Friday, July 8, 2016

20-Something in Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas.

Las Vegas is one of those places that EVERY person must visit after they turn 21. (What’s the point of going if you’re not 21?) I’ve now been there six times over the last three years…. and here’s why.

1. I like shiny things.. kind of like a ferret. Las Vegas is all things shiny and gaudy.

2. I’m a people person, I like to watch people… Vegas is a feeding ground for people watchers… there are just so many crazies out there. (Can you believe that probably 40% of Vegas tourists still wear fanny packs????)

3. I like to sit in 100 degree weather and watch attractive men with great bodies play pool volleyball while being served fabulous frozen drinks.

4. So many restaurants, so many shows, so many bars, so many things to see, do, eat, experience.

The problem with Las Vegas is that its overrated sometimes. It’s become the popular celebrity craze that has diminished some of the better highlights of that city. Trust me, its not worth waiting 3 hours outside Tao (at the Venetian) or Ghostbar (The Palms) just in hopes of catching a glimpse of Paris Hilton. Here are a list of some of my personal favorites and reccommendations for any person on their way to Sin City.

Hotels:
– Stay on the strip. Half the fun in the trip is staying on Las Vegas Boulevard. Stick with the big names, too… MGM, Mirage, Bellagio, Venetian, Treasure Island, Luxor, Mandalay, etc.

– I have stayed at Excalibur on my first trip. It’s ok if you bring kids or you’re really short on cash and don’t care about your digs Otherwise, you’ll be surrounded by screaming, running children and screaming frenzied parents. Fun place to walk around, don’t really reccommend staying.

– My second trip I stayed at Bellagio. Beautiful hotel. Very overpriced. Lovely to look at. I felt that if I touched anything, I might break it and the police would arrest me. God forbid I leave a fingerprint on the perfectly polished elevator door or something. This hotel is ideal for your status-loving upper-middle class type middle aged crowd. Or those who just want to brag that they can see the water fountain show out their window.

– Third trip was Luxor. Cool hotel. Inclinators (angled elevators) are especially fun, although the novelty wears off after the first day. The rooms seemed a little dark, and not enough lighting, but definitely a fun theme and nicely spaced out. (Good shopping!)

– Fourth and fifth trip – MGM Grand. Huge hotel. You may get lost. Tons of restaurants (all rediculously priced, but hey, you’re in Vegas.) The Lion Habitat is nice, but it seems like the Lions are drugged with a sedative or something, because they don’t do anything. MGM is a personal favorite of mine becuase the rooms are large (largest on the Strip), and you often find travel specialis which will price MGM just as competitive as Excalibur. Not as much of a theme here as Luxor, but a good bet.

– Sixth trip – Mandalay Bay. Just fabulous. Beautiful hotel, unfortunately towards the end of the strip so be prepared to walk if you want to check out the rest of Vegas. However, the hotel offers so much you really don’t ever have to leave the premesis. Lots of restaurants, great clubs, good music… my reccommendation.

Restaurants:
It’s hard to rate restaurants in Vegas, because there are so many, and new ones opening every day with the hope of outdoing the others. Unfortunately, the land of $2.99 unlimited shrimp cocktail and prime rib have long gone. However, there still are some good finds for great deals, and great food, as well as a couple fine dining experiences that are worthwhile.

– The Monte Carlo Brewery (you guessed it, at the Monte Carlo). Full blown brewery offering great beers at great prices. You can get a full pint for approximately $5. (What a bargain for Vegas!) Try the pale lager… very refreshing. Not only is the beer good, but the food is decent (let’s say a step above Bennigans or TGI Fridays) and its priced adequately enough that you can definitely enjoy quite a few beers! (If unsure, I reccommend their burgers… large, juicy, very satisfying.)

– The Burger Bar. (Mandalay Bay). Wow. This place rules. You can choose between approx. 5 different types of beef, 10 different types of cheese, and 20 different types of toppings. Not to mention the 7 different bun/bread choices you have. (All numbers are estimates.) And for a reasonable price. Definitely a great place to stop for lunch!!!

– Pearl (MGM Grand). High priced fancy Japanese place. Sushi is great as well as the rest of the entrees. The place is just well designed, pretty to look at, and you get a decent bang for your buck.

– Aureole (Mandalay Bay). I have mixed emotions about this place. The first time I went, I was amazed. The food was heavenly, the service made me feel like royalty, and the wine list (on a computerized Palm Pilot-looking machine) was to die for. Yes, you’re paying approx $100+ a head. The second time I went, food was still great, but service was terrible. I’m young, so I think they just didn’t find me as important as the fancy-pants forty-something hotshot in his Brooks Brothers suit at the table next to me smoking his cigar. So if you want GREAT food, definitely go, but beware that the service can vary.

– Buffets. Any buffet. All buffets are typical, unless you’re looking for extraordinary (Spice Market at Aladdin or Bally’s Sunday Brunch). For the most part, you can’t go wrong wtih Bellagio, Mandalay, or MGM buffets.

Bars/Clubs:
– I’m a huge fan of Studio 54. (MGM Grand) The place is enormous, the music is varied, and the people like to have fun. You defintiely feel a vibe coming from the place, and you can let loose without feeling like everyone is checking you out.

– RumJungle. (Mandalay Bay). Wow. Exotic, sexy, fun. Its just worth the trip to view the decor.

– Centrifuge (MGM Grand). Fun bar where the waiters/bartenders jump on the bar every thirty minutes to do a booty-shaking dance that leaves the drinkers drooling over gyrating hips.

– Ra (Luxor). It’s a fun time. Beware – check which music is playing on which night. Certain nights are house, certain nights solely hip hop. It will not be fun if you don’t like the music playing.

– I’ve been to Light, Tao, and Pure. If you’re looking for the see-and-be-seen crowd, then go ahead. It’s long lines, obnoxious people, and intimidating security. I found that normally when you get inside, the music is mediocre, and the crowd can be just as standoffish. If you do go, I reccommend that ladies go directly to the security guard handling the exit and ask if a group of single ladies can jump the line. Its worked for me every time, and half the time I get in for free.

– My other beware – Coyote Ugly (NYNY). I’m from the NYC area. I’ve been to Coyote Ugly. I’ve seen the movie. This bar was a disappointment. It’s tiny, don’t be fooled. The girls that dance on the bar are very rehearsed, and there’s no dancing. It seems like everyone just sits there watching. Also, be careful not to lean against the rear bar… security is wierd about it.

Beware, people… drinking is NOT cheap in Vegas. Expect to pay $7.00 ber bottled beer and $10.00 for mixed drink. I reccommend the liquor stands at many hotels. For example, NYNY offers a great daquiri stand that serves yards of daquiris in great flavors at reasonable prices.

This is a small synopsis of my basic reccommendations (and rants.) You may perhaps feel different, but I think its all a matter of personal taste, opinion, and experience. Feel free to let me know if you have anything to add.

Tags:20-Something in Las Vegas

20 Things to Do with Your Toddler or Pre-Schooler in San Jose

As summer draws to a close and older children head off to school, parents in San Jose begin looking for activities to occupy their toddler or pre-school aged children. Here is a look at some of the low- or no-cost options around San Jose for parents and caregivers with young children. Don’t spend the fall and winter stuck at home–pack your diaper bag, bring your stroller, and explore San Jose!

1. Mommy and Me on the Row. Every second Tuesday of the month from May through December, parents and children meet at Park Valencia (near Starbucks) from 10 a.m. until noon for child-friendly activities. Each month has a theme. September’s theme is “Into the Wild” and will feature Happy Birds. October is a Halloween theme and will take place on the 26th rather than the usual 2nd Tuesday. November features “Cooking for Kids,” and in December the focus is on giving back with a Second Harvest food drive. Visit http://ift.tt/29rKskI for more information.

2. Westgate Mall Mommy & Me and Daddies Too Kids Club. The second Wednesday of every month from 10 a.m. until noon Westgate Mall features games, music, and activities for children. It meets in Center Court, outside Ross. For more information go to http://ift.tt/29U41Ri.

3. Story Times and programming at the San Jose Public Library. Despite budget cuts, the San Jose Public Library continues to offer story times at no cost to patrons at all their open branches. If one story time doesn’t seem to appeal to your child, try a different story time at another branch. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding the right story time style for your little one. Story time goes on hiatus during August and December, but the rest of the year it’s available on a weekly basis. Visit http://ift.tt/29rKloZ to find story times near you. In addition to story times, the SJPL also offers a variety of events and programming for children, including arts and crafts, music and movement, music and dance classes, reading readiness, parent/child computer classes, and more. Visit http://ift.tt/29U4aUB to search for activities for kids at a branch near you. Individual branches also publish monthly calendars with activities on them.

4. Story Times at retail stores. Barnes and Noble, Borders, and other retail stores offer free story time programming for children. On Tuesday mornings, Barnes & Noble in Blossom Hill, Borders at Santana Row, and Pottery Barn Kids at Valley Fair Mall all offer free story times. Visit www.borders.com or http://ift.tt/vggwU1 and search for your closest store to view events. Children’s events at Valley Fair Mall can be found here: http://ift.tt/29U4cMd.www.borders.com or http://ift.tt/vggwU1 and search for your closest store to view events. Children’s events at Valley Fair Mall can be found here: http://ift.tt/29U4cMd.

5. Parks and playgrounds. San Jose offers a variety of children’s playgrounds and parks. Grab some snacks, sunscreen, bubbles, and balls, and head to one of them to let your little ones work out their energy. Some of my personal favorites include Vista Park in Blossom Valley, Jake’s Lot (Parma Park) in Almaden, Catalidi Park in Berryessa, and Hester Park in the Rose Garden (beside the library). Visit http://ift.tt/29rKDwe for a complete list of parks with playgrounds.

6. Indoor Play Areas. When rain and cold make playing outside impossible, there are plenty of indoor options. Valley Fair and Oakridge malls both feature indoor play areas where kids can burn off some energy while parents recharge their batteries. You might also try SwaRay in Sunnyvale. SwaRay is a themed party place with an indoor playground that also offers drop-in playtimes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to coffee, tea, cocoa, and WiFi for parents, SwaRay provides snacks and drinks for the kids for $5 each. http://ift.tt/29U4suY

7. Play with your Food. The Round Table Pizzas on Camden and Stevens Creek also have play areas where kids can play while you enjoy pizza (http://ift.tt/1nmhLHr). You might also try The Jungle or The Jungle Island (http://ift.tt/29U4umA and http://ift.tt/29rKicY), or, if you’re feeling brave, head to Chuck E. Cheese (http://ift.tt/LrkPAEhttp://ift.tt/1nmhLHr). You might also try The Jungle or The Jungle Island (http://ift.tt/29U4umA and http://ift.tt/29rKicY), or, if you’re feeling brave, head to Chuck E. Cheese (http://ift.tt/LrkPAE).

8. Bounce-a-pa-looza. Once your little one masters the art of jumping, you might want to check out some of the bounce house places around San Jose. LOL Parties, inside the Silver Creek Sports Complex, offers open play time from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday-Friday for $7 (http://ift.tt/29rKuZL). Evening/weekend hours are also available. Other options include Bounce-a-Rama at The Great Mall in Milpitas (http://ift.tt/29U43sa), Bouncy-land at Oakridge Mall ( http://ift.tt/29rKusV), and Pump-it-Up (including Pump-it-Up Jr. in Sunnyvale) ( http://ift.tt/TYcL9J).

9. Try a class. Most children’s classes offer a free trial for parents (check Bay Area Parent for coupons if the location doesn’t automatically offer one). Some of our favorites include My Gym (http://www.my-gym.com/), The Little Gym (http://ift.tt/1H8Q0en), Gymboree (http://ift.tt/1i1vMsm), Aerial Tumbling and AcroGymnastics (http://ift.tt/29rKp8r), and California Sports Centers (http://ift.tt/29U4liN). CSC also offers an “Open Explore” drop-in play time that is open to the public for $5.

10. San Jose’s Classic: The Children’s Discovery Museum. It’s hard to be the CDM for indoor fun. With the Wonder Cabinet upstairs for kids under 5, a bubble area, and special events, The Children’s Discovery Museum is always a favorite with parents and kids. Bring a change of clothes and small towel if water play will be part of your day! Consider a membership if you plan to visit often. www.cdm.org

11. Walk Like an Egyptian. Take your budding archaologist to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum (http://ift.tt/W7QpGd) to explore ancient Egyptian artifacts right here in San Jose. This one is better for pre-schoolers than for toddlers.

12. Explore Art. Enjoy an exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Art (http://ift.tt/SHL1c9), de Saisset Museum (reopening in October, http://ift.tt/29rKoRY), or Triton Museum of Art (http://ift.tt/1P8HH4L). Check museum websites for special events, classes, and admission (Triton is free).

13. Check out The Tech. Silicon Valley’s Tech Museum allows your budding engineer to explore technology in a variety of hands-on exhibits (http://www.thetech.org/). Visit a San Jose Library or show your San Jose or Santa Clara County Library Card to get discount passes for The Tech (http://ift.tt/29rKR6v).

14. Junior Museum and Zoo. Drive up to Palo Alto to take in the free Junior Museum and Zoo (http://ift.tt/29U4xOW). Learn about electricity, see a bobcat, or more. The park next door makes the perfect spot for a picnic.

15. Take in a Flick. Take your tot to see a movie at Camera Cinema’s Diaper Days (http://ift.tt/29rKtFi), or, if that doesn’t fit your schedule, make your own “Diaper Days” at any theater. Any kid’s movie with a start time before noon is fair game!

16. Hit the Hollow. Happy Hollow Park and Zoo is back, and it’s better than ever. While admission and parking can be pricey, if you’re willing to walk a bit you can find free street parking nearby. Consider investing in a membership if you want to make Happy Hollow a regular part of your schedule. www.hhpz.org

17. Blast Off. The NASA Exploration Center features free exhibits, and is good for pre-school and school-aged kids with an interest in space. It includes an “immersive theater” that lets visitors experience a visit to Mars. http://ift.tt/18F6ObR

18. Explore Downtown Willow Glen. Start your trip off at Hicklebee’s Children’s Books. Check the calendar to find special events (http://ift.tt/29rKnND) including story times and author visits. Then walk to Powell’s Sweets (http://ift.tt/29U4lPX). You can also check out Baby Buzz, Treehouse in the Glen, Cucini Bambini, and more. Check out www.willowglen.org for events. Round out the day with a trip to Lincoln Glen Park, and if the weather is warm, enjoy the water feature.

19. Hit the Farm. Emma Prusch Farm Park, off Story and King, features farm animals, a playground, and lots of grass for running. They also have pre-school programs and plentiful free parking. http://ift.tt/29U4CCj You might also enjoy Ardenwood Farms in Fremont (http://ift.tt/1pNtQq3) or Hidden Villa (http://ift.tt/SUxila).

20. Find a Playgroup. Tired of going to the park alone? Try Las Madres Neighborhood Playgroups, Inc., Silicon Valley’s own non-profit, volunteer-run organization with age-based playgroups throughout San Jose and the surrounding areas. www.lasmadres.org. You may also want to explore area MOMS (http://ift.tt/29rKdWB) or MOPS (www.mops.org) groups, or try meetup.com to find parents in your area. Forget any preconceived notions you have about playgroups and give it a try–it really is a gwww.lasmadres.org. You may also want to explore area MOMS (http://ift.tt/29rKdWB) or MOPS (www.mops.org) groups, or try meetup.com to find parents in your area. Forget any preconceived notions you have about playgroups and give it a try–it really is a great way to socialize for both you and your child. Try a few until you find one you like.

Tags:20 Things to Do with Your Toddler or Pre-Schooler in San Jose

20 Sexiest Women of Sports Movies

When it comes to movies about sports, most women that are featured just sit in the bleachers or play arm candy to the male athletes. This is a look at the sexiest women of sports movies that actually played athletes. From one of the sexiest pop singers as a baseball babe to female football players, these women are some of the sexiest players the sports world has ever seen:

Geena Davis in ‘A League of Their Own’ – You could argue over who was sexiest in one of the few sports movies that prominently features women, but Geena Davis hits a home run as a catcher that’s a real “doll”. The “Queen of Diamonds” didn’t really like her newfound sports glory, but she was one of the best players in the movie.

Kathy Ireland in ‘Necessary Roughness’ – Before the lingerie football league existed, a model donned football pads and became the sexiest kicker of sports movies. Kathy Ireland put her model legs to good use in this movie about misfits, and she’s one of the few women in the world that can say that they still look amazing in such a manly uniform.

Kate Beckinsale in ‘Blue Crush’ – Kate Beckinsale stars alongside Michelle Rodriguez as two of the sexiest surfer girls you’ll ever see. When it comes to sports movies that are perfect for the summer, this one is perfect for watching to cool down with the blue waves or to heat things up with a bunch of surfer babes in bikinis.

Keira Knightley in ‘Bend it Like Beckham’ – It was obvious by the reaction to this move that Keira Knightley was going to be on top of many of the sexiest women alive lists. After all, she’s one of only two women that have generated so much excitement with a sports bra.

Parminder Nagra in ‘Bend it Like Beckham’ – Keira’s costar is often overlooked in this movie, but she’s still one of the sexiest ball-kickin’ babes you’ll ever see, even if she is a little more conservative than her costar.

Hillary Swank in ‘Million Dollar Baby’ – No matter what people say, Hillary Swank is sexy in this film. Out of all of the sports movies on this list, she was in what is by far the best of them, and just look at her abs! Plus she doesn’t get to be girly at all, allowing her personality and determination to shine through and show what truly makes her character one of the sexiest on this list.

Moira Kelly in ‘The Cutting Edge’ – When a spoiled, uppity figure skater is paired with a has-been hockey player for a figure skating competition, guess what happens? Sparks fly on the ice, that’s what! So the storyline follows that of many cheesy boy-meets-girl-that-doesn’t-like-him-at-first-but-eventually-falls-for-him movies, but the gorgeous Moira Kelly looks amazing in her skating outfits, and this is definitely one of the sexiest sports romances you’ll ever see. Just enjoy it for all of its cliché guilty pleasure goodness.

Michelle Rodriguez in ‘Girlfight’ – Michelle Rodriguez plays the tough girl in many of her movies, but this is probably her rawest role. It’s one of the most empowering sports movies for women out there, and Michelle Rodriguez is definitely the sexiest boxer you’ll ever see. But look into those eyes while she’s fighting, and she quickly becomes one of the scariest women of sports movies.

Madonna in ‘A League of Their Own’ – Madonna is at her sexiest in one of the many movies where she gets to show off her pin up girl good looks. “All the Way” Mae would make one of the sexiest baseball cards ever, but be forewarned; she could knock you out of the park with the bat of an eyelash.

Missy Peregrym in ‘Stick it’ – Missy plays one of the most rebellious (but sexiest!) gymnasts you’ll ever see in this comedy about one of the sexiest sports there is. She’s also one of the most-hated gymnasts around, thanks to her bad attitude. But she eventually starts a gymnastic revolution, and the ending here is one of the most clever I’ve seen in sports movies.

Mariel Hemingway in ‘Personal Best’ – This is one of the few sports movies out there that focuses on track and field, and this one really takes a fresh look at the world of sports through the eyes of women. I love Mariel Hemingway’s unique, natural look, and I really think its great that she took on such a complex role. In the movie she plays a bisexual runner who has to balance her track and field career alongside relationships with her male coach and female friend and competitor. If you want to see one of the most refreshing movies about women in sports, you might like this one.

Eliza Dushku in ‘Bring it On’ – You can argue that cheerleading isn’t a sport, but if golf is a sport, then so is cheerleading (and, unlike golf, it’s one of the sexiest, most exciting sports there is). Out of the many women in one of the few movies that focuses on the sport, I think Eliza Dushku’s rebel cheerleader is the sexiest. (But don’t worry; Kirsten Dunst has nabbed another spot on the list).

Sanaa Lathan in ‘Love & Basketball’ – Basketball really isn’t considered one of the sexiest sports out there, but this is one of the few movies out there that focuses on the romance of a sports couple. The gorgeous Sanaa Lathan is one of the many women on this list that proves you can be a strong athlete and tough competitor while still being sexy. I don’t think guys would complain about women not being able to dunk if all female basketball players looked like Sanaa.

Helen Hunt in ‘Quarterback Princess’ – Football isn’t considered one of the sexiest sports for women, but Helen Hunt is a pretty adorable (and talented) Quarterback Princess. Helen Hunt inspires girls to dream big in this movie about breaking the gender barrier by playing football, and also manages to become homecoming queen in the process.

Kristy Swanson in ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ – Buffy is a cheerleader with martial arts skills that kicks vampire butt and steals boys’ hearts while putting stakes in those of her mortal enemies. Buffy’s toughness and athleticism make her one of the sexiest women of sports movies, but she can also claim being one of the best-looking babes of horror movies, too.

Kirsten Dunst in ‘Wimbledon’ – Kirsten Dunst is perfectly cast in one of the sports movies about a past time enjoyed by many of the sexiest blondes in the world. She could go head-to-head with Anna Kournikova when it comes to a cuteness battle on the court, but I don’t think a true tennis match up between the two would be very exciting to watch.

Jennifer Beals in ‘Flashdance’ – Dancing is one of the sexiest sports there is, and you can argue that the next movies on this list shouldn’t be here because it’s not really a sport, but I wouldn’t try to tell Jennifer Beals’ body double in this movie that. (That maniac might stomp you death with his fast feet.)

Jessica Alba in ‘Honey’ – This is definitely not one of the best movies on this list, but Jessica Alba is definitely one of the sexiest dancers you’ll ever see. Her character is as sweet as honey, but she’s dangerous on the dance floor.

Julia Stiles in ‘Save the Last Dance’ – Julia Stiles is just gorgeous in any of the movies she’s been in, but she sizzles on screen here as one of the sexiest women in one of the sexiest movies about sports (and interracial relationships).

Jennifer Grey in ‘Dirty Dancing’ – Say what you may about Jennifer Grey, but her character’s innocence and desire to escape it made her character very sexy in this movie. (You really didn’t need the nose job, Jennifer!)

While there are many people out there who will appreciate the women on this list for being the sexiest of sports movies, I hope there are also those out there who will appreciate their characters for the inspirational stories they tell and enjoy looking at the world of sports through the eyes of some very tough and talented women.

SOURCES: www.wikipedia.com
www.imdb.com

Tags:20 Sexiest Women of Sports Movies

20 Tips to Slow Down Eating

In today’s fast-paced world, many people struggle with an over-packed schedule. For some, there’s little enough time to sit down to eat. As a result, busy people gulp and go. Others – not necessarily under a time crunch – have the habit of eating too fast, eating 3-4 bites of food for every bite eaten by another. Why is that? There’s no competition for that food on the plate. So why wolf-it-down so fast? There are several reasons why, and fortunately, several tips to help. Here are 20 tips to slow down eating.

Slow Down Eating Tip #1: One of the major reasons for eating too fast is not chewing long enough. To slow down your eating, chew every bite a minimum of 10 times–but shoot for 20.

Since the mouth is the entry to the digestive system, the better chewed your food is, the easier it is on your digestive system. Under-chewed food sits in the gut and can cause digestive problems, such as bloating, indigestion, heart burn, and poor absorption–which can compromise health and invite disease.

Slow Down Eating Tip #2: Eat one small bite at a time. Be sure you have chewed it and swallowed it completely before picking up another bite.

Slow Down Eating Tip #3: Put down the fork or spoon after each bite. This will slow down the automatic response of fork-to-mouth.

Slow Down Eating Tip #4: Sip water regularly or in-between bites. It forces you to put down the fork. Plus, it fill in the gaps.

Slow Down Eating Tip #5: Don’t eat alone. It’s a good idea to have company when you eat. Hold a conversation and make the meal a social time. Since you can’t eat and talk at the same time, you’ll eat more slowly.

Slow Down Eating Tip #6: Close your eyes during the meal or eat in the dark. The food will take on a whole new experience, and it will take you longer to get it from your plate to your mouth.

Slow Down Eating Tip #7: Give yourself very small portions. That way, you’ll need to get up and go to the kitchen for more. This slows you down a little and lets you know how much you’re actually eating.

Slow Down Eating Tip #8: Eat with a baby spoon or chopsticks. It’s hard to eat too fast with a tiny spoon or a pair of chopsticks.

Slow Down Eating Tip #9: Cut your food into smaller bites or bite off smaller bites of food. Not only will it slow you down, but it will also aid digestion.

Slow Down Eating Tip #10: Enjoy and savor every bite. Pay attention to your meal and make the most of it. Don’t mindlessly eat while doing something else, such as watching television or working at the computer. Food isn’t a pacifier, and it shouldn’t be used as a remedy for boredom.

Slow Down Eating Tip #11: Don’t wait to eat until you’re ravenously hungry, or you’ll eat quickly and too much. You’ll find yourself inhaling food.

Slow Down Eating Tip #12: Increase the amount of fiber you eat; chewing takes longer and you’ll feel fuller.

Slow Down Eating Tip #13: Pace yourself; see if you can stretch your dining experience into at least 20 minutes. Use a clock or a timer in front of you if you need to.

Eating more slowly gives the brain a chance to register when the stomach is full. Since it takes about 20 minutes for this to happen, you won’t find yourself overeating. Shoveling-in food quickly, piles-up an excess of food in the stomach, before you realize you are full. This can lead to weight gain.

Slow Down Eating Tip #14: Don’t hunch over upir plate. Sit up straight, and act as if you are in the presence of royalty. Use good table etiquette–elbows off the table and napkin in your lap.

Slow Down Eating Tip #15: When possible, avoid eating with others who eat fast. They’ll set the pace, and you’ll find yourself following.

Slow Down Eating Tip #16: Be sure to use the bathroom before a meal. Needing to go makes a person want to hurry-up with dinner, in order to take care of business.

Slow Down Eating Tip #17: Sit down to eat and use a plate. Those who stand are usually rushing through the meal to get on to other things.

Slow Down Eating Tip #18: Decorate your plate for visual appeal. Spend time serving yourself and arranging the food to appeal to all your senses. Choose foods with color, texture, and mouth–feel.

Slow Down Eating Tip #19: Enjoy your food; savor the aroma and texture of the meal. Consider how long it took to prepare, and prolong the enjoyment of eating it.

Slow Down Eating Tip #20: Make dining a decadent experience. Sit down at the table with easy-listening music, lit candles, and a nice tablecloth. Relax while you eat, and make the meal pleasurable and calming.

Make a conscious effort to slow your eating down, and you’ll find yourself eating more slowly. Your digestive track will thank you for it; and others who must eat with you–they’ll thank you for it too. Let these 20 slow down eating tips help get you started.

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20 Tips on Saving Money and Investing

As a person grows, the finances become an important part of their life. Without money, they will have a hard time making ends meets or paying bills. So, many families are looking for the best ways to save money in their household expenses. There are some easy ways for families to save money, which can help hem create a budget that they can live on. Here are some simple tips that many families are currently using, in order to save money.

These 20 tips can help each family save money and meet each member’s monthly needs. However, by cutting the household expenses, the person can save enough money to put away for an emergency. Sometimes, the bargains can be found at different stores, so shop around in your neighborhood stores for the best deal. With a little hard work and lots of effort, the bargain shopper can lower their family’s monthly expenses.

1. Cut coupons from your local Sunday paper.

2. Eat at home, instead of going out to a restaurant.

3. Learn to sew curtains, clothes, and other necessities.

4. Shop at your local thrift stores for gently used items.

5. Buy a used car, instead of purchasing a brand new car.

6. Downsize your monthly bills, only keep what you need.

7. Look for bargains, when buying expensive things that you need.

8. With higher gas prices, limit the daily driving you do.

9. Proper car maintenance will help your car’s fuel efficiency.

10. Limit what you buy on credit, pay cash instead.

11. Keep your A/C thermostat on 78˚ degrees at all times.

12. Change all appliances and light bulb to energy efficient models.

13. Unplug all appliances that are not being used.

14. Allow the sunshine to illuminate your home.

15. Turn off all lights, once you are finished with them.

16. Join a prescription program to save money.

17. Find bargains for the family at local garage sales.

18. Have a yard sale to sell all unused or outgrown items.

19. Grow your own garden of vegetables.

20. Stop wasting food, by only cooking what your family will eat.

Tips on Investing

First of all, talk to a financial consultant, before making any type of financial decisions. Then, do your homework and research the information, which you will need to know about investing wisely. If you are new at investing, you will want to learn as much as you can and know what your risks may be. Everything should be explained in way that you can understand, exactly what you are getting in to. So, study before deciding to invest in a mutual fund or making plans for your financial future.

Right now, there are literally thousands of mutual bonds for a person look into, but your economic goals will shape your financial portfolio. Your investments will depend on the money currently you have to invest and the size of the nest egg you plan to accumulate. Either way, most mutual funds have a minimum requirement to invest. Sometimes, you can find help through your lock bank or financial institution.

When investing in a mutual fund, first decide how well it has done it the market over the last year. Also, look for diverse mutual funds that will build over time and create a generous return for you in the long run. Start by investing in companies that are “hot” in the market; like Microsoft®, Energy corporations, or Pharmaceutical companies. But, remember not to put all you money into one fund, instead spread it out into several safe one.

Investing in mutual funds can be very confusing, so remember to get the best advice you can locate. Whether you choose to hire a professional advisor or do your own research, it is important to understand the investments that you will make. Also, it is very important to stay informed, in order to protect the money you have tied up into mutual fund. If you choose to do your homework, you can become a smart investor with a portfolio to brag about.

Tags:20 Tips on Saving Money and Investing

20 Tips for Skin Care

1. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water every day.

2. Cut some beet root into small pieces and grind them. Squeeze juice from beet root and massage to your face for 5 minutes. Shower after 10 minutes with mild soap or gram flour.

3. Mix sandalwood powder with rose water and add 4 to 5 drops of milk. Apply the paste on your face and body. Shower after 15 minutes with warm water.

4. Mix honey in water and drink daily in the morning to keep your skin shiny and smooth.

5. Warm honey and mix with lemon juice. Apply on the face. Wash after it dries.

6. Mix Turmeric, sandal powder and olive oil and apply to body. Shower after 10 minutes.

7. Massage your skin with milk. Milk has moisturizer; it will keep your skin smooth.

8. Use humidifiers and keep room temperature moderate to keep your skin away
from dryness.

9. Take food which contains more Vitamin A and C.

10. Grate carrot and boil. Massage that mixture to body to get fair and smooth skin.

11. For natural bleaching: – mix milk and lemon juice. The milk will break as soon as you mix the lemon juice. Use that mixture to massage on your body. It works as natural bleach.

12. Mix turmeric and cream on the top of milk, massage that mixture to body.

13. If you go into sun your skin will be tanned. To get your skin color to normal take equal quantities of cucumber juice and tomato juice and apply on to skin. Shower after 10 minutes.

14. Massage mustard oil to your skin for 5 minutes and have shower with gram flour or mild soap.

15. Mix cream on the top of milk and all-purpose flour and apply that paste on to your skin avoid eyes, eyebrows and lips. Shower after 5 minutes. This will make skin smooth.

16. Mix yogurt with wheat flour and apply to your skin and take shower after 5 minutes.

17. Grind rose petals and mix with cream on the top of milk and apply to your body. Shower after 10 minutes.

18. Scaly skin is a result of fluorine deficiency. Fluorine is the anti-resistant element of the human body, the absence of which creates problems in the blood and spleen. Since cooking and heating foods destroys fluorine, it is better to eat uncooked raw fruits and vegetables. Other foods rich in fluorine are goat milk and cheese, rye flour, avocados, sea plants and cabbage, cream whey and cottage cheese. 19. Wrinkle skin is a result of Sodium deficiency and makes skin sticky. Cucumbers are ideal for combating and preventing sodium deficiency because they are not only high in sodium, but also help in keeping the body cool, a great summer’s treat.

20. Skin rashes are the result of silicon deficiency. To avoid pus and rashes, eat plenty of sprouts, alfalfa, barley, tomatoes, spinach, strawberries and figs.

Tags:20 Tips for Skin Care

"2001: A Space Odyssey" Review - Kubrick's The Monolith, We're The Apes

By 1968, Stanley Kubrick had already taken conventional cinematic language to its limits. “Dr. Strangelove” perfected the black comedy; “Lolita” told an impossible story to film; and “Spartacus” redefined the action epic. Finally, Kubrick wanted to change cinematic language.

The first 20 minutes of “2001: A Space Odyssey” are still revolutionary. There’s no dialog, human or real plot. Kubrick introduces the broad concepts of science, nature and evolution through a variety of opening images. A sunrise, a barren desert and prehistoric apes lounging around. While this may seem unnecessary, the vague ending can be partially understood by these opening concepts. It’s a simple and brutal life till the apes find the “Monolith” in the middle of their territory. The Monolith is a large black object almost like blank domino that towers over everything. This Monolith somehow helps the apes evolve: they learn how to use tools and weapons.

That was the first step of a long journey that is segued by the now legendary quick cut from a flying bone to a spaceship. The patient viewer is now treated with a montage of Beethoven’s music and flying spacecraft, whose models still look impressive. Eventually, the main characters are introduced: astronauts Dave (Keir Dullea), Frank (Gary Lockwood) and their supercomputer mission leader, HAL 9000 (voiced by Douglas Rain). Interestingly, Kubrick gives more character depth and motivation to HAL throughout the film than any human shows. HAL has an obvious sense of self-actualization and arrogance computers shouldn’t have. HAL asks probing questions about the astronauts, lies about mission details and seems to have jealousy streak. When the the ship begins malfunctioning and the astronauts realize HAL isn’t wholly honest, it’s a life and death race for control over the ship.

But that’s only the surface story. The real substance lies in the themes of man’s reliance on technology, human evolution and what really makes a human. I pondered a variety of weighty subjects during my recent viewing: Is a murderous computer made by man “evil,” “human” or both? How can humankind evolve further? Was the Monolith sent by aliens, God or is it just a metaphor with no explanation?

Without spoiling anything, part of the ending contains what could be called an “acid trip.” A vivid display of colors, random images and mind bending concepts. Even after seeing the sequence numerous times and reading theories about it, I’m still perplexed by some parts. Some viewers grow frustrated and view the sequence as dribble disguising as art. I think its the final hurdle viewers must complete, and appreciate, to evolve with the film.

In fact, if “2001: A Space Odyssey” had to summed up in one word, it would “evolution.” Its about man’s biological evolution, technological evolution and cinematic evolution. What other film in history can come close to reaching such complexity?

Tags:“2001: A Space Odyssey” Review - Kubrick’s The Monolith, We’re The Apes

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