Monday, October 31, 2005

Three Tips On Choosing Stylish Furniture

Stylish furniture is not just what is considered to be fashionable right now. If you browse through magazines devoted to home decorating you will see all the latest trends in furniture, but not all of these trends are stylish. A stylish piece of furniture is much more than a cool, trendy or modern piece. Stylish furniture should pass the test of time, should be of high quality and should also be comfortable to use.

Test No. 1

Styles come and go, but furniture shouldn't. A stylish piece of furniture should be an investment. As such, it should be designed so that it doesn't age and become unfashionable very quickly.

While it isn't always easy to tell if a piece of furniture will pass the time test, there are some basic rules to go by.

Stylish furniture should have a sleek and simple design. Something that is understated and pleasant to the eye will often pass the time test. Any design that is too odd, or sharp, or bold, runs the risk of "getting old" too soon.

Test No. 2

The quality of a piece of furniture is a sign of its stylishness. Always try to balance quality against budget choices. A better quality fabric or material (wood or metal) may cost more now, but will secure a longer lasting, and hence more stylish, piece of furniture.

Test No. 3

The third test for style is a practical one. Any truly stylish piece of furniture must also be useful, practical and comfortable to use. Today ergonomics (or the relationship between you and your environment) plays a vital role in choosing the furniture for your home and office. Ergonomics is a stylistic choice and the more comfortable you are with your furniture the longer life it will have.

About The Author
Dakota Caudilla, journalist, and website builder Dakota Caudilla lives in Texas. He is the owner and co-editor of on which you will find a longer, more detailed version of this article

Simple Interior Design Tips

A modern home owner today enjoys a lot of freedom when it comes to how they design the interiors of their homes. The philosophy of design is very much in-sync with a postmodern world view where rules and regulations are thrown out the window in favor of an almost anything-goes approach. But beware: even in chaos you will find order.

Before you begin ask yourself two questions:

1. What do I want to improve?

2. What is my interior design budget?

Your interior design options can range from small to large and from inexpensive to very expensive.

You may be able to solve the problem of your lounge room with a splash of colorful pillows and a strategically hung mirror or you may need something more drastic like a complete change of wall color with a feature wall to boot.

The important thing is to be able to pinpoint exactly what is not working for you now. Is it really the color of your walls? Or would a framed poster and showcase light fighting do the trick? Is it really your drab furniture? Or would a brightly colored throw rug and pillows make the dramatic change you are looking for?

In order to answer these questions you need to step into your room and imagine you are expecting a new friend to visit. What would this person see? How would you feel you could better impress this person? Then always try to answer your ideas with the smallest possible changes first rather than the most drastic.

Color is one of the best ways to create the illusion you want. Adding color to your interior design need not be drastic (as in wall painting or new furniture) but easy and something you can do in a day. Instead of painting a wall, hang a mirror, clock, shelves or piece of artwork. Instead of buying a new coffee table, decorate your existing one with books, candles and a large bouquet of freshly cut flowers.

The most important rule of successful interior design is the rule of simplicity.

About The Author
Dakota Caudilla, journalist, and website builder Dakota Caudilla lives in Texas. He is the owner and co-editor of on which you will find a longer, more detailed version of this article

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Air Conditioners and Clean Air

On a warm summer afternoon, air conditioners can, literally, be lifesavers! I know of people who don’t mind dashing across the street just to make it into an air-conditioned room quickly. Staying cool is one thing – but let us remind you that staying safe and healthy is more important. Air conditioners have a role to play in this respect, because air conditioners not only bring the room temperature down, but they also filter outside air as they enter the home. A good air conditioning unit will have a top quality, lasting and smart air filtering system that ensures that only clean air gets into the room.

What you’re looking for is an air conditioning unit that has a built-in air cleaner in it. In fact, the normal, conventional air conditioning unit cannot filter out everything well enough for your whole family. If you’re someone who cares about the long-term effects of breathing in dust particles, fumes, and smoke from the outside INSIDE your own home, then it’d be best if you invest in a high quality air conditioning unit that comes with an air cleaner.

A good air conditioner in the home or office is even more important if you or a family member has allergies or chronic breathing difficulties. Apart from having a good air conditioner, you should also open the doors and windows once in a while to let contaminated air out of the place. On top of that, pay special attention to your housekeeping habits.

To maximize the lifespan of the air conditioner and ensure that the air filtration system is in top form, you’ll need to regularly maintain and upkeep the air conditioner. Don’t wait for the air conditioner to break down or when you sense that there’s a dip in air quality inside the house to clean and maintain the air conditioner. Experts in the air conditioning field recommends that you change the filter to your air conditioner every month – some people, don’t be surprised, change their air conditioner filters only once every few years.

Changing and cleaning the filter of your air conditioner helps ensure that the air conditioner can continue to filter out the bad air from outside and deliver only the cleanest air possible into your home. Bottom line is…if you want clean air in your home, you’ve got to change and clean the air conditioner filter regularly. A badly maintained filter not only cleans air ineffectively, it also consumed more energy, cools the air down poorly and shortens the life of the air conditioner.

About The Author
Dakota Caudilla, journalist, and website builder Dakota Caudilla lives in Texas. He is the owner and co-editor of on which you will find a longer, more detailed version of this article.

Tips On Starting Your Antique Collection

Tip 1: Understanding antiques

In strict antique-speak, an antique is any collectable item that is seventy to one-hundred years old. Newer items can also be quite valuable; if you know how to pick them. In all instances, a collectible item has value if someone, somewhere, wants to buy it. Just remember: "One man's trash is another man's treasure".

You may already know what you want to start collecting, but finding your antique niche means doing the relevant research first. For every item--furniture, clothing, books, or other odd collectibles--there is a general code of understanding as to their value in dollars. In order to be a successful antique collector you need to learn about the era in which you item was made, and what this means about its value.

Tip 2: Understanding the antique market

Whether you are interested in building a collection of Victorian furniture or vintage baby clothing one of the best places to start is the Internet. Use the search engine of your choice to begin researching your antique niche from the comfort of your own home.

Or you may like to log onto eBay: eBay offers a great atmosphere to get a feel for what is valuable, what isn't and how much things are selling for. In eBay search for something like "antique" and "silver" or "leather" and see what the search brings up. Watch a few of these items for a few days. Note the price, item details, or use the eBay interface to ask questions about the piece you are watching: age, condition, previous owner, etc.

Once you get an idea of what is on offer, how people buy and how much people are willing to pay for an item, you may like to head off to markets, antique stores and shows where you can engage other enthusiasts or shop owners into discussion.

Tip 3: Determining what to collect

Choosing your antique niche is more about what interests you; it also depends on how deep your pockets are. Try to budget a certain amount of your income per month to see how much you can spend. Also, ask yourself how quickly you want to start building your antique collection. If you have lots to spend you may choose to locate items in mint condition. If you have less to spend you may go after items in less than mint condition. It's always best to research before you buy. In all cases, try to learn as much as you can about the certain type of collectible or antique: where it comes from, the style or era, and even, the maker or artist or designer. Be it silverware or clothing or furniture or paintings, the more you know about the items you choose to collect the better you'll be able to judge its value. Otherwise you'll just have to take other people's word for it.

About The Author
Dakota Caudilla, journalist, and website builder Dakota Caudilla lives in Texas. He is the owner and co-editor of on which you will find a longer, more detailed version of this article

Sunday, October 23, 2005

How To Create The Perfect Bedroom With NASCAR Bedding!

NASCAR bedding for kids is just the thing to delight your young racing fans! They'll just love dreaming about crossing that finish line when you decorate their soon to be favorite bedroom with all of the racing bedding and accessories you'll be able to pull together.

They'll give you the checkered flag no doubt, for creating such a special and wonderful bedroom for them. Imagine the wonderful memories that your kids will have in such a fun room!

Dan River may be a name you're familiar with already. They've got a great reputation for creating bedding that lasts, is easy to maintain and has superior attention to detail. And they are one of the very few companies that are actually licensed to make NASCAR bedding.

You could begin with the Checkered Flag sheet set made with a poly/cotton blend that's easy care for busy moms. The bold black and white checkered pattern featuring the NASCAR logo makes this a perfect place to build your kid's NASCAR bedding around. The snuggly comforter features fast, zooming race cars and checkered flags against a blue background and great attention to stitching and detailing.

Add the coordinating bed skirt, throw pillows, drapes, and maybe even a coordinating area rug to complete the look.

If Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is your child's favorite, you'll find other cool bed linen products that feature his famous Number 8 car. This set's got a reversible comforter in tan emblazoned with the Number 8 in bright red and Dale's name embroidered in black. The comforter must be dry cleaned but all the other bedding in this set is machine washable.

The sheets, pillow shams and bed skirt feature repeated prints of the number 8 and Dale's name against a white or tan background.

For the perfect finishing touch, you could also add a super soft NASCAR throw for the bed too- they're just right for grabbing to snuggle under while watching TV or just relaxing.

Don't stop there, you're just getting revved up!

You could add wallpaper borders to your kid's bedroom to pull all the accessories together. Choose from all the various drivers, NASCAR logos, checkered flags. You'll find NASCAR lamps, wheel pillows and even window treatments!

How about adding some flags, banners and posters? Add shelves to hold their precious little race cars.

Make sure that you're buying the real thing and not a cheap imitation. Simply look for the NASCAR licensed product label. Only NASCAR licensed products can carry this label and only licensed products can legally market the NASCAR driver's cars, names and images.

And because the prices are so affordable, there's no reason to settle for less than the genuine article!

About The Author
Patricia Bowlin makes it easy to create a bedroom with flair with the right bedding! Find countless tips, ideas and information here on choosing all of your bedding by visiting here now at

Popular Faux Painting Techniques Explained

In the last 10 years, faux painting techniques have gone from obscure to popular, from the realm of professionals to do-it-yourself projects. These techniques are not difficult although they can be time consuming (what decorating or remodeling project isn’t though) and require quick hands.

Called “faux” painting because these techniques mimic or create a false look of stone, texture, leather, and more, you will find that the styles fall into one of two types: additive or subtractive. Additive (also called positive) techniques simply mean that you add color onto the wall. Sponging is the most common of this type. Conversely, subtractive (also referred to as negative) techniques means you take paint off after it has been applied. Ragging is a common subtractive technique. Most negative techniques use glazes and require that you move quickly before the glaze dries.

When it comes to glazes, there are two types: latex (water based) or oil based. Latex is by far easier since it cleans up with soap and water, but oil based glazes provide longer working times and generally provide a harder, more durable finish. However, for do-it-yourselfers, I recommend latex glazes and working in small areas at a time. I have also seen solutions that you can add to the glaze to lengthen the working time. For your first glazing job, you may well want to consider using this additive available at finer paint supply stores.

Here are the various type of faux painting techniques:

Sponging: Probably the easiest method, you apply paint to a wall with a natural sea sponge. It provides a richly textured look. In addition to good looks, it’s a simple way to camouflage an uneven or repaired crack wall. Use a couple of colors over the base paint to add greater depth. Be bold or subtle; it’s up to you. You can use glaze or paint just as easily with this technique. I’ve seen this done in a negative manner, but it is most commonly performed as a positive method.

Ragging/Rag rolling: Typically a negative technique, you paint a tinted glaze over the base painted walls. The glaze should be tinted darker than the base coat, keeping in the same color family as the glaze allows some color through it as well. Either use a wadded up dry rag or twist a rag into a cylinder. Then dab or roll the rags to remove the glaze. You can use one or two colors over the base coat. You may also do this in a positive method like sponging for a softer look and texture.

Color Washing: In this additive technique, you apply the tinted glaze mixture over the base coat using a circular motion as if you were washing the wall. Use rags for a very soft look or a natural sea sponge for a more textured appearance.

Strié: Create a historical and aged texture to the wall, with this negative method. Roll tinted glaze over the base coat, then use a wall paper brush to make fine lines from top to bottom. The glaze should be darker than the base coat to allow the lighter base to show through the fine lines.

Striping: The only difficult part of this positive technique is getting your stripes straight. Be sure to use a level or drop a plumb line. Tape off your stripes, then paint every other one with glaze. If you use a bold color, you do not need to tint the glaze to get a delightful two-tone effect. For softer colors, you may wish to slightly darken the glaze although it is not necessary. This technique may also be combined with color washing as you color wash the stripes for more interest and texture. Of course, for a more dramatic look, you can use paint in complementary or various colors.

Dry Brushing: This is a positive method in which you use a small amount of paint on a brush in herringbone patterns to create the texture. You will need tow or three colors to achieve the best results.

Frottage: Using plastic sheets for this negative method, tinted glaze is applied over the base coat and then plastic sheets are applied and smoothed over the glaze. Once the wall is done, the plastic sheets are removed for a marbling effect.

Faux finishes can provide interest and texture to your rooms – and less expensively than wall paper. While you may need to block out a full day to do the work, by the end of the day, you can sit back and admire the rich, luxurious look of your new room.

About The Author
Julie Lohmeier is the veteran of numerous home remodeling and building projects. From working hands on and doing much of the work herself to hiring contractors and construction managers, she has seen the entire spectrum of home improvement. She shares her remodeling tips, home decorating ideas, and other various rants at

@copyright 2005, Julie Lohmeier,

Using Art Prints With A Minimalist Home Decor

Most decorators traditionally recommend a minimalist décor for many spaces, particularly small spaces such as apartments and guest houses. Unfortunately, many people believe that this means that the walls should be kept completely bare for a minimalist décor to work. Aren't pictures too flashy for a minimalist décor?

Art Prints: Perfect Complement to a Minimalist Decor

In a word: no, pictures are not too flashy to use with a minimalist décor. In a few more words: art prints are not too flashy for a minimalist décor, as long as you select your prints carefully. In fact, in rooms with minimalist decor, art prints add character and highlight the fact that the decor really is minimalist and not just neglected.

The trick with choosing art prints carefully is just to pick one print, or pick a few prints on a highly related subject or in a similar style, preferably all by the same artist. In a room with minimalist décor, the prints will easily get more attention than anything else in the room, so you want to be careful that the prints do not conflict with each other. An obvious example: if you really like Monet's paintings of water lilies, you could get several prints each of a different Monet painting of water lilies.

There is a special concern if your décor is not just minimalist but strikingly modernist (for instance, lots of simple furniture with clear angles or curves rather than carved woodwork). In a room with a particularly modernist décor, prints that are from an earlier era might seem out of place. Go with prints that were created more or less in the era in which your furniture was designed, or in which your furniture's design was most popular.

Obviously, there is a lot of room for personal judgment as to what goes with what, since modernist anything always was designed not to look as though it belonged to a particular period of time. It can be even more confusing if your modernist-looking furniture was really just designed to look spare in a general way rather than to hark to a particular school of design. In those cases, just try to go for something that looks like it matches, sticking to prints of artworks that are modern but that are not immediately recognizable as belonging to a specific decade.

If your furniture leans toward the 1950s and 60s style of modernism (the kind of playful curves that would be at home in a room with a sunburst clock on the wall), try prints of the work of a period artist such as Jackson Pollack. If your décor's modernism leans toward the seventies or eighties (e.g., glass-topped coffee tables and very spare design, you might be better off with Jasper Johns than Jackson Pollack.

Choosing Art Prints for Rooms with Multiple Colors

* Minimal does not necessarily mean subdued. Just look at the vibrant paintings of modern artist Mondrian, such as "Broadway Boogie Woogie", composed entirely of interlocking rectangles, square, triangles, and circles. If you'd like to keep your décor simple even with a striking color scheme, art prints can actually help. Here's why:

* Art prints pull together disparate colors in a room. A print gallery or website will be able to recommend the best art print based on the colors in your room. Some sites even have search engines that match a room's color scheme with appropriate art prints.

* When the furnishings in a room attract attention art prints make sure the walls provide visual interest, too, so the eye is not pulled relentlessly downward toward the furniture or rugs. Of course, you have to be careful not to give people a headache. As a rule of thumb, the more riotous the play of colors on the ground, the more orderly the play of colors on the walls should be. If the vibrant colors of your furnishings tend to swirl together, lend the room calm with artwork that takes those colors and presents them in neat lines and blocks.

* Art prints make it clear that your colorful décor is a well-rhymed composition, not just a loud burst of color. Visitors to your pad who see a blue couch, red end tables, and yellow lamps might well wonder what you were thinking--until they see a print of "Broadway Boogie Woogie," or other artwork that shows how these disparate colors really do belong together.

* In the end, there is beauty in the simplicity of a room with a minimalist interior design, and there is beauty in the art that takes the same simple approach. If you keep that fact in mind when choosing artwork for your minimalist room, you can make sure your décor is more than minimally beautiful.

About The Author
Joel Walsh has written a buying guide for art prints at:
oil paintings

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Types Of Carpets

When you go out to look for carpeting it's best that you do some homework first. Before you go to the store you should know a bit about the available carpet types you're going to be presented with. Have an idea of what each of the carpet fibers have to offer as far as durability and ability to repel stains.

Most wall to wall carpet is produced of man made fibers such as olefin, nylon, polyester, acrylic or blends of these fibers. PET is made of recycled plastic. PET is one of the strongest man made fibers and is stain resistant.

Acrylic carpeting is very similar to wool (wool is considered the best carpeting available) and is sometimes called man-made wool. It resists moisture, fading, mildew, crushing and staining but is not recommended for high traffic areas in the home. Nylon carpeting is popular due to it's durability. It resists mildew, staining and soiling. Nylon carpet is recommended for all traffic areas. It is one of the most expensive of the synthetic fibers but cheaper than wool. Olefin is a very low cost easy care material that is often used in indoor/outdoor carpeting. Olefin is colorfast and strong and easy to clean. One drawback to olefin is that it can be easily crushed depending on the pile. Polyester is luxurious and durable however is not good for high traffic areas in the home.

Another consideration would be the density of the carpet. You want a high number of fibers per square inch. A closely packed pile is an indication of a well made carpet. Check the carpet backing closely to make sure you don't see any bare areas.

The two most popular types of carpeting today are loop pile and cut pile. Loop pile has individual strands of yarn pulled through the carpet backing twice, creating a small loop. Cut pile has the loop cut at the top, leaving tufts of yarn that stand straight up. A cut pile carpet is generally more durable than a looped pile carpet. Cut pile carpets come in a variety of styles such as shag, textured, saxony and velvet or plush. Loop pile carpets would be a berber, cable or sisal. Loop pile carpets are a good choice for high traffic areas.

Ask to see the manufacturers performance rating guidelines on any carpet you are interested in.

Doing your homework before you purchase goes a long way to insuring you make the best decision. The old saying "an informed consumer is a happy consumer" hold true.

About The Author
Ryan Larson
This article courtesy of

Monday, October 17, 2005

Take Care Of Your Furniture

Your furniture is a huge investment! So is your car and your house. So if you put a lot of work into your car or your house, like getting oil changes or putting in new floors, why would you not do the same with your furniture? Your furniture gets used a lot and you can help maintain its value by following these ideas.

Keep your furniture clean. If it's cloth furniture, you should vacuum it regularly. If it is leather furniture, you should wipe it down and use leather treatment regularly. And if it's made of wood, you need to keep it polished. But what if it has already taken a beating? What can you do then?

If you have wooden furniture you have a few options. Painting is one idea. In fact, two dressers from different manufacturers can be made to look like they are part of a set with a paint job and a new set of handles!

If you do not want to paint your furniture you still have other options. If it has been badly abused, you can sand off the finish, sand out the nicks and scratches, and then varnish it. Or, if it is not badly scratched, you can use children's crayons in a color that matches the wood (like light brown) and color in the scratch. Scratch filler is available at hardware stores but children's crayons can work just as well.

Another way to revive your tired furniture, like couches and chairs, is to get them re-upholstered. After all, you have probably painted your living room a couple times, so having furniture that matches again will make your room look that much better. Instead of buying brand new furniture, just get your furniture re-upholstered.

And yet another way to revive tired looking furniture is to simply move your room around or switch the rooms that your furniture are in. Take the armchair that has been in your living room since you bought the house and move it to the bedroom. Take the unused chair in the spare room and move it by the front door. Simple changes like this will help you cycle your furniture from heavy use areas to light use areas, which will help maintain their life, and will help you enjoy them as if they were new.

About The Author
Jeff Lakie is the founder of and websites providing information on Furniture

Save Money On Furniture

Buying furniture can be very expensive. After all, next to your house and your car, furniture is one of the priciest things in your home. So any time you can save money, you should! Here are some tips to buying furniture inexpensively.

Look in the Yellow Pages for a furniture wholesaler or a liquidation or discount store. Often, their furniture is as good as the kind you will get in a retail outlet, but usually cheaper because of a minor flaw (and usually you won't notice that flaw!).

You can also buy from a furniture warehouse where the salespeople are paid by commission. Using a number of purchasing tactics you can often get it at a better deal. For example, if you buy a couch, but would really like to own a couch and a chair, ask if you could get a deal if you buy both.

Another good way to save money when you're buying furniture is to go in toward the end of the month. Most retail companies operate on a month by month basis, measuring sales, running promotions, and introducing or winding up furniture lines on a monthly basis. At the end of the month, furniture companies may be closing out a line of furniture they are no longer looking to stock. They may be willing to give you a great deal if it's the last one in the store and they don't want it taking up any more room. As well, since salespeople are often paid by commission or given sales bonuses, at the end of the month they may be looking to put themselves over the top to be eligible for a reward or to make enough money to pay for the mortgage. You can take advantage of this eagerness to make a sale by showing that you want to buy, but you need a deal.

Many large furniture warehouse companies offer an in-store credit card and will give you a discount if you apply for the card when you purchase their furniture. Use this to your advantage: apply for the card, buy the furniture, get a discount, and pay off the card the next day with the money you're going to spend in your furniture anyway.

Another money-saving option is to buy used furniture and get it reupholstered or refinished by a carpenter. Often, the cost of the furniture plus the finishing will still be cheaper than buying new furniture, and you may even be happier with the result since you are able to be more specific in the kind of furniture you're looking for.

About The Author
Jeff Lakie is the founder of and websites providing information on Furniture

The Importance of Garden Decor

The Quest for Significance

People are looking for ways to add significance, peace of mind, a quality experience, and to escape from the "rat-race" in their lives. Stated differently, people want to add depth and meaning to their lives. One way to accomplish this, it is asserted, is to make or purchase decor for your garden.

Make Your Garden Unique

Garden decor, along with things related to gardens, provides a return to nature, a sense of spirituality, and a return to the earth as people journey on their quest for significance and ultimate meaning. Moreover, through the use of decorations, gardeners reveal their quirks and shortcomings, their wit, their creativity, and their desire to make their gardens unique.

Transform Your Life

Gardens and their ornaments are symbols of enchantment, mystery, meaning, and of ultimate being. Another way of looking at this is to see that gardens and garden accents provide the power to transform one's mood and one's life. To be sure, garden accessories can become symbolic reminders of life's blessings as they encourage people to enrich their surroundings by transcending the mundane.

The Gardening Imagination

Garden ornaments help people take an active stance in their lives by enabling them to create a niche in the world that is in concert with their values and their dreams. Indeed, it is this "gardening imagination" that provides people with the opportunity to select meaningful objects that speak to their senses, to their experiences, and to their lives.

An Invitation to Add Garden Decor to Your Life

Websites that sell garden decor can be viewed as invitations to experiment and let your imaginations run free so that you can, with concerted effort or with amusement, choose the ornaments that you like--decorations that are in harmony with your highest aspirations and most dignified pursuits. With this in mind, look at the various products that are sold and select garden accessories that help elicit childhood fantasies. Examine the different garden accents and choose those that speak to your inner self.

Let Your Personality Shine Through

Garden decor helps calm the spirit, soothe the soul, and delight the senses. By letting your individuality shine through as you select your decorative accents, you will transform your garden into one of the most meaningful experiences in your life. The challenge is to capture moments of wonder, joy, and inspiration and experience the lasting pleasures of beauty and the splendors of nature by decorating your garden in a way that is congruent with your noblest thoughts, feelings, and aspirations.

Your Garden Sanctuary

Strive to decorate your garden with ornaments that magically call you to return to your garden sanctuary. Look at different garden products and decide on decorations that motivate you to tap into your playfulness or into your artistic bent as you contemplate how you will decorate your garden. In a word, you can add richness, depth, and a sense of discovery to your garden with different garden ornaments.


In conclusion, garden decor is significant because it is an invitation for people to open themselves to the magic, to the wonder, to the meaning, and to the pleasure that gardens and garden related accessories can bring to their lives.

About The Author
Denny Soinski is the owner of the highly successful website "Water Fountains and Garden Decor." Denny's website features home and garden decor accents and accessories including water fountains, vases, birdhouses, lanterns, sculptures, wall plaques, birdfeeders, lighthouses, planters, and windchimes.

Copyright 2005 Denny Soinski. This article may be reprinted as long as the resource box is left intact and all links are hyperlinked

Five Accessories To Brighten Your Home

Home accessories come in all shapes, colors and sizes and there's an accessory for every room in your home. Finding creative ways to use pillows, lighting, mirrors, flowers and candles can make all the difference if you are feeling trapped in a dull home. Consider some of the following ideas for a quick makeover.

A pillow's decorative punch

Decorative pillows can add warmth, texture and dramatic accents to your home interior. Choose bright colors and bold patterns to add life to an otherwise boring couch or lounge chair. Add a colorful floral pattern to your stiff classical furniture to add a dash of the earth's warmth. Bold patterns always look dramatic against plain fabrics and surfaces.

For every two patterned pillows, throw in a plain pillow to break the pattern. Too much pattern can become tiring on the eye.

Light's subtle message

Interior lighting can work pure wonders. Whether you want to create atmosphere or attract attention to a piece of artwork or special piece of furniture, the type of lighting effect you choose will make all the difference.

Consider having two lighting options in your home. First, create a lighting design to suit your own practical needs when in the house alone. For example, when you are cleaning or reading you'll need a large bright central ceiling light. But this isn't appropriate when you have friends over. As a second lighting option create 'entertainment lighting' by choosing subtle small lights that you may hang behind or above furniture or on a side table or in the base of an indoor potted plant.

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Mirrors do two things. They create the illusion of extra space and they reflect scenes. The secret to hanging a mirror is to know just that. In a cramped room a strategically placed mirror could offer you the extra space you thought only remodeling would do. Always hand a mirror opposite things you want to see more of: opposite a piece of artwork, or window, or indoor plant.

Fresh flower power

Fresh flowers (or even good artificial ones) in a room can bring inside all the freshness of the outside world and literally transform a room. Match flowers with the colors of you accessories. Or place them on a table in front of a mirror.

The incandescent radiance of candles

Candles, whether lit or unlit, make the great final touch to your home. Use scented candles in the bathroom and votive candles to add that decorative touch to a formal dinner.

About The Author
Dakota Caudilla, journalist, and website builder Dakota Caudilla lives in Texas. He is the owner and co-editor of on which you will find a longer, more detailed version of this article

Blinds Give Your Home A New Lease On Life

Decorating your home can be a fun adventure, but it does take time and effort to achieve the perfect look. When decorating you get to reflect your own personality within the home - whether it be through the paintings, the cushions, the linen or the bedding or even the window treatments like blinds and curtains. Window treatments along with blinds, curtains and shutters are perhaps one of the most important aspects of a room. This is because windows are the main source of light in a room and therefore the main focal point of a wall which attracts a lot of attention. Decorating with window treatments such as blinds will give each room in your house a very individual look.

You can find window treatments like blinds from many professional furnishings companies by shopping online. Online furnishings companies who specialize in window treatment products provide many beneficial features for home decorators who want to embark on some 'do it yourself' activities such as helpful information, discount window treatment such as blinds and curtains, and window coverings made in any fabric to complement your existing or planned decor. These sites offer a wide selection of window shades, vertical blinds, bamboo blinds and other options. In fact window treatments can even be fully customized to suit your specific room according to fabric density and window size.

Purchasing window treatments such as blinds online can potentially save you hundreds of dollars. Many online retailers offer discounted options by providing you with high quality fabrics for blinds and curtains at the low prices usually found in online furnishing stores. This is good news for customers considering that window treatments such as exterior shutters, curtain rods and vertical blinds for your home, can be very expensive, particularly if you combine this with other home decorating costs. Online shopping allows you to save dollars from every possible aspect of decorating.

Purchasing window treatments online also has many other benefits that you can take advantage of. By researching products and then purchasing them online you can gain easy access to the most popular products (those purchased most often), obtain quality images of sample colors, and receive discount prices. Some online stores also offer free insurance, free delivery and free installation. Shopping online also allows you to view fabrics and products from some of the top manufacturers in the window treatments industry but with products at well below retail prices.

About The Author
Rachael Cansino is the owner of Regal Blinds which is a premier source of information about Blinds. For more information, go to:

Blueprints Of Ranch Style Homes - Check Them Out

Blueprints of ranch style homes are readily available on the internet and in magazines. The ranch home is the most popular home style in the United States. Ranches can range from a basic oblong shape to a huge L or U shaped luxury ranch. One relatively simple ranch home set of blueprints is a two bedroom, one bath ranch and has a 16 x 24 living room, 14 x 10 dining/kitchen area, one bedroom 12 x 11, and another 12 x 10. There is also a utility room and a porch.

Blueprints of ranch style home that is somewhat bigger has a 19’ 8” x 15’ 6” great room, 9’ 10” x 12’ dining room, a 9’ 10” x 12’ kitchen, a utility room, large master bedroom, with 1 ½ baths, huge closet storage area, and 2 extra bedrooms with a shared bath. This ranch style home also has a 2 car garage, covered porch and a patio off the dining room. The blueprints for this lovely ranch style home have an optional basement plan. Also included in the blueprints is a garage extension if you opt to build the basement.

Ranch homes can be economical to build, are attractive and they can be placed on a narrow lot if set lengthwise. They are ideal candidates for modular or pre fab homes. Ranch blueprints can have lots of amenities like fireplaces, large master suites, decks and porches. Ranch style homes can also be constructed with logs. Ranch houses are ideal for the elderly or handicapped since they’re generally one story homes.

About The Author
Martin Smith is a successful freelance writer providing advice for homebuyers on purchasing a variety House Plans, his articles provide a resource of interesting and relevant information.

Beautifying Your Home

“Learn how to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want.” --Jim Rohn

As a frequent traveler, I'm often amazed at how dramatically my mood changes depending on where I am staying. I have stayed in some very nice hotels that were so warm and welcoming that I loved being in my room. Other rooms were so dark and uninviting I found my mood spiraling downward. Our environment and surroundings play a huge part in how we feel on a day-to-day basis. Think about it. When your home is messy, chaotic, cluttered, and filled with piles, how do you feel? My guess would be "stressed" is amongst the adjectives that top your list. Likewise, when our homes are clean and straightened we feel more at peace.

So why not create a dream home for yourself? You don't need a million dollar budget and a designer's help. Instead, approach your home with the same mentality we bring to this challenge — one day, one step, and one project— at a time.

The task of beautifying your home will be an ongoing process. I recommend getting a separate binder for this project. I have a binder with dividers for each room of the house that I wanted to "beautify." Then when I found pictures, ideas, or had inspirations, I would store the information behind the applicable room tab.

The process of going through your home is much like when we created the MASTER TASK LIST. Choose a room in which to start. Sit down for a good twenty minutes, really taking in all the items, furniture, textures, and colors of the room. Then imagine how you would like the room to be. Don't be shy, write down anything that comes to mind no matter how crazy it seems. There may be things on your list that aren't practical right now and that's okay. These notes will give you a clue into the traits and mood you want to create in the room and you may be able to find a less expensive alternative. (For example, in one room I would have loved new hardwood floors. Instead, I found that sanding the current wood floors and covering them with inexpensive rugs purchased at a wholesale outlet, created the nice warm feeling I was looking to have.)

Here are some specific things to think about in each room:

• COLOR: Do the walls represent the room? If your house has all white walls, consider toying with color. Painting a room is the quickest way to give it a fresh look. Stenciling is another option for those who don't want to brave a full paint makeover. If you want to keep your white walls, are there prints or paintings that could be added to give the room a new tone? What types of prints and paintings would you enjoy — abstract, contemporary, wildlife? What colors should the paintings emphasize to help coordinate the overall color of the room?

• FURNITURE: Are there pieces of furniture that need to be refinished, repaired, or replaced? Are there any pieces you would like to add?

• WINDOWS: Do you like your current window coverings? If not, what would you prefer? Would you like to go with a valance? Blinds? No coverings?

• DECORATIONS: What elements could be added to change the tone of the room? How about a small water fountain in a room where you like to relax? Fountains can be found very inexpensively at stores like Target or Wal-Mart. Would an arrangement of candles or dried flowers add to the room? Could you remove items to simplify the space? Could you swap items with items from another area of the house for a fresh feel?

• FOLIAGE: What about plants? Plants quickly provide a new feel within a room. If you have a bad history with plants, don't despair. Visit your local garden center and explain you want a very durable plant for someone without a "green thumb." These garden experts can help you pick the plant that is best for you.

• FLOOR COVERING: How do you want your floors to look? Would you like rugs, floor coverings, hardwood, or to lay new tile?

Idea-Gathering Gathering ideas can be a very fun step. Begin by paging through magazines and finding attractive rooms. For example, if you are working on your living room, begin by finding living rooms that have a theme or feel you would like to emulate in your own home. Don't worry if you can't find something that is exactly like what you want; you can clip furniture from one picture and paintings from another. Here are a few more sources for idea-gathering:

1. If you have a friend who has a "knack" for displays and interior design, consider seeking her help and recommendations.

2. Visit furniture stores, antique shops, and department stores to gather ideas for displays and decoration. Check your local library and bookstore for additional books and ideas.

3. The internet also has a ton of great resources for decorating. Try doing a search at for decorating. The Better Homes and Gardens website has a lot of great resources as well — you can find it at

4. Visit your local improvement store. Look at their idea books and magazines. Find paint samples and color palettes that are appealing to you.

5. Let the process of gathering ideas take as long as you desire. Remember this is a work in progress. Once you have some ideas, pick one to start. I encourage you to work through one room at a time, completing it in its entirety before moving to the next room. This way you will be able to enjoy one room while working on the others and not cause a lot of clutter or disruption in the home.

Remember that decorating and performing a facelift to a room needn't be costly or time consuming. Adding a new print to a wall, colorful pillows to a couch, or a few plants can breathe new life into a tired room.

Your Assignment:

Begin gathering ideas. Try to choose at least one idea that can be implemented today to beautify your home.

About The Author
Brook Noel is an international, best-selling author and has written over 10 books. Her works include: I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye: surviving, coping, and healing after the sudden death of a loved one, Grief Steps, The Single Parent Resource and her newest book The Change Your Life Challenge: A 70 Day Life Makeover Program for Women To learn more about the challenge that thousands of women have used to improve relationships, finances, home management, self-esteem, fitness, self-care, stress and depression you can visit the website at:

Picking Your Golf Equipment

Looking for quality golf equipment but not sure you want to spend a ton on it? Are you new and starting out and need some new golf equipment but don't know where to begin? Finding the right golf equipment may seem like a challenge, but it really does not have to be. In fact, if you know what you need, your task could be quite easy. Looking for quality golf equipment but not sure you want to spend a ton on it? Are you new and starting out and need some new golf equipment but don't know where to begin? Finding the right golf equipment may seem like a challenge, but it really does not have to be. In fact, if you know what you need, your task could be quite easy.

The first step in purchasing golf equipment is to determine your budget. Once you get to that golf store and get the best club in your hand, you may just overspend. Knowing how much you can and should spend on golf equipment will keep your wallet as happy as you will be with your golf equipment. After determining this, you will need to begin looking. The basic equipment that all good golfers have is a set of clubs, tees, gloves, and golf balls. There is much speculation about which types of clubs you need and what material they should be made out of. The best bet to determining the right equipment for you is to try it out and get a feel for it. A basic set of golf clubs will include woods, irons, putters, and wedges. The types of these clubs that you end up purchasing will depend on how they feel in your hand and through your swing. Other golf equipment to consider includes shoes, balls, gloves, clothing and more.

Golf equipment is widely available. You can go into any sporting goods store and find quality merchandise. You can also go to some of the department stores and find golf equipment there. There are even golf equipment stores that can provide you with many choices. Still want a better selection? Are you looking for the best value for your money? Use the internet to search from site to site to find the right golf equipment at the right prices. The basic golf equipment should be the first order of business for you. Once you have these items you can move into getting the other golf equipment you may find.

About The Author
Written by David Kunstek, webmaster and author of This article may be reproduced as long as a Live link back to is present.

Return to Ouvea, New Caledonia

"Ouvea is everything you'd expect in a South Pacific island. Twenty kilometers of unbroken white sands border the lagoon on the west side of the island and extend far out from shore to give the water a turquoise hue. The wide western lagoon, protected by a string of coral islands and a barrier reef, is the only of its kind in the Loyalties. On the ocean side are rocky cliffs, pounded by surf, but fine beaches may be found even here. At one point on this narrow atoll only 450 meters separates the two coasts. Traditional circular houses with pointed thatched roofs are still common in the villages."

Those words appeared in the 1985 edition of my South Pacific Handbook after a visit in 1983. Just over 20 years later I returned to Ouvea to discover that little had changed in this French colony east of Australia.

Most Ouveans still live in traditional thatched case (houses) and the beach is as dazzling as ever. On my first evening there, as I watched the red fireball set slowly across the lagoon, I felt a strong affinity with my previous visit.

Yet something terrible had happened in my absence. On May 5, 1988, 300 French elite troops stormed a cave near Gossanah in northern Ouvea to rescue 16 gendarmes captured two weeks earlier by Melanesian freedom fighters.

Nineteen Kanaks (the collective name used by the indigenous peoples of New Caledonia) died in the assault, including several who suffered extrajudicial execution at the hands of the French police after being wounded and taken prisoner.

None of the hostages had been harmed. Thus began one of the final chapters of what is now known as the evenements (events) of the 1980s. Three years earlier independence leader Eloi Machoro had been murdered in cold blood by police snipers as he stood outside a rural farmhouse near La Foa, on New Caledonia's main island, Grand Terre.

By 1987 France had 14,000 troops stationed in its mineral-rich Melanesian colony, one for every five Kanaks. The independence movement was to be crushed one way or another.

When I tried to visit the cave at Gossanah on my recent trip, I was told that the area was taboo to allow the spirits time to rest.

Instead I was permitted to visit the grave of Djoubelly Wea in Gossanah and allowed to take pictures of his home. My host on Ouvea told me the story. Evidently, the hostages had been taken by young Kanak activists from other parts of the island, and the captive gendarmes were brought to Gossanah only because the cave was considered remote.

Residents of the area weren't involved. Yet when the French police arrived in search of their comrades, they rounded up the people of Gossanah and assembled them on a football field in front of the village church.

There they were tortured for information, and Wea's father was among those who died of shock. Later 33 Ouveans were sent to prison in France, Djoubelly Wea among them.

These events chastened Kanaks and French alike, and the heads of the main political parties, the Kanak leader Jean-Marie Tjibaou and the representative of the French settlers Jacques Lafleur, were called to Paris by Prime Minister Michel Rocard to negotiate and eventually sign a peace treaty known as the Matignon Accords.

A referendum on independence was promised in 1998, and massive economic aid was to be channeled into the Kanak regions. An amnesty was granted to all those arrested during the troubles, and no investigation into the Ouvea massacre or the murders of several dozen other Kanaks by French settlers or troops would be required.

Fast forward to May 1989, as the top Kanak leaders Jean-Marie Tjibaou and Yeiwene Yeiwene arrive on Ouvea for a commemorative ceremony exactly one year after the massacre.

As the leaders are being received at the chefferie (chiefly house) of Wadrilla near the center of the island, Djoubelly Wea steps forward and shoots the pair dead at point blank range. Wea was reflecting a feeling still palpable in New Caledonia that Tjibaou had sold out to the French and derailed the struggle of independence.

Tjibaou's bodyguard killed Wea, the final shot of the evenements. Today the chefferie of Wadrilla is much the same as it was in 1989, a large thatched case surrounded by a palisade of driftwood logs.

Across the coastal highway, a large monument has been erected to the 19 Kanak martyrs of 1988. Designed with two curving white walls to resemble a cave, the monument bears the photo, name, and date of birth of each victim.

Their traditional war clubs have been placed on the back side of the monument and their remains are interred below.

No memorial to Jean-Marie Tjibaou exists on Ouvea but the French have constructed a massive cultural center to his memory in their stronghold Noumea.

In fairness, it must be said that Tjibaou only considered the Matignon Accords a temporary stop on the road to independence. His assassination froze the agreement into a sort of permanent solution which the French have used to justify continuing colonial rule ever since.

The promised 1998 referendum was never held. Instead an updated treaty called the Noumea Accord was signed. This postponed the referendum for another 15 or 20 years and promised many things the French government has yet to deliver.

For example, a key provision creating a special New Caledonian citizenship status intended to control immigration from France was declared unconstitutional by a French court in 1999.

Metros (metropolitan French) continue to flood into the territory (in violation of United nations resolutions on the norms of conduct for colonial powers in non-self-governing areas) and Europeans may soon from a clear majority of the population.

Toward the end of my stay I visited the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center in the Tina Peninsula, 12 kilometers northeast of New Caledonia's capital Noumea. Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, it was built by French contractors between 1994 and 1998 at a cost of over US$50 million. The center opened on May 4, 1998, 10th anniversary of the assassination of Jean-Marie Tjibaou.

No visitor can help but be impressed by the spectacular botanical garden interwoven with references to Kanak legends which encircles the center's three villages.

A contemporary art gallery, temporary and permanent exhibitions of Kanak and other Pacific art, a library, an audiovisual room, indoor and outdoor theaters, and a large ceremonial area are only some of the center's outstanding features.

Yet the Tjibaou Cultural Center presents Kanak culture as a regional folklore rather than a national tradition.

Events such as the Ouvea Massacre and the other murders of the 1980s are barely mentioned. A room in Village Three provides photos and texts on the life of Jean-Marie Tjibaou, but there's no explanation as to why he was assassinated or the background of his assassin.

The 19th century land seizures and the muscle flexing and maneuvering that have prevented independence are carefully avoided. The highlight for me was an amazing three-meter-high bronze statue of Tjibaou himself, clad in a Roman toga, on a hill overlooking the center.

Tjibaou was the last real Kanak leader, and in a land where the spirits of the dead have an important role in the lives of the living, his soul must be suffering.

About The Author
David Stanley is the author of Moon Handbooks South Pacific which has a chapter on New Caledonia. His online guide to New Caledonia may be perused at

Your Guide to an Amazing Hawaiian Vacation

Hawaii: beautiful beaches, perfect weather, amazing surf, exquisite cuisine, and one of the world's favorite places to visit on a much-needed vacation. Here's a quick tour of Hawaii with some highlights, hotel information and the key to an amazing Hawaii vacation. Here's the secret: find an inexpensive package that will get you a ticket to the island, a hotel, and a beach tour or restaurant all in one. Tons of places in Hawaii advertise their business by packaging with a hotel or airline. Below you'll find some good picks.

First of all, for the golfing enthusiast, you can find the Unlimited Golfing Package from Prince Resorts Hawaii. On three Hawaiian islands, you can visit any one of 5 breathtakingly beautiful golf courses with a total of 99 holes and golf the day away. With a breakfast buffet included, you can't go wrong with the Prince Resorts Hawaii. Next, you don't want to leave Hawaii without catching one of those famous waves. Pick Ohana Hotels, and you can “Catch a wave in Hawaii” over a five night luxurious stay.

One of the most famous things about a vacation in Hawaii is the delicious Hawaiian cuisine. For example, Tiki's Grill and Bar is one of those restaurants. With the look and feel of a '50s or '60s Hawaiian tiki bar, this restaurant is a great place to go for delicious food and a breathtaking view of the beach. For more information on Hawaii's delicious restaurants and restaurant reviews where visitors talk about their favorite Hawaiian cuisine, visit

For those more interested in Hawaii's history and archaeology, visit Bishop Museum, home to more that two million Hawaiian artifacts. The museum now has a location at Hilton Hawaii Village Beach Resort, so it is easy to visit and view the amazing history of the beautiful state of Hawaii. With exhibits dating back to 400 AD and leading up to Hawaii's modern history, the museum includes weapons, shark teeth, historic sufboards, and feather lei capes worn by Hawaiian nobility. This is truly a great tourist site for some unique Hawaiian history.

For more information on Hawaii, including restaurants, movie times, camping, shopping, and hotels, visit My Hawaii.

About The Author
Jeff OReilly is an author of several books on many topics and a leader in seo and website production.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Malaysia - Essential Visits

Located in South East Asia, bordering Thailand in the north and Singapore in the south, Malaysia achieved its independence from British rule on the 31st of August 1957. With a population of approximately 23.5 million (58% Malays, 24% Chinese, 8% Indians and 10% others), Malaysia is rich in differing cultures and traditions. The uniqueness of Malaysia is that all these differing religions live alongside each other in harmony and peace.

You may be asking "What's there to do in Malaysia?". Malaysia offers natural beauties in tropical rainforest, scuba diving; Shopping haven in all major cities; Friendly citizens across the country. Whatever you want to do, ranging from being a potatoe couch at the hotel to extreme adventures, Malaysia has it all.

Having said that, I will now point out to you the essential visits that you should take part in order to make your trip whole (in no particular order):

Petronas Twin Towers

Towering at a height of 452 metres (1483 feet), the Petronas Twin Towers is the highest twin towers in the world. Built to 88 storeys and 32000 windows, the towers are connected via a skybridge. You must book your time to access the skybridge for an excellent birds-eye view of the Kuala Lumpur city. The towers were featured in the movie Entrapment starring Sean Connery and Caterine Zeta Jones. When visiting the towers, take a stroll at the KLCC park (20 hectares or 50 acres) located adjacent to the towers and indulge yourself in shopping at the Suria KLCC located inside the towers.

Pulau Pinang (Penang Island)

Affectionately known as Pearl of the Orient, Penang is famous for its natural beauty and exotic heritage. Located at the northern part of Malaysia, Penang, a bustling island, has a large variety of culture, people and food within the 285 square kilometres enclave. So diversed, you will be able to find churches, Chinese temples, Indian temples and Muslim mosques all within a five minutes walk. Colonial buildings still exist and are constantly being restored to its former glory. When you are at the Pearl of the Orient, you must sample the hawker food found at abundance, take a ferry ride (especially at night) and stroll along the beaches of Batu Ferringi.

Sipadan Island

Located on the north-eastern part of Borneo Island, Sipadan is one of the world's best dive spots. White sandy beaches borders this 12ha island. The island was formed from a undersea volcano and is raised 650meters from the sea floor. Sipadan is famous for its reef wall, rare reef creatures and the regular appearance of sea turtles. If you are a diver, this is one place that you would not want to miss.

East Coast Islands

On the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, an abundance of idyllic white sandy beaches. To escape the hustle and bustle of the city, hop over to the east coast, put on a sarong, grab yourself a coconut, relax and enjoy the pounding of the waves. Out in the sea, islands such as Perhentian, Tioman and Redang are famous for their dive spots and family getaway.

Cameron Highlands

This 1800 meters above sea level region is a popular getaway from the tropical heat for Malaysians and tourist alike. Cameron Highlands was discovered by a British surveyor named William Cameron in 1885. This highlands resembles England as old English inns, chalets and bungalows still exists today. Attraction in Cameron Highlands includes mountain and jungle hikings, tea plantations, fruits and vegetable farms, flower nurseries and its people. Cameron Highlands has two golf courses if you are game.

Proboscis Monkeys

Living exclusively in Borneo island, proboscis monkeys have the largest nose amongst all primates. Reaching up to 17.5cm long, the reason for the elongated nose is unknown. Another distinctive feature of this unique creature is its pot belly. The proboscis monkey is an endangered species and is listed under the IUCN Red List. Visiting these creatures in its natural habitat is well worth the journey.

About The Author
Mij Gnow is an avid traveller who is infected with the travel bug throughout the year. Weighed down by the corporate world to earn a living, Mij continues to write articles in preparation for his future travels.

Mij is also the creator and administrator of Travel Corridor,; a site containing essential visits around the world.

Planning Your Dream Vacation

Planning a vacation is a very important part of any vacation. It ensures that a vacation can be successful and enjoyable, and hopefully goes a long way to avoiding snags and hang ups. Vacation organization is something that once you do it once, you can do it fore vacations to come. To begin I will point out some tips that will hopefully help you in your quest to organize your vacation and/or trip.

Being prepared will ideally save you time and save you money. Keeping a duplicate of your packing list on the computer should help reduce the time it takes you to rework one every time you go on a vacation. Buying things you might need on the trip ahead of time will save you big bucks that might otherwise be spent on the trip. In such situations, it almost always costs more. There should be no need to feel stressed in the airport if everything you need is arranged and prepared.

Setting up is a major issue in vacation organizing. Create a general of things you plan to do before setting out. Write out times, hotel check-in and check-out dates and times, and perhaps a list of actions for each day you travel. Ideally, this will help make sure that you have plenty of time to visit everywhere you desire. What’s a vacation if you have no time to relax?

Also, plan out routes. Check out your local ‘AAA’ store for maps and go online to a map site if it might help. The last thing you want is to be lost in a place you don’t know well or at all on your vacation.

When packing suitcases, set things you require first on the top. Items should be things such as shoes and cosmetics. When you are fatigued from a lengthy trip, you are likely not going to desire to have to go rooting through bags to locate your pajamas. Also when getting packed, try thinking of the activities you will be performing while on the trip. Planning on hiking? Probably bring some hiking shoes and matching apparel.

After packing, take an inventory and match it with the checklist you started with. After ensuring that you have everything and that it is all ready to go, give yourself an opportunity to relax. So travel safely and have a trip that you will remember for the rest of your life. Happy organizing!

About The Author
Lindsey Storia is the Webmaster of
Visit her site at

Frankfurt Germany -- 12 Insider Tips

In the city with its international airport 650,000 humans live. It is a very modern large city and became the ' turntable of Europe '. In Frankfurt important industrial enterprises and wholesale dealer are resident like also many banks. Not only the German Federal Bank, but also the European Central Bank (ECB) resides here.

Famous ‘Kaiserdom’ (emperor cathedral), which documents loved 'Roemerberg’ (Roman mountain) and the historical 'Paulskirche', in which the first freely selected German parliament met, besides the political meaning of this fascinating city.

Yes, Frankfurt is a metropolis and full surprises as well as contrasts. Skyscrapers are directly apart from half timbered houses; culture and commerce form here a unit. In addition, Frankfurt is a fair city, a literature city and above all a culture city: here the cradle of the German jazz scene with many small music taverns, in which you cannot only ease, is appropriate but also into the night much fun to have canned. The moreover one you find many museums.

Frankfurt, because of its skyline also ' Mainhattan ' mentioned, is a large city in the country, between the mountain courses by ‘Taunus’ and ‘Spessart’ and surrounded by a wreath/ring of world-well-known health resorts, popular holidays areas and trip goals.

In the following I will give you 12 insider tips. Before I do it however you do the following: print out this side, so that you have it immediately available, if you come to Frankfurt. It is nearly impossible, everything that I wrote here to keep in the head and it would be unfortunate, if you are in Frankfurt and get to face only the 'normal' points of interest.

Besides that after your arrival you should go immediately to the tourist information. It is in downtown, near the 'Roemer'. The road calls itself 'Auf dem Roemerberg' (on the Rome mountain) and the telephone number is: +49-69-21238800. Ask them for a city map. Without a city map you will lose yourself in this big city, and with the city map you will find everything I mention here.

Bars and restaurants

1. One of the best cocktail bars in Frankfurt is the ‘Strandperle’ (beach bead). Particularly the Caipirinha is unique! In the summer the bar surface expands to a terrace café high over to the river 'Main'.

2. The smallest jazz restaurant of Germany is the 'Mampf'. Since more than 30 years there are free concerts to German meals. Apart from jazz also Blues, Swing, Latin and Flamenco are played. Simply enjoy the good mood and fun inheres.

3. One of the few popular apple wine restaurants with yard garden is the 'Lorsbacher Tal'. It is in the quarter 'Alt-Sachsenhausen’ (old axle living) and has a very cosy ambience and solid German meals.

4. The restaurant 'Pilar' is at the same time a bar. Fine noodles, salads and original Mediterranean creations will be served. On the side panels of the restaurant hang sumptuous baroque paintings, which offer an interesting contrast to the simple Design of bar, leather seat and wood table.

5. In the elevated ‘Villa Merton' (Mansion Merton) you find meals of the all-finest. If it permits your travel budget, go here. The employees speak English and recommend to you gladly the specialities of the house.

Sightseeing and culture

6. In the Goethe house and Goethe museum Goethe was born in the year 1749. He lived here until 1775. The house was outstanding reconstructed and contains paintings, handwriting and diagrams of the large German poet.

7. On the 'Roemerberg’ (Roman mountain) regularly highlights and meetings take place. It is a long stretched, five-angular place and is gladly visited by humans. At this place is the 'Frankfurter Roemer’ (Frankfurt Romans), the famous city hall of the city. It was reconstructed after the war. In the festival room of the Roemer pictures of German emperors are to be admired.

8. In the 'Pauluskirche' (Paulus church), which was established between 1787 and 1833, the first German national assembly met in 1848. It is a place of historical building method and historiography.

9. The 'Senckenberg Museum’ is the largest scientific museum in Germany. You find here a descriptive collection of approximately 500,000 exhibits, which arrange for you an overview of the development of our animated nature over millions of years. It is simply impressing.

10. The 'Palmengarten’ (palm garden) shows a domestic, tropical and subtropical Flora. The emphases of the 20 hectares large park are over 300 orchids, ‘Bromelien’ and about 1,600 different cactus species. Concerts also often take place here.

11. In the 'Frankfurt Zoo' approximately 6,000 animals (650 kinds) live together in extensive outdoor installations and houses. If animals interest you, you must go here. Plan however at least five hours for your attendance.

12. When it becomes evening, you absolutely MUST go to the 'Berger Strasse’ (Berger road)! On 2 km (1.3 miles) you find taverns, Bars, Cafés and restaurants for each taste! Here you surely will NOT become boring. If I am in Frankfurt, this road is a must for me, again and again.

Enjoy your trip!

About The Author
Marcus Hochstadt has travelled extensively to countries and continents like the USA, Brazil, Thailand, Africa and, of course, Europe. In Germany itself he knows in almost each city the points of REAL interest and gives you insider shortcuts on his daily growing website Watch out for his free valuable "Help-By-Step" System and its 6 uncovered secrets.