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The weather is getting warmer; it’s time to pull out the grill, call the pool cleaner back, and get those gardening tools out of the basement. It’s spring! But spring also means it’s time to look at how you can save the most energy and the most money.

Many Ways to Save

A lot of people can tolerate cold weather better than hot weather, which means, as the weather gets warmer and warmer, it will become increasingly difficult to fight the impulse to turn on the air conditioning and leave it on for hours. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help keep your home cool without running up your energy bill.

  1. Take it easy on the thermostat:
    • Set the temperature as high as you can while still being comfortable. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your bill will be.
    • Keep the house warmer than usual when you are away, cool when you get home. Set “Away” and “Home” temperatures easily with a programmable thermostat.
    • Keep in mind: Your house will not cool any faster if you set the thermostat to a colder temperature than usual. In fact, this will likely result in unnecessary expense and excessive strain on the cooling system.
  2. Make the most out of your windows:
    • Prevent heat from getting in through the windows by installing window coverings such as blinds (interior and/or exterior), awnings, high-reflective films, draperies, shades, insulated panels, and shutters.
    • If you live in an area where it cools off at night, turn of your air conditioning and open your windows while you sleep. When you wake up, shut the windows and blinds to keep the cool air in, unless there’s still a cool breeze. You can still get some good cool air into the house in the early morning before the sun starts hitting your house/yard.
  3. Turn on those ceiling fans:
    • By using your ceiling fans in combination with air conditioning, you can actually set the thermostat four degrees higher but remember that fans cool people, not rooms. If you leave a room, turn off the fan.
    • Turn on your bathroom fan when taking a shower or bath to remove the humidity and heat.
  4. Drop the water temperature:
    • Your water heater uses 18 percent of your home’s energy-use. Turn the temperature down to 120 degrees F.
  5. Minimize appliance-use and artificial lighting:
    • Using the oven on hot days will make the house warmer and subsequently more difficult to cool. Stick to the stove, microwave, or grill outside.
    • Minimize using a computer or TV, running the dishwasher, or using hot devices like hair dryers.
    • Install efficient lighting that doesn’t release much heat.
  6. Seal leaks to keep the hot air out:
    • Seal cracks to keep warm out from leaking into the house.
    • Add weatherstripping or caulk to seal leaky windows and doors.

  1. Create an indoor picnic with available props, ie, picnic tablecloth, paper goods. Share finger foods and favorite trees along with a glass of wine. Spice up "dessert." Enjoy your picnic on the living room floor or in bed. Play card games, board games, or make up your own.
  2. Decorate a unique-looking jar or box with craft items. Write numerous love notes on small pieces of paper and fill the jar with them. Present the jar to your sweetheart.
  3. There are many local and national Valentine's Day giveaway contests with great prizes. Enter as many as you can and maybe you'll get lucky.
  4. For young couples with kids, get them involved in an all-family fun Valentine's Day dinner at home. Mom can prepare a dessert for two and light the candles while dad puts the kids to bed.
  5. Since Valentine's Day is on a Saturday, celebrate with a day full of low-cost activities you both enjoy doing (depending upon your location and weather). Do something with your significant other that he / she rarely has time to do, but loves.
  6. Take a 2-hour, one-time salsa or tango dancing lesson together. Or, identify some other interest you share and find a place to give you one-time extended lesson on Valentine's Day.
  7. Gals … Make the entire day full of his favorites: the breakfast of his dreams, the dinner of his dreams, TV that is his favorite, his music, etc. Do not say anything about it, surprise him all day long.
  8. Take the person you love to experience something spectacular in nature: a sunset, a sunrise, the calm of the beach, share an evening walk gazing at the moon.
  9. Create a framed group of photos that put your relationship in chronological order of events, by months or years (depending on how long you've been together).
  10. Create a CD with songs that make you think of your sweetheart, and give it to him / her.
  11. Choose specialty foods, such as wine, cheese, fresh bread / dessert from a favorite bakery. Enjoy in front of your warm, toasty fireplace.
  12. Create an at-home spa day for your mate. Deliver the gift in a basket filled with inexpensive candles, bubble bath, rose petals, facial mask and scrub. Then give your mate time to enjoy it. When he / she is done, heat up towels in the dryer for drying off.
  13. Give each other long-lingering back rubs or head-to-toe body massages. Invest in luxurious lotion or oils.
  14. Create a favorite drink together. Try all kinds of ingredients. Enjoy taste-testing. Be sure to record the ingredients, so you can make the "your" drink again on Valentine's Day year after year.
  15. Watch an old movie at home together, with popcorn and soft drinks and candy – movie-theater style.
  16. Share a scrumptious dessert and latté at a local patisserie or bakery.
  17. Pick a few household chores your Valentine usually does and surprise them by doing it before they get a chance, ie, making the bed. It does not sound romantic, but

One of the many challenges men have is to decide on what positions to use when getting booty. The biggest fears are that the woman will get bored with the “same old, same old” and as a result lose interest in sex. So the question becomes, what are the best sexual positions?

The best way to explain this is to talk about what NOT to do. With that in mind, I’ll now talk about the top five mistakes guys make when it comes to sexual positions, so that way you won’t continue making them.

Position Mistake 1: Imitating anything seen in a porn movie. This is probably the biggest reason that guys fail with sexual positions. Inexperienced guys think porn is a good model because they see studs banging beautiful broads, and… well, they just don’t know any better. The problem is that sexual positions in those sorts of movies are meant to display a good scene for viewers, not to maximize pleasure for the actors.

And in fact, one of the WORST positions for clitoral and vaginal stimulation is when the woman puts her ankles on your shoulders. With her pelvis bent back that far, she can feel pain in her cervix if you push in too far. Plus it’s a position that puts pressure. (If you ever have a chance to go behind the scenes and watch the making of an adult movie, you’ll see how quickly the mood gets killed when the actress keeps having to stop the scene to go to the bathroom!)

Position Mistake 2: Trying too hard to keep your weight off the woman, in any position. To a woman, sex is a way to get closer to her man. She loves it when he leans on the underside of her thighs. So here’s a tip for you to try… Next time you’re having sex with your woman (while you’re engaged in actual intercourse, that is), get more of your weight on her. You see, during sex, almost every woman enjoys feeling her man’s body pressed hard against her.

So how much weight should you put on her? Make it enough so that after you come, and the sexual frenzy dissipates, your woman will tell you that she feels like she’s being smooshed. Of course, do this within limits! If you’re on top off her grinding her pubic bone for too long, it can feel painful for her.

But the bottom line is that many, many women like to be pressured by at least some of the man’s weight. So save the gentlemanly sex for the royal family’s women!

Position Mistake 3: Letting the woman do all the work when she’s on top. For virtually every woman, sex is mostly a passive activity. So by being the motionless beta male, you destroy the whole purpose of sex for her, which is to open herself up to you penetrating into her body.

Position Mistake 4: Being a wimp. A lot of guys have read too …

A tourist visiting Cebu City for the first time may well be turned off by some of the city sites. The city has several world class resorts, hotels, beaches and dive sites. It also has some areas of the world’s most devastating poverty. Cebu City is the capital city of the Cebu Province and it is the second largest city in the Philippines following Manila. I always feel at home in the city and lived in the city before building my home in the rural Cebu Province of Camotes Islands. Cebu City is a mix of the old and new, rich and poor, good and bad and pretty and ugly. There is also the mix of clean and really dirty or filthy. The rule for anyone going to Cebu for the first time is to not make a snap judgment.

My first trip to Cebu City was in February 2004. I went to the Philippines to meet a girl (Judith) now my wife. I flew into the Cebu-Mactan Airport and was met by Judith and one of here sisters. My flight started in Florida and the last leg of the flight was from Hong Kong. The Cebu International airport is just a little outdated, but very functional. Once outside of the airport doors I saw waves of people waiting to meet people coming off of the flight from Hong Kong. The airport was not all that busy when I arrived and I think my plane was the only arriving flight at the time. As people from my flight walk outside of the airport door they were bombarded with shuttle, taxi and V-hire greeters, all trying to get a fare. I met Judith just outside the airport doors. She, her sister and I all jumped into an old Kia Taxi and we were off to my hotel.

The taxi was old and not very well maintained. The Air conditioner didn’t work and the window wouldn’t go down. Of course that didn’t matter as I couldn’t close the door because the door latch was broken. So, I got lots of air. The hotel was about a 30 minute drive from the airport. As we traveled the city streets I saw crowded sidewalks made even more crowded by the many sidewalk vendors and street vendors. Some of the roads we traveled were moderately maintained while others were in very poor condition. The roads were crowded with many types of cars, but mostly Kia’s and Hyundais. There were also a lot of Jeepneys, a Philippine traditional method of travel. A jeepney looks like a stretched army jeep with a hardtop and a large cargo area used for two benches for passenger seating. Jeepneys are normally painted with several different colors and lots of chrome. Many of the jeepneys are poorly maintained and most have bald tires and the braking systems may be questionable. Also, there were lots of small motorcycles.

After traveling just a few minutes I decided that the most dangerous vehicle in …

Many people today suffer from a variety of stomach problems. You may be one of them. If so, you know how a case of diarrhea or nausea and vomiting can ruin your plans for the entire day. Heartburn can torment you in the late night hours as well as spoil the enjoyment of a good meal. While most of these are temporary annoyances, persistent stomach ailments should cause you to seek out medical intervention. Sometimes these are symptoms of much more serious conditions.

Diarrhea is a problem with loose, watery stools that sends you flying to the bathroom, often at the most inopportune times. It can be caused by food poisoning, or bacterial infections such as e-coli. If you are lactose intolerant you may also feel the unpleasant results of enjoying those dairy products. More serious issues that cause these stomach problems are Crohn’s Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). In the case of food poisoning or bacterial infections, your symptoms will usually lessen by consuming only a clear liquid diet within 24 hours. Drink as much fluid as you can because dehydration can be a real concern. To avoid this problem in the first place, always practice good food safety habits in the kitchen, insist on well-cooked food, and return food that is served to you looking as though it has been sitting out for some time, especially if mayonnaise is involved. If mucous or blood shows in your stools, consult a doctor immediately.

Nausea and vomiting are stomach problems that are rarely life-threatening but can also cause dehydration and even shock if unchecked for too long. The typical causes are an upset gastrointestinal tract, pregnancy, vertigo (dizziness) from inner ear problem or motion sickness, food poisoning, brain injury, carbon monoxide poisoning, and reactions to medicine. It seems that whenever the brain is affected by injury or illness, nausea and vomiting will also be present. Taking slow, deep breaths helps settle the queasiness, as do Vitamin B6 and ginger supplements. There are OTC antihistamines that will also ease your distress.

Heartburn is a burning sensation in your upper abdomen or chest that often mimics the effects of heart disease. Because of this, a doctor should be made aware of your condition if it does not respond to OTC acid buffers and H2 blockers. To reduce acid reflux you should quit smoking and drinking carbonated drinks. Raising the top of your bed, eating small meals, and avoiding coffee, chocolate, fatty foods, and whole milk has also been shown to help. Most stomach problems can be improved with lifestyle changes such as these, but more serious ones will need medical treatment including possible surgery.…

I have a combined total of 26 years of homemaking experience. Fourteen years as a wife, and 12 years as a mother. (Twenty-nine total years as a mother, if you consider I have children ages 12, 10 and 7.) One would think of this time I think to have things pretty well figured out. By now, I bought to be proficient in the kitchen and know how to manage my children quite well.

Why, with all this experience I should never make any mistakes. My days should all run smoothly and my life bought to be easy.

If you are a mom, I trust you can read the sarcasm in the words I have just written. But sometimes we feel that way, do not we? We feel as though we bought to be perfect. Yet, it just does not happen that way. Some days I think I will be doing well if I can survive to see another sunrise. And other days, when I think I have things under control, something inevitably happens to humble me and reminds me of my need to both give and receive grace.

Although I sometimes wish I was a perfect wife and mother, and I would like to "have it all together," I have learned to treasure these lessons which God sends my way. These lessons help me in surviving motherhood, and I believe they also help me in becoming the woman God wants me to be. One such lesson happened when I erred in the preparation of a favorite dinner.

I was preparing Pork Chops with Orange Rice , a meal I have made over and again for most of my married life. The recipe is so easy and so tasty I actually got it published in a cooking magazine a few years ago. Really. All you do is place rice in a casserole dish and pour orange juice over it. Place browned pork chops on top of the rice, pour chicken with rice soup over the whole thing, cover it and pop it in the oven. Simple, do not you think?

Too easy to mess up?

One would think so.

Especially when one has prepared this dish over 200 times.

One night, as I was bringing the dish to the table I noticed the edges looked a little dry. That happens sometimes, and when it does I just do not scoop around the edges. However, on this particular night as I looked a little closer at the dinner I was about to set on the table, I realized why the edges looked dry. I had forgotten to put the orange juice over the rice .

Aww. How could I have done that? This recipe was too simple to mess up. But, somehow, I had managed to forget a simple step.

My family was very gracious. Everyone avoided the rice as best as they could, and smiled politely as they spit out the crunchy portions. The pork chops were still good, and the …

Karndean vinyl flooring is one of the most exciting new floorcovering options available in the market. Karndean creates vinyl planks and tiles that realistically simulate natural materials such as Wood, Stone, Slate, Ceramic and Marble. With recent breakthroughs in technology, these luxury vinyl planks and tiles look so amazingly real it will surprise you.

These floors are very different from sheet type vinyl. As the floor is installed piece by piece, it gives a handcrafted look just as hardwood or real tile floors would appear. Karndean also manufactures these tiles and planks with semi random patterns so there are no repeating patterns to cause the floor to look cheap or like standard vinyl resilient flooring. A unique feature of Karndean is the coloring of the floors. Slight changes are made to the vinyl coloring to give a slight random color difference. By doing this, the floors look like the real thing and there are no dye lot issues if you ever need to replace a plank or tile. There are six distinct reasons why Karndean luxury vinyl tiles and planks are considered by many to be the perfect floor.

1. Karndean vinyl floors are stain proof against pretty much everything except petroleum based spills. This includes everything from red wine to pet urine.

2. These vinyl tiles and planks are waterproof as well. If you have a leak in the kitchen or bathroom, the water will not damage the vinyl. This is a very distinct advantage over true hardwood flooring and laminate. If you have a leak under the dishwasher, and you have hardwood or laminate, you will have to replace part or all of the floor at a huge expense. With Karndean, the worst case is you may have to have the floor reinstalled.

3. This flooring is hypoallergenic as well as mold and mildew resistant.

4. Luxury vinyl planks and tiles are very hard to scratch compared to laminate and hardwood. If you have pets, you absolutely cannot install a better floor than luxury vinyl.

5. Karndean tiles are almost impossible to chip or break when compared to ceramic, slate, stone and marble tiles. If you drop something heavy on them it may cause a slight indentation. Of course if you have real tile, it will probably crack or chip and will have to be replaced.

6. Cleaning is a snap. Dust mopping regularly and an occasional damp mopping is all that is needed. There is never a need to reapply any finishes or buffing needed.

Now that you know why Karndean is so close to perfect, what are some of the styles that are offered? There are 6 different series offered from Karndean.

1. The Van Gogh lines has 22 variations of Wood planks. Almost every color and species imaginable are available.

2. Art Select vinyl from Karndean has 11 options to choose from between simulated Wood planks and Limestone modular tiles.

3. Da Vinci is one the more popular styles for luxury vinyl tile. With over …

Why even consider getting a floor steam mop or a floor steam vacuum? If you are like me and are doing your own house cleaning, you might be faced with a dilemma as of how to best use your time and resources when it comes to cleaning your living spaces, the kitchen, the bathroom area, and the shower area.

Your carpet in the living room may have developed several dark stains that will not go away by vacuuming alone. The tiles in the shower may have developed dark grout, and the sinks may be covered with shampoo and soap stains.

Since you have already spend over $100 for the vacuum cleaner which doesn’t really do the job to your satisfaction, you want to make sure you are getting a piece of machinery that will do a better job, that is for sure.

We will discuss here pros and cons of two competing carpet cleaning technologies that go beyond vacuuming. The first one is a carpet steamer, or a carpet steam mop, and the second one is the carpet steam vacuum. We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both.

Floor steam mops

Floor steam mop is an appliance that looks like a mop but it has a canister attached to it, and uses an electric heater to bring the water in the canister to a boil. The resulting water vapor is then led through the mop handle and the vapor is then sprayed through the micro fiber pad at the top of the mop. The micro fiber then mops the debris from the floor or the carpet that you are canvassing.

A big advantage for many people of the steam floor mop is that it is environmentally friendly, that is, it will not dispense harmful and potentially toxic chemicals in your house that might take days to be removed, and may even accumulate, causing air toxicity in the house.

A disadvantage of the steam mop cleaner is that, even with a high temperature setting of as much as 300 F, before the steam reaches the tip of the mop, it is already chilled significantly. That means that, in all likelihood, the steam will not be as effective in removing carpet stains, or any other stains from the floors or tiles. Also, the effectiveness of the micro fiber pad in removing all the resulting debris is in question.

You may be able to remedy the low temperature problem by removing the steam mop stick or using a shorter one. That way, the steam temperature will be maximized, and tougher stains will be removed.

Floor steam vacuums

The steam vacuum is similar to a steam mop, but it has an additional feature, namely, it sprays the water onto the carpet, agitates the carpet, and then vacuums the resulting liquid back into the “dirty water” tank.

The advantage of a steam vacuum is that, since it does vacuum up most of the debris, it is typically used with detergents and cleaning chemicals, …

Are you afraid that structural damage to your home will cause a big problem for you in the future? Are you having a hard time making your home dry and leak-free? Does your leaky basement add stress to your life? Then it's time for a "Do it Yourself Basement Waterproofing" project!

Do it yourself basement waterproofing projects can keep your home free from mildew, fungi and molds which can cause health problems, like asthma and allergies, for you and your family.

So what are the best do it yourself basement waterproofing tips you can use to keep your home from becoming flooded, leaky and dirty?

Here are a few do it yourself basement waterproofing tips you can follow:

  1. Make sure that water flows away from your home — and really far away. Sometimes, you can blame the landscaping around your home that causes the accumulation of water around the foundation. The best thing to do is to make sure that the ground slopes away from where you home is and that water never puddles around the foundation.
  2. You need to install gutters and down-spouts if your home does not have a system for collecting rainwater and snow that has melted. When you install new gutters and down-spouts, always make sure that they are draining the water at least 5 to 6 feet away from your home or building structure to an area that will not drain back towards your home ..
  3. Use paints that are water-resistant on your walls. Never allow your walls to weep due to the moisture and the condensation that transpires in your basement. Use high quality water-resistant paints to ensure their efficiency and effectiveness.
  4. Use a de-humidifier to absorb excess moisture from your foundation. You may need several de-humidifiers if you have a large basement.
  5. Put some rocks or gravel all around the exterior of your basement walls. This will absorb the moisture and will make your foundation dry faster than usual, and this is definitely the cheapest way to keep moisture out of your foundation.
  6. You also need to insulate water pipes so that the problem of condensation can be avoided.
  7. You must also avoid drying your clothes in the basement because this adds the humidity problems and it adds moisture to the air — which is the last thing you need in your foundation.
  8. Also, you need to ensure that all your appliances are venting out. Check your washing machine to make sure it does not have even a small leak. Small leaks can quickly turn into big floods if they go unnoticed.
  9. Install an exhaust fan in the bathroom of your basement. This will help to improve the ventilation in your basement.

These tips are all simple things that most people can do themselves for a minimal amount of money and without an expensive contractor. By simply following these tips, you can minimize your chances of having a basement flood, or water / moisture issues. …

If you are the one who likes to take their pet each time you go for a vacation, then the Weymouth holiday cottagesare the place for you. This is the perfect break for you and your pet. There are over 100 cottages in Dorset. The Weymouth holiday cottage properties range from traditional thatched cottages to the contemporary newly designed houses.This will certainly be a great place to be for you and your dog. The facility provided in each set has a colored television; The kitchen has an oven with hotplate, rings, a gas burner and a microwave, a toaster a kettle and an iron. Duvets and pillow have been provided in all bedrooms.

There are many cottages available available for you and your pet. One of them is the Lulworth Cove. This is set up in an elevated position, surrounded by territories and lawns. Its a beautiful walk across the hills to the various bays. Within walking distance once can find the Village Inns and shops.

As far as the accommodation is concerned on the ground floor, in bedroom one, there is a king size bed. In the second bedroom, twin beds have been placed. There is a large lounge with an open fire. The dining table has a seating capacity of ten people. On the ground floor there is a bathroom with a bath shower and a separate kitchen. In the third bedroom and the fourth bedroom there are twin single beds, without any wardrobe. There is a double bed in the fifth bedroom.

Standard facilities have been provided in these Weymouth holiday cottages like a dishwasher, washing machine, and a dryer, fridge, freezer, a pay phone, DVD player. A garage is a also present with unrestricted parking on the road. There is a large garden on the sloping lawns. A garden table with chairs has also been placed. Internet access has been provided for, only for recreational activity and not for business related purpose. The speed or service may vary as per the package obtained by the owner of the property

For booking purposes reservations for these Weymouth holiday cottages are made upon the receipt of a deposit which is one-third of the total cost of the holiday or full payment incase the trip is for less than eight weeks away, plus an additional of twenty pounds, Along with a booking form signed by the applicant who has to be over 18 years of age, and he also signs on behalf of all the people who will e staying in the property. Only the number of people specified at the time of the booking will be allowed to stay during the trip. Once the payment has been received and the conformation has been made, any changes to the booking can not be done. In case the payment is made by a credit card, then an additional charge of 2.5% as the processing fee will be also charged to the guest at the time of the booking. Guests have …