1.Avoid peak seasons. Chances are, rental costs for a banquet hall on a weekday in October will be far less expensive than on a Saturday in June. The right timing can save you as much as 20 percent in costs.
2.Pare down your guest list. Limiting your guest list to those who receive holiday cards from you every year, for instance, means that you can focus on the quality of your reception, not the quantity.
3.Visualize everything you want, then substitute less-expensive meats (chicken instead of beef, for example) and seasonal vegetables for each dish.
4.Select dishes that require minimal preparation yet still impress - a simple melon and prosciutto is an elegant option.
5.Serve fewer courses and limit individual choices. For instance, you can forgo the appetizer and serve the wedding cake as the dessert.
6.Try to purchase your wine at a bulk rate from a source other than your caterer. Although you may be charged a service fee, it's probably less expensive than buying through the caterer. If the caterers resist, tell them it was a gift.
7.Look to the richness of your family heritage for assistance. How about using your parents' Champagne flutes or your great-grandparents' cake topper? Not only do these save you money, but they add sentiment to your reception as well.
8.Set your own tables. Enlist a small group of family members to help you out before the event.
9.Hire your own servers. You may be able to round up some capable college kids for less than the professionals charge.
Consider the great outdoors. Reserve space at the village green or a public park, and dress up picnic tables with beautiful tablecloths, silverware, candles and bottles of Champagne.
Cross the border with a Mexican, Italian, Chinese or Greek feast. You'll save money and set the party in motion with a festive atmosphere.
Go potluck; this gets everyone participating in your special day.
Cater your own dinner. Ask a friend or family member who loves to cook to organize the meal. This works best with a small wedding.
Use Points on the Abdomen to Relieve Diarrhea
1.Relieve diarrhea and intestinal cramping with the point just below the arch of the rib cage midway between the nipple line and the breastbone. Place your fingertips along the arch of the ribs with your index finger next to the tip of your breastbone. Press inward with your middle finger. ( Image a., Image b.)
2.Get relief from chronic diarrhea and strengthen your abdomen by applying firm pressure to the point located two finger-widths below your belly button on the midline of your abdomen. Pump this point gently as you apply pressure and continue for at least two minutes to achieve toning effects. ( Image c.) click photos to enlarge
3.Aid digestion and alleviate diarrhea by pressing the point on the muscle between the two bones on the outer lower leg four finger-widths below the kneecap. Apply firm pressure and hold for one or two minutes to receive maximum benefit of this point. ( Image c.)
4.Cross one ankle over the opposite knee. Use the pad of your thumb to press the point on the inner arch one finger-width behind the ball of your foot and ease your stomachache, quell nausea and alleviate diarrhea.
5.Relieve diarrhea, nausea and headache using the point at the web between your big toe and second toe. Apply firm pressure toward the base of your big toe. click photos to enlarge
Stimulate these points three or four times a day when symptoms of diarrhea are present to get the maximum effect.
A diet high in protein, low in carbohydrates and low in fiber will help to rebalance your digestive system and alleviate diarrhea.
Take acidophilus to replace the bacteria that normally reside in your intestines to fight infection and maintain balance. Antibiotics destroy these bacteria, leaving the intestinal tract vulnerable to viral and bacterial infection.
Essential oils that soothe and calm the nerves are valuable in treating diarrhea. Use Neroli oil, marjoram and melissa for their anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial and anti-viral, and calming properties.
If you have chronic diarrhea, seek specialized testing to isolate the cause and determine appropriate treatment. Chronic diarrhea can have many causes, including bacterial infection, viral infection, parasite invasion, reaction to antibiotics, food allergies, and stress.
When you have diarrhea be sure to drink plenty of fluids - at least six 8-ounce glasses per day - to prevent dehydration.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact a physician or other healthcare professional before engaging in any activity related to health and diet. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.
1.Understand that anti-seizure treatment is usually started with a single drug.
2.Expect that that single drug dosage will be increased in both amount and frequency, depending on possible side effects.
3.Be prepared to have blood drawn that will measure the available levels of anti-seizure medicine circulating in your system.
4.Know that it may be necessary to change drugs if the first drug does not control seizures.
5.Understand that phenytoin is one of the drugs of choice to treat generalized or partial seizures. Side effects include drowsiness, difficulty walking, visual problems and hirsutism (excessive hair growth).
6.Consider that carbamazine is often used to treat generalized and partial seizures. Side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, unsteadiness, nausea and vomiting.
7.Expect your doctor to try valproate for generalized or partial seizures. Side effects include nausea and vomiting, weight gain and hair loss.
8.Anticipate that your doctor might prescribe phenobarbital. Side effects include irritability, double vision and unsteadiness.
9.Be treated with diazepam for severe, unrelenting seizure activity.
1..Do intensive research of available anti-convulsant medications by checking the Related Sites.
Anti-seizure drugs need to be taken daily to maintain therapeutic levels.
Never stop taking your anti-seizure medicine abruptly. Sudden withdrawal may cause seizures.
Carry a personal ID card that tells the name of the anti-seizure medication you are taking. Steps:
1.Talk to your pharmacist. They have lots of information on all kinds of medications.
2.Read the package label and follow directions carefully.
3.Understand that antihistamines offer some relief, but do not cure allergies.
4.Take an antihistamine ahead of time for maximum benefit. For example, if you are planning an outdoor picnic and the pollen count is high, take the medicine an hour before you plan to be outdoors.
5.Take the minimal dose necessary to counteract symptoms.
6.Buy a single antihistamine drug, not a combination product.
7.Avoid antihistamines if you are pregnant or lactating, or have glaucoma, enlarged prostate or chronic respiratory disease. Do not give antihistamines to children under 12.
8.Take antihistamines with plenty of water.
9.Swallow each pill whole, especially time-released tablets. Don't divide or chew them.
Tips: Some antihistamines do not completely dissolve, and you may see bits of them in your stool.
Never take an antihistamine if you have alcohol in your system.
Never drive or operate machinery, even a lawn mower, with antihistamines in your system.
Don't use antihistamines if you are taking diazepam, Phenobarbital or MAO antidepressants.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact a physician or other health care professional before engaging in any activity related to health and diet. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.
1.Collect all the Christmas catalogs you receive in the mail until you have a nice, varied stack of at least 10 (catalogs from museums and toy stores are the best). During December this should only take a few days.
2.Cut a couple of large (at least 18 inches high) Christmas trees out of green construction paper or lightweight poster board. You can print out a tree outline from almost any computer graphics software.
3.Give your children the catalogs, trees, a pair of scissors and a glue stick.
4.Tell your children to cut out pictures of all the images they like or think are pretty (such as toys or ornaments) and "decorate" the trees with them. The children can either cut out individual items and glue them on like ornaments or cover the entire tree with pictures and trim off any bits that stick out.
5.Buy a package of small metallic star stickers for your child to add on last to give the tree a "lighted" effect.
6.Have the children sign and date the backs of the trees when they're done.
7.Laminate the trees to preserve them and hang them on the wall.
All glue sticks are not created equal. Try to find the "craft bond" kind made for gluing paper.
You can also cut out several smaller trees and have your child decorate each one for a relative. If Grandma loves cats, your child can cut out all the neat cat gifts pictured in the catalogs and glue them to the tree.
Adults can also indulge – cut out all the wonderful ornaments you could never afford and decorate your own "dream tree" with them.
Warnings: If you have more than one child, you may want to collect catalogs for a longer period of time or borrow a few from a friend so that your kids don't fight over who gets the best ones. Steps:
1.Determine where you want your luminaries to go, remembering that they're most often used to line driveways or walkways.
2.Measure the length of the area and multiply by 2, as you'll need luminaries on both sides of the path.
3.Determine how many green, lunch bag-size bags you'll need, and purchase them. (Luminaries are usually spaced between 6 inches and 2 feet apart. The bags are available at most craft and paper stores and range in price from about 15 cents to 35 cents each.)
4.Purchase a small votive candle for each bag, as well as enough sand to weigh the bags down. Each bag should have about a 2-inch base of sand – about 2 cups for lunch-size bags.
5.Trace a cookie cutter in the shape of a Christmas tree onto poster board to make a Christmas tree stencil.
6.Cut Christmas tree shapes out of each bag using your stencil and an X-Acto knife or utility blade. (Be sure to place a piece of poster board under the bag to protect the surface of the table or countertop while cutting.)
7.Fill each bag with about 2 cups of sand and line along the pathway.
8.Twist a votive candle into the sand in the middle of each bag, making sure that it's secure.
9.As dusk falls, light each candle for a striking holiday glow.
Some crafts experts recommend placing the votive candles in glass holders inside the bags, although this isn't necessary.
Burning approximately 4 hours per evening, each votive candle should last about four days.
Craft stores sell plastic or ceramic luminaries, if you're looking for something a little more permanent.
Regular brown lunch bags can be spray painted green if you can't find green bags at your craft or paper store.
Practice fire safety. Don't place luminaries in areas where they could spread fire if accidentally knocked over.
Luminaries are best used in dry areas of the country and can be used only temporarily in wetter regions, where snow or rain will destroy the bags.
1.Prepare for a career as an occupational therapist (OT) by taking as many psychology, sociology, human development, anatomy, physics and anthropology classes as possible during high school and college.
2.Volunteer anywhere you can work with a registered OT helping children with special needs, senior citizens and even the homeless. Learn to work with all walks of life and to be understanding and tolerant of differences and diversity.
3.Look for a part-time job at a nearby hospital to gain additional experience. Any job where you will be helping to move patients will relate to your practical coursework in OT.
4.Shadow a practicing OT for a day or two before you get into any program to make sure the career is something that really interests you. OTs are usually resourceful self-starters with excellent communication skills, high ethical standards and a desire to help people.
5.Be proactive about your education and don't assume you can get it all out of a book. Take part in sports, band or art classes; studying the way people move, work and live can help you be more creative about finding solutions in your OT career.
6.Choose an accredited program. In the United States, you must receive a bachelor's of science degree in OT before you are eligible to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and become a registered OT (OTR).
7.Decide what kind of working environment you want. OTs can be found everywhere, from high-stress hospital settings to the relaxed country doctor's office.
Minor in a related area like kinesiology or biology to make yourself more marketable to employers upon graduation.
Contact the American Occupational Therapists Association (AOTA) for a list of accredited OT programs. You can write to the association at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Bethesda, MD 20824, or visit its Web site (see Related Sites).
Don't assume that just because it is called occupational therapy it always relates to someone's job. Most OTs deal more with health and living issues, like helping someone with one leg learn to walk with a prosthetic.
Be prepared for the physical part of this job. OTs are often required to do some heavy lifting in the course of a normal day.
1.Match the bag to your sailor's needs. Day sailors in warm climates might not own foul weather gear. There's no need to buy a huge bag if the person doesn't need to carry a lot of stuff.
2.Check the construction. Look for sturdy sewing such as Xs sewn into the spots where straps attach to other parts of the bag. Tug on seams to see if they separate.
3.Examine materials. A gear bag should be waterproof - you can usually see waterproofing material by looking into the bag's main compartment.
4.Select a bag with multiple compartments. It's always necessary to separate some of your gear.
5.Choose the right color. Once upon a time, sailor's duffel bags only came in basic red and blue. Now there are many choices.
Tips: Look for features like removable shoulder straps and padded handles to distinguish an average gear bag from a better one.
1.Consult your hair stylist and discuss your plans to dye away your grays. Get suggestions on at-home products, natural versus chemical treatments, and after-treatment hair care.
2.Consider how much of your hair is gray.
3.Use a semi-permanent or vegetable dye if your hair is close to 20 percent gray. Color will begin to fade after about a week's worth of washing, so weekend maintenance is required. Opt for longer-lasting, semi-permanent colors if you're up to 50 percent gray; they'll last closer to three weeks.
4.Use a permanent dye if most of your locks have made the change.
5.Look for colors that closely match the natural shade of your hair. Consider a shade darker than your natural color if you're mostly gray, as the color may appear a shade lighter than indicated. Touch up roots every four to five weeks, and re-dye by the third month.
6.Begin your transition on a Saturday morning, if possible, so you have time to adjust to your new look before heading back to work. Give yourself more than ample time to complete the process, as it may seem somewhat awkward at first.
7.Spread an old towel over the bathroom counter and put on an old T-shirt. Wearing fitted rubber gloves, begin your color process. Follow the directions exactly as indicated on the coloring kit.
8.Set timer and enjoy a book or magazine while you wait. Rinse as indicated.
Color can obviously be professionally done, just be prepared for the high maintenance costs.
Prefer to go natural? Some companies offer hair color that is up to 97 percent chemical-free. See related sites for details.
If you're pregnant, get your doctor's okay before proceeding with any hair color treatment.
If you have applied henna to your hair in the last year, remember that you cannot perm it or use a chemical color over it.
Avoid chlorine and salt water for a few days after coloring your hair, as contact may cause adverse reactions.
Remember that the sun's rays will cause your color to fade faster.
Avoid getting solution into your eyes at all cost. Rinse well with tepid water and consult a physician should this occur.
1.Understand that the Fisher-Price ViewMaster is a classic toy that allows children to watch frames of movie-like stories on reels inserted into the ViewMaster. The ViewMaster looks like a plastic pair of binoculars. It is appropriate for children ages 3 and up.
2.Think about the types of ViewMasters available. The simplest version is the 3-D Red ViewMaster, which costs only $5 and comes with one reel. All reels that are viewed on this appear in 3-D. This ViewMaster is an inexpensive gift and one that will be appreciated by all children.
3.Know that there are higher tech models of the ViewMaster available as well. The Virtual Viewer has a wraparound visor and a 50 percent larger viewing area than the traditional 3-D ViewMaster. It comes in red and is also $5. This ViewMaster won a 1999 Parenting Magazine award.
4.Try the Super Show Projector for an even more juiced-up version. This ViewMaster requires batteries and projects pictures from the reels onto a wall or ceiling. It is handheld and is priced around $13.
5.Be aware that you can purchase sets that include a ViewMaster and several reels. There is a Virtual Barbie Prom Date set, a Virtual Pooh High Flying Adventure and a Super Show Projector Bug's Life set and Toy Story Set. The Virtual sets cost about $7 while the Super Show Projector sets cost about $13.
6.Look at the Discovery Series Gift Set, which includes a ViewMaster that can also be used as real binoculars. The set sells for $15.
7.Select additional reels to go with the viewer you purchase. There is a Discovery Channel series of nature reels that cost about $4 each. There are many Disney movie reels to select from.
8.Buy your viewer and reels from the shopping list below or from your favorite online or local toy store.
All the reels are compatible with the different types of viewers.
The handheld projector is easier for younger children to use, because they don't have to try to get their eyes lined up with the openings to see the pictures.
1.Remove the wheel with the flat from your bike.
2.Pry the tire off the wheel rim with tire irons. Do this by sliding a tire iron under the lip of the tire and levering the tire's edge over the rim.
3.Leaving the first tire iron in place, take a second tire iron and repeat the process a few inches farther down the rim.
4.Slide the edge of the tire off the rim with your fingers or with a third tire iron.
5.Pull the popped tube out from beneath the tire. Patch it or replace it with a new one.
6.Inspect the tire (both inside and out) for sharp objects like glass or thorns. Remove anything you find.
7.Pump some air into the new or repaired tube, then place the tube on the rim beneath the lifted tire. Pass the tube valve through the hole in the rim; be careful not to pinch the tube.
8.Use your fingers to tuck the edge of the tire back beneath the lip of the rim. Again, be careful not to pinch the tube.
9.Pump up the tube (inside the tire) and put the wheel back on your bike.
Practice changing flats at home before you hit the trail.
Bring an extra tube and a patch kit with you on every ride.
1.Understand that there's more than one kind of bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 filing involves total liquidation of assets and dissolution of your business. Chapters 11 and 13 allow for protection from creditors and allow you to repay debts over a period of three to five years. Chapter 13 can be used by sole proprietorships and partnerships with secured debts of less than $807,750 and unsecured debts of less than $269,250. Family farmers can file for protection under Chapter 12.
2.Consult a lawyer who specializes in bankruptcy to determine if your company should file for bankruptcy and for what kind.
3.Give the lawyer complete information regarding your company's finances, income, assets and debts so that he or she may file correctly filled forms with the bankruptcy court.
4.Understand that your company will almost immediately be granted protection from creditors and that the court will notify all listed creditors of your bankruptcy filing and of the upcoming meeting with creditors.
5.Expect a "meeting of creditors" about a month after filing Chapter 7, at which point you're expected to surrender nonexempt assets to a court-appointed trustee. This trustee will then sell your assets and distribute the proceeds to your creditors.
6.Realize that you must submit a plan of repayment or reorganization for your business if you've filed Chapter 11 or 13.
7.Understand that this plan must show that creditors would gain more from reorganization than from liquidation. Know that your creditors are allowed to vote on the plan.
8.Know that you'll be released from debt in a matter of a few months if you've filed Chapter 7.
Tips: Bankruptcy forms can be downloaded from the Web. See Related Sites for further information.
Filing for bankruptcy does not protect you from all debts. Expect to still be liable for taxes, legal penalties and certain other debts. Check with your attorney before you file for more information on this.
In a Chapter 11 reorganization, the trustee has the right to take away control of your business from you, though this is unusual.