Wednesday, June 20, 2018

How To Make The Most Of Your New York Vacation

New York is one of the most exciting cities on planet earth. When you go on a New York City vacation, it seems like there isn't enough time to explore everything that this bustling metropolis has to offer. While you might not be able to take in all of Manhattan on a single vacation, you can definitely make the most out of your vacation to the city that never sleeps. Here's how to do it.

Pack Wisely
Too many people worry about how they look instead of how they'll feel when they visit New York. While it's understandable that you want to look stylish in the most fashionable city on the planet, remember that New York vacations involve a lot of walking. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

Take In The Entertainment
New York is arguably the best place in the world to experience live theater. From NY cabaret to Broadway shows, there's no better place to take in a breathtaking live performance. Start shopping for deals on tickets before you arrive in New York in order to ensure that you can see some great shows for reasonable prices.


Watch Out For Your Safety
While New York city is a lot safer than it was a few decades ago, any large city still poses some safety concerns. Watch out for anyone who seems too eager to talk to you, as they might be out to scam tourists. You should also always keep your belongings close to you, as petty theft is unfortunately common. However, don't believe anyone who tells you that New York is extremely dangerous. While you should definitely be alert and practice personal safety, New York is actually a lot safer than many similar-sized cities.

A New York City vacation is a great way to broaden your personal horizons and experience a place that so many people dream of visiting for yourself. Seeing New York in person is an experience unlike any other and everyone should visit the city at least once in their lifetime.

Suki's Visit at the Vet

Yesterday we had to skip my daughter's ballett class to bring our Suki to the vet for a follow up check up. She was always scratching her ears and shaking her head some 3 weeks ago that she can't sleep very well (and of course, the human mommy too). And because our Suki is such a sweet dog, she has no qualms going to the clinic.

Suki with my daughter at the examination room while waiting for the vet.

She would patiently wait in the waiting room, sniffing and greeting the other patients, and would not hesitate to get inside the examination room when it was our turn (no pushing and begging her to come) and would always greet the vet with joy and delight, happy face and all (no wagging tails though as she almost doesn't have one ­čśŐ).

What she dislikes though is having her ears checked. It was difficult the last time we went there, with frenchies having herculean strength when needed. But we didn't want to force her or endanger the vet nurse by being accidentally bitten. So we tried another trick this time, getting her calmed down first and giving her carrot treats while the vet examines her ears. Thank goodness it worked. And thankfully, the ear infection is gone.

That was such a relief, for all of us, for Suki most especially. And that is why it is always important to regularly dog's ears to keep the earwax in check, because as the adage says, "too much of something is not good."


Friday, June 15, 2018

What to Consider When Choosing Horse Insurance Companies

What are the best horse insurance companies? While many no doubt offer competitive rates, there is more to consider than just the cost. As you evaluate your options, take into account these considerations:

Experience
Do not settle for newcomers to the game. The best companies have a vast amount of experience, which is very important. After all, you can't afford to take risks when it comes to your horse. Look for an insurance company with a proven track record.

Diversity
It may well be that you have other prized livestock that you would like to insure. Whether you are caring for cattle, dogs, horses, or other animals, having one insurance company that serves your needs for all of them can come in handy.

Adaptability
You want a company that can search for the best policy options for you. Instead of settling for the first one available, the right insurance provider will search diligently and give you a variety of options from which to choose.

Availability
Since you are no doubt very busy, you need an insurance company that is available when you are. Look for one with flexible hours and availability when you need them.

Knowledgeability
The horse industry has many complex factors that need to be taken into account. The right insurance provider will bring a deep working knowledge of this industry to the table, enabling you to trust that they know what they are doing in serving your needs.

Genuine Concern
Your livestock means a lot to you, and it should mean a lot to your insurance provider, too. Do not settle for a provider that treats you and your livestock as a mere business relationship. Rather, look for one that genuinely cares about the people and animals involved. This genuine concern will carry over into all aspects of the service that is provided to you.


The Eselsm├╝hle in Siebenm├╝hlental

The Siebenm├╝hlental, roughly translated as "seven mills valley", is a hiking area between Leinfelden-Echterdingen and Waldenbuch in Baden-W├╝rttemberg. The name does not really correspond to the number of mills because instead of 7, it has a total of 11 mills, of which only one remains operational - the Eselsm├╝hle.


The Eselsm├╝hle has a beautiful history to it and today one can still take a look at the original mill wheel still intact. A visit to the Eselsm├╝hle is a great idea to escape the humdrums and stress in the city. They also produce Demeter-quality breads and baked goods in the bakery using wood-fired ovens. 


There is also a Kaufladen (store) that sells organic and natural products and of course, animals that greeted the guests, both big and small. 


Another attraction: pony riding for the children. They usually make a short tour around the area (around 15 minutes), much to the delight of the kids. In the photos is my little girl, when she had her pony ride some 3 years ago.



 And when you get tired from all the sightseeing and hiking, you can always take a break at the Cafe. They serve organic food and beverages. Yum! It was very good!



After all that eating and drinking, you can continue on the way to explore the rest of the other mills or continue on one of the hiking trails around the Siebenm├╝hlental. :)


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Decorate Your Home With These Beautiful Figurines

If you are looking for a fun way to decorate your home, there are many brands that offer beautiful figurines. One brand that is popular among families is the Jim Shore collection. Every figurine is hand painted with rich colors to create a gorgeous piece. You can use the figurines to create a scene or represent an occasion. Here are three collections of Jim Shore figurines to consider for your home.

Disney Traditions: Turn your home into the happiest place on earth with Disney figurines. The figurines feature all your favorite Disney characters, including Mickey Mouse, Jiminy Cricket and Snow White. You can also find Disney holiday collections, such as the Mickey Mouse with Candy Cane and Tinker Bell with Gift figurines. If you are decorating for Easter, you are sure to love the Miss Bunny, Minnie Mouse and Winnie the Pooh Easter eggs.

Fall Decor: Jim Shore offers figurines that are perfect for the fall season. Are you decorating for the Halloween season? The collection includes the Black Cat Crossing and Every Witch Way figurines, and you cannot forget the Welcome Great Pumpkin 50th Anniversary figurine. When you are ready to decorate for Thanksgiving, you can turn the We Are Blessed figurine into a festive centerpiece for dinner.

Christmas Collection: It is always fun to decorate your home for the holiday season, and Jim Shore offers a variety of Christmas figurines. The collection is broken down into different themes to help you celebrate in your own way, and this ranges from the 12 Days of Christmas Santa figurine to the Holy Family with Bethlehem Scene figurine. You are sure to love The North Star Express 5 Piece Mini Train Set, which features a gingerbread house, reindeer, snowman, Christmas tree and Santa Clause himself.

Jim Shore works hard to create figurines that reflect your favorite characters and seasons. The careful details bring characters such as Mickey Mouse and Santa Clause to life right in your own home. The figurines are perfect for children and adults who want to decorate for that special occasion.


Balcony Decorating Ideas

It is that time of the year again when we like to spend our afternoons lounging outside the balcony - be it to enjoy the warm sun, letting go of the day's stress, catching up with family members or on reading, or just relaxing. Thanks to the longer and warmer days that spring brings, our bodies and spirits seem more relaxed and our dispositions more enthusiastic.

It is always a challenge to make the balcony a relaxing place to retreat into so I gathered some ideas I found on Pinterest that would help on how to create that ambiance you want while making good use of limited space.

Choose compact and functional yet comfortable garden furniture. If the space is small, opt for sleek designs and foldable ones.


Add potted plants to your balcony, but not just any plant. Choose those that are suitable for your balcony. Consider what kind of plants you want (greens, blooms or herbs), how much sun, shade or wind your balcony gets.

Color schemes and patterns help keep things together. Natural outdoor textiles like pillows, blankets and outdoor rugs ensures comfort.


Light always add to the ambiance - candles, warm fairy lights, lampions and lanterns add warmth and helps create the mood. 

Do you have other decorating ideas for the balcony?


How to Experience God

Building a relationship with God is a beautiful opportunity to get to know the Creator of the Universe and develop a personal bond. It's one thing to talk about how good God is. It's another thing to actually experience it. Consider these four tips and learn how to connect with God.

1. Study the Word.
When you study the Word of God, you're able to learn more about his character, laws and desires for his children. Be intentional about reading every day. You can download a Bible app and receive notifications with new scriptures on a daily basis. You can even start a challenge where you read the entire Bible in one year. Just make sure to absorb the information and learn.

2. Pray.
Prayer is the opportunity to communicate with God. Many people suggest that meditation is when God communicates back to you. Open the channels of your heart and mind and be transparent with God. Let him know that you need him. Talk to him about how much you love him. Pray for your friends, family and community. Talk to him about your desires and ask him to reveal his purpose for your life. Start by waking up in the morning and immediately pray. As you go throughout your day, continue to silently pray and ask God to lead you in the right direction.

3. Express gratitude.
If you give a little child a gift and they take it without saying thank you, you'd be less likely to want to give them another gift. Why? There's something really special about letting someone know that you appreciate what you've done for them. Granted, God's goodness is based on yours. However, it is important to express gratitude and let God know that you're thankful for all He has done in your life. Whether you choose to share it through singing a praise & worship song or sharing a testimony with a friend, always make sure to talk about how good God is and express gratitude for all he's done.

4. Commit to growth.
It can be really challenging to grow in your relationship with God because it's a refining process. When you first pull gold out of the ground, it has to go through the fire and get molded. Once it's molded and perfected, it's so beautiful and desirable. As a Christian, you're going to go through situations that will feel terrible. The pressure of negative situations will help you mold your character and become a better person. Commit to the process because it's all working for your improvement.


Suki's First Family Trip in Belgium

We had our first family roadtrip with Suki last Easter weekend. Hubby had a bike race last March 31, the Tour of Flanders, and since it was a long weekend, we decided to tag along. 

Suki was sleeping most of the time on our way to Antwerp.
While hubby was toiling and pedalling away in this historic bike race known for its classic cobbled tracks, which started in Antwerp and ended in Oudenarde, we opted to explore the sights in the city.



The hotel we were staying in was pet-friendly and was just across Antwerp Central Station so we decided to start exploring from there. And was Antwerp Central Station very grand as you can see from the photos! Our Suki enjoyed her day out too, or should I say day inside the train station. Hihi!


It was cold when we went to Antwerp - with overcast skies, chilly wind and rain shower every now and then. So our Suki was out with her pink "adidog" pullover. Isn't she just adorable in it? People we would meet along the way say so too. :)


That's all for now. More stories about our little Suki in the next posts.


Sunday, May 20, 2018

How to Simplify a Move

It has been said that one of the most stressful activities in your life will be a move. There are several ways for you to overcome the stress. By working with moving companies North Jerseymoving companies New Jersey residents are able to enjoy a move considerably more.

Get Help with Packing
You don’t have to do all of the packing on your own. Consider the fact that you need to have everything placed in the boxes by the time moving day arrives. This means emptying cabinets, bookcases, drawers, and everything else in every room of your home. This is an overwhelming prospect.

If you could have professionals come over to pack everything for you, it reduces your stress. You can focus on other aspects of moving without having to worry about setting up boxes, packaging everything properly, and labeling the boxes based on contents.

Work with Professionals
There are a lot of different responsibilities with moving. This includes loading everything onto a truck, driving it to your new home, and then unloading the contents. Working with professional movers will ensure that all of these aspects are taken care of for you. You don’t have to drive a truck and you don’t have to do any heavy lifting. Instead, you can stand by and simply point to where you want everything.

Have Your Vehicles Moved
Especially if you are planning a long-distance move, you may not want to pack your family and any pets into a vehicle and drive hundreds of miles in order to get to your new home. The easier solution may be for you to fly (or even take a train). As for your vehicles, they can be moved by the moving company to save you some added stress.

Moving is as easy or as stressful as you make it out to be. If you want to make it easier, a professional moving company should be called.


Monday, March 19, 2018

Where Can You Buy High Quality Furniture?

Are you looking to completely refurnish your apartment or home? If this is the case, you will need to seek out high quality furniture in order to replace all of your old furnishings. The amount of places you can buy furniture is quite overwhelming. Where should you begin your search? You should keep in mind that you do not only need to rely on furniture stores in your local area. You can also buy furniture online. In fact, online retailers will usually have bigger inventories than brick and mortar stores. Here are a few ideas about where you will be able to find great furniture.

1. Talk to some people you work with to see if they can recommend any good furniture retailers to you.

You might have some success by talking to your coworkers about the experiences they have had buying furniture. These people have probably bought furniture many times in their lives. Therefore, the chances are very good that you will be able to get a few good references that will be useful to you in the future. Make sure that you ask these people what type of furniture they bought and how much they paid for it. You might also want to consider asking your neighbors if they know of any good furniture stores in Mesa AZ.

2. Go to some home and garden shows in your area.

Furniture retailers will often have displays set up at home and garden shows. You will be able to try out their furniture in order to see if you like it. You can check online or in your local newspaper for the dates of the home and garden shows that will be coming to your city.

3. Take some time searching various online furniture retailers.

You will be able to find a very large selection of furniture when you shop online. You just need to be patient and compare prices to get the best deal. You should also be certain that a long warranty is included with every piece of furniture that you buy.


Suki

Hello everyone! Meet the new member of our family - Suki!

She just loves her red little squeaky ball.
Suki is our five-month old french bulldog. She is one handful puppy - she loves to play, bounce about the house and sleep on our couch. She has invaded and claimed our couch for her own just a few weeks after she arrived in our house.

My not so little girl and Suki cuddling after getting home from school.
So why the name Suki? It is a Japanese word which means "to like". Everything about her is just adorable and who wouldn't like, or even love, this little creature? She is our little princess and our daughter just loves her. It is actually her dog since she has been saving up for a dog since she turned six. We finally decided on getting one because we thought that it would help her how to take responsibility for another living being.

Suki is our little bouncy four-legged family member. I must admit it is a lot of work cleaning up after her, but it is all worth it. All the stress and exhaustion from work would all go away whenever I come home and see her all so happy and excited to see me arrive. :) She still has a lot to learn and we still have a lot to teach her. We hope that she will be with us for many years to come. 


Tips to Reduce Your Home Insurance Premiums

Home insurance is a safety net that protects you from financial devastation if an accident or injury takes place on your property. Your policy is also going to help you replace your possessions in the event of a burglary. If your home insurance payments are no longer manageable, then here are a few steps that you can take to get your premiums back under control.

Improve Your Home Security

Your insurance provider might offer a variety of discounts for security upgrades. Even relatively minor projects like installing wireless cameras could save you a few hundred dollars every year. Before installing those devices, you should first contact your current insurance provider and ask for a list of all the discounts they offer.

Bundle Your Policies

Companies such as Floridainsurance.com often give discounts to clients who bundle all of their separate policies. As an added bonus, you won’t have to worry about making multiple payments at different times each month. When bundling, you should mention all of your active policies including your car, home, health, and life insurance.

Boost Your Credit Score

Most insurance providers now factor in a policyholder’s credit score when determining their premiums and deductibles. As a general rule, policyholders who have higher credit scores tend to file fewer claims. Paying your bills on time, closing out unused accounts, and correcting errors on your credit report will all raise your credit score by a few points.

Rethink Small Claims

It might be tempting to file a claim for minor damage around your home, but those claims will eventually add up. Insurance providers typically increase premiums when policyholders file more than one or two claims a year. The best way to avoid making those small claims is to build an emergency fund that can cover issues like burst pipes and wind damage.

Another way to lower your insurance premiums is to increase your deductible. You will have to pay more out of pocket if an accident occurs, but your monthly payments could be reduced by a significant amount.


Moving Up To 5th Grade Soon

So our little girl is now in the 4th grade and it has been quite busy the last few weeks for us as we went from one Information Day or School Open House to the next in preparation for 5th grade. This is because she will transfer to a new school where she will spend the next 8 or 9 years studying and preparing for a career. 


The first 4 years of Grundschule are almost over and we are happy and proud to say that she is doing well. Although graduation ceremonies and/or quarterly recognition days are not big here, we are happy that she is happy learning and socializing with other children. 

Moving on to a new school, we are as excited as her as she takes another big step. We are thankful that she is recommended to continue on to Gymnasium, a kind of high school which will allow her to continue on and study at the Universit├Ąt or Hochschule later on. 

The German educational system is quite new to us so it is also like an adventure for us as parents. We just hope that we will be able to guide her and support her in the decisions that she will make in the years to come and that she will grow into the person that is meant to be.

In the coming days, we will be registering her at the school that left a good impression. We just hope and pray that she will be accepted. 

I am nervous and excited as I look forward to the new adventures and challenges that our young girl will face. But head's up Anak... rest assured that you will always have us behind you to back you up!


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Benefits of Air Conditioning

If you live in Florida, your air conditioner is probably a huge part of your life when the summer rolls around. It gets incredibly hot and humid in the summer, sometimes dangerously so, and you need to be able to retreat indoors to a cooler home when the temperature is at its highest.

And yet, an air conditioner does more than just keep your home cool. We have mentioned before that it gets humid as well as hot in Florida, and an air conditioner can help you with that. Air conditioning involves lowering the humidity indoors to a more comfortable level, a task that is often more important than lowering the temperature. This lower humidity can keep issues such as mold at bay, which will be important if anybody in your home lives with allergies.

Speaking of allergies, a good air conditioning system can help with that in other ways as well. Your air conditioning system - and your HVAC system as a whole, for that matter - helps to filter out dust and other pollutants that can cause serious problems for anybody with moderate to severe allergies. In other words, having a good air conditioner is good for your family's health.

Of course, having a reliable air conditioning system will need to be kept in good working order. If you have a newer system, you should have relatively little to worry about. On the other hand, a system that is 15 to 20 years old might need some work. If you notice things such as rattling or clunking sounds coming from your vents or higher than normal utility bills, or you notice that your home doesn't cool off as quickly or as evenly as it once did, it may be time to contact a Bradenton FL air conditioning repair service to have your system checked out. Summer will be here before you know it, so make that call sooner rather than later.


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