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Skiing in Switzerland

Experience the dream of skiing the Alps

Experience the dream of skiing the Alps

If you have the time and the money and you enjoy skiing, few locations are more enjoyable than Switzerland. The options are vast when you start searching for the perfect location. Here we offer a rundown of a few of the best ski locations and home rentals that will make the stay that much more enjoyable.

Grindelwald: One of the unique opportunities this location affords is that it’s not isolated from civilization. In addition to the skiing that you can enjoy, you can also have fun with the nightlife, the restaurants, the discos and more. You can enjoy the resorts of Wingen and Murren by cog railway without even taking a car.

Saas-Fee: Here, you’ll find the Alpine Express ski slopes and also the many village stores and restaurants. Among the many choices for lodging is the 4-star 4-bedroom chalet-apartment owned by Marnin Michaels. The Saas-Fee Luxury Apartment is only 50 meters from the ski slopes and offers a great location.

Gstaad/Saanenland: This is a posh location for lodging and also offered music festivals, shopping and people-watching. The slopes here aren’t as challenging as in other locations so it’s a place that is best for beginners and intermediate skiers.

Verbier: This is the premier ski spot for French-speaking Swiss skiers with restaurants that serve creative food and a great eclectic ambiance. If you don’t feel French, however, you won’t feel uncomfortable here. The area also caters to those from England with English-style pubs and French cafes around.

Whether you’re interested in staying at Marnin Michael’s chalet-apartment or at a chalet in Grindelwald, you’re sure to have an amazing experience skiing in Switzerland.

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Halloween: Why You Should Be Giving Out Tricks Not Treats

halloween-candyThe fact is that American kids consume too much candy on Halloween.  A study by Ogden and Carroll found that over a third of children and adolescents in 2010 were defined as obese or overweight. A study carried out by the NPD Group (that undertakes market research on eating trends) found that a staggering 4 percent of all candy consumed during the year is consumed on this one day alone.

So what is the solution?  Well, you probably don’t want to be that parent that gives out tricks rather than treats.  And you can’t control what others are doing.  But you can exert some level of control over what your family is consuming on Halloween.  So, take some expert advice.  According to mother of three, registered dietician and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Sarah Krieger, one way to handle the Halloween candy rush is to cut back on something else that you are eating on that day that is not so healthy such as sugared drinks or granola bars – anything with added sugar.  Then, sit down with your kids ahead of time to discuss what they intend to do with their Halloween candy.  Maybe they want to keep some and give some to charity.  Or maybe they want to give you the candy and let you decide when to give it to them, slowly.

In addition, it is wise to make sure you serve your kids a healthy, wholesome meal just before all the candy fanfare begins.  That way if they are full on good foods they are less likely to completely over-indulge.

At the end of the day Halloween is a lot of fun.  But it really doesn’t have to be all about eating as much candy as you can.  A lot of the enjoyment is in the collecting, going door-to-door, dressing up, trading with siblings and friends etc.  So as a parent, try to make the focus on that rather than the total over-consumption of Halloween candy.

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19 Professional Photography Myths Debunked

Photography enthusiasts all over the world are struggling to launch their careers while grappling with challenges they never thought they’d come across. Professional photographers from across the globe, such as Ray Kam, Thomas Devaux and Neil Krug, have developed their businesses despite such hardships, carving into the industry in their own ways.

Jim Harmer, founder of Improve Photography, host of the popular Improve Photography Podcast, author, and photography enthusiast, compiled a list of 19 myths which he believes must be debunked if you want to give professional photography a real shot:

  1. Being a pro photographer will allow me to work my own hours.
  2. If I charge $75 for a 1-hour shoot, I’ll be making $75 per hour!!!
  3. Getting tons of compliments about your photography means you’re ready to shoot professionally.
  4. Clients will love your photos if you take creative shots.
  5. Second shooters are optional for weddings–even high budget weddings.
  6. Paying for a nice website will bring in clients.
  7. You can earn as much by selling a CD of the images as you can by selling individual prints.
  8. A second body is optional.
  9. Working on a handshake is good for business.
  10. You’re perfectly capable of writing your own contract.
  11. You can avoid learning lighting and buying flash gear by calling yourself a “natural light photographer.”
  12. If you don’t have enough clients, you can do a giveaway on your Facebook page to get things rolling again.
  13. You can become a destination wedding photographer by writing, “Available for travel” on your bio page.
  14. Networking is optional.
  15. Nobody will notice that your portfolio consists of the same 5 people in every shot.
  16. Your portfolio will look great even if the models look average.
  17. People are dying to read your blog.
  18. If you love photography, you’ll love being a pro photographer.
  19. Photography is a growing industry.

Harmer explains each myth in detail, pointing out the potential pitfalls for those who believe them and offering solutions for each problem. View his full article here.

photo by: Hossein Ghodsi
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Quiet, Reserved Actor Finds Love Where He Least Expects It

120718KeithJill1Sometimes love is found where you least expect it… That is certainly what happened to New York University graduate Keith Powell, the man who played “Toofer” on the hit television series 3o RockHe explained that despite the fact that his career seemed outgoing, the publicity actually made him withdraw and remove himself from social experiences.

“I was feeling judged a lot, and I was closing off from people,” Mr. Powell explained.

Four years ago, when Powell was 29, a former classmate asked for his help with a workshop for a new play. Since the season of 30 Rock had already ended production, Powell agreed.

There he met Jill Knox, an actress who he described as “really hot, but also a little nutty.” He was surprised by the openness with which she discussed her love life, recent breakup and general life stories. “The things she said were so charming and funny,” he said. Still, Powell was much more reserved, and kept his distance.

Less than a week later, however, Powell found Jill waiting for a bus and asked her out for brunch. They went back to her apartment instead, and ended up talking for hours. Knox talks openly about how Powell was not her type, and that romance was not on her mind. According to her he was too skinny, and too young. But, Knox gave him a chance and the two grew ever closer. Powell also convinced Knox to expand her love and painting and pursue a career in the visual arts.

“We had so much in common,” Powell shared. “And also, I realized that I needed someone like her who is a little reckless and who throws caution to the wind.”

“Keith was crazy about Jill,” a friend said, explaining that Powell would always talk about how talented Knox was. “Keith was always a very grounded guy, very logical and sensible.”

In 2012, Powell really did throw caution to the wind and popped the question while the couple appeared on House Hunters Renovation. The two were married on October 12th, 2013, at the Tribeca Rooftop.

 

 

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Halloween Cupcake Recipe

Halloween_cupcakes_with_orange,_black_and_white_sprinkles!Halloween is on the way and your home is undoubtedly bustling with costume preparations, large stocks of candy, and plans for trick-or-treat. The internet is bursting with last-minute costume inspirations, home decorating ideas, and recipes for everything ranging from homemade candy to spooky family treats.

Handbag.com has several popular recipes designed to impress your guests and children, including cookies, cakes, candies and cupcakes. Here is a recipe for some simple, spooky Halloween cupcakes:

What You’ll Need:

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 50ml Mr Hugh’s rapeseed oil
  • 25g cornflower
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75ml of milk
  • 100ml of double cream
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 300ml self-raising flour, sifted

For the frosting:

  • 175g softened unsalted butter
  • 600g icing sugar
  • Food colouring of choice (typically orange)

The site explains:

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4
Line a muffin tin with the cupcake cases of your choice.

Melt the butter on a low heat in a small pan, then remove from the heat and set aside. In a bowl add the sugar, rapeseed oil, cornflour and vanilla extract and beat in the butter that has just been melted until smooth and creamy.
Then whisk in the egg followed by the milk and cream and gently fold in the flour in batches trying not to over beat but ensuring all the ingredients are well incorporated.

Divide the mixture between the cases until the cases are two-thirds full. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes or until light and golden and the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre of the cupcake should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Cream together the softened butter, food coloring and the icing sugar until combined. Spread the icing on the cooled cupcakes with a pallet knife or pipe the icing onto the cupcakes. To finish decorate each with Halloween theme cake toppers.

Enjoy!

Stay tuned for more creepy recipes for the upcoming holiday!

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Government Shutdown Shuts Down Weddings

government shutdownThe government shutdown has impacted thousands of people in many ways – and some of these ways reach beyond the obvious financial burdens and hardships. This shutdown, the first since 1996, has included the closure of all National Parks and the need to turn away as many as 750,000 national park visitors each day.

While this is certainly depressing and frustrating for tourists – it’s even more so for those who had planned their weddings to take place at a National Park. And this is the experience that quite a few are facing right now.

Christopher Dunn, for instance, and his fiancé, Christy Nash, have been planning a dream wedding since February that would take place at Yosemite National Park in California. Since they can’t get married there at the moment, however, they have decided to postpone the big day until May of 2014. As Dunn explained, “We fell in love in Yosemite and that’s where we want to marry.”

Similarly, Zach Kouwe has been planning to wed Drake Lucas at the Awahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. And it is supposed to take place on October 13th. More than a year ago, Zach Kouwe, a PR consultant, and Lucas, a writer for Human Rights Watch, planned their perfect wedding.

Yosemite officials said that they would help to relocate the wedding to Tenaya Lodge outside of the park, but Zach Kouwe said that, “It’s definitely not the same – the Awahnee is a really gorgeous old hotel and the scenery there is beautiful.”

They hope to continue to have their wedding on the day they planned. As Lucas wrote, “At the end of the day, I will be married to someone I love, and that’s the thing I most look forward to.” Lucas had some advice for the government. As she wrote, “So, Congress, if I can just share a little of the advice I’ve been given during my engagement, I might be able to help us all out. It’s called compromise. I hear you have to do a lot of it in marriage, and it seems to me that you should have to do a lot of it in your job, too. You can’t just give up if you don’t get your way. And you have to pay your bills on time. Because we are in this for the long haul and there are enough real problems we will have to weather — there is no need to create ones you can prevent.”

Time will tell how these issues, and the many others created by the government shutdown, will be resolved.

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