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LIVING QUARTERS 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.


hristmas cleaning is probably the most dreaded part of the Christmas period. However, it is one of the most necessary parts of the process for getting the perfect finished look. This is a great guide to going about your Christmas prep. Fix For A First Impression Anyone who comes over to celebrate or drop in with gifts has to come in through your entry way, so make a good impression here and it’ll have a knock-on effect throughout your house. It doesn’t need to be clean enough to eat off, just neat and tidy, so even 5 minutes spare will do the trick. Remove all cobwebs with a flat mop or broom and quickly wipe down dusty surfaces on the door and any windowsills with an all-purpose cloth. For an extra welcome, hang a wreath on the door by fixing the hook to the top of the inside of the door and attaching the wreath using a ribbon. Work On Walls Whether from greasy hair behind sofas or handprints near light switches, dubious stains on your walls need to be removed. Most stains will wash off painted walls, or if it simply won’t shift, you can always paint over the offending area. Wallpaper is potentially trickier, as you would have to re-paper at least one drop, but many papers are wipeable. Remember to vacuum the wall before washing it, so you don’t add a great dirty smear to the existing problem.

Make Christmas Prep

Great Again

Destroy Dirty Scents Most unsavoury scents emanate from the kitchen. The sink and dishwasher are the most common culprits. In order to freshen up the dishwasher, there is a nice tip that can do the trick perfectly. Run a cupful of clear vinegar through a cycle of the dish-

washer (empty and without detergent). It'll remove grease, limescale and soap scum, leaving it clean and fresh. Wipe around the door seals and hinges with the vinegar. While you're at it, do the spray arms: food and lime scale can get clogged in the jets. Most can be unscrewed and removed for cleaning; wash in hot soapy water and give them a scrub with a nylon brush. Empty the filter and wash in hot soapy water. Now place half a spent lemon on the top rack before turning on. Similarly, you can clean smelly sinks with vinegar. Slowly pour some baking soda followed by vinegar down the drain. When that is done, pour some boiling hot water down the drain. w w w . a m g tt. c o m

No Dirty Decorations A few days before you start your Christmas decorations, bring all of it down and check if the lights work and there are no broken decorations. If needed, you still have time to dash to the shops to buy some more decorations. Before you spread dust all over your house try cleaning and dusting your decorations first. Spread a sheet on a large table and inspect your ornaments, garlands, and lights for dirt. Take a little time now to clean them up and spare your home and guest a whole lot of exposure to dust! Most decorations are very delicate, so take your time and clean them carefully. Tenderly clean each piece one by one. Lightly brush intricate ornaments with a soft bristle artist’s brush to remove dust and dirt without damaging them.





Give Your Home A Tech Upgrade


hough it is constantly changing and improving, technology is a constant part of life. In fact, every home has some form of technology or other in it. However, there are some advancements that need to be added to every home to optimize your comfort. Forget the basics like computers. Here are some technological musthaves for your home. Security systems. Motion detection lights and 360 degree cameras are a must for any home’s security. Trust us, even your scary pit-bull isn’t scary enough to a burglar or predator who is desperate enough. New systems can protect a home while the owner is away by taking a snapshot of light usage in the house over a period of two weeks, then mimicking the series while the owner is out of town. For those with real ‘moola’, some security sys2

tems can completely shut down the house and lock a burglar inside until the cops come. Others offer panic rooms for you and your family to hide out until the nightmare is over. Gaming rooms Think out of the box. It’s not just the usual table tennis setup anymore. Video-game spaces have become increasingly common in a home, and are often set up around more traditional

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games, such as a billiard table. Space needs to be allocated to facilitate modern gaming since video games have pretty much become an active sport. No more sedentary zoiding, virtual reality and full motion gaming is the in thing. Universal Media Systems Media systems can be centrally located to feed content – games, movies, music, Internet service – to other rooms. Bluetooth

technology has made that possible. You can control everything from the sound on your entertainment system to the outside gate with one central remote. Interconnectivity is key to comfort in the modern world. See the difference a great home theatre system with all the amenities in one can make to your home. A good intercom is also a must. No need to shout to the family to come to dinner when you can easily buzz them down. Sleep Tech The benefits of a good night’s sleep cannot be overstated. New advancements in materials and design have made beds as much a part of technology as a cordless phone. Now you have mattresses that remember your sleep patterns and adjust to suit. There are beds that allow two people to lie next to each other without disturbing each other. It’s nothing but pure comfort.


Keeping Your Computer In Top Shape


veryone and their grandmother’s great aunt has a personal computer these days. While it says a lot for the technological literacy of mankind, most know very little about the general upkeep of their treasured devices. Here are six tips to maintaining your pc properly.


Be certain to have good antivirus software installed in your computer and make sure that it is always updated. Viruses are among the primary reasons behind computer failure. A complete virus scan should be performed frequently. Avoid visiting websites that are thought to be plagued with malicious software. Do not open e-mails from senders who look shady, they could contain lethal malicious software that can put your system at risk.


Regularly get updates for your operating system and other critical


software. Some software does not offer automatic updates so it is recommended to regularly check with their site and download and install updates by hand.


Uninstall programs that you do not use. These programs occupy space in your hard disk. The more space you have in your hard disk the speedier your computer runs.


Always run your computer on a UPS. Sudden electric powers are dan-

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gerous to your personal computer.


If you are familiar with the interior of the tower case, physically clean your computer. Remove dust that may gather in the housing with fabric or vacuum. Take care not to hurt any part though.


Defragment your disk continually. Defragmenting your disk once in every 2 or 3 months is a good

way to make certain that your personal computer stays in first-class condition. Fragmentation occurs when your computer’s operating system fails to allocate enough contiguous space to store a total file as a unit and instead places parts of it in gaps between other files. To explain this, let us compare it to a library where some users don’t return the books to the proper place after they read them. The books in the library are prepared in a way that would make it straightforward to locate any especially book simply. If many books are now not in their correct places it would most likely take longer to find them. Windows XP and Vista have their own built-in defragmenting software but they are terribly slow. There is good defragmentation software that can do the job in a fraction of the time it would most likely take for the Windows default defragmenter to finish.


Treat Your Washer Right


ong gone are the days of ‘jooking board’ and ‘river stone’ washes. Now, pretty much every home has a washing machine. This device is not as cherished as it should be until it stops working of course. Trust when we say you don’t want it to stop working. To keep your machine it tiptop shape, follow these regular maintenance tips. The Exterior Rust and other forms of deterioration can become an issue if your washer has either a painted steel or porcelain-coated steel cabinet. It's perfectly safe to use a little dish detergent and a damp rag to clean all of its surfaces. If the surface is porcelain, you can even use a little non-abrasive cleanser for stubborn stains. Clean the knobs and dials as well and make sure you can read all the dials well. It's a good preventive main6

tenance practice to check the hoses from time to time for any sign of wear or weakness. Often there's a small blister in the rubber of the hose, which could rupture. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the hoses every 5 years. The Interior To clean the washing machine yourself, add two cups of white vinegar to an empty hot water cycle. Soak the bleach and fabric softener containers in hot

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water, replace them, then run another hot water cycle to rinse. Be sure to remove lint from the machine as well. Most washing machines collect lint during the wash cycle and send it down the drain during the drain cycle. However, certain brands collect lint in the center tube of the agitator. You need to lift out that tube and clean it periodically. Other machines have a lint filter near the top of the tub, which you need to slide out, clean off, and reinsert.

Bonus Maintenance Tips Avoid overloading a washing machine. Too much weight disturbs its balance, which can lead to costly repairs. Instead, try washing a load more frequently to avoid pileups. Monitor how you add your laundry detergent amounts. Too much causes buildup and odors, plus excess soap won’t rinse out thoroughly. It is advised to dissolve detergent in warm water, then switch to cold water if a cold cycle is preferred.


The Most Valued Employee Traits


mployers around the globe will tell you how hard it is to find loyal, committed workers who espouse all that their organization aspires to be. Not everyone has the personality to be the perfect worker. However, with some training and the right knowledge of what is required, you can be the right guy for the job. Here are some of the traits employers value most in employees. No one can competently fulfill their job duties without the requisite job knowledge. However, what many employers are looking for is not just the job knowledge, but overall business acumen. This commercial awareness is important as it opens workers up to what is going on from an entire industry perspective. They would now know the ins and outs of how a business or industry works and what makes a company tick. This will show that you have an understanding of what the organization wants to achieve through its products and ser-


vices, and how it competes in its marketplace. A good worker is self-motivated and possesses a high level of stick-to-itiveness. Everyone hates Mondays, but the worker who can attack his duties on a Monday morning with vigor will be cherished. Better yet, when things go a bit off-kilter, workers who persevere to ensure the ship is righted are hard to find. You want to be one of those rare workers. While some bosses may be overly bossy and aggressive, note that slavery was abolished so an employer or manager should not have to stand over you with a whip to make you work and better yet, perform. Instead, a worker should be conscientious. Make sure you pay attention to the details. Spelling and grammatical errors, lost and misplaced files, or general disorganization have the potential to make or break you. In order to gain a boss' confidence, employees must be willing to go above and beyond what is typically required of them on

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the job. Employees who take on projects that fall outside their normal responsibilities can expand their skill set and explore new avenues for professional growth. While you may not always have the time to volunteer for an extra assignment, passing on every opportunity will prevent you from being viewed by your manager as a go-to person in the department. Time management is another quality that those in HR value. Your ability to manage time is a testament to your organizational skills and it also speaks to your problem-solving ability. Do you prioritize? How efficient are you? An employer judges your performance based on how focused you are on getting the job done. Productivity is directly related to time. Going back to the issue of problem-solving, it is good to show that you can approach problems from different angles while showing a propensity for being logical and analytical. If you can adequately solve problems and

manage time it will greatly impact how well you work under pressure. In today's workplace, communication is the skill of utmost importance. You must have communication skills that allow you to succinctly and effectively contribute your thoughts. An effective communicator leaves no room for error and can exhibit thoughts in a direct manner. These are attributes that are seldom overlooked by employers. Good communication includes articulating well, being a good listener and using appropriate body language. If you are not a team player, you will find it hard to assimilate into the world of work. Good workers can take on responsibility as well as manage and delegate to others. It doesn’t mean you need to constantly work as part of a group. It is a trait which is more reflective of your ability to build positive working relationships that help everyone to achieve goals and business objectives.


Bring Your Boxing Day Nuptials To Life

Touches of rich gold will add holiday splendor and soul to your reception space

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A touch of blue can be the right hue to take your plain Christmas décor up a notch


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An all-white outdoor wedding could be the white Christmas you dreamed about

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Tips For Dishwashing By Hand


ashing dishes by hand is not really a very complex task, just slightly tedious. It may be less tedious to many of us in T&T since we don’t have a ‘dishwasher’ culture and we are accustomed to hand-washing wares. However, there are some tips to make the job easier and easier is almost always better when it comes to chores. Preparation As with the rest of your kitchen cleaning tasks, the job will be much easier and quicker if you wear rubber gloves. This will be especially helpful because you will be able to use hotter water, and the dishes will be easier to clean. Plus, be sure to use high quality dish detergent along with sponges and scouring pads. 16

The proper tools make for the perfect job. Remove excess food Always get excess food and scraps off before washing anything. Dump scraps in the trash or down the drain if you have a garbage disposal unit. Soak Hell hath no fury like the staying power of baked on food on your pots and pans. Sometimes a soak overnight is required for dishes with caked-on food. Let dishes with caked on food soak in hot water and detergent for a little while before cleaning. In order to reduce soaking time, try dishwasher detergent instead of dishwashing liquid in your pots and pans as they soak. This does a better job of removing grime.

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Scrub Away Generally, dip the thing to be cleaned in the water. Wipe it vigorously while in the water. Remove from the water and examine. If muck remains, rub with sponge, or other utensil, until removed. If the muck is very difficult to get off, fill the item with water. Then use your fingers (not your nails!) and rub the muck off. If that doesn't work, use iron wool. Do not use the back of a sponge, because that will cause morsels of food to stick to the sponge. Rinse thoroughly A dishwasher does the rinsing for you and does it with many jets of water hitting the dishes from all angles. Sine you can't do that by hand, you have to pay more attention to doing a good

rinse job on your dishes. Repeatedly fill clean cups and glasses with water and swirl it around before dumping and refilling again. Soap residue can remain in the bottom of the glass so you have to get enough water running into the glass to get it all out. Dry dishes If you've used the right water temperature, the dishes will dry quickly on their own. In some instances, you may have to use a dish towel. Make sure the towel is clean. Change the towel when it becomes damp. Extra Tip: Dirty Vases, Glass and China: Fill with black tea, vinegar, lemon juice, or coca cola. Let sit for at least an hour before washing.



Colourful Dishes For Your Christmas Dinner Table

here are some staple foods most Trinbagonians cook at Christmas. Hams, pastelles and freshly shelled pigeon peas are some that come to mind. However, you can add a few side options to the mix that are not as common, but very simple and colourful enough to carry forth that Christmas spirit.

baking. Remove the baking dish from the oven, and stir in the wine. Return to the oven, and bake until the wine has mostly evaporated and the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes more. Stir in the beet greens, allowing them to wilt from the heat of the vegetables. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.



Ingredients 1 cup diced, raw beet 4 carrots, diced 1 onion, diced 2 cups diced potatoes 4 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 cup canned channa (chickpeas), drained 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves Salt and pepper to taste 1/3 cup dry white wine 1 cup torn beet greens Directions Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Place the beet, carrot, onion, potatoes, garlic, and garbanzo beans into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Drizzle with the olive oil, then season with thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring once midway through 18

Ingredients Dressing: 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar 2 teaspoons water 1 teaspoon rose water Salt and ground black pepper to taste Directions Salad: 4 large tomatoes, chopped 1 red onion, chopped 1 cucumber, chopped 1 small green bell pepper, chopped 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes Directions Whisk mint, vinegar, water, rose water, salt, and pepper together in a bowl until dressing is smooth. Mix tomatoes, onion, cucum-

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ber, green bell pepper, and sun-dried tomatoes together in a bowl. Pour dressing over tomato mixture and stir to coat.

often, until spinach is wilted and tomatoes begin to split, 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.



Ingredients 4 cups chicken broth 2 cups orzo pasta 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey 4 cloves garlic, minced, or more to taste 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste 4 cups fresh spinach leaves 4 cups frozen broccoli florets 1 pint cherry tomatoes 2/3 cup frozen peas 2/3 cup frozen carrots Salt and ground black pepper to taste Directions Bring chicken broth to a boil. Cook orzo in the boiling broth, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; do not drain. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; cook and stir turkey in the hot skillet until crumbly and evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Stir garlic and red pepper flakes into turkey; cook for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium. Add spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, peas, carrots, orzo, and broth to the turkey mixture and cook, stirring

Ingredients 2 tablespoons butter 1 large onion, chopped 1 green bell pepper, chopped 1 red bell pepper, chopped 2 carrots, chopped 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen corn kernels, thawed 1 1/2 cups dry potato flakes 2 teaspoons salt 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 3 cups water 2 cups milk 1 cup half-and-half 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese Directions In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat. Cook onion, red and green bell peppers, and carrots until tender. Stir in thawed corn, potato flakes, salt, ground peppers, and 3 cups water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in milk and half and half. Warm only. Do not boil. Serve sprinkled with grated cheese.


Can’t we Just Get Along?


Surviving the Move-In Girlfriend

any have tried the live-in compatibility test before marriage and the results have been scary to say the least. So what if the toilet seat is left “up”? That’s nothing to blow a fuse over … or is it? Your habit of squeezing the toothpaste from the middle of the tube no longer goes unnoticed. Privacy once allowed you to walk around the house in your skivvies, let you explode your flatulence across the room without compunction, and leave your wet towels on the bed after a two-minute shower… Paradise! Now, every time you take a piss you have to remember to realign the plastic with the porcelain, “gently” squeeze the tube of toothpaste from the bottom – as if that really makes a difference – be fully clothed in your own house, and don’t dare to fart without excusing yourself from the room… Paradise lost! Why did you allow this invasion? You invited Princess Di into your living space and she somehow morphed into Oscarine the grouch. Just nit-picking and yakking your already vulnerable mental climate into oblivion. Why? Why? Why? But there are bonuses too! You no longer have to wash, you no longer have 20

to cook, you no longer have to clean, and most importantly, you no longer have to go far for a booty call. But is there a way to mix breakfast in bed with nagging at lunch? Can we have the best of both worlds? Can’t we just get along? After centuries of pulling out our hair, we’ve discovered that we can’t live with each other and we can’t live without each other, so we must therefore design ways to co-operate and co-exist in the same space, without the cohabitation ending in murder. So here’s our advice on surviving the move-in girlfriend. Whose space is it? She hates your bean chair, and you can’t stand her pink toilet mats. Solution? Throw them both out. In fact, if you’re really committed to moving in together, start afresh. You can both get rid of your old stuff – even old places – and shop together for new stuff to bring the “we” and “our” into the relationship. You can still sneak in the bean chair, but be sure to burn those pink mats. What’s on TV? You remember the torture of being dragged to those girlie chick flicks while you were dat-

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ing, where she giggled and you yawned. You’d be dead before you allow that to be your fate every Saturday night. Solution? Buy another TV. This is imperative if you want to keep watching your sports and action movies. Let her spend her lifetime watching lifetime on a smaller tube. Who wears the pants when? The lines that separate the roles between men and women have long been skewed. The women of the 60’s and 70’s who stayed home just to take care of the house and children have evolved into the stiletto-wearing, briefcase carrying, warrior princesses of today. In other words, be prepared to do some housework. You may have to resign yourself to helping with the dishes, doing laundry, or cooking. Be warned though that if she makes you wear an apron you’ll be demoralized for life. Who pays what? You remember the song. ‘There ain’t nothing going on but the rent ... you got to have a j-o-b if you want to be with me.’ Sing it loud…sing it proud. You pay for the cable because you need to see your sports, and let her pay for every thing else. Don’t under any circumstances allow her to

think that she’s a kept woman. Secure your zones. Even though you’re now living together, and sharing your space that does not mean that you should not have private time and space. Communicate your need for privacy every now and again so that you won’t have to answer questions about your weekend plans while you’re taking a dump. Avoid tunnel vision. Although you’re now in a “livein” relationship, that does not mean that you have to spend all your time with your “livein”. Don’t get locked down so much so that you start to forget your regular friends and detach yourself from the activities you once enjoyed. There is no reason for you to permanently cancel the Friday night scotch lime at your place. Just send her by your mother every now and then. There are a lot of other things that you need to consider before you commit to moving in together. Some of them may offer the promise of a better life, while others may take you to your grave sooner than you thought. If you’re not comfortable with those odds, you might as well just get a dog.


Marvelous Christmas Gifts For Mom


hristmas is here and you owe your mom big time. That does not mean you should muster up your life savings to pay her back for all the school books she bought you. It just means that you should at least put some thought into what you are getting her. She’s not getting any younger and neither are you. You never know how many more opportunities you have to make your mom smile. We have some gift ideas for various moms that you should consider. Which type do you have? For the Art Lover: Create meaningful artwork. Homemade holiday gifts are among the most meaningful, not to mention cheapest. For a family art project mom will enjoy, make a collage by having each family member leave a handprint on a canvas. You can have it beautifully framed for extra effect. If she’s a grandmother, she’ll love 22

to see the prints detailing all the generations. If not, there must be a gallery she’ll want to visit. For The Green Thumb Mum: The best of all ephemeral arts— which it is much more than a science—is gardening. A beautiful garden, what with all the work that goes into it, can be the most satisfying of hobbies. And if your mom is into it, chances are she’s getting ready to start right around now. Christmas Day is the perfect time to get her set up with the best tools and help bring her garden to the next level. For Techies: If your mom loves to share photos and you think her camera phone isn’t doing her justice, she is probably not as cute as you think she is. In any event, get her a nice digital camera. There are so many options online it will make your head spin but it’s worth it for mommy. Remember, moms of

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today aren’t like last generation’s mothers who don’t even know how to turn the pc on. A Kindle is another great option for your mom this Christmas if she values reading as much as she values technology. For the Beauty Conscious: There’s nothing like a relaxing and rejuvenating spa treatment to have you feeling and looking your best. A spa gift certificate is a great choice as it offers several options. From massages to makeovers, you can get it all in one package. This is also a great gift for the overworked mom. For Fitness Freaks: Fitness is something your mom has understood to be one of the fundamental parts of a healthy lifestyle; something she cherishes. When you got up early on Saturdays to watch cartoons, she was already out on her daily run and is still one of the healthiest people you know. Help her spice

up her routine with some sweet new gear. Just make sure she won’t outrun you on your next workout together. For Fashionistas: Accessories/ jewelry is a smarter buy than clothing as you don’t really have to worry about fit as much. They can be simple or very elaborate. If you must purchase clothing, there is no limit to what you can cop. The trick is not falling victim to purchasing flimsy imitations. If you can’t afford the designer gear form overseas, there is a host of local designers who offer great options for a fraction of the price. Local is the in thing now (Shouts to Anya). All in all, Christmas shopping doesn’t have to be a pain. Just make simple decisions and they should turn out to be smart. The more you over-plan a present is the more trouble you encounter with the end result. Hope we helped.



Save Big By How Coconut Oil Recycling Styles Can Save Your Skin



hough many of us in Trinidad have been using coconut oil in various ways for years, the world is beginning to see just how great it can be. Apart from making food healthier or adding luster and strength to hair, coconut oil can also greatly improve skin health. The only way to safeguard and keep our skin smooth and wrinkle-free is to fight free radicals with antioxidants. And coconut oil is an effective antioxidant by itself. It can stop free radical formation and it greatly reduces free radical activities. Another good thing about coconut oil as a skin care tool is that it helps to remove dead cells on the outer surface of our skin, making our skin smoother and enabling it to reflect light more evenly. This is particularly good for us because the aging effect can slow the removal of dead cells, rendering our skin dry and rough. On top of that, coconut oil contains high amounts of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that possess antimicrobial properties. Our skin is home to bad as well as good germs. Bad germs

cause diseases while good germs can break down MCFAs into free fatty acids which provide a protective layer on our skin that will kill disease-causing bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. Additionally, free fatty acids help to support the acid layer on our skin, which repels harmful micro-organisms. So, if you do not use coconut oil for skin care, you would have missed out a great deal. Oh, remember to use only organic extra-virgin coconut oil because this unrefined coconut oil penetrates your skin fast and doesn't clog pores. It's free of pesticides too. Also, don't just apply it topically, eat it as well so that you can keep your skin silky smooth from the inside out.

ncorporating fashion into your life can be quite costly. Especially nowadays, trends just keep on popping up from everywhere like wild mushrooms. When one trend sprouts, another dies, thus, what you bought three months ago may already be unfashionable. That's how quickly your fashion assets become expenses. One thing that is a common problem for people, particularly women, is waking up and having trouble choosing what to wear. They would say that they have nothing to put on when in fact, their closet overflows with different types of clothing and accessories. But worry no more because with the use of your creativity, your old clothes may turn into new ones. This will save you big and keep you stylish. Try these recycled styles on for size. Statement Tees: Tees with big, bold letters printed on them never really get old. One thing you can do with your old t-shirt is to print your favorite statement on it. Switch From Long to Short: Some of your jeans might have already worn out especially at the hem. What you can do is cut w w w . a m g tt. c o m

them and turn them into shorts. From there, you can add some designs to make them fashionable again. Turn Scarves to Bags: A big scarf can be folded in to the desired shape then all you have to do is sew the sides. Make handles out of another scarf or you can use long beaded necklaces to make the bag strap. Add some cute patches and you have a new bag. Fancy Your Flip Flops: Give your plain, old flip flops a new look by sticking on some colorful beads and buttons. Clothing is one of the basic needs of the people, but as the earth constantly gets polluted, the resources needed to produce clothing vanish. Reduce, reuse, recycle and turn your old clothes into fashionable new ones!






Cosmetic Health Issues


e should all aim to be in good health and to do this we need to have a balance of exercise and diet. When we look good our clothes fit well and we feel confident and comfortable with who we are. Looking good is something that each person should try to maintain. There are some health issues that can affect the way a person looks. One health issue which can affect a person’s image is a cold sore. Cold sores are small, painful, fluid-filled blisters or sores that appear on the lips, mouth, or nose and are caused by a virus. The sores can be painful and usually last a few days. Unlike most viral infections, the cold sore virus is not completely eliminated by the body’s defenses. There is no cure for it; this is the reason, cold sores often recur. The virus that causes cold sores is known as the Herpes Simplex Virus. Cold sores are usually caused by type I of the Herpes Virus. Stress Stress shows itself on our skin with conditions such as eczema, rosacea, acne and psoriasis. It is often noticed that when an individual is under a considerable amount of stress they would get an acne break out. This is also noted in people who are not prone to having pimples and acne. Stress increases the levels of the hormone cortisol in the body which in turn increases oil production and this can lead to oily


skin, blocked pores and consequently acne. Research has even shown that skin heals more slowly in times of stress, and it has been found that stress has a negative effect on the barrier function of the skin, resulting in water loss that inhibits the skin’s ability to repair itself after an injury. Stress can also cause hair loss. Events such as a new job, moving, pregnancy or a major surgery can trigger hair loss. When stressed the first thing that most people start doing is biting their nails. This leads to brittle jagged and unsightly nails. Varicose veins are another health issue that can affect the way you look. Veins are blood vessels that return deoxygenated blood from the outer parts of the body back to the heart and lungs. When veins become abnormally thick, full of twists and turns, or enlarged, they are called varicose veins. Generally, varicose veins tend to develop in the legs and thighs. Defective/damaged valves within the veins are the cause of varicose veins. Pregnancy which is associated with an increase in blood volume adds pressure on the veins in the legs because of the weight of the growing uterus and the relaxation effects of the hormones estrogen and progesterone on the vein walls. This contributes to the development of varicose veins during pregnancy. Obesity and standing for prolonged periods of time also contribute to the development of varicose veins.

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Two Lesser Known Cardio Tips


ardio is the easiest form of exercise. It is literally as simple as briskly walking down the street. However, If you are serious about fitness and looking for that extra edge to take you to the next level, these cardio tips can help you. Do your cardio at the right times Do your cardio AFTER your weight workouts. Why after? Because your weight training workouts require something called glycogen. That's short term fuel. If you burn off and use up your short term fuel first, you'll have little to give when it comes to your muscles. The fuel your muscles need for a weight training workout is different from the potential fuel sources you can use when doing cardiovascular activities. When you do your cardio AFTER your weight training sessions, you are warmed up and have a better chance at using fat as a fuel source over glycogen.

Use cardio as a tool. Weights are just as good for the heart as cardio. Plus, lifting weights and building muscle will do more to get you leaner than 6 spin classes 6 times a week. Did you know that 1 lb of muscle burns more calories than 1 lb of fat? By focusing on building more muscle, you'll get leaner quicker than if you plug away at a treadmill all day long. If your goal is to build muscle and gain weight or burn off the fat, then use cardio sparingly as a way to your goal. Here’s a good way to look at it. If you cut bread with a saw (weight training) it gets the job done nicely. But if you cut the bread with a saw and then use a finely sharpened knife to make the slices perfect (cardio) you'll get the best of both worlds. If you can think of cardio as a tool to stripping off unwanted fat AFTER your weight training and nutrition is in order, you'll use the tool as it's meant to be used.



Tips To Improve Your Car’s Performance

ar owners would always want their car performing in tip-top shape. Some would go even further and want an extra boost in performance. Well that is actually possible and it doesn’t take much to get those results. Clean out your car. The less your car weighs the faster it will go. If you are using your trunk as a mobile closet it’s time to find a new storage place for your stuff. If you keep your golf clubs in the trunk or you still have the heavy duty tools you used to help your mom with her landscaping, get rid of them. Not only will you be faster from a dead start but you will increase your mpg a bit as well. Secondly, try to optimize where the rubber meets the road. How often do you check your tire pressure? Let me rephrase that. Have you ever checked your tire pressure…with a tire pressure gauge? Underinflated 26

tires have a much larger “footprint” meaning there is a greater amount of friction between the road and the car than properly inflated tires offer. Less friction means less energy (power) required to overcome friction making more power available to go faster. Plus you can save big bucks on your gas bill. A next tip for enhancing your car’s power is to reduce

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friction inside your engine. Engines rely on motor oil to lubricate internal parts and reduce friction. Conventional petroleum based motor oils are subject to breaking down and leaving damaging sludge if they are exposed to sustained heat (like when an engine is running). If you want to eliminate the power used to overcome the excess friction caused by conventional

oil switch to synthetic. Synthetic does not break down in heat (it was originally designed for jet engines) and is a must if you have a turbocharged engine or drive like you were on a race track. Improve combustion. One of the easiest ways to get a bigger bang out of internal combustion is to feed your engine cool air. Cool air is denser meaning it has more oxygen and it has a greater capacity to violently expand at combustion than thinner hot air. An easy way to get cool air is by installing a cool air intake system. Basically these come as kits and take less than 2 hours to install. They move the air intake away from the engine to grab cooler air and then they send that air to the engine in a straight line unlike the bends and curves of a factory installed system. His will give you a significant increase in horsepower.



Quick Tips To Enhance Your Travel Comfort Chances

here are some issues you ought to take into account prior to purchasing your next airline ticket. They will ensure that your next flight will be as free of difficulties as possible. Try to use them, and you might be able to save yourself some complications and waiting in long lines. Always attempt to book a direct airline flight, before thinking of scheduling a flight that has an extra stop. Nonstop flights will cut down on the possibility of delays or flight interruptions. Naturally, any time a direct flight journey is taken, there's much less risk of becoming delayed. Taking off and landing both use up a considerable amount of time, so avoiding the need to do this twice is a good idea. There will often be times when a direct flight isn't offered, but there are numerous areas where nonstop flights are just as normal as those that aren't. It might even be worth a few extra bucks to book a direct flight, to stop unwanted problems and the possibility of being 28

delayed. Certainly allow yourself lots of time, should you need to plan a connecting flight. When a nonstop flight is not offered to a desired destination, make sure to schedule adequate time in between flights to keep from having to rush, or maybe even not making your connecting flight. When airlines schedule flights, they frequently include a layover time of less than an hour between connecting flights. In spite of this, it's often not enough time if the initial flight arrives behind schedule. In order to prevent this type of situation, make an effort to arrange connecting flights with at least an hour to spare between the arrival time of your initial flight and the departure time of your next flight. Try to acquire an early morning flight if possible. Leaving on an early morning flight before 7 or 8 a.m. can be an excellent decision when preparing your airline flight. Flights that depart first thing in the morning are much less likely to be ar-

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riving late, as well as less likely to become affected by weather problems in other areas, and other flights that may be delayed at some other airport. In addition, if the first flight of the day is delayed or canceled for some reason, there will likely be several other flights throughout the day that you might take to get to your desired destination. Be certain to plan to arrive at your terminal early. The importance of arriving at the airport early cannot be stressed enough, especially when the airlines inform passengers to arrive a minimum of two hours prior to their flight's scheduled departure time. Nevertheless, there are quite a few individuals who won't heed this information, and arrive at the airline terminal just short minutes before their flight is scheduled to take off. If there is a long line at the terminal, or waiting at security, this may make for a rather worrying state of affairs. Not only may the flight be missed, but a new flight might have to be booked, and the passenger will almost cer-

tainly have to travel stand-by on a following flight. There might possibly be no assurance of a vacancy on another plane, after you miss your original departure time. Do your best to keep from flying all through the rush hours. Much like city streets and freeways, airports have rush hours. During the morning, the frequent rush hour is between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. As mentioned earlier, an early morning airline flight is the best. The hours between 4:30 and 6:30 o'clock are the worst time to schedule a flight in the afternoon. These are the times when airports are full of travelers waiting around for flights. Large crowds signify longer lines to wait in at the security points, more individuals filling the airport, a lot more men and women waiting for places to eat, and more individuals taking up seating outside their gates. Avoid traveling in a rush hour time of day. This can easily lessen waiting in lines and sitting in crowded spaces, producing a more enjoyable flight.




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Abstract Home Volume 8 Issue 7  
Abstract Home Volume 8 Issue 7  

In this issue: Pump up your Christmas prep Getting Hitched for the Holidays Spice Up these seasonal sides