1.Keep your list of card recipients on your computer. When it's time to send the cards, print out self-stick labels, available in many styles and colors. Update your list whenever you receive a card.
2.Write a Happy New Year letter with your family's news to put in each card – you can use the same letter for everyone if you keep the information general. Use pretty holiday stationery. Include a family photo as an added treat.
3.Buy holiday stamps early; sometimes the post office runs out of special issues.
4.Order your stamps online, by phone or with a Stamps-by-Mail order form. You'll be glad you missed the long lines, but be prepared to wait a week for delivery.
5.Enlist the help of your kids to put stamps on the envelopes.
6.Keep your holiday spirit while addressing your cards by sipping cocoa and listening to carols.
7.Divide the number of cards you have by the number of weeks you have left to send them. Separate the cards into batches with several mailing deadlines.
8.Allow at least seven days for delivery. The post office is very busy this time of year.
9.Remember that the post office does not allow envelopes smaller than 3 1/2 by 5 inches. Cards larger than 6 1/8 by 11 1/2 inches, more than 1/4-inch thick or more than 1 oz. will cost more to send.
1..Weigh your cards. Postage for the first ounce is 33 cents, plus 22 cents for each additional ounce.
Include a return address on your envelopes.
Pick up holiday cards for next year at post-Christmas clearance sales.
1.Find a massage therapist who specializes in sports massage.
2.Find a referral to a massage therapist by word of mouth. Or, consult professional organizations, such as the American Massage Association.
3.Try Pilates. This is a system of lengthening and strengthening muscles, especially the core of the body. It uses various apparatus, and is administered by certified instructors. Consult health clubs for more information.
4.Practice yoga. Yoga is wonderful for relaxation and balance, and for stretching tight muscles.
Balance these body-work habits with your training. It is best to do them after your workouts.
Speak to experienced triathletes for recommendations.
Consider consulting a professional triathlon coach.
Read up on body work and sports training. Overall Warnings: If you have any condition which would impair or limit your ability to engage in physical activity, please consult a physician before attempting this activity. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.
1.Consult with your boat's manufacturer and sales representative to determine the ideal rig tension for your local waters.
2.Test-sail your boat with the suggested rig tension in light to medium air.
3.Tack often and sail upwind to adjust the shroud tension. While under sail, adjust the leeward shrouds since they have the least amount of tension.
4.Keep careful notes on the number of turns you put on your turnbuckles to be sure they are evenly tuned.
5.Tighten the rig for heavier winds, and loosen the rig for lighter winds.
6.Observe the effects on pointing ability and boat speed.
Make your adjustments minor at first.
If you are on your first test sail, bring along your sales rep or manufacturer's rep and have him or her make the adjustments.
Warnings: With too little or too much tension you risk damaging your rig, which could include losing your entire mast and chancing injury.
1.Launder bedding weekly in hot water (130 to 140 degrees F).
2.Encase pillows and mattresses in vinyl covers.
3.Install hard-surface flooring (tile, vinyl, wood) where possible - dust can be more thoroughly removed from these surfaces. In particular, don't carpet high-humidity areas such as kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms - doing so puts out the welcome mat for microscopic dust mites.
4.Install a central vacuum-cleaning system, which exhausts dust outdoors, or use high-efficiency filter bags in your vacuum cleaner.
5.Vacuum frequently and thoroughly in areas where you lounge: upholstered furniture, the area rug in front of the television, etc.
6.Purchase leather-covered furniture, which isn't mite-friendly the way cloth upholstery is.
7.Clean air ducts if allergic individuals still experience problems after the above steps have been taken. Ducts normally contain and disperse dust; clean when you know the dust volume is excessive (you can ask a climate-control system technician for an evaluation).
1.Stand in front of a mirror with a pair of small scissors in your hand.
2.Lean your head back slightly and tug up the edge of one nostril.
3.Carefully clip away any extraneous hair with the scissors. Clip the hair close to its base, if possible.
4.Look in the mirror and inspect your work. Touch up as necessary.
5.Repeat with other nostril.
6.Wipe your nose and wash the scissors.
You can use electric nose hair trimmers instead of scissors.
Avoid putting the scissors too far into your nose.
Warnings: Cutting the inside of your nose hurts. Be cautious with the scissors. Steps:
1.Towel dry just-washed hair.
2.Apply a heat protectant to your hair, paying special attention to the ends.
3.Place a quarter-sized portion of straightening balm in your palm. Rub your palms together to distribute the product in your hands and then massage it evenly throughout your hair.
4.Comb through your hair with your fingers while gently drying it on a low setting. This helps to remove excess water.
5.Pull your hair into three sections, two at the sides and one at the back. Clip the two sides up.
6.Select a small portion of the hair from the unclipped section.
7.Use a thick, round brush and, beginning at the roots, gently pull the brush through the hair to the ends while you blow-dry it. Pull the hair away from the head, stretching and straightening it as you go.
8.Begin by pulling the brush through the underside of your hair so that the hair is directly exposed to the heat of the dryer. Once the hair is mostly dry, switch the brush to the top of hair.
9.Keep the tension consistent. Also make sure to distribute the heat from the dryer evenly over the section of hair you're working on. This ensures uniform texture and inhibits the potential to overdry certain areas.
1..Continue with the other sections of wet hair.
Always point the dryer down as you are blow-drying the hair; blowing hair upward can cause frizzies.
Tame flyaways with an anti-frizz serum or pomade. Place a few drops in your hand, rub gently to distribute, then apply it to your hair.
Warnings: Daily blow-drying can cause hair damage and breakage. Hold the hair dryer at least 4 inches from your hair and deep-condition it weekly. Steps:
1.Begin with clean, dry hair. You may want to blow-dry wavy or curly hair straight to give the braid a more even texture. Add some styling gel or pomade to hair to smooth flyaways and make hair easier to manage.
2.Divide tangle-free hair into three even sections. Place the left section between your left index finger and thumb, let the middle section hang free and place the right section between your right index finger and thumb.
3.Grab the middle section with your right middle finger and pull it so it passes behind the right section. Extend your right thumb and index finger so the portion of hair therein becomes the middle section.
4.Use the left middle finger to pull the middle section behind the left section. Extend or straighten the left index finger and thumb to make the left section become the middle section.
5.Shift the portion of hair hooked in the right middle finger so it sits between the right index finger and thumb. Repeat the process, then shift the portion of the hair hooked in the left middle finger so it sits between the left index finger and thumb.
6.Continue until you achieve the desired length of the braid. Make a tighter, more compact braid by pulling the middle section into a horizontal line as you pull it to the right or left. For a loose, elongated braid, simply shift the middle section to the right or left, letting it remain in a vertical line.
7.Tie off the ends with a covered rubber band. Add a bow or barrette when appropriate.
Pull the portions of hair as evenly as possible so the tension remains consistent. If the tension is tighter on one side, your braid will begin to twist to one side instead of lying flat.
Practice and be patient. It may take some time to discover your rhythm. If you're braiding a young child's hair, ask that she keep her head as still as possible. Give her a hand mirror so she may see any work you've done to her hair.
Warnings: Avoid pulling too hard, as this may lead to hair fallout or breakage.
Braiding the Back of Your Own Hair
8.Style the front of your hair, including bangs, wisps and tendrils, before you begin. Divide tangle-free hair into three even sections.
9.Lift your left elbow to shoulder height and make a thumbs-down fist around the left portion of hair. Do the same on the right side, letting the middle portion lie against your spine.
1..Extend your left index finger and hook the right section of hair. Pull it in front of the middle section, letting it slip completely out of the right hand. Grab the middle section of hair with your right hand, pull it to the right side, then resume the thumbs-down fist position with both hands.
1..Extend your right index finger, hook the far left portion of hair and let it slip completely out of the left hand. Shift the portion of hair in your left hand into a thumbs-down fist, then free up the left index finger. Make a thumbs-down fist with your right hand, then use your left index finger to hook the far right portion.
1..Continue the process until the braid is complete. To braid very long hair, you may have to free a hand to pull the portions through. Secure the developing braid by pressing your knuckles into it as you shift your hands for the next cross.
Experiment with different hand positions. You may discover a technique better suited to your individual style.
Braiding will become much easier with continued practice.
1.Decide whether you want to provide information about your business or transact commerce. Answering such questions can help determine the amount of effort required to build the site.
2.Decide if you are going to develop your own Web site or contract with a Web-site developer.
3.Gather information on Web publishing via books, magazines and other current periodicals if developing your own site.
4.Browse other Web sites for design and functionality ideas.
5.Apply for a domain name through the InterNIC Web site (rs.internic.net) You can search for the availability of a certain name and link to one of InterNIC’s accredited registrars. Your ISP may be able to host your site. Ask for information.
6.Begin to develop the site. Install various checkpoints along the way to ensure that the project is progressing in the right direction.
7.Implement your marketing campaign before your site goes live, and step up your marketing efforts to bring traffic to your site after.
When registering for a domain name, think of alternative names in case your first choice is taken.
Create a Web site that is easy and logical to navigate.
If you have a smaller business, consider selling your products through online classifieds and/or auctions. These are simpler and less expensive ways of transacting commerce online.
Warnings: Developing a Web site, whether you do it yourself or have someone else do it, can be time-consuming. Begin planning as soon as you decide you want a site. Steps:
1.List your site with Internet search engines and directories. Save money by registering the sites yourself instead of hiring a company to do it for you.
2.Link your site to as many complementary sites as you can. Use Web rings, affiliate programs and banner exchanges to give your site maximum exposure.
3.Start your own e-mail newsletter or e-zine. Build the content around the interests of your customers and feature items specifically related to what's happening at your site.
4.Make sure your Web site address is on all of your company's stationery, forms and business cards. A company vehicle and promotional items such as coffee mugs and pens are also great places to advertise your online venture.
5.Consider purchasing a small banner ad on a popular Web site or placing an advertisement in an e-zine with high circulation. These venues offer maximum exposure for a small cash outlay.
6.Advertise offline if your budget can stand the extra strain. Newspaper ads, television and radio spots, and classified ads are traditional – and effective - ways of letting customers know you're out there in cyberspace.
Publishing a quality e-mail newsletter or e-zine on a regular basis is time-consuming. Be prepared to spend many hours creating a mailing list and developing content.
Be sure to track visitors to your site. Find out where they heard about your site so that you can evaluate which methods of promoting your site work best.
Don't send unsolicited e-mail advertisements, better known as spam. Besides being extremely irritating to the recipients, your Internet service provider can cancel your account if people start filing complaints.
Newsgroups aren't the place to post advertisements either. These are forums for open discussion, not for unwanted ads.
1.Start Paint Shop Pro and open the picture you want to change.
2.Use the Freehand tool (which resembles a lasso) or the square Selection tool to select the area you want to color.
3.Locate the color palette on the left-hand side of the screen.
4.Click on the top square and select a new color from the palette. Click OK.
5.Click on the Fill Paint button, which resembles a tilted bucket dripping paint. Open the Options menu and select the type of fill you want to use.
6.Place the cursor in the selected area and click once to fill the selection with the color and pattern you chose.
7.If the results aren't what you wanted, select Undo from the Edit menu to undo the change, then try again.
8.Save the picture using the Save As command in the File menu.
Use the Freehand tool to have greater control as you select the area to fill.
After you make your changes, save the file under a different name by selecting Save As from the File menu. That way, you keep the original file as well.
1.Get organized. Searching through stacks of loose paper is a waste of time, so set up separate project files and be vigilant about keeping them in order.
2.Keep your desk free of materials you're not currently working with, and clear your desk at the end of each workday so that you can start fresh the next morning with a clutter-free work space.
3.Create a daily schedule in which you allocate a certain amount of time to each project. Organize your schedule according to your project deadlines and review it daily, making adjustments as needed.
4.Do away with distractions. If you don't have a separate room available for an office, lay claim to a quiet, semi-isolated area of your home. Turn the television off and make your work hours clear to your family. They just might let you get some work done!
5.Take frequent short breaks to keep your mind fresh. A brisk walk, a light meal or a stretching session will keep you alert and better able to focus on your work.
6.Learn to say no. Being offered too much work is an enviable position to be in, but you'll quickly find yourself overwhelmed if you take on more than you can handle.
Fill your project files with contact information, invoices, research notes, correspondence and anything else you need to work on the project.
Secure the contents of your folders with staples or clips so that you don't end up chasing your papers across a parking lot.
Be flexible with your work schedule. Sometimes urgent matters arise and you'll need to shift your projects around to accommodate them.
Make sure you allow time in your schedule to solicit new clients.
As odd as it might seem, some people can't concentrate with too much quiet. If you fall into that category, try some soft jazz or classical music - any background noise that won't startle you or compete for your attention.
Chart your deadlines with a large, hanging monthly-view calendar. Set your own internal deadlines a few days earlier than the actual deadlines so that you have some built-in leeway time for unexpected rush projects or personal emergencies.
If you have to turn work down, be polite in your refusal and keep the door open for future opportunities.
Warnings: The luxury of being able to set your own schedule might tempt you to take the "I'll do it tomorrow" approach to work. Procrastination is a motivation and productivity killer, so force yourself to follow your established work schedule.
1.Exercise. It may be the last thing you feel like doing, but it has been shown to help symptoms. Exercises well suited to those with fibromyalgia are cycling or stationary cycling, walking, and swimming.
2.Work out three to four times a week, for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
3.Try acupuncture. Electro-acupuncture in particular has helped many with pain relief.
4.Visit a chiropractor. There is a great deal of anecdotal literature that claims it can help with symptom relief. The types of chiropractic medicine that focus on muscles will probably be the most helpful.
5.Try herbal medicine. A number of herbs and herb combinations may be able to offer symptom relief. For example, echinacea, astragalus and ginseng all help to strengthen the immune system. Find a naturopath who can help you with herbal therapy.
6.Look into homeopathy. One remedy said to help is Rhus Tox 6C. Work with a doctor who practices homeopathy, or a naturopath.
7.Look into hydrotherapy. Some clinical trials have found it to work better than physical therapy in reducing pain and fatigue, and in making patients feel generally better.
8.Limit your consumption of foods from the nightshade family. These include eggplant, green peppers, white potatoes and tomatoes. They contain a substance called solanine, which can interfere with muscle enzymes and cause pain.
9.Consider taking acidophilus according to package directions. Many people with fibromyalgia have yeast overgrowth, and the acidophilus helps to restore normal flora in the intestines. Use a nondairy formula.
1..Use a combination supplement of malic acid and magnesium. Take according to package instructions. One study showed that it helped to significantly reduce pain levels, but it may take several weeks for the effects to be noticed.
1..Have your magnesium levels checked. Many people with fibromyalgia tend to be deficient in this important mineral.
1..Use grape seed extract. It's a powerful antioxidant that helps the immune system and helps protect muscles from damage caused by free radicals.
1..Ask your doctor about low-dose antidepressants. They have been shown to work for some, but they also may have side effects.
Common symptoms are fatigue, sleeplessness and stiff muscles. Many people also experience pain if touched on certain places of the body.
The cause of fibromyalgia is not known, although there are a number of theories. Strengthening your immune system is your best defense against it, along with using whatever methods work best for you in relieving pain.
1.Face forward with one leg ahead of the other. Keep your legs shoulder-width apart (front stance).
2.Form your hands into fists.
3.Position your forward arm slightly in front of you as a guard before you begin the block (with your rear arm).
4.Extend the back arm straight back, the hand in a fist and the palm facing down.
5.Bring the arm forward, pivoting your hip forward at the same time.
6.Complete the block by twisting your arm upward. Keep the palm facing inward.
7.Pivot the hip so that your chest faces to the side.
Keep your elbow at a 90-degree angle as your swing your back arm in an arc to block.
Pivot your body at the hips so that your hips turn away from the blocking arm.
Practice until the steps are performed smoothly as one continuous flow.
Warnings: If you have any condition that would impair or limit your ability to engage in physical activity, please consult a physician before attempting this activity.