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Comments Off on Relaxing Guided Tours of Ireland

Relaxing Guided Tours of Ireland

| Articles | February 29, 2008

For families interested in traveling to Europe, consider one of the guided tours offered by several outfits that will take

you and show you the best sights and sounds of Ireland. Such vacations are often not very expensive when compared to the

rest of Europe and family members of all ages will enjoy the scenery and attractions.

Most guided tours of Ireland will have you fly into Shannon. This is a small airport on the western side of the island and

it’s close to many attractions you’ll see. Your first stop will be to the village of Adare, famous for its thatched roof

cottages and quaint charm. This is your first stop along the Dingle Peninsula, Ireland’s most beautiful natural area.

You’ll see dramatic mountains, green fields and many archeological sites.

As for your next stop, guided tours of Ireland may take you to some of the sites or to a pub in the Dingle Peninsula. You

may choose to go dolphin-watching at specified places along the Peninsula road. Soak up the beautiful scenery and eat some

of the hearty local dishes. After that, you’ll travel to Killarney and visit the Gap of Dunloe, a four mile gulch carved

out by glaciers.

Guided tours of Ireland would be remiss if they didn’t take you to the infamous Blarney Castle. While much of the castle

is in ruins and it doesn’t have a roof, visitors will be amazed by the ancient architecture and will be given a chance to

kiss the Blarney Stone-a feat which is done while lying on your back. Afterward, you’ll likely go to the picturesque town

of Kinsdale, within County Cork. Visit one of their gourmet restaurants and walk along the cobblestone streets.

The next logical stop for guided tours of Ireland is the town of Cobh, the departure point for many emigrants to the US and

the last port of call for the Titanic. Visit the local graveyard where many of the Titanic’s passengers are buried. From

there, travel to the medieval town of Kilkenny, famous for its cathedrals and its history of witchcraft.

Often, guided tours of Ireland will then bring you into Dublin where there are numerous sites to see, including the site of

Ireland’s first Parliament and the famous Guinness Brewery. Taste some of Ireland’s finest beer and stay at the Cabra

Castle, complete with a golf course, gardens and beautiful walking paths.

To get the most out of guided tours of Ireland, you’ll continue on to visit Carrick-on-Shannon, a scenic boating haven and

Boyle, the site of some lovely abbey ruins. After touring this area, you’ll likely move on to the County Mayo. In Mayo,

you’ll walk the streets of Westport and see its seashore, dotted with a number of tiny islands. Shop along the traditional

Irish shops and take in the quaint nature of this lovely town.

Guided tours of Ireland rarely miss Galway, the cultural capital of Ireland. Take in some traditional Irish music by

visiting one of the town’s several pubs. After that, you’ll visit the Aran Islands, the place where the famous Irish Aran

sweaters originally came from. These islands will take you back in time as little has changed over the years.

Most guided tours of Ireland will let you see and taste and listen to Ireland at every possible chance. It’s a beautiful

country with lovely people and it will be an experience you’ll never forget.

Comments Off on Organic Clothing and Our Environment

Organic Clothing and Our Environment

| Articles | February 29, 2008

Few of us would connect the idea of organic clothing with the Earth’s environment and yet, a strong connection between the

two exists. In fact, now that global warming is becoming more of a fact than a probability, consumers need to think of the

impact on the environment of even the clothes they wear.

Have you considered what would happen if the entire world stopped buying conventional garments and instead purchased only

organic clothing? Immediately, all of the toxic chemicals used in the production of conventional clothing would begin to

disappear from the soil and the groundwater and all of the chemicals used in making synthetic clothing would be of no use.

Using organic clothing throughout the world would save thousands of lives-those of the farmers killed every year from

pesticide toxicity, particularly in third world countries. In addition, there may be a reduction in the number of people

with chemical sensitivity syndromes, which is also often related to chemicals in clothing. With organic clothing, chemical

dry cleaning would not be necessary. If buyers went totally “organic” energy wasted in conventional dryers would be restored.

In truth, however, the garment industry does participate in environmental pollution and global warming-even those who

participate in making organic clothing. Consider all of the sheep, alpaca, llamas and other wool-producing animals that

provide clothing fibers in the form of wool but that also contribute to methane gas emission from belching and animal

flatulence. Cows, which produce leather, create about 600 liters of methane per day per cow.

The growing of even organic fibers requires tractors and trucks-all of which use fossil fuels and emit carbon dioxide

into the atmosphere. Improving the fuel efficiency of farm implements would help reduce such emissions.

All fibers, even organic fibers, go through a manufacturing process that relies on fossil-based energy. Petroleum-based

fabrics like nylon and polyester use additional energy in their production.

Much of the clothing we buy-organic or otherwise-uses plastic for packaging. Plastic is made from non-renewable resources

and, if not recycled, is sent to landfills where the chemicals in the plastic leach into the soil and cause harm to the

environment. Recycling of all plastic materials needs to be a must if we are to stop this process from happening.

Consider the energy costs of shipping clothing from manufacturers to the public. As a great deal of the conventional

cotton clothing is made in China, you also need to consider that most of the energy these factories use comes from

coal-a substance not very good for global warming. From there, all garments, organic garments as well as conventional

garments, need to be shipped all over the world. One solution would be to produce and purchase clothing as close to the

source of the manufacturer as possible.

Another solution to improving the environment is to purchase organic clothing and to wash them in cold or warm water. Use a

clothes line if possible. A great deal of energy is spent washing clothes in hot water and drying them with high heat.

While buying organic clothing is just the beginning of what it will take to improve the environment, there are clearly

things consumers can do to do their part to reduce energy use and to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. Clearly it will

take everyone to make the biggest difference.

Comments Off on 17 Sleep requirements

17 Sleep requirements

| Articles | February 28, 2008

As a new mother, you probably will wonder whether your baby is sleeping enough, or sleeping too much. There are guidelines of what to expect, but of course these can vary from baby to baby. Even if you’ve had children before, each baby will be different.

Newborn babies usually sleep about 16-17 hours in a 24-hour period. Most babies will not sleep through the night until they’re at least 3 months old. There are several reasons why. First of all, their stomachs are very small and they’ll get hungry faster, especially if you’re breastfeeding your baby. Breast milk is much more easily digested than formula, and your baby will need to feed more often, especially in the beginning.

Babies also have shorter sleep cycles than adults do and have shorter dream cycles. In general, though, a newborn baby should sleep about 8 or nine hours during the day and 8 hours or so at night. These won’t be in 8-hour cycles, of course. In the beginning, those sleep times will be very short.

As the baby gets older, up to about 2 years of age, she’ll still be sleeping 13-14 hours, but the amount of daytime sleep will diminish month-by-month. By age 2, your baby should be sleeping through the night with a 2-hour nap during the day. Again, this will vary by child. Your baby might need a slightly longer nap or two short naps. At this age though, try to discourage naps too late in the afternoon, as this can make it harder to get them to sleep a few hours later at bed time.

Once a baby begins to regularly sleep through the night, parents are often dismayed when he/she begins to awaken in the night again. This typically happens at about 6 months of age and is often a normal part of development called separation anxiety, when a baby does not understand that separations are temporary.

Comments Off on 17 – Organic Products and Raw Food Diet

17 – Organic Products and Raw Food Diet

| Articles | February 27, 2008

Fortunately for those of us newly interested in eating organic and raw foods, there are lots of products out there. Natural and organic foods used to be found only in natural food stores, and those could be few and far between. While not as ubiquitous as McDonald’s, there ARE many more stand-alone stores. And the grocery chains are catching on too, with more organic selections than ever before. If you don’t see them in your grocery store, just ask. You’re probably not the only person in your neighborhood who’d like to see more of these options.

Many grocery stores now feature sprouts and other living foods in the produce aisle. Of course, if they don’t, there’s nothing easier to grow for yourself than sprouts!

There are also tons of sites on the Web where you can order raw and living foods. Just do a search on raw foods and you’ll come up with a lot of different places to order the foods you’d like to buy. Many of these sites are also full of useful information, to help you learn about eating raw foods, and help educate you on the specific food values.

What else? Experiment with what you like. Take the time to learn a little about what the different nutrients in foods do for you. A few examples:

Cabbage – High in Vitamin C; important for healthy cell function

Shitake mushrooms – contain essential fatty acids and antioxidants to support a healthy immune system

Kale – Rich in fiber and helps reduce calorie intake with less hunger. We like that!

Barley – Loaded with niacin, fiber and iron and is important for healthy blood sugar.

Pumpkin – So rich in fiber and vitamins; helps reduce appetite by filling the stomach with indigestible fibers

Comments Off on Make Your Own Family Artifacts for Future Generations

Make Your Own Family Artifacts for Future Generations

| Articles | February 26, 2008

Do you remember when you were a child and you found time capsules to be so interesting? I know I did. I can remember looking

at a time capsule filled with artifacts from several decades prior to that time and I just sat and stared in awe of what was


The artifacts in the time capsule were things like magazines, newspapers, photographs and records dating back to the time

when the time capsule was buried underground for unearthing years later.

Now, if you have kids, think about how much fun it would be for them if you created a time capsule with things that will be

considered artifacts when the capsule is opened in fifty years. You can make it into a fun game where your kids can

brainstorm ideas of what they would want to include in the time capsule that would be good artifacts and examples of this

day in age and a representation of your family.

They will probably come up with a ton of crazy ideas. However, let them figure out what they would like to include and then

whittle the list down from there. Some ideas for artifacts include a current model cell phone, an mp3 player, some photographs,

newspapers and magazines from the current month and possibly some candy that people can look at and compare to the candy in

the future.

The fun will come when your kids will help formulate what you will put in the time capsule and then you can watch the

excitement in their faces when you prepare to bury the time capsule and then cover it for release in 50 years. Be sure to

record it somewhere so your children or their children will be able to open it at that time to take a look and compare what

has evolved between now and then.

This can turn in to a fun and educational game for your children that they will no doubt remember for the rest of their

lives. They could even do a demonstration of it in their classrooms and maybe inspire other children to pursue time capsules

full of family artifacts of their very own.

It will also be fun doing it together. There are so few activities anymore where kids and their parents can really get into

it and do it together all while having fun at the same time. Your kids grow up so fast that it is important to take the time

to help them grow and learn while spending as much quality time with them as you can.

Before you and your children know it, they will be grown up and have children of their own. Seize opportunities to create

lasting bonds that will last more than a lifetime. When they open the time capsules, they will no doubt remember the good

times you had together and your work as a parent will be done. Then hopefully they will carry on the tradition with their

own kids and grandkids.

Comments Off on Do You Really Need Continuing Education to Get Ahead?

Do You Really Need Continuing Education to Get Ahead?

| Articles | February 25, 2008

You have heard of all the promises that your guidance counselors and teachers have made talking about what will happen once

you get a college education. The way they make it seem, money will be falling at your feet and you will achieve all of your

wildest dreams.

Is that an exaggeration? Sure, of course it is. However, you will find more happiness and achieve more of your life and

financial goals if you pursue continuing education than if you simply start working after you graduate from high school.

For starters, your overall life earnings increase dramatically after you graduate with a college degree. High school diplomas

barely mean anything anymore and your chances of rising the ranks within good companies are severely limited if that is all

you have.

Bachelor’s degrees are the least amount of continuing education you will need to really compete in the working world. You

will make a ton more money and have more job opportunities than with only a high school diploma. But the problem now is that

more and more people have Bachelor’s degrees and they are becoming more like High School Diplomas.

To really get ahead and find the jobs with the best responsibilities and pay, you must have continuing education that goes

beyond the four year degree. Instead, you must earn a Master’s degree.

A Master’s degree shows that you are committed to not only pursuing better jobs, but that you are motivated enough to keep

going to school when it really isn’t required anymore. Master’s degree are especially helpful in fields where it can

distinguish you from the crowd and show company hiring managers that you are willing to go the extra mile and distance

yourself from the pack. Master’s degrees are great continuing education tools because you gain very specialized knowledge

in your chosen field and become an expert in your field.

If you don’t want to pursue a Master’s degree after your Bachelor’s degree, think about continuing education in a certificate

program. Many college offer certificates in a wide variety of specializations like web design, graphic design, marketing and

management. Make sure you pursue something that really interests you when you decide to continue your education. You will be

more likely to stick with it and actually retain the information that you learn in your coursework.

Money is also an important factor when deciding if continuing education is right for you. If you know that what you are

studying will help you in your job and help you make money, it is worth the time and effort you put in to studying and going

for the gold.

Just remember, continuing education is worth it when you make it worthwhile for yourself. Follow your heart and the money

will follow and you will be happier with your place in life and your career in the end. Do not let anyone else decide what

you should study. You only have one life, live the best one you possibly can. Continuing education can be your ticket!

Comments Off on Fun Harry Potter Guided Tours of the UK

Fun Harry Potter Guided Tours of the UK

| Articles | February 24, 2008

In response to the fabulous interest folks all over the world have to the Harry Potter book series and movies, guided tours

involving all things Harry Potter have popped up everywhere. A perfect tour for families and fans alike, many visitors will

come to have a greater appreciation for the filming of this famous series of movies.

Many Harry Potter guided tours begin in London where you’ll visit the London Zoo, called the Little Whinging Zoo in the book.

The scene where Harry speaks to the snake took place in the reptile house at this otherwise wonderful family attraction.

Then, it’s on to the Kings Cross Station, where Harry’s Platform 9 took Harry on the Hogwarts Express.

Many Harry Potter guided tours go straight over from the train station to the Australia House on the Strand, the building

that was transformed into Gringotts Wizarding Bank in the movie. A short ways away is the Charing Cross Road, also known

in the movie as Diagon Alley, where Harry bought his school supplies and his wand.

While in London, Harry Potter guided tours often let you see some of the other more ordinary sites in the city. Don’t forget

to stop at the Westminster Tube Station where Harry and Mr. Weasley stop on their trip to the Ministry of Magic hearing.

Just down the road from the station is the red telephone booth near Scotland Yard that Harry used to get into the Ministry.

A most exciting stop on Harry Potter guided tours is a trip to Oxford where you’ll visit Christ Church College, the site of

many of the interior scenes of Hogwarts Academy, including the great hall, where the students of Hogwarts ate. The Duke

Humphrey’s Library was featured as the library inside Hogwarts. Truly, there are places all over Oxford where Harry Potter

movie scenes were filmed, including the Divinity School, which was turned into the hospital wing at Hogwarts.

On the next stop on many Harry Potter guided tours, you’ll visit Warwick Castle to see what real castle life is like and

you’ll travel to the Cathedral of Gloucester, one of the places where many interior scenes were shot, including those of

Gryffindor’s dormitory. All of the ghost scenes and talking picture scenes were done at the cathedral as well.

Finally, you can visit the medieval village of Lacock-a favorite spot for Harry Potter guided tours. The village inspired

the village of Gordric’s Hollow, where Harry lived with his parents. Several scenes from Hogwarts School for Wizardry and

Magic, including Professor Snape’s classroom in the dungeon, were shot in the village. Visitors may discover that the

village of Lacock was the location of other movies, including Pride and Prejudice.

Many Harry Potter guided tours will offer evening sessions for tour guests to view the movies all over again and discuss

the places they’d visited that day. As there are numerous other attractions along the way, some guided tours will fill in

the time with visits to castle ruins, quaint villages or other historic sites to give guests the full picture of what living

like Harry Potter would be like.

Comments Off on Understanding the High Cost of Organic Clothing

Understanding the High Cost of Organic Clothing

| Articles | February 23, 2008

Many people interested in “going organic” and purchasing only organic clothing become dismayed when they see that the price

is generally somewhat higher than other types of clothing. Some even wonder if it’s some sort of conspiracy and believe

that those who produce this type of clothing must be raking in the money.

The truth is that there are many factors that go into the making of organic clothing that automatically runs up the price.

The first of these is that many makers of organic clothing don’t make the millions of copies of an outfit that manufacturers

of conventional clothing often do. Many organic companies are small family-run stores that struggle to have enough

inventory for customers.

Another factor involves organic cotton. This type of cotton is more expensive to grow and yields less cotton per hectare

than conventional cotton. Organic crops must still deal with weeds and pests, often using more expensive natural herbicides

and pesticides. This makes fabrics made from organic cotton overall more expensive.

Organic cotton is more expensive to harvest than regular cotton. The conventional cotton companies use chemical additives

in order to facilitate harvesting by the harvester machines. While chemical defoliation improves harvesting, it adds to

the chemicals left in the cotton garments people wear. Organic cotton harvesting relies on no chemicals resulting in a

somewhat lower yield.

Finally, many organic fabrics are more expensive to manufacture. The lower harvest yields increases the costs of cleaning

and preparing the raw cotton. In addition, because organic cotton processing is done in factories that produce regular

cotton, all of the machines, cotton gins, weaving and knitting machines must be thoroughly cleaned before the organic

cotton can be processed. This adds to the cost.

Sadly, labor costs are less in conventional clothing manufacturing, which often relies on cheap labor or, in some instances,

child labor, to manufacture. This type of practice would generally be considered unacceptable for manufacturers of organic

clothing. One exception is the silk industry, which relies on millions of hand loom operators in India to make the organic

silk products.

An example of how conventional fabric manufacturers have a leg up on organic clothing manufacturers is a company, which

makes cotton tank tops for Wal-Mart that pays a total of thirteen cents per hour in sweatshops in Nicaragua and other

developing companies. Organic clothing manufacturers would consider this unethical and can’t keep up with those kinds of

labor costs.

Organic clothing is more expensive to ship, distribute and provide to retailers and customers. This is because the market

size is so much smaller than the big retail stores and the per garment cost to ship is greater. In addition, organic

clothing stores must pay more for advertising and marketing of their products. The customer base is less dense and more

advertising must be done to reach an appropriate audience.

The economics of organic clothing sales are such that growers, manufacturers and retailers lack the buying power of the

bigger superstores and retailers. The production of organic clothing is still a very small part of clothing manufacturing

so that everything from harvesting to packaging becomes a bigger process.

For those who love organic clothing, however, the cost may be worth it. The environment is helped by the purchase of

organic clothing and the clothing itself carries less of a health risk than conventional garments.

Comments Off on 16 Trial and error

16 Trial and error

| Articles | February 22, 2008

Every mother, whether a first-time mom or an experienced one, has to make those decisions about what’s best for her baby. You can start out with books by “experts” and of course friends and relatives always have advice for a new mother and baby.

These are a way to start, but if what you’re doing doesn’t work, then you have to try something new. Try different things at bedtime to see what works for you and your baby. She’s unique and not like any other baby, after all!

You can try different types of foods at night, or the timing of her last feeding. Are her pajamas soft and not scratchy? Be sure to use special detergents made just for baby clothes, especially in the beginning. Can you hang her clothes and bedding outside in the sunshine to dry? Who doesn’t feel all cozy and comfy when going to sleep in bedding that’s been dried outside? Just make sure no critters get into the bedding or clothes.

Do you have a ritual at night? Maybe it starts with a nice bath and then a feeding while holding her close to you. Nothing feels more wonderful than holding a baby right out of the bath when they have that wonderful baby smell. It’s just important to make this a pleasant and relaxing time for both of you, especially when your baby’s very young, in the first months of her life.

If it takes a long time for your baby to wind down, then you might need to start your rituals early in the day. If you’ve been playing with her beforehand, then it might take a little longer to get her to sleep. Again, those rituals of bath, feeding, talking and singing in a quiet, darkened room will soon signal bed time for your baby (and hopefully for you too!)

Comments Off on 16 – Vegan and raw food restaurants

16 – Vegan and raw food restaurants

| Articles | February 21, 2008

One of life’s great pleasures is going out to eat and trying new restaurants and dishes. This holds true for raw food and vegan restaurants too! There are, believe it or not, more than 5000 natural foods restaurants in the U.S. alone. Predictably many of these restaurants are in major markets and in college towns. You might not live in an area where you can visit a natural foods restaurant regularly, but if you’re traveling, do some research and see where there might be a natural foods place to visit. Here are a few notable restaurants around the country:

Delights of the Garden has gained amazing popularity in Washington, DC, considering that city is a haven of power lunches between lobbyists and the like. It features a cool-looking cafe with raw and cooked vegan favorites.

Arnold’s Way is located outside Philadelphia, PA in the Bucks County town of Lansdale. They have a raw caf and also have classes in raw foods preparation.

Au Lac in Fountain Valley, California serves 7-course raw dinners, although you want to call in advance to give the chefs time to prepare.

Caf Gratitude has two locations in San Francisco and one in Berkeley.

Quntessence in Manhattan features an all raw menu, all organic, salads, fresh juices, soup, guacamole, essene bread, almond shakes, and more.

Dining in the Raw in Key West, Florida features macrobiotic, vegan and raw foods.

The Organic Garden in Beverly, Massachusetts is a living and raw foods restaurant.

Suzanne’s Vegetarian Bistro in Miami, FL has a daily raw soup on its menu.

Enzyme Express in Anchorage, Alaska is a raw foods restaurant.

Golden Temple in Birmingham, Alabama is a vegetarian restaurant that features a juice bar.

These are just a few raw foods restaurants in some likely (and unlikely!) cities. Many cities have magazines with restaurants listed by categories.

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