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During the winter months many people enjoy staying inside because it is warmer than being outdoors. Monthly electricity bills begin to increase when fall comes around. Companies that provide services similar to Columbia Utilities can easily see the increase of electricity used by many families.
Prevent Heat from Escaping
Heat can escape a home in many different ways. Small gaps between doors and windows in a home can be easily sealed with a few supplies found at a local hardware store. Silicone, foam and foam sprays are all effective in sealing areas like this.
Turn Off Electronics
Electronics that are on most of the day in many homes include: TVs, computers and tablets. Most of these electronics can be turned off when they’re not in use and this will decrease the electricity bill each month. Many people like to have these devices on at all times because they don’t feel like waiting for them to startup. The Environmental Protection Agency has researched the usage statistics of electronics not in use but still powered on. They found out that the idle devices can drain more than 100 billion kilowatt hours of energy each year for the entire nation. $10 billion is estimated to be lost each year alone.
Use Gadgets to Estimate Energy Use
There are many devices on the market that can help families limit their electricity use during the winter months. One device measures the kilowatts of a plugged in device and display this information to the user. Timers, like those used for Christmas lights, are another great invention that can turn off a device when it will not be used. On those days where everyone rushes out of the house and no one has time to turn off the electricity, these timers can turn everything off in an instant.
The bill can also be reduced if electricity is used during non-peak hours. These hours will vary from home to home but they are usually in the morning and evening. Many energy companies will provide peak-hour information to customers for free.
Families like to be cozy when the temperature is below 13 degrees. A plastic sheet can be taped onto windows to insulate them when it is cold outside. The thermostat should be adjusted and lowered as much as possible to avoid high electricity usage.
What better way to celebrate the important women in your life this Mother’s Day than with a beautiful photo book full of memories! We’re all guilty of taking hundreds of pictures throughout the year but never printing them out to remind us of the magic moments spent with our loved ones.
Enter Montage, the best photo book choice for quickly and beautifully printing out your pictures in keepsake form. Montage photo books come in three sizes starting at $29, and they do all of the work for you. They automatically place your photos in the best layout, factoring in chronology, important moments, and picture quality, and then allow you to make adjustments where desired. The entire creation process takes less than 15 minutes, making it the best photo book for those of us who are crunched on time. The books come standard with an eco-friendly leather cover and premium lay-flat pages, guaranteeing you get a keepsake product that will last for years to come.
This is a mother’s day gift that is sure to keep on giving!
As the time approaches for leaving on your vacation, you probably want to start packing. If you have children, then they have probably packed a suitcase a few weeks before leaving. There are some things to consider when packing for your trip. If you’re going to another country, you need to make sure you know of all of the rules and regulations of what you can take into and out of the country. Whether you’re flying to another country or to another state, you need to look at the fees associated with the number of bags that you have. Some airlines will only let you check one or two bags before paying additional fees.
When you start packing, think about what you want to bring back home with you. There might be a few souvenir shops that you want to stop at before heading home, so you will need to have room in the car and in your bags for your purchases. Another thing to keep in mind is whether you want to pack all of the extra items in your car on the way home. You might have a small car that doesn’t have room for a chair that you purchase to sit in the sand on the beach or stuffed animals that you might win at an amusement park. If you plan on bringing home a good bit of merchandise, consider taking clothes with you that you were going to donate or not wear anymore. You can leave the clothes in the room after you wear them, and you will have space in your suitcase for the new items that you purchase.
Instead of packing your toiletries, consider getting them at a grocery store or retail store when you arrive at your destination. This can prevent any spilling in your suitcase while traveling. You can also save money by using the items that are in the rooms of Honolulu hotels or hotels in other cities. If you only want to take one or two suitcases, try rolling your clothes instead of folding them and placing them in a bag. You can roll socks and underwear in the clothing to save even more space.
Owning a resort can be a lucrative business, but you need to know how to manage the business and how to get started. You can purchase a resort that is already established, or you can start from scratch and build a resort in an area where there are no others.
There will be a good amount of planning before you actually open the resort. You need to decide what kind of resort you want to open, such as one that has a golf course or one that has a casino. The kind of resort can affect the operating cost as well as the overall price of the business in getting started. People like Steve Wynn have created businesses from resorts that are attractive to numerous types of people. The thing to keep in mind with a resort is that you need to market it to families as well as singles and couples who are looking for a fun experience. A resort on the beach could give guests access to snorkeling and other water activities while one in the mountains could lead guests to ski slopes.
Getting the Money
After you have a business plan, you need to look for the money. There are loans available, or you can use money that you have saved so that you don’t have to pay back a loan with a high interest rate. If you use your own money, it’s a good idea to start small so that you can see how the business will do before you expand. If the business isn’t profitable, then you won’t be out as much money as you would if you were to start a large resort with several floors. Talk to banks and finance companies to find out who has the lowest interest rates and who has the best payment plan. Think about investors and how you can get them involved in your venture.
Staff and Extras
Before you open the resort, you need to think about how many staff members you will need and how much you will be able to pay them. Put ads in local newspapers in plenty of time for the opening of the resort so that you can get employees trained. You will need someone to work at the front desk, people to clean the resort inside and out and people to work in the various departments of the resort, such as the restaurant or gift shop.
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Educational Apps from Kids Academy
Available on iTunes & Google Play Free for a limited time!
I am happy to bring you all information on the new updates and hopefully introduce you to the company. It is never too early to start learning and Kids Academy has made it easy AND fun with these apps!
Preschool & Kindergarten Baby Books, Songs, and Early Reading Toddler Games
Update 3/7/15. We are still having fun with this app. It’s definitely fun for car trips, the whole family sings along. This is quite a simple app, but nonetheless it entertained my child. Without a doubt, his favorite part was recording himself (and me) singing the song and then hearing the playback. He experimented with using different silly voices and had me and his dad cracking up. This is a fun app that kids of all ages should love, though at 6 my son is now on the upper age group of it.
123 Tracing Numbers: Montessori Math Game for Kids
My child is a kindergarten student, and his class happens to learn using the Montessori method, so this app was perfect. Tracing numbers and catching fireflies is a fun challenge, and your kids will definitely want to get a high score. This app is a great supplement to what your preschool and kindergarten aged kids are probably already learning.
Free for a limited time! Normally $3.99!
ABC Preschool Games for Kids
I love all the worksheets in this app! My son loves the variety that the game offers. The best thing about the app is that it’s pretty easy to understand and operate, so kids can play by themselves without needing too much help. I can see this one becoming a fave.
Free for a limited time! Normally $2.99
About Kids Academy
Kids Academy develops mobile apps for preschool education. Covering all major platforms their apps are designed to help kids of 5 and under to master all of the preschool educational skills from letters to numbers and vocabulary. Having passed the ten million installs mark, Kids Academy continues to deliver quality apps for iOS, Android and Amazon devices.
This post was created in partnership with Mom Buzz Media. The reviews above are my own opinions and are not influenced in any way.
It’s important to exercise several times a week year-round, but once winter blows in, it can be hard to work up any motivation to step outside. Between dreading being cold and not wanting to pile on all of those extra layers, it can feel like a chore just to make a run to the grocery store, let alone go outside for exercise. Sure, it’s warm and cozy inside, but if you bundle up and head outdoors, you’ll save a bit on your heating bill and get in a great workout, too.
1. There are still multiple modes of transportation in the wintertime – the car isn’t your only option. You walk or bike throughout the rest of the year, and the winter doesn’t have to be any different. On a particularly mild day, pull on a few layers and walk to work or the store – you’ll get in your workout for the day while helping the environment. Every energy expert knows that one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is by finding alternative modes of transportation.
2. Exercising in the winter helps you burn more calories because your body has to work extra hard to keep itself warm. Your heart will work harder, too, improving your endurance.
3. Studies have shown that a walk in nature can improve your mood and get rid of stress. During the winter, a lot of people suffer from some sort of seasonal depression. Plus, since the days are shorter and many of them are overcast, exposure to sunlight is low. Making a point of getting outside to soak in whatever sunlight is available is extremely important to revving up your mood. Plus, when you workout, your body produces endorphins, which make you feel happy.
4. So many people catch a cold or get infected with the flu during the winter because everyone’s cooped up together indoors without any fresh air circulating. By getting outside, you’ll reduce your chances of being exposed to those germs. Plus, exercise improves your immune system, which means that when you are exposed to viruses, your body will be better equipped to fight them off.
5. A lot of people have difficulty sleeping during the winter and seasonal depression can make people feel even more sluggish and exhausted. When you exercise and keep your energy level up throughout the day, you’ll have an easier time sleeping at night.
6. When you spend time outside, you improve your attention span and memory. Being in nature is akin to meditating, according to a University of Michigan study. Cognitive performance improves, whether it’s warm and sunny or overcast and chilly. Every age can benefit from a workout for the brain!
7. The wintertime is full of obstacles – but in a good way! From snow to ice, maneuvering over and around those obstacles help workout muscles you may not normally use. Plus, you’ll improve your balance. For adults, this results in better fitness. For kids, playing outside in the winter looks like an exciting obstacles course – they can climb up snowy hills, go sledding or ice skating, or build snow forts.
When exercising outside during the winter, protect your hands and feet well. Wear light layers to stay warm without getting too hot.
FTC Disclosure: I am being compensated for this post by Reebok. My opinions are my own.
To all the athletes out there who spend their days bloody, muddy, and sore, not for bright lights or money, but to simply be the best version of themselves: This is for you.
Sometimes a little bit of crazy is a good thing. It’s that extra push that keeps you at the gym after everyone else has thrown in the towel, that urge to go for one more lap, or that mental alarm clock that drags you out of bed in the morning to get out there and train. That little bit of crazy is what sets the tire flippers, rope climbers, and 5 A.M. runners apart from the crowd.
And it’s not just about being able to lift more, run further, and jump higher. It’s about pushing your own personal limits, expanding your mental and social strength, not just your physical strength. It’s about being a harder worker, a more mindful person, a better human. Reebok designs gear that’s forged from these ideals and stands up to non-stop punishment.
See what it truly means to Be More Human. Then get more at http://Reebok.com/BeMoreHuman.
Here are the results from my human score test:
Be sure to get yours here!
Are you ready to get married in 2015? Do you still have no idea about choosing which kind of wedding dress to walk down the aisle? How about following Cocomelody.com to see biggest gown trends in 2015? This professional online dress store compiles the standout fashion trends from Bridal Fashion Week for you. Broadly speaking, in the brand new year, an increasing number of simple and fluid shapes spring up to make it much easier for brides to fully show their elegance. Now, start your journey to appreciating those wow-worthy details!
When it comes to the wedding dress, many of us will think about the word “bling”. But some of this season’s wonderful works have jumped out of the luxurious and gorgeous box of traditional wedding dresses and are tailored with clean lines, like the Cocomelody style below. (We can still feel a sense of gorgeousness from this minimalist dress). This kind of Americana aesthetic is very suitable for brides who want to be comfortable yet graceful on the big day.
Ethereal Ball Gowns
Ball gowns present a more ethereal and flowing look due to breezy fabrics and a more relaxing silhouette. When the bride wears such a light-as-air ball gown, she will feel comfortable and move freely.
Exaggerated Neckline Designs
Want to search for something more special than those popular strapless or sweetheart necklines? What about this one? The high-neck style in front matches with a plunging V-neck at the back to perfectly showcase the bride’s sexuality. This innovative design appears on various kinds of shows this season.
We are often captivated by optical illusions, such as flesh-colored netting bodice, silky stockings, sexy see-through underwear and etc. Take a look at this picture below. This mermaid style lace wedding dress shows off the bride’s hourglass figure and its sheer back gives us infinite imagination. Would you like to have a try?
Cocomelody.com found there are more off-the-shoulder designs than ever before on different fashion shows. Undoubtedly this style will gain popularity as it will easily create a sexy and romantic feeling and not only that, it has an extremely figure-flattering effect. Moreover, off-the-shoulder design is able to create a triangle shape, which instantly makes the slender waist a highlight.
Cool Tone’s Coming
Who says you must wear a white wedding gown? That touch of blush was favored by the majority of girly brides last season, but a rainbow collection of bridal wedding dresses of 2015 seems to give brides more unexpected selections. So why not break through the routine to display your personality?
Title: Son of Set
Author: Kelsey Ketch
Series: Descendants of Isis #2
Genre: Upper Young Adult Fantasy
Publication: May 2nd, 2014
“. . . the Sons would never just let him go—alive.”
Seth O’Keefe has broken the laws of his god. He never thought he would sacrifice his own future to protect a Daughter of Isis. But when the Sons of Set discovered Natti is the Secret Keeper, he had no choice. Now, Seth and Natti are on the run from his father, who wants nothing more than to see Seth dead. With no allies, Seth turns to the Daughters of Isis for help, hoping they would protect Natti. But when they meet the Daughters, he discovers a secret that puts both their lives in more danger. Low on options, Seth sees only one possibility for survival. He must help Natti solve an ancient puzzle and find the secret name of Ra.
Natara “Natti” Stone is having a hard time swallowing the truth. She can’t believe what she has learned in the past twenty-four hours: Seth is a Son of Set blessed with charm; she is a Daughter of Isis blessed with a sliver of Ma ‘at; the locket her grandmother gave her holds an ancient Egyptian secret linking to Osiris and Isis. That along with being tortured and brutalized by the Sons of Set, she can hardly hold herself together. Thank God for Seth’s touch! That warm, tingling sensation that drowns it all out. Yet her heart struggles to stay focused. She must quickly embrace her destiny before the secret name of Ra falls into the wrong hands.
*Note: Content for Upper YA*
“Oy, you gave him to me,” Natti shot back while slapping her hand against his chest. “And he’s been providing comfort when I need it ever since. But since you left him behind, you’ll just have to take his place.”“I guess I can live with that.” Seth stroked the back of her neck, sending goose bumps over her skin.
The room was quiet. With no sight and no sound, Natti was only left with her heightened sense of touch and smell. She memorized Seth’s embrace; every little shift of his muscles and every little movement of his fingertips. The gentle heat that took her breath away slowly radiated through her system. She felt closer to Seth right now than she had ever felt with anyone in her life. Yet she hardly knew him. She knew who he was and even what he was, just nothing really about him. What music did he like? What kind of films did he watch? What was his favorite past time? Well, actually, she already had a sense what his answer would be to that last question just by knowing his reputation. Still, she wanted to know more. Rattling her brain for a conversation starter, she asked the simplest question she could think of.
“What’s your favorite color?”
He groaned in response and crinkled his brow. “Is that what it would have taken to get you into bed with me? Knowing my favorite color? We could have fixed that long ago.”
“No,” Natti hissed. “This is just a conversation. You know, something normal people do.”
“I know what a conversation is.” Seth’s perfect grin glistened in the dark. “There’s just other things I’d rather be doing in the middle of the night, like sleeping or . . .”
Natti’s cheeks burned when his hand moved south. “Bloody hell, Seth!” She pushed his hand back to the small of her back. “I’m talking about things like your favorite class subject, when your birthday is—”
“What’s my favorite color?” Seth mocked with a hidden smile, his exhaustion weighing in his voice.
“What about you? What’s your favorite color then?”
Taken aback by his abrupt turnaround, Natti sputtered her answer. “Red.”
“Hmm.” Seth fell silent, his eyelids drooping a bit. Natti shifted, thinking he had dozed off. She closed her eyes, his warmth gently pulling her into sleep.
“History. March fifteenth. Black,” Seth finally responded.
“Wait—What?” Natti jerked, now fully awake again.
“The answers to your questions.” Seth’s eyes opened, taking her in while they laid together in the dark. His hand skimmed her hair, pulling a lock toward him. “My favorite subject is history. My birthday is March fifteenth. And my favorite color is black, like the color of your hair.”
A smile pulled at Natti’s lips. “Is black even a color?”
“Hey, don’t knock it.” He paused, looking deep into her eyes. “I’ll admit, though, lately I’ve also become enamored with a unique shade of purple.”
Natti swallowed a lump forming in her throat. Seth leaned his forehead to hers, their noses touching. Even in the dark, his gaze captured her, drawing her full attention.
“You know how tempting it is to kiss you right now?” he said, an intense, fiery tingling sensation growing strong throughout her body.
Natti could barely speak as she melted into the sheets. She really wanted to kiss him. He was too tempting with his heat, his eyes, and the feel of his body conforming to hers.
A sudden flashback to the halls of Setemple High caused her to hold back and bite her lower lip. It had been her first kiss with Seth. The very thought of it still coursed fire through her veins. It had only been a distraction. A method he used to pickpocket her grandmother’s letter before abandoning her and leaving her in the hands of his friend, Ky.
Natti tried to think of what he was referring to. “Remember what?”
Seth attempted a charming grin, but it faltered. “Never mind. It wasn’t important.”
He lightened his touch, withdrawing a bit. The sensations that were running rapid finally eased. She watched Seth’s expression fill with disappointment, making her wonder what she had forgotten that had been clearly special to him.
She slipped her hand along his well-formed abs and over his chest. She could feel him shiver. Goose bumps appeared over his skin. Her own body also reacted to the touch, her skin prickling with little sparks. She froze when he caught her gaze, desire shining in his eyes like a beacon in the night. Reality struck, and it struck hard. She wanted him too.
“Maybe I made a mistake.” Natti’s body quivered, and she moved back. What had she been thinking, crawling into a guy’s bed? In a freaking hotel no less! What kind of impression does that give? “I shouldn’t have come over here. I’m sorry.”
Seth strengthened his grip, his voice tight with emotion. “No. It’s fine. Stay.”
A strange calm replaced her abrupt urge to run. She looked at Seth, feeling the tingle of magic under her skin. She was scared. She stupidly crawled right into his element, and she knew in her heart she was too weak to resist any advance. His fingers reached up and stroked her cheek. With the warm breeze from his touch, her excitement and fear were whisked away, leaving her to feel only a bliss that affected her very being. She lowered her body back into Seth’s arms. Her muscles relaxed into his embrace. She gave into the power, unsure if she was staying of her own free will or if he was controlling her actions. Either way, it was too late. She had stepped into his web, just like the oracle at the Pharaoh Festival had warned. But maybe if she kept him talking, nothing ominous would come of it.
Natti’s voice came out flustered when she finally spoke. “We used to talk about you. My mates and I, that is. Back in school.”
Seth perked up. “Really? What about?”
“Oh.” Natti tried to be sly with her words while thinking about Jen, Kevin, and Wanda. She missed them all very much. Even more than some of her friends back in London. “Different things.”
Seth raised a brow and smiled. “Like how devilishly handsome and extremely charming I am?”
“Actually, we couldn’t decide if you were a vampire, a werewolf, or a fae.”
“Say what?” Seth jerked. “What plebs have you been talking to?”
Natti rolled her eyes. “Well, you can’t really blame us. With your looks and how you charm most of the teachers and students, Jen figured you had to be paranormal.”
“And what did you think? Did you think I was a vampire or a werewolf?”
“No. I only thought you were a spoiled rotten rich kid whose only charm was his father’s money.” A malicious grin spread on her lips. “And I still stand by it.”
Seth crinkled his nose, smiled, and shoved her back slightly. Natti burst into laughter; her first real laugh since the day of the fire. Her body released all its tension in one fell swoop. The high was addicting, her adrenalin soaring to new heights. Finally, as her body became weary and calmed, she could still hear Seth laughing beside her. A laugh that was as soothing as Big Ben chiming out the time, giving her a sense of home. Natti basked in the sound until Seth abruptly faded from sight and Sean’s cold eyes flashed before her. She gasped and pushed away as the icy cold emptiness burned her insides.“Natti.” She felt Seth pull at her waist. “Natti, stop!”
During her high school years,
Kelsey Ketch could always be found tucked away in a little corner of the hall
or classroom, writing her fantasy worlds and creating illustrations and maps.
Today is no different, except now she’s writing in the break room at her office
building or at the tables of the Barnes and Noble Café in Cary, North Carolina.
She is also an avid reader, a part-time book blogger at Ketch’s Book Nook,
and lives with her two orange tabbies and awesome and humorous flat-mate.
For more information, please
visit her site at kelseyketch.com.
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UPDATE: We are still having fun with this app. It’s definitely fun for car trips, the whole family sings along. This is quite a simple app, but nonetheless it entertained my child. Without a doubt, his favorite part was recording himself (and me) singing the song and then hearing the playback. He experimented with using different silly voices and had me and his dad cracking up. This is a fun app that kids of all ages should love.
UPDATE: My 6 year old has a short attention span (don’t they all?) and we’re always looking for new apps to both capture his attention and offer a learning experience. As a mom, I loved this app because it uses Montessori tools too help him learn–which is perfect because he is now attending a Montessori Kindergarten at a competitive private school. He really liked the Alphabet Tracing! I can see him playing this and learning more in conjunction with what he is being taught in Kindergarten.
Get Alphabet Tracing & Montessori App on iTunes
Android users can also find Kids Academy on Google Play!
Also be sure to visit Kids Academy on social media!