WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO IMPROVE YOUR SELF? Sometimes, when all our doubts, fears and insecurities wrap ourselves up, we always come up with the idea of “I wish I was somebody else.” More often than not, we think and believe that someone or rather, most people are better than us.- when in reality, the fact is, most people are more scared than us. You spot a totally eye-catching girl sitting by herself at a party, casually sipping on a glass of Asti Spumanti. You think to yourself, “she looks so perfectly calm and confident.” But if you could read thru her transparent mind, you would see a bunch of clouds of thoughts and you might just be amazed that she’s thinking “are people talking about why I am seated here alone?... Why don’t guys find me attractive? …I don’t like my ankles, they look too skinny… I wish I was as intelligent as my best friend.” We look at a young business entrepreneur and say “Wooh… what else could he ask for?” He stares at himself at the mirror and murmur to himself, “I hate my big eyes… I wonder why my friends won’t talk to me… I hope mom and dad would still work things out.” Isn’t it funny? We look at other people, envy them for looking so outrageously perfect and wish we could trade places with them, while they look at us and thinks of the same thing. We are insecure of other people who themselves are insecure of us. We suffer from low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence and lose hope in self improvement because we are enveloped in quiet desperation. Sometimes, you notice that you have an irritating habit like biting off your finger nails, having a foul mouth, and you – of all people, is the last to know. I have a friend who never gets tired of talking. And in most conversations, she is the only one who seems to be interested in the things she has to say. So all of our other friends tend to avoid the circles whenever she’s around, and she doesn’t notices how badly she became socially handicapped – gradually affecting the people in her environment. One key to self improvement is to LISTEN and TALK to a trusted friend. Find someone who you find comfort in opening up with even the most gentle topics you want to discuss. Ask questions like “do you think I am ill-mannered?”, “Do I always sound so argumentative?”, “Do I talk too loud?”, “Does my breath smell?”, “Do I ever bore you when were together?”. In this way, the other person will obviously know that you are interested in the process of self improvement. Lend her your ears for comments and criticisms and don’t give her answers like “Don’t exaggerate! That’s just the way I am!” Open up your mind and heart as well. And in return, you may want to help your friend with constructive criticism that will also help her improve her self. One of Whitney Houston’s songs says “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.” True enough. In order to love others, you must love yourself too. Remember, you cannot give what you do not have. Before telling other people some ways on how to improve themselves, let them see that you yourself is a representation and a product of self improvement. Self improvement makes us better people, we then inspire other people, and then the rest of the world will follow. Stop thinking of yourselves as second-rate beings. Forget the repetitive thought of “If only I was richer… if only I was thinner” and so on. Accepting your true self is the first step to self improvement. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others only to find out at the end that we’ve got 10 more reasons to envy them. We all have our insecurities. Nobody is perfect. We always wish we had better things, better features, better body parts, etc. But life need not to be perfect for people to be happy about themselves. Self improvement and loving yourself is not a matter of shouting to the whole world that you are perfect and you are the best. It’s the virtue of acceptance and contentment. When we begin to improve ourselves, we then begin to feel contented and happy.
Cute Wooden Handicraft: Make a String of Hearts Everyone loves heart-shaped decorations. This cute wooden handicraft can be hung over a doorway or as part of a wall display. Paint the hearts red, pink, and white, and you will have a decoration for Valentines' Day. Paint them red and green for Christmas, or red, white, and blue to display love for America. You can leave it plain for a natural look. The string of hearts wooden handicraft fits well with country style furnishings. To make the string of hearts, you will need 5 wooden heart cut-outs approximately three inches wide, a drill with an eighth inch bit and a quarter inch bit, a small amount of raffia, two yards of 1 -1/2 inch wide soft ribbon, two large wooden beads, and acrylic paints in the colors you want. The ribbon and the beads should match the color sceme you desire. Plaid ribbons are particularly effective. The string of hearts has five hearts side by side tied together with small raffia bows. The first and last hearts have the wide ribbon strung through a hole on each side and a bead strung on the ribbon. The ribbon is knotted at the very ends, making a loop of ribbon on each end which can fit over a nail for hanging. The first step in making the wooden handicraft is to drill a small hole on each side of the hearts. The two outside holes are made with the quarter inch bit, and the other holes are made with the 1/8 inch bit. Now paint the hearts with the acrylic paint in the colors you desire. Acrylic paints are the small bottles of craft paint that are sold in 2-ounce bottles in a wide variety of colors. They can sometimes be purchased very inexpensively. Tempera paint will work if you can't get acrylic paints. Another idea is to spray paint them, especially if you want to use a metallic color. When the paint is dry, tie the hearts together with the raffia. To do this, cut four 10-inch lengths of raffia. Thread the raffia down into one hole and up through the hole on the next heart so that they lay side by side. The raffia should be tied in a neat bow on the top of the arrangement. Do the same between the rest of the hearts so that all the small raffia bows are on top. Trim the raffia ends if necessary. Through each of the outside holes, thread one of the ribbons. Pull the ribbon through until the ends are even. Thread the large bead over both ends and slip it up close to the heart. Trim the ends of the ribbon decoratively and knot them. Repeat the process on the other side to complete the wooden handicraft. Now hang the string of hearts wherever desired for a cheerful decoration. A wooden handicraft like this makes a nice gift for someone special.
"Relaxing with a Mental PDA" Your 5 minutes daily program to Stress management We all have this favorite expression when it comes to being stressed out, and I wouldn't bother naming all of them since it may also vary in different languages. But when it comes down to it, I think that it is how we work or even relax, for that matter that triggers stress. Ever been stressed even when you're well relaxed and bored? I know I have. Since Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. is unavoidable in life, it is important to find ways to decrease and prevent stressful incidents and decrease negative reactions to stress. Here are some of the things that can be done by just remembering it, since life is basically a routine to follow like brushing your teeth or eating breakfast. You can do a few of them in a longer span of time, but as they say-- every minute counts. Managing time Time management skills can allow you more time with your family and friends and possibly increase your performance and productivity. This will help reduce your stress. To improve your time management: · Save time by focusing and concentrating, delegating, and scheduling time for yourself. · Keep a record of how you spend your time, including work, family, and leisure time. · Prioritize your time by rating tasks by importance and urgency. Redirect your time to those activities that are important and meaningful to you. · Manage your commitments by not over - or undercommitting. Don't commit to what is not important to you. · Deal with procrastination by using a day planner, breaking large projects into smaller ones, and setting short-term deadlines. · Examine your beliefs to reduce conflict between what you believe and what your life is like. Build healthy coping strategies It is important that you identify your coping strategies. One way to do this is by recording the stressful event, your reaction, and how you cope in a stress journal. With this information, you can work to change unhealthy coping strategies into healthy ones-those that help you focus on the positive and what you can change or control in your life. Lifestyle Some behaviors and lifestyle choices affect your stress level. They may not cause stress directly, but they can interfere with the ways your body seeks relief from stress. Try to: · Balance personal, work, and family needs and obligations. · Have a sense of purpose in life. · Get enough sleep, since your body recovers from the stresses of the day while you are sleeping. · Eat a balanced diet for a nutritional defense against stress. · Get moderate exercise throughout the week. · Limit your consumption of alcohol. · Don't smoke. Social support Social support is a major factor in how we experience stress. Social support is the positive support you receive from family, friends, and the community. It is the knowledge that you are cared for, loved, esteemed, and valued. More and more research indicates a strong relationship between social support and better mental and physical health. Changing thinking When an event triggers negative thoughts, you may experience fear, insecurity, anxiety, depression, rage, guilt, and a sense of worthlessness or powerlessness. These emotions trigger the body's stress, just as an actual threat does. Dealing with your negative thoughts and how you see things can help reduce stress. · Thought-stopping helps you stop a negative thought to help eliminate stress. · Disproving irrational thoughts helps you to avoid exaggerating the negative thought, anticipating the worst, and interpreting an event incorrectly. · Problem solving helps you identify all aspects of a stressful event and find ways to deal with it. · Changing your communication style helps you communicate in a way that makes your views known without making others feel put down, hostile, or intimidated. This reduces the stress that comes from poor communication. Use the assertiveness ladder to improve your communication style. Even writers like me can get stressed even though we're just using our hands to do the talking, but having to sit for 7 or 8 hours is already stressful enough and have our own way to relieve stress. Whether you're the mail guy, the CEO, or probably the average working parent, stress is one unwanted visitor you would love to boot out of your homes, especially your life.
"Enlightenment" Your 7 days program to Positive thinking I'm sure you have a bright idea hidden somewhere in the back of your mind that you just can't wait to test out. Of course you're not the only one with the bright idea. So what motivates you to churn those creative, or even inspiring juices to its utmost flavor? It's always best to set up a personal goal where you can accomplish the most in record time, maybe like mowing the lawn in an hour before the big game on TV. A correct and positive attitude in whatever you do will make things easier, and even enjoyable. Here are some tips to make it through the week even if you're just sitting in your favorite couch. An idea takes time to form in your head and is always at work while you are busy sitting. Having a bit of positive thinking can help you realize things that are never thought possible. Thinking big is indeed the American Way and that what made our country prosperous. 1. Take passionate action towards living your life by design. Talk is cheap. Action = deposits in the bank of a passionately authentic future. Without it, passion is void. This is a perfect example where dreams are made of where you start by tinkering with your mind, then with your hands. And if the idea weakens, you can always go back to it later until you finish it. 2mit to yourself as well as those you love to create powerfully a life you can love. Instead of reacting, commit to creating from your heart and soul, out of love rather than fear. The American Dream will always be there, but a dream will still be a dream without motion. Be amazed as the transformation begins. 3. Recognize and embrace the thought that each moment is perfect regardless of its outcome. Every time you hit on something that may appear too extreme, why not give it a shot and see if it will work. You will be surprised to see of there are other ways to get the task done in time. If you are not pleased with the outcome, decide to use that moment to learn from and make the appropriate shift. 4. Dwell completely in a place of gratitude. Learn to utilize what you have in your hands and make use of it in the most constructive way. Slipping into neediness will become less of a habit when you repeatedly shift towards gratitude, away from poverty consciousness. 5. Use a Passion Formula of Recognize/Reevaluate/Restore in place of the Shoulda/Woulda/Coulda whirlwind. The former is based in increased knowledge and abundance while the latter focuses on scarcity and lack. As you face people or tasks that may seem harder than scaling the summit of the Himalayas, allow yourself to realize that the task is just as important as giving out orders to your subordinates. You would rather be richly passionate! 6. Keep humor at the forefront of thought, laughing at and with yourself when possible. You may find yourself quite entertaining when you loosen up! I am yet to see a comedian ever go hungry even though his jokes are as 'old as great-grandma'. Life has so much to offer to allow you to mope around in self pity. Humor is very attractive, very passionate: life-giving. 7. Believe that you are the architect of your destiny. No one can take your passionate future from you except for you! Create your life authentically. As long as there's still breath in your body, there is no end to how much you can accomplish in a lifetime. The concept of thinking big is all about enjoying your work, which would lead to celebrate a discovery that is born within your hands. Watch everything flow into place with perfect, passionate precision. It's interesting how people get wallowed up by something trivial as learning to use a computer, when nowadays that top computer companies are manufacturing software that even the kids can do it. I don't mean to be condescending, but that's the idea of not having any positive thinking in your life-you'll just end up as a dim bulb in a dark corner. So instead of subjecting yourself to what you will be doomed for, make your path by taking the first step with a positive attitude.
"A Better You" Your 7 days program to self-improvement I seem to lost count on how many times I've read and heard of celebrity marriages failing almost left and right. Not that I care (and personally I don't), it seems strange that we often see movie and TV stars as flawless people, living the fairytale life of riches and glamour. I suppose we all have to stop sticking our heads in the clouds and face reality. There are many ways to lose your sense of self-esteem despite of how trivial it could get. But whatever happens, we should all try not to lose our own sense of self. So what does it take to be a cut above the rest? Here are some of the things you can think and improve on that should be enough for a week. 1. Know your purpose Are you wandering through life with little direction - hoping that you'll find happiness, health and prosperity? Identify your life purpose or mission statement and you will have your own unique compass that will lead you to your truth north every time. This may seem tricky at first when you see yourself to be in a tight or even dead end. But there's always that little loophole to turn things around and you can make a big difference to yourself. 2. Know your values What do you value most? Make a list of your top 5 values. Some examples are security, freedom, family, spiritual development, learning. As you set your goals for 2005 - check your goals against your values. If the goal doesn't align with any of your top five values - you may want to reconsider it or revise it. The number shouldn't discourage you, instead it should motivate you to do more than you can ever dreamed of. 3. Know your needs Unmet needs can keep you from living authentically. Take care of yourself. Do you have a need to be acknowledged, to be right, to be in control, to be loved? There are so many people who lived their lives without realizing their dreams and most of them end up being stressed or even depressed for that matter. List your top four needs and get them met before it's too late! 4. Know your passions You know who you are and what you truly enjoy in life. Obstacles like doubt and lack of enthusiasm will only hinder you, but will not derail your chance to become the person you ought to be. Express yourself and honor the people who has inspired you to become the very person you wanted to be. 5. Live from the inside out Increase your awareness of your inner wisdom by regularly reflecting in silencemune with nature. Breathe deeply to quiet your distracted mind. For most of us city slickers it's hard to even find the peace and quiet we want even in our own home. In my case I often just sit in a dimly lit room and play some classical music. There's sound, yes, but music does soothe the savage beast. 6. Honor your strengths What are your positive traits? What special talents do you have? List three - if you get stuck, ask those closest to you to help identify these. Are you imaginative, witty, good with your hands? Find ways to express your authentic self through your strengths. You can increase your self-confidence when you can share what you know to others. 7. Serve others When you live authentically, you may find that you develop an interconnected sense of being. When you are true to who you are, living your purpose and giving of your talents to the world around you, you give back in service what you came to share with others - your spirit - your essence. The rewards for sharing your gift with those close to you is indeed rewarding, much more if it were to be the eyes of a stranger who can appreciate what you have done to them. Self-improvement is indeed one type of work that is worth it. It shouldn't always be within the confines of an office building, or maybe in the four corners of your own room. The difference lies within ourselves and how much we want to change for the better.
"Have One Week, Will Relax" Your 7 days program to Stress management They say there's more than one way to skin a cat. The same goes when you start tearing your hair out with all the frustration, grief, anxiety, and yes, stress. It's a state of mental conditioning that is like taking that bitter pill down your throat, causing you to lose your sense of self, and worse your sanity. Just thinking about it can drive anyone off the edge. And they say that the proactive ones are already living off the edge. As one stressed-out person to another, I know how it feels, and believe me there are many variants when it comes to stress. Coping with life, and carrying the problems that may or may not belong to you can scratch away the little joy and happiness that you can carry once you head out that door. You can't blame them for being like that; they have their own reasons, so much like we have our reasons to allow stress to weigh us down. They say that stress is all in the mind, well, what's bugging you anyway? There are several ways to manage stress, and eventually remove it out of your life one of these days. So I'll try to divide it into a seven-day course for you and I promise it's not going to be too taxing on the body, as well as on the mind. 1. Acknowledge stress is good Make stress your friend! Based on the body's natural "fight or flight" response, that burst of energy will enhance your performance at the right moment. I've yet to see a top sportsman totally relaxed before a big competition. Use stress wisely to push yourself that little bit harder when it counts most. 2. Avoid stress sneezers Stressed people sneeze stress germs indiscriminately and before you know it, you are infected too! Protect yourself by recognizing stress in others and limiting your contact with them. Or if you've got the inclination, play stress doctor and teach them how to better manage themselves. 3. Learn from the best When people around are losing their head, who keeps calm? What are they doing differently? What is their attitude? What language do they use? Are they trained and experienced? Figure it out from afar or sit them down for a chat. Learn from the best stress managers and copy what they do. 4. Practice socially acceptable heavy breathing This is something I've learned from a gym instructor: You can trick your body into relaxing by using heavy breathing. Breathe in slowly for a count of 7 then breathe out for a count of 11. Repeat the 7-11 breathing until your heart rate slows down, your sweaty palms dry off and things start to feel more normal. 5. Give stressy thoughts the red light It is possible to tangle yourself up in a stress knot all by yourself. "If this happens, then that might happen and then we're all up the creek!" Most of these things never happen, so why waste all that energy worrying needlessly? Give stress thought-trains the red light and stop them in their tracks. Okay so it might go wrong - how likely is that, and what can you do to prevent it? 6. Know your trigger points and hot spots Presentations, interviews, meetings, giving difficult feedback, tight deadlines…. My heart rate is cranking up just writing these down! Make your own list of stress trigger points or hot spots. Be specific. Is it only presentations to a certain audience that get you worked up? Does one project cause more stress than another? Did you drink too much coffee? Knowing what causes you stress is powerful information, as you can take action to make it less stressful. Do you need to learn some new skills? Do you need extra resources? Do you need to switch to decaf? 7. Burn the candle at one end Lack of sleep, poor diet and no exercise wreaks havoc on our body and mind. Kind of obvious, but worth mentioning as it's often ignored as a stress management technique. Listen to your mother and don't burn the candle at both ends! So having stress can be a total drag, but that should not hinder us to find the inner peace of mind that we have wanted for a long time. In any case, one could always go to the Bahamas and bask under the summer sun.
Life Mapping: A Vision of Success Success is more than economic gains, titles, and degrees. Planning for success is about mapping out all the aspects of your life. Similar to a map, you need to define the following details: origin, destination, vehicle, backpack, landmarks, and route. Origin: Who you are A map has a starting point. Your origin is who you are right now. Most people when asked to introduce themselves would say, “Hi, I’m Jean and I am a 17-year old, senior highschool student.” It does not tell you about who Jean is; it only tells you her present preoccupation. To gain insights about yourself, you need to look closely at your beliefs, values, and principles aside from your economic, professional, cultural, and civil status. Moreover, you can also reflect on your experiences to give you insights on your good and not-so-good traits, skills, knowledge, strengths, and weaknesses. Upon introspection, Jean realized that she was highly motivated, generous, service-oriented, but impatient. Her inclination was in the biological-medical field. Furthermore, she believed that life must serve a purpose, and that wars were destructive to human dignity. Destination: A vision of who you want to be “Who do want to be?” this is your vision. Now it is important that you know yourself so that you would have a clearer idea of who you want to be; and the things you want to change whether they are attitudes, habits, or points of view. If you hardly know yourself, then your vision and targets for the future would also be unclear. Your destination should cover all the aspects of your being: the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. Continuing Jean’s story, after she defined her beliefs, values, and principles in life, she decided that she wanted to have a life dedicated in serving her fellowmen. Vehicle: Your Mission A vehicle is the means by which you can reach your destination. It can be analogized to your mission or vocation in life. To a great extent, your mission would depend on what you know about yourself. Bases on Jean’s self-assessment, she decided that she was suited to become a doctor, and that she wanted to become one. Her chosen vocation was a medical doctor. Describing her vision-mission fully: it was to live a life dedicated to serving her fellowmen as a doctor in conflict-areas. Travel Bag: Your knowledge, skills, and attitude Food, drinks, medicines, and other travelling necessities are contained in a bag. Applying this concept to your life map, you also bring with you certain knowledge, skills, and attitudes. These determine your competence and help you in attaining your vision. Given such, there is a need for you to assess what knowledge, skills, and attitudes you have at present and what you need to gain along the way. This two-fold assessment will give you insights on your landmarks or measures of success. Jean realized that she needed to gain professional knowledge and skills on medicine so that she could become a doctor. She knew that she was a bit impatient with people so she realized that this was something she wanted to change. Landmarks and Route: S. M.A. R.T. objectives Landmarks confirm if you are on the right track while the route determines the travel time. Thus, in planning out your life, you also need to have landmarks and a route. These landmarks are your measures of success. These measures must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound. Thus you cannot set two major landmarks such as earning a master’s degree and a doctorate degree within a period of three years, since the minimum number of years to complete a master’s degree is two years. Going back to Jean as an example, she identified the following landmarks in her life map: completing a bachelor’s degree in biology by the age of 21; completing medicine by the age of 27; earning her specialization in infectious diseases by the age of 30; getting deployed in local public hospitals of their town by the age of 32; and serving as doctor in war-torn areas by the age of 35. Anticipate Turns, Detours, and Potholes The purpose of your life map is to minimize hasty and spur-of-the-moment decisions that can make you lose your way. But oftentimes our plans are modified along the way due to some inconveniences, delays, and other situations beyond our control. Like in any path, there are turns, detours, and potholes thus; we must anticipate them and adjust accordingly.
Understanding Zoloft Depression Better Always feeling under the weather? Always not in the mood to be around others and have a good time? If you’re suffering from prolonged sadness for quite some time now, you should face these bouts of depression and get yourself diagnosed by a psychiatrist, they’re doctors who can actually help you out with your problem. Also, with the introduction of Zoloft depression, the number one, most-prescribed medicine for depression treatment, the problems concerning depression can easily be gone. Depression or prolonged sadness is actually quite common in the United States, around 9.5 percent of the American population actually suffer from this illness, however, not all of them get to be treated, thus, depression and its ill-effects continue to be a burden to some individuals. This illness may seem quite simple to treat but in reality, it takes more than a little cheering up to actually cure depression. Constant visits to a cognitive behavior therapist is a must as well as taking all the prescribed medicines that the doctor will ask the patient to take – none of these exactly come cheap, but the amount of suffering that a person is going through because of depression is enough reason already for others to start taking notice and face depression head on. Here’s where Zoloft depression actually steps in, proven to be a safe and very effective treatment for various types of depression as well as anxiety, Zoloft depression has actually been around for around 12 years. Patients have been proven to respond well to treatments from Zoloft depression while doctors favor Zoloft depression’s availability in various strengths, this way, someone who’s suffering from depression doesn’t have to settle for something else just cause they don’t have the right dosage available, with Zoloft depression, it’s hard to not get the right dosage for you. In a nutshell, Zoloft depression is actually a type of antidepressant which is known to people as “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor” or SSRI. It’s well-known to be a good treatment for patients over the age of eighteen that are being treated for the following: depression, posttraumatic disorder or PTSD, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD and obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD. Some commonly asked questions about Zoloft depression are the following: How long does it take before the effect of Zoloft depression actually kicks in? How important is it to follow the doctor’s prescription for Zoloft depression? To be frank, Zoloft depression is actually not for everyone, those patients who are taking pimozide or MAOIs are strictly discouraged from using Zoloft depression. Various side effects can stem from actually using Zoloft depression such as: diarrhea, nausea, sleepiness/insomnia, dry mouth and sexual side effects. Although according to studies, a lot of people actually didn’t care about the side effects and still opted to continue on taking Zoloft depression. Some good points to consider though is that Zoloft depression is actually in no way addicting unlike other medication and it is not in any way, can be associated with weight gain. Since Zoloft depression actually comes in various dosages (25mg, 50mg and 100mg tablets), it is definitely best to consult your doctor first before taking any Zoloft depression tablet. This is one of the main reasons why Zoloft depression was actually created in various dosages, since each person is unique, one’s need for Zoloft depression may actually differ from the other and that is why we need professional doctors to assess how much or how little of Zoloft depression does one actually need. Self medication has always been a problem of doctors since their patients usually just end up in worse state than usual whenever they self-medicate and conduct their own diagnosis. Depending on a person’s body makeup or ability to respond to treatments as well as one’s willingness to actually help him or herself get better, the effects of Zoloft depression can be felt in as early as 2 weeks, just continue on following the doctors prescriptions as well as showing up for every therapy session, Zoloft depression will seriously work for you.
Cheap Car Rental In today’s world of competitive marketing and cutthroat competition, a customer can’t really predict whether the deal he/she is closing will benefit her or not, most of the time most, consumers, just go on with the deal just to avoid all the hassle of inquiring for more economic alternatives, or discounts. This also applies to car rentals, nowadays, it’s hard to call anything a cheap car rental, with the inflation rate of products, continuing gas price increase it’s hard to keep product prices down, so here are a few tips to keep your car rentals cheap, even if every other factor is making it expensive. 1.Reserve your cheap car rental internet sites instead of over the counter ones. Internet sites, offer internet only discounts which could very beneficial for you, cheap car rentals can be achieved by being witty, put discounts like these to your advantage and you’re sure to save a lot. 2.One way to get cheap car rentals is to try to get the most out of your rental. Most car rentals require you to fill the tank when you return it, so on your way to returning the rented car, fill it up with the cheapest type of gas you could find, you’ll save more than when they make you pay for the gas at an inflated rate. 3.If you can, always rent at only one Car Company, companies give you cheap car rentals for frequently renting their cars, discounts, coupons and sometimes even miles. 4.Ask the car rentals if you can exchange your flyers miles for car rental miles. This is especially useful when your flyer’s miles is about to expire, instead of just letting it go to waste, get a cheap car rental for it. 5.For a cheap car rental, try to make reservations as early as possible, car rental; companies give discounts for customers who reserve early. 6.To get your rental cheaper, pick up your car early in the morning, just as the shop is opening, so that there will be a shortage on the cheap car rentals, at this point, the renters may give you a free or a marked down upgrade. 7.Look for packages like hotels and rental packages or if you want a cheaper car rental find a package that includes air fare, car rental and hotel stay, these packages give you great discounts on all three, so if you’re planning to do all, I suggest you get a package deal to get the most out of your money. 8.To get a cheap car rental at your own, price, find rent-at-your-own-price internet sites that look for the best possible deal with the budget that you’ve given them, but be careful with this, review the company’s history first before you get into it, or make sure that there are no other cheaper means before you close the deal, remember, once you make a reservation, you can’t cancel it. 9.If you’re going to use the car for more than five days try to find weekly rates from car rentals, with weekly rates, the sixth and seventh day are almost always discounted, so look for this when you’re out for a cheap car rental. 10.Instead of picking up your rental at the airport, save money by picking it up at the shop, this’ll reduce airport surcharges.
Choosing a Credit Card In the UK Credit card companies are all over the world and so are credit cards. Some of the credit card companies only offer cards to a specific country or region that they are in. If you live in the UK, then you might need some information about credit cards that are available for you. Credit cards that you get in the UK are not any different from any other credit cards. The credit card companies offer special incentives to get customers like 0% APR for a specific time period, no annual fees, and you may even be able to apply for the credit cards online. Many credit card companies based in the UK do not give their cards to consumers in other countries due to security reasons. However, if you live in the UK, then there are many companies that are sure to let you fill out an application to receive their specific credit card. There are many companies that encourage you to apply online. They overwhelm you with ads, promising a 60 second approval. Credit card use in the UK can cause financial problems just as it does all over the world. People in the UK owe tens of billions of pounds in credit card debt at an interest rate of over 16% and this figure keeps getting higher and higher. Debts over 2500 pounds are common to ten percent of the people in UK and combined with high interest rates, this figure is near impossible to get to come down. There are some benefits to having a credit card that a great many UK consumers find appealing. Some of the credit card companies offer cash back with purchases, air miles, travel insurance, and insurance for your purchases. A credit card looks good to many UK consumers, especially when you add in the discount vouchers. When you decide to apply for a credit card, you should research all of your choices to find the one that is best for you. Once you receive it, you need to be careful in using it or you could find yourself in a financial mess. If you use your credit card wisely, then you will find that it will make your life easier, no matter what country you live in.
1. All About Rudolph and Santa's Other Reindeers Maybe it's the undeniable alliterative appeal of Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer that makes him the most known or popular of all Santa's nine flying reindeers. It certainly doesn't seem as easy to come up with a similar catchy description for the others - Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen - as named in the song. The story of Rudolph whose glowing red nose made him a standout, first appeared in 1939 when Montgomery Ward department stores distributed about 2.4 million booklets with the poem in the form of a story about "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." It was written by Robert L. May, who worked in the store's advertisement or marketing department, to be used to attract more people into the store. When the booklet was reissued in 1939, sales soared to more than 3.5 million copies. But it wasn't until a decade later, in 1949, that the story really gained immense popularity when Gene Autry sang a musical version of the fable. As a Christmas song, it is second only in popularity to 'White Christmas.' Rudolph, the ninth reindeer whose lighted nose guides Santa's sleigh through the night, is now known worldwide as the song has been translated into more than 20 different languages and an animated television movie has also been based on the story. Rudolph and his noticeable nose have also become the subject of jokes and sparked more interest in reindeers which has led to much research into Santa and the flying reindeers who pull his sleigh through the sky. Along with the catchy rhythm of the lyrics, Rudolph's story is also appealing because of the moral lessons it contains. As the story goes, Rudolph was ostracized by the other reindeers, which laughed and teased him about his shiny red nose. But on a foggy night, when Santa must have been concerned that he may not be able to deliver his Christmas gifts around the world, Santa spotted him and kindly asked if he would step to the front as the leader to 'guide my sleigh tonight.' His shiny red nose would after all be very useful in lighting the way, Santa thought. From then on 'all of the other reindeers loved him," and rightly predicted that he 'would go down in history.' Among the moral lessons the story can impart is that an attribute that is perceived as negative or as a liability can be used for a positive purpose, or, become an asset. It also makes the point that an individual should not let the negative behavior of others define him or her and limit expectations of what can be achieved. And it also illustrates how quickly opinions and attitudes about a person can change. The question still lingers however of where Rudolph came from. He is commonly regarded as the son of Donner (or Donder), one of the original eight reindeers. But the Snopes site rejects this however, saying that he dwelled in a reindeer village elsewhere and it was there that he was seen by Santa who had already started on his Christmas Eve journey to deliver gifts. And in a more modern evolution of the story according to Wikipedia, an animation by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) introduced a son, named Robbie, of Rudolph. That son has now become the tenth reindeer. It's also interesting to note that the idea of Santa's sleigh being pulled by reindeers was originated in the poem, 'Twas The Night Before Christmas.' That poem tells the story of St. Nicholas, who is Santa, calling his eight tiny reindeers by their names, as previously mentioned, just before he came down the chimney of a house to start filling the stockings from a sack full of toys he carried on his back.
2. Eating Heartily but Consciously During Christmas Season During the Christmas season, summer and its body-conscious state of mind are distant memories. Hearty indulgence in the many foods shared at Christmas therefore doesn't produce the same feelings of guilt. Nevertheless, its not a pleasant thought to start the New Year carrying any extra pounds. So why then eat yourself into a resolution to 'take off a few extra pounds' if you can smartly avoid it? Whether it's sharing cookies and candies at work, or having an evening out at a party or dinner, you can have Christmas food and enjoy it. While you seem to be eating heartily with a smile, the key is to have a secret strategy of moderation. It involves sticking to a plan that can be called 'Eating on a Budget.' 'Eating on a Budget' is not about the cost of what is eaten, but about the quantity of what is eaten. It is important that a 'budget' or eating in moderation plan is developed because it is almost impossible to avoid exposure to a lot of cookies, candies and other sweets at Christmas. At work, you may risk appearing like the Grinch who stole Christmas if your response will always be something like, 'Uh..no..bah humbug' all the time that some Christmas goodies are offered. It will seem as if you aren't in the spirit of the holidays especially since at that time of year everyone is usually in a festive and more relaxed mood, and the pace at work is usually slower. A practical way to partake in Christmas goodies, for example, is to substitute some holiday cookies for say the bagel that you usually have with breakfast or for a mid-morning snack. And instead of just taking one cookie, from the platter, which is noticeable and likely will encourage a colleague to tell you to have more, take three instead. That's where the plan can come into play. You can then enjoy the cookies over two or more hours, because nobody will be watching how you really eat. You can always have a few candies, one cookie or a cookie and a half by your desk and that way it will seem as if you are heartily enjoying the holiday treats. Another strategy is to bring - bake or buy - low calorie Christmas cookies and candies to work to counteract others that are being offered. Since eating healthy is highly encouraged, health-conscious cookies will not be looked down upon so long as they taste great. A box of sugar-free Christmas chocolate candies for example will look just as delightful as regular chocolate candies. It's interesting to note that in a poll sponsored by the National Confectioners Association in 2004, chocolate was the favorite food gift that Americans said they preferred to receive for the holidays. The lowly and much maligned fruit cake was last on the list. The second favorite holiday food gift was a fruit basket and a plate of cookies was third on the list, according to the Association. For an occasion such as a Christmas party or a dinner, including Christmas Dinner, where larger quantities and selection of food is available, the 'Eating on a Budget' plan means that serving portions and the choice of food selected should be carefully watched. At a party where more desserts and sweets are likely to be available, a few of the selections can be sampled. If the urge to try everything can't be resisted, then do so, but then second helpings have to be severely limited. The same is somewhat true for Christmas Dinners. One big difference is that the food served during Christmas Dinner will be heavier, so by selecting portions wisely, one can always say truthfully that the stomach is full. And indeed, after a sumptuous Holiday Dinner, your body is likely to be full from food and your soul full of joy from sharing another memorable holiday tradition with family, friends and loved ones.
3. Fancy Tales Related to Christmas A lot of what is widely regarded as true about Christmas or held as a tradition cannot or has not been verified, or, has changed through the years. Even Christmas Day itself, Dec. 25, has been questioned about whether that is the exact day on which Jesus was born. Skeptics have asked why would shepherds be out in the cold watching their flocks by night during the winter. Those skeptics have put forward the thought that Jesus may really have been born in the spring instead. It is therefore little wonder that there are many fancy stories and tales that are told about Christmas and the Christmas season. The most common fancy tale that everyone tells, particularly to children, is about Santa Claus, also called St. Nicholas. But even if it were accepted that Santa Claus existed, where does he live and how is he able to get to all the houses of good boys and girls on Christmas Eve? In the United States, Santa Claus is said to have two homes. There is a home in Torrington, Connecticut, which is used as a distribution point for Santa and his many helpers, who are elves, to hand out gifts. And then, a second home is said to be located in Wilmington, New York, and that is where Santa Claus and his delivery reindeer crew are located. But Santa can be visited in Cyberspace at anytime and what about the widely held belief that Santa Claus really lives in a village at the North Pole? The people of Finland also claim that their country is the official residence of Santa Claus. That's because in Finland, you can actually visit a village any time during the year and see Santa's workshop and observe Santa and his elves hard at work as they prepare for their very important Christmas gift delivery job on Christmas Eve. The only day when Santa's workshop is closed to visitors is of course, on Christmas Eve. Maybe a very smart visitor could visit Santa's workshop on the day before Christmas Eve to see if there are any clues to how Santa and his reindeers plan to make their trip the next day. That's because as the tale goes, in Finland Santa Claus and his reindeers do not reach their destinations around the globe by flying. Finland welcomes visitors to Santa's workshop but there is nothing said about whether visitors actually have any chance of having a word with the man himself. While the chances of doing so are believed to be non-existent, among the questions that inquiring minds could ask Santa is whether Rudolph is the son of Donner (and to confirm the spelling - Donner or Donder) or whether Santa spotted him in a different reindeer village one foggy Christmas Eve when he had already started on his Christmas toy-delivery mission. If mere mortals got a chance to question Santa, then he also would likely have some questions for us humans. He may want to know whose idea was it to have Christmas trees and for the gifts to be placed under them. The tradition of Christmas tree as it exists today comes from Germany by way of immigrants. But it isn't clear how the tradition really gained a foothold in Germany. One story is that Christians in Germany during the 16th century started to bring trees that were decorated into their homes. Some of those Christians would build pyramids for Christmas. The pyramids were made of wood and would be decorated with evergreens and candles if wood was in short supply. It is however Martin Luther, a Protestant reformer, who is said to have been the first to add lighted candles as decoration to a tree based on his inspiration from the brilliant light of twinkling stars that shone through evergreen trees as he walked home one winter evening. As the legend goes, Martin Luther placed a tree in a primary room of his house and placed wires with small, lighted candles around the branches of the tree. And that is how, as the tale goes, the Christmas tree as known today, was started.
4. Asides - Interesting Facts/ Notes About Christmas It is an accepted fact that the Christmas tree tradition is one that was brought to the shores of America by German immigrants who continued a practice that was popular in their former homeland. Today, a Christmas tree, even a miniature one, is present in just about every home at Christmas. It is therefore interesting to note some little-know facts about the Christmas Tree and other traditions related to Christmas. The first interesting fact is the source of real Christmas Trees for some Americans. These can be bought at a Christmas Tree Farm or at many local stores and other places of business in just about every town and city across the country around Christmas time. But according to the National Christmas Tree Association, Americans buy about 330,000 Christmas trees that are real through e-commerce or from a catalogue and have them shipped by mail-order. The scent of real Christmas trees is the reason they are so popular. But as they stand silently in their decorative wonder, they also are providing another benefit. The Christmas Tree Association says the amount of oxygen produced on a daily basis by one acre of Christmas tree is enough to provide enough oxygen for 18 people. And during the first week, a Christmas Tree at home will use up to one quart of water each day to help retain its longevity for the many days of Christmas. Since Christmas celebrations gained popularity in America, the Christmas Tree has always been a big tradition. During the 1950s however, artificial Christmas trees were not always green. It was very popular during those times to have artificial trees with other colors such as silver, pink and aqua. The appeal in having these colored Christmas trees may have been due to the fact that they looked shiny and bright and appeared like tinsel instead of green foliage. An important ceremony related to the Christmas tree that gains national attention during the Christmas season is the lighting of the National Christmas Tree at the White House. This tradition can be credited to President Calvin Coolidge who lit the first decorated Christmas tree outside at the White House in 1923. The lighting of the National Christmas Tree has also been used to convey some symbolic meaning not related to Christmas. It was not lighted until Dec. 22 in 1963 because of a national mourning period of 30 days for the assassination of President Kennedy. And while Teddy Roosevelt was President he gave an order that banned the Christmas tree from the White House, not for the assassination of President McKinley in 1901, which caused him to become president, but for reasons related to the environment. Also of note is that when the National Christmas Tree was lighted on Dec. 13 in 1984, temperatures were in the 70s during an unusually warm December. Christmas has been celebrated in the United States since the 1600s although it wasn't always very popular. It took more than two centuries into the mid-late 1860s for Christmas to become a popular holiday season all across America. So maybe the rest of the country owes the holiday of Christmas Day to the state of Alabama, which in 1836 became the first state to declare Dec. 25 a legal holiday. It is interesting to note that on Christmas Day of 1789 Congress was in session. And to show how far ahead of the game Alabama was, it wasn't until June 26, 1870 that the federal government declared Christmas as a federal holiday. Although Christmas is based on the Christian religion, not all Christian groups celebrate the season. Among the Christian groups who do not celebrate Christmas and related traditions such as sending greeting cards are Jehovah Witnesses. Jehovah Witnesses and other non-participating Christian groups say Christmas isn't specifically mentioned in the Bible as a time or reason to celebrate and since they strictly adhere to the word of the Bible, they refuse to celebrate Christmas.
5. Have a Chic Christmas - All About Style and Fashion for the Holidays In New York, a style capital of the world, black is always a chic and fashionable selection. That's even more so in the Fall and Winter seasons when dark colors are favored. But even the fashionistas who like somber colors add a bit of sparkle and cheer to Christmas and holiday clothing with some color, usually magnificent red. Dominant colors at Christmas are red, black and white and a red scarf, or a white one, is a must-have accessory. Holiday-themed apparel with snowflakes, candy canes, stars, Christmas trees, are also popular during the season. Along with being colorful, they also convey the message that the person is fully embracing the spirit of the season and is in a festive mood. When individuals wear holiday-themed apparel, they are therefore radiating a positive attitude and giving the signal that it is pleasant to be around them. After all, nobody wants to be around the 'grumpy bah-humbug' type of personalities during the Christmas season. Holiday-themed jewelry also works well as accessories. These can add that little sparkle to an outfit that makes it stand out in an admirable way. Holiday-themed jewelry is also perfect for those individuals who simply want to show a touch of the holiday spirit without having to actually wear holiday- themed apparel because it maybe too different from the conservative style of their wardrobe. It is necessary to add some sparkle to apparel during the Christmas season and current style trends of having jewel-engraved or embroidered tops play well for the Christmas season. They will allow the wearer to look festive in a very understated but elegant way. Fall popular styles will also undoubtedly be a fashionable way to dress for the holidays. Based on the Fall Fashion Shows in New York, there are five basic outfits that stylists say should be in the wardrobe of all women. They are: the Tunic, Winter Short - which is cut just above the knee - the Vest, Pencil Skirt and the Super-wide pant. The vest can be a dressy one with embroidery or other adornments, or it can be more minimal based on the overall outfit. The Winter Short and Pencil Skirt can easily convert from working outfit to party wear with the right accessory, making them perfect to wear to an early evening Christmas or holiday party. A variation from the Pencil Skirt is the Pencil dress. This too is likely to be popular for Christmas as it can be easily accessorized with a broad belt, which is one of the accessories that top fashion advisers say is a 'must-have' accessory for the Fall. The Tunic and Super-wide pant are also liked for Christmas and the Holiday season because they are very flexible in how they can be paired with other garments. Another fall fashion staple are Knit Sweaters - oversized and as tunics. They will also work well with black tights and leggings, which has made a comeback in leg wear. Leggings can be worn under skirts or dresses. Very slim leggings can also be worn simply in place of pants, worn with a jacket or again, with an oversized knit sweater. Using the basic colors of red, white and black that are popular during Christmas and the holidays, colored leggings will definitely add a nice touch of style to outfits and make them seem perfect for the Christmas and holiday season. It is also good that dresses are once more welcomed among the fashionable. And the red dress for Fall fits well into Christmas and the holiday season. The latest in jeans, which is a mainstay in everyone's wardrobe and suitable to wear at all times including during Christmas and the holidays, is that a skinny fit is in. And if ultra-skinny is not very complimentary to your body shape, you can still get one of the newer types of jeans that are said to have a lot more stretch, giving a 360-degree or all-around wrap to the body for a perfect or near perfect fit. And since Christmas is the season to be happy and cheery, the truly jolly can always top off their Christmas outfit with a cone-shaped, red and white Santa hat.