Outdoor Holiday Lighting Tips

Outdoor holiday lighting is truly exciting. Getting those holiday lights on your outdoor property can really help you get deeper into the Christmas spirit. Installing and using outdoor lights however are far different than with indoor ones. Here are some important tips to take note of to keep your holiday lighting installation and use both safe and enjoyable.

* Never use plain staples or nails for installing your decorative lights. These could cut through the wire and cause fraying. This in turn could endanger you and your property. As much as possible, settle for plastic clips that you can easily use on eaves, gutters and railings. If you really must use staples, make sure that they are the insulated type and that you do not cut through the wire.

* Never use indoor lights outdoors. Use only holiday lights that are specifically meant to be used for the outdoors. You should also strictly stick to manufacturer instructions on how to use your Christmas lights.

* Carefully check your outdoor holiday lighting even if newly bought. You shouldn’t just keep an eye out for busted bulbs. You should also check for frayed wires, exposed wires or broken connecting sockets.

* All lighting sockets should be wrapped with electrical tape. This will ensure that there is no gap in between connections. The electrical tape can also ensure that water cannot get into the connecting points.

* You cannot just connect as many lights as you want. You also have to be careful with using limited extension wires for too many lights. You could cause a circuit overload that could lead to power failure. Light makers usually have safety guidelines on the number of lights that can be connected.

* Be careful with power lines. A tree you are decorating, your ladder or even your body could come in contact with a power line. You could seriously injure yourself and damage your property.

* Do not leave outdoor holiday lighting unattended. Only have them on if you are at home and awake. Make sure they are turned off before you leave home or before you retire for the night.

* Don’t keep the lights attached way after the holidays. You may have had a hard time installing them all over the house. This may make you feel like wanting to enjoy your lights a little more. It isn’t safe though to leave them out for long. The natural elements could gradually damage your lights and make them a hazard.

* Don’t leave light cords and extension cords lying around loosely. People could trip on them. Small animals could also get entangled and choke. Keep the cords neatly to the sides and tie up any extra cord lines.

* You can enjoy your outdoor holiday lighting better if you do not have a big electric bill to pay. Lower your costs by using energy efficient lighting. Use LED bulbs. Aside from being energy efficient, they are also quite sturdy.

Keep your outdoor holiday lighting experience fun. Make sure you get the right kind of lights and materials. Make sure too that safety is always your top priority.

Packing Tip: Road Trip With Friends

We got this question from a Travelista who is going on a super fun road trip this summer with two of her friends. She wanted to know how she and her fashionable (read: overpacking!) friends could pack better and with only one weekend bag each. They also would have access to a laundry facility. Luckily, I had just experienced this with some friends and have some great tips to share.

1) Sharing means caring. Bring pieces that you can all share and that go together (if you have similar style and are similar in size) – it’ll triple your own trip wardrobe! Make sure your colors are coordinated, too. The beauty of that is that you will each look different and have your own flair with every piece! Plus, it gets your creative juices flowing. Shoes take up the most room, so if you have the same size, expand your shoe choices by sharing them, too.

For example, I shared a light boho blouse with my friend Jenn – and no one was the wiser! We wore it differently and for different occasions, so with one piece, we expanded our outfit choices in a snap. It almost made a complete round when our friend Eva considered wearing it over a very light black romper and letting it hang off the shoulder.

2) Keep it simple. Wear pieces that are interesting enough in detail but have simple silhouettes. That way you can layer them together or just add accessories (hat, scarf, funky sandals, etc.). A cool off-the-shoulder top in a square shape could go with jeans, shorts or a skirt or over a tank dress. Shorts with a subtle but fun pattern make your outfit more interesting but look different with different tops (plus you can dress them up or down).

3) Double (or triple) up. I have a fabulous scarf from Urban Outfitters that I use as a shawl at night, a scarf on the plane, a sash around a maxi dress, and a sarong on the beach (you might be able to get away wearing it as a skirt, too!). It’s a wide scarf (probably about two feet in width but looong enough to wrap around my waist, neck, etc.). I also have a tube skirt from American Apparel that can act as a skirt, tube top, or tube dress for night or day. You can layer a cool button down or oversized tee over it for day or dress it up with your scarf at night.

4) Accessorize! A hat changes an outfit in a second as does a scarf and the rightjewelry. Don’t forget your bathing suit and that you can actually wear it underneath your clothes like tanks (if you are going somewhere with a beach and it’s okay to expose the top a little).

A fedora is the perfect piece to add polish to any casual beach outfit.

5) Plan your pieces. Bring at least one skirt, one sundress or tankdress, one pair of shorts, and one pair of pants (including leggings, jeans, super-light summer pants or cropped pants). You will be wearing one of those at any given moment, so it’s not much. Top-wise, I would recommend a cool button down, a cardigan or light jacket of some sort that goes with everything, two comfy/funky tees, a tank, and a blousy top that can dress up shorts or loosely go over a tank dress. For feet – low-wedge sandals (dress up or down), casual flat sandals, and Toms slip-ons.

6) Bring only one of everything. Share hairdryers, flat irons, shampoo, etc. I always find that at the end of the day, these are things I pack last and don’t have room for!

Holiday Tips – How to Build the Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe

For many people, the capsule wardrobe is the holy grail of dressing. The concept in itself is simple: it is simply a collection of clothes that work well together, and can be worn in different ways to suit different occasions. Achieving a capsule wardrobe for everyday wear can be tricky and certainly expensive at first, but almost everybody will already possess the essentials for a holiday capsule wardrobe.

Before you even start mixing and matching, take a deep breath. What kind of holiday are you planning? How long will you be going for? Will you be going to any events requiring a particular dress code? What is the weather forecast like?

Once you’ve answered all these questions, you can start drawing up a preliminary list. This should include your absolute essentials, such as underwear, socks and tights, as well as essential holiday items. If you’re going skiing, it’s likely you need a ski jacket! If you’re going to the beach, you probably want a sarong, bikini and a pair of flip flops.

So. Now you have your essentials sorted. These are things you will take no matter what. Now you need to do a bit of calculating! You need to know how many outfits you’ll require for your trip. Remember, this includes the flight or journey there and back. One thing that’s really worth taking into consideration is if you will have access to laundry facilities. If so, you can afford to take less with you and maybe even save on baggage charges if you’re flying.

Look at your itinerary. Are you planning on spending all day on the beach, but going out to clubs and restaurants at night? Would you rather spend your time wandering around museums and galleries? Are you planning to go to bars or go clubbing? Will you be doing any sports, and if so, what kind? Your holiday capsule wardrobe will fit around these considerations.

By now you should have a basic idea of how many separate outfits you will need and what you will need them for. Now you can start putting the actual wardrobe together.

With a capsule wardrobe, you are aiming for flexibility. While you do want one or two stunning, unusual pieces, the majority of the items should be classic and in neutral colours, such as black, grey, navy, khaki or white. The best pieces are ones that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. For example, a smart pair of jeans can be worn with a shirt for a casual daytime look but snazzed up with an evening top and heels for going out. Or, a wrap dress with leggings is great for the day, but at night bring out those heels again, ditch the leggings and put on some pretty jewellery and you’re ready for anything. See what I mean?

Here is an example of what I’d take to a hot, beachy destination:

shirt or safari dress

wrap dress or sundress

floppy hat

flat sandals

tote bag

clutch bag

sunglasses

one pair neutral-coloured high heels

neutral-coloured sweater, wrap or cardigan

one or two sets of swimwear (depends on use)

one or two sarongs

one pair linen trousers

one mid-length skirt

two sets of jewellery

two or three simple day tops

one going out top

one pretty camisole top

Most items of this list will work for any destination, so basically just adjust it to wherever you’re going. Bear in mind when choosing the items that as far as possible, you should be able to mix and match them. Skirts and trousers in particular should be in neutral colours.

Good luck!

Internet – The Smart Way of Getting the Cheapest Fares

Airplanes have brought the distant exotic holiday destinations closer to all of us. Today you can reach even the farthest places in just a few hours. So, whether it’s a trip to beautiful Australia or a trip to Dubai, it is all ‘in-reach’. The credit for this goes to Engineering and Technology.

Another face of technology is ‘Internet’. Internet is being used extensively for many different purposes (e.g. online shopping, content research, entertainment etc) and booking air travel is one of them. Though the various conventional ways are in use too, internet is by and large the most popular route for booking air travel. Besides being convenient, internet is the place where you can get the cheapest airfares most of the times.

Let’s take a look at some smart tips that can help you get the cheapest air fares on the net:

1. Book Early: Most airlines offer some ‘hot deals’ on air fares. These are the deals that airlines use to promote/advertise their services too. Generally, the earlier you book your flight, cheaper are the airfares. So, plan well and book your flight 3-4 months in advance (or even earlier, if you can).

2. Good Research Can Make A Difference: Good research is the key to getting cheapest airfares on the net. There are a number of websites through which you can book your air travel online. Some websites are operated by online travel agents while there are others that are operated by airlines themselves. If you shop around, you will find that various travel websites offer different fares for the same dates, times and facilities. However, instead of searching for air fares at various websites, you can use one of the multi-site airfare search engines that automatically get results from various travel websites (including airline websites).

3. Participate In Online Auctions: There are several websites that sell air tickets and travel packages through the auction route. Sometimes you can get the cheapest airfares here. The only condition is that you should be super-flexible in terms of dates, times, airline preference etc. Mostly, you will not know about the airline, hotel name, car rental etc till you have actually won the auction and made the payment. But that is something that you have to bear in order to get the cheapest deals.

4. Book Travel Packages Instead Of Just The Flights: Since most airlines, car rentals and hotels have tie-ups with each other, they offer you a discount if you book everything together. This discount is reflected in the travel package deals that you book over the internet. However, you might like to take a sneaky look at hotel rates that are available through other websites or through phoning the hotel (remember most hotels will give you a discounted rate, if you ask for the ‘best price’). Moreover, booking travel packages is much more convenient too (especially if you are short of time). Some websites will even have the pictures of hotel rooms and details of the hotel amenities, so as to facilitate your decision making process.

5. Be Flexible: The cheapest airfare deals are generally available to those who are flexible on the travel dates, times, airlines etc. This is because airfares and travel package costs are based on the demand; and cheapest airfares are for flights that are the least in demand. Holidays and weekends are the busiest times for airlines; so, the airfares are higher for such days. Similarly, evening flights are costlier than the morning or noon flights. Most travel websites provide you cheaper options if you demonstrate flexibility.

These are the smart tips that can really help you in getting the cheapest airfares.

5 Holiday Weight Loss Tips & Their Reality Checks

Do you find it almost impossible to stay conscious and contentious about weight and nutrition during the holidays? Of course you do. More than half of all Americans are overweight: You’re not alone.

A new government study might give you a ray of hope though: The study shows that Americans gain only about one pound over the holidays. The study found that people participating were influenced by two main factors over the holidays: The level of their hunger, and the level of their activity. In other words: Those who reported being less active or more hungry during the holidays had the greatest weight gain.

So common sense says: If you can stay focused on dealing with just those two things, you’ll probably win your personal holiday weight loss battle. At the very least, you’ll win by not adding more weight to what’s already waiting to be shed.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of weight gain,” says Dr. Samuel Klein, the Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. “Preventing the increase in weight is a lot easier and better than actually gaining weight and then trying to get it off again.”

So the answer seems simple: Eat less and exercise more. The reality of implementation of course, is far more difficult.

The good news is that most of the people overestimate how much weight they’d gained over the holidays. Fewer than 10% gain 5 pounds or more.

The bad news is: The small amount of weight gained is never lost. One pound of weight gain is quite a small amount, but since it’s not usually lost again: The weight adds up over time – to obesity.

Now we all know there are tons of tips out and about this time of year, designed to help us keep from putting on that extra pound or two during the holidays. Unfortunately what’s usually not talked about is: The reality of day-to-day holiday stress and situations. Let’s explore the tips… along with their reality checks… in depth:

Weight Loss Tip 1: Stay active. The best thing you can do is try to stick to your normal schedule and routine.

Holiday Reality Check: It’s pretty hard to have any kind of decent routine in the busy months of November and December. Busy people tend to sacrifice yoga classes, long walks, and visits to the gym because they need time for extra things like decorating the house, cooking, cleaning up before the visitors get there, and of course: Shopping.

The Good News: Walking around the shopping mall and stores is great exercise, and so is cleaning the house. In addition to those activities, decorating can be quite intensive too: You’re climbing up and down to hang things; lifting, lugging, and dragging boxes out of storage; bending, twisting and turning to get it all looking just right. So don’t beat yourself up about not making it to the gym… you’re getting plenty of activity and every little bit helps!

Weight Loss Tip 2: Don’t let yourself get too hungry. If you go to a party and you’re starving, everything will look even more scrumptious than normal. And of course, you’ll eat much more because of it. Try starting each day with a good, solid breakfast – particularly something with protein. And when you’re at the party, try munching on the veggies to help keep you feeling full. These two things will help your hunger stay under control, and will in turn help you refrain from “gorging” on anything you see just because you’re famished.

Holiday Reality Check: We’re all very busy during the holidays, and it’s not always possible to remember to eat – let alone eat well – particularly in the morning when we may have already overslept and are now running late for everything. And eating healthy at a party isn’t always possible either: Not everyone in this country serves vegetable plates, salads, or fruit bowls. Sometimes the only things in site are junk: Chips, candy, and cookies.

Here’s a suggestion: Try taking your own veggie plate to a party where you know there won’t be one available. A quick and easy way to do this is simply buy a bag or two of pre-cut veggies and some ranch salad dressing. Alternatively, eat a decent meal before you go to the party. Don’t overdo things, but don’t make it a light snack either. Eating first will help you to just “nibble” a bit on the worst of the holiday treats offered.

Weight Loss Tip 3: Stay away from the food. Literally. Just don’t go anywhere near the buffet table, appetizers, or treats… and you’ll be fine.

Holiday Reality Check: In most cases, the food is everywhere. And even if it’s not right in front of your face, you sure can smell it! Trying to just “stay away from it” is pretty unrealistic – and it can feel like torture for some of us. And for most people: When you can’t have something, you want it even more. So trying to stay away from the food will most likely just make you overindulge worse than you would have otherwise.

Try this instead: Allow yourself whatever you’d like. But with a catch. First: Take only half the amount you normally would. And take just one food item. Eat that and enjoy it without guilt. Then, wait a full 20-30 minutes before you get something else. Then repeat the process: One item, half the portion size as you normally would, enjoy it without guilt, then wait before getting something else.

Allowing yourself to eat gets rid of the mentality of “I can’t have it (and thus I’m more determined to have it)” It lets you enjoy the good food and the holidays, without beating yourself up. This is healthy and can help tremendously with the way you view food and eating in general. Only taking half of it though, will help you not take in as much calories, fat, sugar or other bad stuff you usually avoid. And then waiting 20-30 minutes before you get something else will help your body realize when it’s had enough… or too much. So you’re much less likely to overdo things, and feel horrible physically later.

Weight Loss Tip 4: Wear cloths that are slightly tight on you. This should help you feel full faster, and keep you from eating too much food.

Holiday Reality Check: We want to wear looser cloths because we’re looking forward to eating all that great food! Yes, wearing something tight might help us not go back for a second helping of potatoes… or it might ruin a favorite outfit.

In the end, how you approach this tip is up to you, and you alone. Make your decision and be happy with it.

Weight Loss Tip 5: Keep your portions small. Try to load up on salad and vegetables, and take just tiny amounts of anything else.

Holiday Reality Check: Taking just a “bite sized” amount of anything is going to put you into the have-not mental state mentioned earlier. You’ll feel as if you can’t have something, and you’ll want it all the more.

Try the tip noted above instead: Take half the size you normally would. Trying to have just a little bite of pie will whet your appetite for more, but having a whole piece is going a bit overboard – particularly if there’s 5 different pies for you to sample. So try actual sampling instead: Cut a piece half the normal size. This allows you to have a “whole slice”, and more than several little bites. Then wait about 20 minutes before you go and try the next pie. Even if you end up eating a bit of all 5 pies, by having a half-sized slice of each, you’ve drastically cut the amount of calories, carbs and sugars compared to what you would have had with whole slices. And you’ll still feel stuffed and satiated, instead of deprived and resentful.

So there you have it: 5 different, common holiday weight loss and eating tips, followed by the reality check of each, and a suggested compromise that should help you enjoy the holidays to their fullest, without depriving yourself of the great food we all look forward to.

Whatever you decide to do, remember to actually have Happy Holidays!

Luxury Cruise Deals Can Mean Vacation Savings

Finding luxury cruise deals is something that nearly everyone can do if they take a little time to do some research on what type of cruise they would like to take and spend some time comparing cruise rates. There are two ways to approach this; you can go wherever the best deal is or you can have a particular destination in mind and see if you can find a cruise deal that fits your plans.

With well over three hundred different ports of call to choose from it is not hard to find a trip to where you want to go. Because of the competition within the cruise industry it’s usually not to hard to find a discount special wherever you want to go. It may take a little research, but when trading time for savings it can be well worth it.

What many people don’t realize is that there can be a few choices they need to make while looking for that elusive discount cruise rate. There are quite a few cruise lines out there with different sized ships that cater to different types of people.

For a truly pampered and more intimate cruise try one of the smaller cruise ships that are becoming more popular. They are capable of carrying from maybe a dozen passengers up to a hundred or so. These ships have a more personal feel to them but because of their size and more exclusive feeling the prices may be higher then you are expecting. This does not mean you can’t find good deals on these smaller cruises but you’ll probably have better luck with the larger companies that operate the much larger cruise ships.

The largest cruise ships hold upwards of three thousand passengers and have all manner of activities and amenities on board. Because of the fierce competition within the industry it is vitally important that the cruise lines fill their cabins for each cruise. During the off-season they offer all manner of cruise deals to keep their ships at capacity. Having empty cabins is bad for the bottom line and the larger the ship the better the chances of getting a good discount.

Calling the cruise companies directly and simply asking what sort of specials they have currently or coming up in the future is probably the easiest way to find those money saving deals. Travel agents and travel sites on the internet are another good place to get prices. The biggest money saving tip anyone can get is to shop around. Don’t jump at the first “cruise deal” you get, you may be leaving money on the table.

Best Place to Buy Cheap Airfare

With things sweeping by our eyes all the time, there are a hundred dreams that raise their head in our hearts and are suffocated to death even before being materialized to reality. That is the norm of the day when there is a lot of work all the time. There are hardly any moments left to oneself. If you plan to steal some great moments with the ones you love into a beautiful land which encapsulates you, pampers you and takes you straight into the lap of nature; then the time has come for you to try your luck.

Get set to enter the world of easy and cheap ticketing, and bid goodbye to days that remind you of standing in queues for a trip and make you sweat your money off in them too. The times have changed for the better and now all you have to do to make that dream trip a reality, is to log on to a travel site. That’s all! Everything will be managed by the smart managers and your expenditure will be reduced to a great extent. Your journey begins from the very first step, when you decide upon the destination of your dreams. With the world so large all around and many beautiful destinations scattered over the globe, it is a task in itself to decide upon the destination. Choose from a vast vista and choose it in a way that you get the very best all together- trekking, adventure sports, nature, monuments, beautiful landscapes, smart buildings, museums, churches, night life and much more.

Depending upon what you need, you can decide upon the destination. No matter where the destination is- you always have hundred percent chances of striking a great air fare deal. With heavy competition among travel planners and airlines the only ones to benefit through and through become the travelers. With nothing to loose, you have greater chances to save your hard earned money from being wasted. Plan a trip beforehand to the minutest of details and save a fortune. The most important part of the journey is getting there; and we help you find easier and cheaper ways of doing just that!

Take the first step in the right direction to get your cheap airfare, log on to a reliable travel website and see how easy things have become. Rather than going to travel agents and wasting time and money; you stand a greater chance of cracking a good deal with travel websites. Online booking is tagged with various taboos but they are all baseless. Online airfare and flight booking is a smart way of travel planning and makes it easier and comfortable for you to manage things. A great opportunity to gather some unforgettable memories with your loved ones is on the cards for you. Take a break from the tight schedule that binds you to routine, and breather free in a world so beautiful that it melts your heart. The mesmerizing beauty of the world around will catch your attention only if you plan to step out into it. As compared to the weight of these wonderful moments, any price paid is less. But keeping in mind that this is your hard earned money, it is always smarter to reap benefits from whichever channel possible. Online booking opens that option up for you.

No matter what keeps you busy, at least booking cheap air tickets will not. You can compare prices at all these websites too. When you see all the air fares on a single page, it is easier for you to compare things. Keeping in mind he fact the time and day of your travel, and the amount that you are ready to pay for it; you can pick the deal. Along with cheap air fares, you can get information about cheap hotel accommodations and money changers as well. Travel tips and all handy information will make your dream trip a reality and that too one which will cost you much less than you expected.

Globester is a rising star when it comes to travel planning and great air fare deals. Save the maximum possible and gift nothing less than the very best of vacation to your family and loved ones. Step up and grab the most seductive deals.

Holiday Driving Tips

On the road again. . . It is time for a another celebration with family and friends. . . then it’s time to go home. Drivers, are you putting yourself and loved ones in danger. . .?

Safe & effective

You just stuffed yourself at a gathering of family and friends, experienced a special, intimate, food-filled gathering with loved ones, feasted at a restaurant, or partied like a rock star, now it’s time to hit the road, right?

Not so fast. . . Driving under the influence of too much food, fun, alcohol, controlled substances, or supplements can have severe consequences.

CAUTION: Do not drive immediately after you finish feasting or partying. A full stomach slows your reflexes – the same is true of alcohol and some prescription drugs – reduced driving skills. Drivers may become sleepy or fall asleep at the wheel of the car.

Timely driving solutions

Take time to let the meal digest and alcohol work its way out of the driver’s system. Using a designated driver is a good way to make it home safely after a special gathering. Find someone that is safe and sober. You may want to rotate drivers on longer trips.

Double your pleasure

Enjoy the company of loved ones a little bit longer before you hit the road. The life you save may not just be your own, but that of your traveling companions (loved ones) as well. Be safe.

Alternatives: Start the festivities early, wait an extra hour or two to let everything sink in, or spend the night if necessary.

Get active after the feast

Take a walk. Play a game of cards, charades, video games, or ping pong. Help do the dishes or that project in the basement, workshop, or garage. Toss a ball around or shoot some hoops or a friendly game or two of pool.

No one should drive under the influence of alcohol, overindulgence, or sleepiness. If the driver feels any sign of sluggishness after a brief layover then take more time. Have them take a nap. And thank your lucky stars that you did not hit the road and have an accident.

Keep the drive alive

Drivers must be prepared for each journey. The designated driver should be able to focus on driving. They should watch out for obvious in-car driving distractions such as kids, cell phones, the radio, etc. Road rage is another problem that can literally kill the outing. Relax.

Speed kills

Slow down. In the rush to get home or to the extravaganza, many accidents occur. Drive at a reasonable speed. And pay attention!

Gas up

Be sure you have plenty of gas to go the distance. Sunday, nighttime and holiday drivers may not be able to find an open gas station. I would hate to run out of gas traveling in an isolated rural area.

Note: Think driving after overeating is risky? Then avoid extreme activities such as extreme sports and hunting immediately after the feast or party. Imagine the danger of using a loaded gun with impaired reflexes. Not a happy thought.

Drive safely and enjoy the ride. Keep the memories happy ones. Give yourself and your family the chance to enjoy future celebrations together.

Happy holidays!

Tips for Buying Small Travel Bags

People who travel often develop a strong view on the type of travel bags that best suit their needs.Buying a new travel bags is easy. Here are some tips for buying the perfect small travel bag.

Generally there are two broad sizes of bags used by travelers – small luggage and larger suitcases.

Small luggage comes in many shapes

Business travel is often short-term. Hence the luggage design reflects the needs to carry papers, laptops and personal items needed for an overnight business trip.

For casual and outdoor trips select a backpack. Backpacks work for people who prefer to travel light. A small backpack should carry everything needed for the entire trip whether it is camping or any other type of short trip.

The design of carry-on luggage gives the best options for travelers on flights or bus tours. Airlines specify the maximum dimensions and in recent times, the staff confirm suitable bags at check-in. This specification allows the bags to fit in the overhead compartment of the plane or underneath your seat.

Totes and casual bags are for the person seeking for a travel bag that can carry a day’s outdoor needs. Most of these types of bag designers have fashion in their minds all the while attempting not to compromise the practicality of the item.

Garment bags and carriers are specialist bags for carrying dresses, suits or clothes on hangers.

Bags have accessories to improve their usefulness. Here are a few accessories that improve bags for traveling.

Locks are often attached to the bag. However, they can be added to the zippers or appropriate places, if required. Keyed locks and combination locks are available for most cases.

Luggage tags are essential.They help you find your bag when collecting from carousel and other places.

Many modern bags incorporate carts allowing easy wheeling, instead of carrying.

Other considerations.

Hardware. Ideal luggage should have straps, handles in different sides, and compartments to hold your clothes in place and to prevent wrinkles. Recessed handles generally last longer.

Bag fabric varies with polyester, leather, and nylon being the most common. Choose one with higher “denier” to assure durability. The higher the number the more durable the material. Fabric type determines the price of travel bags. Hard cases are also becoming popular.

If you can chose the zipper,choose large zippers because they usually outlast smaller ones.

A rigid bag frame is recommended to ensure the bag remains sturdy. Materials such as fiberglass, durable plastic, and aluminum provide luggage excellent frames

Small travel bags vary greatly in price. If you are a frequent traveller a more expensive travel bag will serve you well.

8 Rules Of Christmas: Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

First of all, before anything else is said, let’s agree on a couple of things.

Sharing good times with friends and family is part of what the holiday season is all about. When these groups get together, it is often in the presence of delicious, scrumptious food. This food tends to be available for snacking all day. Personally, I would immediately call the Vatican and nominate anyone for sainthood who could truly enjoy all the festivities and be awash in the total ambiance of all the season inspires while ignoring the lavish plates of goodies while walking around munching on a stick of celery.

Oh yeah! You’re going to sample Aunt Millie’s mincemeat pie, Uncle Bob’s specially prepared fried turkey, and probably a glass of Alka-Seltzer or something similar.

Unfortunately, I am here to remind you of a few things; you are on a diet, you want to lose weight, all that stuff that is so tempting is fattening, and this is the hardest time of the year to be good. So, let’s just pick up on a few rules to help you get through the season.

8 Rules For Healthy Holiday Eating:

Before we get started, I want you to get comfortable, so put some turkey on your plate, get some of that great dressing (don’t forget the cranberry sauce), fight Cousin Ed for some of that green bean casserole my niece, Sharon, makes so well, and tell Grandma to save a piece of pie for you. Have a seat, relax, enjoy your meal (while balancing a soggy paper plate on your knee) and I will give you the rules to help you survive the season.

1. Forgive yourself in advance and give yourself permission to have a good time:

Look, this stuff isn’t poison! You didn’t take 10 years off your life just because you ate more than you should have…and then went back for seconds. You are only human, and you are here to have a good time! One of the reasons you want to lose weight, or keep it down, is so that you can enjoy life, and this is one of the most enjoyable times of the year. So, as they say, live a little. Whatever happens over the next few days will not kill you, and whatever damage you do manage to do can be rectified.

2. It’s just a couple of days:

Okay, for some families, it may be a couple of weeks…twice…Thanksgiving and Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Kwanza. Whatever it is for you, it is finite, it WILL end, and it is mainly limited to a certain time of the year. Who you are in terms of health, fitness, and weight loss is determined by the overall accomplishments of the year, not by a few weeks in the fall.

3. Stay with your program:

You will definitely minimize the effects of all the dinners, cookies, and snacks if you can still get in your walks, aerobics, weight training, or whatever else you have been doing. During the holiday season, it can be difficult to get everything done the same as in the rest of the year, but two days of exercise Thanksgiving week, while not as good as three or five, is still better than none. Simply knowing you have not abandoned your plan will help you get over any depression you might have because of your holiday eating, and will help reduce any negative effects from all the delicious, gooey calories you have “accidentally” consumed. If you cannot stay on a formal program, squeeze in a walk, even if it is a high-speed shopping trip through the mall. By the way, this is the reason I love yoga. When everything’s done, I can retire to my bedroom and not only get the physical benefits of the yoga session, but I relieve some of the stress I may have built up during the day. That helps with the eating too.

4. Remain in touch with reality:

You will hear people speak of “mindful eating”. Be aware of what you are doing. Have you ever heard someone say, “That is so good, I just have to have some more.”? Of course, YOU and I never say things like that! Well, the truth is that you DON’T have to have some more, and, if you do, it doesn’t need to be right now. Just because the food is there right now doesn’t mean it has to be eaten right now. You know what’s good for you and what isn’t. One piece of pie today is not going to kill you or destroy your weight loss resolution, but do you have to have that pie? Isn’t there a healthier treat you could have, or could you just wait until the meal has settled, or after you take a walk to rev up your metabolism and burn off some of what you already ate? Why not take a piece home with you and have it as a treat for later…when you aren’t as full as a tick?

5. Food is not love:

Many people tend to equate food and eating with love. You cannot change the others, but you can change your own attitude. Refusing seconds of Grandma’s turkey does not mean you don’t love her. If she is hurt because you normally stuff yourself and this year you’re not doing her food “justice”, just say that you are full right now but will have more later. Take control of YOUR life. Others will have to take control of their own.

6. If you are the cook:

Choose healthy dishes prepared in a healthy manner. If you have found a new diet-friendly food that you enjoy, share that with others. This will give you one more healthy dish on the groaning board to select your own meal from.

7. Alcohol:

If you enjoy wine, beer, egg nog like my Uncle Wilbur liked, or other drinks containing alcohol, just slow down and cut back. Try slipping in a glass of water between drinks. Drinks containing alcohol are sneaky calories. They do nothing for you nutritionally, but they do have a lot of calories. A few drinks with friends can give you more calories than a Big Mac…and you probably have these drinks while snacking or eating a meal! Oh well! At least if you are a beer drinker, you can try some light beers. It will give you an excuse to sample.

8. Be happy to be where you are, doing what you are doing, with the people you love:

If you fall head over heels off the diet wagon, have fun. What you do throughout the year will have more effect on your weight and health than what happens between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.