The Obesity Epidemic and the Church - A Call to Action

The United States is facing an obesity epidemic. That's a fact. In the past 20 years, obesity rates have more than doubled in the U.S. and they are on track to double again in the next 20. Experts predict that by 2030 more than half of Americans will be obese with 13 states having obesity rates above 60%. This will result in millions of new cases of diabetes, coronary heart disease, and stroke and other chronic illnesses.

Sadly, those numbers are even higher in our nations churches. A 2006 study conducted by Purdue University Professor Ken Ferraro examined the relationship between religion and obesity. The study found that church members are more likely to be overweight or obese than the general public, and are by far the heaviest of all religious groups, led by Baptists at a 30% obesity rate, compared with Jews at 1%, Buddhists and Hindus at 0.7%. These findings prompted Ferraro, a professor of sociology who has studied religion and body weight since the early 1990s, to comment, "America is becoming known as a nation of gluttony and obesity, and churches are a feeding ground for this problem."

Ferraro is not alone in his findings. Other studies confirm this phenomenon: A 2011 study conducted by Northwestern University tracked 3,433 men and women for 18 years and found that young adults who attend church or a bible study once a week are 50% more likely to be obese. Likewise, the Pawtucket Heart Health Program found that people who attended church were more likely than non-church members to be 20 percent overweight and have higher cholesterol and blood pressure. A 2001 Pulpit and Pew study of 2,500 clergy found that 76% were overweight or obese compare to 61% of the general population at the time of the study.

There is no doubt that excess weight poses a very serious threat to our physical health, but it goes beyond even that - we are greatly limiting our usefulness in kingdom work.

In a 2012 op-ed for FoxNews, Scott Stoll, M.D., observed, "The obesity epidemic in the church appears to be undermining the primary purpose of the church and its missions work by straining church budgets, decidedly absorbing money that would be spent on missions abroad, and consuming the time and energy of pastors and church members."

Stoll went on to say, "The contemporary church culture has unwittingly contributed to the rise in overweight and obese parishioners. Today it is rare to hear a sermon preached on the stewardship of the physical body and even more rare on the vice of gluttony; it has become a secret and acceptable vice in the modern church."

An "Acceptable" Vice

The truth is that what we wink at, God calls sin. Although some excessive weight problems may be related to medical issues, more often than not it indicates a spiritual problem. Food is not the issue here. God created us with both a need for food and the capacity to derive pleasure from food. We are told in 1 Corinthians 10:31, "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." If we can honor God in our food, we can also dishonor him with food. The problem comes when we allow our desire for food to control us or to harm us.

Scripture condemns overindulgence in many things, including food. Proverbs 23:20-21 says, "Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags." Proverbs 23:1-3 advises, "When you sit down to eat with a ruler, observe carefully what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food."

The point? Keep your appetite in check. Even if you have to put a knife to your throat. A reminder perhaps that if you indulge yourself you are slitting your own throat.

The Apostle Paul laments, "For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things" (Phil 3:18-19 ESV). We make our belly our god whenever our appetite dictates what we eat and drink regardless of the consequences to our health and the damage it does to our body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Paul also says that these people glory in their shame. In other words they boast about the wrong that they are doing. When we boast about our large size, or how we have built God a bigger temple, or that we will just get to Heaven sooner, we are glorying in our shame. We wink at our sin and cheapen the grace of God poured out at Calvary. When we do these things we are enemies of the cross of Christ and our end is destruction.

The Disconnect

We easily recognize the health risks of smoking, alcohol abuse, and sex outside of marriage. We understand that it is sinful to engage in these habits and encourage their avoidance. But don't you dare talk about our food.

You would be shocked to walk into your church on Sunday morning and find a full liquor bar or a table full of cigarettes, but would be greatly annoyed to not find your weekly fill of donuts, bagels and cream cheese, and coffee with cream and sugar.

For some reason we recognize that it is wrong to tempt a recovering alcoholic with his favorite vice while tables at potlucks strain under the weight of fried chicken, creamy casseroles, pizza, pound cakes and cheesecake. And let's not forget the sweet tea you can stand a spoon up in. No fellowship is considered complete without these rich, decadent - and yes addictive foods. We are very literally "killing each other with kindness."

Think I'm being over-dramatic? Think again. A recent RAND report concluded, "obesity is linked to very high rates of chronic illnesses - higher than living in poverty, and much higher than smoking or drinking."

I am not judging here - I was as guilty as anyone of this offense. In fact, I was the one driving out of my way to bring fresh, hot Krispy Kreme donuts to our Sunday School class. I was also 274 pounds and had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and pre-diabetes. Now when I bring food to a church function, it is both healthy and delicious. As Paul said, "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways" (1 Cor 13:11 ESV). We have to "grow up" and put away the immature habits that are destroying the body.

Desecrating the Temple

Scripture is absolutely clear on what God expects of us and the importance of taking care of our physical bodies.

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?" (1 Cor 6:19 ESV)

As obesity rates continue to rise in the U.S., and in our churches, so do rates of diseases associated with obesity. In a research article published published in the October 27, 1999, issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Center for Disease Control (CDC) director Jeffrey P. Koplan stated, "Obesity and overweight are linked to the nation's number one killer--heart disease-- as well as diabetes and other chronic conditions."

Overweight and obese people are at increased risk for developing conditions like coronary heart disease (CHD), type 2 diabetes, stroke, hypertension, high cholesterol/trigclycerides, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and other respiratory problems, several types of cancers, liver and gallbladder disease, infertility and even death. Not to mention low energy, low self-esteem and lack of confidence.

We would be deeply offended if someone vandalized our church, yet many Christians are destroying the temple of God with high calorie-low nutrient food, overindulgence, insufficient sleep, and physical inactivity. Oswald Chambers put it this way,

"I am accountable to God for the way I control my body under His authority... What I must decide is whether or not I will agree with my Lord and Master that my body will indeed be His temple "

Poor Stewardship and Irreverence

Not only is our body a temple of the Holy Spirit, it isn't even ours. We were bought and paid for with the blood of Christ.

"You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." (1 Cor 6:20 ESV)

We are also told that we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God.

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." (Rom 12:1 ESV)

Christ willingly sacrificed His body on our behalf, therefore, we should offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to him. John Piper commented on this verse:

"The point here is not to present to God your bodies and not your mind or heart or spirit... The point is to stress that your body counts. You belong to God soul and body, or you don't belong to him at all. Your body matters."

In an article for the Journal of the Southern Baptist Convention, Wendy Ashley stated, "As Christians, we must take care of our bodies in such a way that we are physically prepared to do whatever God asks of us, whenever He asks it. Honoring the body means making a commitment to live a healthier lifestyle by carefully considering the foods you put into your body, making exercise a regular part of your life, and getting enough sleep."

Not only is obesity poor stewardship of the body, it is also poor stewardship of our financial resources. In her book, The Real Cost of Living, personal finance expert Carmen Wong Ulrich estimated that the price tag for obesity is $6,454 a year. "Add together the higher annual costs of health care and medication ($1,429), wage discrimination ($2,500), travel costs (a conservative $25), and other lifestyle costs such as mobility and clothing ($2,500), and the cost of being overweight is around $6,454 a year, or $538 a month. Over a lifetime (40 adult years), that's more than $258,000. And had you instead put that $538 a month in your retirement account, earning a moderate average of 6 percent interest, you'd have $1,082,675. But that's without diabetes or complications. Consider those pricey add-ons, and you're looking at $19,454 a year in total costs - that's $778,160 over a lifetime and over $3 million if that money had been invested."

Bad Theology

Perhaps the thought has crossed your mind that we are only supposed to talk about "spiritual" things in church and that being overly concerned with the "flesh" is worldly or evil. This common misconception is rooted in an ancient heresy called Gnosticism or Platonic dualism, the belief that the spirit is sacred and the physical body is corrupt and inconsequential. This bad theology serves to perpetuate the problem and assists many in justifying unhealthy nutritional habits and lack of exercise. Scripture exposes this fallacy.

"Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Th 5:23 ESV)

God wants to sanctify us entirely: spirit and soul and body. These three are equal and interconnected. To neglect any one of them is to be incomplete. It would be like neglecting one leg of a 3-legged table. Without all three legs in balance, the table will not stand, or at least it cannot be used to the full potential it was made for. Likewise, we cannot pick and choose areas of our life to give to God, it is all His.

Repentance and Healing

"Churches across America stand at a critical crossroad urgently in need of a decision to be a cause or a cure to the growing epidemic of disease and obesity. But in the midst of every crisis is an opportunity." ~ Scott Stoll

In many other health contexts, churches can have a very positive influence. Ferraro noted that prayer, meditation and the social interaction found in churches can be good for people's health. Likewise studies have shown that people who read the Bible more often have lower blood pressure. People who are involved in church are also less likely to be depressed. Most churches are also very good at encouraging restraint or abstinence from tobacco, alcohol and sex outside of marriage. If we can be a positive influence in these areas, we can certainly do the same when it comes to physical health. There is hope. We can do this!

In as much as we have contributed to the obesity epidemic, we can be an even bigger part of the solution. Stoll concluded his article by saying that the solution for obesity in the church is the Church itself. "Couple this with solid faith based teachings on health, stewardship, and a return to foods provided by their Creator and the church could quickly reverse the obesity trend and serve as a positive influence and resource to surrounding communities." Similarly, Ashley concluded her article by reminding us, "the Bible addresses eating, indulgence, self control, self discipline, gluttony, and other related sins, we need to be able to address this topic in our churches without fear of offense. Congregations are blessed when their pastor encourages them to make changes in their lifestyles that will ultimately bring glory to God.

Changing our eating and exercise habits isn't easy, but with the help of God, it can be done. First John 5:14-15 says: "And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him." (1 John 5:14-15 ESV)

We are also promised that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Phil 4:13). I am living proof of that. God has given me a ministry to reach out to those who are caught in the same trap I was. Our churches and communities are filled with people who are suffering the consequences of neglecting and abusing their bodies, many unknowingly.

God wants to use us to bring healing to a sick and dying world (Matthew 10:8). As followers of Christ, we are uniquely equipped to battle this epidemic. We have community, proper motivation, and most importantly, we have the Power of God.

"If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (2 Chr 7:14 ESV)

Your Call

This is where the rubber meets the road. You have to choose what you will do with what you have just heard: 1) You can choose to simply ignore me and go back to whatever you were doing. 2) You can dismiss me as a fanatic. 3) You can take these words to heart and join us in the fight to save lives - and the first life you save may be your own. The ball is in your court. It's your choice.

"Choose this day whom you will serve. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."" (Josh 24:15 ESV)

1 CLINE, K. M. C. and FERRARO, K. F. (2006), Does Religion Increase the Prevalence and Incidence of Obesity in Adulthood?. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 45: 269-281. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-5906.2006.00305.x

2 "Fat in Church", FoxNews

3 "The Health Risks of Obesity Worse Than Smoking, Drinking, or Poverty,"

4 Obesity epidemic increases dramatically in the United States: CDC director calls for national prevention effort

5 Oswald Chamber, My Utmost For His Highest (December 5)

6 John Piper, Present Your Bodies As a Living Sacrifice (June 13, 2004).

7 Wendy Ashley, Obesity in the Body of Christ, SBC Life

8 Wong, Carmen, The Real Cost of Living: Making the Best Choices for Your, Your Life and Your Money (2010)

Shanghai Tours - Places You Need to Visit in Shanghai

Being one of China's most famous city, Shanghai is actually a very modern part of the country. In the past few years, several developmental projects have taken place in Shanghai, giving it the status of one of China's most modern cities. The city has everything from highways, to hotels, high-rise buildings etc. if that's not all, with all the development that has taken place, Shanghai hasn't seem to have lost its traditional roots. This is what makes it the perfect destination for a vacation.

If you're in the city and you're taking a Shanghai tour, there are several places you should visit in the city. These places are some of the most famous places in Shanghai, and any tour without a visit to these places is incomplete.

The Yu Yuan Gardens is one place you need to visit in the city. This beautiful garden lies in the Old Town of Shanghai. Another name for this garden is the Garden of Peace and Comfort. If you're looking for some peace and quite on your holiday, this garden is the best place to visit. It spreads over 5 acres and has a total of 30 pavilions. You can literally spend the entire day exploring this beautiful place. In addition to the scenic beauty, the Grand Rockery, an ancient temple, is located nearly, so you can also visit that place while you're in the gardens.

If you're on a Shanghai tour, your tour will also be incomplete without a visit to the well-known waterfront district. This place is also known as The Bund. It has been in the city since the 1800's and was renowned for being the center for commerce in the city. If you want to admire some amazing architecture, the Bund has some of the most impressive colonial structures you'll ever see. The place is the best way to see what Shanghai was like in the past. It lets you know what Shanghai was like before all the development took place in the city.

Jin Mao Towers is another tourist destination that is famous amongst all those who visit the city on Shanghai tours. This tower gives you an amazing view of the entire city from the top of it. The tower is not only for enjoying the Ariel view; it has accommodation as well. You can also stop at their Cloud 9 bar, to literally reach cloud 9. The bar is located on the top floor of the tower and is bound to enhance your experience of the city's tour if you plan to stop by and grab a drink or two.

If you're looking for a great place to eat, the Xin Tian Di district has a lot of popular restaurants you can visit. It's the epitome of modernism, when we relate modernism to the city itself. You will find a lot of tourists in the district and there are plenty of activities that you can enjoy, while visiting the district. The district is divided into the north and south regions, with the south being more modern as compared to the north.

Luxurious South Africa

There are sunsets and then there are sunsets. But in my mind not much can beat lounging high up on a secluded deck overlooking the African bush, enjoying a sumptuous picnic dinner and local wines, as you watch the sun set beyond the wandering herds on the Savannah.

Spend a luxurious night up there and you'll enjoy the sunrise too, looking out over the huge swathe of land that is the magnificent country of South Africa. Washed by the Atlantic and Indian oceans, South Africa is truly a paradise of natural history and so much more.

Whether camping out in the wilds is your thing or you'd rather enjoy the ultimate luxury while experiencing your African safari, the Kruger National Park has it all. The park has a selection of luxury private lodges where you won't only be spoiled by excellent game viewing, but also by superb cuisine, world-class service and choice South African wines, and even pampering massages, and reflexology.

A luxury Kruger safari doesn't come cheap, but it's worth every penny. The last thing you'll be thinking about is money as you swim in the cool water of the pool or relax after a game drive in your lavish tent that's a thousand miles from your memories of family camping trips as a kid.

All this and wildlife too! In the south of the park, towards the Sabie and Crocodile rivers you can hope to see the best of African flora and fauna such as the Big Five - herds of Elephants, Lions, Leopards, Rhinos, and Buffalo wallowing in the refreshing water - as well as cheetah and many others. Meanwhile the northern part of the park is often referred as the birding paradise.

After a safari there's nothing like getting back to civilization, and the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town is the ideal spot. Filled with a wonderful selection of restaurants and an incredible array of local museums and galleries, there's plenty to do even when the rains hit the city.

No trip to Cape Town would be complete without a visit to its most famous landmark, Table Mountain. The cable car to the top is great fun and offers stunning views of the city, but nothing beats hiking the three kilometer trail uphill to the top of this dramatic sandstone plateau that dominates the metropolitan skyline with its distinctive shape that inspired many a myth and legend. The downhill's a lot easier if you catch the last cable car back!

Having reached the end of the African continent, it would be wrong not to go all the way down to the Cape of Good Hope. Wander among the unique flora and fauna of the world-famous nature reserve, smile at the goofy penguin colony at Boulders, and look out to where oceans meet. Getting in the water can be a little hairy, but a cage dive allows you to get up close and personal to the great white in their own environment without ending up shark food.

Another good thing about Cape Town is that it's just a stone's throw from South Africa's world-famous Cape Winelands around Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek. Drive three-quarters of an hour northeast to some of the most majestic scenery in the country where you can check out art galleries, stay at winery lodges and blend olive oil amid the vineyard scattered hills and mountains.

Heading out along the southern coast on a tour of the famous Garden Route will have you winding your way up a narrow stretch of South Africa's eastern coast, pressed against the Indian Ocean by a protective line of rugged purple hued granite and sandstone mountains - the Langeberge (long mountains) and the Outeniqua Mountains. And even if your navigation skills leave something to be desired, the Garden route is foolproof so there's little chance of getting lost along the way from Mossel Bay to Port Elizabeth, leaving you plenty of chance to enjoy the ever changing colours of the imposing mountains, scenic passes, rivers, vineyards and orchards, as well as the multitude of attractions.

A week exploring the Garden Route at a leisurely pace offers an unforgettable adventure. In season (July to December), you can simply sit on a bench and watch whales frolic from one of the most spectacular vantage points in the world at Walker Bay, then head off to be mesmerized by beautiful beaches and pristine forests, visit the Cango Caves and ogle the ostriches.

With all the diversity South Africa has to offer travelers, it's been aptly nicknamed the Rainbow Nation. Its spectacular and varied land and its friendly people never fail to captivate those who venture this far south.

Luxury Resorts: What Should You Expect?

What separates a luxury resort from its lesser brethren? What makes it worth the higher prices charged? There are certain standards to which a luxury resort must rise. Those standards concern the following: its rating, the quality of its website, the check-in process, the quality of the rooms and the level of the amenities offered.

Five star rating

The hospitality industry is rated on a "stars" scale that starts at one and goes up to five. As you may surmise, the top rating is five stars. From there, it is easy to see that a luxury resort should be rated at five stars, as this is the highest rating under this system.

You may ask what are the criteria that a resort or hotel must meet in order to receive a five star rating? To reach the five stars level, a resort must perform superlatively in all areas concerning its service. Included in this are its management, employees, amenities, and security. All services offered must be delivered at the highest level of competence. In other words, everything about the resort's services must be extremely high quality.

Well run and informative website

Even the cheapest roadside motels have websites that offer information about their services and a means to book a room. So, it goes without saying that a luxury resort should offer this and much more. A luxury resort must have a website that works well. The website shouldn't be cluttered and difficult to navigate. It shouldn't be down half the time and it shouldn't have images that don't load. It shouldn't have errors that prevent prospective guests from completing a booking. It should also offer detailed information about the resort, its amenities and what is included in the booking price. There should be pictures of the rooms and the grounds and there should be a phone number to contact and the address of the resort.

No waiting for check-in

A luxury resort should offer check-ins that are smooth, fast, and handled courteously. This means that it should take no longer than ten minutes from start to finish, including having your luggage sent up to your suite. Your accommodations should match the description you were given when you booked your stay with all the amenities you requested.

Perfect room

The rooms at the resort must be perfect in every way. They should be large and have all of the amenities that you would expect them to have. At the very least, the décor should be tasteful and the furniture should be high-end and spotless. There should be ample privacy and you shouldn't be able to hear hallway noise or any outside noise if the windows are closed. Additionally, fast and courteous room service is a must.

The bathrooms should feature double sinks on a large vanity made of high quality material such as granite or marble. The bathtub and separate shower enclosure should likewise be of granite or marble and large as well. There should be plenty of large mirrors and the towels should be fluffy and soft.

Top-notch amenities

The resort must have grounds and amenities that justify the high cost. There should be at least one, if not two or three large swimming pools. These should be heated and a lifeguard should be on duty at all times. In addition, the pool areas should have showers and a place to change into and out of bathing attire. This is just the beginning. It would not be too much to expect the resort to have a full gym that is staffed with qualified trainers. Full service spas are quite common and should offer services like massage, full pedicures, and beauty treatments.

When you spend your hard earned money on a luxury holiday stay, you should get expect nothing but the best. Luxury resorts must live up to the meaning of the word "luxury" in every way. Anything less is unacceptable.

Lenovo ThinkPad L530 Review - An Office Laptop With HD Display Options, Long Battery Life, and More

Businesses have been using Lenovo laptops for a long time. The ThinkPad line in particular is popular with offices. They are affordable and come with everything an office user could ever need. The Lenovo ThinkPad L530 model is quickly becoming a top seller. It offers a bit more than the standard business notebook. In fact, it can be used for other things such as entertainment and general internet browsing.

Like other laptops in this series, the L530 comes with a plastic shell case. It's a superior build compared to most budget consumer laptops. The hinges are pretty sturdy and keep the screen in place. The maximum opening angle is more than 180 degrees.

The keyboard and trackpad are both well built as well. The keys on the chiclet-style keyboard are designed for easy, comfortable typing. The TrackPoint/touchpad combo system is pretty impressive. Users can expect good responsiveness.

Buyers have a couple of display options. The standard option is a conventional HD display (WXGA). A full high definition (1600x900) display is also available for a small premium. The standard display is enough for most office users. Those who want to also use the laptop for entertainment may want to go with the superior display. Both are 15.6-inches.

This laptop can handle up to 8 GB of RAM which is more than what the average laptop can handle. The options for storage include both a solid state drive and a conventional hard disk. Users can decide between a 5400 rpm and a 7200 rpm model for the hard disk. The SSD can hold up to 256 GB. There is also an integrated optical drive.

There are also a few options with the processor. The Lenovo ThinkPad L530 laptop works with 3rd Generation Intel Core processors. The i5 models can get up to 3.30 GHz, and the i7 model can get up to 3.60 GHz.

The graphics the system comes with are integrated. The Intel HD 4000 graphics should be enough for office users. It can handle some video and audio streaming as well.

One area where this ThinkPad really excels is the battery life. The 6-cell batteries can last for 7 or so hours, depending on the settings. The-9 cell batteries can last for up to 13 hours per charge. This is considerably more than what most other laptops offer. This long battery life makes the L530 an excellent travel laptop.

With this amount of battery life and other features such as the 8 GB of memory, it's no wonder why the Lenovo ThinkPad L530 is becoming such a popular laptop. It's also affordable - even when customized with the most advanced technology.

Free Things To Do in Manhattan

Take a stroll around Central Park

Even if you weren't on a budget, I'd still recommend a stroll in Central Park. The 843 acres of land is right in the middle of Manhattan. It's the world's largest urban public park.

Before Central Park existed, Manhattan was experiencing exponential population growth. Citizens were noticing the large amounts of crowds. To get some air and privacy, people would begin visiting cemeteries. The city council began to notice the tiring effects on people. In 1857, Central Park was constructed. In 1962, it became a National Historic Landmark.

Inside Central Park, you'll find the Central Park Conservatory Garden, the Central Park Zoo, a few ice skating rinks, and Belvedere Castle. Throughout the year there are several events, ranging from open-air musical concerts to Shakespeare plays. Check the official Central Park website to see if any free events occur during your visit.

Walk around Times Square

Times Square is the brightly illuminated intersection of the Broadway district. The intersection was named after the newspaper corporation, the New York Times, which resides at the One Times Square building. That building might sound familiar to you. It's where the giant ball drops every New Year's Eve.

Times Square attracts close to 40 million tourists every year. All around the intersection are giant electronic billboards, advertising famous brands we all know. Along the streets are popular shops and Broadway theaters. Take the time to explore Times Square. If you have some change, grab a cheap pretzel or hot dog at one of the food carts.

Visit Grand Central Terminal

Back when trains were the most popular form of long distance travel, Grand Central Terminal was the most crowded train station in the United States. It's still popular, though now it's mostly used by daily commuters getting to work.

With 44 platforms and 67 tracks, Grand Central Terminal is the largest train station in the world by number of platforms. Grand Central Terminal spans about 48 acres. Inside, you'll find fast food meant for busy commuters. Around Grand Central Terminal, you'll also find plenty of souvenir shops.

Wander inside Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center is home to quite a few NBC Studio shows including all of the late night talk shows and Saturday Night Live. Before your visit, check NBC's websites to see if you can get tickets to one of these shows. Wander inside the complex to feel what it's like at this important media hub.

Outside Rockefeller Center is the popular ice rink. Here, you'll find families and children enjoying winter time. Outside the building, you'll also find the giant sign for Radio City Music Hall. This auditorium housed artists like Fitzgerald and Sinatra.

Look straight above at the middle of Rockefeller Center and you'll see a 872 feet tall skyscraper. That's the GE Building. In 2005, they built an observation deck and named it Top of the Rock. The view on that deck rivals the view on top of the Empire State Building.

Stress Management Techniques

The simple realization that you are in control of your life is the foundation of stress management

Living with high levels of stress, can putt your entire health at risk. Stress wreaks havoc on your emotional stability, as well as your physical health. It tapers with your ability to think clearly, function effectively, and enjoy life.

Causes of Stress

Stress may be because of any physical, chemical, or emotional factors that cause bodily or mental unrest and that may even cause physical sickness. Stress also has effects on the immune system. Chronic (long-term) stress has the effect of (wearing down) the immune system, leading to an increased susceptibility to colds and other infections.

Physical and chemical factors that can cause stress include trauma, infections, toxins, illnesses, and injuries of any sort. Emotional causes of stress and tension are numerous and varied.

How to Manage Stress

Stress is a daily part of our life; it would be absolutely foolish to think that we can eliminate it from our lives completely. What we can do is to manage it and not let it cripple us.

Learn to say (no) : This is the most important step,know your limits and stick to them. Whether in your personal or professional life, refuse to accept extra responsibilities that you know will cause you distress.

Avoid people who stress you out : If someone constantly causes stress in your life and you can not turn the relationship around, limit the amount of time you spend with that person or end the relationship entirely.

Take control of your environment : Avoid environments that stress you, if traffic is got you tense, take a longer but less-traveled route. If shopping is an unpleasant chore, do your grocery shopping online or ask someone to help out.

Avoid heated topics : If you get upset over religion or politics, avoid talking about them. If you repeatedly argue about the same subject with the same people you are bound to be stressed.

Know your limits: evaluate your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks. If you have got too much on your plate, drop tasks that are not truly necessary to the bottom or eliminate them entirely.

Express instead of bottling up- If something or someone is bothering you, communicate your concerns in an open and polite way. If you do not voice your feelings, resentment will build creating unnecessary stress.

Compromise- When you ask someone to change their actions, be willing to do the same. If you both are willing to bend a little, you will find a middle ground.

Be more assertive- If you need something ask for it. Deal with problems head on, doing your best to anticipate and prevent them.

Manage your time better- Poor time management can cause a lot of stress. When you are stretched too thin and running behind, it is hard to stay calm and focused. But if you plan ahead, you can avoid these stress-inducing pitfalls.

Do not try to control the uncontrollable- Many things in life are beyond our control particularly the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control.

Look for the Bright side- When facing major challenges try to look at them as opportunities for personal growth.

Share your feelings- Talk to a trusted friend or a therapist. Expressing what you are going through can be very therapeutic, even if there is nothing you can do to alter the stressful situation.

Learn to forgive- Let go of anger and resentments.Free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on.

Include relaxation time-Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule. Do not allow other obligations to encroach. This is your time to take a break from all responsibilities and recharge your batteries.Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be stargazing, playing the piano, or working on your bike.

Create a Support system- A strong support system will buffer you from the negative effects of stress. Spend time with positive people who enhance your life

Exercise regularly. Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress. Make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise, three times per week. Nothing beats aerobic exercise for releasing pent-up stress and tension.

Eat a healthy diet- Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day.

Reduce caffeine and sugar- The temporary "highs" caffeine and sugar provide often end in with a crash in mood and energy. By reducing the amount of coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and sugar snacks in your diet, you will feel more relaxed and you will sleep better.

Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs- alcohol or drugs may provide an easy escape from stress, but the relief is only temporary. Later the stress simply piles on plus your health starts to suffer.

Get enough sleep-Feeling tired will increase your stress because it may cause you to think irrationally.

Cruise Ships: What's Not to Like About Them?

There's not much to hate about cruise ships. Even budget ships offer old-fashioned cruises at affordable prices, while contemporary ships provide a better, more modern service all-in-all that will allow you to have a taste of a rich man's life. Also, for only ten percent more than you'd pay for a contemporary cruise, you'll get to enjoy premium cruises that offer better food, better facilities, better services, and so forth without having to deal with huge crowds and whatnot. You practically have the whole ship to yourself and a few other choice guests that have money to burn. If you're on budget cruise, you won't be seeing many child-friendly facilities, plus the spas and gyms are pretty basic. Nevertheless, for its price, budget cruises do everything they can to give you the full cruise treatment without you having to sacrifice an arm and a leg to enjoy it. The coziness and warmth of a budget ship is also an experience that you should savor to the utmost, because for some people, the bigger cabins of contemporary or premium megaships can be quite alienating. Sometimes, homelier and humbler travel accommodations are the best. Yes, cruise ships can also double as hotels on water, such that if you want to travel to your intended island destination while enjoying yourself all the way, cruise ships are the way to go.

Island Cruises, Louise Cruise Lines, and Classic Cruises are the must-have cruises that give you a taste of what cruises were like in the good old days. The destinations of these ships, like with contemporary ships, are Mediterranean and Caribbean in nature. Meanwhile, premium ships are ships created for people who believe that money is no object, so it's only natural for them to offer month-long voyages spanning the entire globe. Some cruise ships can even be considered resorts on water; such that instead of going to a particular beach destination, the ship itself will serve as the destination. When it comes to picking the best cruises for you, it all boils down to taste. The most expensive choice isn't necessarily the best choice, particularly for those vacationers who love to enjoy traditional cruise ships with an intended destination instead of serving as a vacation spot by itself. Whether you're a family, a couple, or a single looking for a good time, there's sure to be a great hub for sporty cruises for you in many a port out there. If all else fails, avail of a luxury ship.

You Could Strike it Rich in Atlantic City

Have you heard the famous song "Under the Boardwalk"? Well Atlantic City has the world's longest boardwalk. It's almost six miles long, lined with magnificent hotels on one side and spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean on the other.

Atlantic City was incorporated on May 1, 1854 and that same year regular train service between it and Philadelphia began. Up until that time the city was a rather remote resort on Absecon Island surrounded by marshlands.

The railway really put the city on the map. Tourists would escape the summer heat of the city and spend two or three weeks at a time on the island.

The first boardwalk was built between Atlantic City and Longport, a distance of about 7 miles. It started out as a way to keep sand out of the lobbies of the hotels. Then, little by little, it grew as more hotels sprang up. In 1944, a hurricane hit and destroyed portions of the walk. Rebuilt, using concrete and steel, it is now 60 feet wide and about 5.75 miles in length. Today it ends at the Ventor/Margate border.

The city is famous for Ocean Pier, built in 1882 as an amusement facility. Tourists from all over the world are attracted to the Steel Pier which opened in 1898 and the Million Dollar Pier which is now The Pier Shops at Caesars.

In the early days,places to stay were simply boarding houses, but in the early 20th century they began being replaced by hotels. Two of the most well known were the Marlborough, a beautiful Queen Anne style hotel, and the Spanish-Moorish designed Blenheim Hotel. Eventually these two were merged into the Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel.

The Traymore Hotel began as a small boarding house and kept growing with additions simply tacked on. In 1914 it was transformed into a sixteen storey, tan brick, gold-capped masterpiece, which became an area landmark.

In 1930, the 24 floor, 400 room Claridge Hotel was built. It became known as the "Skyscraper By The Sea" and was the last large hotel constructed before the dawn of the casinos.

Before the new age of casinos, Atlantic City began to decline. Poverty and crime were on the rise. The many reasons that this happened are fascinating. With the dawn of the automobile, Americans could come and go as they wished. They'd spend only a few days in Atlantic City instead of the weeks that visitors coming by train had done.

Families began moving to suburbia where homes had air conditioning and swimming pools, so the beaches no longer held the charm they once had. Folks didn't need to flock to the water like lemmings. They could chill out at home.

Then along came inexpensive and speedy air service to other top-notch resorts such as Miami Beach, Nassau, and the Bahamas. Atlantic City simply lost its ranking as the top holiday destination. The typical tourists were now old and poor. Hotels closed, became cheap apartments, or even nursing homes.

Something had to be done to breathe new life into the city. In 1976 casino gambling was approved for Atlantic City. The Resorts International became the first legal casino in the eastern United States, opening on May 26, 1978.

Initially the introduction of casinos did not eliminate the problems of poverty and crime, in fact it helped show the great divide between poor neighborhoods and the areas that only tourists visited.

But over the last twenty years things have stabilized. Much money has been invested in sparkling new resorts, including Donald Trump's empire, which has built or refurbished at least six huge properties.

Atlantic City has had a 25.9 percent increase in average home value from 2005 to 2006. That's highest in the United States. That's quite the reversal from the days when hotels were closing down and being turned into nursing homes.

With it's humid subtropical climate, the city has a pleasant year round climate. Not too cold in winter with less snowfall than in the north of the state, and moderately hot in the summer with pleasant sea breezes off the ocean.

For the tourist, it is an exciting city with magnificent places to stay. The casinos are a huge draw, but folks can also take leisurely strolls along the famous boardwalk right beside the mighty Atlantic Ocean.

Other attractions abound, such as the oldest remaining Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium in the world. It's a great area for a game of golf, followed up by a delicious meal. The variety of cuisine is truly astonishing.

The next time you get the urge to travel, try exploring exciting Atlantic City. You will be pampered, and dazzled, and then, if you're lucky, you could strike it rich.

A Gamer's World

Since the miraculous days of the 8-bit Nintendo EntertainmentSystem video games have provided people of all ages and races with hours of first rate down time. The universe of games, or 'wasting time', as some may consider, has developed hastily and continues to soar to the fore. The big assortment of gaming consoles offered by electronic producers, wholesalers and retailers provide players many ways to break away from the trauma brought on by colleges, work or common life in general.

Despite their connotation as being unproductive and outright addictive, video games provide our minds a well-deserved reprieve from the tortures of the day and have weaved themselves into the very structure of our way of life. But what exactly makes them so good? The bombing? The trick? The suspense of 'leveling up'? As is the case with music and cuisine, different games appeal to different human beings. And recent days, the alternatives available to gamers are broader and more iversed than ever before.

legendary platformers such as Super Mario, Kirby and Sonic the Hedgehog have brought on many an adrenaline rush and left a number of game controllers with sweaty and damaged buttons. Such action-oriented adventures evaluate not only a person's timing and reflexes, but his or her persistence too. established series such as The Legend of Zelda and the aforesaid Mario are always among the first to go into the slots of the newest platforms and cycle constantly through the storage of manufacturers, electronic wholesalers and retailers. And while breakthroughs in graphics and video quality have stripped some series of their legendary 'retro' appeal, they have indubitably aggrandized their enjoyability, or, as zealous players would tell, their 'sickness'.

Today, role-playing games arguably boast the largest and most mixed following of any kind. 'Leveling up' and getting new abilities are the calling cards of such time-costing titles as Final Fantasy and Nintendo's most priceless player, Pokemon. The major reason for the success of these games is the truth that there is 'always something to do', even after the player completes the major storyline. As such, the game can never really be 'beat'. Many games of this kind, such as the addicting World of Worldcraft, enable players to converse, brawl and intermingle with one another on internet, allowing even the most inflexible introverts to meet and chat with persons from all over the world.

Much like the video games that run on them, gaming platforms themselves also come in many sizes, and likewise cater to various groups of human beings. While platforms such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 provide a eminent gaming experience at home, large amount of people, chiefly younger gamers, favor the simplicity and portability of hand held systems such as the PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, and even Apple's iPhone and iPod. These pockets of leisure are useful in curing the ennui of a cross-country road trip or plane journey from New York to Tokyo. Laptops, mainly mini varieties like the new netbooks enable a slightly bulkier, but still manageable resolution to uninspiring travel. The reward for 'most unique gaming system' unquestionably goes to the Nintendo Wii. inventive motion-sensing technology adds another side facet of true world and makes Nintendo's newest console a multi-purpose machine. Many titles such as Dance Dance Revolution and Wii Fit allow players to not only have joy, but get a stimulating workout as well. The sheer popularity of the console triggered a scarcity of Wii's in the wholesale electronics industry-a paucity that heated gamers' bloods even more than a ridiculously hard boss.

As a portion of contemporary society, video games have provided and continue to endow gamers an escape from the trauma of work. The array of games and platforms in the stocks of manufacturers, electronic wholesalers and retailers ensure that nobody is left without an funny game to be addicted to. Incredible dimensions such like online connectivity, sound recognition, motion sensory and touch screens have redefined the world of gaming since the untroubled days of 8-bits and two dimensions. We can only imagine what advances the future will bring

Book Review - Love Works by Joel Manby

In the summer of 2000, Joel Manby sat alone in his hotel room one night sulking in his depression. A week earlier, he had accepted a senior management role with an Internet company about to crumble under the dot-com collapse of the period. But what really troubled him was the grueling realization he was living an unauthentic life.

Since graduating from Harvard in 1985, Manby had progressed quite successfully from one executive position after another, with each successive role chipping away at his confidence. The demands of the corporate world had isolated him from his family and contradicted his values. He was no longer interested in the pursuit of meeting market expectations; instead, Manby yearned to build relationships and give back to the community.

An offer to lead the Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation gave him that opportunity. He learned to lead with love, not as an emotion, but with the ability to accept, respect and improve the lives of employees.

Adopting the language of unconditional love from the ancient Greeks and the biblical prophecy of Corinthians, Manby relied on the following seven principles to lead his company:

Patient - Employee feedback is a daunting task, one that must be executed with tact and deliberation. Leaders must learn to deliver this feedback with their emotions in check. Criticism should be given in private, addressing the behavior and not the character. Praise should be specific and genuine to help motivate employees and raise their morale.

Kind - Managers can practice kindness through encouragement and enthusiasm. The goal is to make employees' lives better so they can extend this courtesy to customers.

Trusting - Allowing employees to lead helps build a healthy workforce. Managers trust employees by actively listening to them and respecting their decisions. Individuals feel valued and empowered.

Unselfish - Relinquishing control to employees empowers them. This demonstrates that managers make their interests a priority. The goal is to set individual pride aside to accommodate the collective whole by improving employee's lives at the personal and corporate levels.

Truthful - Organizations succeed when they face the complex realities of their operating environment. Decisions must be based on the difficult look at the direction the company is taking. A healthy internal debate helps managers stay on track and continuously align strategies with overall business goals. Dissent should be welcomed and used to lead a company to its intended destination.

Forgiving - What applies to our personal lives applies at the organizational level as well. Grudges hurt the individuals who harbor them, while forgiveness leads to better opportunities and healthier relationships. When possible, consider giving wrongdoers a second chance. It helps managers grow and sets a good example for employees.

Two key lessons are learned from Manby's principles. First, a critical distinction is repeatedly made between being nice and kind. Meaning that employees can be valued without sacrificing discipline, because wayward performance should never be ignored. It's bad for the company and worse for the individual. A manager's job is to set underperformers straight if they are to reach their fullest potential.

Second, that meaningful change is the byproduct of unconditional commitment to a worthy cause, whether it includes improving the quality of an employee's life or building a franchise that unites families through its services. Because results should not based on profit margins, but how you impact the lives of those who rely on you.

Sunny Outlook For Spain's Sunshine Coast

This year's World Travel Market at London's Excel Exhibition Centre in November not only drew record crowds, but one of the most popular stands was that of the Andalucia Tourist Board.

The four day event, which hosted 5402 exhibitors from over 200 regions and countries attracted visitors from every corner of the world, with numbers up by 2 per cent on last year's event according to WTM Chairman Fiona Jeffery.

One new exhibitor was the city of Cadiz, famous for its dome-silhouetted skyline that doubled as Havana in the James Bond movie 'Live and Let Die', and Gibraltar, which recently launched a new tourism marketing campaign, was at Excel after a few years' absence.

The mood at the Andalucia and Costa del Sol stands was particularly buoyant. The Spanish Tourist Board announced that the British are not only visiting Spain more frequently, they are exploring less commercial areas such as inland Andalucia, or cultural destinations such as Cordoba and Granada. Almost half of visitors said they visit Spain to experience the culture as well as its beaches.

Britons are also spending more per capita while on holiday, music to the ears of the restaurant and hotel owners for whom 2007 turned out to be a bumper year with room occupancy rates up by over 5 per cent compared to 2006.

Resort developers like Club La Costa Resorts & Hotels are forecasting even better figures for 2008. To accommodate the increased demand for Spanish holidays, Club La Costa is expanding its flagship resort, California Beach in Mijas Costa. The company recently announced plans to open a 215-suite deluxe hotel overlooking the beach in 2009. The California Beach Hotel and Residences will offer an exceptional range of facilities, including one of the largest health spas in Spain, an al fresco live entertainment venue, restaurants, cafes, bars and boutiques, landscaped gardens and pools, 24-hr concierge/reception and security and sea and mountain views from every suite.

The location is ideal, just 20 minutes from Malaga airport, 15 minutes from Marbella and just 5 minutes from the new Miramar Shopping Centre nearby where shoppers will find numerous cafes, restaurants, a multi-screen cinema (showing English language films), supermarket, boutiques and home furnishing retailers.

With over 9 top class golf courses including championship course La Cala within a ten minute radius, the hotel is just minutes from Golf Valley which has one of the highest concentrations of courses anywhere on the Costa del Sol. The California Beach Hotel will be near the yacht marinas at Fuengirola and Cabopino, and for racing fans the Hippodrome, which has day and floodlit evening meets, is a short drive away.

Membership of Club La Costa, one of Europe's leading resort developers since 1984, rose by over 10 per cent during the summer months and Richard Fletcher, Resort Director, expects 2008 to be even busier.

'Spain has always been a popular destination but we've had an exceptionally busy summer. As part of our expansion plans we are building a number of new resorts in Europe, including California Golf, in southern Tenerife, and a number of new projects in Spain, the new hotel and holiday homes. We're also moving into Turkey with an exciting project, the Adonis, near Bodrum which is a special development of modern townhomes with a virgin beach adjacent surrounded by beautiful natural parkland.'

Despite the hotels options the Costa del Sol offers, Britons are moving towards timeshare, recognising it as a holiday 'investment' compared to paying for hotel rooms and one of the main reasons is value for money. Club La Costa's interior-designed apartment suites such as Santa Cruz Suites in Spain sleep up to 6 people. Guests have numerous facilities on their doorstep - including private Jacuzzis - which most private self-catering apartments or hotels don't have.

Richard Fletcher adds: 'Our members like the fact that almost everything is onsite - restaurants, live entertainment, children's entertainment, fitness facilities, our own medical clinic affiliated to Xanit Hospital - one of the best in Andalucia - concierge service and more. Families can relax in the sun with all the comforts of home - space, luxury and excellent service - at a fraction of the cost of a luxury category hotel room.'

While the Andalucian government's '2020' plan intends to keep Spain on top of the international tourist destination ratings by offering even more quality leisure facilities, companies in the private sector like Club La Costa are also investing in the Costa del Sol as a long-term, hard to beat tourist favourite. With the UK still Spain's biggest market, expectations are that the number of visitors to the region will rise by another 5 per cent in 2008, a conservative estimate according to some hoteliers.

The Andalucian Tourist Board's ad campaign strapline is: 'Andalucia te quiere' (Andalucia loves you) and, it seems, the feeling is mutual. The British love affair with the Costa del Sol is back.

Enjoy Low-Cost All Inclusive Mexican Holidays This Year

After spending most of your time, working hard to provide a living for your family, it is always a good respite to take a vacation to an exotic destination. A vacation restores the energy that is usually depleted after spending so much of your time, hard at work. One of the best ways to enjoy your vacation is to sign up for an all inclusive Mexican holiday.

All inclusive Mexican holidays will take you to wide expanses of beautiful beaches, beautiful countryside scenery, fantastic resorts and hotels, and you get to meet the wonderful people of Mexico. In the past visiting these destinations was reserved to the rich and famous, but today, you can visit the exotic destinations on a budget that you can afford. Vacations in places like Cancun, and Acapulco, are now affordable to most people. Actually, you may be surprised to find that a Mexico holiday trip may be less expensive than a holiday in the USA.

Here are some of the exotic destinations that you can visit on your Mexico holiday trip:

An all inclusive Mexican holiday to Acapulco, is one that you should aim to have, at least once in your life. It is famed to be the greatest vacation destination in the world. There are plenty of white sandy beaches, with clear blue waters, luxury hotels, Water Sorts, Restaurants, among many other attractions.

This is a resort in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. All inclusive holiday trips to this destination, is what many people believe to be the ultimate vacation. It has a tropical lagoon on one side, and the Caribbean on the other. There are lots of clear beaches, where people love to dive and snorkel. More than 80 flights arrive at the airport every day, bringing scores of Mexican holiday seekers to the area. The destination is blessed with sunshine all year round, but can have tropical storms, especially during summer.

Cozumel is the Mayan word for Island of Swallows. The destination is said to have a Caribbean soul, and a Mexican heart. It is a popular destination for people who love water sports, and has a world-famous coral reef. Snorkeling, deep sea diving, fishing, and kayaking are popular water sports in this area. The central part of the island has not been encroached on by human settlement, and there you will find several wildlife parks, including the Chankanaab National Park, where you can see exotic wildlife. You can get low-cost Mexican holidays to this popular destination, and have a vacation to remember.

In summary, finding all inclusive Mexican holiday packages is no longer as expensive as it used to be. Contact your travel agent, and find out about affordable packages for you and you family, to go and visit these wonderful destinations.

Reading, A Healthy Lifestyle Choice

Reading is one of my favorite pastimes. A healthy lifestyle choice that anyone can make. I've been an avid reader since I was in second grade. It is a passion I have never grown out of and one I can carry with me as I age. Reading is relaxing, enjoyable, entertaining, inspiring, enlightening and keeps you knowledgeable about many subjects. In a literate society like we have, the ability to read is vital in order to function effectively on a daily basis. Reading is important and involves every aspect of our lives from road signs, tax forms, menus, newspapers, the list goes on and on. Reading is inescapable in our lives. As functional as reading is, it is also one of the most pleasurable and enjoyable pastimes you can do on your own. It is unfathomable to me that people actually "hate" to read. That attitude in itself, is to me an unhealthy one.

I literally get lost in a good book. I don't even hear others when they speak to me when I am reading. There have been weeks when I have devoured 10-12 books. That is what I call healthy food for the mind. I can read for hours on end. It is especially wonderful when it is cold or rainy and the fireplace is going and I am curled up close by with a book. When I am anxious, stressed or tired, reading a good book helps me to relax, forget my problems and become involved with the book itself. I can empathize with the characters and their situations and incorporate these new ideas and feelings into my own life experiences. Reading becomes a healthy coping option that I choose frequently to reduce stress and provide me with a wonderful sense of well being.

I read recently in the Prevention Magazine that the average number of books read last year was FOUR! Yikes, that is not a healthy number by any means. Prevention Magazine states that "cozying up with a good book shields your brain from decline. Researchers theorize that you can read books for a healthy brain, as bookworms develop a brainpower reservoir that's tapped when disease or aging threatens their gray matter." That statement alone only encourages me to be a bookworm forever. Reading is a healthy lifestyle choice. It is healthy for the mind, it reduces stress, relaxes the body and stimulates creativity and the imagination. You can travel to exotic places, take off on a vicarious adventure, visit places from the past, future, or here and now, read about interesting people and characters or obtain information about a hobby or topic you enjoy. Reading helps you to communicate and share your knowledge with others. It allows us to improve and grow as individuals and enhances our chances in life.

Best of all reading is ageless. It keeps our minds agile. Anyone can take up the habit. You just need a good book, no other tools or equipment are needed. You can do it anywhere, indoors or out, while you are waiting in line, at the beach, by the pool, on the porch, in bed, or in your own special chair or spot. You can read anytime, at night, during the day or in the morning, Reading is FREE. All you need is a library card and you are all set. The internet is also a good place to read.

Reading is beneficial in many ways and can and should be one of your choices for a healthy lifestyle. There are millions and millions of books , magazines and newspapers out there to read. Your passions, interests and needs will be the factors that motivate you and help you choose the types of books or materials to read. I myself enjoy biographies, auto biographies, serial killer mysteries, mystery stories, love stories, self help books, recipe books, and health and fitness magazines. The choices are endless, any subject you choose is there for the taking from science, art, politics, theater, education, religion, love and family to all other sorts of fiction and non-fiction.

Make reading one of your choices for a joyful pastime. Read for pleasure, read for knowledge, read for work, for health or leisure. Just remember to READ and READ and READ! Make it your healthy lifestyle choice.

Joomla Development - Powerful Functionality in Small Packages

Joomla is a popular open-source content management system (CMS) that is also used to create websites. It is very versatile and scalable such that it can be used to build anything from simple personal websites to sophisticated company-wide intranets. It has an extensive (and expanding) library of plug-ins that enables it to expand the functionality of Joomla-based websites to limitless possibilities. It is scalable enough for a company to start with a small website and expand by adding plug-ins along the way with very little fuss. It is a common feature in the development of school websites, church websites, real estate websites, e-commerce, small business websites, corporate intranets, hotel and tourism websites, non-profit organization websites, government office websites, and community portals.

Joomla is free for download, and most of its plug-ins, themes, templates and other features are also free. Development services are therefore very low-cost. For those who wish to create their own websites, the learning curve is not too steep. There are many free learning materials and video clips available online. Joomla's community of users are also very accommodating when answering any kind of Joomla-related questions. It will not take a lot of time to get the hang of things, although professional developers generally create more cohesive and sophisticated-looking websites.

Joomla's community of enthusiasts and developers is one of the most active IT-related communities, with 200,000 members regularly participating in their online forums and creating and contributing not only plug-ins, but themes, templates and other features as well. This active development of extensions results in tremendous possibilities for Joomla-based websites. These extensions number by the thousands, and this is where Joomla beats its rivals, including Drupal and WordPress. Many of the extensions are available at the official Joomla extensions website, although independent developers also publish their own creations. Though most are free, some are available for a small fee. Once downloaded, they are can be reused anyway.

Joomla's rivals have much fewer capabilities that are readily available. Another great Joomla feature that surpass its rivals are its security and administration levels. It has in-built user management, search, template management, polls and integrated help capabilities. Additionally Joomla websites can be reconfigured to be more SEO-friendly by installing extensions.

Joomla, together with its extensions, makes it a worthwhile alternative to web development using full-on web development languages and framework which tends to lean on the pricier side. With Joomla, owners will not only get websites that are stylish, but also full-featured and "functionalitively" extensive, thanks to its vast library of extensions. These extensions are as almost robust and powerful as web apps, and most of them are able to interface readily with other systems. This is particularly useful to businesses which require various back-end systems, such as point-of-sale, payment and finance, to integrate and submit information to each other. Web developers will not require a lot of time and money to implement any changes. Website owners, consequently, will get their results in a quick and budget-friendly manner.

With Joomla development, good things indeed come in small packages through its extensions.

Wedding Caterers: How to Find an Ideal One

Planning a wedding - especially if you're the bride/groom or part of the immediate family - is definitely not an easy feat. Of course, apart from the numerous details that must be covered (from gowns to wedding arrangement and flowers), another important thing that must be taken into consideration is the wedding reception. This is where you and the guests will simply enjoy the celebratory moment while savoring appetizing dishes and drinks. To lessen the stress and workload you need to cover for the event, it will be better to look for a wedding catering company that will help you plan the food preparation and reception setup more efficiently. Below are a few things that may be helpful when you look for a good wedding caterer.

Find a good caterer through referrals.

Never discount how powerful word of mouth is. Ask your friends for top recommendations regarding wedding catering services they recently used. If you and your partner have a favorite restaurant you frequently go to, you might want to check if they offer catering services for weddings. If not, they can surely give you some suggestions about catering partners they already know.

Try to look for in-house caterers.

Before approaching a caterer of your choice, ensure that you already have a place picked for the occasion. If you're holding the reception in a hotel, for instance, ask if they already have an in-house caterer that can accommodate your event needs. You can also check if they have a list of caterers they trust and frequently get a chance to work with.

Search the web for valuable information about event caterers.

The web is a very helpful place to search for top recommended companies in your area. Apart from directories of caterers operating in your preferred location, you can also look for websites of professional caterers association.

Schedule interviews and tastings.

Make a shortlist of caterers you're interested to hire. Schedule interviews with them and don't forget to ask for tasting sessions as much as possible. With each caterer you interview, take note of their presentation style, rates and fees, menu options, and catering packages.

Compare companies.

Try to look for the most affordable catering option that you can work with depending on the budget you have in mind. Don't forget to check for reviews about the company. Look for feedback about their services and their menu, catering rates, as well as their approach to clients.

Remember that food and reception will take about half of your total wedding budget. Finding a wedding caterer you can trust is definitely crucial not only to the success of the whole event; it's also fundamental to get the best value for your money.

Hotels in Manila - Why Legend Hotel Manila is Synonymous With "Accessibility"

The Legend Hotel Manila is a three (3)-star hotel that sits strategically between Manila's two business and commercial districts: the Ortigas Business Centre and the Makati Central Business District. Only 45 minutes away from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), this hotel is centrally located, allowing guests to travel all over Manila inexpensively and with relative ease in the Philippines.

The Legend Hotel Manila spells "access."

Access to shopping malls.

The Robinson's Pioneer Mall is just around the bend. A quick stroll will bring you to a mall that has a drugstore, supermarket, department store, movie houses, an array of restaurants, coffee shops, electronics --- practically anything and everything that you need all within easy reach.

The posh Edsa Shangri La Plaza Mall and The Podium, home to high end shops and restaurants, are just 10 minutes up north by car. A few meters away from Edsa Shangri La Plaza is SM Megamall, one of Asia's biggest malls. This mammoth mall is a shopper's haven. It houses 2 adjoining buildings, Mega A and Mega B. It has an ice skating rink beside the Food Court. The MegaStrip, which straddles Mega A and Mega B, boasts of chic restaurants and bars.

You will find Robinson's Galleria Shopping Mall a little farther north. Alongside Robinsons's Galleria is an airconditioned church which serves as the base of a gigantic bronze statue of the Mother Mary, a historic marker to commemorate the famous People Power (EDSA) Revolution in 1986 and the indispensable role played by the religious sector in the event.

A trip down south of the hotel will take you to Ayala Center, a shopping kingdom comprised of two areas: Glorietta and Greenbelt, located right within Makati's Business District. Glorietta is a one-stop shopping center that offes a complete shopping and dining experience. It has an indoor playground for children and an activity center for shows and concerts. The Greenbelt Malls is a string of shops that offer world class designer brands and high end restaurants and bars.

More shopping can be had at Bonifacio High Street and Market! Market! In Fort Bonifacio Global City, the Power Plant Mall at Rockwell Center and the popular Greenhills Shopping Arcade at San Juan.

Access to a cheap and convenient city tour of Manila.

The hotel is a stone's throw away from a Metro Rail Transit (MRT) station. In fact, it can be reached by foot. The MRT will take you through almost the entire length of EDSA and you can have an elevated view of the city, sans the grueling traffic. The MRT is one of three inter-connected commuter rail systems that circle Metro Manila. The rail systems are cheap and airconditioned, but as is true for commuter rush hours, it is best to avoid the MRT in the early morning and evening.

Access to nightlife.

"The Shops at Serendra," Manila's latest addition to its dynamic night scenes, is just 20 minutes away by car. This retail strip located inside Fort Bonifacio, Global City has 80 establishments strategically located in a 2-level esplanade. It boasts of a beautifully landscaped piazza that offers an international assortment of food, specialty retail and services.

Restaurants, clubs and bars at Greenbelt in the Makati Business District are an all-time favorite of locals and tourists alike. On weekends, the Greenbelt crowd is treated to concerts and shows that are set amid fountains and water springs.

The Metrowalk Commercial Complex in Ortigas offers an eclectic blend of restaurants and bars. It is one of Manila's newest leisure places in town.

It is plain to see----the Legend Hotel Manila is far from typical. It is strategically located, and without a doubt a gateway to fun and adventure. The Legend Hotel will make your stay in Manila an exciting and memorable one. So book online now for your Manila Hotels stay!

Attain Paramount Serenity by Embarking on Badrinath Yatra

India is a land of the diverse cultures and religions and it is also renowned worldwide as a country that has an innumerable temples and sacred places. It cannot be argued that there are countless options for a devotee in the form of the holy shrines and temples to offer his homage to the lord. Among all sacred religious destinations, Chardham yatra holds a special significance in the hearts of the people who embark on this pilgrimage tour to find peace and seek blessings from the almighty. There are altogether four holy abodes, namely Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath that constitute the whole yatra. A large percentage of people visit these abodes to cleanse their soul and attain 'moksha'.

Shri Badrinath Dham has got much importance amongst all the abodes. This dham is a home of the Lord Vishnu, which is situated on the banks of the Alaknanda River. The mind-blowing and enchanting Neelkanth Mountain in the backdrop allows for an ideal treat to the eyes and provides a memorable experience. There is a Badrinath temple where the pleasant fragrance of incense and the chanting of 'mantras' truly provide an excellent peace of soul and mind. A lot of holy men in the saffron can be seen along the banks of the Alaknanda River sitting in a silent meditation.

The Badrinath temple was constructed in the 18th century A.D. by the Adi Shankaracharya that is located at the altitude of 3415 meters. At the temple, there is very unique idol of Lord Vishnu, which casts its spiritual magic on all the devotees. The idol is in the form of the meditative position, which is made from the black stone. The temple is classified into three different kinds of the portions that are Sabha Mandap, Garbha Griha and Darshan Mandap. There are two prominent pools, which are Tapt Kund and Surya Kund that envelop the magnificent temple. There is a belief among the spiritual travelers that by dipping the raw potato and rice into the pool and consuming it in the form of a 'Prasad' will help them to get the blessings from the Lord Vishnu.

If you are chalking out a plan to take Shri Badrinath Yatra, then the best time to visit this holy place is between April and September. You do not have to worry about the accommodation facilities during your pilgrimage journey because there are number of hotels and guest houses that can make the stay really hassle-free and comfortable.

Finding Your Way in Fabulous Florence

In Tuscany, villas are famous as a desirable and typically Italian place to stay when visiting this eminent region. This large area in central Italy is best known for its turbulent history, its artistic attributes and its rich and fertile soils. People travel from all over the world to appreciate the architectural elegance of its cities, to explore its breath taking landscape, and to indulge in some of the most celebrated gastronomy Europe has to offer. There is no doubt that through the ages, nowhere in Italy has attracted more artists, poets and influential people than Tuscany. Villas dot the landscape, many of them elegantly adorned with grand facades and long winding driveways. Originally built for the elite and aristocracy many have now been turned into hotels or are privately owned.

As well in Tuscany, villas of a more understated nature are available for groups and families to rent for their stay in the area. This is an ideal accommodation option if you want to have your own base and take your time exploring. There is nothing better than, after a day out sightseeing, returning to the comfort of your own place, indulging in some al fresco dining and watching the sun sink gently over the hills.

Exploring Florence

There is so much to do, explore and discover here, but no visit would be complete without spending time in the famous capital (of the region), Florence. This wonderful city is a treasure trove of historical and cultural delights. Around every corner there is something new to uncover. The museums and galleries are rightly famous for their world-renowned exhibits, but even by simply wandering the streets of Florence and stopping to look up and around you, you will realise that there is history, art and Renaissance architecture oozing from every nook and cranny. This city absolutely bursts with legacies from the affluent past it is so proud of.

The cathedral in Florence is breath taking and you can climb to the top of the dome and get close to the stunning fresco that adorns it. The Academia Museum is where you will be able to stand and admire the incredible Michelangelo statue of David, a hundred times more mind blowing than the replica in the Piazza Publico. It is easy to spend a day in the Uffizi galleries, one of the world's most prestigious collections of art. Some of the churches such as Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce are art galleries in their own right, absolutely bursting with fine examples of Renaissance work.

If you prefer to explore a city by wandering the streets, following the enchanting restaurant smells and joining the locals in their daily gastronomic rituals, then Florence is the perfect place. Head over the Ponte Vecchio, the bridge that is the oldest street in the city and the unlikely survivor of both world wars, and up to San Miniato for some of the best views of the city and indeed of the countryside of Tuscany. Villas in and around Florence are easy to come by and you will be spoilt for choice. Regardless of where in this gorgeous region you choose to base yourself, you cannot fail to have a very special holiday.

Ensure You Have Guaranteed Sales of Your eBook BEFORE You Start Writing

Getting your books published online or through Amazon is one of the greatest opportunities our generation has right now to make money fast and from the comfort of your own home.

In days gone by authors had to beg and plead with publishing houses to get their books published and marketed. Even if you were one of the lucky ones it was a fulltime job then travelling the country, doing sales talks, promo pieces and book signings. If you were not one of the lucky ones, you had to spend thousands of dollars to get your books published and printed yourself and then spend thousands of dollars to get the word out. Obviously most people do not have the spending power to afford the marketing budget required so most attempts at self publishing failed miserably.

Now however- we can self publish in a matter of minutes. Of course the quality and content still has to be first class. Never make the mistake of doing a rush job with poor spelling and weak story lines thinking that you can publish anything and become a millionaire - No this does not work and is not ethical! Probably even more so you need to produce high quality information or very entertaining and professional story lines. But provided your content is high quality, there is no reason you cannot generate substantial income fairly quickly.

Just think about how many people are online. Just think about how many people order product over the internet. Just think of the huge growth in Kindles and other e-readers. eBook readers are already achieving sales of $3 billion and are forecast to be selling $9 billion by 2016. This is massive!

Best of all, the income is passive. Once you get highly ranked and readers can find you- you will have passive income rolling in month in month out, whether you get out of bed or not! Of course there is a lot of work to do upfront but once you have started the momentum it is self-sustaining. And guess what - it hardly costs a penny to publish! The only risk to you is time!

The reason many authors fail is not because their writing is poor but because they do not market their books well.

Here are some reasons why your book might not sell well:

• Poor grammar and formatting

• Poor dull uninspiring cover

• Boring or obscure title

• No marketing done- people can't find it

How To Guarantee A Winner: Market Research

Make sure you have an audience of hungry buyers BEFORE you start writing. Many authors fall into the trap of just writing THEN trying to find someone who will buy it. Instead do the opposite - find the audience FIRST then write the book knowing with certainty it will sell. Thank fully the internet makes this really easy.

If you are writing non fiction, go to places like Click bank and see what is selling. Go to Amazon and scour the best sellers list, Go to Google keyword tool and type in your keywords and keyword phrases and see how many people are searching for this term on a monthly basis. If there is hardly anyone- change your genre, topic or subject immediately. If however 578,000 people are searching for information on your subject and the 2-3 of the current best sellers are on this subject as well- you know you are on a winner! Finish this article and start writing!

If you are writing fiction- same thing- you need to know you have an audience. Define who they are, what characters they like, check out the best sellers lists and see what books, what genres are popular right now. Some people just want to write a book-and do not care about sales. However if you are looking to write a best seller- it can be a good idea to piggy back on the success of another popular book or genre. Timing is everything! Be current and on trend!

Then settle down, set up your writing plan eg 1000 words a day or 5 chapters a day and write the best book you possibly can. Get it proof read, re edit it several times and make sure you are truly proud of it. Get it published then start the marketing process. This is the topic of another article.

Happy Writing!

Individual Preferences and Choosing the Best Alarm Clocks

Choosing an alarm clock should never be difficult. However, with so many different types of clocks available with a wide range of variety of features, who can really say that this task will be easy. In fact, manufactures of clocks all over the world are participating and they want to be the best of the best on the market today. With all of the great innovations in technologies, this can be a challenge. When choosing an alarm clock, there are some factors that should be considered, especially if the person is searching for the best clock for a specific individual. Some of these factors include the cost of the alarm clock, their personal preference for being awakened, and the size of the clock.

Cost of the Alarm Clock
For people who live on a limited budget, cost is always a major factor in making any decision. Therefore, it is important for an individual to consider how much they can afford to pay for the clock. Today, the costs for an clock can vary quite substantially from one manufacturer to another. From extra cheap to very expensive, the buyer will need to determine where their money falls, since there is such a wide range available on the market. In fact, by staying within a certain price range, the price may be used as a tie breaker as the decisions become harder to make.

Personal Preferences of Being Awakened
Some people do not like to wake up early morning by alarms that sound like the police or firemen are breaking into their homes. These sounds can be very disturbing and frustrating to them so they avoid them at all cost. Therefore, some people may need a sound that is a lot less frightening (i.e. quieter wake you up sounds), but can do the job. While the police and fireman sounds may be offensive to some, this may be the only way some people will get up. This type of alarm is normally for people who go into a deep sleep or cannot get up by normal means. Therefore, if they receive the fireman and police clock, they are more than grateful because without them, they will oversleep. Which means, it is important for each individual to find clock that will wake them up on time and the right way.

Size of the Alarm Clock
The size of the clock is also a determining factor. Which means, the person may have to choose between the smallest digital clock that they can find or the largest clock with large numbers. As a general rule, the large size clock is normally suitable for those who place them on the nightstand beside their bed at home. These alarm clocks are normally in stable position at all time and are rarely moved from one place to another. However, if an individual is traveling and always on the go from one city to another, they may need a small clock that they can throw in their suitcase and keep moving. Therefore, it is important for the clock to be the right size for every occasion.

Use a Limo to Get Around on Special Occasions

If you are planning to go out to celebrate for an upcoming special occasion, there may be one thing you have not put much thought into. Your plans for a special occasion may be set, but do you know how you are going to get around? Do you plan to possibly go bar hopping? Are you going to be traveling with a group of friends? Chances are, most people are going to answer 'yes' to these questions. Being adequately prepared for special occasions means using the proper mode of transportation.

If you are celebrating a special occasion this year, you will likely want to check out a local limo service company. If you live in a large city, there is no shortage of these businesses around. However, they do vary greatly in price, quality of service and in the amenities that are offered in their vehicles.

What are the Benefits of Using a Limo?
Limos are meant for all occasions. Not only do they provide more than enough room for you and all of your friends, many come equipped with features to make the night all the more enjoyable. From full service bars to TV and stereo systems to even Jacuzzis in some vehicles, you are only limited by whatever the size of your budget is. In regards to this last point, it never hurts to have everyone in your group split the rental bill. You might be surprised at how cheap renting a limo really is.

Special occasions are supposed to be fun and full of excitement. By renting a local limo, you do not have to worry about who is going to drive. You also do not need to stress about working around other people's schedules. It is not uncommon for designated drivers to opt out and leave a party early. When this happens, you are left trying to find a back up in a rush. With a limo rental, you get a reliable and professional chauffeur who is going to be there no matter what the circumstances.

Before you know it, that next special event is going to be here. Make sure everything is in order well beforehand; one thing to do is reserve rental limo now. Most local limousine companies are already beginning to be booked solid through the spring and summer. To avoid missing the opportunity, call and make the reservation as soon as possible.

My Favorite Sicilian Restaurants

Sicilian restaurants offer up some of the best cuisine in the world. Italy has always been known for its great food, and Sicilian food is no exception to this. And it isn't only the food that makes eating in a Sicilian restaurant a memorable experience, the leisurely way it is presented has made it into a high art. The approach to Sicilian eating is the grandest of the meeting of the ways between the best folk traditions and the best aristocratic ones. Sicilian cuisine reflects the unique and diverse cultural heritage taken from its history. Sicilian dining is an experience surely to be enjoyed.

Many restaurants in Palermo and other coastal towns focus on the seafood dishes. Although there are cheaper places to be found in the city, Palermo also offers some of the best Sicilian restaurants in the area. In Palermo, notable ones for the tourist to try are:

Il Ristorantino - hailed by Italian critics for its classic and authentic Sicilian and Mediterranean cuisine

La Scuderia - (located about 3 miles north of the city at the foot of Monte Pellegrino) this is dubbed as being Palermo's grandest restaurant with outstanding international and Italian cuisine

Il Mulinazzo - a highly acclaimed Sicilian restaurant offering an exquisite dining experience

Spinnato - this is a stylish, but affordable, café style restaurant offering tempting lunch dishes, such as bresaola (cured beef served with fresh endive and arugula with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese added) which is a timeless favorite

Cin-Cin - offering a serene setting located off the beaten track down a flight of steps between the Politeama Opera House and the Giardino Inglese (English Garden). The cuisine offerings are refined and in the aristocratic 'Baroque' style. It has a large wine list that includes many fine Sicilian vintages. One outstanding dish to enjoy is the beef fillet with urchin sauce.

Piazza Olivella - one of Palermo's most popular informal dining spots. This really is not just one Sicilian restaurant, but is comprised of about 15 places in and around the district square of Via Cavour, Via Roma, and Via Maqueda, near the Teatro Massimo.

In Taormina the discriminating tourist can also find some great Sicilian restaurants:

Gran Duca - located in a Baroque palazzo built up on medieval foundations, this restaurant offers exceptional seafood, an ample wine list and excellent service.

La Buca - a charming Sicilian restaurant offering an intimate setting and a varied menu. The outdoor terrace with the sea and mountains in view is exquisite.

Casa Grugno - deemed as being one of the most creative and exciting restaurants in Sicily with a modern take on Sicilian cuisine and superb international dishes

Borgo Antico - located near Taormina in Castelmola, this restaurant open only in summer offers fantastic views of Mount Etna and has a varied menu. The pasta with wild fennel and shrimp is a house specialty.

Other noteworthy restaurants in Taormina that the discriminating tourist may wish to try are: Dracena (open only in the warmer months), Gambero Rosso (a pizzeria that also serves beef, lamb and seafood), or Zammará (a traditional restaurant which offers local specialties).

If you are traveling to Catania, the best restaurants to visit here are:

Al Gabbiano - which serves remarkable seafood and fresh fish. This restaurant is located in the heart of Old Catania.

Osteria I Tre Bicchieri - dubbed as Catania's finest restaurant with its outstanding Continental cuisine. The chef's Mediterranean fish is a must to try.

Le Zagare - a Grand Hotel style dining experience set on the eastern coast of Sicily. Fine dining is offered with the best of Sicilian cuisine and a sampling of Continental dishes.

Metro - serving creative, traditional dishes amidst an elegant décor.

Siracusa Sicilian restaurant offerings include:

Trattoria Kalliope - in the Ortygia historical district with excellent seafood dishes served within a delightful, traditional setting

Don Camillo - exceptional, affordable dining within an impressive medieval structure. Extraordinary seafood and Sicilian recipes are creatively prepared.

Il Barocco - serving incomparable Sicilian seafood from the Ionian Sea set in a building converted from an 18th century stable block to a historic palace.

The above are only a sampling of the great Sicilian restaurants to be found in Sicily. Wherever you go in Sicily you are sure to find great seafood, with tuna, swordfish and red mullet forming a significant part of the island's traditional cuisine, as well as the fresh fruit and vegetables which the warm climate and rich soil encourages. And of course, the pasta dishes that are famous in all of Italy.

Sicilians have the gift of great food to offer to anyone visiting their island. Any Sicilian restaurant will reflect their talent for providing exceptional cuisine.

Exhibition Stands: Add-Ons For Your Exhibition Display Booth

If you are planning to take part in an event or exhibition with your own trade show display or trade show booth, the following tips will certainly help you to improve your overall presence.

Add hanging displays

Vibrant suspended displays carry numerous advantages, especially in a large scale tradeshow. A visitor entering the display area can only see numerous rows of nearly identical stalls, with nearly the same heights and widths. Adding a hanging display in the space right above exhibition stands can draw people's attention, and the visitors are likely to get attracted from afar. The hanging display is an effective use of the space above your stall just like your ground space.

Hanging displays are usually made of extruded aluminium or fibreglass; with bright coloured sublimated pillowcase graphics that cover the frames entirely. These displays are somewhat expensive additions to your trade show booth, but definitely ones that are likely to make a strong impression.

Branded counters

One essential goal for trade show booths is to make as huge a impression in the usually small space available. Multi-purpose display objects provide a huge benefit to the budget conscious companies. Both of these goals can be met perfectly with the help of case-to-counter conversion kits.

These very simple kits can help you in converting your travel cases into very convenient branded counters for exhibition booths. These trade show booths can be used conveniently for indoor and outdoor events. The kits are light-weight, portable and very easy to convert. The graphics are usually prepared on sublimated polyester fabric or roll-able PVC. Case conversion kits are the ideal solution for you if you want to do more with less.

Sublimated table covers

Most trade show displays come with a standard sized table, which is a part of the facilities provided by the organizers. Every organization then faces the challenge of making their table as attractive as possible. Although there are many possible ways, one of the best ones is to use a full-colour, knit polyester cover. The best thing about the knit cover is that it can be completely covered with printed material that literally covers every inch. If your company wants its main PMS colour to form the background that can be done. You can also use the company logo and tagline to do the step and repeat, which you can also do with the image of an actual product. There is no limit to what can graphically be done with sublimated table covers. They are inexpensive and can conveniently pull together the complete exhibition stand

While we all use the standard displays for many exhibition booths and trade show booths, additions like these can really ensure that your stall attracts an amazing amount of attention at the next occasion. If in doubt, always consult with an exhibition stand company or exhibition stand contractor for more professional advice.

Sandals Resorts All Inclusive

For couples looking for a romantic getaway with all the bells and whistles, Sandals resorts all inclusive vacations just might fit the bill. Unlike the chain's Beaches resorts which are designed for families and single travelers, Sandals caters only to couples and it makes sure all the little "extras" it offers are geared toward R&R - romance and relaxation.

Sandals is an all-inclusive resort, which means that everything is paid for, from meals and drinks to golf green fees and scuba lessons - even gratuities are included in its price. That means couples can leave their money concerns at home and devote all their time and energy to enjoying themselves and each other.

So just what does the Sandals resorts all inclusive price include? Here's a quick rundown:

  • Water sports, including windsurfing, kayaking, sailing and even waterskiing. Sandals also offers scuba diving classes and dives.
  • Land sports like racquetball, handball, basketball, tennis, billiards and, yes, unlimited golf with no green fees.
  • Fitness centers with a wide range of state-of-the-art equipment.
  • "Ultra-gourmet" dining: Each resorts offers up to 15 restaurants offering a variety of themed dining options based on cuisines from around the world.
  • Premium house wines and unlimited drinks made with top-shelf ingredients served 24 hours a day throughout the resort.
  • Themed shows, parties and events featuring musicians and other entertainers and performers, including beach-themed parties, bonfires and costume parties.
  • Luxurious rooms with marble baths, big TVs, stocked in-room wet bars and smooth-as-silk linens. Stay in a top-tier suite and they throw in a butler. Many locations also feature 24-hour room service.
  • Airport transfer fees, tips and taxes - they're all included.

And of course, because every Sandals resort is located on a beach, there's plenty of opportunity to swim and relax in the sun.

Sandals' commitment to luxury has led to its recognition as one of the top all-inclusive resorts around; in fact, ISLANDS magazine has repeatedly awarded Sandals resorts with the titles of "Best All-Inclusives" and "Best of the Caribbean." Both titles are awarded based on nominations submitted by resort guests and not by industry wonks, which means guests can rest assured that they're getting a great experience ideally suited to their romantic R&R needs.

Sandals resorts all inclusive vacations aren't for families or singles, just couples, so if you're looking to get away by yourself or with your kids, you'll have to look elsewhere. But for couples who are looking for a way to recharge without the hassle of constantly reaching for their wallets or worrying about their vacation budgets, Sandals luxury resorts is a great way to get some romance back into even the most world-weary relationships.