Abstract Home Vol. 5 Issue 12 2014

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Disclaimer: The views or opinions presented in this publication are solely those of the writers and do not necessarily represent those of the company. Employees of ABSTRACT MEDIA GROUP COMPANY LIMITED are expressly required not to make defamatory statements and not to infringe or authorize any infringement of copyright or any other legal right. Any such article is contrary to company policy and is outside the scope of the employment of the individual writer concerned. The company will not accept any liability in respect of such article, and the employee responsible will be personally liable for any damages or other liability arising.

Choosing A Curtain Rod


urtains are the first thing that normally comes to mind when one thinks of window treatments. However, too many people underestimate the effectiveness of a good curtain rod. There are certain measures that should be noted when choosing a curtain rod. First of all, you need to determine the place where you are supposed to mount the curtain rods. This in turn shall vary with the type of curtain you are employing. Few curtain types look good if hung above the window frame, whereas many are hung within the window frame. Secondly, you need to decide upon the design and style of the curtain rod. As curtain rods are available in a large variety, you will have a lot of options. Choose a decorative rod if the rods are to be mounted above the window frame, whereas select a traverse rod if you are hanging curtains, which are closed with a chord. In addition it is important to

evaluate the material of the rod. Ensure that the rod is made of a good quality material and suits the climate you live in. Whether you are aware of the fact or not, but heat, dust, and humidity are all known to affect curtain rods. In addition, also check that the curtain rods you select match the furnishings of the room. Thirdly, you need to decide upon the size spacer you wish to employ. However, this typi-

cally depends on the type of the curtains you are hanging. Rings and hooks are the two common types of spaces, which are usually employed. Lastly, you need to select the finials for the curtain rods. Finials are nothing but decorative pieces, which are attached to both the ends of the rod. You will be pleased to know that these are also available in a large variety.

Purifying Drinking Water


ith the advent of the rainy season and the large amount of pipe-laying projects going on at the moment there have been the usual complaints of dirty or discolored water coming through household pipes. There would undoubtedly be concerns about drinking water quality. As such, these three tips will help you keep the potable water in your home safe for your family. Boiling: Bring the water to a rolling boil for 3-5 minutes. Let cool before drinking. Disinfect: You can use household liquid bleach (regular household bleach contains 5.25% sodium chloride) to kill microorganisms. Do not use

scented, color-safe or bleaches with added cleaners. Add 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water, stir and let stand for 30 minutes. If the water does not have a slight bleach odor, repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes. The only agent used to purify water should be household liquid bleach. w w w . a m g tt. c o m

Distillation: Fill a pot halfway with water. Tie a cup to the handle on the pot’s lid so that the cup will hand right side up when the lid is upside-down. Make sure the cup is not dangling in the water. Boil the water for 20 minutes. The water that drips from the lid to the cup is distilled. JUNE 2014




Quick And Easy Home Upgrades


ithout reason people tend to do some spontaneous and crazy things. Don’t let upgrading your home be one of them. Instead, use these tips when making a well thought out decision on what upgrades you choose. Make your kitchen really cook The kitchen is still considered the heart of the home. For a few hundred dollars, you can replace the kitchen faucet set, add new cabinet door handles and update old lighting fixtures with brighter, more energy-efficient ones. If you have a slightly larger budget, you can give the cabinets themselves a makeover. Rather than spring for a whole new cabinet system, which can be expensive, look into re-facing the ones you have. Many companies will remove cabinet doors and drawers, refinish the cabinet boxes and then add brand-new doors and drawers at a price considerably less than new cabinets. Unless the cabinets are mica, a fresh coat of paint can also do the trick. 2

Give appliances a face-lift If your kitchen appliances don't match, try ordering new doors or face panels from the manufacturer. Many dishwasher panels are white on one side and black on the other. It can be as simple as removing a couple of screws, sliding the panel out and flipping it over. Buff up the bath Next to the kitchen, bathrooms are often the most important rooms to update. They, too, can be improved without a lot of cash. Simple things like a new toilet seat and a pedestal sink are pretty easy for homeowners to install, and they make a big difference. You can replace an old, discolored bathroom floor with easy-to-apply vinyl tiles or a small piece of sheet vinyl -- often applied right over the old floor. If your tub and shower look dingy, consider regrouting the tile and replacing any chipped tiles. A more complete cover-up is a prefabricated tub and shower surround. These one-piece units may require

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professional installation, but still can be cheaper than paying to retile walls and refinish a worn tub. Paint New paint makes everything look clean and bright again. And don't forget the ceiling. Paint the trim a contrasting color. Another option: Paint a wall three different shades of the same color. Measure equal sections and use painter's masking tape to mark off each area. Do the bottom of the wall first with the darkest shade. Once it dries, do the middle section with the next lightest shade and so on. Consider curb appeal Although it sounds obvious, a nicely mowed lawn, a few wellplaced shrubs and a swept walkway make a great first impression. As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. What buyers see when they first drive by your home is tremendously important. No matter how nice it is inside, they may never come

back. If you don't have a green thumb, consider hiring a landscaper to install some new sod, plant a few evergreen shrubs and give your front yard a good cleanup. These kinds of changes can instantly change people's perception of your home and, therefore, increase its value and your neighbors will love you for it, too. Let there be light If you have boring recessed lights in your dining and living rooms, consider replacing one of the room's lights with an eye-catching chandelier. Home stores offer a wide range of inexpensive, but nice-looking, ceiling fixtures. Add accent lighting instead of sticking with the two ordinary lamps that flank both ends of the sofa. Spotlights that plug into existing outlets can direct light to features you want to emphasize, like art or plants. If you have a ceiling fan and light, you can also buy replacement fan blades (leaving the fan body in place) to update the fixture's look.


Enhance Your Interior Audio


eople living in high traffic areas such as a main road, the highway or the bus route know of the loud noise that they endure every day. The constant sound of passing traffic and horns can cause a newcomer to stay awake through the night. In instances like these it can be a good plan to sound proof your house or your apartment. It can be a bit costly to do so but it is worth a good night sleep. Before you can soundproof your home, it is important to understand a few things about sound itself. Sound is made up of low frequency waves, similar to radio waves. These waves travel out in all directions from the source of the sound. They will keep traveling until they meet some form of resistance, such as a wall or sofa. Sound waves can also bounce off of

these resistance items, creating reverberation within a room. In order to stop sound from travelling through one room to go into another room of the house there are three things that you can do. The first is to create more space in a room, the further sound has to travel

the less powerful the waves get and the noise lessens. Secondly building a home that has thick walls can reduce noise as it helps to absorb sound. Thirdly one can dampen the sound waves with furniture, carpeting and other soft material. Heavy drapes are a great sound ab-

sorber, they come in all designs so it would be easy to find one that goes with your décor. Windows are typically the most common way that noise travels in and out of a room. Create window plugs that are about 1” to 2” thick. These plugs can be made out of mats that are placed on the entire window and inserted around the window frame. This method is especially useful if the person is renting as it takes no effort to remove. These plugs form a tight sound barrier around the cracks in the window frame. However window plugs block all light from entering a room. Doorways can also be a source of noise problems. Install solid doors throughout your house especially the doors to the rooms. This will reduce the amount of sound that travels from room to room.

Mole Cricket Control


ole crickets are no strangers to Trinidad and Tobago as we possess their ideal climate type. Apart from climate, these insects are often attracted to lawns that have an abundance ABSTRACT HOME JUNE 2014 4

of thatch—a thick, spongy mat of runners and undecomposed grass clippings on the soil surface. Improper mowing and excessive water or fertilizer can lead to this condition. Some people have to alter their entire landscape due to mole cricket damage. If you don’t want to be one of those people, read this advice on how to eliminate these pests from your lawn and garden. Getting rid of Mole Crickets chemically is quite easy. Pesticides are used that are either sprayed on the affected areas or are spread in a granular form. These methods are relatively effective, however it is worthwhile not to rush in with poisons and to look for alternatives instead. The environment may be polluted and the members of your family are endangered with pesticide use. Also, the pesticides may directly or indiw w w . a mg t t . co m

rectly poison the natural predators of the mole cricket, which means their populations are also reduced. The next generation of pest operates in a habitat that is less hostile because the natural pest control that occurred has been disturbed.

There is a more environmentally friendly method of pest control. It might be more arduous, but it avoids the pitfalls that accompany the chemical route. • Prepare a soapy solution in a bucket with non-detergent, soap-like product. This solution should be a low concentration – you don’t want to damage the plants or lawn. • Pour the solution into the entrance of the mole cricket’s burrow. Wait a few minutes – the crickets should start

to come up to the surface as they gasp for air. Collect the crickets and kill them.

Another more humane alternative is to use an organic garlic mixture to chase them away. The ingredients are as follows:• Mix 4 oz. of fresh, finely diced or pulverized garlic, 1 qt. of water, & 1 tbsp. of liquid dish detergent in a large glass container. • Let this sit & rest together after mixing for about an hour. • Strain through a fine sieve or a bit of cheesecloth into a tightly lidded glass jar. • Keep this in your refrigerator. It will keep for up to 6 weeks. • To apply to your yard, mix 1 part of this garlic solution to 10 parts water & spray on affected areas.



Easily Overlooked Home Security Measures

ome security is paramount to your safety and that of your valuable material possessions. Home invasions have become increasingly popular over the last few years and with crime on the upsurge it is important to find ways to curb it. We know the basics of home security, but are we as vigilant as we need to be? Here are some commonly overlooked home security issues. Monitor Landscaping Shrubs, bushes and trees can make any home look spectacular, but they also serve as great hiding places for burglars and thieves as they look for a place to rob. To make matters worse, the closer the bushes and trees are to the home, the better hiding places they make, and this is exactly where most people keep their large plants. It’s best to trim nearby tree branches and cut shrubs to only a few feet above the ground to reduce the security risk. Also, monitor the trees outside your upstairs window or porch. Homeown6

property. Residents going on vacation provide some of the best opportunities for burglars. Most post offices will hold your mail for up to 30 days.

ers often pay less attention to upstairs security, figuring that anything above ground level is inaccessible. But if there’s a tall tree close by, a burglar can scale it to break in through the upstairs. Keep trees that are close to your house trimmed, don’t leave ladders around in your yard, and install window pins on upstairs windows. Don’t Let Items Accumulate In Your Yard One of the quickest indicators that a home is vacant is the

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presence of packages or notes outside the house. Let your neighbors know that you appreciate their gifts and reminders, but would prefer to get them in person. For packages being delivered to your home, ask neighbors to take them off your doorstep and pick them up later. If this is not possible, consider constructing a simple box for your packages to be dropped off in. If you’re traveling, have the post office hold your packages and mail so that it does not accumulate on your

Maintain Detection Units Make sure that all alarms and detection units are checked and properly maintained. Teach your kids how to use the fire extinguishers if they are old enough to carry or hold one. Let them know how to behave in case of emergencies and show them what to do. Schedule a regular fire or earthquake drill, if possible, so that all of you are prepared in case of emergency. Don’t Advertise Your Goods The best way to keep a burglar out of your home is to ensure no one can see inside. Be sure and shade your windows with window frosting, tint or thick drapes. You can find these things at hardwares or home design stores. Also, do not keep your door open long enough for people to get an idea of what you own.

home office

Regular Retirement Mistakes


etirement is looked forward to by many and for others it is quite scary. No matter the case it can unearth some financial issues you hadn’t prepared for. It wise to properly plan for retirement to avoid these mistakes.

may be, unforeseen items are just that, so setting aside some emergency funds to help with the unforeseen is an important thing to do. Retirement plans should not be based on exhausting every resource that might be available over our expected lives.

Not Expecting the Unexpected Unforeseen circumstances come into everyone's life. Of course, the greatest may be living beyond the life-expectancy we had at the time we retired from work. Other unforeseen things often come from family deaths, disabilities, Alzheimer's and strokes. More common are large uninsured medical costs, particularly dental, vision and hearing problems — areas with little insurance coverage. Some come from having retired too early thereby having fewer years to save and more years to fund in retirement. No matter how well thought out your plans for the future

Personal economics For various reasons, many retirees have lots less money than they had originally planned whether brought on by insufficient investment knowledge, inflation, market failures, inadequate health insurance, unforeseen expenses or simply living beyond their means. Several report having difficulty learning to live on a lot less money. Debts carried over into retirement or incurred in retirement exacerbate their difficulties. There are tools to help avoid problems in personal economics. It's fundamental to learn to budget. That budget has to fit within a long-term numerical forecast that doesn't exhaust


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funds long before both spouses have died. At least a one-time objective review by a professional planner not only will help a novice but also those who fancy themselves as experts. Before a serious medical procedure, a second opinion is often sought. Perhaps it's even more important before retiring to get a second opinion on financial matters as well as wills, longterm-care, insurance and endof-life considerations. Family Concerns It's hard to find an elderly retiree who didn't need to financially help a relative at some point. Initially it may have been parents of either or both spouses. Later it may be older children who got into a bind because they didn't have health insurance or went through a divorce or lost a job. Some have returned to live with retired parents adding another mouth to feed or even more if grandchildren come as well. Numerous retirees move to

be near a daughter or son, partly because of a desire to be close and partly because they may need physical help from them eventually. That has turned out to be a major mistake in many instances because the daughter or son eventually decided to move again, leaving the parents with few nearby friends as well as resources depleted by moving. Then, there is the issue of deaths. Some retirees failed to make good choices for survivor options, not recognizing that a large percentage of survivors are female and will live a decade or more after the primary earner dies. Others left the survivor and executor with an incredible amount of work because of a poorly drafted or overly complex will, no directions where to locate important financial and legal documents, and not even a hint as to how to distribute personal property or even to find the information to fill out income and estate tax forms.

elegant ideas

Cozy Kitchen Interiors And Islands

Pastel colours suit this cozy kitchen with matching island well w w w . a m g tt. c o m

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elegant ideas

This classically styled kitchen interior features the right combination of wood and stone 12

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elegant ideas

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elegant ideas


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elegant ideas

This spacious kitchen’s island doubles as a dining space

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Cooking With Coconut Oil


everal chefs and health practitioners including Doctor Oz have spoken highly of the effects of including coconut oil in the diet. A few years ago this was not the case. Coconut oil was much maligned for its fat content. However, research has revealed that the fats found in coconut oil are the good kind. With that in mind, here are some tips for incorporating coconut oil into your diet. Coconut Oil Coffee - Adding a spoonful to your coffee is a delicious way to start your day with a huge energy boost! Here is a great recipe for coconut oil coffee. Oven Baked Sweet Potato Chips - Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Thinly slice sweet potatoes to about 1/8” thick. Place slices on a baking sheet and brush lightly with coconut oil. Bake for about 15 minutes or until chips are lightly brown. 16

Add salt to taste, and serve with salsa or dip. (Or just eat them plain – either way they’re delicious On Toast Instead of Butter Simply use coconut oil instead of butter on your toast. Popping Popcorn - A sweet twist on a classic snack! To make

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stovetop popcorn, you need a heavy-bottomed pan. First, add the coconut oil and popcorn to the pot. Coat the area of the pot with the oil, and use just enough popcorn to make a single layer over the bottom of the pot. Give the pot a little shake to make sure all of the kernels are coated with oil. Next, place the pot over medium heat. Put

the lid on the pot, leaving it slightly open so that steam can escape. It should take about five minutes for the popcorn to pop completely. Safe at High Heat - Some oils (such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil) are unsafe to cook with at high temperatures, coconut oil is a great alternative.


Lovely Low-Carb Dishes


ealthy eating seems to be the newest food trend and by golly we’re glad to say that. A good diet is essential to your health and fitness goals when coupled with a strong exercise regimen. Here, we share some great low carbohydrate recipes that are delicious as well.

Mashed Cauliflower Ingredients 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon seasoned salt Directions Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook cauliflower in boiling water until tender, about 6 minutes; drain. Pat cauliflower dry with paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible. Blend cauliflower, cream cheese, garlic, and seasoned salt in a food processor until mostly smooth

Low Carb Chinese Style Meatballs Ingredients 2 pounds ground pork 3 large eggs 1/2 cup soy sauce, or to taste 1/2 cup thinly sliced green on18

1 red onion, thinly sliced 1 teaspoon dried tarragon Salt and pepper to taste

ions 3 cloves garlic, minced 1teaspoon ground ginger Directions Combine ground pork, eggs, soy sauce, green onions, garlic, and ginger in a large mixing bowl; using gloves, mix together with your hands until all ingredients are incorporated well. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator 1 to 2 hours. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Using a 1-teaspoon cookie scoop or a teaspoon, form pork mixture into small meatballs. Cook meatballs in small batches in boiling water until they float to the top and stay there for 3 minutes. Remove cooked meatballs from water with a slotted spoon.

Dijon Garlic Salmon Ingredients 4 (6 ounce) salmon fillets 1/3 cup Dijon mustard 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced

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Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray. Arrange the salmon skin side down in the prepared pan, and lightly coat with the Dijon mustard. Place the garlic and onion slices on the salmon fillets. Season with tarragon, salt, and pepper. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until salmon is easily flaked with a fork.

Orange and Rosemary Baked Olives Ingredients 3 1/2 cups whole mixed olives, drained 1/4 cup dry white wine 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 sprigs fresh rosemary 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano 4 teaspoons grated orange zest 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes Directions Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Stir the olives

together with the wine, orange juice, olive oil, and garlic in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Nestle the sprigs of rosemary in the olives. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through the baking. Remove and discard the rosemary sprigs, then stir in the parsley, oregano, orange zest, and red pepper flakes. Serve warm, or cool the olives and use them to top a salad.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Smoothie Ingredients 1 cup unsweetened almond milk 2 cups ice 2 tablespoons unsweetened natural peanut butter 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 1 scoop vanilla-flavored whey protein powder 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 (1 gram) packets stevia powder Directions Pour almond milk into a blender and add ice, peanut butter, cocoa powder, whey powder, cream, vanilla extract, and stevia powder to blender in that order. Blend until smooth and pour into glasses.


Do You Think You’ll Get Divorced?


Explore the Probability Here

ou’ve met your mate and in all your smitten glory decided to take the plunge. Now that you are newly hitched you might want to look at your chances of staying hitched and the factors that may lead to divorce. Answer this quiz and see where you stand. 1. Is the husband 9 or more years older than the wife or is the husband 2 or more years younger than the wife? a. Yes b. No 2. How old were you (would you be) at marriage? a. 25 or less age b. 26 to middle age 3. Were the husband's and/or wife's parents separated or divorced? a. Yes b. No 4. Did you live together (cohabit) before marriage? a. Yes b. No 5. Do either or both of you smoke? a. Yes b. No 6. Do either or both husband and wife consume 3 or more alcoholic drinks per day? a. Yes b. No 7. Is this a second or more marriage for either or both husband and wife? a. Yes b. No 8. Were there children before this marriage? That includes children from a previous relationship and children from this relationship born before marriage. a. Yes b. No 9. Do the husband and wife strongly disagree on the number of children to have?


a. Yes b. No 10. Is religion important to both husband and wife? a. Yes b. No 11. Is the couple poor and just getting by financially? a. Yes b. No Here is a look at the riskier answers you may have chosen and why. 1. The less risky answer is b. If a husband is nine or more years older than his wife or two or more years younger, the chance that they will become divorced is twice that of those who are closer in age. This is thought to be due to differences in individual values and a power imbalance within the relationship. 2. The less risky answer is b: Early marriages are more likely to end in divorce. It is thought that this is due to less time in finding an ideal match, relatively undeveloped interpersonal skills such as communication and problem solving, and fewer financial resources. Late marriages, especially for women nearing the end of their child-bearing years, may be more rushed and the woman may settle for less than an ideal partner from a smaller pool of candidates. That smaller pool of candidates makes it difficult for both older men and women thus increasing the risk of divorce. 3. The less risky answer is b: The research indicates that if either or both the husband’s or wife’s parents are separated or divorced there is a 60% higher likelihood of divorce for this couple than if their parents did not. This is thought to be due to a learned feeling that divorce is normal. Further the children of divorce may have interpersonal relationship styles that are not supportive of marital happiness. 4. The less risky answer is b. Numerous studies have shown that cohabitation before marriage is predictive of a greater probability of divorce. There are two primary

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reasons given for this: 1. Living together creates or strengthens a belief that marriage is not sacred or inviolate (unbreakable). 2. People whose beliefs and traits lead them to live together are also more likely to divorce because of those same beliefs and traits – which are not supportive of a good marriage. For example, a casual attitude about relationships in general could lead to living together and that same casual attitude could lead to divorce. 5. The less risky answer is b. If only one half of the couple smokes the chance of divorce is increased by almost double. If both smoke the chance of divorce is increased by almost 2.4 times more than if neither smokes. One theory is that people who smoke are more likely to indulge in risky practices and are more likely to choose to end a marriage. Others theorize that people who smoke are more likely to be socially or economically disadvantaged and they are the same people who are at a higher risk for marital instability. 6. The less risky answer is b. Drinking more than two drinks per day is associated with a higher risk of divorce. If both drink three or more per day they have almost twice the risk of divorce than if neither drinks to excess. If the wife drinks three or more and the husband 2 or more the risk of divorce is almost 60% higher than if neither drinks to excess. Three reasons are offered: 1. Heavy drinkers may not make good choices of a spouse, 2. Alcohol gets in the way of being a good spouse, 3. If one partner anticipates the other will quit drinking and they don’t, that partner may choose to end the marriage. 7. The less risky answer is b. Second (plus) marriages for both husband and wife are about twice as likely to end in divorce as a couple who are both getting married for the first time. A first marriage for the husband and second (plus) for the wife is about 40% more likely to end in divorce than first marriages. A first marriage for the wife and second (plus) for the husband is about 15% more likely to end in divorce. Four reasons are

proposed: 1.The same individual problems that caused the first divorce are still present, 2. Children and baggage from the first relationship complicate the second, 3. It’s harder to find a good match after divorce; 4. Having been burned by divorce may make it harder for a person to commit in a later relationship. 8. The risk factor is less for b. The presence of step-children may bring about stress and conflict that complicates relationships and tends to lead to higher divorce rates. Marriages that occur as the result of a child conceived before marriage are less likely to be stable. Children, in general, may stabilize or destabilize a relationship depending on other factors including attitudes toward parental responsibilities. 9. The less risky answer is b. Two people who disagree strongly on how many children to have can be as much as 60% more likely to divorce than a couple who agree. This is especially true if the wife wants fewer children than the husband but any strong disagreement between them about how many children to have tends to contribute to divorce. 10. The safer answer is a. Couples that share a strong religious belief tend to be less likely to divorce than those couples for whom religion is unimportant to both parties. It is thought that the general religious teachings of the importance of marriage tend to hold relationships together. The bond is strongest when both share these beliefs and somewhat weaker when only one holds those beliefs. 11. A poses a bigger risk factor. The pressures caused by minimal financial resources can make it difficult to create and maintain marriages. The research results are mixed but when both husband and wife are poor the chance of divorce appears to be about 80% higher than for couples with both husband and wife comfortable to prosperous. The risk is about 70% higher when the husband is poor and the wife is comfortable to prosperous. This financial imbalance creates stress on the marriage.

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Dealing With An Insecure Partner


nsecurity can destroy a relationship fast. Don’t get caught up in a spousal battle trying to deal with the effects of insecurity. Nip it in the bud with these tips. Don’t be Flirtatious If your spouse is very insecure, it is important that you not flirt in front of them, even if the flirting is harmless. Your flirting will make them uncomfortable, and they will want to control you more. There are times when friends of the opposite sex call, and you will see your spouse burning up. You could avoid such a situation by introducing your spouse to your friends and facilitate a good rapport between them. If your friends are also friends of your spouse, then he/she is less likely to be angry when you talk to them. Examine the Past Insecurities may stem from bad relationships in the past and they may be taking it out on you. Although it may be tough for you to hear, ask about past relationships and what went 22

wrong. If someone cheated on your spouse in the past, it may be affecting his/her new relationship with you. Reassure your mate that you are nothing like their exes and you'd never do that to them. If anything, share a tale of past woe where the same thing happened to you. Realizing you've both been hurt by someone in the past can bring you closer together and let each other know that because it happened to you, you'd never do that to someone else. Stop 'mind reading' Constantly wondering what your partner is thinking is a quick route to anxiety. If they say one thing don't assume they mean another. If they say nothing don't assume that their silence is significant, either. Many men relax by not talking. Constantly wondering and asking what someone is thinking is a dead end because even if they do tell, would you believe them anyway? ‘Mind reading' happens when we assume we know what someone is thinking when we don't. When you stop doing it,

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it. If something's bothering you, tell your partner directly.

you really begin to respect someone's privacy because everyone deserves the right to have space to think their own thoughts. Constantly asking, "What are you thinking?" can make someone want to withdraw further.

Look Within Assess yourself to ensure that you are not contributing to your partner's insecurities. Examine yourself for certain behaviors, such as flirting, failing to deliver on promises, or embarrassing each other in public. You might be doing these things unknowingly and as such, not even realize that you might be a cause of your partner's insecurities. Make changes in your behavior to ensure that any feelings of distrust your partner has do not result from the way you act. For example, call when you know you will be late and avoid talking about your past relationships in your spouse’s presence.

Ease off the Analysis Avoid the temptation to endlessly analyze details. If he wears the shirt his ex-girlfriend bought him, it may just mean that it's the only clean white shirt he has that day. Ultimately, if it’s a problem, don’t hesitate to be straight up and deal with

Set Some Ground Rules At The Beginning If you both agree that Friday is the night for hanging out with your friends separately, it won't be a conflict when he wants to play poker or you want to take a short road trip with some girlfriends.



2014 Summer Fashion Trends


Nose Hair Removal

hen men near the age of 30, they may begin to notice unwanted whiskers protruding from their nose. As you begin to age, your nose hairs will become thicker. This can be very embarrassing, making you selfconscious and removing them becomes a priority. There is a common myth that removing nasal hair makes it grow back thicker or faster – this simply isn't true. However, one thing to be aware of before removing nose hair is that hair in this area does actually play an important part in the body's defence system against particles that could potentially cause problems within the respiratory system, and many doctors recommend leaving the hair in place. So bear this in mind; it may be a better idea to trim only protruding nose hair if it is really bothering you, but do not be too obsessive about eliminating every hair you can find. Clean your nose. Before removing nose hairs, make sure

your nostrils are clean for easier removal. It is difficult to trim hairs that are hard or stuck together with dirt. At this time, you should also separate any nose hairs that you have with a damp cloth. Remove your nose hairs in a well-lit area. For the safest removal, it is important that you have the proper lighting to be sure that you can clearly see what you are trimming. This will greatly reduce the chance of hurting yourself. Stand in front of a magnifying mirror. This will give you a close-up view of the area you are trimming, reducing the chance of injury, and make trimming a much easier task. Tilt your head back and lift your nostril. This will give you a better view so that you trim the right amount of hair off. Turn on the nose hair trimmers and insert into nostril. Start by trimming those hairs that are sticking out of your nose first, and then work your way in.

ummer fashion is pure, unadulterated fun. It's a carefree season where everything and everyone is infinitely more relaxed and as clothes become lighter and brighter, it is a given fact that our spirits soar, too. Here are some 2014 fashion trends to keep in mind as you hit the mall or shop online for your new wardrobe. Color your wardrobe Color always plays an important part in each season's offerings, and is an especially key fashion trend for summer 2014. Standout colours can make even the most basic silhouette come alive. Balance tart candy colors like hot pink, electric blue, vibrant yellow and tangerine with the lushest grays, and use splashes of coral, purple and tangerine to create a wardrobe in full bloom. Also in this season are soft, powdery hues like sky blue, apricot, silver and earthy putty. Feminine yet Functional Another hot trend is the addition of feminine details to functional pieces. An example of this would be simple Tshirts, sweatsuits and loungewear that are tailored to flatter a woman's curves. Think basic pieces dressed up with girlie w w w . a m g tt. c o m

details, like a simple white or black tank top accented with a tiny satin bow or lace trim. Going to the gym? Try sporting a pair of pink athletic shoes that are supportive and comfortable for your feet yet trendy at the same time. Thanks to innovative designers, today's woman can get the performance from her apparel that she needs as well as the feminine details that she wants. It's truly the best of both worlds. Romantic Elegance On the other end of the spectrum is a look that's still oldfashioned yet updated enough for today's woman. Victorianinspired touches are popping up everywhere, from jewelry to apparel. Try pairing a sleek, modern blazer with a lacy white blouse. Or, add a cameo brooch to any jacket for a little romance. A strand of pearls is the perfect way to incorporate this trend into any outfit, from casual to formal. The perfect addition to any Victorian inspired look is an upswept hairstyle secured with bejeweled combs or pins. For this trend, keep makeup feminine and light with soft pink cheeks and neutral eyes and lips. A sheer gloss in a soft pink or nude shade is preferable to heavy lipstick. JUNE 2014




home gym

Are You Considering Herbal Medicine?


hese days there are just as many advertisements promoting herbal medicine as there are ads from the major pharmaceutical companies. Herbal medicines have grown in popularity in recent years and it got us thinking. What’s all the fuss about herbal medication as opposed to conventional medicine? Here are some benefits of herbal medication. Availability is one of the key factors in a person’s decision to use herbal medicine. Due to the lack of processing, they can be found almost anywhere. Some herbs can be bought at the market once you know what dosage you need to alleviate your symptom. Plus, herbal medicines can be consumed without the aid of any kind of prescription. Also, herbal medicines are very cheap in comparison to the conventional form of medication. It’s something which every pocket can afford, unlike other forms of medication which can create a big hole in your wallet. In addition, herbs and essences can be used on a short term or long term basis. They are gentle and non addictive which makes them very attractive for people suffering from lifetime genetic and stress conditions. Other benefits of using herbs are: • The way in which they work with the body’s own physi-


ological processes. • The option of adjusting the strength of the remedy to suit the needs of the individual. • They have an excellent safety record when used appropriately and often lead to fewer, and less severe, side effects than conventional medicines. • They can be safely self-administered in minor conditions. • Many can be taken long term in low doses with no known adverse effects. • As the remedies are natural products, in most cases they can be considered renewable resources. • When sourced organically they can have a positive impact on the environment. • They are not embroiled in the same controversial politics that pharmaceuticals are. • Many herbs also have nutritional value. Please note, that there are also some drawbacks to using herbal remedies. There can be uncertainty about their exact makeup. Some herbal remedies are composed of rather harmful ingredients that can bring on unpleasant side effects. Not everything "herbal" is as natural, as some people might think so it is important to know exactly what you're consuming, usually, herbal medicines don't readily provide that information.

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Call To Arms For An Explosive Workout


etting toned arms can be a difficult task for some, largely because of their genes. However, getting more muscular arms is not mission impossible. Smart training will go a long way in giving you the look you desire. Several factors come into play for the best results. Make sure you pay attention to diet, rest and recovery; it's not all about what you do in the gym. You have to train your arms, sure, but you need to eat the proper foods after training to maximize your growth. In addition to that, here are three extra arm-toning tips. Increase Your Weight And Decrease The Reps When you weight train do not fall for the misinformation that using light weights with high reps will tone your arms. It won’t. It is an old rumor that should be put to rest. If you want to tone your arms you should gradually begin to use heavier weights with less reps. This is how we grow muscles. Each time you workout you should stress the muscles slightly more than the last by increasing the resistance placed on it. Toning the arms is no dif-

ferent. You need muscle to be able to show it off. Do Not Train Your Arms More than Twice Per Week The arms get a lot of indirect stimulation from compound exercises such as shoulder presses and the bench press, so training them directly could lead to overtraining since they are a small muscle group compared to the body overall. Make sure your training routine is not overdoing it in the arms department! Don’t Overlook the Importance of Stretching You should stretch to make sure your muscle bellies can extend, fill with more blood and grow. Once I plateaued and started stretching my calves, for example, I found that growth in them came a little easier.



Hidden Dangers In Your Garage


s your garage a disaster waiting to happen? Read as we reveal the hidden dangers you and your family may encounter. Chemical clutter People often store pesticides, pool products, automotive fluids, antifreeze, paint, and paint thinner haphazardly all over the garage--sometimes even in old food containers or soda bottles. Harsh chemicals could erode improper containers and leak fumes or liquids that can cause burns, accidental poisoning, respiratory problems, and fire hazards. Troublesome toys Shelving toys or sports gear near liquid chemicals (cleaning or automotive products, for example) ups the odds that kids will be exposed to harmful toxins. Storing them up high may encourage youngsters to stand on unsteady boxes or climb to get to them. Silent detector This garage has a smoke detector, but it's no good unless its batteries are checked at least twice a year. Leaning ladders This may seem like the obvious way to store a ladder, but when 26

Fun Games For You And Your Dog


lay-time with your dog is a very important part of your dog’s developmental process. Playing games with your dog can also be a form of communication and a way for both parties to gain respect for each other. It also helps develop their social skills in order to maintain strong healthy relationships. There are several games that can help build a happy union between you and your dog, but here are some options for adding a variety to playtime.


it's placed vertically, it can tip in an instant, damaging your car-or hitting a passerby. Plus, its climbable position may tempt children to scramble up or play on the rungs. Ineffective lighting With tight spaces and lots of tripping hazards, a garage should really be the brightest room in the house. However, the sad truth is that most garages have only one dim fixture in the center of the room. The wrong electrical cords A regular household extension cord isn't heavy-duty enough to be used outdoors or in the garage, where damp concrete floors increase your risk of electrical shock.

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Flirt pole- This exercise teaches dogs commands, as it is used to raise the prey drive in dogs. It is especially helpful for hunting dogs. You can purchase a flirt pole online or manually make a substitute at home. A flirt pole is basically a stick or handle with a long string or rope at the end of it, and there a toy attached to the end of the rope. You extend the rope in various directions, causing the dog to chase after it. This is a fun game since the dog gets a good work-out without you having to over-exert yourself.


Ball games- There are a variety of ball games that you can play with your

dog: i) Catch- Throw a ball to your dog and allow it to catch it. Ensure that the ball is small enough to fit in its mouth, but not so small it can be swallowed.

ii) Soccer- Kick the ball towards the dog and allow the dog to retrieve it. Once it does, allow the dog to play with the ball for a while, then take it and repeat the process. iii) Fetch- this is the ideal command game as it teaches obedience and allows the dog to identify you as its leader. Throw the ball towards your dog allowing the dog to bring it back to you. This game should be played only with dogs that have been taught basic commands such as ‘drop’, ‘sit’ or ‘catch’.


Find the treat- this game is also for dogs that have been taught basic commands. Give your dog the ‘down’ or ‘stay’ position. Then hide treats around the house and tell your dog to find it. This teaches the dog about rewards for good behavior, as with every find, he gets a treat.


Hide and Seek- Yes this game can be played with dogs. You put the dog on the ‘sit down’ command while you hide. Call its name several times until it finds you.



Reducing Vacation Travel Costs

ravel is a great pastime for some and for others it’s just a way to get from point A to point B. Whatever your reason for flying, your airfare should not cost you an arm and a leg. It is important to know the tricks to getting cheaper airfare. After all, every buck counts in this economic recession. Avoid peak travel times If you can be flexible about your travel time, there's a much better chance of making really great savings. Airlines cash in on the busiest times of the year for different destinations. Coming to Trinidad for Carnival would run your bill considerably higher than if you came around May. Likewise, holidays and special event days around the globe are peak travel times and prices would be higher if you choose to travel then. Shop Around No matter how good it sounds, you should never book the first fare you see. Start your search by checking a few of the major online travel providers, like Travelocity.com, aggregator sites like TripAdvisor Flights or consolidators like CheapTickets.com. Airfarewatchdog is another good source of low fares. Checking these sites will give you a preliminary idea of which


airlines fly your particular itinerary, what the going rate is and what restrictions might apply. Armed with this information, you can head directly to the airline Web site to see if the same flights are any cheaper (some airlines guarantee to offer the lowest possible fares on their own Web sites). While you're there, check to see if the airline is running any sales or promotions to your destination. Use Your Benefits Why pay a fare at all when you can use your frequent flier miles? Although redeeming miles has become more difficult in recent years, it's still a good option to consider, particularly if you're booking early; airlines designate a very limited number of seats on each flight as eligible for award travel, and these seats go quickly. Buy a travel package, even if you don't need it Travel sites are brimming with

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vacation packages offering cutrate hotel stays and car rentals. But if you're the type to skip over these packages without a glance, then maybe you should give them a closer look. The packages are sometimes cheaper than the airfare alone, (especially for last -minute sales where the airline is just trying to fill seats). You may not need the rental car, so just leave it. Things may still work out to be cheaper.

more. Be sure to keep an eye open for that and ask questions. Use a travel agent Travel agents can still find the cheapest flight for you so let them do the work. Online travel sites and doing your own research makes searching for flights easier. However, travel agents may have deals and packages that you won’t find online. Just ask all the right questions and make sure to get written guarantees to back up their claims.

Take a Long Look at Budget Carriers Budget carriers do business in a way you might not like. They sometimes charge more for heavy baggage or an in-flight snack. On occasion, they use remote, small airports. Most times, they do not fly direct. But if you can put up with the quirks, you can find real savings. There are several bargain options to consider and by the time you have spent a day at your destination, you will have forgotten the flight.

Book your flight Wednesday mornings Cheap flights are often found Wednesday mornings when airlines release available seats for the next two weekends; right after the 2 busiest booking days, Monday and Tuesday. Airlines usually update their computer systems Tuesday evenings, so you’ll find cheap flights on Wednesday mornings. Also remember to clear the cookies on your computer from previous searches.

Monitor Your Length of Stay The length of your trip can affect your ticket price. If you are planning a long trip that reaches beyond the maximum stay of a very discounted ticket, you will likely fork over more money for your air travels. Sometimes, one day extra may cost you a lot

Book early You can purchase advanceticket discounts by reserving 21 days ahead; book even earlier for holiday flights, especially in December. Keep in mind that holiday 'blackout periods' may prevent you from using frequent-flier miles.

Abstract Home Is Published By Abstract Media Group, Premium Commercial Complex, San Juan, Trinidad, W.I. • Tel: (868) 638 1156/9 • Fax: (868) 638 1160. Printed By The Office Authority - Printing Division And Distributed By AMG