Monday, August 22, 2016

10 Things You Must Do when Traveling to the Twin Cities

The Twin Cities are filled with great restaurants, kid friendly activities, and of course, who could forget, shopping. The Mall of America is like a city within itself. Over the years, I have come up with 10 great places to spend your time while visiting the beautiful city of Minnesota.

1. The Mall of America is my first must do. If you enjoy shopping, like I do, then this is the place to spend some serious time and money. Every retail outlet you can think of is represented here, such as Hollister, Aeropostale, and Victoria’s Secret. The mall is open 7 days a week: Mon – Sat 10am – 9:30pm and Sundays 11am – 7pm. For more information, visit http://ift.tt/VbKVdJ.

2. There are tons of activities inside The Mall of America for kids. My second choice would be to put aside some time to see the Underwater Adventures Aquarium. This aquarium has over 5,000 sea creatures on exhibit. Come face to face with sting rays and sea turtles. It’s also home to the world’s largest collection of jellyfish. Tickets are priced at $13.49 for kids and $18.99 for adults. If you purchase them on line, there is a dollar off kids admissions, and $2 off adult admissions. This is how I purchased my tickets, and for a family of 6, it was a nice savings.

3. Moose Mountain Adventure Golf is my third recommendation. This mini golf course located inside The Mall of America is sure to delight the entire family. The 18 hole course features an old time north woods scenery, complete with life size moose, horses, logging truck, and bi-plane. The cost of admission is $8 plus tax per person.

4. The Minnesota Zoo is my forth recommendation. This zoo sits on over 500 acres, and contains over 2,300 animals. My favorite attraction is the Tropics Trail. You will see otters, red pandas, and tree kangaroos in this exhibit. The cost of admission is between $10-$16 per person. It is open most days from 10am-6pm.

5. Baja Sol Tortilla Grill is my fifth choice when visiting the Twin Cities, especially if you love Mexican food. This casual dining eatery offers an all you can handle chips and salsa bar. It’s delicious. It’s conveniently located inside The Mall of America.

6. The Riverview Cafe is my sixth choice. This wine bar/coffee house is the perfect place to unwind after a day of shopping or sightseeing. I highly recommend their organic, fair trade coffees. They are located at 3747 42nd Ave. S.

7. Taking in a Vikings game at Mall of America Field would be my seventh must do in Minnesota. If you are a football fan, like me, then catching a Vikings game is definitely something to put on your list. This stadium is amazing, and one of my favorites. For ticket information, visit www.Vikings.com

8. Nickelodeon Universe is my eighth recommendation while visiting the Twin Cities. This 7 acre amusement park is the biggest indoor theme park in the United States. It features 30 rides and attractions. An unlimited ride wristband will run you $29.95. My kids always have tons of fun here.

9. Homewood Suites Minneapolis – Mall of America is my ninth choice, and best hotel to stay at while visiting this amazing city. It has comfortable rooms at affordable prices. There is a nice, indoor pool, and free shuttle service to the mall.

10. The Science Museum of Minnesota is my final choice. This museum hosts such exhibits as: The Human Body Gallery, Cell Lab, and Dinosaurs and Fossils Gallery. The museum is open most days from 9:30am – 9pm. The cost of admission is between $7. and $17.

Have a great time on your next trip to the Twin Cities. Take in some of my recommended sites. You won’t be disappointed.

Tags:10 Things You Must Do when Traveling to the Twin Cities

10 Things You Should Never Say During an Interview

We’ve all had them. Those moments during an interview when words come out of your mouth, then you immediately give yourself a mental head-slap and wonder whether you should move to Bali. The reality is everyone says embarrassing things during interviews, tidbits of information they wish they hadn’t revealed, but learning from these mistakes can help prepare you for interviews down the road.

Following are 10 things you should never say during an interview.

1. “Wait ’til you hear what my last boss did.”

Stick with your mother’s advice and refrain from saying anything about anyone unless it’s positive. Job candidates should never complain about old bosses and colleagues, warns Anthony Balderrama of CNN. If you do this during an interview, the manager will think you’ll do the same thing to him or her down the line.

2. “I’m a single Mom, so scheduling is sometimes a problem.”

Talking about your personal life is never a good thing during an interview. Keep it professional and straight-forward, focusing on facts rather than emotions. Don’t talk about your family, politics, religion or any other topic that isn’t appropriate for a business meeting.

3. “I know I brought my resume — just give me a second to find it.”

Kiplinger cautions job seekers against appearing disorganized during an interview. If you appear flustered or incompetent, the manager will assume this is your typical behavior, and will definitely think twice about hiring you.

4. “I’ll take whatever you’re willing to pay me.”

Even in a tough economy, you don’t want to appear too desperate during an interview. Jennifer Rae Atkins of Wetfeet suggests preparing a salary range in advance. It can be broad or specific, but it’s a good idea to have numbers in mind so the hiring manager knows you are a professional.

5. “Mind if I take this call?”

Never call for a time-out during an interview to answer your cell phone. Whoever it is will leave a message that you can return after you leave the building. One of the most important goals you can accomplish during an interview is to demonstrate that you respect the hiring manager’s time.

6. “Your parking garage is very poorly lit.”

Don’t criticize anything about the company or its employees during an interview. What you see as constructive criticism will come across as discourteous to the manager. Instead, file away criticisms in your mind for future reference. They will help you make the decision between two or more job offers.

7. “What exactly do you do here?”

Company research is something to conduct before the interview, not while you’re sitting across from the hiring manager. You should already know what the company sells, how it is run, and where its industry lies. Otherwise, you will appear uninformed and disinterested.

8. “Oh, those employment gaps? I had things to do.”

If there are employment gaps on your resume, be prepared to explain them in a short, succinct, but informative way. You might say something like I had to take care of my elderly mother after her surgery or I was going back to school. Don’t lie, but try to frame those gaps in a positive light.

9. “Yeah, I’ve held lots of jobs. I’m interested in so many things, I have trouble picking one!”

When asked about a complex job history, suggests CareerBuilder, it is best to emphasize that job-hopping is part of your past. Explain that you’ve experienced jumping from one employer to another, and now you’re ready to find long-term growth with a great company.

10. “My weaknesses? I don’t have any.”

While you don’t want to rattle off a laundry list of poor habits, you must always give at least one answer when asked this question during an interview. Admit a flaw and describe the steps you are taking to improve, suggests CareerBuilder. Mention a negative and turn it into a positive.

You might say something you later regret during an interview, but avoiding the aforementioned blunders will put you in a better light. Just remember that interviews tend to go better when the interviewee is relaxed, natural and forthright.

Sources:

CNN
Kiplinger
Wetfeet
CareerBuilder

Tags:10 Things You Should Never Say During an Interview

10 Things No One Told You About Screening Your Film at Film Festivals

Here’s my list of ten things you should do (or prepare for), that no one will tell you to do at at film festival – especially the Festivals that want to be (and claim they are) bigger than they are. I learned this through on-the-job-training, real life experience and trial by fire.

The list is in no particular order of importance or relevance. Just do your thing and do them all. If you play your cards right you can get all the action items done for a reasonable amount of money. The benefit is less stress.

1-Hire a photographer. Don’t count on the film festival to bring a photographer to your screening or to capture pictures of your audience and cast. Chances are they won’t – unless one of the festival programmers or directors are present during your screening. In that case there will be many pictures… of them, but still none of your audience. You don’t need a professional photographer. Give a movie ticket to a friend or family member and make sure they understand that their sole purpose is to snap as many candid photos as possible. Give them an auto focus digital camera with an auto flash and a 1GB flash card. Then tell them to “get snapping!”
//
2-Don’t sell tickets for the Festival. GIVE them away
. Yeah you heard me. Don’t sell tickets. Don’t try to convince your friends or the cast etc to buy tickets from the festival. Buy the tickets yourself. Find out how many seats in the theater of your screening and buy 70% of the seats. Chances are you’ll get (or can negotiate) a bulk purchase discount. Then, notify your list that you have free tickets. Ask for donations of $5 or more per ticket or for each pair. Don’t give the tickets to anyone who hasn’t firmly committed to attending the festival. Give the tickets out (for a donation) as much as possible. When it gets closer to your screening give the tickets away freely to anyone whose presence will benefit you and your film, i.e. agents, managers, studio big wigs, etc.

3-Don’t get a 9pm screening. 9PM screenings suck. Why? because if the screenings run behind your film will end up screening at 9:30PM instead. People want to party. If your screening is 9pm when will the audience have a chance to drink at the party you’ve arranged at a nearby club or bar. Get a 7PM screening instead. Plan the party at 9:30Pm and the first round is on you- for all who make it.

4-Don’t depend on the festival…period. Don’t depend on the festival for jack-shit. Don’t expect a list of the media in attendance, don’t expect prompt answers to your questions, don’t expect help, don’t expect support, don’t expect them to test your tape before the screening. You are on your own. Be ready for that. HIRE someone you trust to be there with you through thick and thin. DON’T hire the actors or crew members because they are there to look out for themselves and their careers. Most will be busy networking for their next gig. When you ask someone begin with, “I’m worried about a few things and I could really use your help because you’re better at blah-blah-blah than I am.” – who can resist that?
//
5-Keep all the goodies for yourself
. That’s right. Be stingy! The festival is likely to give you goodies like festival passes, passes to other screenings or events, etc, etc. You may even get a goodie bag full of trinkets and useless products from festival sponsors. Don’t try to be Mr. Benevolent by sharing! Keep it all for yourself. Why shouldn’t you? You’ve laid out your heart and soul -and money- on this project from day one. And imagine the look on your date’s or spouse’s face when you hand him/her a goodie bag of his/her own! Dood, that’s sponge worthy! Keep it. Keep it all.

6-Hire a video crew. Yup, you’re still spending money but this is worth it. Hire a video crew to stand outside the theater and film/interview your audience as they exit your film’s screening. It can be one person with camera and a mic or a two person team. If a two-person team, make sure the person holding the mic asking questions is a hot guy or hot girl. (“Hey, I’m worried about a few things and I need your help…I need a totally hot guy/girl to interview the audience and you were the ONLY one who came to mind.”) Give the host specific questions to ask everyone then let her wing the rest.. This works nicely if you hire film school students. They’ll feel super important when you let them cut the final video anyway they want. But keep the raw footage so your editor can make something usable. In any event your screening looks important because there’s a video crew outside. And you’ll have cool candid interviews to add to your film’s website.

7-Attend other filmmaker screenings. You better make sure you get your ass out there to the other filmmaker screenings. Not because you are going to watch their films (you can if time and stress permits) but because you are going to steal their audience. Imagine: if someone attends a film screening at a festival they are twice as likely to attend another screening if they are given a free ticket (see #2 above). And while you’re at the screenings, watch a few films and meet a few filmmakers.

8-Never promise to see another filmmaker’s film. I know this sounds harsh but you put additional stress on yourself if you make this promise. You’re already sweating bullets about your film. You’re nervous. Scared. Don’t add another “to do” item to your list. You can make promises to see other films after your film has screened, not before. I’m not saying don’t go see other films, I’m saying, don’t promise you will. Show up unexpectedly (if you can) and when the filmmaker sees you say, “Your film was always on my list of must-see films!”

9-Expect the worst. Expect the worst treatment, worst audience, worst communication, worst process, worst problems and worst people. Expect it so that you’ll be prepared for it. This doesn’t mean you should behave like an ogre. Just have contingency plans. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you and your film are treated well.

10-Don’t Buy Alcohol at the Club. Instead, fill your messenger bag with little bottles of liquor like you would find in a minibar. Order a Coke or a club soda over ice and voila, you’ve just saved $10 a drink. Or, collect money from your friends, make the drinks yourself and pocket the cash. (kidding!)

10a-Don’t give your business card to a wannabe producer, actor, composer, director, DP, sound guy or writer who doesn’t have a card to give you. Sorry, no posers allowed on your dime!

10b-Don’t expect to meet and like more than 3 new people. I am in touch with exactly three people from the last festival. I met ten. Many weren’t serious and one I lost his contact info. Don’t expect the festival to help you meet and like more than 3 new people. You are completely on your own. I’ve never seen a mixer that actually promoted mixing. At some point you have to put your shyness aside for a few days, have a drink (or mix one if you brought your own booze), whip out some business cards, and get out of your shell.//

Tags:10 Things No One Told You About Screening Your Film at Film Festivals

10 Things Your Teen Wants You to Know

Teenagers can seem like alien life forms to their parents, who watched them as sweet children and then witnessed them turning into distant, door-slamming semi-adults. Communication between teenagers and their parents is notoriously difficult, but this doesn’t mean that your parenting duties are finished yet. There are important things you need to know about what’s going on in the minds of most teenagers. Here are the top ten things you should know about your teenager:

“I’m not lazy”
Teens have a reputation for keeping bizarre hours- staying up all night and sleeping all day. But this isn’t because your teen is trying to avoid you or is lazy. Instead, neuroscience provides a clue into what’s really going on here. The teenage years are a time of rapid brain development, and times of intense brain development require extra sleep. Your teen may need as much sleep as your napping three year old, but is going to get it on her time and not yours. Try to give her a break for her odd hours and take heart knowing that it’s her body’s way of taking care of her brain.

“I really need privacy”
Horror stories on the news may have parents worried about drugs, sexting, and an assortment of other fears, but most teens are not engaging in a secret life behind the back of their parents. They are, however, working to establish an independent existence. Privacy is an important component of this existence, and you should allow your teen some space to develop his own thoughts and feelings. Breaking into e-mail accounts and reading diaries are surefire ways to completely shut down communication and trust with your teenager. Though it can be hard to accept a closed door and less communication, this newfound independence and its concomitant requirement of privacy will help your child launch into the adult world successfully.

“I know things you don’t”
Childhood is a time in which children idolize their parents, and studies have indicated that this idealization of parents is actually an important part of development. In the teen years, however, teens begin to realize that their parents aren’t gods, don’t know everything, and may even make the occasional mistake. This, as it turns out, is also an important part of development. Your teen needs you to recognize that she has different opinions on topics and is learning about things you may not even know about. Allow her to be the expert on something and ask for her opinions. Encouraging her to share her ideas and being willing to learn from her can be a valuable learning experience for both you and your teen.

“I need you to listen to me”
Teens create a huge facade of not caring about their parents or families, but the truth is that most teens really do want good relationships with their parents. They even want to be able to share things with them and get advice from them. Most teens, however, are afraid of being judged or nagged. Your teen needs you to listen to her without passing judgment or telling her what to do. Doing so will make her more likely to confide in you in the future.

“I want to be part of the family”
Many parents are hurt by the fact that their teens no longer want to participate in family activities. The reality, however, is that teens still need and want time with their families but their roles are shifting. While your child might have been happy to be a passive participant in a family outing, your teen wants a more central role and more control of family activities. Allow your teen to occasionally suggest family outings and consider changing some family traditions in such a way that your teen can participate in these activities with more autonomy and more input into how to do things.

“I can be in love”
Teen love often gets eyerolls and derision from parents, especially when a teen “loves” someone new every week. But for much of human history, people married and had children in their teens. Your teen is just as equipped to feel real, romantic love as you are, and the breakup of these romances can be profoundly painful. Take your teen’s love interests seriously and understand that, when a relationship ends, it’s just as painful for your teen as it would be for you.

“My friends are my family”
Developing meaningful peer relationships is the central developmental task of the teen years, and it’s important that your teen develop meaningful friendships during this time. Work hard to get to know your teen’s friends, even if they’re not the friends you would choose for him. Our friendships formed during our teen years often last a lifetime, and your teen’s friends likely provide him with immense support and companionship.

“I’m depressed”
With all of the stress and pressure associated with High School, dating, and getting into college, it’s no wonder so many teens are depressed. Add to this the cocktail of hormones your teen’s brain is being bathed in and you’ve got a recipe for an emotional roller coaster. Teens are particularly prone to depression, so be sure to be supportive of your teen and take his problems seriously, even if they seem trivial.

“I’m under pressure”
It’s easy for parents to forget how stressful the teen years can be, and with an increasingly bad economy and increasingly competitive high schools and colleges, the teen years can be some of the most stressful of a person’s life. Work to help your teen manage her stress, and avoid adding to the stress with constant pressure or nagging. While encouraging your teen to succeed and set goals is laudable, sometimes your teen just need a break and a sympathetic ear.

“I need you to take me seriously”
Surveys of teenagers indicate that one of their biggest annoyances is not being taken seriously as a result of their age. Parents may tell them to act like an adult at one moment and then tell them they’re too young for something the next. It’s important that your teen feels you understand that she’s becoming more of an adult every day and that her feelings matter. Similarly, try to avoid using her age against her one day and then asking her to act like an adult the next.

Sources:
Clark, Mary E. In Search of Human Nature. London: Routledge, 2002. Print.

Weissbourd, Rick. The Parents We Mean to Be: How Well-intentioned Adults Undermine Children’s Moral and Emotional Development. Boston: Mariner, 2010. Print.

Tags:10 Things Your Teen Wants You to Know

10 Things Not to Bring to the Beach This Summer

The sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, sand toys, and towels are all packed. Time to go to the beach! Most people wrack their brain thinking of what items they need to bring for a relaxing trip to the beach. Just as important as what you need to bring however, is what not to bring to the beach.

Here is a list of items that should stay home during your next trip to the beach.

What Not to Bring to the Beach: Pets
Not only are pets prohibited on most beaches, it’s just a bad idea to bring them. It’s not that Fido’s barking is a nuisance, although to some people it is. Pet waste is the main issue in bringing your pet to the beach. Even if you pick up pet waste, you cannot remove all the germs or urine. It’s unsanitary. Remember, there are babies and young children at the beach who are constantly touching the sand and then their mouths and faces. Also, I really don’t want to put my blanket down on your dog’s petrified poo from last weekend.

What Not to Bring to the Beach: Motorized Vehicles
Public beaches do not allow motorized vehicles of any kind. It’s a safety thing. No one really needs you ploughing down the beach at top speed in your four wheeler. A good rule of thumb: if it’s allowed on the road, it won’t be allowed on the beach.

What Not to Bring to the Beach: Cigarettes
Cigarettes and other smoking trash make up a large percentage of the litter removed from US beaches each year. Cigarettes on the beach are unhealthy, unsanitary, and unwanted. Smoke at home or in your car before coming to the beach. If you can’t go without smoking for the few hours you’re at the beach maybe you should consider another locale for relaxing this summer.

What Not to Bring to the Beach: Makeup
Leave it home ladies. If you do feel the need to wear makeup, apply it before you leave home. The heat of the sun plus makeup equals a mess. Take a break and go without your makeup for the day.

What Not to Bring to the Beach: Plastic Bottles
You may be thinking to yourself what’s the big problem with bringing plastic bottles to the beach? According to the Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Cleanup, of the 7 million pounds of debris collected during their last cleanup, more than 40% was plastic. Of that number approximately 710,000 plastic bottles were collected. Plastic not only makes beaches unsightly it also kills wildlife like seabirds, sea mammals, and sea turtles.

What Not to Bring to the Beach: Glass Containers
Most beaches in the US have gone green. That means that glass containers are likely prohibited. Even if your beach does not ban them, glass containers at the beach are just a bad idea. Glass containers can break and cause injury. Glass blends in easily with the sand and can create a dangerous situation, especially for babies and children on the beach. Do everyone a favor and bring a reusable metal water bottle instead.

What Not to Bring to the Beach: Valuables
Leave anything of value including purses, jewelry, electronic devices, and large sums of money at home. You just don’t need them at the beach. Keep your driver’s license and a small amount of cash in a small change purse. Keep the change purse in your cooler well hidden from potential thieves. If you really can’t leave that MP3 player home, remember to keep it well hidden when not in use, especially when you leave your belongings to go for a dip.

What Not to Bring to the Beach: Litter
Anything that causes litter is not only unappreciated on the beach but could also result in a huge fine if you leave it behind. While some beaches have trash receptacles, many do not. Try to leave only your footprints behind at the beach. Leave the disposable plates, cutlery, baggies, bottled drinks, and soft drinks at home. Instead bring reusable containers, bags, water bottles, dishes, and cutlery that can be packed up, brought home, and used again another day. This helps keep the beach and the environment clean and green.

What Not to Bring to the Beach: Diapers
Regular diapers are not designed to be used while swimming. Please do everyone a huge favor and put swimming diapers on your little ones. And please, please, please dispose of the swimming diaper properly.

What Not to Bring to the Beach: Alcohol
Alcohol is prohibited on most beaches in the US. The only exceptions are private beach properties such as those beaches owned by resort hotels or private individuals. Alcohol consumption and the water can be a deadly mix, so it’s best to imbibe after returning home from your beach excursion.

Sources
The Green Guide

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10 Things to Do Before You Travel Abroad

There are some important steps to take in preparation for travel to a foreign country. I travel regularly in and out of other countries, and I’ve found that these 10 steps help me to be properly prepared for anything. If it can go wrong, it probably will go wrong during travel, so be ready for anything. Make sure you write down important information with pen and paper. Don’t reply on a flash drive or other technology to always work. Nothing beats pen and paper.

1 Email travel documents to yourself, including your passport. Keep a printed copy of your hotel reservation, airline tickets, and similar documents. However, you should also email this information to yourself. If it gets lost, you can run to a net-cafe and retrieve the information again. In case it is lost or stolen, scan the important pages of your passport into your PC and mail them to yourself. It won’t replace your lost passport, but the printed copy will allow you to check into a hotel while your passport is being replaced. This also makes it easier at the US embassy when you go to request the replacement.

2 Print a map of your destination hotel and area, and make a note of alternate hotels in the area. You never know what mishap may occur. Either your reservation is lost, or maybe the hotel is just not suitable. Have a second hotel choice in mind. Also print the map in the local language, in case you need to show it to a taxi driver.

3 Find the US Embassy on a map and note the local phone number to its offices. In case of an emergency, you want these numbers to be handy. Most US embassies are less than helpful, but it’s good to at least have their information.

4 Look up the average currency exchange rate. On the day of a trip to Europe, if the average rate of the Euro is 1.2850 that day vs. the USD, then you’ll be able to avoid the exchange counters offering 1.2700 (and these overpriced exchange services do exist). You won’t get the actual interbank rate anywhere, but you can at least look for rates closer to 1.2825 or near.

5 Have 2 (or even 3) ATM cards in your possession. This may mean opening an extra bank account, but do it. Trust me, you can never have enough ATM cards during travel. Invariably at least one will get eaten by a foreign ATM. You will need back-up cards to access your cash. I carry 4 ATM cards that access a variety of checking and savings accounts back in the US. You can never be too prepared. While ATM machines exist all over the world, not all merchants accept credit or debit cards, and almost no one accepts Discover or American Express outside the US.

6 Check the voltage requirement in your travel country. Many use 220 instead of 110. Make sure your electric hairdryer won’t blow a circuit at the hotel. Most PC notebooks can switch between the two, so you can plug in your computer almost anywhere on the globe. However, nothing else will switch for you. You’ll need special adapters.

7 Look up Visa information. See if your destination country needs you to get a visa, or if you get a “visa on arrival” stamp when you land. How many days will this get you? Some countries only give you a 14 days stamp. If your vacation is 20 days, then you’ll need to get a tourist visa for the extra days, or pop into another country for a few days. Either way, look into the information.

8 Do you take any medicines? If you do, look into hospitals or pharmacies near your hotel. Be prepared to get a replacement for your medicine, if it’s lost or stolen. Bring both your medicine and your prescription.

9 Contact your banks and let them know you’ll be traveling and using your credit and debit cards in another country. This will prevent them from canceling your card. On one of my trips to Singapore, the bank panicked after I made a purchase. They tried to call me or reach me by email, but I was sleeping (due to the 12 hour time difference). After a few hours, they canceled my card. This meant my card was useless for the rest of the trip. They offered to Fed Ex a new card within 3 days, but I was returning in four. Just make sure you alert them before you leave for you trip.

10 Open a Skype, Yahoo Voice, or other pc voice account, if you don’t already have one. This will make life easier for you, if you need to contact anyone back home. If you need to call the bank, for example, it’s a lot easier on Skype than on a $2 per minute calling card. Your cell phone won’t work, unless it’s geared for all regions, and even then it’s expensive.

Also check on any vaccination requirements. These only exist in a few countries, but do make sure to check on this to be sure.

The key to remember is to be prepared for everything to go wrong. When you’re thousands of miles from home, you need extra measures of protection. On most trips, everything goes smoothly, but when things do go awry, don’t get caught unprepared.

Tags:10 Things to Do Before You Travel Abroad

10 Things to Do Other Than Watch the Super Bowl

So you’re forced to go to a Super Bowl party and you could care less about watching the game. You think to yourself, what could I possibly do to pass the time for four hours. And you come up with nothing. No problem! I have a list of ten things that will surely help you pass the time.

10. Play the game “Temple Run” on your iPhone or iPod. It’s a totally cool app and so simple but highly addictive. Believe me, I’ve played it countless times in a jam. You’ll love it.

9. Play the Super Bowl Commercial Drinking Game. Every time you see a beer ad or a car ad or a cell phone ad, take yourself a drink. By the second quarter, you’ll be having a blast! But be sure to have a designated driver if you decide to try this one.

8. See how many pigs in a poke you can eat during a commercial break. If you’re going to be playing the above mentioned game, not a bad idea to soak up some of that alcohol.

7. Watch a movie that you’ve seen a hundred times on your smart phone or tablet. Try to see if you can quote the movie verbatim. I’ve actually done this one and believe it or not, it’s pretty fun.

6. Pack a deck of cards and build yourself an old fashioned house of cards. It’s simple entertainment, but it is a great way to chew up some time. See if you can use all 52 cards.

5. Read. Grab you a good paperback or load up the Kindle or what have you and delve into a good book. If you’re looking for something to pass the time, you could do a lot worse than reading.

4. Make out your grocery list for the week ahead. Not the most fun thing to do, but look at it this way, you’ll be prepared when that weekly trip to the store rolls around.

3. Take a nap. Get full on some chips and some dips and then find a quiet little area and take a nice two or three hour nap. Sleep can really be your friend if you’re looking to pass a few hours.

2. Go for a walk around the block. If you’ve indulged on whatever delicacies were available and are feeling a bit full, go talk a nice walk. Weather permitted that is.

1. Help clean up. The host or hostess of the party would really appreciate you tidying up during the game. It would make their work load lighter after the party and ensure you another party invite. Hopefully the next party will not be Super Bowl related.

See, there you go. Ten things to do while you’re stuck at a Super Bowl party that you didn’t want to go to in the first place. I’ve tried each and every one of these at one time or another and they really work. So have fun and good luck!

Things to do When You’re Bored

Random Things to Do

Tags:10 Things to Do Other Than Watch the Super Bowl

10 Things to Do While Visiting Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island is a city located in South Carolina. It is one of the top tourists attractions in the U.S. Over 75,000 people call this charming city home. It is located 95 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina, and 20 miles north of Savannah, Georgia. Each year, the city gets more than 2.25 million visitors, and in turn, those visitors pump more than1.4 billion dollars into the local economy. This is truly a magical place. Let’s take a look at 10 things you can do while visiting Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Resort

Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Resort is one of the finest resorts in the state of South Carolina. Amenities include a pool, a fitness center, bike rentals, a playground, a picnic area, and much more.

Island Explorer

Take a nature cruise aboard Island Explorer. Most people who visit Hilton Head Island do some sort of water activity. Tours include nature eco-tours and personalized dolphin tours. Tours can take up to six passengers per boat, per tour.

Might Mako Sport Fishing Charters

If you enjoy fishing, and you are in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, you can take a charter boat courtesy of Mighty Mako Sport Fishing Charters. You have the option of fishing inland or out on the ocean. As an added bonus, you are sure to spot some gorgeous dolphins in your travels.

Port Royal Golf Club

Port Royal Golf Club is located in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. It features three different golf courses. They are Barony Course, Robber’s Row Course, and Planter’s Row Course.

H2O Sports

H2O Sports is located in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. It offers a wide variety of sporting activities. Some of them are parasailing, sailing, powerboat, waverunners, waterskiing, enviro tours, and much more.

The Art Cafe

The Art Cafe is located in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. It is a do-it-yourself art studio. In fact, you will be painting your own pottery at the studio.

Coligny Theater

Coligny Theater is a movie theater located in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. It shows movies each day of the week. Some popular recent movies include Milk, Rachel Getting Married, A Christmas Tale, and The Reader.

Del Sol

Del Sol is a clothing shop located in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Del Sol is mostly known for their shirts that change colors once they are in the sun.

Healthy Days

If you are into healthy eating, Healthy Days is just the place for you. Healthy Days is a health food store specializing in groceries, supplements, bulk items, and gluten-free products that support a healthy lifestyle.

Carolina Charm

Carolina Charm is a jewelry store. It features a huge selection of 14K Gold and Sterling Silver jewelry. Carolina Charm also has jewelry that is currently popular. Items can be shipped to the address of your choice the same day of purchase.

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Tags:10 Things to Do While Visiting Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

10 Things to Do While Visiting Revelstoke, Canada

Revelstoke, Canada is a bustling town of over 8,000 people. It is located in the mountains of British Columbia. For people who enjoy winter vacations, Revelstoke, Canada may be just the thing for you. If you vacation in the summer months, there are still things for you do. 10 activities are listed below.

Revelstoke Aquatic Center

This is one of the best aquatic centers in Canada. Featured is a 25 meter pool, climbing wall, a leisure pool with a lazy river, a hot tub, steam room, and sauna. Swimming classes are also offered periodically.

Glacier House Resort

Glacier House Resort is a 5 minute trip from Revelstoke, Canada. Activities include volleyball, badminton, hiking, heli-hiking, spa services, ATV tours, bike tours, canoe tours, and so much more.

Revelstoke Dam

Revelstoke Dam is one of the most hydroelectric dams in Canada. It generates enough power to take care of the energy needs of nearly 800,000 homes each year. It has working elevators and a gift shop.

Canyon Hot Springs

Canyon Hot Springs of Revelstoke, Canada is a major tourist attraction. It has a natural mineral water hot pool and swimming pool, a cafe, a gift shop, a trading post, and much more.

Grizzly Plaza

For entertainment in Revelstoke, Canada, you’ll need to go to Grizzly Plaza. It features a farmer’s market, a bazaar, free live entertainment, and much, much more.

Revelstoke Golf Club

If you are into golfing, visit this golf club. It is one of the best golf clubs in Canada. Established in 1972, this 72 par golf club features a panoramic mountain view in every direction.

Mount Revelstoke National Park

Mount Revelstoke National Park is considered a one of the favorite national parks in Canada. Popular trails include The Icebox, and Skunk Cabbage Trail. It also features Giant Cedars Boardwalk, a living museum.

Railway Museum

Railway Museum of Revelstoke, Canada is a celebration of, and a tribute to, Canada’s railway history. The museum is home to a fully restored CPR locomotive from the Big Steam Era.

3 Valley Lake Chateau

3 Valley Lake Chateau is one of the most visited chateaus in Canada. It is a resort that offers well over 200 guest rooms, all of which are luxurious suites. Also featured are tranquil gardens, a beach, a lake, an indoor swimming pool, banquet facilities, a family dining room, and much, much, more.

Whitewater Rafting

A trip to Revelstoke, Canada is not complete until you go whitewater rafting on the Illecillewaet River. The season for whitewater rafting is from May to September.

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Tags:10 Things to Do While Visiting Revelstoke, Canada

10 Tips for Becoming a Successful Seller on EBay

Selling items on eBay can be a very rewarding experience, both emotionally and financially. I have been selling on eBay for several years now. There are a few things you can do to increase your chances of selling your items on eBay. Here are 10 tips that will help you become a successful seller on eBay:

Start small. If you are new to eBay, don’t expect to sell a big ticket item like a designer watch or gently used saxophone right away. Buyers need to know that you can be trusted before they will bid on an expensive item. So start small. Sell little things like a used DVD or book. Each sale will add to your credibility as a seller.

Be courteous and friendly. I have found that adding a personal touch helps ease the uncertainty of buying online. Part of the fun of eBay is the personal interaction. It is just as easy to buy something at your local department store. But on eBay, members interact, send messages, and ask questions. I have received many personal messages from buyers thanking me for the friendly experience. So when you create your item descriptions or reply to members, be courteous and friendly. It goes a long way.

Provide good communication. I am on the computer a lot. Whenever I receive an e-mail that one of my items has sold, I immediately send an invoice to the buyer. When I receive payment, I immediately leave positive feedback for that buyer. When I ship an item, I send a message to the buyer that the item is on the way. Buyers really appreciate good communication.

Ship promptly. Always ship your items as soon as you receive payment. In your item description, indicate that you will ship as soon as payment is received. One disadvantage of buying online is the shipping time. Buyers will be happy to know that you ship promptly. If I receive payment promptly enough, I will even ship the item on the same day.

Build a good reputation. This is very important. Your reputation is your first impression. A good reputation will increase your sales and your overall eBay experience. A bad reputation will do just the opposite. So work hard to build a good reputation. If you follow the tips in this article, your reputation will soar. Reputation on eBay is based on user feedback. So whenever I ship an item, I send a friendly note asking for positive feedback once they receive it. You should also reciprocate by leaving positive feedback for buyers when they make payment. In case you were wondering, my reputation on eBay is 100% positive.

Be honest. This is a no-brainer. Nobody wants to be scammed on eBay. When you sell an item, give a truly honest description. If it is broken, say that it is broken. Fully disclose any problems or issues with the item. If you try to hide details, buyers will be unhappy and your reputation on eBay will suffer. That is the last thing you want to happen.

Sell often. Sell anything. Being active on eBay shows that you know what you are doing. It also shows your commitment. So try to sell as often as you can. Before throwing something away, consider selling it on eBay. I cannot count the number of items I have sold on eBay that I would otherwise have thrown away.

Sunday, eBay, Sunday. Schedule your auction items to end on Sunday night. That is when eBay users are most active. It also gives you a chance to prepare your items to be shipped on Monday. The default duration for eBay auctions is 7 days. To have an auction end on Sunday night, simply list it on Sunday night.

Do not play the shipping cost game. Some eBay sellers will list their items for a low price, but boost the shipping cost. Do not play this game. List a fair shipping cost. Consult your local post office for postage rates. I often use the USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes. I recently sold a broken XBOX 360 Console and saved quite a bit of money by using this flat rate box.

Buy on eBay too. Buying on eBay shows that you believe in the system. Show your buyers that you are just like them. Little things like this help ease the minds of buyers.

Selling on eBay is a very rewarding experience. Follow the above tips and you will become a very successful seller on eBay. Most of all, have fun!

Tags:10 Tips for Becoming a Successful Seller on EBay

10 Things I Wish I Knew at 15

Would you go back and be fifteen all over again? Even armed with the years of wisdom and maturity, I think that I would pass. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t fit in (again). Fifteen is an experience that should only be done once. There is no such thing as getting it right. The truth is that no one does.

With that said, if I could somehow go back in time and advise my 15 year old self, these are 10 things that I would tell myself to help myself through and maybe even make the road a little bit smoother.

1-Love your body

No matter how much I workout, after several pregnancies my body will never look the same as it did when I was fifteen years old. I remember hating my curves and having a hard time adjusting to the fact that I didn’t have boyish hips. Looking back at pictures of my 15 year old self I realize that the body I picked apart wasn’t all that bad.

2-Truth or dare

Sex changes everything. At 15, I felt left out because it seemed like everyone was “doing it”. I would tell my 15 year old self that waiting until I was older would be a much better choice.

3-Dysfunctional families

Teenagers talk about a lot of personal things but many of us had family secrets that we didn’t share. Maybe realizing that I wasn’t the only teenager with a dysfunctional family would have made me feel like I fit in.

4-Be yourself

Looking to your peers for acceptance is something that too many teenagers do. I would urge my 15 year old self to try out for the drama club and not allow insecurity to keep me from exploring what high school had to offer.

5-Boys mature slower than girls

Fifteen year old girls who think that a fifteen year old guy is interested in anything other than “getting lucky” are romantic fools. Very few people wind up living happily ever after with a guy they dated at fifteen.

6-The “right” guy and I would find each other someday

Fifteen was a time where either some guy broke my heart or didn’t even know I existed. Somehow someone telling me that the right guy would come along someday didn’t seem to help. I would stress to my 15 year old self that it really is true. Although for me it took some time, we did find each other when the time was right for both of us.

7-Cherish my grandparents

Being fifteen you don’t always appreciate wisdom. I would advise my young self to take the time to get to know my grandparents better because they won’t be around forever.

8-Parenting isn’t easy

When I was little, my parents knew it all. When I was 15, they were just out of touch. Guess what? They really weren’t that bad. I made it harder on them then I had to. Partly out of spite, partly just to be rebellious but I now know how it feels to be in their shoes.

9-30 isn’t that old

When I was 15, being 30 sounded so old. Thirty is not old and although you may not look the same on the outside, on the inside you remember being “young”.

10-Your choice of friends will help to dictate your future

Well-meaning teachers and my parents warned me but I didn’t listen. The truth is that your choice of friends can help to dictate your future. You can always change things but getting back on track may be harder because of who your friends are.

Tags:10 Things I Wish I Knew at 15

10 Tips to Being Alone but Not Lonely During the Holidays

Many senior citizens are well acquainted with spending holidays alone, but they certainly do not have a corner on that market. A lot of not so senior citizens, and even many young people, will find themselves separated from their families during this holiday season. Regardless of the reasons, alone does not have to mean lonely.

Because of overseas assignments and other circumstances, I have found myself alone separated from family during holidays during the past several years. The first time was tough. I had not expected that the holidays would seem so lonely and depressing. After that first year, I determined that I would have to find some way to conquer that sensation of being alone next time around.

If you are separated from the people you love during this holiday season, here are a few of the things I have done that have helped me find happiness and joy in those same circumstances. I am certainly no expert, but I do have a lot of practice at being alone:

  1. Write letters to each of the people you miss. Whether they are living or not, write them a letter. Tell them how much you appreciate them, and how much you wish they could be with you during the holidays. My best friend was my dad. He has been gone since 1987, and I still write him a letter every Christmas season. My children by my first marriage are hundreds of miles away from me. I will be writing them those letters again this holiday season.

    I recommend that you write these letters by hand. Even if your handwriting is not so excellent, the people who receive them will think they are wonderful.

  2. Give a gift to a charity. No matter how broke you may be, you can come up with a some amount of money-even a quarter-to give to a charity. I’m not wealthy, but I can always find a dollar, a five, a ten to give to a charity. Somehow, giving to help people who do not know you just feels great.
  3. Write as many letters as you can to military personnel who are serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, or some other far away place. Address it to “An American Soldier in Iraq” (or one of the other places). Tell them how much you appreciate their service. I tell them that I am spending the holidays separated from the people I love, and I know they are as well. I wish them a very safe and happy holiday. I thank them for their service, and assure them I will pray for them.
  4. Get a book (either buy it, or get it from the library) that you have been wanting to read. Or, if you have not been wanting to read any book in particular, get one that deals with any subject in which you have some interest. Start reading it, and read it slowly.

    This is challenging for me because I speed read. During holiday seasons I read slowly on purpose. I read slowly in order to not feel like I am still in the day to day rush of my normal life. I read slowly and savor the book as if it were a gourmet meal.

  5. Go to places where there are other people and holiday decorations. Just go. Enjoy the sights and the sounds. Whether it is a mall, or a theatre, or a restaurant, go and savor the sights and sounds of people “doing Christmas”.

    Watching mothers with their children, children who are wide-eyed and excited, hearing the holiday music playing over the store PA system, and even seeing some of the inevitable grouchiness from adults, all combine to fill you up with the sensations of life.

  6. If your city has cultural things happening during the holiday seasons, attend them. Lots of churches have special Christmas musical performances. Most of these are open to the public at no charge. Even if you are not usually a church goer, being with the crowd and hearing the music can be very positive and even fun.
  7. If you have a broadband Internet connection, there are a lot of free public domain movies available for either online viewing, or downloading. I love old movies. I mean, I really love old movies. So, I have made a list of the movies I want to watch during the holidays. On Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, I will be watching old classics I’ve been wanting to see. All for free!
  8. If you have the means to do so, plan a trip. Gas prices are down right now, so traveling by car will not be outrageously expensive. Go to some place, any place, away from your town. Just get away. Every state has historic sites that it loves to brag about. Go see some of them. Spend the night away from home. If you do this a few days before Christmas Eve, you can stroll the streets and shop the local stores.
  9. Your local library probably has a huge selection of DVDs that can be checked out without charge. Even when I can afford to blow the bucks on DVDs, I rarely do it. I normally check them out of a library, or borrow them from friends. It makes no sense for me to own a bunch of DVDs since I do not like watching them again and again. Once I watch them, I am ready to move on to other DVDs.
  10. Call everyone you miss (who are still among the living), on Christmas morning, and just with them a Merry Christmas. Hearing their voices can be remarkably satisfying.

Sure, there are a lot of ways to spend the holidays that are more glamorous and raucous. I have tried about all of them, and find these simple, slower things to far more satisfying. Maybe they will help you have happy holidays alone as they help me.

By the way, Happy Holidays.

Tags:10 Tips to Being Alone but Not Lonely During the Holidays

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