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Sailing in St. Thomas

When selecting a vacation destination, many individuals and families select a destination that offers them excitement and relaxation, all at once.  If this is what you are looking for out of your vacation, then a St. Thomas vacation may be just for you.

St. Thomas is located in the Caribbean.  As one of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas is known as one of the “hottest,” vacation destinations in the world.  If you have never had the pleasure of vacationing in St. Thomas before, you may be wondering what awaits you there.  In St. Thomas, there are an unlimited number of services and activities that you may find exciting. One of those activities is sailing.

The ocean waters surrounding St. Thomas are ideal for sailing.  Beginners and even the most experienced sailors can enjoy sailing in the St. Thomas area. Since most individuals vacationing in St. Thomas fly into the area, you will have to find boat rentals.  When renting a sail boat, it is likely that you will have a number of different options.  Sail boats come in all different shapes, sizes, styles, and designs. 

Before planning an independent sail off the coast of St. Thomas, you may need to take a number of important factors into consideration.  One of these factors is your level of sailing experience. Many of the individuals and companies that provide boat rentals require that you have the appropriate level of sailing experience. You may be required to take sail boat for a test drive or you may need to show documents that show you are licensed to operate a sail boat.  Many individuals and companies do this to protect their investments.   

To make arrangement to rent a sail boat, it is advised that you make your reservations ahead of time. Sailing is a popular vacation pastime in St. Thomas.  To guarantee that you are able to have access to an available boat, you will want to make your boat rental reservations well in advance.  You can easily learn of boat rentals that can be found in or around the St. Thomas area by requesting a St. Thomas vacation packet. Your local travel agent may also be able to offer you assistance. 

While sailing is an activity that is enjoyed by many, most individuals are unable to operate a sail boat.  Just because you do not know how to operate a sail boat, does not mean that you cannot vacation on the waters surrounding St. Thomas.  Throughout the area, you should be able to find multiple companies that offer guided sail boat rentals.  In addition to paying for the boat rental, you will be provided with an experienced sailor who can take you on voyage that you will forever remember.

Sailing on the water surrounding St. Thomas is an exciting experience all on its own, but that is not the only thing you can do while on the water.  While sailing on the water, you may be surprised with what you will find and see. A sail boat is a great way to vacation on the water, but sightseers as well. Scuba diving and snorkeling are also fun activities that can be combined with sailing.  If you are with an experienced sailor who also is a trained scuba diver, you may be able to enjoy these two amazing activities all at once.

When you are searching for sail boat rentals, you may want to consider what the resort you plan on staying at has to offer.  If you are vacationing at an all-inclusive St. Thomas resort, you may find that you are able to receive free sail boat tours. These free rides are not offered in all vacation packages, but may be able to save a large amount of money if they are. 

Whether you plan on sailing yourself or you are using the services of an experienced sailor, you will be sure to enjoy your time on the water.  Activities found on the St. Thomas Island are not limited. You can easily find a number of activities, many of which will be what your heart desires.

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Carpet Cleaning Tips

Tip 1 Make sure that you get a deep cleaning of the carpet as often as it is needed.  To achieve a clean carpet, you’ll need to have it cleaned by a professional or you’ll need to use a deep cleaning machine.  There are advantages and disadvantages to this method, although a thorough cleaning is needed every six months or so.

Tip 2 Keep your eye out for spills and take care of them in a quick manner to keep your carpet clean.  Simply using water on a spill will help most of them.  If that doesn’t work, simply expand your search.  You’ll find several products out there on the market that can help you get rid of spills quick.

The products range in use and can be helpful when matching them with the different types of spills.  You can also use a mixture of water and vinegar to help you keep stains out.  By taking immediate action you can prevent spills from becoming stains that leave you with a dirty and messy carpet.

Tip 3 A clean carpet is a carpet that has been taken care of very well.  You should always take the time to vacuum your carpet often and make sure you do a good job.  This means going over the floor in several directions to allow the vacuum time to pick up all it can.  High quality vacuums are the best choice, as they get up the most debris.

Tip 4 The proper use of entrance will greatly help to clean off people’s shoes and keep most of the tracked soils off the surface of the carpet.  You should always use entrance mats outside of your doors and make sure that anyone who enters your home use the mats to help get debris and dirt off of their shoes before they enter.  You can also take off your shoes and request that guests do the same, prior to entering your home.

Around 80% of the soils that enter a building or home are dry.  The remaining 20% are greases, oils, and starches.  The dry soil types are easily removed by vacuuming.  As long as they are removed on a daily basis, it will help to minimize the damage to the carpet.

Maintaining and keeping a clean carpet is more than just healthy, as it can also help to prolong the life of the carpet.  If you have just laid the carpet, you are already aware of the expenses involved with doing so.

Even if you haven’t had this done, you probably know the benefits of keeping a clean carpet.  A clean carpet will add value to the home if it is maintained well.  It will also help to keep the home free from odors as well.  Also, it will help to make a comfortable living area for your friends and your family.

Exterior Shutters

Installing exterior shutters to a window is a quick and easy way to add style and flair to the outside of a home.  Both historical and modern houses will benefit from the timeless accent of having exterior shutters.  As with all types of home improvements, the quality and longevity of the exterior shutters should be evaluated before you make a purchase.

The exterior window shutters for your home are available in many different shapes and materials. Vinyl or wood shutters are easily available at most home improvement stores, and they can also be a cost effective option.  You can also make wooden shutters operable with functional hardware.

Exterior shutters can also be made out of several types of wood.  The best wod to use is cedar, as it offers outstanding durablity and resistance to decay.  Cedar also provides long service with minimal maintenance in applications involving mud, silk, window sahes, fencing, poles, and even exterior shutters. 

The tannin oil in ceder is what really makes it an ideal wood for exterior shutters.  It will prevent moisture penetration – and bugs hate it.  Keep in mind, exterior shutters shouldn’t be left unprotected. It is however, best to finish the shutters before you install them, so that all surfaces can be fully covered. 

The ideal base for exterior shutters is a primer coat of oil base primer that is tinted as close to the final color as possible.  The oil will penetrate into the wood, giving better protection.  For the best results in painting, you should always consult a professional painting company.

You can mount exterior shutters to your home with a 1/2″ spacer between the back of the panels and the building to allow ventilation.  If you aren’t using functional hardware, you should use rust proof screws that sink flush to the wood.  Once you have finished the installation, simply paint over the heads of the screws.

By having on opaque finish painted on the wood, it will prevent light rays from penetrating the finish and breaking down wooden fibers of your exterior shutters.  If you choose, you can also stain exterior shutters. 

Anytime you are staining shutters, you should use finishing products that are designed specifically for exterior use, and be prepared to do proper maintence on your shutters to keep them looking good all the time.

Exterior shutters will add color and style to the outside of your home, making them a purchase you can’t go wrong with.  Wooden exterior shutters are the most popular and best to use – making them something you truly must have for your home.

Recreational after school programs

After school programs can be divided into 3 broad categories: academic, recreational and social. Balanced development takes place when there is compatibility between the physical, mental as well as the educational achievements of the child.As the name suggests recreational after school programs are based on a sport or recreation. Some of the more common physical activities include football, swimming and basketball.Some clubs offer programs like gymnastics, trekking and hiking. In this case, youngsters are often given a short class in first-aid class also.

Recreational after school programs offer children an opportunity to let off some steam and to distress themselves. The closed classroom atmosphere and a day full of textbooks and writing cause the child to repress his natural enthusiasm. He curbs his energy when he is required to sit quietly in class and learn. Physical activity is an all-time low during such times. This physical lethargy and inaction is countermanded by recreational activities. Growing concerns of obesity and child diabetes make it necessary for children to indulge in some strenuous exercises that will allow them to work up some sweat.

Unlike educational programs, recreational programs do not tax the mental processes. But, they do aid the learning process by making the child more active. A child who is physically active is mentally fit, and is able to focus his thoughts on the work at hand. Additionally, recreational programs teach discipline, mechanics of teamwork and fair play. These are important lessons in the growing process.

As more and more nuclear families emerge, the child faces greater isolation. Many children shuttle between their classroom and their bedrooms and do not have any meaningful relationships outside these. Recreational programs offer ample avenues for socialization. This is a place the child can go to and play even when his neighbor is not the most welcoming. The Boy / Girl Scout programs are excellent recreational after school programs. Lately, survival classes and camps have devised to combine important survival skills with sports and games to educate children on how to handle emergencies.

Like any good after school program, recreational programs are designed to give children a safe area where they can indulge in some group activities that interest them. This is one of the most effective ways to keep kids out of the streets and out of trouble. But, one has to be careful when enrolling children for recreational classes. The age of the child, his temperament and his physical caliber has to be taken into account before you choose the right program for your child.

10 Tips to Buy Real Estate Without Breaking Your Budget

1. Get pre-approved for your home loan. This means, fill out a loan application and go through the process of securing financing. That way, when you’re ready to seriously evaluate   real estate, you’ll know exactly how much home you can afford. And you can prove to a seller that your offer is sincere.

2. Explore creative financing options. During the home loan pre-approval process, ask about ways to get creative with your financing. Low down payment options, first and second mortgage combinations and first time buyer programs might help you afford more funding. Many lenders are now offering interest-only home mortgages; just make sure you thoroughly evaluate the terms for this type of home loan. Down payment grants are also available in some instances and might be worth investigating or discussing with your   realtor.

3. Sell your existing home first. Although selling your existing home before finding new   real estate to buy can be a little nerve-wracking, any inconvenience will be offset by your ability to make an offer with cash in hand. Contingent purchases are not the best when negotiating to buy a home. Having your financing in order and your bags packed will give you the advantage in a competitive market.

4. Look for vacant real estate. Perhaps a seller’s job has transferred him out of the area. Or maybe a family purchased a new home before putting their existing one on the market. In any case, a vacant home could be just the deal for a savvy home buyer, so have your realtor look for vacant property in your preferred neighborhoods. And keep in mind, the longer a house stays empty, the greater your negotiating power will be.

5. Consider cosmetic fixers. If you’re handy with a paintbrush, a tool set and gardening equipment, consider buying   real estate in need of cosmetic fixing. Property that lacks curb appeal needs minor handiwork or the yard overhauled could end up being the home of your dreams for a price you can afford. You just need to look beyond the ho-hum to see the potential of a cosmetic fixer.

6. Buy a home that’s a major remodel project. If you want to live on Lake Washington, but can’t afford a $2M home mortgage, consider buying a dilapidated cottage on a fabulous lot with western exposure. In time you’ll need to gut the existing home and build from the ground up or contract significant home improvements. But in the end your property value will skyrocket. And if your carpentry and other construction skills are well-developed, you can save even more and accrue “sweat equity” during your remodel by doing much of the work yourself.

7. Don’t discount bank foreclosures. One person’s loss could be your gain if you buy  real estate in foreclosure. Although the search for a decent foreclosure may take a while, your   realtor should be able help. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (http://www.hud.gov/) can be an excellent resource for foreclosed properties. Because HUD houses are sold at market value, your best bet will be homes that need cosmetic work or even major repair.

8. Land with a manufactured home. Sometimes, to buy a home on a budget, you need to look beyond convention. Even if your wish is to buy   real estate, you may have to settle for a piece of property in an outlying area with a mobile or manufactured home. Discuss this option with your   real estate agent and try to keep an open mind about this possibility.

9. An older, smaller home. Older homes are typically priced much less than newer construction and don’t tend to create buyer bidding wars. If you can enjoy life in an older and smaller home in a neighborhood or suburb off the beaten path, this could be your ticket to real estate ownership.

10. The cheapest house in the best neighborhood. You have your heart set on a specific   and expensive     neighborhood. Maybe it’s the schools that you’re interested in. Or perhaps it’s the close proximity to downtown or the waterfront. In any case, a budget-savvy buyer will look for the least expensive home for sale in the neighborhood. If you’re not in a hurry, you can even play the waiting game to see what properties come on the market. Your   real estate agent can be a real asset in this case by investigating potential sellers.

Buying real estate without breaking your budget will require research and compromise. On moving day, however, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that your homework paid off!

NYC National Parks Offer Glimpse of History

If you are considering a vacation in New York, planning ahead is the only way to go. There are simply so many things to see and do that you must have at least a general idea of how you want to spend your days before you can even begin to get started. New York is one of the greatest cities in the world, it didn’t get that way without a reason and it has a long history that is part of its greatness.

If I were to choose how to spend my time in New York and what wonderful things about New York City to introduce my child to, I would choose to introduce her to those things that bore the most historical significance first in order for that to really sink in and not be competing with the Nintendo Store or the really cool keyboard at FAO Schwarz. I would want my child to understand the history of our country good and bad and I want them to someday instill in her own children the importance of that history.

By visiting the national parks first, I will have enjoyed the benefits of the price tag (free is good almost anyway you slice it, particularly when you and your child are getting an education) in addition to fresh minds on which to impart this crucial knowledge about the birth of our democracy. Ellis Island is a great place to visit, but I think I will show them the statue from afar rather than taking the ferry ride out there. There is just so much to do in New York and every second counts. I want her to have a wonderful time as much as I want her to gain some wonderful insights that they can share with their friends at school as well (something other than the latest and greatest new Game Cube game that is coming out soon).

Some of the important national parks I’d like to take my child include: Federal Hall, where Washington was inaugurated, Grant’s Tomb, Theodore Roosevelt’s Birthplace, and Castle Clinton, which was designed in order to keep invaders out. I would also like to take her to Saint Paul’s Church. Not for religious reasons but for Religious freedom issues. I think there is an important lesson to be learned here even today, perhaps especially today.

I think the lessons that can be learned about the history of our nation in New York City are just as important as the lessons that can learned in Washington or Philadelphia. This country has taken many steps along the road to democracy and we’ve stumbled a few times along the way. There would have never been the Salem Witch Trials, the Civil War, or the Civil Rights Movement if he hadn’t but we’ve come so far and still have so far to go. I want my children to learn from our past and to look forward to our future.

I think these are the lessons we can learn from our state parks and those are much more valuable than the lessons we can learn in toy stores and throwing Frisbee in Central Park. I want my child to visit museums and toy stores and see new cultures, I also want her to take home with herself a deep sense of the history of our great nation.