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Explore a new city and save at top attraction with aCitypass.
Citypass saves you time and money. Now you can see multiple attractions at onceand get past the line.Explore at your pace, you have 9 days.Create a bucket list of your must-see attractions. Citypass will reawaken your eagerness to explore and experience a new city and get out of your comfort zone.
How does it work?
First decide the city you want to visit, select your attractions and you’re set. Now get ready to enjoy thecity. Once you get there, all you need to do is redeem the code you got online at the box office and get your CityPass booklet.
Welcome to Atlanta get ready for a mind blowing experience. See dolphins and penguins in action at Georgia Aquarium.Taste and see different coca cola’s from around the world at World of Coca-Cola. Go behind the cameras and watch the news live at CNN Studio Tours. Get close to many animals at Zoo Atlanta. Feel like an athlete at College Football Hall of Fame. CityPass provides you with best times to visit handpicked attractions to avoid disappointments. No matter the length of your stay you’ll have a blast in Atlanta.
CityPass saves you up to 41% at top attractions in Dallas. Prepare for an unforgettable experience. You know everything in Texas is bigger so get ready. Enrich your knowledge and watch a 3D movie at Perot Nature and Science Museum. Get a great view of Dallas and have lunch above 470 ft up in the air at Reunion Tower Ge-O-Deck. Enjoy great scenic views and maybe even feed the animals at Dallas Zoo.
Explore the Bush presidency, see many, paintings and gifts at George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
Bring great memories back from San Francisco to share with others. If you are visiting San Francisco for the first time let Citypass help you get Bay-bound. Citypass will provide you with the highlights of the city. Get on muni pass and discover San Francisco. The muni pass makes it convenient to go anywhere in the city. Don’t forget to get on the cable car for a fun experience.Climb the four story rainforest or interact with penguins at California Academy of Sciences.Enjoy a one hour guided tour and mesmerizing views of the Bay Area at Blue & Gold Fleet’s Bay Cruise Adventure.Go for a hands on experience in many interactive exhibits at Exploratorium.
Get out of the states and go to Canada. How about Toronto?Experience Toronto your way with a Citypass.Whether you go at day or night, you’ll enjoy a great view at CN Tower. Tour Toronto’s historic castle, Casa Loma, go through secret tunnels and see vintage car exhibits. Learn about the evolution of the world and culture at Royal Ontario Museum.See animals from around the world in their habitat at Toronto Zoo.
Get out and enjoy top US and Canada cities with a Citypass.
Explore and experience a great city and visit Citypass for a great deals.
See iconic places and get ready to save big with a city pass.
Purchase online, get a code and redeem at box office of selected attractions to get your CityPass booklet.
Welcome to Atlanta get ready for a mind blowing experience.
CityPass is your life saver no need to search online for top Atlanta attractions. Save money and walk past the line with a CityPass. It is good to use for 9 days from purchase.
Get ready to see dolphins and penguins in action at Georgia Aquarium.Taste and see different coca cola’s from around the world at World of Coca-Cola. Go behind the cameras and see the news live at CNN Studio Tours. Get close to many animals at Zoo Atlanta. Feel like an athlete at College Football Hall of Fame.
CityPass provides you with best times to visit handpicked attractions to avoid disappointments. No matter the length of your stay you’ll sure have a blast at Atlanta.
CityPass saves you up to 41% at top attractions in Dallas .
Go for an unforgettable Dallas experience
You know everything in Texas is bigger so get ready. Save time and see multiple places at once with a Citypass. This experience in Dallas will reawaken your eagerness to explore.
Enrich your knowledge and watch a 3D movie at Perot Nature and Science Museum.
Get a great view of Dallas and have lunch above 470 ft up in the air at Reunion Tower Ge-O-Deck. Enjoy great scenic views and maybe even feed the animals at Dallas Zoo.
Explore the Bush presidency, see many, paintings and gifts at George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
Bring great memories from San Francisco to share with others.
If you are visiting San Francisco for the first time let CityPass help you be Bay-bound. City pass will provide you with the highlights of the city. Get on muni pas and discover San Francisco. The muni pass makes it convenient to go anywhere in the city. Don’t forget to get on the cable car for a fun experience.
Climb the four story rainforest or interact with penguins at California Academy of Sciences.
Enjoy a one hour guided tour and mesmerizing views of the Bay Area at Blue & Gold Fleet’s Bay Cruise Adventure.
Go for a hands on experience in many interactive exhibits at Exploratorium.
Get out of the states and go to Canada, how about Toronto? Experience Toronto however you want with a CityPass.
Save 36% with a citypass and get past the line and go directly to top destinations. Explore at your pace, you have 9 days. Make a bucket list of your musts.
Whether you go at day or night you’ll get a great view at CN Tower.
Tour toronto’s historic castle, Casa Loma, go through secret tunnels and see vintage car exhibits.
Learn about the evolution of the world and culture at Royal Ontario Museum.
See animals from around the world in their habitat at Toronto Zoo.
Get out and enjoy top US and Canada cities with a Citypass.
Multi vitamins are so common these days you wouldn’t even think of them as a supplement. A multi vitamin is defined in the dictionary as “a preparation intended to supplement a human diet with vitamins, minerals and other nutritional elements.” The US government categorizes multi vitamin under “food”, because it contains 3 or more vitamins or minerals but does not contain herbs, hormones, or drugs.
The multi vitamin can come in many forms such as tablets, capsules, packs, powders, liquids and even injections; however, injections can only be prescribed by a doctor. There are many different combinations and doses of vitamins and minerals and many of them exceed the 100% recommended daily allowance. Depending on your physical needs, many of the excess vitamins and minerals that cannot be digested are harmlessly excreted out of the body. There are a few that will not exceed the RDA such as Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Iron, and many of the trace elements because they are not easily depleted unless under extreme physical stress and could become toxic if too much is retained in the body. Because the body’s nutritional requirements will differ depending on your physical requirements and diet, most multi vitamins are formulated for specific groups of people such as men, woman, over the age of 50,prenatal, stress relief and athletic.
Most multi vitamins will include these standard nutrients:
Vitamin A- Vitamin A plays a role in several functions throughout the body such as vision, bone metabolism, skin health, immune function, antioxidant activity and reproduction. It is found in many foods but these particular foods contain large amounts; liver, sweet potato, carrots, broccoli, kale, butter, spinach and leafy vegetables. Deficiencies in Vitamin A can cause impaired vision, particularly in reduced light (night vision), impaired immunity and red bumps on the skin called Keratosis pilaris. Too much Vitamin A can be toxic so do not take more than 5000 UI per day for males and 4000 UI per day for females.
Vitamin C- Vitamin C helps keep your immune system strong and is a powerful antioxidant, helps reduce the risk of heart disease, plays a major role in collagen production and it helps the body recover faster from a hard workout. Vitamin C can be found in many fruits, vegetables and in animal products such as raw cow’s milk and liver. Deficiencies in Vitamin C is known to cause Scurvy, liver spots, feelings of depression, their skin looks pale, and are more susceptible to lung borne diseases.
Vitamin D- Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus and is necessary for thyroid function and bone growth. Vitamin D is naturally produced by the body when it’s exposed to sunlight however due to the negative effects of UV rays; many foods such as dairy products, oil, cereal and bread are now enriched with Vitamin D. You can also find Vitamin D in fatty fishes, eggs, and liver. Deficiencies in Vitamin D in children can cause Rickets, a growth deformity of the bones. In adults deficiencies can cause thinning of the bones (Osteomalacia) and reduced density of the bones (Osteoporosis). Vitamin D deficiencies have also been linked to diseases such as type 1 diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and multiple sclerosis.
Vitamin E- Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant and is important for a healthy immune system. Vitamin E is important for hard training athletes as their immune systems can be worn down and make them susceptible to health issues. Vitamin E can be found in foods such as whole grains, nuts, milk, eggs, asparagus, vegetable oils and avocados. There have been no known symptoms of deficiencies in Vitamin E.
Vitamin K- Vitamin K plays a key role in blood coagulation, bone metabolism, and the circulatory system. Vitamin K is found mainly in green leafy vegetables but can also be found in avocados and kiwifruit. There are usually no symptoms of deficiencies in adults; however, adults that suffer from liver damage, cystic fibrosis, who have recently had abdominal surgery, bulimics and certain drugs may inhibit the absorption of Vitamin K. Symptoms of deficiencies are anemia, bruising and nose bleeding. Vitamin K should be stored in the cupboard as it will lose its potency in sunlight.
B Vitamins- There are 8 distinctive vitamins that fall under B vitamins umbrella and are discussed in detail in my previous article “B Vitamins Play an Essential Role in Metabolism”. B Vitamins play a key role in increasing the rate of metabolism, maintaining healthy skin and muscle tone, enhancing immune system and nervous system functions and promoting cell growth. B Vitamins can be found in a variety of foods such as animal products, legumes, yeast, fish, seeds and whole grains. Deficiencies in B Vitamins can cause various symptoms such as weight loss, weakness of the limbs, depression, sensitivity to sunlight, diarrhea, insomnia, acne, water retention, and high blood pressure.
Calcium- Is the most abundant mineral in the human body, 99% of it is contained in the bones and teeth. Calcium plays a role in many biological functions such as muscle contraction and as a neurotransmitter between cells, but Calcium’s claim to fame is its role in bone development and sustaining bone density. Calcium can be found in many foods such as dairy products, nuts, sesame seeds, lentils, and eggs. Symptoms of Calcium deficiencies are Osteoporosis and Osteomalacia, thinning of the bones.
Potassium- Potassium is a mineral that can reduce hypertension, heart disease and stroke. Potassium also plays a role in neurotransmission, muscle contraction and heart function. Most fruits, vegetables and meats contain Potassium in low quantities, but orange juice, bananas, kiwi, potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, soybeans, brown rice, and garlic are rich in Potassium. Deficiencies of Potassium are rare but in severe cases of vomiting and diarrhea can lead to symptoms such as muscle weakness and cramps.
Zinc- Zinc is an essential metallic trace element which assists in many functions within the body. It is instrumental in immune response, brain function and plays a role in prostate gland health and reproductive organ growth. Zinc plays a major role in cellular metabolism as over 100 enzymes rely on zinc to be a catalyst in many chemical reactions. Zinc also helps DNA tell cells what to do such as hormone secretion and nerve impulses; which is important for growth and disease prevention. Zinc is found in red meat in high concentrations but it is also found in whole grains, beans, almonds, and various seeds. Deficiencies in Zinc can cause repressed growth, diarrhea, impotence and weakened immune system.
Magnesium- Magnesium is another metallic trace element that is essential for all cells in a living organism. Over 300 enzymes require Magnesium to be the catalyst in various chemical reactions including synthesis of ATP into energy. Magnesium also facilitates calcium absorption into the body. Magnesium is found in spices, nuts cereals, coffee, cocoa, tea and green leafy vegetables. Modern countries have inadvertently reduced the amount of Magnesium intake due to the food refining process and modern fertilizers; which do not contain Magnesium. Deficiencies in Magnesium do not usually show symptoms, however deficiencies have been associated with the development of certain illnesses such as asthma, osteoporosis and ADHD.
Chromium- Chromium is another metallic trace element that is required for the body’s production of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the body’s blood sugar levels. Chromium helps transport blood sugar from the bloodstream into the cells and is critical in the process of turning fats, carbs and proteins into energy. Good sources of Chromium are brewer’s yeast, meats, whole grains, nuts and cooking with stainless steel cookware. Symptoms of deficiencies in Chromium are rare; however, in severe cases it can cause weight loss, confusion and insulin resistance.
Manganese- Manganese is another metallic trace element that ensures healthy bones, bone metabolism and helps the body absorb Calcium. It is also involved in, insulin regulation, formation of connective tissues, thyroid regulation, collagen formation, metabolism of fats and carbohydrates and is a powerful antioxidant. Manganese can be found in many foods such as meats, nuts, garlic, green vegetables, brown rice, and raspberries. Deficiencies in Manganese are rare but can occur. Symptoms include bone malformation, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and muscular contraction.
Iron- Iron is another metallic trace element that is essential for life. Iron is essential to the proteins that are involved in oxygen transport and for regulating cell growth and metabolism. Iron can be found in meats, cereal’s fortified with iron and cooking with iron cookware. Deficiencies in Iron cause a lack of oxygen to be delivered to the cells and therefore results in fatigue, restless sleep, lack of concentration and decreased immunity. Conversely, too much Iron in the body is very toxic and therefore many vitamins state on the bottle either “with Iron” or “without Iron”. Iron’s RDA for men are 10 mg and for women is 15mg a day, but for athletes, it could be as much as 25 mg a day.
Selenium- Selenium is another metallic trace element that is essential in the activation of glutathione peroxidases, a powerful antioxidant. Selenium is also required for the proper functioning of the thyroid. Selenium can be found in many foods such as nuts, fish, meats, eggs crab and lobster. There are no symptoms of deficiencies of Selenium however when supplemented it seems to have a positive effect on male infertility, cancer cells, and tuberculosis.
How is your diet and what are your physical needs? The majority of Americans do not eat a balanced diet to provide them with all the nutrients to fight off disease, keep bones healthy, protect the skin, cardiovascular health, give us energy and in general to keep us healthy. The proper amount of each nutrient is dependent on your physical needs. Choosing the right multi vitamin can be difficult but here are some things to consider when purchasing a multi vitamin.
Athletes- You will need a multi vitamin with higher overall content as many of them are depleted or excreted out of the body via sweating or urination. These vitamins are especially susceptible to being depleted, B vitamins for energy, potassium for muscle regulation, iron for proper oxygen transport and muscle growth, Vitamin C for proper immune system regulation and calcium for strong bones. If your body’s Calcium reserves are depleted your body will “steal” it from your bones and can lead to future skeletal diseases. Many vitamins will contain amino acids for muscle building and recovery and high levels of antioxidants to eliminate the free radicals produced by a strenuous workout.
Adults over 50- May want to take a multivitamin that is higher in Calcium and vitamin D for bone health and to prevent osteoporosis. B vitamins are important for energy and proper absorption of nutrients from food and as we age, our bodies are less able to absorb them. CoQ10 for heart health and energy and as we get older our production levels decreases. Vitamin K for bone health and its antioxidant properties have been shown to prohibit the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Lycopene to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and has been shown to have positive effects on prostate health.
Prenatal- Will have a higher concentration of B9 (Folic Acid) for proper brain, spine and skull formation in fetuses, calcium for proper bone formation and iron for the proper development of red blood cells. It will also have a reduced level of Vitamin A as it can cause health defects in fetuses.
Women- Need to have a multi vitamin higher in calcium for strong bones, as women usually do not get enough from their diet alone. Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) for overall health, preventing genetic diseases, and may also prevent cancer and heart disease. Women also need more Iron as women do not eat much meat and they lose a lot of iron every month through menstruation.
Men- Need Boron for prostate health, calcium for healthy bones, chromium to regulate blood sugar levels, Folic Acid for regulating blood flow and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, glucosamine for joint health, and the omegas to reduce blood pressure and for heart health.
Stress Relief- Will be loaded with B vitamins as they produce anti stress hormones and vitamin C to prevent stress related illness.
Conclusion Most multi vitamins should be taken in the morning with a meal as some of the nutrients may cause an upset stomach. Multi vitamins are fairly inexpensive unless they contain high levels of expensive nutrients such as Biotin ($4,000 per active pound!) or contain other nutrients that are condition specific such as bodybuilding. Multi vitamins are worth the price and it the single most important supplement you can take to stay healthy. Think of multi vitamins as insurance for your body. You may not feel much of a difference right away but over time, when you are healthy, you will be glad that you took them.
In the last few months we’ve seen a lot of Health Care Reform rules and regulations being introduced by the Health and Human Services Department. Every time that happens, the media gets hold of it and all kinds of articles are written in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the TV network news programs talk about it. All the analysts start talking about the pros and cons, and what it means to businesses and individuals.
The problem with this is, many times one writer looked at the regulation, and wrote a piece about it. Then other writers start using pieces from that first article and rewriting parts to fit their article. By the time the information gets widely distributed, the actual regulations and rules get twisted and distorted, and what actually shows up in the media sometimes just doesn’t truly represent the reality of what the regulations say.
There’s a lot of misunderstanding about what is going on with ObamaCare, and one of the things that I’ve noticed in discussions with clients, is that there’s an underlying set of myths that people have picked up about health care reform that just aren’t true. But because of all they’ve heard in the media, people believe these myths are actually true.
Today we’re going to talk about three myths I hear most commonly. Not everybody believes these myths, but enough do, and others are unsure what to believe, so it warrants dispelling these myths now.
The first one is that health care reform only affects uninsured people. The second one is that Medicare benefits and the Medicare program isn’t going to be affected by health care reform. And then the last one is that health care reform is going to reduce the costs of healthcare.
Health Care Reform Only Affects Uninsured
Let’s look at the first myth about health care reform only affecting uninsured people. In a lot of the discussions I have with clients, there are several expressions they use: “I already have coverage, so I won’t be affected by ObamaCare,” or “I’ll just keep my grandfathered health insurance plan,” and the last one – and this one I can give them a little bit of leeway, because part of what they’re saying is true — is “I have group health insurance, so I won’t be affected by health care reform.”
Well, the reality is that health care reform is actually going to affect everybody. Starting in 2014, we’re going to have a whole new set of health plans, and those plans have very rich benefits with lots of extra features that the existing plans today don’t offer. So these new plans are going to be higher cost.
Health Care Reform’s Effect On People With Health Insurance
People that currently have health insurance are going to be transitioned into these new plans sometime in 2014. So the insured will be directly affected by this because the health plans they have today are going away, and they will be mapped into a new ObamaCare plan in 2014.
Health Care Reform Effect On The Uninsured
The uninsured have an additional issue in that if they don’t get health insurance in 2014, they face a mandate penalty. Some of the healthy uninsured are going to look at that penalty and say, “Well, the penalty is 1% of my adjusted gross income; I make $50,000, so I’ll pay a $500 penalty or $1,000 for health insurance. In that case I’ll just take the penalty.” But either way, they will be directly affected by health care reform. Through the mandate it affects the insured as well as the uninsured.
Health Care Reform Effect On People With Grandfathered Health Plans
People that have grandfathered health insurance plans are not going to be directly affected by health care reform. But because of the life cycle of their grandfathered health plan, it’s going to make those plans more costly as they discover that there are plans available now that they can easily transfer to that have a richer set of benefits that would be more beneficial for any chronic health issues they may have.
For people who stay in those grandfathered plans, the pool of subscribers in the plan are going to start to shrink, and as that happens, the cost of those grandfathered health insurance plans will increase even faster than they are now. Therefore, people in grandfathered health plans will also be impacted by ObamaCare.
Health Care Reform Effect On People With Group Health Insurance
The last one, the small group marketplace, is going to be the most notably affected by health care reform. Even though the health care reform regulations predominantly affect large and medium-sized companies, and companies that have 50 or more employees, smaller companies will also be affected, even though they’re exempt from ObamaCare itself.
What many surveys and polls are starting to show is that some of the businesses that have 10 or fewer employees are going to look seriously at their option to drop health insurance coverage altogether, and no longer have it as an expense of the company. Instead, they will have their employees get health insurance through the health insurance exchanges.
In fact, some of the carriers are now saying they anticipate that up to 50% of small groups with 10 or fewer employees are going to drop their health insurance plan sometime between 2014 and 2016. That will have a very large effect on all people who have group health insurance, especially if they’re in one of those small companies that drop health insurance coverage.
It’s not just uninsured that are going to be affected by health care reform, everybody is going to be impacted.
Health Care Reform Will Not Affect Medicare
The next myth was that health care reform would not affect Medicare. This one is kind of funny because right from the very get-go, the most notable cuts were specifically targeting the Medicare program. When you look at Medicare’s portion of the overall federal, you can see that in 1970, Medicare was 4% of the U.S. federal budget, and by 2011, it had grown to 16% of the federal budget.
If we look at it over the last 10 years, from 2002 to 2012, Medicare is the fastest growing part of the major entitlement programs in the federal government, and it’s grown by almost 70% during that period of time.
Because of how large Medicare is and how fast it’s growing, it’s one of the key programs that ObamaCare is trying to get a handle on, so it doesn’t bankrupts the U.S. Medicare is going to be impacted, and in fact the initial cuts to Medicare have already been set at about $716 billion.
Medicare Advantage Cuts And The Effects
Of that $716 billion cut, the Medicare Advantage program gets cut the most, and will see the bulk of the effects. What that’s going to do is increase the premiums people pay for their Medicare Advantage plans, and reduce the benefits of those plans.
Increased Medicare Advantage Costs
Right now, many people choose Medicare Advantage plans because they have zero premium. When given a choice on Medicare plans, they view it as an easy choice because it’s a free program for them, “Sure, I get Medicare benefits, I don’t pay anything for it; why not.” Now they’re going to see Medicare premiums start to climb, and go from zero to $70, $80, $90, $100. We’ve already seen that with some of the Blue Cross Medicare Advantage plans this year. It’s going to get worse as we go forward in the future.
Reduced Medicare Advantage Benefits
In order to minimize the premium increases, what many Medicare Advantage plans will do is increase the copayments, increase the deductibles, and change the co-insurance rates. In order to keep the premiums down, they’ll just push more of the costs onto the Medicare Advantage recipients. Increased premiums and reduced benefits are what we’re going to see coming in Medicare Advantage plan.
Fewer Medicare Physicians
And then if that wasn’t bad enough, as Medicare doctors begin receiving lower and lower reimbursements for Medicare Advantage people, they’re going to stop taking new Medicare Advantage recipients. We’re going to see the pool of doctors to support people in Medicare starting to shrink as well, unless changes are made over the course of the next five years. So Medicare is going to be affected, and it’s going to be affected dramatically by health care reform. Everybody’s kind of on pins and needles, waiting to see what’s going to happen there.
Health Care Reform Will Reduce Healthcare Costs
The last one, and probably the biggest myth about health care reform, is everybody thinking that ObamaCare will reduce healthcare costs. That’s completely hogwash. Early on in the process, when they were trying to come up with the rules and regulations, the emphasis and one of the goals for reform was to reduce healthcare costs.
But somewhere along the line, the goal actually shifted from cost reduction to regulation of the health insurance industry. Once they made that transition, they pushed cost reductions to the back burner. There are some small cost reduction components in ObamaCare, but the real emphasis is on regulating health insurance. The new plans, for example, have much richer benefits than many plans today: richer benefits means richer prices.
Health Care Reform Subsidies: Will They Make Plans Affordable?
A lot of people hope, “The subsidies are going to make health insurance plans more affordable, won’t they?” Yes, in some cases the subsidies will help to make the plans affordable for people. But if you make $1 too much, the affordable plans are suddenly going to become very expensive and can cost thousands of dollars more over the course of a year. Will a subsidy make it affordable or not affordable is really subject to debate at this point in time. We’re going to have to actually see what the rates look like for these plans.
New Health Care Reform Taxes Passed On To Consumers
Then there’s a whole ton of new health care reform taxes that have been added into the system to help pay for ObamaCare. That means everybody who has a health insurance plan, whether it’s in a large group, a small group, or just as an individual, is going to be taxed in order to pay for the cost of reform. Health care reform adds various taxes on health care that insurance companies will have to collect and pay, but they’re just going to pass it right through to us, the consumer.
Mandate Won’t Reduce Uninsured Very Much
During the initial years of health care reform, the mandate is actually pretty weak. The mandate says that everyone must get health insurance or pay a penalty (a tax). What that’s going to do is make healthy people just sit on the sidelines and wait for the mandate to get to the point where it finally forces them to buy health insurance. People with chronic health conditions that couldn’t get health insurance previously, are all going to jump into healthcare at the beginning of 2014.
At the end of that year, the cost for the plans is going to go up in 2015. I can guarantee that that’s going to happen, because the young healthy people are not going to be motivated to get into the plans. They won’t see the benefit of joining an expensive plan, whereas the chronically ill people are going to get into the plans and drive the costs up.
Health Care Reform’s Purpose Is Just A Matter Of Semantics
The last portion of this is, one of the key things – and it’s funny, I saw it for the first two years, 2010, and ’11 – one of the key things that was listed in the documentation from the Obama administration was: Health Care Reform would help reduce the cost that we would see in the future if we do nothing today. That was emphasized over and over again. That was how they presented health care cost reduction, that it would reduce the future costs. Not today, but it would reduce what we would pay in the future if we did nothing about it now.
Well, that’s great, 10 years from now we’re going to pay less than we might have paid. And we all know how accurate future projections usually are. In the meantime, we’re all paying more today, and we’re going to pay even more in 2014 and more in 2015 and 2016. People are going to be pretty upset about that.
Those three myths, that health care reform is only going to affect the uninsured, that it won’t affect Medicare beneficiaries, and that ObamaCare is going to reduce healthcare costs, are just that. They are myths. There’s nothing to them.
It’s really important that you pay attention to what’s happening with health care reform, because there are more changes that are coming as we go through this year, 2013. Knowing how to position yourself so that you’re in the right spot to be able to make the best decision at the beginning of 2014 is going to be really important for everybody.
Outsourcing business solutions allows businesses to maintain a competitive edge while saving on costs. There are certain functions, like IT and web design, that are necessary but may not fall under a business’s core competencies. Maintaining in-house teams can be costly in terms of office space, equipment and training. Some businesses may not have the resources to spend on them.
By outsourcing their solutions, businesses can leverage the expertise of a provider at a fraction of the cost of maintaining in-house services. There are distinct advantages to outsourcing, including:
Cost-effective communication. Businesses can boost staff productivity with professional email and collaboration tools. These solutions require their own servers, however, and need to be maintained by a dedicated IT team. By outsourcing the IT solution, businesses can save on the cost and hassle of server maintenance while enjoying 24/7 support.
Professional Web design. Businesses may not have the time or expertise to design their own website. Through a provider, they can have a professionally designed corporate website built according to their budget and specifications.
Enhanced online visibility. It takes IT expertise to enhance a website’s visibility so the target audience can find it. By leveraging search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising services, businesses can reach their target audience without having to deal with complicated IT processes.
Easy setup of applications. Web applications let businesses manage online content efficiently and enhance customers’ experience. With a managed solution, businesses can easily add applications and upgrades without having to install anything on their own computers.
By outsourcing business solutions, companies can offload complicated processes to an experienced provider while streamlining their own resources towards their core business.
Looking for an interior designer or interior decorator can be overwhelming if you are not sure which designer you need for the scope or your project. Are you building, renovating or moving and need professional advice? Are you planning to sell your property and not sure how to get ready for the first inspection?
This document gives you answers to frequently asked questions in regards to interior design, interior decorating, colour consulting and property styling.
It will help you finding the right designer for your interior design and decorating projects and eventually create your individual style in your home.
What is the difference between an interior designer and an interior stylist?
You may have asked yourself this question already when facing a building or renovation project. Do I need an interior designer, an interior decorator, a colour consultant or an interior stylist?
The answer is that it depends on the scope of the project.
An interior designer is a skilled professional who is designing interior environments according to your briefing. The interior designer either modifies what already exists (renovation) or provides an entirely new design for a space (new build). In this case the interior designer works closely with the architect and comes in at an early stage of the project. Interior designers work either along a team in design firm or on their own.
What is the job of an interior stylist? An interior stylist is a designer or consultant in a field subject to changes in style, especially fashion or interior decoration. An interior stylist cultivates or maintains any particular style and in most cases stylist are finders, keepers and collectors of beautiful objects.
The interior stylist can help you finding your own style, creating beautiful interiors that are unique and meaningful. This can be achieved with the simplest things and does not have to be expensive. The only thing you need to do is keep your eyes open to beautiful things in nature, architecture, design, museums, art, exhibitions, books, textiles and travel. There is only one rule: Only collect or buy things that mean something to you!
How does a colour consultation work?
The colour consultation focuses on creating a colour scheme for a specific room or space or the whole house according to your briefing. A qualified colour consultant can help you with interior and exterior colour schemes.
Prior to designing a colour scheme for you the colour consultant should always talk to you about the mood and atmosphere you would like to achieve in your space. He will explain to you the differences between the paint companies and their products and choose the right product for your needs. After designing the colour scheme you will receive a written recommendation including a specification sheet and brushouts ready for your painter to start.
Why is it important to seek advice from a designer when choosing colours?
Colour is the most powerful tool when it comes to non-verbal communication and the design element that makes a space come alive. Colour brings individuality in a space and it is one of the most useful tools to master when finding your own style.
Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, says in her book Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color: “Among other uses, color stimulates and works synergistically with all of the senses, symbolizes abstract concepts and thoughts, expresses fantasy or wish fulfillment, recalls another time or place and produces an aesthetic or emotional response.”
When choosing a colour for a room or house it is important to think about the mood and atmosphere you would like to achieve. Is it a dark room or flooded with natural light? In which direction is the room facing? How are the proportions? Do you live in a small apartment or a contemporary newly built house with open plan living areas? All this needs to be considered when choosing colours for a space.
If you are overwhelmed by the choice of colours available – yes, there are thousands on the market – how can you start finding your personal colour scheme?
For some people it is a longer journey, for others it comes more naturally. The most important thing is to take some time, open your eyes, walk around your home and absorb the colour combinations you see. Then start gathering all the pieces you love. This can be anything from old porcelain, travel souvenirs, photographs, artwork, clothes, tear sheets from magazines, fabric swatches, stationary, a collection of stones, feathers or glass objects.
And don’t forget nature as inspiration for a colour scheme (interior or exterior). If you live near the ocean, shades of blues and greens can be used to link your interior with its surroundings. Flowers, butterflies, stones, shells, driftwood are fantastic inspirations for colour schemes.
Once you have gathered all your beloved treasures in one spot, play around with the pieces, group them by colours and you will see a colour palette emerge. This “moodboard” is a great starting point for your interior designer, interior stylist or colour consultant to help you creating an individual and personal space, a home that reflects who you are and a place that you love coming home to.
Stylist’s tip: Before you start painting always buy a test pot and paint a large sheet of paper or cardboard (one square metre) with your colour. Tape it to the walls in your room and study it for a couple of days. Look at it in daylight and artificial light. This is very important as colours change depending on the light, the orientation of the room, other colours in the room and spatial elements like furniture and artwork for example.
What is the difference between a colour and a styling consultation?
The colour consultation focuses on creating a colour scheme for a specific room or space or the whole house according to your briefing. A qualified colour consultant can help you with interior and exterior colour schemes.
The styling consultation focuses on creating a certain (Your) style in your home or simply on answering all your questions about colours, style, furniture sourcing and placement, art sourcing and placement, displays of your collections, accessories, proportions in a space, lighting etc.
Again it is vital that the designer listens to what you would like to achieve (briefing) and makes sure that he understood what you want (debriefing). Don’t let the interior designer or interior stylist talk you into something you don’t like!
How do I maximise the output of my styling consultation?
Are you planning to colour, redecorate or renovate, but don’t know where to start? Do you have lots of questions about colour schemes, furniture placement, how to display your collections, books or other beloved things? Are you not sure whether to redecorate with your old furniture and accessories or to renovate and create a new look? Do you need inspirations where to source furniture and accessories, second hand pieces or antiques?
If you prepare your first consultation with your stylist properly, you will get answers to all the questions you have. Here are my tips how to maximise the output from your styling or colour consultation:
• Be clear what you would like the outcome of the consultation to be.
• Decide which room or space you would like to focus on. Is it only one room or the whole house?
• Prepare yourself with tear sheets from interior design magazines like Real Living, Inside Out, Belle or Vogue Living. There are plenty on the market so choose the one that speaks to you most and start collecting pages of everything you like: colour schemes, furniture, accessories, room layouts, rugs, flooring, wallpaper, decorative items and everything that speaks to you. If you do this for a couple of weeks you will clearly see what you like and find your own personal style.
• Keep your eyes open to the beautiful things around you: nature, architecture, design, museums, art, exhibitions, books, textiles and travel.
• Make sure that your stylist is listening and explain what you want to achieve with your styling project, what you would like a room to do for you and what mood you would like to create in your space.
And finally one of the most important things: Don’t let the stylist talk you into something you don’t like! You have to live in the space and you need to feel comfortable and at home! It is all about creating your home with your personal touch.
How do I find my own style?
The answer is as simple as this: explore the world around you and appreciate the beauty that lies within everything you discover!
Keep your eyes open and your mind excited! Discover and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you every day! Find inspiration in nature, buildings, shops, exhibitions, museums, art, events, markets, magazines and of course books.
One of my favourite books I spotted in a museum shop is called: How to be an explorer of the world by Keri Smith. On the back it says: “At any given moment, no matter where you are, there are hundreds of things around you that are interesting and worth documenting.”
A stylist’s tip: always carry a little notebook and a pen with you in order to be able to sketch, doodle and write down what you discover.
Keep all your findings, notes and pictures in a folder or box and keep searching for at least four to eight weeks. Then start to group things by colour or theme and you will discover what your style is. And there are no rules. It is all about finding what you like!
Books for your inspiration
This is a list of books that I personally own and love! They are all a fantastic source of inspiration and creative ideas for your home.
Sibella Court: Bowerbird
Shannon Fricke: Sense of Style
Megan Morton: Home Love
Holly Becker: Decorate
Susanna Salk: Be Your Own Decorator
Geraldine James: Creative Walls
Hans Blomquist: The Natural Home
Is it necessary to seek advice from a stylist when I want to sell my property?
If you plan to sell your house it is worth investing in a styling consultation. A professional property stylist can help you to achieve maximum impact when presenting your home to potential buyers. A property stylist will help you to get ready for the first inspection by giving you advice on how to style your house with what you have. He will help you with colour schemes that attract potential buyers. He will also advice if you need rental furniture to style each room according to its function and help potential buyers to envisage themselves in the space. Property styling is all about creating a wow factor in key areas of your home and help the buyers to envisage themselves in your space. Once the styling is done don’t forget to book your stylist for the real estate photography shoot to make sure everything looks perfect on this day!
Have you heard of the waterless cooking method? It is a relatively new method of cooking that has many advantages. In the past, a lot of household cooking has involved cooking food with water. When cooked in water, however, a lot of the food’s nutritional value, not to mention the flavor, is taken away. Waterless cooking allows you to cook food in it own juices, retaining all the vitamins and minerals as well as most of the original flavor. There is no need to add water to foods (especially vegetables) because the natural moisture in the food is released and the steam created helps the cooking process. The steam is circulated throughout the pot and falls back into the food allowing it to stay moist and juicy.
So what are the advantages to waterless cooking? First of all, it is an easy way to cook. Many times you can use a one-pan cooking method so that all the food (meat, veggies and potatoes) is cooked together. This also allows for easier clean up with only one pan to wash up. And the new waterless cookware, with its superior heat distribution, tends to have less chance of food burning or sticking.
Waterless cooking also tends to cook food a lot faster. With the new waterless cookware available now the heat is evenly distributed along the bottom of the pot or pan. Because of this, there are no ‘hot-spots’ that may tend to burn your food. The lid of the pot forms a seal, which locks in the heat (as well as the moisture) so the cooking time is decreased.
As mentioned, waterless cooking is a healthy way to cook. None of the nutrients are lost during cooking, and you don’t need to add oil to stop the food from sticking to the pan, which also makes it healthier. The natural color and texture of the food is also retained which makes the food more appealing. Foods that are supposed to be crisp tend to keep their crunchy texture as well.
The features of waterless cookware that allow this cooking method to work include a flat bottom on the pots and pans which allow the most efficient means of heat transfer. The flat bottom connects with your stove element better, whether it be the coils of an electric stove or a gas unit, so that the heat transfer is more efficient. The cookware also has an iron core and an aluminum or copper base plate built into it that helps to retain a continuous, constant cooking temperature even after the heating element has been turned off.
Waterless cookware is typically made of high-grade stainless steel, which is better than other traditional pans in a couple of different ways. The stainless steel does not allow the taste of the metal to transfer to your food, as may be the case with aluminum or Teflon-coated cookware. Some companies use surgical stainless steel, which is the highest grade you can get for a real quality product. The stainless steel is easy to clean, durable (enabling it to last an extremely long time) and it allows you to keep your cookware sterilized.
One of the main features of waterless cookware is the special lid that keeps the natural moisture in the food from escaping. The lid forms a seal with the pot and lets the natural juices form into steam so the food cooks in its own natural juices, retaining all the nutrients and original flavors. There is a steam valve that whistles and tells you when you should turn off the heat (once the juices have created sufficient steam). In this way you save energy when cooking and the food is always cooked at a constant temperature.
Although it is referred to as waterless cooking, one thing you should do before cooking with this method is to rinse your food in water and then drain it before cooking. This ensures there will be enough water clinging to the food to create enough steam, mixed with foods natural juices, to cook it properly.
Cooking times with the waterless cooking method is generally a little less than traditional cooking times, depending on personal tastes for doneness. You should always cook your food at medium to low temperatures because the special waterless cookware construction allows the unit to conduct heat in the most efficient manner. You must also resist the urge to lift the lid during the cooking process as this will lengthen the cooking time and may even allow the food to dry out when the steam escapes.
The steam valve will tell you when you should turn off your stove element-when the correct temperature has been reached to allow the food to cook itself. When the steam valve whistles, turn off your stove, but do not lift the lid until the specified cooking time has elapsed-then you can open the lid and serve out your hot food. As a tip, put warm water into the unit after the food has been removed and let it sit while you eat so clean-up will be a snap afterwards.
Most recipes can be adapted (with a few alterations) to using the waterless cooking method as well. You will discover that old favorites will taste better and new recipes will be simple to master. The waterless cooking method is a new and healthier way to cook. It is more energy efficient, allows the food to retain its own juices, texture and color, and is an easy way to cook.
Looking for a great place for vacation with family? Europe is one lovely continent where everyone has an ample number and variety to choose from according to their interest. However, this can also confuse the travellers since they may not be able to decide as where to go and what all to skip. For this, there are numerous pre-set Europe travel packages which are available to the tourists to choose from.
These travel packages which are available to tourists for holiday are prepared keeping in mind the general interest and preference of the tourists. For those who have an interest in history, the places and destinations which have a high historical importance are included in the packages and thereby suit the tourists. Also, for those who have an interest in architecture, such people can take up a package which is prepared keeping in mind architectural wonders of the continent of Europe. Out of these Europe travel packages, the tourists can easily choose one and enjoy the best trip according to their interest.
The Europe travel packages that are pre-set and defined are also done considering the budget that a traveller has. Also, keeping in mind a time frame too, the packages can be obtained. Proper planning by online tour planners, tour guides for Europe etc precede the making of the package for the travellers which thereby suit their needs well.
Complete care of the travellers is taken. Europe travel package includes all the facilities for the travellers. Whether it is hotel booking, flight reservation, sight seeing, taxi bookings etc, all is done beforehand through the package organiser itself. Prior booking also helps in saving money of the travellers.
With Europe travel packages available to the tourists easily, they can make a readymade choice which suits their needs. This way they can have a great holiday and at the same time, stick to a proper budget as well as time frame.
What is the first thought you get when you hear the words “natural skin care remedies”? Do you think about things you can do at home to make your skin beautiful? Or do you associate it with natural skin care you can buy instead?
For me, natural skin care remedies include both things – face gymnastics to give yourself a little face lift without a knife daily, cosmetics you can make in your own kitchen, but also 100% natural, commercial skin care products.
There are as thousands of remedies there for all kinds of skin problems out there, but in this article I’d like to concentrate on the ones that slow down the signs of aging, that means the ones which smooth away wrinkles, tighten skin and make the skin look younger.
Believe me, I’ve done my research and I can say there are so many natural substances that are supposed to make your skin look youthful and smooth. Usually these substances need to be used on the skin in the form of a cream, or taken orally as a supplement.
Of course many foods in themselves are filled with vitamins and nutrients that can help your skin rejuvenate itself, but usually you’d need to eat impossible amounts of these foods to really get the benefits of the substances in them. Don’t get me wrong, I love to have a few tomatoes or strawberries a day, but there’s a limit a person can eat!
To really get a benefit of natural skin care remedies you’ll need to eat a good diet based on natural foods, but also use natural skin care, which you can buy or make yourself. If needed, you can complement the process with quality supplements, too.
Be careful when shopping for natural skin care products, though. There are so many product lines that claim to be natural, but really aren’t. Sure, the cream in the pretty tube has some olive oil, aloe vera or keratin in it, but just a little bit! If that’s not bad enough, many products are in fact based on mineral oil! Make sure you get a 100% natural product and not one with 10% or even 90% natural ingredients.
Get a cream based on natural glycerines instead. These kinds of creams, which are great for moisturizing, can be made at home, too. For an anti-aging effect you’ll need special ingredients and buying a cream might be a more viable option. Do your research and try a few brands, the good ones will have a money-back guarantee so there’s no risk for you.
If you’d like to know more about natural skin care and the products I recommend, please visit my website for more information.