snap a picture, then send it to their parents by email.

Nothing like teaching children the gift of giving, as they give to the very jolly man who has made their Christmases so bright year after year.

6 – Caroling, Candy Canes and Christmas Cards for a Nursing Home –

One day after church or the school’s choir practice, gather a group together to make reindeer candy canes and cards while practicing Christmas carols for a local nursing home visit.

Then, the following week, wear your merriest holiday attire and take your show on the road!

There is just no better way to make an elderly person smile than to have children singing songs while they read warm holiday wishes and enjoy a sweet treat.

Make sure to stop by everyone’s room, though.

Sometimes the people who most need the Christmas spirit are not able to join in the festivities in the main gathering area.

7 – Food Bank Shopping Trip –

This is a wonderfully easy project for a family, but it touches people’s lives in incomprehensible ways.

When I do projects like this, I want to get as much as I possibly can for the money I have budgeted.

If you have a few minutes, cut or print coupons and compare local grocery store’s ads.

Then gather up your family and make an evening or Saturday morning out of it.

Canned and boxed food items that don’t require the addition of many ingredients to complete the dish are generally preferred.

If at all possible, drop off the donated items as a family to the food bank.

This is an invaluable lesson, as most of our children can’t imagine going without a meal.

8 – Adopt-A-Family –

From one family to another, this might be one of the most unforgettable life experiences that will touch both your and your children’s hearts.

Find a family through your school, church, or an online search of reputable charities that is truly in need and will allow your family to personally donate items.

Then do what you can to make their holidays a little brighter.

A very small, lit Christmas tree would be wonderful to have, but if it takes away from what you are able to give them, then only presents and food would be recommended.

Families in need have much different priorities than those who are not.

Name brand toys are probably not even on their Christmas lists.

They will be happy with what you have to give. Give from the heart.

Even ask your extended family for small donations, if they are able to help out.

9 – Christmas Cards for Hospitalized Children –

Making holiday cards full of warm wishes is a perfect project for a class, a grade or even the whole school.

With some basic supplies, children can cheerfully decorate and add personal messages to cards that will help brighten the day for the most deserving of children.

Since sweets are often not allowed in the children’s ward of a hospital, a brightly decorated card from one child to another may just be what they need at this time of year.

If you can gather small stuffed animals in tandem with the card project, that would make the gift even more special.

10 – Make Treats for your Local Home that Supports Families of Hospitalized Children –

While hospitalized children often can not enjoy homemade treats, their support systems that live in these homes across the country welcome them.

After a long, hard day sitting next to their children’s hospital beds, these families return to their home away from home often looking for some glimmer of happiness.

Making trays of homemade treats for these large numbers of families will be much appreciated.

Our family’s Dreamy Christmas Cookies recipe has worked out for us on more than one occasion. You might want to give them a try, too.

By the end of our conversation, my children wanted to participate in each and every activity.

Inspired Note: While that might be quite a bit for my plate during this holiday season, I decided to immediately do one of the simplest projects I could think of.

With a budget set, we ran over to our favorite store and scoured the toy aisles for extremely good deals on great presents.

They carry a “Let’s Play” brand that is more than reasonably priced for children who would just love to have presents under the tree.

With two very excited kids in the car, we merrily made our way home to find the best place to donate these toys.

I hope that some of these ideas were able to inspire you and your children, as well.

Here’s to another Inspired Minute!

Please visit [http://www.InspiredMinute.com] for more articles about ways to save time, maximize money, creatively organize, craft, gift, parent and decorate and humbly volunteer.

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Where to Get Charity Auction Items

Ready to launch a charity auction? If you’re new to the process, you might not realize all of your options when it comes to securing auction items to sell. Leaving a legacy is an important part of your life’s work.

1. The traditional way is to ask friends, family, and businesses to donate an item.

This is the most common approach and generally garners you the greatest returns. The donor might give you a product from their place of business or agree to let you sell a one week stay in their vacation home. Of course, you can always ask for a cash donation instead, but some volunteers find it more comfortable to ask for a donation in-kind than to ask for cash.

Advantage: These items are completely donated. If you sell an item for $500, your non-profit keeps $500.

Disadvantage: Your crowd might be willing to spend more on a more unique item, but your procurement team might lack the personal connections to secure those items.

2. Consigned items might be used to supplement your donated items.

A consignment company offers hundreds of ready-to-sell items for a reduced price.

Typically the charity pays only for the items that sell. If your charity opts to use 20 consigned items, but only 10 sell at the auction, your non-profit will pay for those 10 items purchased.

The difference between the consigned price and the sale price is what your charity keeps. So if the consignor offers you a signed painting for $500 and you sell it for $700, your charity keeps $200. You pay the consignor $500.

It’s not uncommon for consignors to specialize in their offerings, such as Hollywood or sports memorabilia, art, jewelry, exclusive packages to unique events (like the SuperBowl or an anticipated concert), or unique vacation packages.

Advantage: It’s easy. With a phone call, you can have your auction filled with fabulous items that could “uplevel” your event with one-of-a-kind experiences and products.

Disadvantage: You might “miss the mark” and select items unpopular or too expensive for your crowd. Although you won’t need to pay the consignor for this blunder (remember, you pay for what you sell), you missed the chance to sell a 100% donated item.

Let’s borrow a term from economics: opportunity cost. Precious time and space that could have been spent showcasing and selling a 100% donated item was foregone in order to promote the consigned package… which earned you nothing (if it didn’t sell).

There is also some controversy about whether bidders should know whether an item is consigned. Some bidders become irate once they learn that $500 of their $700 donation was going to pay a consignor. We’ve heard comments like, “I would have rather just written you a check for $700.” This is a discussion for your auction committee.

3. Another strategy for procuring auction items is to rent access to a database of proven donors.

Soliciting items is time consuming. A chunk of that time is spent on research. For instance, you’ll get a higher response on your solicitation letters if you address your letter to a real person… not “To Whom It May Concern.” But tracking down the right person, their title, and address takes time.

Additionally, people change jobs frequently. The contact at Company ABC who sent that great donation last year may have left her job. Now you need to find out who the new contact is and re-submit.

If you rent a procurement database, the company who owns the database is responsible for keeping the names and addresses current. And because the database is enormous, you can can target the right businesses for your crowd.

Do you think your guests will love bidding on spa packages? Use the database to send out letters to 500 international spas and see who sends you a gift certificate. Is golf a crowd favorite? Send 1,000 letters to golf courses and merchandisers. You can lean heavily on businesses you think your crowd will like.

Once your letter is crafted, the owner of the database will mail your letters. At that point, you sit back and wait for the items to pour in.

Advantage: It’s easier. Rather than spending time calling different companies and tracking down each person in charge of approving donations, the research has already been done for you. Your time can be spent writing a compelling letter.

It’s also likely that the items you secure may be more plentiful and of higher quality than what you could have achieved using your personal connections. And because items are 100% donated, the full value of the item’s sale price remains with your charity.

Disadvantage: There is a cost associated with renting the database. And to a great extent, this is a numbers game. The more letters you send out, the more donations you’ll receive. You can’t skimp on price, buy a small portion of the database (such as 100 names), and expect to hit a home run in your procurement. This is about scale — you must commit to renting enough of the database so the law of averages will kick in and you’ll get the donations you seek.

Called the “Queen of Benefit Auctions,” fundraising auctioneer Sherry Truhlar, CMP, BAS has been featured in national publications (The Washington Post Magazine… AUCTIONEER) and on cable television programs (E! Style… TLC) for her trend-setting work with auction fundraisers. In addition to servicing clients through an elegant and playful auctioneering style, she specializes in a variety of popular online classes to teach volunteer auction chairpersons the simple steps for improving the financial bottom-line of their charity auctions. Her free or nearly free auction ideas are used by hundreds of charities, and her popular, FREE Auction Item GuideTM is downloaded by dozens each day who seek auction procurement help. GET YOUR OWN FREE GUIDE (listing the 100 top-selling items you can sell in your auction) AT http://www.RedAppleAuctions.com.

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Select a Naturally Enchanting Spot For The Corporate Function Victoria

Corporate is more than a business organization. But what snatches it beyond a business organization? – The answer is its attitude. It does not only make deals and profits, but it goes miles further for the welfare and enjoyments of their employees, clients, and partners. All these elevated features place them in the position of high esteemed organizations. Holding the hand of these endeavors, the Victoria has decorated itself for conducting the corporate functions at it’s the best place. The arrangements of the corporate function Victoria are too elegant to signify the image of any high esteemed company at its best. The Little Red Pocket is the exclusive Japanese inspired corner with the ability to host any corporate functions Melbourne in style and privacy.

The Occasions that a Corporate Has to Meet

Any high esteemed autonomous organization has to meet several times that should be celebrated grandly. Sometimes the reasons might be internal, or sometimes it is purely business. In all such matters, the only concern is to conduct the celebration successfully. The occasions that come in the way are like the followings-

1. The Success Party of any Project

It is an intimate opportunity for a company. It is meant to congratulate the employees, who worked in a successful project. It is nothing but giving them more positive energy to keep up their endeavor. So, the occasion must be done brightly to delight and encourage the employees.

2. The celebration of any Successful Deal

Sometimes, two big and well-known companies make some tie up for the better profit in the business. It is an externally celebrated occasion, done in collaboration with both the companies. These kinds of successful deals are marked professionally in a grand manner in a suitable place. In this matter, the spot of corporate function Victoria is appropriate as they have the splendid beauty of the mountains, vineyards and the beauty of the Black Forest, just 30 minutes from the Victoria airport.

3. Annual Celebration with the Partners

All the big concerns annually meet their dealer or business partners and distributors to celebrate their collaboration. Though it is an enjoyable activity, it is a part of the business. The occasion is meant for appreciating the partners and distributors for their constant support in the progress of the company. It is usually done once in a year. Therefore, it is expected to be grand to maintain the esteemed image of the corporate.

4. The Christ Parties

The celebration of the Christmas is a collective celebration in any company. And it is usually done in a hedonistic manner to enchant the employees and business partners. Though it can be celebrated casually, the craving for the enjoyment always prevails in the heart.

5. The Welcome Party of the Delegates

It is an entirely professional occasion. Sometimes, if high esteemed delegates come from the country or from foreign, they are usually paid respect by a welcome party. The grandeur of the party states the delight of the company for the esteemed presence of the delegates. No doubt such parties and the first impression, indirectly influences the future business contracts.

In general, almost all the corporates have to meet these occasions to celebrate every year. Therefore, they need such a place, which can fulfill their purpose positively.

The Arrangements in the Corporate Function Spot at Victoria

Following the requirements of the corporates, all kinds of required arrangements are done on the spot.

The first and foremost privilege of the place is its scenic beauty. Being in the lap of mountains and in adjacent to the vineyards, this place has automatic enchanting effects on the viewers.
There is the arrangement of serving excellent foods in full course meal (starter, main course, dessert) are served from the exotic kitchen of the venue authority. The food can be served in the form of the buffet for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
In addition to the scenic beauty, the place is also decorated soothingly along according to its natural appeal.
The arrangement can easily accommodate near about 90 guests at a time without congesting the atmosphere. The place has all the possibilities to enchant the guest with a positive impression of the place and the organizers.

Mount Macedon Winery is a suitable place for conducting corporate function Victoria for the expertise of the arrangements and position of the spot on the lap of scenic beauty.

Visit the Best Playgrounds in Sydney

Blaxland Riverside Park on Jamieson Street, Silverwater NSW 2128

If you want a long day’s fun for you and your kids, you should visit this Park. There’s a half circle construction with several swings at the entrance. It is followed by several tunnels and long slides with stairs and climbing equipment. There’s also a huuuuge horizontal climbing net. If you don’t have enough so far, you’ll definitely stop at the long flying fox or check out the tree house behind it. At the very end kids will enjoy water play with a bunch of little fountains. Maybe the best water playground in Sydney??? Parents can enjoy a cup of coffee at Armory Wharf Cafe, open Monday-Thursday 8.30am to 4pm Friday 8.30am to 9.30pm Saturday 7.30am to 9.30pm Sunday 7.30am to 5.30pm Public Holidays 8.30am to 5pm Dinner service on Friday’s and Saturday’s over Daylight Saving. If you get hungry the Cafe offers meals or you can bring your own and enjoy some of the shaded picnic areas. Toilets are located west of the Cafe, parking lot is at the entrance (it fills up quickly on the weekends, try to get there before 10am if it is warm sunny day). 5 star accommodation Sydney comes with a a luxury stay in the heart of The Rocks awaits you at Shangri-La Hotel.

Putney Park North near 58-60 Pellisier Rd, Putney NSW 2112

This playground is located next to the Parramatta River, on Kissing Point Bay, Pellisier Rd. The playground is pretty well shaded by sails, unfenced, suitable for all ages. There is an interesting water play area with two nicely landscaped shallow paddling pools with a little (fake) river running between them. There is a bubble beach section and plenty of room for your kids to splash about. Nearby are some huge coloured squares, pyramids and balls which kids seem to find fascinating. Another play area has a large rope climbing tower, large fort system with lookout tower and tunnel slide and some combination equipment. There is a play area for littlies, too, with a small fort, slide,short tunnel, abacus, spring riders, swings. There are large grassed areas for sports and ball games and a bike track for biking, skating. You can find electric BBQs, sheltered picnic areas, toilets and car parking. It is a really great place for family picnics with beautiful waterviews in the background.

Fagan Park, Arcadia Rd near 48 Arcadia Rd, Galston NSW 2159

Huge playground in the large Fagan Park area. Offer a wide choice of different equipment, like flying fox, swings, slides, spring riders, sand pits etc. BBQ, tables and chairs offer the possibility to spend an whole day out. There is a parking fee per vehicle of $5 (but you can walk in from the road, but parking fills up quickly on a sunny weekend) A popular and fun playground.

Timbrell Park – Livvi’s Place at 19A Henley Marine Drive, Five Dock NSW 2046

This is an amazing playground, located on Henley Marine Drive. It is fenced (with fancy electronic gates) and well shaded. As toy equipment you can find two forts with a slide, a monkey bar, a set of swings, an amazing electric merry go round. There is also a spinning climbing net. Toy equipment is set on a softfall area. There’s a great bike track with two lanes so bring kiddy bikes. There is a large open field beside the playground. There are toilets, BBQ and eating areas. Some smaller quieter playing areas for the smaller kids are dotted around the edge of the main playing area.

Tumbalong Park, Darling Quarter at Tumbalong Park Darling Quarter, Sydney NSW 2000

This modern, unusual playground is in Tumbalong Park on Harbour St, Darling Quarter. Suitable for all ages. There is a waterplay system with pathways with waterfalls, small fountains and series of irregular fountains keep children amused as they chase the water, water-wheel entices, a large Archimedes screw, gates, these elements the children can manipulate manually, this system is really interesting for children to experiment and follow the path of the water. Adjacent to the water play area is a children’s playground with all the usual equipment – but with a difference. The equipment is integrated into the landscape, dominated by neutral colours and built on a large scale. There are: large slide what is scaled by using ropes, 10 meters tall climbing tower, sandpits with diggers, giant net swings for more kids to sit on, series of balance beams, an 18.7-metre-long course of balance ropes, very cushiony soft-fall is moulded with climbing grips to give access to smaller slides, large flying fox and more. Great playground, especially on warm days! There are some cafes, fast foods and restaurants nearby, for the hungry kids after a great play and fun.

Sydney Park near 2 Barwon Park Road, St Peters NSW 2044

A beautiful playground with pathways to explore and ride bikes. Kids will love the double climbing tower, spring riders, long slides with special climbing walls to get to them… Lots of swings, bridge and more… Go and explore. Bring your lunch, there are sheltered picnic tables and BBQs. Cafe is open on weekends. Toilets and drinking fountain are near by. Have fun!

Apex Park, Mona Vale near 39 Seabeach Ave, Mona Vale NSW 2103

This playground is located on the fairly busy corner of Seabeach Avenue and Surfview road opposite Mona Vale beach carpark. It is partially fenced and offers a shaded playing ground for kids. Among the toy equipment you can find: a fort with a slide, a monkey bar and a spring rider. Around the park you can have access to sheltered and un-sheltered picnic tables as well as seats. Not far from this playground (500m) you can find two bike tracks. Across Surfview Road is Mona Vale beach and the ocean Pool, which has a shallower area for kids. The toilets near the beach have a shower, and drinking fountain.

McKell Park at 9 Dangar Road, Brooklyn NSW 2083, Australia

This park is located on Dangar Road at a foreshore area. It is fenced and unshaded. As toy equipment you can find a themed fort with a slide and a spring rider and a merry go round. Behind the themed fort you can see another fort with a slide. All equipment is placed on a softfall area. This place also offers sheltered picnic tables and access to yacht club. Nice water front area to explore with netted swimming area. There are change rooms and toilets nearby and cafe just up the street.

Bicentennial Park Golden Grove at the end of Prince of Wales Drive, West Pymble New South Wales 2073

At the end of Prince of Wales Drive there is a nice set of playgrounds with lots of BBQ space. Area is partly shaded by trees. There is a fort with spiral slide for kids, climbing net, monkey bar and upside-down seesaw and swing combination. There are two sheltered BBQ areas. A large open area for ball games and four basketball courts just behind the trees. Toilets (for disabled also) are near by. There are many parking spaces (some reserved for disabled). Just along the street there is West Pymble Swimming Pool.

Stan Windon Memorial Playground, Grant Reserve near 144 Beach St, Coogee NSW 2034

This is a playground worth visiting. Found on Beach Street, Coogee, NSW, it is a playground that not only the kids will enjoy but adults as well. Really cool toys for the kids to play on. Lots of seats available including picnic tables. Not only is this place for kids but for high school kids and even adults as it is quite close to the beach. As a result, this playground could be a bit busy. Car park available very close to the playground. This playground has very cool surroundings and it very large to accommodate many. Why not make a day of it and head down to the beach and rock pools as well. McIver’s Baths – pool is women only.

To see some images and more facts about these playgrounds go to 10 best playgrounds in Sydney and check them out. Have fun!

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Some Ideas For Travelers

When you travel, no matter for pleasure or business, it is imperative to do some pre-planning before the trip. The following techniques will help you. Ski Canada enticed me that being in Banff is literally like walking around inside a postcard.

Don’t use public computers in your hotel or any other placing offering internet service for anything that requires your password while you are on vacation. There could be malware that takes your information

Create a packing list of what to pack.

Making travel arrangements well ahead of time will help keep your trip affordable. Despite the many, many different things you can spend money on when you travel, the cheaper they are. You can avoid excessive expenditures during travel by avoiding last minute costs.

If your travel destination requires you to be vaccinated, carry the certificate you get that says you’ve gotten the treatments. If you don’t have the certificate, authorities may quarantine you until they can verify you are telling the truth.

The less you bring with you, the less the chances of having the items stolen or lost.

Join a price watcher. This will notify you to enter your destination and the website alerts you are interested in visiting. When the price drops, the website will send an email to alert you to the price change. The alerts keep you to constantly follow up on such matters.

Taking a trip sometimes causes you desire to bring a little piece of home along with you. Limit yourself to the toiletries that are essential toiletry products. Make a short list of toiletries that you generally use daily and can’t live without. Pack the ones that are most important.

The markup on these small products is disproportionate compared to the amount of space that you save. Try simple folding them to save room and lessen the chance of wrinkles. These minimizing tricks will help you create additional space in a smaller space.

You can find great vistas and unique vegetation in the deserts.

Take a break every few hours when driving with kids.This lets you visit the washroom and get a little bit of the car. Getting a small child out of the car occasionally can also help them avoid motion sickness. It may make the trip longer than you anticipated, but it won’t be as stressful.

If you have a long flight, bring along snacks that you can eat during the trip.

If you want to adjust faster to a different time zone, you should aim to keep yourself awake until around 8pm local time. Though you may be exhausted, it’s best to not go to bed early so you don’t exacerbate jet lag.

Think about various ways to travel. The busing system is not as it used to be. You might find bundle deals from some bus lines to make your planning a cinch.

Some places have great sounding in their walls.A reliable pair of earplugs can filter out the noise and let you relax at night.

Weather can be a huge factor in travelling and should never be underestimated when planning your travel plans. Check forecasts so that you know what the forecast for your destination.

Make use of the E-tracking function that many travel sites have.This will provide you with the easiest way to keep an eye on fares and cheapest methods of travel. You are able to receive email whenever something has dropped the price and is available at a cheaper rate.

If you have a long travel time you should ensure that you give yourself some time to stretch, make sure you get up and stretch your legs every hour. Sitting for too long could cause health problems.

If you can’t find somewhere to exchange your money right away once you reach your destination, exchange some of your money before you leave, then exchanging the rest later on.

Invite friends along on your trip next time. Many travel spots offer discounts to people traveling with large group. You can really save money on anything from dining to airfare simply by getting a group rates. Get in touch with your circles of friends to determine if they are interested.

If you are planning on going out of the country, buy a voltage converter or electrical adapter. If you wait till you get to the airport to purchase one, you will probably pay a lot more than the normal price.

Label all of your cords when you travel. It can be frustrating to have several different cords for your items like cell phone chargers and laptops. Label each cord clearly so you know which device uses which cord. It also help to make a cord list of the cords and the colors that go with them.

Plan and book hotels in ahead of time. Some hotels offer packages including meals and excursions. Decide if this is something you prefer to choose. Also think about the kind of room type you are interested in reserving. For example, light sleepers should avoid rooms near elevators. Ask a lot of questions you have so you can make the right accommodations for your specific needs and wants.

Minimize the amount of clothes pile when you take with you. You need to be easily able to put away a week’s worth of clothes to take with you. If you are going to be gone over a week, plan to wash clothes while you are there instead of packing too much.

Once you travel and plan the trip well, you can have a more comfortable stay at the destination. You will not only reduce anxiety before leaving, you can be comfortable knowing that when you arrive, you have a better grip on your surroundings and what to expect.

How to Protect a Car from Winter Road Treatments

Winter is coming. Many of us have already started switching on the heater immediately after start-up and impatiently waiting for warm air. The season takes a toll on us, no doubt, but it’s equally harsh on our vehicles. Preparing for winter is an important part of car ownership, and as DIYers, we can’t forget about a particular aspect of winter that causes damage: road treatments. New car paint protection process cannot be undo once it is applied.

Since avoiding the roads isn’t much of an option for us, here are some tips on how to protect your car’s exterior from the winter grime.

Why the mess?

State and local road services scatter salt or coal ash on the road in order to promote ice melt and increase grip during slick conditions. That’s great, but both ingredients are terrible for exposed metal parts. Drivers knew this way back in the Ford Model T days and liberally applied used motor oil to the chassis. It somewhat worked for preventing rust but made quite a mess. Used oil coatings are illegal in many places now and today’s solutions are far superior.

Keep it clean

First, it’s easier to keep a clean vehicle rust-free. Wash your ride as often as it needs, especially after driving through salt and ice-melt treatments. Use a high-quality car-wash soap and lint-free towel, being sure to get everything off the paint and out of the wheel wells. If it’s too cold to get out and spray on your own, pay a few bucks and run the vehicle through a touchless-type car wash. It’s cheap, takes only a few minutes, and will do the trick in a pinch.

Wax on

Wax is a great product to have on your paint year round but especially so in winter. Rather than just a UV barrier in the summer, wax acts as an additional layer of protection between your paint and clear coat and the nasty grime on the road. Like a plumber wearing heavy-duty gloves, it’s protection used for a reason. Use a good-quality carnauba wax before the first snowfall and road treatments for the best protection, and reapply every three months or after every car wash.

Knock it off!

If you drive at all during harsh weather conditions, some grit and grime will make it through the above layers of defense and get stuck to your paint. It’s best not to let it sit, as gunk left for days or weeks can start to weaken the clear coat or can scratch the paint when finally cleaned off. A clay bar, a detailing favorite of the show-car crowd, can help out your daily driver. Clay bars are just what they sound like: a bar of clay that is carefully glided over a lubricated painted surface. The clay is gritty at the microscopic level and acts as a deep-cleaning paint treatment, removing any stuck-on particles and even imperfections in the paint. Kits are affordable, simple to use, and provide stunning results.

Be on guard

Every few weeks, take a quick look at your vehicle, watching for any chips in the paint or exposed metal. Most manufacturers offer touch-up paint (here’s how to apply it) in factory colors that covers rock chips and prevents rust. Have a good look at the underside at every oil change and use a rust-eating solution with a properly prepared undercoating spray to prevent damage for years. If you switch to snow tires for the winter, it may be worth investing in powder coating the wheels, which makes them nearly impervious to road grime and corrosion. Just a small investment of time and a few dollars of preventative maintenance will help keep your vehicle clean this winter and potentially save you thousands in maintenance costs or lost depreciation.

Cosmetic Surgery Tips That Can Help You Out

You probably know about the great things cosmetic procedures can do. Some of the celebrities that you enjoy watching may have had some cosmetic surgery. Things are different once you are the one getting plastic surgery. PicoSure laser treatment is the first of a new generation of aesthetic lasers that don’t rely solely on heat to burn or melt away unwanted tattoo ink or melanin, the pigment that causes dark spots in your skin.

Anyone who is considering cosmetic surgery must invest the necessary time and effort in finding out what is involved in recovery periods to gain an understanding of how long they will need to rest post surgery.

Look into your surgeon’s malpractice insurance. You want to get compensated if something going amiss in your procedure.

Research all of the provisions of your surgery to understand what happens if they have a revision policy should something goes wrong. Some surgeons will give you free surgery at no charge up to a year after the procedure was done.

Talk with your doctor; have him break down each component of the final price.You will also need to decide on a payment method, or you can even set up a payment plan. It is important to reach a financial agreement before the work is done.

Blood loss is one of the biggest potential complications patients are exposed to during cosmetic surgery. Bleeding during surgery is a common result, but excessive bleeding is not and can create complications.This bleeding can even happen after the surgery. You may need corrective surgery to repair where the excessive bleeding under the skin.

Learn everything you can about the surgery you want. You need find out as much information as possible prior to discussing it with a surgeon. You will also be more able to spot potential problems or misleading statements.

Respect the advice that your doctor about cosmetic surgeon offers. If a surgeon tells you not to have a particular surgery done, there is usually a good medical reason for it. You should get the opinion of a second surgeon if you disagree with your doctor. Following these steps will help make sure that any surgical procedure you receive is as safe as it can be.

Do not schedule having cosmetic procedures during an emotional time in your life. It will take you tons of energy to recover from the surgery, so the timing of your surgery mentally is important too. Slow recovery time can have a detrimental effect on your emotional health even worse.

When thinking about having cosmetic surgery, find out before hand how much time you need to schedule for recovery. You need to make sure you have prepared adequate rest time in your life. You won’t want to have a big event planned for the day after a surgery!

Don’t let anyone pressure you into something for which you’re not ready. Many types of cosmetic surgery are fairly simple and completed easily. Keep tight control over your ability to make decisions. Don’t ever let anyone rush you into a choice you haven’t given careful consideration to.

Anyone considering a cosmetic surgery procedure should think hard about the effect it may have on their life. It is often wise to postpone surgery until a time when things are going smoothly in their life.

It is essential that you fully understand the recovery period for cosmetic surgery. This period is very important in determining your ultimate results, so you have to follow your doctor’s orders to a T. The time immediately following the surgery have the most important time to follow instructions to the letter.

Never be scared to ask questions about asking questions.

Speak at length with your physician to understand all of the information relating to your procedure.Ask what you need to know, no matter how small or insignificant, and make sure you are satisfied with the answers.You should be more successful procedure if you take these steps to reduce the stress ahead of time.

There are specific things that you need to start doing about 1 month prior to your surgery. One of the things is pain medicine.You really need to avoid these for the first month after surgery.

Before agreeing to anything, consult with a minimum of three surgeons. Ask questions about the procedure and how long you will be healing. Ask about how long it will take until you are fully healed. You should also ask any of the other questions you might have.

You always need to make sure that your body stays hydrated all of the time. This is certainly the case when you are looking at something so invasive procedure.

You need to educate yourself to become a smart surgical consumer long before you go in for a cosmetic surgery procedures prior to going under the knife. Check your surgeon and check for patient reviews or testimonials.

Make sure you plan for your care after the procedure is completed. If you’re planning to have a serious cosmetic surgery, such as breast augmentation, rhinoplasty or even having a tummy truck, it is best to have a plan of what you will do after the operation. These are serious surgeries and need to be planned accordingly.

Don’t forget about the financial aspects of different procedures. Be sure to provide for additional contingencies such as the recovery process and any return visits that may be necessary.

There could be extra charges for the facility, facility charges and any related medical supplies. It is better to find a place that includes all in one, as that will probably be most cost effective for you.

Know what your surgeon’s policies if you’re unhappy with the results that you get. Everybody wants perfect results, however it’s always a great idea to be ready for the worst.

A healthy body and mind will make for a more successful cosmetic surgery. Make sure that you’re not considering cosmetic surgery as a result of being depressed or distracted. Sometimes depression or other mental health issues can hurt body image and cause unneeded procedures that are later regretted.

When the cosmetic surgery patient is you, things change. You want to make sure to carefully consider all the issues involved. After reading the tips above, you will be able to better prepare yourself for your surgery.

The World’s Most Extreme Waves – The Americas

“Outracing the exploding lip of a breaking wave is like ski-ing in front of an avalanche” says Sean Collins of SurfLine Surf Forecaster. Surfing app will serve as your newspaper during the competition.

Since the ancient Hawaiians first slid shoreward on their hand-carved Olo boards, riding the biggest wave of the day has continued to be one of surfing’s most revered accomplishments. But while the professional surfing circuit has blossomed over the last two decades, offering millions of dollars in prize money to agile small-wave performers, there has been no regularly-offered reward given to some of the true heroes of our sport -the BIG WAVE CHARGERS.



Maverick’s is a famous big-wave surfing spot off Half Moon Bay south of San Francisco. It is a world-famous surfing location in Northern California. Located approximately one-half mile (0.8 km) from shore in Pillar Point Harbor it is just north of Half Moon Bay at the village of Princeton-By-The-Sea. It occurs after a strong winter storm in the northern Pacific Ocean. Waves can routinely crest at over 25 feet (8m) and top out at over 50 feet (15m). The break is caused by an unusually-shaped underwater rock formation.

Maverick’s is a destination for some of the world’s premier big wave surfers. Very few riders become big wave surfers; and of those, only a select few are willing to risk the hazardous conditions at Maverick’s. An invitation-only contest is held there every winter, depending on wave conditions.

Do you know how Maverkick’s got its name? In early March of 1961, three surfers, Alex Matienzo, Jim Thompson, and Dick Knottmeyer, decided to try the distant waves off Pillar Point. With them was a white-haired German Shepherd named Maverick, owned by a roommate of Matienzo.

Maverick was used to swimming out with his owner, or with Matienzo, while they were out surfing. The trio left Maverick on shore, but he swam out and caught up with them. Finding the conditions too unsafe for the dog, Matienzo paddled back in and tied Maverick to the car bumper, before rejoining the others. The riders had limited success that day, surfing the tail end of the break and generally deeming the conditions too dangerous, but they decided to name the point after Maverick, who seemed to have gotten the most out of the experience. It became known as “Maverick’s Point”, and later simply “Maverick’s”.

Ghost Tree, Monterey Bay, California

This picture was taken in on March 9th 2005 when Ghost Tree went huge and perfect and very very dangerous. At first light, Ghost Tree saw a 17-foot swell approaching from due west at 20-second intervals. Roughly two hours later, Don Curry, the man who named the wave, and his partner Ed Guzman rolled up on the channel just in time to watch a pair of 30-foot wave faces boom over the spot’s infamous boneyard and into Stillwater Cove. The swells continued growing until they were well over 45ft. Surfers were arriving from all over hoping to ride the wave.

It was first surfed in 2005 and sadly claimed a life in 2007. It is supposed to be scarier than Maverick’s and heavier than Waimea and is one of the most dangerous waves in the world. The height of the wave can reach 70ft with an incredibly long tube.

Nelscott Reef, Oregan

Nelscott Reef creates a reef break (where waves spill over to create whitewater) that is known as the only place on the Oregon Coast with the right conditions for tow-in surfing and it is the only spot to consistently produce double overhead waves, thus the event brings in big name surfers. Before 2003 no one had been able to paddle out in this region due to the shallow water and undertow, but it has now become recognised as one of the worlds premier tow in waves and will easily hold 30ft+ waves.


Cortez Bank is a 17-mile underwater mountain range which rises to within 6 feet (2 m) of the surface and is marked by a nearby warning buoy. It was named for the clipper ship Stillwell S. Bishop that struck the rock in 1855 (and with a patched hull made it to San Francisco). This place has been known to ocean-going ships and fishermen for years. The waves there signal danger on the underwater rocks and are so big they show up on radar.

This wave is truly in the middle of the ocean. You have to take a 100 mile boat ride out to it. To get the biggest waves at Cortes Bank, you need light winds, low tides, and big storm swells from the northwest all at the same time. When it happened on January 19, 2001, California big wave riders scrambled to test their skill against the biggest, baddest wave ever ridden. These waves move so fast that surfers can’t catch them by paddling, so you need jet skiers to tow with a rope until they are moving fast enough to catch the wave.

This spot is for worldclass surfers only. It is dangerous.


The Mexican Pipeline, Puerto Escondido

Mexico is home to two of the most powerful waves on earth. Deep down in southern mainland Mexico at Puerto Escondido is a beach break that surfers have coined “The Mexican Pipeline” – a comparison to the surf world’s most famous wave, Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii. The surf is seasonal, varying from small to medium in size during the dry season (November to April), and from small to big during the rainy season (beginning in early May). The change of seasons is dramatic, occurring within the space of a week and bringing with it an equally sudden increase in wave size. An added advantage during this time of year is that the evening session is often accompanied by strong offshore winds which can result in world class conditions.

“Killers” at Todos Santos.

1,700 miles north is a reef break called “Killers”, a huge wave which breaks 9-miles off the coast of Ensenada at Isla Todos Santos where waves can reach heights of 70 feet and over. It was the West Coast’s first legitimate big wave, discovered by the Windansea guys back in the ’60s, and unlike other waves with scary names – “widowmaker”, “dead man’s” or “shark pits”, “Killers” lives up to its reputation. It remains a rite of passage for any aspiring big wave charger this side of Oahu. As with most big waves, a number of factors have to intersect to make it all happen: in this case, the reef points directly into the maw of northwest swells, and is flanked by a serious underwater canyon that focuses long period swell energy down the point — often doubling the size of whatever swell’s out there. It’s a powerful and shifty deepwater wave, complete with weird boils and bumps in the face. It is best in the winter, breaks to the right and the best swells come from the Northwest. The bottom is huge rocks and the hazards are rips, rocks, urchins and skis. The other drawback to this wave is that it blows out early most days.


The North Shore of Oahu is world famous. It is the surfing capital of the world. During the winter season, giant swells generated in the north Pacific produce the most consistently spectacular waves in the world. There are a number of popular surf breaks lining the coast. The most famous are the Banzai Pipeline and Waimea Bay. If there is such a thing as a perfect wave, you’ll likely find it on Oahu’s North Shore. The big, glassy winter waves of this legendary surf mecca attract the best surfers in the world. Stretching for more than 7 miles, the beaches of the North Shore host the world’s premier surfing competitions including the Super Bowl of wave-riding, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.


From November to February surfers congregate on the North Shore hoping to catch that perfect wave. Winter wave heights can get as high 20 feet, with faces up to 50 feet! This extreme surf is for experts only, and even then conditions are considered highly dangerous. World-renowned surf contests are held here from early November to late December. The Van’s Triple Crown of Surfing, which includes the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Ali’i Beach Park in Hale’iwa; the O’Neill World Cup at Sunset Beach; and the Billabong Pipeline Masters at Ehukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline), brings together the world’s best professional surfers.

The merciless waves of Pipeline break just 50 to 100 yards off the beach over a shallow reef making this one of the most dangerous surf spots in the world.


Waimea Bay is the birthplace of big wave surfing. The Quiksilver Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational, held at Waimea Bay, takes place each winter.

In winter, Waimea and other North Shore locations such as Pipeline and Sunset Beach host a number of surfing contests because of the large waves found here. These waves are created by winter storms in the North Pacific, and their arrival on O’ahu’s North Shore are forecast accurately several days in advance. In summer, Waimea is known for it clear and calm water.

The surf break at Waimea Bay was significant in the development of Big wave surfing. Larger surf at the bay went unridden for years until November 7, 1957 when a handful of surfers finally paddled out and rode the giant waves that break off the northern point of the bay. While the surf only breaks big several times a year, Waimea was the most prestigious big wave surf break in the world for decades. With the advent of tow-in surfing, more and more big wave breaks have been discovered that are far superior in quality than Waimea. However, the bay still holds a significant place even in today’s world of big wave surfing.

PEAHI or “JAWS” – Maui

Peahi, otherwise known as ‘Jaws’, breaks over a perfectly shaped triangle reef. The winter swells that pound the Hawaiian shores come all the way from the Alaskan Aleutian island chain in the far north of the Bering sea. Unimpeded by landfall they march across thousands of miles of uninterrupted ocean hitting the Maui reef about a half mile offshore at Peahi at almost 30kms an hour. The force of these swells produce some truly monster waves in the 40-70 foot range.

The ‘Jaws’ surf break has reached its worldwide fame largely due to the frequent filming and photography of tow-in surfing legends performing there on enormous ocean waves breaking at the deep reef off the shore; famed big wave surfers such as tow-in surfing pioneers (also known as “The Strap Crew”-for the rubber straps on their short surfboards to anchor their feet against the forces): Laird Hamilton, Dave Kalama, Darrick Doerner, Buzzy Kerbox, Brett Little, Rush Randle, Mark Angulo, Mike Waltze, Pete Cabrinha, and Brian Keaulana.

Jaws is famous for its quality. The reef and rocks at Jaws are shaped in a way that magnify incoming swell energy and produce clean and well defined right and left waves with gigantic barreling sections.


PUNTA DE LOBO – south Santiago.

Punta Lobos is a fairly consistent left pointbreak wave, which breaks over sand and rock. It is a huge long powerful wall and will give a ride of 1/4 mile (give or take 500m) without problem. Bicep burn, out of 0-10 = 8! The water is cold and there are heavy rips.

The closest big city is Pichilemu. Punta Lobos is one of South America’s biggest waves.

Santos del Mar

… And finally a cautionary tale for all want to-be environmentalists out there:

“Southern Chile’s newest big wave surf site, Santos del Mar, and its surrounding coastline would be polluted if plans go ahead to construct a proposed US$1.3 billion dollar coal-fired power plant on the coastline of Chile’s 7th Region.

Local surfers and residents are concerned about the environmental degradation that would be caused by burning coal at the facility. Arsenic and lead poisoning of adjacent marine waters and agricultural lands are common from coal burning power plants, and the region surrounding Santos del Mar is remote and rural with plentiful fishing grounds and small-scale agriculture. Furthermore, the proposed cooling towers for the electrical generator would use marine waters via an industrial intake mechanism that is responsible for killing millions of fish and marine mammals per year in similar facilities worldwide”.

To learn more about this and other extreme sports go to http://www.xtremesport4u.wordpress.com

Here we discuss such varying sports as kite surfing, to wingsuit flying.

author: Lola Jones

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Lola_Jones/207346

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1504439

Master The Art Of Travel With These Ideas

Travel can turn into a great hobby. You can decide whether you would like to travel in the world with your friends or to another country. There are always be new places to visit. This article will help you with ways to enjoy your trip’s details easier. Canada ski packages offers breathtaking scenery and it is easy to see why more and more return to ski in Canada every year.

Leave any valuable items of value at home.

Be flexible when choosing your vacation destination. While you may have your favorites, being flexible can open you up to new experiences. You can even save money by picking an alternate destination.

If you are driving to a port city before leaving on a cruise, try to find a reasonably priced hotel with included parking and check in the night before. You can check with staff at the hotel administration about potential deals that they offer on parking even if it doesn’t look like any are available.

Make sure you have clothespins with you on your next vacation. They can be a useful item when you go on a trip, but they actually can prove to be very useful.

Try to work in some physical activity before you board the plane. Long flights are found to be hard on your body. Your muscles can easily cramp up after sitting for such a long time period.

Keep travel essentials stored in one place. Don’t spend a lot of time scouring your home for travel essentials for every trip. Buy a bin that will let you store all your travel items. A container that can be hidden under the bed is great for storing many different objects.

A luggage tag on the outside of luggage can easily be ripped off in transit.

A motorcycle is a great transportation for short travels. It can be quite a lot of fun.

You do not want to wake up to the sounds of construction while on vacation.

You never know that the weather has in store for you. A rain coat works as a windbreaker when it’s cold, and even a bathrobe for your hotel stay.

Use environmentally responsible services on your vacation is eco-friendly. A lot of hotels have a program for reusing linens, recycling bins, energy efficient lights, low flow plumbing, alternative sources of energy and so on. Tour companies, restaurants, restaurants and many other travel service providers are also finding and implementing new ways to allow travelers to travel green.

You should get the National Parks Pass if you visit them often. They are only $50 and can be used for a whole year.

Jet lag happens to be a common problem when traveling across time zones. You can’t really do anything about it, but you can start shifting your sleep and wake times before you leave. You should also make an effort to sleep during the flight if possible.

Rental agencies want to try to get you extra insurance; the problem is you may not even need. Vehicle insurance policies often have basic third party liability coverage.

Road trips can get very boring so it is a great reason to plan some activities for the trip. Breaking up your trip can make for some fun during the ride. Provide your children with a copy of stops you plan to make.

Consider using a variety of transportation. The busing system is not as it used to be. You might find bundle deals from some lines that will make your travel planning a cinch.

Bring a spare passport picture with you on your trip abroad. It is not a stolen or lost. Be sure to have a spare picture of important travel documentation just in case the originals are lost or misplaced.You should also carry copies of the paperwork that will be asked for on the passport application.

Make sure the clock radio in your hotel room works properly before you go to sleep. You have no way of knowing what the alarm is not going to go off during the night and wake you up.

Invite friends along on your trip next time. You can get group discounts. You can save a great deal of money with group rate. Speak with the people closest to you and see if anyone would like to accompany you.

These will allow you to connect your computer through the television provided in your hotel room.

Sometimes a broken piece of furniture or a hole in the wall.

Plan your trip and book hotels in advance. Some hotels provide packages including meals and excursions. Decide if this may be something you would like to partake in. Also think about the room you want. For example, if you are a light sleeper, pool or lobby where there can be quite a bit of noise. Ask all of the important questions so you are sure to make the arrangements that work best for you.

Split up any valuable belongings when you travel. Don’t keep all the important papers in one spot. Split up checks, credit card, cash, passports, and tickets into different pockets and bags. If you have one bag lost or even stolen, you’ll still have other items to rely on.

As it was said above, traveling is a great pastime as well as a passion for many people. There are countless destinations you can visit. There are many things to see and do even in the same places. The advice you have read here can make traveling much easier and a lot more enjoyable.

Create Your Own Beautiful Off-Grid, Energy-Efficient Home

If your image of off-grid living is a ramshackle cabin with a wood stove, you should explore the changes new technology has brought to architecture and building systems. Mosquitoes stayed in garbage if not properly disposed by a rubbish removal Northern Beaches Sydney.

Generally, a house is considered to be off-the-grid when it is not connected to public utilities, including electricity, natural gas, sewage systems, and water supply. All of these utilities must be available on-site, but this isn’t as difficult as it sounds.

It’s now easier than ever to build a beautiful, highly efficient home that’s not connected to public utilities, even in urban areas. Read on to learn how.

Run Your Home on Solar Power

There are many ways to power your off-grid home. Improved solar, wind, and geothermal technology have joined the more traditional propane gas and diesel-powered generators as power sources. Not only are these power sources quieter and cleaner, they’re much easier on the environment.

Solar power is the electricity source of choice for most new off-grid installations. This is because solar technology has advanced so much that relatively small solar panel arrays can provide enough electricity for an entire home.

Two examples of beautiful homes run almost completely on solar power are this home off the coast of Maine, and this 1,157-square-foot country retreat in Arkansas.

Consider Built-In Energy Efficiency

While building practices have improved immensely in the last decade or two, buildings are not naturally energy efficient. It takes careful consideration of where to place the home on the site to get the most heating and cooling directly from the home’s natural environment. The choice of building materials, insulation, ventilation and natural lighting also contributes to passively reducing energy consumption.

This house in rural Colorado embodies these choices. The builders analyzed the sun’s path to determine heat gains before siting the home, and they chose window designs and exterior cladding to reduce solar heating. In a cold climate, south-facing windows can let in the sun’s heat but keep out the cold.

Try Rainwater Harvesting

Off-grid water sources include wells and freshwater lakes and rivers, but rainwater collection has made it possible to provide water in the remotest locations. Sewage is usually handled by septic systems, but composting toilets and gray-water systems have even less environmental impact.

Even more than access to power, access to water is probably the most important consideration when building an off-grid home. When groundwater isn’t available, rain could provide all the water a home needs. The StampHouse in Queensland, Australia, won numerous awards in 2014 for its sustainable design, including a water-harvesting system that collects rain from the entire roof area and stores it in a 250,000-liter in-ground tank. The site also has an advanced sewage treatment system to handle waste.

As you can see from these beautiful houses, it is indeed possible to have your dream home in an environmentally sustainable way. Tap into the sustainable builders and utility providers in your area to find out how to create your own off-grid dream home.

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