Author: RosioC

Fannie Leclair a prominent critic, and an avid reader. She has been a game critic for 5 years. Her work is not only captivating but well structured around opinion and facts.

July 4th on Lake Minnetonka

Since living in the US, July 4th has become one of my favorite holidays. I love the atmosphere, the camaraderie (which, as a Brit, both amuses and delights me to be a part of), and the firecracker celebrations that you can fp3 online kaufen. I first experienced the Independence Day celebrations over the Charles River in Boston in 1993. Now I am treated with the parties of Lake Minnetonka each year. Below are my 3 highlights from 2010 which I am excited to revisit this year.

  1. The Firecracker Run (10K), Excelsior, MN.

My first 10K since returning to running a few months earlier. In fact, it was my first race ever in the US. Although I tried to treat it as a simple training run in preparation for my August half-marathon, the nerves still got the better of me and kept me awake the night before! It was the perfect race to re-start my running craze though – a small, local affair; a beautiful course and enough of a crowd to keep up the motivation. Although being July 4th, the weather conditions were not ideal for running – we began in rain and finished in high heat and humidity. My target was to finish the race in under 1 hour – a chip time of 57:11 left me comfortably inside that. I was all pumped up ready to begin the July 4th celebrations on a high!

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  1. The kids’ red, white, and blue bike parade.

Many children, my own included, like to parade their bikes, spruced up with red, white, and blue to honor this special day. I met my family as I traveled back from the race. Proudly wearing my newly earned race shirt, still pink-faced, with achy legs, high on endorphins. Their enthusiasm and excitement paralleled my own as they set off (at speed) with their friends and neighbors to parade their creations past local residents who obligingly cheered as they cycled by. The cheers were as enthusiastic on the fifth lap as they had been on the first! Now we were all pumped up ready to bring on the fireworks!

  1. Excelsior Firecracker display.

Following a traditional Minnesota grill gathering with friends, we loaded two families onto the boat. Each one of us as excited as the next for our first experience of the firework display from the water. Sharing drinks and appetizers, we gently made our way over to a suitable spot to anchor up in anticipation of the show. We watched and waited as other boats gradually made their way over, filling the bay with families, party-goers, couples; anyone who wanted to share this moment from the lake. Occasional mini-displays nearby whet the appetite prior to the main event. Around 10 pm, The Excelsior Commons fireworks began and the sky really began to sparkle. The calm waters lit up with each explosion treating revelers to a 360-degree display culminating in a mass of color and bangs. The lake sprang back into life as the hundreds of boats left the bay, their occupants enjoying the balmy evening and a night-cap as they journeyed back to the empty docks. The children cuddled up under hoodies and blankets, snuggled into the warmth of their parents as their eyelids grew heavier, drawing a close to the drama of July 4th, 2010.

Hotel Review: Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in Los Angeles

My husband has always wanted to go to Universal Studios with me so for President’s Day weekend he bought the Universal Studios Package from Palma transfers. The package came with one-night deluxe accommodations at the Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in Burbank, CA with a choice of one king-sized bed or two double beds, two tickets to Universal Studios, and a breakfast for two at the Daily Grill which is conveniently located at the first floor of the hotel. The package was around $270.

We called Marriott and asked for more information about the package and we were told from the beginning that the hotel was under renovation so if we decided to cancel that would be fine. Of course, we didn’t. They were only doing renovations at the lobby and the pool area so that didn’t make any difference at all. Plus it was too cold to get in the pool anyway. So we headed up to Burbank.

The hotel was conveniently located right next to the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. There are also fast foods and restaurants around the place close-by. There’s even a Fry’s a couple of blocks away from the hotel. Universal Studios is actually five to six miles away from the hotel. Hollywood is only seven to eight miles away and Beverly Hills is about eight to nine miles away from the hotel. So like I said, the location is perfect.

When we arrived at the hotel we were welcomed by the receptionist and was checked in immediately into our room. They confirmed the reservations and told us that they will have the tickets to Univeral Studios delivered to our room. We headed to our room and it was very nice. Well, I was expecting it to be nice since we were paying almost $300 for the package.

Hotel Amenities(from www.Marriott.com)

  • Flat-panel television
  • Spacious deck
  • High-speed internet (for a fee)
  • Dual-line telephone with voicemail and speaker
  • Iron and Ironing board
  • Spacious bathtub
  • Hairdryer
  • Air conditioning
  • Coffee maker
  • Luxury Bedding – Custom comforter and custom pillow of your choice (down/feather or foam)

Like I mentioned above the hotel has a pool and spa on the first floor and a restaurant called the Daily Grill. The hotel also has a coffee shop that brews Starbucks Coffee, for the coffee lovers, and a gift shop right next to it.

Our experience with the hotel is great. Even with the renovations going on, the hotel was still perfect. We didn’t hear any noise whatsoever and the bed was very comfortable. We had breakfast at the Daily Grill the next day which was taken care of. The hospitality was great. The manager even checked up on us while we were waiting for our breakfast.

Yes, it was a bit pricey but it was a nice weekend getaway. The hotel is located at 2500 Hollywood Way Burbank, CA 91505. You can reach them at (818) 843-6000 or you can find out more information about the Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel and Convention Center or other Marriott hotels at www.Marriott.com.

How to Cool Your House Without Air Conditioning

Air conditioning is a monthly expense and even more so if you don’t have a home with an air conditioning system already installed. Many folks enjoy working around air conditioning and cooling the house without it. Basically the idea of cooling your house without air conditioning is accomplished by minimizing heat sources and removing built up heat. Heat can be stifling and drain energy, leaving family members listless and grouchy. Excessive heat can cause heat exhaustion and affect blood pressure. Not only does a cooler house promote family health and happiness, but cooling without air conditioning is a great way to save money.

Here are a few helpful tips to accomplish this:

1) Insulate your attic. This will cut down on the transfer of heat through the walls and roof. This will give you the greatest change in comfort for the least expense. Even if you don’t think the attic affects the rest of the house, it does by collecting heat from inside and out and holding it in the house.

2) Another attic tip is to install a foil radiant barrier in the attic under the roof rafters.

3) Install heat reflecting film on all the windows that face the sun. This will reduce glare, and furniture damage caused by the sun, as well as helping keep out the heat. Mid afternoon sun can heat a house up several degrees that can take hours to dissipate.

4) Pull drapes and shades. Add overheads, latticework, awnings, and shelters to prevent sunlight from streaming through the windows, this reduces the heat gain within the house.

5) Plant trees, large bushes, and vines which will provide shade and cooling evaporation in the future. This will also help direct cooling breezes if you plant correctly.

6) Be sure to keep an eye on the temperature, inside and out, open windows and doors to let in cooler air when the temperature is lower outside, make sure to close them when it gets warmer outside as well as the drapes or blinds.

7) Use portable and ceiling fans to circulate air throughout the home. Moving air feels cooler than still air.

8) Reduce indoor humidity, avoid mid day laundry chores, showering and cooking. All of these cause moist warm air which can make the house feel warmer than it is. If you have to do any of these things make sure to have a fan running in that area, or even a dehumidifier.

9) Keep all heat generating appliances and lights turned off unless you absolutely need them. This includes the stove and oven, high wattage bulbs, and electrical appliance, the television and stereo.

Everyone wants their home to be comfortable, warm enough when it is cold outside and refreshingly cool when it is hot outside. Your climate is important in deciding how to handle the temperature of your home.

Keeping your home cool is definitely important if you live in a place with high humidity or extremely hot summers, if you live in a more moderate climate keeping cool without air conditioning can be accomplished much more easily. If you have tried all the tips above and the house is still too hot, then it is time to start shopping for air conditioning products.

There’s nothing like cool air conditioned air during peak summers to keep your insides cool and calm where the merciless heat outside can drain the very life out of you through dehydration but thankfully there are blaux portable ac reviews online to look forward to and get an AC at the earliest.

My Amazing Weight Loss Experiment

We’ve all heard the claims, and many of us have tried the different weight loss products that are available. Turn on your TV at any given time and you are bound to see the commercials. “Lose 5 pounds in 5 days, Lose 10 inches in 10 weeks,” and so on and so forth.

There is one thing that all these weight loss products have in common. They all state that the claimed results can only be accomplished along with diet and exercise. This got me thinking. You can lose weight taking or doing anything if it’s combined with diet and exercise.

I decided to perform an experiment. For six months I would try various “products” of my own invention along with diet and exercise to see if I could achieve my goal of losing weight. The results were nothing short of astonishing. You can in fact lose weight doing or taking almost anything imaginable along with diet and exercise.

Month One Product: Slapping myself in the face

For the first month of my experiment, I slapped myself once in the morning and once at night along with diet and exercise. The first few weeks of slapping myself was a bit difficult, but by week three I was slapping myself with no problem. For my diet, I ate nothing but vegetables and turkey. For my exercise, I walked an hour a a day. Amazingly, after one month of slapping myself in the face along with diet and exercise, I lost three pounds. Not too shabby.

Month Two Product: Licking DVD’s

For month two of my experiment, I picked out two DVD’s from my collection to lick. One would be licked in the morning and one at night. For my morning DVD I chose Fight Club since I thought it would might add a little extra kick to my day. For my night DVD I chose Citizen Kane for no apparent reason. I would make sure that the DVD’s were clean and then I would swipe my tongue across the shiny part of the DVD one time for each session. I chose the Atkins diet and ate nothing but steak and eggs along with walking one hour a day. The DVD licking method along with diet and exercise helped me lose two pounds. Not that great.

Month Three Product: Watching Grey’s Anatomy

For month three, I would watch a recorded rerun of Grey’s Anatomy in the morning and the week’s new episode at night along with diet and exercise. As part of the Grey’s Anatomy plan, I ate nothing but salads and fish and walked one hour a day. I’m not sure if it was the calorie burning quality of watching doctors do it or the excitement of all the hot babes, but I lost an amazing five pounds in one month by watching Grey’s Anatomy along with diet and exercise. On top of that, I also considered taking leptoconnect to support my diet and system. This product is really helpful and effective. Apart from that, it is also healthy as it is made from natural ingredients.

Month Four Product: Carrying a Rock in my Pocket

Month four was a little difficult. Not all of my clothes have pockets so I had to actually buy new clothes for this part of the experiment. Once I was prepared, I placed a rock which was chosen at random and placed it my pocket. I switched pockets in the morning and at night. Along with carrying the rock, I ate a low fat, low sugar diet and again walked one hour a day. Maybe it was the extra weight of the rock causing me to burn more calories, but I lost four pounds by carrying a rock in my pocket along with diet and exercise.

Month Five Product: Pouring Water on my Head

Month five was the most excruciating part of this experiment. Every morning and night I asked my wife to pour exactly 20 ounces of water over my head. For my diet I ate leafy greens and tofu and walked one hour a day. Amazingly, I lost seven pounds by pouring water over my head along with diet and exercise. I must say that by month five I was feeling much better health wise and had much more energy.

Month Six Product: Staring at a Vacuum Cleaner

For the sixth and final month of the experiment, I stared at my vacuum cleaner for ten minutes every morning and night. I would stare really hard to help burn calories. Along with staring at my vacuum, I ate nothing but wheat bread chicken sandwiches and walked one hour a day. Staring at my vacuum cleaner helped me lose three and a half pounds. Who would have thought that such a mundane activity would have such a profound impact on my body.

What I Learned:

At the end of my experiment, it became truly obvious that a human being could lose weight using any of the weight loss and diet products that are on the market today as long as they followed all of the directions. But then again, that same person could save some money and just slap themselves too.

Choosing a Sewing Machine

My first sewing machine was from a door to door salesman. Actually, I don’t remember how we connected, but this was what the experience felt like. I didn’t know much about sewing machines, and he was there with one. It was heavy and awkward. I did use it for quite a long time, but not very enthusiastically.

When I was ready to look for a new machine, there was a quilt shop going out of business. The brand I bought is a well-known, reputable company. It had a lot of features I was looking for, and the price, even on sale, reflected that. One feature it did not have, was being able to embroider designs in a frame. Fortunately, I was happy with the machine (no way could I take it back to a shop going out of business.). I didn’t have any problems or need any repairs. For the selection of the right sewing machine, a registration should be done at http://sewingmachinebuffs.com/best-sewing-machine-for-quilting/ site. The purchasing through the person will be effective without any additional repairing cost. The life of the product will be long in comparison to the others. 

After I was retired, and had saved some money, I decided to investigate embroidery machines. I did not want to spend another small fortune. I found what I wanted online by a reputable company for a reasonable cost. Yes, I had to read and understand the manual, but I learned how the machine worked, and wasn’t afraid of it.

There are several things to consider when you’re thinking about buying a machine. Brand, cost, features, repairs by a reputable/brand dealer or repair person, what you want to accomplish with the machine, and where you’ll use it.

Brand:

Talk to sewing friends who have different brands and kinds of sewing machines. Ask about different features, things they like about their machine, and things they don’t. How long have they had the machine, and how often have they had to have it repaired? Just because a TV personality uses a certain brand or kind of a machine, does not mean it’s the ultimate machine to have.

Cost:

Go online to compare brands, features, and cost. Do you have a trade-in? If you go to a store, whether it’s an independent dealer or a chain, ask if they will give you something for your “old” machine. You might consider keeping it anyway as a back-up. Tell the clerk you’re shopping, and not in a rush to buy, even if there’s a ” limited time offer”. This is an investment. Ask if there are classes included with the purchase. Price will determine what features are available on the machine. YOU need to determine what features you’ll use and will benefit you.

Optional equipment:

Unless you’re an avid seamstress/sewer, you don’t need some of the available tools you can get to go with your machine. Try it out with what comes with it. You can purchase options later.

Features:

Think what you want the machine to do for you. An automatic threader is wonderful, as is a thread cutter. They’re not necessary, but great features. How hard/simple is the machine to thread and wind the bobbin? Can you lower the feed-dogs? If you’re interested in embroidery as well as sewing, can the machine do both, and what size is the frame? How heavy is the machine? Do you need special bobbins? Ask to review the manual and see if it’s relatively easy to understand.

Repairs:

Is there someone you trust to work on your machine, and who will explain problems and solutions to you? What and how do they charge?

Use:

Some people use their machines on a daily basis. Others use them maybe once a month. However often you use one, you should be comfortable and confident when you do. Take time to read instructions, the manual, and warranties. You’ll enjoy your machine much more if you do.