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{November 23, 2010}   Tips for Conserving Electricity

By –

Nidarshana Sharma

We depend on many forces in our daily lives.We keep our house clean with a vacuume cleaner,our dishes sparkle because of theTips for Conserving Electricity dishwasher,our clothes smell heavenly,courtesy,the washing machine,we are entertained by the television,live without darkness with the lamp or light and all these in turn function perfectly through electricity.

Electricity or electric energy has become indispensable in our lives.We would be handicapped without it.The whole world is served through it.Imagining life without it is next to impossible.Yet, this is a stark reality in many parts of the world to this day.Many small villages in the countries of  Asia and Africa are still waiting for the light of a lamp and the sound of an electric motor.

So far electricity has been produced with non-renewable sources of energy which has been depleting at an alarming rate.As the world’s population increases,so do the demand for the electricity and the indirect demand for fossil fuels.There is an urgent need to look at alternative sources for the generation of electricity.While the research for these non-conventional sources is on,the need of the hour is to conserve electricity and prevent wastage.

We could begin by doing everything in our capacity to cut down our consumption of electricity.Here are a few tips which could help.Quite astonishingly there can be a considerable amount of reduction in your power bill.

1. To begin with the small items,lights can add a lot to your bill when kept switched on all the time.So make sure you turn them off when you don’t need them.
2. Try to soak in the natural air and turn off those AC’s.
3. Monitor your usage of the washing machine and driers.Washing machines guzzle down electricity.
4. Only run the dishwasher when it is fully loaded;adjust the water level on the washing machine for smaller loads and clean out the lint filter in your drier before every load.
5. Set your thermostat at a reasonable temperature .Set it as high or as low as you need to be comfortable,but don’t heat or cool excessively.
6. Unplug any chargers that aren’t in use because they still use electricity even when they ‘re not actively charging something.
7. Hang clothes on a clothesline instead of using a drier to conserve electricity .
8. Use your appliances efficiently to conserve electricity.Refrain from opening your oven unnecessarily because it has to work harder and use more energy to heat back up.

In addition you could install solar panels on your terrace to absorb the sunlight and generate solar power.Many responsible citizens have also started organizing energy conservation drives in their neighbourhoods and are doing their bit in bringing about a small difference.It is only through the people that such drives can be successful.We must care for our planet and for the future generations and ensure that they lead a wholesome life too.

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{November 4, 2010}   How to have a perfect sleepover?

-By Sadhana Chathurvedi

Want to have a great time with your friends with some gossip, games and fun and frolic? A sleepover party would be the best way to do this! So go ahead, get set, and follow these tips to host the perfect sleepover party which your friends won’t be able to forget any time soon!

Make sure to invite a few people. Sleepovers with a large number of people don’t turn out to be very enjoyable. And also make sure to invite people who get along. Inviting two friends, who don’t like each other over for a sleepover, only makes it uncomfortable for the other guests.

Make custom invitations for your guests. Use coloured paper and clip art and make decorative invitations or if you’re good with computers, make invitations with cool graphics and e-mail it to them. Some online companies sell present sleepover invites. Make use of them if you don’t have the time or inclination to make the invitations yourself. Line up lots of fun activities to do at your party. This can be anything from games as simple as charades or truth or dare to makeovers or fashion shows!

Some fun activities you can try:

  • Dig out the flashlights and scare yourselves out with a scary story! Make sure all the lights are turned off and your goal should be to make everyone scream!
  • Make a dessert bar! Serve your guests ice cream and get toppings like whipped cream, chocolate chips, hot fudge, marshmallows and cherries.
  • Give yourselves makeovers or makeunders and take lots of crazy pictures!
  • Try singing up a storm! Have a karaoke session. The sillier the songs the crazier the fun you have!
  1. Most people try to stay up all night during sleepovers. Make sure this is okay with your parents and try to have the sleepover where you won’t disturb the other members of your household.
  2. Have lots of food around. Midnight snacks are a special part of sleepovers! Try to stack up on the usual junk food like ‘shores and candy bars or if you have want to have healthy food pretzels and popcorn. Take care of special dietary needs of your guests, if any.
  3. Choose music that everyone will like. Or better yet, ask everyone to bring a mix tape of their favourite music. This way you can ensure that everyone will be happy!
  4. Throw a themed sleepover party! Theme parties are always fun and you can have theme specific activities games and music.
  5. Keep your camera ready and take lots of pictures. You can make small scrapbooks for everyone towards the end of the night with the pictures you took. Scrapbooks are a good way to pass the time and also it can your special gift to your friends.
  6. Have extra sleeping bags, pillows and blankets ready. Some people choose to get their own stuff, but you should have them in for those who forget.

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{November 1, 2010}   Diamonds are forever

By – Nidarshana Sharma

Diamonds are foreverDiamonds are forever, they say. Indeed, diamonds are the most beautiful, precious stones that one can adorn. Apart from being available in jewelry, diamond studded dresses, shoes, bags, watches and even sunglasses also make a style statement. Diamonds in any form reflect one’s flamboyant personality and wealth.

Diamond jewelry has always been flaunted by the rich and the famous. Whether it is heavy diamond earrings or exquisite chains, diamonds have always been a part of their wardrobe. Moreover, diamonds are considered important stones for weddings. Thus, people attach a lot of auspiciousness to diamonds.

When you are purchasing diamonds, it is important to know some principles for judging their authenticity and purity. These basics are the four Cs related to diamonds- clarity, cut, carat and color.

Clarity determines the purity of the stone. Any splits, chips, dark flecks or feathering on the stone means that it is not pure, so do not buy it. The cut shows off the diamond’s brilliance which is not determined by its weight but by giving considerations to the diamond’s aspects. Diamonds are also certified, with the highest grade being F, which stands for flawless.

Carat weight is used for the weight of the diamond. In relation to color, diamonds come in yellow, white or brown. Clear stones set in diamond jewelry are usually the most expensive of all.

While selecting a diamond chain, you must make sure of its quality. That is the first aspect that you must watch. Once you are assured of the quality and the purity, the next step is deciding on how much diamond do you want on your chain- do you want a heavy chain or one with a small pendant. This depends on the occasion you are buying it for. If you are shopping for your wedding, then go in for an exquisite piece with many diamonds set on your chain. If it is a casual purchase or a gift for someone, you may buy something less eye-catchy.

When you buy a chain, you must also check whether it goes well with your skin tone. If you are white-skinned you may go in for a combination of silver and diamond. If you’re slightly olive-skinned or dark, gold and diamond will look good. Also keep in mind the kind of dress you are going to be wearing on that particular day. If your dress is sober and simple then a big chain will be the best way to accessorize. The thing about a simple chain is, it can be worn for different occasions.

If you have a long neck try to buy a heavy chain as it will cover the length. If you don’t have much of a neck, opt for a simple chain with a pendant as this will make your neck look longer and slimmer.

Buying anything made out of diamond is a big investment. So choose your jewelry with utmost care and caution and then buy it. You must be satisfied with your purchase, because diamonds are all about bringing out the beauty within you

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{October 27, 2010}   Mortgage Tips

Many of us dream of owning our own home but buying a house is an expensive process because of which a home mortgage is required to make this a reality.

A mortgage may be seem very daunting, especially to those who know nothing about it. A mortgage is a loan that you borrow to fund your purchase of a home and any land it is built on. This house and the land are used as guarantee on the loan, which means that if you don’t repay your loan, the lender can take possession of them.

The principal is the amount that you borrow. Interest is the charge that you pay to the lender/bank for making its money available to you. Term is the time period you have to pay off your loan. Choosing the right term for your mortgage is crucial. The longer the term the lesser your installments are. But smaller installments are not on everybody’s mind. Some people prefer paying larger installments because that way they can pay off their loan faster which is better while investing in an appreciating asset.

Consult a good mortgage broker who can offer you at affordable rates. Your local bank may also be of help in this regard. You could later try out other mortgage websites which may offer even better options.

When you buy your first home and you see that 30 year term, it seems like you’ll be paying for your home forever. There are ways to shorten your mortgage term without refinancing.

1. Pay a little extra every month towards your principal. You can usually add a dollar amount that specifically goes towards that and even if you can only afford $20.00, send it in. That is an extra $240.00 towards your principal each year.
2. Make one extra full payment a year. By doing this simple thing, you reduce your loan term by YEARS.
3. Don’t spend money on frivolities. If you have extra cash on hand, invest it in your equity or in home improvements – especially the kitchen and bathrooms which will increase your home’s value.

No matter which mortgage you choose, make sure to ask about prepayment.

If you want to keep your payments low you could go for an interest only payment option. But make sure to buy only a house you can afford, otherwise this mode may backfire.

Most importantly select a good mortgage broker. Getting a mortgage broker these days is not too difficult. But they must make you feel comfortable and relaxed. If you’re able to place complete confidence in their decisions, then you’ve got the right person. Don’t just choose someone as your mortgage broker just whom you  like.

Getting a mortgage loan today is very easy. Get a good broker and let them check some popular websites. Make sure these websites have the Better Business Bureau seal and all of the information security precautions possible.

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Oct-14-2010
Sadhana Chaturvedi

 

Procrastination, the habit of putting tasks off to the last possible minute, can be a major problem in both your career and your personal life. Procrastination is not positive. It is a negative force and causes dullness and unutilization of skills.We often use the phrases “I’ll do it later.”, “Well, I will do it tomorrow.” or my favorite “I’ll get to it eventually.”

It is natural for us to put things off that we really don’t feel like doing. We just wait last minute to do these things and eventually, we get them done.  It’s always better to do them beforehand, but it is easier said than done especially when it comes to procrastining. Once you get into the habit, it’s really difficult to come out of it, and you really need to ‘pull your socks together’ as they say.

Procrastinators always think that “there’s time later” but why don’t you finish it when you have to? If you keep putting off the task at hand, doing it is inevitable, but it will remain on your mind, and daunt you for the rest of the day. So do whatever you have to and enjoy the rest of your day in peace.  Procrastinators tend to make up some excuses to get out of the work they have to do, like, “ I work better under pressure” or “I have too many other things to do.” or  “It won’t make any difference anyhow.”

Whatever the excuse, you need to recognize when you make them. Catch yourself in the act of making the excuse, and remind yourself that is just an excuse. Be honest with yourself and you will find that your excuse isn’t true at all.

Make a to-do list and keep checking off the things you have done. To-do lists serves as constant reminders and keep procrastinators from using their favourtie excuse “I forgot”  When you absolutely can’t keep from procrastinating, then start keeping track of how much time you procrastinated. Start counting using a stop watch ( on your computer or cell phone) and keep track of the time through out the day. When you realize that you wasted 3 hours in playing solitaire and organizing your shoes instead of working, you can’t  use the excuse of not having any time anymore.

Sometimes we procrastinate becuase we’d rather do something that’s fun than work. If this is the case, make time in your schedule for your fun activity in between working times, and stick to the schedule so that you feel like working.

Work smarter, not harder. Save time and think first. What is the fastest, most efficient way I can get this done? Are there tools available? Think yourself and find out. Time is of the essence in our busy, hectic lives. Make the most of it by cutting out unnecessary work.

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