Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Are You Ready for Halloween?!? Free Pumpkin Carving Patterns for Everyone!

Have you always wanted to carve a cool pumpkin for Halloween but didn’t want to buy a whole book for one pattern?!? Well, I’m that type of person myself! So, feeling the Halloween “spirit” early this year, I began to search for some neat patterns that might fit my needs this Halloween!

Finding a cool pattern for a pirate skull on my first search inspired me to search for more. So, I’m sharing. Below are some websites where you can find neat FREE pumpkin carving patterns. You still will need to buy the pumpkin and the carving tools, but at least the patterns are free! Good luck and have fun!


Spookmaster.com has “Old Glory”, Lady Liberty, “Ghostly” and a couple others or here’s the PDF file with all of the patterns included within.


Pumpkinmasters.com has 4 free patterns….a cute candy corn, the “pirate skull”, “grinning ghostie” and “Aztec sun” (This is the company that prints the pumpkin carving books for sale during Halloween) Here’s a site by “the pumpkin lady” who offers patterns (in zip file) including: the raven, star barn, stars, peace dove, scallop, sea horse, salamander, making music, moon and stars, dragon fly, Scottie dog, Shakespeare, and at least a dozen more patterns!


For those of you that aren’t ready to invest a lot of time in your pumpkin, here’s a few simple to carve faces how about this section about pumpkin carvind to get you started.


Carvingpumpkins.com has some really intricate free patterns available including “Betty Boop”, Paw print and bulldog. You can also subscribe to this site to gain access to even more patterns if you wish.


Fabulousfood.com offers some interesting patterns free including Lily Munster, Marilyn Monroe, President George Bush, John Kerry, Elvira, Lurch, Uncle Fester, a screaming skull, and about half a dozen others.


Pumpkinglow.com offers sections of patterns including “Famous People” with one of Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter just added, “Comedians” with 9 patterns available including Joan Rivers, Jay Leno, and Bill Cosby. Other sections offering multiple patterns are: I love America, Christian, Animals, Cartoons, Special occasion and one called “other” which has patterns of a fairy, Dr Jeckle and Mr Hyde, a golf theme, theatre mask and Utah State University. And here’s a pattern called “Batty Bob” which really cracks me up and is perfect for the little ghoul in your life!


HGTV offers 6 patterns, including: a spider and his web, crescent moon, autum leaves, some assorted faces, a “crazy” ghost, Saturn and stars and a black cat.And Familyfun.com has a page full of pumpkin ideas including patterns for Black Cat Pumpkin, Goodnight Moon Pumpkin, Haunted House Pumpkin, Oh, No! Pumpkin, Panther Pumpkin, Pumpkin Candleholders, Pumpkin Hollow, Say Boo! Pumpkins, Spooky Ghost Pumpkin, Tiered Pumpkin Tower and one project they call Turnip Lights. And for those who want something easy, fun-kins.com has a few simple ones including a skull, a mummy, a sun, and my favorite; a pirate ship!


Hersheys.com has divided their patterns into “easy”, “Intermediate” and “hard” for your ease of use. There are 6 patterns in each section which make for a nice array to choose from.


And before you start carving those pumpkins be sure to check out this site: Pumpkincarving101.com for common sense advice and safety tips for all ages. And remember, have fun and be careful! We don’t want any injuries out there!


Labels: Are You Ready for Halloween?!? Free Pumpkin Carving Patterns for Everyone!

An Angel in the House

One night, Kim sat in her favorite chair reading the latest romance novel when she heard a noise from inside the house. That’s weird, she thought. Shaking her head, she went back to reading her book. A few minutes later, she heard the noise again but this time from a different part of the house. Okay, now this is freaking me out. I don’t have a dog or cat. No one lives here but me and I know that I locked all the windows and doors. Plus, with it not raining outside, the sound was a little eerie. Shrugging it off she went back to her book.


Perched on the sideboard in the dining room was figurine of an angel. This was no ordinary angel. This angel could move from room to room without the actual figurine moving from its perch. I always thought that some of grandmother’s figurine’s looked at me when I moved around the house. It gave me the creeps. The whole house was creepy. I inherited the house when her grandmother passed away last year. I swear, if I hadn’t needed a place to live, I wouldn’t have moved in here. Just then, another sound and it came from the kitchen. Okay, I’m going to bed. I can’t concentrate on my book with my “ghost” buddy moving around in the house. Leaving the lights on, I fixed the coffee pot for in the morning and walked upstairs to bed.


I’ve got to learn to keep my wings intact and in my back? Tony wanted Kim to notice him but he was going about it the wrong way. Wings retracted, I surveyed the house. She left the lights on again. How in the world can I get Kim to notice me? Does she not realize that I’m her guardian angel and that I can sense danger coming to harm her? Tony crept upstairs and watched Kim sleep. She was beautiful with creamy white skin, golden brown hair and the most kissable lips. Kim needs to believe in her “ghost” because if she didn’t, it could be deadly for both of them. Tony placed a feather light kiss on Kim’s forehead and headed downstairs again.


Kim awoke with the weirdest sensation. She felt like someone was in her bedroom and that she was kissed on the forehead. Okay, no more late night ice cream binges and definitely no caffeine. Lying back down in bed, I thought that even though I was still creped out by the noises, the kiss felt too real. I’m delusional, I am. Shivering, I pulled the duvet closer to my neck and within an instant I was asleep again.


Whew, that was a close one thought Tony. I need to show myself to Kim but she won’t believe me. She doesn’t believe in angels, ghosts-anything paranormal. She wants the fairytale, not the fantasy world. Well, Kim will find out soon enough how real I am. By tomorrow night, if she won’t believe in angels and what I can do, she’ll be dead.


To be continued…


Labels: An Angel in the House

Are You Ready for Halloween?

Are you ready for Halloween? I can help you get ready with this compilation of my Halloween related articles. We will cover costumes, food, home decor, movies and more.

Exercise


Four Wild Ways to Get an Eerie Workout All Year Long
Top Five Soundtracks to Perform Yoga to on Halloween


Travel


5 Haunted Cities to Visit for Chilling Ghost Tours


Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens


Top 3 Scenic Drives in Virginia for Viewing Fall Foliage

Costumes


Celeb Costume Round-Up


The Best Vampire Costumes (children’s costumes included)


Colored Contacts and Costume Pairs for Halloween


Movies


Top 10 Halloween Movies for Spooktacular Sights (some are family friendly, some are not)


Slideshow


Are Ghosts Real?


Histrionic Halloween


Decorations


Tasteful Halloween Home Decor


October eyeball Crafts to Use as Home Decor


Cinderella Pumpkin Chariot Gifts and Home Decor (gifts for children and adults)


Crafts


Make a Rubber Stamped Paper Treat Bag


Make a Fall Craft: Spider Cider


2 Fall Hand Print Crafts (ghost and turkey to do with your children)


Food


Celebrate Candy Corn


Eyeball Cookies (kids will love these fun cookies)


The Many Facets of the Pumpkin (pumpkin bread recipe included)


Halloween Poems


Haiku: Kiss of Life (in honor of Halloween and Eclipse)


Limerick: A Witch Named Lorraine


Haiku: Candy Corn


Other Holiday’s to Celebrate in October


5 Fun and Unusual October Holidays I Will Be Celebrating


Frightful News Stories


Teen Claims to be a 500-Year Old Vampire


The Movie ‘Case 39’ Comes to Life as a Real Child is Thrown in an Oven


Happy Halloween!


Labels: Are You Ready for Halloween?

3 Ways to Control Your Smartphone Bills

Smartphones can be wonderful tools. But in order to reap their benefits, we have to spend a lot. Right? Not necessarily. Though the costs associated with using smartphones can’t be totally wiped out, they can be controlled. Here are three ways to put the brakes on smartphone expenditures:


Control Data Usage


The trend recently has been for cellular providers to put caps on data usage and to charge stiff penalties for exceeding those limits. This comes on top of the charges for the data plan itself. There are two strategies you can use to control your data usage. First, make sure you use an app that allows you to track your current data utilization. Your cellular provider might provide such an app. Verizon, for example, provides one you can use to track your usage of minutes, texts, and data.


Second, use free wi-fi whenever possible. Many businesses provide their customers with wi-fi for no charge. Especially common free wi-fi spots are restaurants and customer waiting rooms. You can even install a free wi-fi finder app show you places near you where can find wi-fi gratis. For iPhone there is Free Wi-Fi Finder and for Android is the free app WiFi Finder.


One thing to keep in mind when using free wi-fi is that the connection will not be secure. Keep this in mind if you might be looking at or working on something sensitive.


Use Free Apps When Possible


Speaking of free apps, always try to find a legitimate free alternative first. More often than not, you will succeed. Often the free apps work just as well as the paid versions. There can some trade-offs though for being able to use an app for free. One might be tolerating ads being displayed within the app. Another possibility is that the app might request information that can be mined by companies to help them market to you. Just make sure you apprise yourself of the permissions and actions an app requires prior to installing. It’s also a good idea to read user reviews prior to installing an app.


Consider a Prepaid Plan


Most cellular customers are familiar only with contract plans. With contractual plans, the customer signs a contract, often two years in length, and pays a set fee monthly with additional charges for exceeding contractual usage limits. There are several drawbacks to a contract. First, if you want to get out of it early, you will almost always have to pay a hefty penalty. Second, contracts can tie you to a particular cell phone model for all or part of the contract’s term. Third, you’ll pay the same amount monthly even if you don’t use all of your data, text, or talk allotments.


That’s why more and more people are starting to look into prepaid plans. These eliminate many of drawbacks associated with contractual plans. Some people are hesitant to look into prepaid plans because they think they won’t be able to use a smartphone that the available smartphones will be older or more limited. However, lately prepaid plans are offering powerful modern smartphones, including the iPhone. Another worry most potential users have about prepaid plans is that their network won’t be reliable. However, many prepaid plans use the networks of the major cellular providers. In fact, some prepaid plans are run by the big cellular companies themselves.


Smartphones provide many useful functions. Those abilities come at a certain cost. But with a little work, it’s possible to limit the extent of the expenses associated with smartphones. That allows the user to enjoy smartphone capabilities while maintaining predictable costs.


Labels: 3 Ways to Control Your Smartphone Bills

Angels

Angels’ wings flutter,
The ball lands amid the fans;
Los Angeles cheers.


Labels: Angels

Advance Directives

As a volunteer for Hospice, I cannot stress how important it is to take the time to prepare advance directives.

Advance directives refer to two types of legal documents that allow you to plan for and to communicate your end-of-life wishes if you become unable to communicate those issues yourself. These documents are a living will and a medical power of attorney.


When someone enters hospice care, they are offered the opportunity to fill out both of these forms. And, it is especially important that this be a main priority because people who enter the hospice care program are terminally ill with a life expectation of six months or less.


However, the tragic case of Terri Schiavo highlights the need for people to consider what their end-of-life wishes are before a crisis occurs. While it may be true that physicians or family members might overlook or overrule written advance directives, filling out these documents is a good opportunity to allow a family to express their individual thoughts and concerns about their own end-of-life process.


Designating a legal health care proxy is also a big step toward ensuring that a person who is in tune with your individual wishes, whether it be a family member or a close friend will be prepared to speak for you in the event that you no longer have the ability to speak for yourself.


You may also obtain a form called Five Wishes from the Aging With Dignity Organization. I will provide links for all the forms at the bottom of this article.


When a family loses a loved one, individual wishes and concerns come into play in regard as to what the deceased person would want in terms of a funeral or a rite of passage ceremony. Conflicting thoughts and ideas may cause even more stress and grief during the week or two following the death. This is especially apt to occur in the event of an unexpected death. Many families have no idea what-so-ever about their loved ones fears and concerns about the end-of-life process, since death is not a comfortable topic for discussion.


After I finished my volunteer training with Hospice, I decided to pursue some further training opportunities with Hospice College online. After taking the class about advance directives, I called my family together and passed out the living will forms. I tried to make it as much of a positive experience as was possible, considering the topic. I was truly amazed at the feelings that my spouse and my children expressed concerning the end-of-life experience.


Each of my children and their families have the copies for themselves, as well as a copy of my husbands and mine, and I have a copy of all of theirs as well. It is not so much the paperwork that matters as it is the fact that we have had the discussion, and we know about each others expectations.


When sudden death claims a family member, those left behind go into shock. It is difficult to just make it through each moment, let alone having to make decisions concerning obituaries and funeral planning. Knowing what that loved one wanted makes the ordeal much easier to handle.


Sometimes a discussion among family members is not possible. But, alerting the family to the fact that you do have a living will and where it is located is important. It is equally important to have a discussion with the person that you wish to appoint as your proxy. Don’t forget they will be your voice if you cannot speak.


I would not take a trip without doing some advance planning. And, I don’t expect that I will take the last journey of my life without some advance planning also. The more I can plan ahead, the less anguish I am going to put my family through when the time comes for me to depart from this world.


Labels: Advance Directives

Advanced HIIT Treadmill Workouts Including Jumping

These advanced HIIT workouts on the treadmill are for fitness enthusiasts who love grueling and agonizing cardio workouts. Think outside the box; the treadmill isn’t just for walking and running; it’s also for jumping on. I’m a certified personal trainer and advise that if you decide to try one of my searing HIIT workouts on a treadmill, make sure you are very fit and have no joint problems.

If you’re advanced, you should already know about the importance of warming up, so I’ll skip that. This article will cover advanced HIIT workouts for walking, jogging, running and jumping — all both forwards, backwards and sideways — on the treadmill. Make sure your treadmill is sturdy enough to receive the impact of jumping.


If you hold onto any part of the treadmill during these HIIT routines, consider this CHEATING. (Why?) Hold on only when adjusting the settings, then let go. All recovery-pace times range from 2-4 minutes. Recovery paces should be very easy walking. Do your most intense HIIT intervals 4-6 times.


Walking HIIT treadmill workout. For walking to be advanced, you must use at least a 12 percent incline and a speed of at least 4 mph. Your work intervals should be intense enough to exhaust you within 30 seconds. For some people, 12 percent incline won’t be high enough; go to 15 percent. Crank up the walking to 4.5 mph or more if you must. DO NOT JOG.


Jogging HIIT treadmill routine. In order for jogging to be intense for an advanced fitness enthusiast, it must be done at an incline. Find the speed and incline that makes you breathless within 30 seconds. This might be, for instance, 7 mph at 15 percent incline.


Running HIIT treadmill workout. How fast can you run before you must stop — within 30 seconds? Find that speed, then use that as your HIIT interval. It may be 12 mph for some, 13.5 for others, and 14.5 for others, depending on how fast the treadmill can go. If you can run faster than 12 mph for longer than 30 seconds, and the machine only goes up to 12 mph, then add an incline so that 12 mph at the incline is impossible to sustain for longer than 30 seconds.


Backwards walking, jogging and running HIIT routines on treadmill. Don’t hold on or you’ll defeat the purpose. Practice at SLOW speeds first to get used to not holding on backwards. Follow the same guidelines as previously mentioned. For example, try walking backwards at 3.5 mph at 15 percent incline for 30 seconds. GOOD LUCK!


How can you tell what 30 seconds is when facing away from the treadmill’s clock? Count out seconds in your head or get the seconds off of a watch.


Sideways walking, jogging HIIT workouts on treadmill. Follow guidelines previously mentioned for moving backwards. An incline will be necessary to make this intense enough for advanced people. Jogging sideways can quickly cause skin irritation in the feet (which you’ll eventually adapt to over time).


Jumping HIIT workouts. Always jump and land with both feet together. The no-holding-on rule applies. Example: Jump at 5 mph at 15 percent. This is wicked and if you can hold out for 15 seconds without having to grab onto the machine, you’re a true athlete. First experiment with 3 mph at 15 percent. See how fast you can jump before 16 seconds becomes impossible. Warning: Jumping at faster speeds at the highest inclines requires more than fitness; it requires athletic skill.


You can also jump sideways. Practice first at slow speeds. Use an incline for intensity. You can jump backwards too. Again, practice at slow speeds. An incline will be necessary to induce intensity. Jumping backwards faster than 4.5 mph is not recommended.


These advanced HIIT treadmill workouts will not only challenge your cardiovascular fitness, but some of these routines will demand a lot of agility.


Labels: Advanced HIIT Treadmill Workouts Including Jumping

Action Figures: Cult Classics Series 7

The Cult Classics action figure line from the NECA toy company has featured some of the most recognizable characters from movie history like Jason Vorhees, Freddy Krueger, and Hannibal Lecter. For their 7th series, 3 figures represent an excellent mix of classic movie characters. Here is a detailed look at the 7th series of the Cult Classics collection.

Beetlejuice: By far the best action figure in the series is the Cult Classics Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice is one of Tim Burton’s best movies and Michael Keaton really made the character come alive in this creepy and entertaining role. Action figures were released when the movie first came out, but none of those do justice like the Cult Classics Beetlejuice figure does.


The Beetlejuice figure is dressed in the black and white suit featured from the movie, but the highlight to this figure is not just the detailed costume, it is in the molding of the face. Right down to the dirt around his mouth, this figure is as good as it gets, featuring flawless details, and a lifelike imitation of the character. Much like the series has done in the past, the figure truly represents the character it supposed to.


Beetlejuice also comes with two snake accessories and the infamous book from the movie, “The Handbook for the Recently Deceased”.


Regan: The Exorcist has often been noted as one of the scariest movies of all time, and this next action figure truly captures that spirit. Other action figures are open to any pose as necessary, but this figure is already posed for you, and as it should be.


The figure is of Regan, the main character in the movie, and it features the infamous “Spiderwalk”. The figure even comes with a replica staircase. The details within this figure make it truly creepy and it is a must-own for any Exorcist or horror movie fan.


Stuntman Mike: Deathproof was one half of the popular “Grindhouse” movie made by Quentin Tarintino and Robert Rodriguez. The main character in that movie was played by Kurt Russell and his name in the movie was simply “Stuntman Mike”. Grindhouse has become a cult classic and this character from Death Proof certainly deserves his own action figure.


Stuntman Mike perfectly depicts Kurt Russell’s face, and out of the package, people would think that it was just a Kurt Russell action figure. Other than an interchangeable head, there is not much for accessories, but the figure is a great addition to the Cult Classics line.


Labels: Action Figures: Cult Classics Series 7

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