Popular Posts

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Seven Steps You Must Take To Get The Best Long Term Care Insurance

1. Always choose a policy that pays for all types of care including nursing home care, assisted living care and home care.

2. All things being equal, always choose a policy that provides a calendar day elimination  period over a service day elimination period.

3. Always favor policies that are not restrictive about who can supply the  in-home care. Some policies require you to use a state-certified care provider. This would prevent you from hiring someone you know and trust like a family member or a trusted friend.

4. Always choose a policy that provides an annual cost of living increase of at least 3% to 5% so you won't be underinsured 20 or 30 years down the road. You should also favor polices that don't charge extra for this feature and choose policies that calulate the cost of living on a compounded basis versus a simple basis.


5. Favor policies that have monthly caps over policies that have daily ones.

6. Make sure you lean towards policies that provide benefits when you acquire assistance with two activities. That's because most people require assistance with dressing and bathing long before they require assiatance with a third activity.

7. Choose a policy that specifically includes dementia coverage even when the policyholder does not meet the policy's activity triggers.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

9 Secrets Hotels Don't Want You to Know

1.  Don't Call The 800 Number - You get the best rate by calling the hotel's local number. Instead of the reservation desk, ask to speak to the manager on duty  or the director of sales. They have the authority to give you the best rate.

2. Rooms Cost More In The A.M - The best time of day to make a reservation is after 6PM. That's when hotels clear their no show reservations unsecured by credit cards. Then these rooms are offered at bargain rates. In NY and San Francisco, call after 4PM.

3. Negotiate Everything - If the parking is over priced and the lot is half full, offer 50% of the daily rate.

4. No Vacancy Sign=Rooms Available - In any large hotel, a few rooms are listed as out of order. The problem may be simple like a stain on the carpet or a chair has been sent out for repairs. If you're desperate for a last-minute room, tell the manager you are willing to take an  out of order room with a minor problem.

5. Thieves Take Only One Credit Card -   Hotel thieves usually take out one credit card so you won't notice. So check your wallet carefully if you leave it unattended.

6. Hotel Rooms Are A Germ Circus - TV remotes, telephones and clock radios never get cleaned. So carry a pack of antibacterial  wipes and clean items when you arrive. Bedspreads are only cleaned every few months. So ask for clean blankets as soon as you arrive.

7. Tip The Housekeeper $2-$3 A Day - Housekeepers are the most overworked, underpaid, under appreciated people in a hotel. If you tip them you'll get better service and it reduces the chance that you room will be burglarized. Dishonest housekeepers are less likely to target guests they have met.

8. Your Bags Aren't Safe - Even in high end hotels, bags can be stolen right off the bellhop carts in the lobby. Plus the hotel assumes no responsibility. If your bag is going to sit for more than a few minutes, ask that they be placed ina secure room. Designer luggage may impress fellow travelers, but it also impresses a thief. So always travel with cheap, ugly luggage so thieves  target someone else.   

9. Tap The Lost & Found - If you forget to bring your cell phone or laptop charger, odds are the hotel will lend you a charger from their lost and found. Recharging cords are the number 1 items left behind at hotels.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How To Boost Your FICO Score 100 Points In 30 Days

It's  a somewhat known fact among credit repair experts that when you dispute delinquencies on your credit report right before Thanksgiving and once again ,after 35 days pass, right before or around Christmas, you'll be able to get more stuff off your credit reports than working on it for 6 to 9 months or longer. 


Since it is a "another somewhat known" fact, a lot of people ,including credit repair services and attorneys, submit dispute letters during this time, and it overwhelms the credit bureau system. To top it off, the credit bureaus are understaffed during this time because their employees are taking more time off for the holidays, not to mention the federal "shut down" days of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.


So, how do you make this work?If you've been struggling to have things removed or -- even better -- you've never disputed anything before, now is the time to start. You have to wait until next week to start submitting your letters into the credit bureaus.  You shouldn't submit anything this week.
Now, one of the reasons this is so successful is that you "buy days" during this "Holiday " time frame.  When you dispute something on your credit report, the credit bureaus contact the creditor or collection agency requesting proof of your debt. During this period,  creditors and collection agencies are not only short-staffed during this time but the time starts ticking at 30 days the moment the credit bureau receives your letter.  Everyone must respond timely otherwise the account has to come off.  This is not as easily done during this period of time.
What do you do?If you have anything you want removed off your credit report, the weekend before Thanksgiving is when you should create your dispute letters for any account you'd like removed off your credit report.  On the Monday before Thanksgiving is when you should mail your letters. Also, try the week before Christmas.
Mail each letter to all three credit reporting agencies(Experian, Transunion, Equifax)  via certified mail so the credit bureaus can't say they never got your letter.They like to do this during the" Holiday Season."  Since they won't respond in a timely manner, the disputed items have to come off your credit report.
 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How To Get Rid Of Pesky Telemarketers

When a telemarketer calls you, just say, "I want you to know that this call will may be recorded  for      purposes of review by the NJ State Board Of Fraud"  ( or whatever state your in ). That usually keeps them from calling back.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Insiders Guide To Las Vegas

Free Rock: Rock out to the 80's hair-metal videos spun by VJ's at the Bourbon Room in the Venetian.

Golf:  Play 18 holes of KISS themed golf for $12 at MonsterMiniGolf.Com

Souvenir Hunting: Check out the star of Pawn Stars see:  GSpawn.Com

Have A No Cover  Drink : Sip a a cocktail on board Cleopatra's Barge at CeasarsPalace.Com

See "Jubilee" the showgirl/guy spectacular with a sinking Titanic from $63 BallysLasVegas.Com

Ride El Loco, the face-scrambling coaster  at Circus Circus For $10: AdventureDome.Com

Zoom A Camaro ZL1 around a race track for $124 at DrivePetty.Com

Sky Jump off the 108th floor of the Stratosphere for $120 at SkyJumpLasVegas.Com

Zip Down A Water Slide that cuts through a shark tank for $25 at the GoldenNugget.Com  

Operate A Bulldozer at the heavy equipment playground from $249 at DigThisVegas.Com  

Stage A Hangover Style Prank on your best bud from $500 at  LasVegasTheGame.Com

Learn To Tame Lions from $800 at TheCatHouse.US

Load Up On Survival Gear at ZombieApocalypseStore.Com

Hedge Your Eats  At The Best Chow Spots at Carson's Kitchen, 124 S. 6th St, Ste 100,
702 -473-9523. The check out Fat Choy  595 E. Sahara Ave, 702-794-3464. Then wander over
to  Lotus Of Siam 953 E. Sahara Ave Ste A5, 702-735-3033. For Italian its Giada's , at 3595 S. Las Vegas Blvd, 855-442-3271. For the best white pizza in town check out the secret pizza place hidden inside the Cosmopolitan at 3708 S. Las Vegas Blvd. There is no sign or a hint of it being a pizza joint, but if you see a line of people in an unmarked hallway, get on it. For the best Chinese grub, it's China Mama , 3420 S. Jones Blvd, 702-873-1977.

Where Locals Stay: From $25 a night at the  ElCortezHotelCasino.Com , From $279, its the legendary
FourSeasons.Com/LasVegas and then from $89 a night its the brand new  SlsLasVegas.Com

To Party Hardy With The Locals  check out the "DCR" or the Downtown Cocktail Room, 111 S. Las Vegas Blvd, 702-880-3696.  Next stop is The Griffin, 511 Fremont St, 702-382-0577. Then its on to the Park On Fremont, 506 Fremont St, 702-834-3160, then the Commonwealth, 525 Fremont St, 702-445-6400.The further down its Container Park, 707 Fremont , 702-637-4244. And the last stop is the outdoor seating at Atomic Liquors, 917 Fremont St, 702-982-3000.   

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Best Bar Snack Ever

Total Time: 40 minutes Makes: 8 cups
  • 5 pounds mixed nuts
  • 4 egg whites, whipped until foamy and almost stiff
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1½ tablespoons cayenne
  • 1½ tablespoons salt
    
1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. 
    Make sure all nuts  are coated  in egg white.
2. Pour nut mixture out onto two 13-by-9-inch sheet pans lined with parchment paper.
3. Bake nuts, stirring halfway through, until dry and crisp, 30 minutes.
    Let cool before serving.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Extraordinary Uses For Ordinary Things

Juice a lemon with a microwave - Zap a lemon for 10 seconds to break down the cells and make juice flow faster.

Roll out dough with a wine bottle -Remove the label from an empty, clean round wine or liquor bottle and fill it with cold water. Then cork or cap it.

Use a box grater to puree tomatoes - Place a plate under a box grater. Then place the stem end of the tomato in your palm. Grate against the widest holes while rotating the fruit in a circular motion. The puree falls on the plate while the skin and tomato belly button stay in your hand.

Mince garlic with a can - Wrap peeled garlic and or other spices in tinfoil. Then smash them with a can from the pantry.

Bake omelets in a muffin tin - Coat the tin with cooking spray. Fill each cup with one beaten egg and top with desired ingredients. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. This is a great way to make personalized omelets for a big group of people.

Use freezer bags for mess free breading - Put flour in one bag, beaten eggs in a second bag, and bread crumbs in a third. Dip foods like shrimp or chicken into each bag-then toss into a fourth bag, close, and shake.    

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Liquid Nicotine In E-Cigarettes Is Poisonous

The concentrated liquid nicotine in e-cigarettes is highly toxic. Ingesting even a small amount or accidentally spilling on your skin can cause nausea and vomiting. In some victims, it can increase blood pressure and heart rate. So make sure you keep it out of reach fo small children. Then wear rubber gloves when you handle it. And last, don't store liquid nicotine where you keep your eye drops. You may accidentally reach for the liquid nicotine instead of your eye drops and get nicotine poisoning and extreme eye irritation.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Low Cost Steps You Can Take To Avoid A $10,000 Repair Next Winter

To prevent ice damming, yo should first clear gutters each fall after leaves drop into them. That's because gutter blockages increase the odds of ice forming when winter comes. If you can't do it yourself, then hire someone.

Install heat cables on your gutters and leaves to prevent ice damming. This electrical cable, which generates low-level heat, is narrow like a heavy duty extension cord and comes with a large number of small clips to attach to roof shingles, gutters and downspouts without causing damage. Expect to pay $75 for a 100 foot length and about an extra $100 in electric bills to power it on snowy days. These heat cables could save you an ice-dam repair bill of $10,000 or more. The cable can be left in place all year long. The companies that make the cables also make sensors that allow it to turn on only when needed. Easy Heat Roof Heat Cable is available at Lowes and Frost King De-Icing Cable is available at Home Depot.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Best Thirft Shops, Auction Houses & Discounters In NJ


Consignment & Thrift Shops

 Stirling: www.Act2Shoppe.Com,   Jersey City: www.AmtVintage.Com, Lambertville:www.AntiquesOnUnion.Com , Cranford: www.AugustAmae.Com , Morristown: www.MarketStreet.Org, www.JLmnj.Org, Mendham: www.BarneysConsignment.Com, Mays Landing: www.DolledUpMaysLanding.Com, Madison: www.OnceAndAgainConsignment.ComRed Bank, Englewood & Short Hills: www.EDoubleTake.Com , Livingston: www.DuetBoutique.Com, Morristown, Bernardsville, Scotch Plains, & Lambertville:  www.4EverMichelleCouture.Com , Collingswood: www.FrugalResale.Com, Glassboro:  www.GlassboroThriftVillage.Com , Westfield: www.HomeEconomicsConsignment.Comwww.CenterForHope.Com  Manesquan:  www.HouseOfStyleFashion.Com  & www.SDGoodsCom  Gladstone: www.TheHuntBoutique.Com, Merchantville: www.IrinasCloset.Com, Princeton: www.JaneConsignment.Com   & www.GreeneStreetConsignment.Com Summit: www.JLSummit.Org , Fairfield, Raritan & Edison: www.PlatosCloset.Com, Haddonfield: www.RaksThriftAavenue.Com Englewood, Haddonfield,Madiosn, Ridgefield, Summit: www.SecondTimeAround.Com Ridgewood: www.SavvyChicConsignment.Com, Scotch Plains: www.WinterhillAntiques.Com , Mendham: www.BarneysConsignment.Com Westfield: www.CenterForHope.Com   

                                                                                                    
 Furniture

Collingswood: www.WeWantYourFurniture.Com , Morris Plains: www.FurnishingSolutions.Com,
New Providence: www.HomeAgainDesign.Com, East Hanover: www.LoveFurnitureNJ.Com ,Maple Shade: www.WeWantYourFurniture.Com New Providence: www.HomeAgainDesign.Com
Fairfield: www.GreenDemolitions.Com 

Discounters

Paramus, Morristown & Elizabeth: www.C21Stores.Com & www.BergenTownCenter.Com                                    Whippany, Marlboro & Ridgewood: www.Foxs.Com

Auction Houses

Bloomfield: www.NyeAndCompany.Com Lambertville: www.RagoArts.Com Berlin:  www.WaterfordsAuction.Com Edison: www.BodnarsAuction.Com Asbury: www.DavesAuction.Com 
Dover: www.BermansAuctionGallery.Com Boonton: www.OldFeedMillAuction.Com


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Seven Secrets To Getting The Best Auto Leasing Deal


1. Watch Out For Advertised Specials-Advertised specials are not as appealing as they seem. Sometimes car makers keep the monthly lease payments low by allowing 10,000 miles instead of 12,000 miles. They also may require steep down payments which are more than lessees normally pay.

2. Select A High Residual Auto - The size of your lease payments will be based on how close your vehicle's residual value or worth when you turn it in at lease end. Acura, Toyota, Honda, BMW, Lexus,  and Mercedes  hold their value quite well. American brands don't do as well.

3. E-mail Or Call Three To Five Dealerships - Contact the Internet department and explain that you are "shopping for a lease payment" on your vehicle. This lets dealers know that you are contacting competitors and will improve your odds of getting a competitive price. Also, keep in mind that "advertised lease deals" are negotiable! Tell each dealer that you won't visit their lot until you have received a written quote and have agreed to terms. The only exception is to visit a lot for a test drive. But whatever you do, DO NOT enter into the salesperson's office.  Remember, arriving on a lot without a deal in hand reduces your leverage.

4. Get A Work Sheet - Ask the dealer with the lowest monthly payment to email you a "work sheet".
This sheet puts the details  of the lease offer on paper. Some dealers will balk about emailing you a work sheet, but tell them that they will eliminated from your list if they fail to comply.

5. Get The True Market Value & Dealer Invoice - Go to www.Edmunds.Com  to get this info. Note that the true market value may be below the dealer invoice price if there is a factory rebate on the car. If the capitalized cost listed on the work sheet is higher than the true market value, then subtract the dealer invoice price from the capitalized cost. Then email the dealer and say, " I noticed that this lease is based on a capitalized cost of ( X  number of dollars ) above ( or below ) the dealer invoice price.My research indicates that this car is currently selling at ( X number of above or below ) the invoice price."To get this figure subtract the dealer invoice price from the true market value to get this figure. In most cases, these numbers will be quite close. Then say, I'm looking for a dealer that will lease to me at that figure." Try this first with the dealer that gave you the lowest monthly payment.Then try the others if the first dealer won't give you a capitalized cost close to true market value.

6. Check The Money Factor - This is also called a "lease factor", "lease rate" or just "factor". It is the lease equivalent of the interest rate on a car loan. But it is presented in a confusing way to make it difficult for lessees to tell if their getting a good rate. To convert the money factor  to an interest rate, multiply it by 2,400. For example, A .00125 money factor x 2,400 = and interest rate of 3%. If the figure is higher than the going rate on a car loan, you might be paying too much. This is usually something that a dealer can't negotiate since it is st by the bank or leasing company. However, a high money factor may indicate that the leasing company considers you to be a high credit risk. If that doesn't seem right to you, obtain copies of your credit reports from www.AnnualCreditReport.Com  and get your FICO score too. You get get it free on a monthly basis if you have a Discover IT card. If  you have a current Discover card, Discover will change it over to an IT card for free. Go to www.Discover.Com for more details. 

7.  How To Handle Your Trade-In  Go to www.Edmunds.Com   again and get the value of your used car. Look for the drop down menu that reads, "trade-in value and pricing".You'll get three numbers. The trade-in or wholesale value, the private party sale value and the dealer retail. Try to get the dealer to give you  a trade-in value as close as you can get between private party sale and dealer retail. If not, try to locate a www.CarMax.Com   used car dealership to sell your car. If there's not one near you, sell it yourself on www.Craigslist.Com            

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

How The Latest Carpet Cleaning Scam Can Lead To Burglary, Home Invasion Or Identity Theft

Just as sure as the sunrise, it’s guaranteed to happen every Spring. They promise  to clean all the carpets in your  house for  $59.00. Sound too good to be true?  It probably is. To make matters worse, they finally show up–three hours late-in a beat up pick-up truck with no company name,  and hop out in torn jeans and a soiled tee-shirt. Then you realize it: you’ve been the victim of a bait -and -switch campaign.   What is bait and switch?

 Bait and switch scams work like this: a company advertises cleaning a roomful of carpet of carpet for a  ridiculously low price. When they arrive, they inform you the price they quoted is only for the traffic lanes and doesn’t include any cleaning chemicals. So you agree to pay extra for  the chemicals  because you are thankful someone  showed up. In the end, the final bill ends up costing you hundreds of dollars.   

 Another typical scam is hearing that a company will clean a set amount of rooms for  a very low price ( like 5 rooms for $49.00). After they begin, you discover a linen closet, hallway, foyer, or regular closet counts as a room, and you wind up paying a lot more than you thought you would. Bait-and-switch scams are especially targeted at the elderly. Seniors are more likely to be intimidated by high pressure tactics and by someone who “promises” to  give then a good deal.   

The latest carpet cleaning ruse  is promoted  through deal-of-the-day websites. That’s where you’re offered 3 rooms  of carpet cleaning for $49.  To take advantage of this offer, you have to prepay for a non-refundable certificate that expires in 90 days. Also, the website that makes the offer  IS NOT responsible for the quality of the work. Plus all sales are final. What you don’t know is that most companies that do this went into business yesterday. 

Then, they have have to give half of the $49 or $24.50 to the deal-of-the-day websites.  Do you really think that they can afford to clean 3 rooms of  carpets in your house for $24.50 and still make a profit? Of course not.  Most of the time, they don’t even show up for appointments. If they do show up, then  they'll tell you that you're going to  get a quick dash and splash job that just uses water. If you want a better job, you'll have to fork up  more money for them to use a cleaning chemical.  Or they get so many calls, they’ll book you out three months in advance and then the certificate expires. If they do show up, the job won't be guaranteed.

If  you complain about them to the BBB, Yelp or Google+, that’s OK. They’ll be in business tomorrow under another name as quick as you can change your socks. Then they’ll do it all over again.               
                                                                                                              
One  reason why they may clean for such a low price  is because they may be gang bangers or illegal aliens with criminal records or foreign nationals.  And entering your home allows them to "case" your home to plan a future burglary or home invasion. They also may sell your credit card info to an identity theft ring.       
               
 Professional carpet cleaning technicians will arrive in a company vehicle with company identification on the side. They may also be uniformed, should be well groomed, and should provide some sort of business or certification card.  If they are more like person described at the beginning of this story, then don’t let them in.                                
                                      
                     So how can you avoid these latest carpet cleaning  scams?

The best protection against these scams  is to ask some pointed questions before the cleaner arrives at your home. Call several local cleaning companies. If the company cannot answer simple questions, move on to another company. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

                                       Here are  9 questions you should ask:

    1.  Are you certified in carpet cleaning? Do you have any formal training?

    2.    How many years has your company been in business? ( the longer, the better)

    3.   Can you provide a list of references I can call? 

    4.  Is your company  drug, alcohol and criminal free? ( Companies that don’t screen their  employees can put you and your loved ones at risk. To be on the safe side, DO NOT deal with companies or cleaners who don’t pre-screen and drug test  their employees)
                   
     5. Can you provide proof of insurance and a  business license?

     6.  What steps will be included in your cleaning process?

     7.   How long will it take for the carpet to dry?
        
     8.   Do you offer free, no-obligation, on-site  written quotations?

     9 .  Do you offer a written, satisfaction or money back guarantee?       

   10.   Are your cleaning solutions certified organic and  natural , and do you
           warrant that they are completely safe for my family, my pets and the earth?           
                            
   
After your questions have been answered, you also may what to check the firm’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau at www. bbb. org . You can also check  the consumer affairs department of your state’s attorney general’s office. “You’d be shocked at the number of well known companies that have lousy reputations  when  it comes to addressing consumer complaints. 

 When you have decided on a cleaner,  make sure  you pay your bill with a major credit card. Sometimes it’s difficult getting a cleaner to  come back to fix a problem after you’ve  paid the bill. Paying by credit card will give you an option to dispute the bill if the problem is not resolved to your satisfaction.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Phenominal Pizza Dough Recipe

Active Time:     1/2  hrs
Total Time:       3 hrs plus risng time
Yield:               3 large pizzas

This recipe is for a long, slow refrigerated rise. For a quicker rise, you can leave the dough in a warm spot for 2 or 3 hours, but it's flavor and texture will be slightly compromised.

Ingredients:

4 cups unbleached bread flour plus extra for dusting

1 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast

1 3/4 cups of filtered or bottled water at room temperature

2 1/4 teaspoons of coarse salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus extra for brushing

In a large bowl, whisk together flour and yeast. Slowly add water, mixing with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Stir in salt and oil. At this point, the dough should be rough and raggedy. Brush with olive
oil. Cover bowl with a dry kitchen towel and let it rest for one hour.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and pat with flour. Holding tow opposite ends, pull the dough until its about a foot long. Then fold the dough back onto itself and pinch the ends together. Repeat the process 4 more times, rotating the dough each time to stretch alternate sides, until it feels smooth.

Then place dough in a well oiled large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in the refrigerator until it doubles in bulk, or at least 24 to 48 hours.

Turn the dough on a floured surface. Cut into 3 equal parts and form it into balls. Brush each ball with oil and cover them to rest for an hour. 

Then transfer one of the doughs to a 9 x 13 inch  rimmed baking pan. Pull edges to fill pan. Apply your favorite tomato sauce then spread on shredded  mozzarella cheese and bake. Preheat your oven to 450 F and cook pizza for 15 to 20 minutes on until done.

If you wish to freeze the dough it will keep beautifully..    

Recipe's For Incredible Edible Gifts

House-Jarred Marinated Feta

Makes: one 9-ounce jar

Cut 6 ounces feta into ¾-inch cubes. Pick the leaves from a 6-inch sprig each of thyme and rosemary. Use a vegetable peeler to remove four 2-inch-long strips of lemon peel from 1 lemon. // In a clean 9-ounce jar, lay down ⅓ of feta cubes, followed by ½ of thyme and rosemary. Sprinkle 5 pink peppercorns and a pinch of Aleppo pepper on top, followed by 2 lemon strips. Repeat process once more with the same amounts of feta, pink peppercorns and Aleppo pepper, then top with remaining feta cubes, leaving a ½-inch gap at top of jar. // Pour in olive oil to cover feta completely. Seal and let sit in refrigerator at least 7 days before using. // To serve, remove from refrigerator about 20 minutes in advance to let oil come to room temperature. Store, refrigerated, up to two months.

Fruited Sugar

Makes: one 16-ounce jar

In a 16-ounce terrine jar, sprinkle ¼ cup amber sugar crystals, followed by ¼ cup dried fruit. Repeat three more times with the same amounts of sugar and fruit, placing 1 cinnamon stick in after the second layer, leaving a ½-inch gap at top of jar. // Pour in 1 cup dark rum (at least 50% ABV), until top layer is just covered. Bring ¼ cup honey to a boil and pour it over top. Seal immediately. // Once opened, store in refrigerator up to six months.


Thyme Oil and Blood Orange Vinegar


Makes: one 12-ounce jar of oil and one 12-ounce jar of vinegar  

 Peel 4 small or 2 large blood oranges, reserving a 2-inch strip of peel, free of pith. Use a paring knife to remove orange flesh in sections from membrane. Pour 8 ounces red wine vinegar into a blender and squeeze in any remaining juice from orange membrane. Add orange flesh and purée until smooth. Store in a sealed container in refrigerator for 24 hours, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve and transfer to a 12-ounce bottle. Close tightly. Vinegar will keep up to four weeks. // Make thyme oil: Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Wash ¼ bunch fresh thyme under running water and dry with paper towels. Arrange sprigs on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake just until brittle, 5-10 minutes. In a medium pot over low heat, combine 12 ounces olive oil and dried thyme. Cook just below a simmer 4-5 minutes. Transfer thyme to a paper towel and let oil cool to room temperature. Once oil has cooled, pour into a sterile 12-ounce bottle. Add reserved thyme. Close tightly. Oil will keep, refrigerated, up to four weeks. Bring to room temperature before using.

Brain Dead Simple Desserts That Will Drive Your Dinner Guests Bananas

Best Banana Cake Around

Active Time: 45 minutes Total Time: 10 hours (includes overnight chilling) Serves: 12 
  
For the cake:
 
2¼ cups sifted cake flour, plus more for flouring pan
1½ cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon, plus a pinch of salt
½ cup vegetable oil
5 large egg yolks
¼ cup orange juice
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
1½ teaspoons cream of tartar
1½ cups shredded, sweetened coconut, toasted (optional)
3 firm-ripe bananas, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds (optional)

For the icing:
 
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
2¼ cups sugar
6 tablespoons cold water
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1½ tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the banana filling: 
 
2 cups cold heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
3 large overripe bananas, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
5½ ounces instant vanilla pudding mix
1¼ cups whole milk
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
2. Sift flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt together into a bowl. In this order, add the following, one at a time, to flour mixture stirring after each addition: oil, egg yolks, juices and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer at low speed to whisk egg whites, cream of tartar and a pinch of salt until opaque. Slowly add remaining sugar and beat on medium-high until soft peaks form. Stir in a quarter of beaten whites into flour mixture, then fold in the rest.
4. Pour batter into greased pan, smoothing the top and rapping once on the table to eliminate air bubbles. Place on middle rack in oven and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan, upside down, on a rack.
5. Remove cake from pan, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.
6. Make icing: Place all ingredients except vanilla in a large stainless steel bowl. Use an electric mixer or a whisk to beat until combined. Fill a wide, deep skillet with 2 inches of water and set over medium heat. Bring to a steady simmer and place bowl in skillet, making sure water level is at least as high as egg whites inside bowl. Beat on low speed until mixture reaches 140 degrees, using an instant-read thermometer to monitor temperature. (Do not stop beating or egg whites will overcook.) Increase speed to high and continue to beat exactly 6 minutes. (Icing will be very thick.) Remove from heat, add vanilla and beat on low speed to cool, 2-3 minutes. Set aside. (Use within 6 hours.)
7. Make banana filling: In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to whip heavy cream until soft peaks form, 2-4 minutes. In a large bowl, toss bananas with lemon juice. Add instant pudding and milk to bananas and stir. Gently fold in whipped cream. Set aside.
8. To assemble, use a large knife to slice cake horizontally into three even layers. Place bottom cake layer on a large plate. Spread half of banana filling on top, then lay second cake layer on top of filling. Spread on remaining filling, then lay third cake layer on top. Spread icing over top and sides of cake. If you are garnishing with coconut or banana rounds, distribute them over top and sides of cake. (Bananas should be added just before serving as they will brown quickly.) Serve immediately or refrigerate and then serve.

Banana Cream Pie

Active Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 3½ hours (includes chilling) Serves: 8

For the vanilla cream filling:
 
⅔ cup sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
6 large egg yolks, well beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small bits
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the pie:
1 homemade 9-inch basic pie crust, or store bought  pre-baked, or frozen + thawed
4 large very ripe but not overripe bananas, cut into ¼-inch-thick rounds
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Make vanilla cream filling: In a medium saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch and salt until well-blended. Gradually whisk in, one at a time, milk, heavy cream and egg yolks, whisking until no yellow streaks remain.
2. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula. Custard will begin to lump. Off heat, scrape sides of saucepan with rubber spatula and whisk until smooth and no lumps remain.
3. Return to heat and, whisking constantly, bring to a simmer and cook 1 minute. Off heat, whisk in butter, then vanilla. Lay plastic wrap directly on surface of filling, to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool. (Cooled filling can be refrigerated up to 24 hours.)
4. Make pie: Spoon a third of vanilla cream filling into crust. Scatter half of sliced bananas evenly over filling. Repeat process. Top with remaining filling.
5. Lay plastic wrap directly on surface of filling. Refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to 6 hours.
6. In a medium bowl, whip cream with sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form, 2-4 minutes.
7. Before serving, spread whipped cream evenly over pie. (Pie may be slightly runny when cut.)

Bananas Foster

Total Time: 15 minutes Serves: 1
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 banana, sliced in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
Small pinch of cinnamon
1 tablespoon dark rum (such as Myers's)
1 large scoop vanilla ice cream
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and cook until it turns light brown, about 5 minutes.
2. Add banana to pan in one layer and cook until fruit browns and begins to caramelize, about 1 minute per side. Toss with sugar and cinnamon and cook until sauce thickens and begins to caramelize, 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat.
3. Meanwhile, warm rum in a small saucepan over medium heat. Use a match or a lighter to ignite alcohol and pour flaming rum carefully over bananas. Shake pan and stir until flames die out.
4. Serve in dessert bowls with vanilla ice cream.




Saturday, March 1, 2014

Long Shelf Life Food You Should Stockpile For Emergencies

 Keep in mind that the shelf life durations are based on foods being kept in a cool dry place away  from sunlight 




1. Baking Soda -                   25 years      
2. Beans (dried)                     7 years       
3. Carrots (dried)                   7 years
4. Coccoa                              20 years        
 5. Cormeal                             5 years         
 6 .Freeze Dried Fruits           8 years
     & Veggies
 7. Fruit ( dried )                      5 years
 8. Honey                             FOREVER
 8. Milk ( dried)                       5 years
9.  Pasta                                   7 years
10. Potatoes (instant)           20 years
11. Rice                                    7 years
12. Rolled Oats                     25 years
13. Salt                                   25 years
14. Soup Mix                           5 years
15. Sugar                                 7 years
16. Wheat                              25 years
17. Most Canned Foods        3 years
18. Meals-Ready 2 Eat           4 years  

Friday, February 28, 2014

Looking For Love? Here's Where To Start Looking

The  top 5 places with the highest likeihood for a woman to find a relationship : Colorado Springs, El Paso, Louisville, Fort Worth, and  San Antonio . The top 5 place with the most single females per single male : Memphis, Jacksonville, Fort Worth, Charlotte and Richmond. The  top 5 places with the most single males per single female : San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Salt Lake City and San Diego.  The top 5 places with the lowest likelihood of forming a relationship : San Francisco , DC, Los Angeles and Atlanta.  

Monday, February 3, 2014

Enjoy These Fabulous NO Booze Cocktails Without The Hangover

Rehydrator
 
Serves: 1
In a cocktail shaker, muddle ¼ cup fresh or frozen cherries with ¾ ounce honey. (Alternately, you can use ¼ ounce Luxardo cherry syrup). Add 2 ounces aloe vera juice (preferably Alo brand), 1¼ ounces natural cranberry juice and ½ ounce fresh lime juice and stir to combine. Fill with ice, cover and shake until shaker is frosty. Strain into a Champagne coupe.

Lemon Smash
 
Serves: 1
In a Collins glass, combine 10 mint leaves with ¾ ounce simple syrup (make according to instructions in Zenzero recipe). Cut ¾ lemon into eight wedges and remove seeds. Add lemons to glass and press with a muddler to extract juice and oils. Fill ⅔ of glass with crushed ice and top with club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig and serve with a straw.

1001 Nights
 
Serves: 1
In a large wine glass filled halfway with ice cubes, combine 5 ounces fresh pomegranate juice (unsweetened, all-natural bottled juice can be substituted) with 1 ounce club soda, 3 tablespoons orgeat syrup, 2 dashes rose water and 1 dash orange blossom water. Stir.


Southeast Visions
 
Serves: 1
In a cocktail shaker, muddle 2 blackberries. Add 2 ounces coconut water, ¾ ounce grenadine, ⅓ ounce lemon juice and 3 dashes Fee Aromatic bitters. Strain into an Old-Fashioned glass and top with crushed ice. Garnish with a speared blackberry.



The Best Buffalo Wings Ever Will Roam In Your Kitchen With This Recipe

Total Time: 2 hours Serves: 8-10

For the creamy blue-cheese dressing:
 
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
½ cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Buffalo sauce:
 
2 sticks butter
15 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ bell pepper, finely chopped
6 chilies (use a variety: habanero, serrano, jalapeño), finely chopped 
(for less heat, cut the number of chilies in half)
1 23-ounce bottle Frank's RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1 teaspoon celery salt
Dash Cholula Hot Sauce
1 tablespoon honey mustard

For the chicken wings:
 
32 ounces vegetable oil
3 dozen chicken wings, room temperature, rinsed and patted dry
Celery sticks, for serving
1. Make blue cheese dressing: In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together until combined. Place in the refrigerator to chill.
2. Make Buffalo sauce: Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Add bell peppers and chilies and sauté 5 minutes. Pour in Frank's sauce and bring to a simmer. Add celery salt and Cholula sauce and let simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes more. Add honey mustard and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce reduces by about 10%, 15 minutes more. Set aside.
3. Fry wings: Heat oil to 375 degrees in a medium pot over medium-high heat, using a thermometer to monitor temperature. Working in batches of four or five, fry wings in oil, flipping once halfway through cooking, until golden brown all over, 8-10 minutes. Remove chicken with slotted spoon and transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
4. Add wings to Buffalo sauce and toss to coat. Serve wings with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing. 

Impress Your Informal Dinner Guests With A Gourmet Surf 'n' Turf Hoagie

Ingredients:

2 pounds filet mignon
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 cup veal stock
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 cup red wine
12 large peeled and deveined shrimp
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/2 cup white wine
4 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons cubed butter
4 ounces baby spinach
4 sandwich rolls


Instructions

For filet:
Season both sides of filet with salt and pepper. In a sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil, and sear filet on both sides over high heat. Place in preheated oven at 350 degrees. Remove when internal temperature reaches 130 degrees. Let rest, then slice ¼-inch slices on the bias.

For demi-glace:
Add 2 tablespoons of oil to saucepan. Add shallots and sauté till tender. Add thyme sprigs and cook another 2 minutes. Add red wine to pot and deglaze. Cook until wine is reduced by half and add veal stock. Reduce until sauce becomes thick enough to coat a spoon.

For scampi:
Add two tablespoons of oil to sauté pan on high heat. Add chopped garlic and sauté till garlic starts to brown. Add shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and continue to cook till shrimp turns translucent. Add white wine to pan to deglaze. Continue cooking for 1 minute. Add lemon juice and cold butter and stir till sauce thickens. Add spinach and mix together.

For sandwich:
Place a thin stream of demi-glace on both sides of bread. Fan out filet slices to cover roll. Pour hot scampi mixture evenly over meat and serve.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Roast Pork And Broccoli Rabe Sandwich Recipe That Would Make Tony Luke Jealous

Ingredients For Roast Pork:

5 pounds pork butt
4 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons dry basil
2 tablespoons dry oregano
4 tablespoons dry thyme
4 tablespoons crushed red pepper
4 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
1 ounce fresh  rosemary chopped
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1 1/2 cups of Pepsi
1 1/2 cups of Budweiser beer 
1 cup olive oil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 fresh garlic cloves, pressed
3 whole hot cherry peppers


Ingredients For Broccoli Rabe:

2 heads of broccoli rabe trimmed and scored on the bottom  
4 cloves fresh garlic, whole
4 tablespoon fresh garlic chopped
salt and pepper
crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup of ice cubes
1 bowl ice water

 

Butterfly pork and score flesh and add all dry spices outside of the fat cap. Heat 1 cup of olive oil in a large saute pan and sear pork on all sides until a brown crust forms.  Remove pork and place in a deep roasting pan. Add whole hot cherry peppers, rosemary sprigs, garlic cloves, beer, Pepsi  and beef stock.  Cover with aluminum foil. Place in preheated oven  at 350 degrees for 4 hours. Remove pork from pan  and shred while hot. Strain and reserve liquid in pan.

Add 2 tablespoons of  salt to 1 gallon of boiling water. Blanch broccoli rabe for 1 minute, or until it becomes tender, but al dente, then shock in ice water until cool. Drain and pat dry. In a large saucepan heat 1/4 cup of olive oil and cook garlic cloves until golden brown. Remove cloves and immediately add chopped garlic and broccoli rabe. Saute for a few minutes, than add ice and crushed red pepper flakes . Cover on medium heat for 10 minutes until broccoli rabe is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

On a hoagie roll, place 5 ounces of roast pork and top with a shavings of a good quality Italian  imported sharp provolone and broccoli rabe.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

23 Secrets Your Supermarket Hopes You Never Find Out

1. Shopping carts have gotten bigger so you buy 19% more groceries.

2. A 6 pack of soda is now a 12 pack so you start drinking 12 cans of soda
 a week instead of 6.

3. The average person only remembers the price of milk, bread, bananas and eggs.
So bring  last week's receipt with you so you don't over pay for stuff you buy every week.

 4. About 60% of shoppers ditch products as they check out. So they made the check
 out lanes narrower so its harder to dump goods at the last minute. So don't be shy about
 handing products back to the cashier or just putting them on the floor.

 5. Supermarkets can't compete with Walmart on price.

 6. The average apple is 14 months old or older.

 7. Some of the same cheeses behind the deli case are available in the dairy
 case much cheaper.

 8. The French, Italian and white bread are made with the same dough but shaped differently.

 9. If you see an item that will expire the next day, ask to have it marked down at
     least 50% since they have to throw it out anyway.

10. In the produce department, individual fruits and veggies are almost always
     cheaper thanthose grouped in mesh bags.

 11. Just because something is advertised in a circular doesn't mean its on sale.

 12. The milk sold at drug and convenience stores is always 30 to 50 cents
       cheaper than supermarkets.

 13. Never buy hot pizza from the deli since its usually the same store brand pizza
       in the freezer section at half the price per slice.

 14  There is usually very little difference between the taste of prepackaged
      deli items and fresh sliced items. But you're paying $1 to $2 per pound
       more for the same product.

 15. The best days to shop are Monday and Tuesday. Avoid weekends at all costs.

 16.  Fresh bread is given to you in a paper bag so it goes stale faster
  and you have to buy more. So when you get home, put it in a plastic to stay fresher longer.

 17.  At the fresh seafood counter, most items were previously frozen.
        So buy your seafood in the frozen section and pay 40% less.      
        Plus you won't have to use right away since its frozen.

 18.  Its always 30% cheaper to buy a large cut of meat and have it trimmed
        for you instead of buying it already cut.

 19. You butcher usually  marks down meat between 8am and 10am. Find out when.

 20. You save $3 to $5 a pound when you buy fillet Mignon that's on a whole T-bone steak.

 21. Veggies and fruits that don't sell are recycled into prepared foods.

 22. The carts NEVER get cleaned. So wipe yours down with a handy wipe.

 23. When you buy prepackaged ground meat in a tube or foam container,
       it may have come from hundreds of cows. And it if one of those cows
       had E coli, its in your hamburger. So ask the meat cutter to grind you meat
       in the store since its coming from one cow. 
  

 



     


   

Friday, January 3, 2014

An Easy Way To Start Your Own Online Classroom

Do you have a special skill? It could be anything: math, the guitar, a second language, geography, history, literature, even elementary grammar! If you're good at something, no need to let it go unknown. There is actually a sure-fire way to profit from it: teaching.

And if you already have a full-time job, or you're not interested in dealing with schools or all the baggage that comes with being a professional teacher, that's okay, too.

In fact, it's more than okay. It's great! Because here's you how to start an online classroom - a place where you can display your knowledge and your passion for that special skill of yours, help others, and even make money doing it. You can start out – or even stay part-time - while making plenty of extra money. Or you could take teaching online full-time and make a very good living. 


Where to Begin

You might think the first step in starting your own online classroom is to register a domain name and build a website. And while that's one way to go, experts  recommend using free websites such as YouTube to start out with.

One of the most popular independent online classrooms began just that way: Sal Khan started tutoring his cousin over the telephone and email. The lessons worked. So he started tutoring a few more relatives, all in his spare time (he was working at a hedge fund in Boston at the time).

Eventually his tutoring schedule became so hectic, he started recording his lessons and posting them for free on YouTube. That way, people could watch them on their own, at their own pace, and pick the specific topics they needed help with.

Word spread and pretty soon he was getting thousands and thousands of hits. That's how the Khan Academy started. And his videos are nothing flashy; heck, he isn't even in them, all you hear is his voice explaining the lesson as he writes it down. And he covers all the big topics a K-12 student studies. From math to science, computer science to art history, the Khan Academy offers lessons for all of them.

That’s just one example of how your own online teaching career could take off. 







The Key to Teaching Success

Think about your favorite elementary or high school teacher. What makes them your favorite? I'm willing to bet it was their passion for the subject matter that made their classes so much fun. They might have told funny jokes or given light homework, but it was probably their passion and the joy they took in teaching that really shone and made you enjoy that class.

That same passion for the subject matter is also the key to success when starting your own online classroom. That's why it is suggested you focus on a particular skill you have, one that you excel at, to teach in the beginning. In teaching other people something new, it's important to have patience, perseverance, and knowledge.

As far as format, it really depends on the subject matter. You’ll have to figure out whether videos (talking head or the “watch your screen” program Camtasia), books, webpages, or some other format conveys your lessons best.

Expanding Your Brand

After you've completed a few lessons and you've developed a small following, it's important to foster the growth of that community. So make yourself available for questions/comments from the folks viewing your lessons. Get active on Facebook and Twitter. Start a free blog at www.blogspot.com and encourage participation in a forum.

This is all necessary as you start marketing your online “school” as a paid service. You have a couple of options here.

•    You could offer a subscription model, where students pay a monthly or yearly fee for access to different combinations of online educational materials like ebooks and videos.  

•    You could set up a paid membership site; members get a username and password for a fee.  

•    You could charge students you work with over the phone or Skype a per lesson fee

•    You could even sell your course materials piece by piece.

It may take a while for your lessons to get traction and for you to start making money, but that's why patience and perseverance are so important.

And you will probably discover the type of online teaching that you're the most comfortable with. It could be YouTube videos, Skype meetings, or other eLearning software like WizIQ.

Taking It to the Next Level

Eventually, you might find your lessons have become so popular that you could turn it into a full-time gig. To take the example of Sal Khan and the Khan Academy, Khan tutored online for three years before he left his lucrative hedge fund job and dedicated himself full-time to teaching online.

That's when he started his own company, hired a staff, rented office space, and even then, he ran it as a non-profit organization. His biggest source of income is from grants and other charities. But plenty of other organizations are run like corporations: they have subscription fees, sponsors, and advertising. Education is big business.

So while creating an online classroom might not be an overnight cash-cow for you, it has the potential to be a tremendously satisfying outlet for those special skills you have while bringing in extra cash. You'll help others, share your knowledge, and - if things really work out - you'll make a great deal of money.
 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

How To Guarantee You'll Keep Your New Years Resolutions



How do you do that, you ask? Well your first step has to be to look inward. You must ask yourself how you got to this place where you don’t want to be anymore. Identify what caused your troubles in the first place. Is it a spending addiction or are your monthly bills more than 25 percent of your monthly income? Whatever it is you need to identify the areas that are causing you to overspend. Then make a commitment to yourself that things will be different in 2014. I can give you all the tips and tricks available, but if you don’t commit to making change then this information will do you no good.

Once you’ve made yourself this promise it’s time to set some goals. Think about what you want to accomplish this year. Do you want to travel more? Or pay off your house? Do you want to make more money? Choose one or two  goals to accomplish this year.

If in years past you’ve made New Year’s resolutions only to fall off the bandwagon just a month or two later, then here  are a few easy solutions that will help you stay committed this year. The real secret to keeping your resolutions is in the crafting of your goals.  Follow the SMART goal setting protocol.  Make your goals specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.

Specificity is the key to staying on point throughout your journey. Don’t say I want to be richer by the end of this year. That’s too general. Say I will open an IRA account this year and contribute the maximum amount. It’s much easier to accomplish your goal when you are precise.

It’s also important to make your  goals measurable. You will not be able to accomplish your goal overnight. It will take you months, if not the entire year, to reach your goal. Because of this your goal will need to be tracked throughout the year. This is important to staying committed to your goal. If you can see the progress you are making, you will remain motivated to attain your resolution.

Break your goal up into monthly or weekly mini accomplishments so you can measure your progress. For example if your goal is to pay off $5,000 in credit card debt by the end of this year, break that down into 12 monthly goals you need to meet ($417 a month). Break that down further by paying $104.25 each week. That way you can check off each week you pay and see that $5,000 balance come down.

You’ll never reach your goal if you make them too hard to accomplish. That’s why you not want you to set more than two goals. You don’t want to over commit and then fail when you realize you made things too hard on yourself. You must be realistic in your pursuit. Every exercise professional will tell you it’s impossible to make a 360 degree change. No one goes from never working out to working out three days a week. It’s too big of a change and you set yourself up for failure. The same goes with other goals too.  You can’t go from big spender to cost cutting queen overnight if you want to find long term success. Choose one or two things you want to accomplish this year and set your mind to it.

 Loosing weight, breaking a bad habit , saving for retirement or putting money aside for a rainy day are not fun things to do. So  don’t make goals simply because you think you should. You’ll never meet a goal you don’t care much about. Instead of committing to saving 20 percent of each of your paychecks, tie it to an action you actually want to do like traveling more or retiring early. These goals are much more motivating, than simply saying you want to save money.

Just like you need a starting line for your goals, you also need a finish line. Set a deadline for accomplishing each goal. You’ll need that pressure to motivate you to continually move towards your goal.

Once you’ve made your selections right them down on a sticky note. Then place them in an area that you see every day. Try  the mirror in your bathroom. Every day when you  get up, they are the first thing you'll  see in the morning and the last thing you'll see before you go to bed. They help continually remind you of what you want to accomplish. It also keeps you  focused on your  goals, which is especially helpful for when you're  feeling depressed and want to give yourself a pick me up by buying yourself  something nice.

Next write yourself a letter detailing why these goals are important. You need to remind yourself what it is about this goal that makes you want to achieve it. Come up with at least two to three reasons for each goal. Then go to futureme.org. This site lets you send a future letter to yourself. We all need motivation and reminding yourself of why you came up with these goals in the first place in a great way to keep yourself on track. You type out the letter and set a future date to send it to yourself. This will help keep you motivated along your journey.


Finally, don’t worry if you get knocked off track along the way. It will happen at some point that you make a mistake, or miss a benchmark. When this happens you may feel like giving up. Don’t allow that to happen! Instead come up with an action that will get you back on course. If you do that you will be better off than 95 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions.