How to Get HDTV

July 23, 2008 by  
Filed under Technology

how to get hdtvYou’ve heard about it, and you’ve seen it displayed in stores. Perhaps now it’s time for you to get HDTV.

Buy an HDTV

To get HDTV (high definition television) programming, you must have a television capable of showing the HDTV picture. Visit your local electronics store or shop online to see the various HD compatible televisions available. High definition can boost the price of a basic television set, but it is becoming increasingly a standard feature in most new sets. Check to see if your current television allows for HD, and if not, treat yourself to a new television with HD compatibility.


Call the Cable Company

Chances are, if you’re just now buying a HD television, you don’t already have HDTV coming through the cable box or satellite. Pick up the phone and call your representative about the HD options available in your viewing area. There are more HD channels being released all the time, so chances are good you have at least a handful of HDTV channels to choose from.

Your cable company may offer a HDTV package, or you may have to choose which channels you’d actually like to receive. Once you’ve made your selections and gotten service set up, you can expect a visit from the installation tech.


Install Your HDTV Box

Some companies may be able to send HDTV signals to your current cable or satellite box, but chances are you’ll have to get an upgraded receiver. The cable technician will come to call with the new box, a new remote, and all the necessary wires. You’ll need to show him how your new television works and have the owner’s manual on hand for the new TV should something prove tricky. Most likely, however, the tech will plug in a few wires, make a phone call, and have your HDTV up an running in less than thirty minutes.


Once you’re installed, you can pull up the old TV trays and popcorn while you enjoy crystal clear picture and sound. Throw in a new HD DVD for a real trip through the movies and spend some time experiencing nature as closely as you can through wires with HD Discovery. The longer you watch HD, the more you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.

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How to Buy a Guy a Present

July 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Relationships

how to buy a guy a presentBoys complain about buying present for girls, but men are often very difficult to shop for. There is always the boring tie, or the useless gadget, but what kind of gift shows a guy you care? That, of course, depends on the guy! Here’s how to buy your guy a present.

Determine the Occasion

There are certain gift-giving occasions such as Christmas and birthdays where we feel obligated to give gifts. Even if you truly want to find a gift, there is an extra pressure of finding just the right thing. Other times, you want to give a gift simply because you were inspired to do so by something you saw on the store shelf of because it just seems like fun.

The occasion can make a difference in the kind of gift you buy. Formal occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas and birthdays seem to demand larger, more expensive presents. Gifts given on a whim are often more of a token or in fun making them less expensive and less serious.


Look for Clues

Some men are thoughtful enough to leave clues or hints as to what they would like. Even if your guy is unaware of it, he may be leaving plenty of clues. A broken watch sitting on the counter is a bold sign. So are the shoes that have holes in the soles from lack of use and the dead plant on the counter. Look around his home to see what he needs, and listen to him talk to other friends to get clues as to what he would like to have.

Consider His Personality

You must also consider the personality of your guy. Is he the type of guy who would love beer stein and chia pets for Valentine’s Day, or is someone who would rather have a home cooked meal and candle light? Guys with a sense of humor are often easier to shop for than those who are more seriously romantic. There are simply more fun gifts than romantic ones for men.


Buy With Your Heart

Finally, buy a gift with your heart more so than with your head. You may have every indication that he wants a new golf club. You can buy him the golf club, but be sure you are enjoying the gift giving. If that means buying a humorous golf club cover to go with that club, by all means, knock yourself out. A gift is not an obligation, it is an item freely given by your heart, so be sure you select it with that same organ.

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How to Serve Gelato

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Food & Drink

how to serve gelatoThe sweet frozen dessert hailing from Italy is similar to Ice Cream, but with a bolder flavor and fewer calories. Gelato is a wonderful dessert to serve at garden parties, showers, or birthday parties as it is festive, unusual and delicious. Here’s how to serve gelato.

Buy Gelato and Accessories

Wholesale gelato and accessories can be purchased over the internet. Many gelato retailers sell sorbets as well if you’re interested in a lighter frozen treat for your party. Purchase the amount of gelato you need along with the proper serving utensils. If you’d rather, you can also rent or buy a home gelato machine to make your own dessert the day of the party.


Keep the Gelato Frozen

Gelato is lighter than traditional ice cream, so it might melt more rapidly if not kept completely frozen. Store the gelato in a freezer around 30 degrees, just below freezing level to be sure it stays soft and fluffy rather than hard.

Arrange Festive Bowls

You can serve gelato in thin cones commonly found throughout Italy, or if you’d appreciate a more formal presentation, you can arrange any sort of bowl you’d like. Use champagne glasses, ice cream bowls, or even salad plates to serve the gelato to your guests.


Serve the Gelato

Gelato is beautifully textured in its container, especially if you freeze your own in an attractive serving pan. You might consider displaying and serving the ice cream in front of your guests rather than in the kitchen as the very confection itself can add to the festivities and decorations.

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How To Punish Bad Behavior

July 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Family & Parenting

how to punish a childIn today’s society, we as parents are limited on the methods or extent that we are allowed to punish our children. However, we are still responsible for our children’s behaviors. This can leave parents feeling extremely frustrated and often helpless. While not taking sides on issues that are better left to politicians, I am a strong believer that kids can learn from, and be punished for, negative behavior without the need to for physical punishment.

As a mother of 4 children I have faced almost every possible situation that would require me to punish one of my children. There have been times that they have tested my patience and self control.

I believe however, that they are as well behaved as they are in part because I have chosen to not use physical means of punishment. In fact, it is important to note that different behaviors warrant different punishments. For example: When my oldest daughter takes advantage of her cell phone privileges and calls her friends or accepts phone calls from her friends when she is suppose to be in bed, she loses her phone privileges. While if my youngest son were to run out in front of the street he would receive a verbal scolding and be put in time out.


The severity of punishment also depends on how many times an offense was committed.

The First Offense:

Let’s take the example of my daughter using her cell phone when she is not supposed to. On the first offense she will lose her phone for 1 day. Children are very intelligent and often explaining to them why they are not allowed to do something will prevent repeated offenses.

The Second Offense:

Kids are kids however, and if you are a parent you know that there are times when you simply cannot get through to your child on an adult level. In this example, increasing the duration of the original punishment will usually suffice. Removing cell phone privileges for 2 days or more can often “stress” the seriousness of your point of view. Be aware however, once you enter into this phase of the punishment, you are beginning a battle of wills. Children often “test” their parents and will not follow your rules simply as a way of contesting your authority. Most often they do not even realize why they are not obeying. This is yet another reason to avoid physical punishment if possible.

Regardless of the age of the child, removing an item or activity that they like for an extended period of time is punishment enough. My youngest child has special needs and for some children you will need to be especially patient.


NOTE: It is important to mention that during the second phase of punishment, consistency on your part is paramount. You MUST follow through with any warnings or threats that you have issued. This can be difficult, especially when it would be easier for you to “give in” to you child. For example: If your child has a birthday party coming up and you know that even if you tell your child that they may not attend because of something they have done, but you intend to let them go the whole time, you are not doing anyone, especially yourself, any good. If you tell your child that they cannot go to the birthday party, you need to have already decided that they are not going to go and expect them to beg, plead and cry when the day comes and stick to your guns.

The Third Offense:

The third offense is the most important and severe offense, requiring unique and inventive ways to punish your child. At this point, your previous methods of punishment have not worked and you need to think outside the box to find an effective way to impart the importance of being obeyed. All “testing” of the parent is done and this is the point where you put your foot down and take severe, but gentle, action.

Let’s refer back to the example of my daughter using her cell phone at the wrong time. At this point, I have expressed my expectations and demonstrated that not obeying my rules results in negative consequences for her. Having removed the cell phone for a few days at a time I have demonstrated that continuing the wrong behavior results in her losing the cell phone. For the third and FINAL offense I remove the cell phone permanently.  All privileges are revoked and the cell phone is cancelled or sold.

It is important to note that the third offense is the last offense. Your punishment should reinforce that concept, removing the ability for your child to repeat the offense.

In time, your child will learn that once they reach the second offense, they had better not “test” you any further. You will start to see that, while they will continue to challenge your authority through the first offense, your child will rarely repeat the behavior a second or third time.


Again, it is important to mention how important consistency and patience are. Just as you are training your child to follow the rules you set, you must also train yourself to follow through and remain calm. You should NEVER lose patience with a child. Stick to your rules and punishments and over time, your child will begin to comply with your rules without thinking about it.

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How To Keep From Spoiling a Child

July 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Family & Parenting

how to keep from spoiling a kidHave you ever walked through a super market and come across a kid kicking and screaming in the middle of an isle with the parent unable to control their child? Most of us have seen this in one form or another and it is obvious that the child is completely spoiled and used to getting their own way.

But, what do you do if this is your child? First, let’s understand that spoiled behavior is a learned behavior and therefore it CAN be reversed. The difficult part is teaching yourself appropriate responses to bad behavior and then following through with consistent discipline.


  • Avoid giving into your child so that you can avoid having to deal with bad behavior. When you give a kid what they want simply to keep them quiet and well behaved, you are telling them that you are willing to play by their rules.
  • Don’t always put your child first. As children grow and begin to face the real world they will discover that the world does not revolve around them. Start this lesson early and make sure that they know that you are allowed to take time to yourself.
  • Don’t constantly protect your child. Obviously this does not mean letting your child have free reign. It does however, mean that you should let your child fail sometimes. We all learn by doing and experience will teach your child much better than you ever can. As your child gets older, let the rope that separates your wants and their natural desire to explore, get longer.


In addition, parents who are well off financially have the tendency to give in to their children(s) every want. This leads to difficulty later on in life and can cause destructive and unwanted behavior. Decide what your child is allowed to have BEFORE you leave for the store or on your errands. Do not give in to the child’s desire for instant gratification.

It is important to give kids the tools they need to learn how to earn what they want. Being a single mother of 4 makes it difficult at times, but I continually have to remind my kids why we work for what we want and not everything is given to us. They have learned along the way that if they want something they don’t need and a special holiday or birthday is not in the near future, they will do what it takes to earn the money themselves.

It is very rewarding for the parents and the kids when they achieve their goals in this fashion. We live strongly by the NIFIL rule. (Nothing In Life Is Free). This will help kids out in the future when they don’t have us to lean on whenever something comes up.

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How to Feed a Baby

July 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Family & Parenting

how do I feed a babyConsidering babies are said to only “eat, sleep, and poop,” they certainly manage to make the eating portion of their existence complicated. Here is how to feed your baby by age:

Months 0-4

Babies need only breast milk or formula through month four. Contrary to popular belief, solids or cereal will not help your baby sleep better, but they can mess up her sensitive stomach.

Months 4-6

Some babies are ready to begin solid foods at four months. Signs of readiness include being able to sit assisted, excellent head control, showing marked interest in the food you eat, and not being satisfied after 24-32 ounces of milk or formula each day. Speak with your pediatrician about the right time to start solids as every child is different and many now feel that waiting until six months is the best option.


When you do offer your baby solids for the first time, use a soft tipped baby spoon to protect her gums. You can offer essentially any baby food, but rice cereal is usually the first choice as it presents little chance of allergies and is mixed with familiar milk or formula. Feed a tiny bit and wait for it to come back out thanks to the tongue thrust reflex. This reflex will go away shortly.

Months 6-8

After you have introduced cereal, continue to introduce other grains such as barley and oatmeal, then fruits and vegetables. Wait 3-5 days after each new food to be sure no allergic reaction is present. Most parents wait to introduce citrus and strawberries as these have high rates of allergic reactions in many children. You should also begin offering your baby a cup at this age, and she is also most likely ready to chew on a biscuit or piece of toast that she can grip with her fist.


Months 8-10

You can now introduce dairy and protein foods. Proteins include beans, meats and yogurt. Dairy products should be full fat yogurts, cottage cheese and other soft cheese your baby can gum up. Your baby is now developing the pincher grip which allows her to pick up individual bites and put them in her mouth. You should greatly encourage this self feeding, but watch her very carefully as she learns to chew and swallow properly.

Month 10-12

Gradually encourage greater use of the cup, spoon and self feeding of finger foods. By her first birthday, your baby should be eating the same table foods that you are eating at every meal.

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How To Pay Off Debt

July 11, 2008 by  
Filed under Business & Finance

how to I pay off debtHopefully you are not one of the hundreds of thousands that find themselves in over their head in debt. If you are however, you can find additional free information. Regardless of your current financial situation this article will serve to help you become more debt aware and possible save you a lot of money.

I’m sure you’ve heard, “Debt never sleeps” or “Debt is your second boss”. How about “You are paying the credit card to let you work?”  It’s true, debt can compound as much as 21% each and every month. Still, all hope is not lost. Take a look at the list below and see if there is anything that you can do to reduce and pay off your debt.


  • Pay twice the minimum:
    First, you need to make more than just the minimum payment.  Honestly, if you make just the minimum payment, you are playing right into the banks hands.  You need to eat out less, not drive as much, stay at home on the weekends, etc. So that you may put that money toward paying off your debt.  If your minimum payment is $125 a month, then pay $250 a month!  Let go of a few of the luxuries so that you can relieve the burden.
  • Snowball your debt payments:
    Second, you need to find out which credit cards/debt has the highest interest rates.  If you can consolidate your debt into one payment with a low interest rate, you will count your lucky stars in the end.  When you consolidate your debt, you save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars depending on your interest rates.  We highly recommend using the popular program of “Debt Help for Women”
  • Use your savings:
    You could also use your savings to pay off the debt.  This is obviously a hard thing to do. However, if you become a slave to debt, it’s good to dig yourself out of that hole first, and then you can focus on building your savings account again.
  • Try to get a loan from your life insurance policy:
    Many policies have a hard cash value? If yours does, you can borrow against your policy. In essence this is like giving yourself a loan because you are borrowing money that you own. The interest rate is usually far below other loan rates, and you will have more time to pay back the money. Be sure though that you do bay it back though. The downside to this type of loan is that you could die before it’s paid back. If this happens, the outstanding balance and interest will be taken from the overall value of the policy payable to the beneficiary.
  • Family and/or friends:
    Family and friends are always a good source to help in time of need. Make sure it’s a friend who you have established a good trust line with. Otherwise, you will lose your friends and distance yourself from your family.
  • Try a home equity loan:
    Home equity lines of credit are also a good way to pay off debt.  You can borrow the small amount and pay it off as a second loan on your home.  This is another way to consolidate your debt into one loan.
  • Use your 401k:
    Do you participate in a 401k qualified retirement plan through work or your home business? Many plans let you borrow 50% of the account value, or $55,000; whichever amount is smaller. Interest rates vary from a point or two above the going prime rate. None the less, it will be much cheaper than high interest credit cards. Again, this is a form of consolidation. There are some setbacks though as the loan and interest have to be repaid with your tax dollars. You have to pay back the loan within five years or less. If you go to another job, you have to pay back the loan in full when leaving. If it’s not repaid, then you will have that amount treated as a distribution to you and you will pay taxes on it also. If you are under 59 there will be an additional 10% tax for early withdrawal. You should check up on your plans to see specific details per plan.


The last thing that Creditors want you to do is to run. They want to know where you stand.  If you can talk to your creditors and let them know where you are at, you might be able to negotiate new terms. If however, you could use some help with your debt, please click the link below for FREE information about debt help in your area. provides free assistance for consumers seeking help with ChexSystems or bad credit. We also offer a variety of financing options such as bad credit loans and credit cards.

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How to Apply for Medicare

July 9, 2008 by  
Filed under Business & Finance

how to apply for medicareIf you qualify for Social Security, you qualify for Medicare. Medicare is the medical insurance plan available for those over sixty-five or disabled individuals. There have been many proposed changes to Medicare recently, but the application process has remained essentially the same.

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a government program designed to ensure all elderly citizens of the United States have adequate health insurance. To be eligible for Medicare, you must be sixty-five or older. You may be younger with a disability or long-term disease. You must also have earned coverage by working (or being married to someone who worked) in a Medicare qualifying position for ten years.


Medicare helps to cover doctor’s visits, prescriptions and special items such as hearing aids or insulin pumps. Medicare Part A is free for those eligible, and Medicare Part B is an additional payment of about $50 taken directly from your Social Security check. There is also a program called Medigap insurance which helps to cover anything not already covered by Medicare Part A or B.

Applying for Medicare

If you’re already receiving Social Security payments, you’ll automatically be registered for Medicare three months before you turn 65. If you’re not already receiving Social Security, you can apply yourself three months before you turn 65 or wait and apply in the next general enrollment period following your birthday.


You can only enroll in Medicare through the Social Security office. You can arrange forms over the phone at (800) 772-1213 or in your local Social Security office. When you’re applying you’ll need your Social Security Card, your driver’s license or identification card, your birth certificate and any other insurance you may have. You should also strongly consider bringing your medical records such as doctors and previous treatments, especially if you’re apply for Medicare with a disability.

For additional questions about applying for Medicare, contact your local Social Security office or visit the Social Security website.

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