Save Money and Still Have Fun With an Inflatable Pool

An inflatable pool is great for backyards. They offer hours of entertainment for the whole family. It is also a wonderful way to beat the heat. They are easy to assemble and widely utilized. You can find some amazing deals online. Several pool websites offer substantial savings. This is due to overstocked items, and non-seasonal inventory. Since most people  swim  in the summer, these types of pools lay dormant in the winter. The colder months are the perfect time to purchase these pools. Some inflatable units are equipped with air pumps. Simply connect them to an electrical source. The device then fills the pool to desired results. Other units require manual assistance. No matter the specifications, you are sure to enjoy this wonderful creation.

Inflatable pools can also be found at stores. From sporting goods to hobbies, you can pick up some great deals. Simply let the sales associate know what you need. While most pools differ in size, there are some that have standard features. These features include base design, support and occupancy. A normal inflatable unit can facilitate up to 5 people. Other units are larger and sturdier. Before purchasing a pool, make sure to properly measure your backyard. There must be enough space allocation. In addition, confirm how the water will be poured. Some units require a specialist to fill the pool. Others allow you to do it yourself, with precise details and instructions.

Inflatable pools can even be transported. If you own a summer home, this is a great way to enjoy the season. You must, however, check on loading the pool into a vehicle. With smaller pools, even regular cars can transport them. With larger units, you will surely need a truck or motor home. You can also check with the store. A sales associate should be able to provide you with this information. If purchased online, confirm these details with the store or auction site. The pools are designed in many ways. From colorful to aquatic themes, your kids are sure to love them. They are perfect for adults as well, who wish to lounge around in the heat.

With any summer activity, parents should supervise their children. Inflatable pools must be secured at all costs. This includes ropes, or heavy components at the base. This allows you and your loved ones to safely enjoy the pool. It can also prevent slipping, sliding or common accidents.

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How to Make a Frozen Cocktail

A cocktail is a well know drink globally and is enjoyed all around the world. It involves combining fresh fruits and juices, mixed with crushed ice and alcohol to create a great tasting beverage. The cocktail is synonymous with beach front and tropical settings, but can also be seen in bars or at events and parties.

The cocktail is believed to have come from Italian culture. The Italians have been making a drink called the frozen granita for centuries. This involves shaving ice off a large block and crushing it. This is then mixed with available juices, such as lemon, orange and watermelon. This would ultimately create a slushie like beverage, which is enjoyed by both kids and adults.

The granita laid the platform for the frozen cocktail. People starting adding left over bits of alcohol into the granita which formed an alcoholic slushie. From here people came up with different recipes and today there are hundreds of cocktail recipes.

Making a cocktail can be pretty easy. It is just a matter of mixing some juices and alcohol. However, a frozen cocktail is a little bit more challenging. To make one, you need about half a kilo of ice. This needs to be broken down into smaller pieces. To achieve this, you can use a few techniques. The first is to use a blender. This is the easiest way. All you do is put the ice inside and blend for 30 seconds and it will finish in a nice slushie texture. You can also use a pestle and mortar and break down the ice, doing only a handful at a time.

Once you have the ice into a crushed form, you can then start mixing the rest of the ingredients. So, to make a tequila sunrise, you would need a few ingredients. You would need 2 peaches, a handful of raspberries, 100ml of tequila and a fresh lime. You need to chop up all the fruit into small pieces. You can then blend or use the pestle and mortar to crush. You mix this into a jug with your crushed ice and stir thoroughly. You can then add the tequila. This will also help to break down the fruit a bit so it is in more of a liquid consistency for easier drinking. Then all you need to do is squeeze in one fresh lime and mix together and you will have a refreshing cocktail.

With today’s modern technology you don’t have to go to all this effort if you don’t want to. There is a machine available on the market which automates this whole process. It is commonly know as the slushie machine or the cocktail machine. All you need to do is pour in ready to go juice or flavouring, There are hundreds of ready to go cocktail mixes available so you don’t have to mix any fresh fruits. The best part is the cocktail machine turns the liquid into ice after sixty minutes, so you don’t need to add any ice. A spinning auger inside the slushie machines mixes all the juice and ice and then you can just pull down the handle and the drinks are ready. The downside to these machines are that they are expensive to buy. You can hire a cocktail machine relatively cheap from a party hire supplier if you only need to use it occasionally.

Frozen cocktails are delicious whether you make them by hand or use a slushie machine.

Mature Singles Only Reviews: Are They Really Worth All The Hype?

Have you been looking for ‘Mature Singles Only’ reviews online? Well I know how you feel, not many are genuine or give you the information you need, right?

I am going to explain exactly what ‘Mature singles only’ is in this review. Unlike other reviews I will explain the nature of the service and let you know if they just another Cougar Dating Service in disguise. I will then explain how much experience they have. Finally I will explain what the positives and the negatives are.

What is ‘Mature Singles Only’ and why so many reviews?

Mature Singles Only is a dating service, it has so many reviews because it is the new buzz out there. So what makes it different from any other local singles dating site? Good question, it specializes in dating for senior singles.

There are many online dating sites out there, but not many focus on senior dating.

Is ‘Mature Singles Only’ Just another Cougar Dating Service?

The short answer is no! If you read all the mature singles only reviews out there you will see that the emphasis is on matching people of the same age and preferences.

How Much Experience Do They Have?

The company claim to have been around for over 27 years. This is a good level of experience by any measure. They focus their efforts in the United states and Canada and aim to provide a quality dating service.

What Are The Negatives?

In my opinion, they are not as well known as other services out there. However this does not mean that they are not good at senior dating.

What Are The Positives?

From what I have seen they are a well presented service that appear to focus on their members happiness. The great thing is they allow people to try out their service before they commit to a membership. Personally I would do some extra research before you make your final choice.

Fun School Fundraiser Ideas That Promote Child Safety

Different institutions in society have been recently affected by the economic situation happening globally. The government has been forced to cut public budgets, businesses had to lay off several of their employees, and the prices of various goods and services were raised to avoid profit loss. Schools have also had to cut their budget for different school activities, functions, and materials. This is why school fundraisers are very important. These income-generating projects cater to the extra expenses schools need in order to function as the second home for children. Proceeds from these fundraisers could for example pay for educational class trips; provide equipment needed by the school’s sports division, assist students who lack financial support, and many more.

There is a variety of school fundraiser ideas that have been practiced by most schools. But the most common and popular form is the door-to-door selling of different food products such as cookies or candy by students. This may be one of the most profitable forms of school fundraising, but is also the most dangerous. Recently, there has been an increase in the number of crimes targeting children. Asking students to go door-to-door only increases the risk of them getting harmed by strangers. In addition, the absence of adults during fundraising activities, specifically that of teachers, parents, or any of the school’s staff, compromises the safety of the students.

School fundraiser ideas should not be limited to the efforts of the students. They should involve the participation and supervision of adults in order to ensure the safety of students. One fun and safe idea is to organize a school fair open to the community wherein different kinds of booths which include selling food and asking money to play a variety of games will be put up and handled by students, teachers, and parents. Another idea is to present a school play wherein the students will be asked to sell tickets to their relatives, friends, and local establishments with the help and guidance of their parents.

To educate students on the importance of taking care of the environment, the school could organize a recycling drive to promote the habit of recycling and proper waste management. This project will have students and their parents collect newspapers, bottles, and other recyclables from their homes and their neighbours or put out boxes in different local businesses where people could drop off their recyclables. The recyclables will then be brought to recycling centres in exchange for money. Many items such as clothing has become a very popular way to make a small amount of money rather than to simply donate them to charity.

The success of such projects involves the participation of students, parents, teachers, school staff, and the whole community. With the growing dangers of door-to-door fundraising, schools should think of fun yet safe alternatives which involve adult participation and supervision. Parents should also participate in suggesting school fundraiser during PTA meetings that they could work on together with their children including any fundraising using the internet which could also be open to abuse without supervision. The community should also play a role in the project by simply supporting the cause.

Natural Cure for Diabetes

Food Therapy should be followed under the supervision from your doctor. Check your sugar level frequently so that sugar levels do not go beyond the recommended level

Foods to avoid

It is always advisable to avoid some foods if you are diabetic such as refined sugar, sweets, syrups, glucose, jam, molasses, fruit sugar, ice-cream, cakes, pastries, sweet biscuits, chocolates, soft drinks, condensed milk, cream and fried foods. Fats like butter, ghee and hydrogenated vegetable oil should also be avoided. White sugar and white flour should be reduced drastically. Avoid all processed foods, junk food, pastries, cookies, canned and preserved foods. They contain harmful preservatives and lot of salt. Avoid soft drinks since these have a lot of sugar. Try to avoid fried foods from your diet.

Smoking results in the using up of oxygen in the body. It will result in less of oxygen needed by the body to metabolize glucose. So smoking should be avoided.

Foods to be limited

Salt consumption should be reduced to a minimum. You will get enough salt form the vegetables and fruits you eat. Reduce animal foods especially red meats. Reduce poultry and egg. Reduce caffeine and alcohol. Do not drink tea and coffee more than 2 cups a day. Try to replace it with green tea or herbal teas like Parsley tea, Blueberry leaf, Tea made of tender walnut tree leaves, Water in which kidney bean pods have been cooked is good diabetes.

Do not consume alcohol in empty stomach. Alcohol on an empty stomach can cause low blood glucose or hypoglycemia.Foods that should be consumed in moderation are honey and other natural sugars like palm sugar, dates which can be used instead of white sugar. Remember these should be consumed in very little quantity only.Pasta, coconut, other nuts, unsweetened juices, eggs should be limited. You can replace it with whole grain, unpolished rice and Soya products. Try to eat whole grain bread instead of white flour. Fats like olive oil and peanut oil are more advisable that hydrogenated fats. Low fat food like skimmed milk and low fat home made cottage cheese can be taken in moderation. You can also substitute it with yoghurt. Sea food and fish also can be taken in moderation.

Foods to be taken

Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.

An alkaline diet with natural food is recommended. Wholegrain, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and dairy products form a good diet for the diabetic. Raw vegetables can be taken in high quantities. It has been found that cooked foods raise blood glucose higher than raw, unpeeled foods. Cooking destroys many of the enzymes and some vitamins and minerals.

Eat at least five fruits every day. Fruits like grape fruit, pomegranate juice, Indian blackberry, banana, granny smith apples, fig, cranberries, black berry, kiwi fruits, and citrus fruits are highly recommended. It can be taken as a snack. Cucumber, Lettuce, onion, garlic string beans cucumber radish, tomato, carrot, leaves; spinach turnip, cabbage and Jerusalem artichoke are good for diabetes. Colorful vegetables are good for the functioning of pancreas. Drink Fruit juices without sugar. Brewer’s yeast and sprouted alfalfa and mung beans are good for the body. Unripe banana also can be cooked and eaten.

The most important of all is eating high fiber diet which lowers need for insulin. It releases energy into the body slowly. It has also been found that diabetes decreases and may even disappear in people eating a high fiber or whole food diet. High fiber diet has more chromium and chromium is very good for people with diabetes.

Eat lot of potassium rich foods like raw peanuts, tomato, bananas, melons, dried peas, potatoes, apple cider vinegar, skimmed milk powder, wheat but do not take potassium supplements.

Include soluble fiber in your meals like barley, oatmeal, almond meal, dried beans, kidney beans, cooked black beans, peas, cereals, chickpeas, Bengal gram which has low glycemic index, , Black gram, lentils and corn or garbanzo beans to helps considerably in reducing blood sugar levels. Soy products like tofu, tempeh, soymilk, soya powder, soy bean sprouts, nuggets etc are also very good in containing neurological complications in diabetes. You can make bread out of any of the whole grains. Get a lot of soluble fiber into your diet. When you eat lots of bread, cereal and starchy vegetables you will get enough of starches which is very helpful for diabetes. Insoluble fibers, found in bran (oat bran, wheat bran), whole grain breads, whole grains and nuts, act as intestinal scrubbers by cleaning out the lower gastrointestinal tract. Fiber cleans your intestinal tract by moving out the food so that it wouldn’t stay there and putrefy. Butter milk and yoghurt diet are very beneficial.

Helpful herbs and vegetables

1. Bitter Gourd (Karela): Bitter gourd Momordica-charantia or bitter melon juice contains plant insulin and should be taken 2 ounce 2 times daily on an empty stomach. It is found to be very effective for diabetes.

Or

It can be cooked as any vegetable and eaten.

Or

The bitter melon powder can be made by drying. Take bitter gourd powder I teaspoon daily in empty stomach.

2. Taking half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day may help prevent the onset of diabetes. Even soaking a cinnamon sticks in your tea, could also benefit non-diabetics who have blood sugar problem but are unaware of it.

3. 30 gram fenugreek seeds can be soaked in a glass of water at night and after 12 hours take it and grind it into a paste with the soaked water and drink it on a empty stomach.

Or

2 teaspoon if powdered seeds can be taken with water or milk.

Or

You can add fenugreek into anything you cook.

4. Eating upto 3 grapefruits a day has also been helpful.

5. 1 tablespoon of amla (Emblica officinalis) after removing the seeds extract the juice and mix with a cup of bitter gourd juice and take daily for 2months in a empty stomach.

6. Gymnema Sylvestre a traditional ayurvedic herb the leaf of which is to be taken up to 4 grams per day.

7. Indian blackberry seeds or Jamun seed powder (scientific name of Jamun is Eugenia jambolana or Syzygium cumini L and) is very good for diabetes. Take 1/4th teaspoon with 1 teasoon honey for 50 days.

8. Eating freshly crushed raw garlic 3-4 grams a day lowers blood sugar. You can wash it down with a glass of water.

9. Neem seeds daily 2 times a pinch. Taking a gram of neem leaf daily helps in diabetes.

10. Bael (Aegle marmelos) : The leave of the bael tree when chewed are very useful in diabetes. Pulp of this fruit could be dried and taken in doses of 5 to 10 gms a day.

11. A pinch of pure turmeric powders mixed in amla juice (Indian goose berry) and eat daily in empty stomach.

12. Use of turmeric and gooseberry in equal quantities in powder form taken with warm water is very useful in this behalf. These activate the pancreatic cells and more insulin is produced.

13. Wild jeerakam cumin seeds black colored 60 gm in 1 liter and boil a reduce it ti 1/4th liter and take half divide it into two equal parts and drink one part in the morning and one in the evening 2 times daily.

14. Grind (Bacopa monnieri )Bhrahmi and add a teaspoon of it to milk and drink.

Vitamins that help

Supplements in natural forms are more conducive to the body.

Magnesium supplementation has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity.

Vitamin C: 500 mg is recommended. Vitamin E: This vitamin is very valuable for diabetes. A daily dose of 200 i.u. of Vitamin E is recommended for a fortnight at a time.

Chromium: Whole grains, seeds, mushrooms, corn oil and brewer’s yeast are relatively good sources of biologically valuable chromium.

Vitamin A:. Take A dose of 15,000i.u. on alternate days.

Vitamin B: Avoid large dosage of vitamin B because this vitamin interferes with the absorption of insulin by cells.

Things to do

Controlling your Weight is the best way to treat diabetes. Exercise improves the body’s response to insulin. An exercise program should be started only with the advice of a doctor to avoid unnecessary complications. Walking, light   games , jogging and  swimming  are also good.

Yoga can help a lot. To relieve stress do meditation once a day for 10 to 40 minutes. Yogic asanas like Siddhasana, Vajrasana, Talasana, Yastikasana,, like Yogamudra, Hastapadasana, Paschimottanasana, Chakrasana, Ustrasana, Bhujangasana, Sarvangasana and Viparitakarani, as halasana, shalabhasana, dhanurasana, Pratipaksabhavana and shavasana will also be beneficial.

Google Redirect Virus Fix – How to Get Rid of Google Virus

Infecting users via internet exposure and nooks and crannies found in unsecured browsers are the main causes of the redirect virus. So where does one inject the use of Google redirect virus fix? In order to properly employ its use first it is essential to understand what this threat is and what it does. The redirect malware lives up to its name, the infection causes a hijacking of any search or website visit a user plans to make. Instead of finding their site of choice the virus redirects them to fake websites containing ads and even corrupted pages.

The following fake errors are displayed by the vius

  • Internet explorer cannot open web page
  • filename.exe is not a valid win32 application
  • Setup files are corrupted Please obtain new copy of program

Being a browser hijacking utility it manages to infect browsers like IE and Firefox and then redirects internet users to the following malicious sites.

  • clearask.com
  • brittaniasearch.com
  • go.Google.com
  • web-analytics.Google.com

The redirect threat is capable of disabling activated firewalls and security software which can then lead to a remotely accessible system. This allows hackers to have access over personal information such as login names, passwords, financial records etc.

What are the symptoms to consider when one wants to implement a Google redirect virus fix?

· An unknown change of desktop background

· Changes homepage

· Browsers such as IE and Firefox slows down noticeably

· Corruption of registry files thus resulting to the dreaded “Blue Screen of Death”

· Contamination of messengers, freeware and email attachments are also sure signs.

How does Google redirect virus fix work?

1. Select Show Hidden Devices under Hardware Device Manager in your Windows Control Panel.

2. Search for “TDSSserv.sys” right click Disable. Do not select Uninstall otherwise the infection will reappear once the computer is restarted.

3. Reboot the pc.

4. Immediately update antivirus software and the Google redirect virus will cease to exist in your workstation.

It pays to be vigilant and alert when using the internet. Avoid malicious sites and constantly scan your system and update your security tool to avoid contaminations. It is also best not to rely on one antivirus software alone having another reliable application can help sift through the threats that the other was incapable of detecting.

Swimming Accessories – Look Good and Be Safe!

Swimming is an exciting and fun activity which is also a great way of keeping fit and healthy. Both grownups and children can enjoy it together. With a full range of swim accessories, you will not only look good but it will also help protect you while in the pool.

Swimming Accessories

Introduce kids into the water and let them learn to swim with the help of colorful arm bands that will help to provide buoyancy and build his/her confidence. Inflatable rubber rings are also excellent for learners. It provides support for the arms and body and helps to keep your head above the water. Baby floats in different shapes are essential for younger learners, as are swim float suits for boys and girls. Dive rings and dive sticks are available in bright colours and are an excellent way to motivate children to swim under water in order to retrieve them – a great confidence-builder! Children will enjoy swimming even more when you provide them with toys such as dive sticks and rings – they’re a great way to learn and develop a child’s swimming ability.

Swim Accessories for Safety

Swimming caps in different materials can be bought online which are important for protecting your hair. Silicone caps for adults and children are available in different colours. Kids’ caps have interesting designs such as fishes, sharks etc and a great way to make your child stand out from the crowd. Pool footwear is designed for support and comfort. Other swim accessories such as towels in striking designs are available online. Towels are very important to keep yourself dry and for a refreshing shower after a long swim. A swim bag, preferably a backpack is essential when you go for a swim. Buy a bag that has a separate section for your damp towel and wet clothes. Side pockets and adjustable straps are other features you should look out for. Mesh bags and rucksacks are light and convenient to carry.

Swimming Accessories for Comfort

The swimming Accessories you select is a personal choice, but the items you use will also provide a more pleasurable swimming experience. There are various kinds of swimming goggles, from cheap and cheerful to quite expensive for those taking swimming and little more seriously. Look out for things such as Anti-Fog coatings to stop your goggles misting up mid-swim and tinted lenses if you are going to use them in sunnier climes. Nose clips are also a very useful swim accessory for those who suffer from water going up your nose – not nice for anyone who has had this happen to them, but easy to fix! So too if you want to stop water entering your ears – ear plugs come in different materials and different sizes to ensure a tight fit to prevent conditions such as swimmers ear.

Your Children Can Become Better Personal Finance Managers Than You Are

Personal financial management is not a subject that is taught in every school or college. This is something that nearly all of us face sooner or later. Our competence in dealing with personal finances has been largely dependent on personal experience as parents did not pay much attention to teaching their children how to manage their pocket money. GoBankingRates says that one-third of Americans have no retirement savings. People are increasingly aware of the need to manage their personal finances efficiently taking into account tough economic times.

Current Trends

Parents are now more inclined to explain the rules of personal financial management to their children than never before in order to prepare them for life as adults. But unfortunately, many parents do not know these rules themselves. What can be done to overcome this problem? The answer is very simple: IT solutions can be employed. We live in a time when each of us has a mobile device, and children start using such devices from a very early age: the website LittleThings.com claims that 90% of 2-year-olds use tablets and smartphones. So children are unlikely to feel uncomfortable when learning to manage their finances with the help of technology.

Which Solutions Can be Used?

Websites are the first educational resource that should be addressed. They represent a treasure trove of data on personal financial management. Their content is not limited to articles covering this topic. Such websites may contain a boatload of games and quizzes teaching children to manage their finances, videos, and more. Some of them specialize in a certain type of education materials (e.g. Financial Entertainment represents a financial games library).

Let’s take a look at the Practical Money Skills website by Visa.

This website is full of educational materials that can be used by adults and children. Parents can choose materials depending on preferences of a child and his/her needs. Articles are written in simple words and children can understand them easily. They can be read by parents or by children themselves.

Children like games and they can play online games there, and these games will teach them to manage finances. If children (teenagers in particular) need some extra training in making savings and assessing their financial choices, they can use calculators. For instance, teenagers planning to take a year off before starting college usually travel abroad. They have a limited budget, so planning a travel budget plays a very important role. The Travel Budgeting Calculator can show them how much they will spend on a trip.

What about comics? People of different ages like them. This website offers several comics to the visitors that introduce fundamental money management concepts to readers.

Some other materials found on this website are videos, infographics, lesson plans (for educators), etc.

What are Other Options?

Think of downloading a mobile app to your device. Custom financial software and mobile application developers do their best to deliver a killer product. There are many good financial apps that can be used by children.

Here are some of them:

1. Quest to Clean Up: chores, rewards, saving. The app can help parents to teach their children to save and earn money on things they want. Children see how much effort is required to get an item they would like to get. Parents can add task and chores (paid/unpaid) using this app and reward kids after a task is completed.

2. Yuby. This app can become the first financial instrument for children. It has the Chore List that reminds its small users what their chores are and how much money they can get for each task. Yuby shows children the sum of money they have at the moment and displays their financial activity. Children can also see how much money they need to get the stuff from the Wish List.

3. Thrive ‘n’ Shine. This is an educational adventure game that teaches high school students to manage their personal finance. The app enables users to create avatars they like. Players learn to balance their needs and wants and earn different rewards. There are section quizzes and final summative assessments in this game. Teachers (or parents) can track children’s progress using an online dashboard.

4. bankaroo. This app represents a virtual bank that teaches children about the value of money. Parents and children can make use of this app to keep track of money that children save or spend. It helps children to save for important goals. The app supports different languages and currencies. It has a paid (school) version, as well.

5. Lunch Tracker. The app teaches children to manage their saving habits by tracking spending on lunch. It contains money-saving tips. Users can see how much money they spend on dining out, eating at home or packing lunch. Children can also take the 30-day challenge to find out how much they save on a monthly basis.

Conclusion

Becoming savvy managers of personal finances from an early age is very important as rules of personal financial management learned in the childhood can be used by in the adult life. IT solutions can become a means of teaching these rules. Parents can choose any solution their children may like, be it an online game, puzzle, mobile app or something else.

Swimming Accessories for Summer Safety

Swimming accessories are important for summer safety if you plan on swimming. There are a number of things that swimmers can use to enhance their summer experience, but there are some swimming accessories that no one should be without. One of the most important swimming accessories one can own is swimming goggles. In many public swimming spots, swimming goggles are a required piece of swimming equipment. The most important reason to wear swimming goggles is to avoid getting an infection in your eyes from chemicals or bacteria in the water. Chlorine, which is a chemical that is used to fight bacteria in swimming pools, can also cause health issues. If a swimmer’s eyes are exposed to chlorine for too long, temporary blindness, irritation, or other damage to corneal surface is possible.

The eyes are not the only part of the body that needs protection from the water. Another important swimming accessory is the earplug. The swimming earplug is different the earplugs you wear to block out noise. They are specially designed to keep water from entering the ear. Many people do not realize how dangerous it can be to ignore this crucial swimming gear. When water enters the ear canals, it can lead to ear infections or even diseases. One well-known disease is called Swimmer’s Ear. Although Swimmer’s ear is known for being painful, if left untreated it can lead to hearing loss in one or both ears. Although this type of infection is uncommon in adults, children are at a greater risk of infection because it is more difficult for them to communicate ear pain.

An often-ignored swimming accessory is the swim cap. A swim cap is usually seen as being a swimming accessory used only by professional swimmers, but it does a whole lot more than reduce resistance. Swimming accessories such as the swim cap help protect your hair against damage from chemicals and bacteria that can cause scalp irritation. Several skin diseases begin on the scalp because the hair easily collects bacteria. With a swim cap, you have the ability to still go swimming without harming your hair or scalp. Many public pools require women and men with long hair to wear a swim cap while in the pool. The reason behind this rule is to keep the drains and filters from getting clogged or tangled in long hairs that naturally fall out.

A swimming accessory popular for beginners or people who must hold their nose under water is the nose plug because it keeps the water from entering the nose. Many people stay away from water because of the uncomfortable feeling and often very dangerous act of inhaling water. A swimming gear such as a nose plug allows people to swim without the fear getting water up the nose. No matter what your needs this summer, these are the basic swimming accessories that will keep you healthy and focusing on having fun instead of pesky infections brought on by bacteria in the water.

Christmas Olympics! Let the Games Begin

Our daughter Shanna believed in Santa until she was 9. He seemed to represent all things Christmas yet Shanna felt sorry for him. She was sure that a jolly old fella like himself would feel sad that mail only arrived in December so until she turned 9, she began corresponding with Santa every January for 11 months, purposely excluding December and asking only for his friendship.

I was inspired by her. After years of trying to figure out a way to change our superficial model of Christmas to one with more meaning, surely I could follow the lead of my young daughter to create a Christmas tradition that would take the main focus off gifts.

My criterion was uncomplicated but needed to cover the things that were important to our family:

1. Make it more about family and togetherness than gifts.

2. Include every one of all ages.

3. Fun

4. Memorable!

Our family has come to know this unpretentious event as Christmas Olympics.

It begins right after lunch on December 25 with the gong of a bell which prompts last years Olympian to run though the house proudly wearing the cheap plastic olive leaf wreath on their head while carrying the makeshift torch (a wooden stick with a hand drawn flame)….happily donated when our three kids were still toting crayons.

Christmas Olympics is a great way to make sure that the very young and elderly stay as involved in the occasion as everyone else because they also choose a game they’re good at.

While many people spend the 5 days before Christmas on shopping, my family are extra busy gathering “things” for their game or researching “party games” on the internet and that’s half the fun!

The game each person chooses remains top secret right up until the moment they are designated to start their game. Each person’s game time is indicated simply by where their name happens to be on the paper that tracks the game points. Christmas Olympics after all is meant to be fun with few rules!

If you have 5 family members, each game earns a player a point score from 1-5, depending on the position they ranked in a game.

The following is a small sampler of some of our Christmas Olympic games;

o Poop the Potatoe which really means hop around a table with a potato between your legs and while facing everyone, plop it into a bowl on the floor.

o Orange peeling contests. The longest unbroken rind wins and everyone gets treated to a fibre break from candy and chocolate.

o Snow golf…one or two holes on a short course (use food colouring around the hole)

o Staring contests

o Memory games. Read a meaningful or funny short story and ask questions later. It’s really astounding how well adults DONT listen!

o Guess how many jelly beans, loonies or quarters. Winner gets points and the jar!

o Spin the coin. The longest spin wins.

o Card or dice games of chance.

o Find the Apple Pot. Blind folded, crawl along the floor smacking a wooden spoon to find a pot filled with water and an apple. Retrieve the apple with your mouth. This is timed. You can get creative by using a soft tomato or marshmallows (if someone has bad knees or back, place it somewhere on the counter)

o Guess what’s in the sock? Each sock holds an item of a family member. Contestants get a single 10 second feel, 1 hint and only 2 guesses.

At the end of the day we’ve laughed, created memories and crowned the Olympian with the coveted but tacky plastic head wreath and surprisingly, everyone is always proud to wear it.

We all thank Shanna for seeing things differently from the rest of us and having the courage to act on it.

Our kids, though now young adults are just as excited about the afternoon of December 25.

Let the games begin…