Friday, July 18, 2008

Family Days Out in Summer

What is your favorite activity in summer? Do you prefer to travel, to lie in the sun or work as usual? Do you have time to spend it with your kids?

Lots of parents are so busy today and can hardly find time to spend with their kids altogether. And it is really a problem, because your children need your care and attention, notwithstanding your work, carrier and other endless “yes, darling, but…”

It should be born in parents’ minds that while spending time with their kids, they are sure to enjoy themselves and moreover, they don’t need much time or money to give the members of their families a bit more love, tenderness and care.

So, forget about one-in-a-year family holiday and do your best to spend time with your family in summer. It goes without saying that traveling and having family rest is a great opportunity, but even if you cannot find so much time due to your work or some other problems, you are sure to find from 2 to 4 hours a day to go with your kids to the park or to the nearest museum.

Popular indoor activities include laser quest, ice skating, bowling, going to the cinema, and if you are more of a great outdoors family then you are not short of options either. Popular outdoor activities include having a picnic, going on nature trails, walking and cycle rides, festivals (there are more new family orientated festivals starting up every year now that cater for the whole family), and not least forgetting the amusement parks (it’s not all about candy floss!) to name but a few.

So, as you see, you only need to have a strong desire to spend time with your family and there is nothing difficult in organizing your family days out. I believe that for normal and caring parents it is a matter of urgent importance to spend time with their kids, to show how they care and love… And, on the other hand, if parents are constantly at work and say to have no time for their families, I’d search for deeper reasons of such behavior…

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tips on speech delivering

Whenever we have to deliver a speech, that is to speak in front of a large audience, we feel nervous up to the point of trembling. It doesn’t happen to everybody; however, the majority of us do not possess this, sometimes so desired, gift of the gap. Still, in our life there appear moments, when we have to speak. What to do??? To drink sedatives and look like a robot without feelings and emotions or better try to pull oneself together and be absolutely ready for this event? Let’s consider the second variant…

Get ready: morally, physically. Good preparation and planning will give you the confidence to deliver your speech. This will calm your nerves and make the experience more pleasurable. Preparation, planning and practice are absolutely vital to the success of your speech. If you are not used to delivering speeches, practice your speech at home in front of the mirror – thus, you’ll be able to analyze your mimic, your gesture and the way you present the speech. You may do the same procedure with someone you completely trust.

Remain yourself – do not try to imitate your favorite orator or comic (especially, if your speech is far from being funny).

Make a good and thought over presentation of your speech, don’t forget to introduce yourself.

Even if you possess phenomenal memory, make some notes of your speech. This may be a full record of every detail you are going to mention, just a brief plan, including main ideas, or cards with main theses of your speech.

When it comes to delivering your speech, you should:
1. Use a microphone, if the room is too large. Never try to shout to be heard.
2. Pausing at the end of a point can be a powerful statement. Allow for responses such as laughter, sighs, gasps and other emotional responses.
3. Make eye contact with your audience, but try not to speak to every person in the room as you can not make eye contact with everyone. Select a few key people/ positions in the room, and address these positions to give the impression that you are speaking to the whole audience.
4. Make sure you pace the speech and do not race through it as it will appear as though you cannot wait to finish. Speak distinctly, in normal tempo, making sure that everybody understands you.
5. Try being animated when delivering your speech. Avoid using one tone of voice as you will put people to sleep. Vary the emotional emphasis and your speech will hold the listeners interest. If possible, use some visual aids for making the audience interested in what you are speaking about.

Always set your mind to something positive and be sure that your speech will be the best!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Unbelievable summer party ideas

If you don’t know what to do during hot summer weekends, these summer party ideas are just for you. A bit of fantasy, desire to enjoy yourself and do something pleasant for your family will make even the most unbelievable ideas possible.

For an outside party in high summer give preference to Provencal style. Try to find or hire in rustic furniture, cover your tables with Provencal fabric, hang bunches of lavender tied with lavender raffia to the back of the chairs and use great bowls of lemons or cherries as table centers. Serve sticks of French bread, smelly cheeses, olives, huge bowls of tossed salad, gallons of red wine and lashings of strawberries and cream!

Light the walkway to your venue with a series of flaming Olympic torches - these are not genuine flames but very realistic simulated fabric flames powered by electric fans.

For adding personal touch to your party and in order to avoid routine, have a Hawaiian style barbecue with barbecued seafood, which can include crab and lobster and small roasted exotic vegetables, followed by tropical fruit and ice-cream. Give all your guests grass skirts and tropical flower leys. Cooking outside on a barbecue should be well away from where guests can inhale smoke and fumes. Try to make the food adventurous with lots of exotic salads and side dishes to complement the meat.

Hire an ice bar to stand near the dance floor. This is a really great gimmick to cool down vigorous dancers. Both the bar and glasses are made of solid ice and if lit from behind with coloured lights the effect is absolutely stunning.

Place tall glass vases around the room filled with submerged seashells and orchids, which can be held, as if suspended under water, by the employment of thick clear but invisible cellophane.

If you are anticipating a hot weather, place a small decorative fan at each table setting.

Instead of the normal champagne reception, employ a talented barman or two to run a Caribbean-style cocktail bar. Be inventive, as well as exotic cocktails use lots of different flavoured ice cubes and fresh fruit in beautifully decorated bowls with non-alcoholic punch for children and elderly relatives.

For midsummer parties in a marquee, where it can get horribly stuffy, strategically place great bowls of coloured ice-cubes around the perimeter of the marquee. Make sure you use food colorings in case people are so hot they decide to suck the ice cubes. The cubes can be coloured to complement your flowers etc. An alternative idea to coloring is to freeze a small rose-head in each cube.

If you are serving a fruit punch adorn it with slices of strawberry and ice cubes with a rose petal frozen into the centre of each one.

To keep your guests extra cool purchase tiny lemon-coloured flannels, soak these in water with a few drops of lemon oil added, then offer these refreshing aids to guests, hot and bothered from high activity on the dance floor. The trick here is not to offer these refresher pads from an ordinary bowl but from an ice bowl made with pieces of lemon frozen into the sides.

Freeze small fruits, like grapes and strawberries, for a quick refresher.

Hire a bubble machine to add froth and fun on the dance floor.

A really cool effect can be achieved by hiring dramatic water effects from lavish fountains to waterfalls.

Finally why not hold a beach themed party, either inside or in your backyard. You can replace chairs with sand and beach mats or a few park benches and have some polystyrene boulders, large seashells and beach pebbles lying around. Put up a few beach umbrellas and use seaside posters on prominent walls. Add a surf board to the décor and have sea sounds CDs playing. Keep the party dress code for the beach and serve a selection of seafood and lots of cool fruity drinks. A good touch would be to hire a real ice cream stall for guests to have a seaside cornet when they wanted.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Planning a picnic…

Feeling like going on a picnic? Great! And be sure that nothing can spoil your intention to have rest and spend time with your family or with your friends outdoors. You think, it will need much time to plan your rest, buy food and think up what you can do out there? You may not bother at all! What you really need is to get up in the morning, look through the window, smile to the shining sun and look forward to the coming weekend!

Now you may not even bother about food – on your way drop in into the supermarket and buy something appropriate for your picnic. Besides, if you have a picnic hamper with all necessary things like plates, plastic glasses, cutlery, bottle opener, and even napkins, you have everything you need for complete comfort! If not, take what you consider necessary, don’t forget about games – if you are going with children, involve them in the process of packing – they will pack badminton, croquet etc., or collecting the family’s swimming or sports gear with more pleasure than doing their rooms.

If you are going to organize a kind of a party outdoors, you’ll need more planning. If everything is planed in advance, you’ll be less stressed and everyone present will enjoy themselves much more. What you need to think up:

· Date – you can have picnics any time of the year
· Time – daytime or evening – or even a night out under the stars
· Reason – there doesn’t have to be one!
· Theme – choose one or relax just being eager to spend time in leonine doze.
· Location – close to home or further away, by the sea or in the country. Choose some really picturesque spot not to have to breathe traffic fumes.
· Weather - Do you know if it’s likely to be hot, warm, humid, windy, cloudy? Is rain a possibility? Even if it is so, a bit of planning will save your weekend and your mood.
· Who will you invite? Will you have invitations? If yes, what kinds? If you want some kind of help from your guests, write it down in your invitation cards in detail.
· Don’t forget the food and picnic equipment!

The season of numerous vacations is on the threshold. Do not spend this great time in stuffy offices working, working and working! Make spontaneous decisions and go out closer to the nature – enjoy it in full, but don’t forget to clean everything after your visit – nature doesn’t like ungrateful guests!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Kiss and Get Kisses in Return!

Humans’ imagination is very rich on different events, holidays and traditions. People always wanted and needed something to eat and something to entertain themselves. Perhaps, this is another reason for abundance of holidays and special days we have every month all year long. But even if it is so, we have nothing to complaint of – just on the contrary, we are glad to have another opportunity to have some fun and spend more time with our friends and close people.

The 28th of April is such a day – Kiss Your Mate Day! Even if you don’t need a special day to kiss your mate, let it be another opportunity for keeping romance and intimacy in your relations. It goes without saying that kissing is not only extremely pleasant – it is also very healthy! If you kiss regularly, you’ll avoid wrinkles; have better mood and positive attitude to life! Once one of my lectures said, “If you grumble and are in a bad mood, it means, nobody kisses you”! There is sense in his words, isn’t there?

So, I’m sure you know that kissing is appropriate always and everywhere. Here are some tips and traditions of this holiday.

· There is no upper limit to the number of times you can kiss your mate today.

· There is no upper limit to the number of kisses you can share today.

· It is highly recommended that you limit your kisses to just one mate.

· If you don't have a mate, it's alright to kiss someone who is not formally your mate.... Hey, you never know. This day may be a beginning.......

· You can kiss your mate wherever you want (location/place).

· You can kiss your mate wherever you want (anatomically speaking)

· Giving candy or flowers is not required. But, we suggest that those who do will receive more kisses.

Kiss and get kisses in return, get more positive emotions, have Kiss Your Mate Day, Love Your Mate Day, Take Care of Your Mate Day… of your own. Take care of your relationships, and this day will become a good tradition in your family!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

It’s time you fell in love with Garlic!

You don’t like garlic??? I’ll pretend not to hear you! Why? Because today we celebrate the National Garlic day! Perhaps, it is not the best day to kiss your better half, but it is sure to be a great opportunity to fight against microbes. Used across the world for millennia, both for culinary and medicinal purposes, garlic has been successful in treating wounds, infections and intestinal parasites. It's even mentioned in Egyptian hieroglyphs!

Today many scientists have concluded from the results of numerous clinical trials, that garlic has anti-bacterial properties and helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It also contains allyl sulfur compounds and these are currently being studied by the National Cancer Institute for their ability to slow or prevent the growth of tumor cells, which may prove effective in fighting certain cancers.

Cooking wise, it's worth noting that the smaller you chop garlic, the more pungent it becomes. Garlic which has been through a garlic press is 10 times stronger than garlic which has been chopped with a knife. So, if you want a milder tasting dish, either add whole of halved cloves.

Garlic is also well known in repelling vampires, curing warts and protecting against the plague!

Whilst National Garlic Day seems to be an American invention, this awesome little bulb merits being celebrated the world over. Celebrate National Garlic Day by using it heavily in your meals and snacks today. Spend some time researching its medical benefits. You might find you are adding more garlic to your menu everyday.

Garlic Linguine with Mushrooms
Vegetarian Main Course Serves 4 Prep and cooking time 20 minutes
450g/1lb Linguine
25g/1oz Butter90ml/
3fl.oz. Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
450g/1lb Mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp freshly chopped Parsley Black Pepper
1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil.
2. Add plenty of salt and the linguine and cook for 8-10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat the oil and garlic in a saucepan then add the mushrooms and sauté gently until golden, stirring from time to time.
4. Add the parsley, salt and pepper to the mushroom mixture and mix well.
5. Drain the cooked pasta well, return to the rinsed out pan and stir in the oil and garlic mixture, tossing to coat well. Serve immediately.

Garlic Artichoke Dip

1 cup marinated artichoke hearts - drained, finely chopped
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 small can chopped green chile peppers
4 cloves of fresh California-grown garlic - crushed
Mix all ingredients in bowl, spoon into baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 350x. Serve warm or cold on crackers or bread.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Tired to do the chores? Quit… for today!

Every month of the year seems to have some holidays or any other reasons for celebration. We are glad because of this, ‘cause we get a chance to relax a little bit, forget about our problems and troubles and spend time with our friends, relatives, family etc. If you think that All Fools’ Day is the only holiday April can boast of, you are mistaken!

I’m glad to announce that you may do nothing about the house today! Why? Because today we celebrate No Housework Day! The origin of this holiday (yes, I really mean it!) it still unknown. Perhaps, one day a person decided that he/she is sick and tired of all this routine work and arranged a day off! In any case we can be glad we have this nice tradition!

The majority of women who do the chores will say that this is the most thankless job. It often goes unrecognized and worst of taken for granted. Usually men do not appreciate all that amount of work their spouses do about the house. There is at least one day of the year, when they can revenge. There are two ways of celebrating this holiday. If you normally do the housework around the house, cease and desist for this day. Instead, kick back and enjoy the day. Relax and do anything, except housework.

If you are a spouse or significant other, do the housework for your mate. It gives her (or him) a break from the housework. And, you just might get an appreciation of how much work it takes to keep up the house.

Perhaps, it would be nice to have such a day at least once a month – but who said, we couldn’t create such a holiday on our own? Remember the saying, “all work and no game made Jack a dull boy”? I mean not only daily routine here. Do not forget about rest and life around you! Have a nice No Housework Day!