If youre not familiar with the term specialty cruise, youre not alone. While the concept has been gaining in popularity, it is by no means as well- known as a standard Caribbean cruise on a mega ship. In fact, a specialty cruise can be anything from a special type of ship to a special theme for the week. There are hundreds to choose from; here are a few to whet your cruising appetite:
If youre not familiar with the term specialty cruise, youre not alone.
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If you enjoy the hobby, need to get some pages done and can get some friends to join you, this trip may become an annual one for you.
If you are interested in avoiding the run-of-the-mill cruise lines and itineraries, a specialty cruise may be for you. From cruises focusing on music, poker, art, fitness, golf and even mystery dinners, everyone and anyone can find an option that appeals to them.
For your first cruise, you might want to brush up on the lingo. It isnt necessary but sometimes it just makes you feel a little better when you know what everyone is talking about aboard the ship. From aft to windward, weve got you covered.
For your first cruise, you might want to brush up on the lingo.
CC image courtesy of Number Six (bill lapp)
His (or her) cockpit, if you will.
Study this list. Learn the lingo. If you do your homework, you wont feel like such a newbie. In fact, you might be able to teach a seasoned cruiser a thing or two.
There are a lot of things to consider when planning a birthday party. You’ve got the invitations, the decorations, the cake and ice cream, the games and activities, and the goodie bags. This can add up to a lot of money if you are not properly prepared.
With a quick rundown of the easiest ways to save big money on your child’s birthday party, you won’t have to sacrifice any of the fun to have a frugal party.
These ‘character’ or ‘theme’ parties can be the most expensive of all. To cut corners, mix and match accessories and decorations with plain things such as tablecloths, napkins, plates, and such. If you are choosing to go with a theme such as a Disney movie or TV show character, find printable characters online or draw freehand if you can and use them for hanging banners, or even the design for a homemade cake.
Taking all the kids for a big picnic in a park can be a great way to save money. The kids can use the playground and a simple $3 pack of balloons filled with water can provide a whole day of fun playing water balloon games.
There are a lot of things to consider when planning a birthday party.
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You can even bring a couple cartons of eggs at only a few dollars a carton, along with spoons, and play games like racing to the finish line without dropping the egg. If the situation is right, you may also like to get an organized game going, like softball, volleyball, or soccer.
An outdoor party where you camp-out in the backyard, or even just cook-out in the backyard, can be a wonderful time. Roast marshmallows and hotdogs, and make Smores on a barbeque or fire pit. Set up tents for sleepovers, or just gather around the campfire to tell spooky ghost stories until it’s time to go home. The cost is minimal for a big bag or two of marshmallows, some hot dogs and buns, a box of graham crackers, and some bars of chocolate. For goodie bags, little flashlights and glow in the dark stickers are a great way to have fun outdoors.
If your birthday party falls during the winter months, and you have snow to play in, this could provide you with a built-in party. Rent or borrow sleds and you’re on your way to a great party. You will want cold-weather food including thermoses filled with hot chocolate and a supply of marshmallows to add in each mug. Don’t forget the blankets and lawn chairs for whoever wants to sit and watch the fun. Bring a big pot of chili and a box of cupcakes, and you have an easy party with easy-to-serve food, and very little money involved.
There is no doubt about the fact that $100 is a tight budget to plan a birthday party for a group of kids. But, you can stretch that budget far and wide, making use of many of the fun things in life that cost little to nothing at all!
Childbirth is painful there’s no getting away from that. There are several pain issues to deal with before, during, and after delivery. One of the most debated procedures during delivery is the episiotomy. This incision is often described as the unkindest cut of all. It can often make recovery more painful than believed is necessary. What is it and is it necessary at all? Let’s look at the debate and you be the judge.
Vaginal delivery is the natural form of birth. During this birthing process, when a mother pushes, she bears down so that she can move her baby through the vagina, or birth canal, and out into the world. The process can lead to possible stretching of the vaginal muscles, hemorrhoids, and weakness in the pelvic floor muscles.
In an effort to decrease the amount of pressure needed to push the baby through the birth canal, doctors may perform an episiotomy. This is an incision into the tissues of the perineum, the small area between the vaginal opening and the anal opening. The incision is believed to make birth easier with less stretching and damage.
If the mother is using natural, drug free, childbirth techniques, a local anesthetic is injected in the tissues of the perineum.
Childbirth is painful there’s no getting away from that. There are several pain issues to deal with before, during, and after delivery.
CC image courtesy of arlen@flickr
A scalpel is used to incise the tissue. Once the baby is delivered, the area is sutured up.
There are different degrees of episiotomy performed depending on how large the child is or how difficult the labor. Usually the area is only cut halfway between the vagina and the anus with minimal skin layers incised. This is considered a second degree episiotomy. A fourth degree cut completely incises the skin layers.
Who is right and who is wrong about the necessity of an episiotomy? Women who have had an episiotomy may disagree with the reasoning behind performing this procedure. Post-delivery, the episiotomy wound is difficult to deal with for many reasons. Simply urinating becomes a frightfully painful event, not to mention a bowel movement. Any straining or pushing during the healing process becomes unbearable. The wound stings, burns, and is often too sore to comfortably sit without some sort of ‘donut.’
There is no clear scientific evidence that supports having an episiotomy over not having one. Many women who have delivered babies with big heads or shoulders have recovered without any adverse effects and given birth quite successfully again. The vagina is made to stretch for the birth of a baby, so the reasoning behind an episiotomy is questioned by mothers as well as the medical profession. So, the debate continues.
Let’s look at some possible side effects of having an episiotomy:
So, is an episiotomy the unkindest cut of all? Discuss this procedure like you would any other with your doctor. An episiotomy should not be done as a matter of course, rather it should be approached as any other surgical procedure with knowledge and caution.
Disney is a magical place. Once you go, you join the ranks of people starting the countdown until the next visit. Unfortunately, Disney is not always the cheapest of vacations. But, there are some tips and techniques you can use to help ease the financial frustrations. Whether you’re planning your first visit to Disney or one of many return trips, there are always ways to save money. Here are a few simple ideas to make the trip easier on the wallet:
The busiest times at Disney are during holidays and the beginning and end of summer. With that being the case, you can usually get a steal of a deal by booking a vacation opposite of any of those times. For instance, you can get almost half off if you schedule a trip just after the school year starts or even the second week in January after the big holiday rush. What you’re basically doing is watching the school calendar and going against the typical vacation times. This may take a bit of planning, but the cost savings are well worth the effort.
Off-season travel not only saves you money on the hotels, resorts, and parks, but it also allows for a more enjoyable experience.
Disney is a magical place. Once you go, you join the ranks of people starting the countdown until the next visit. Unfortunately, Disney is not always the cheapest of vacations.
CC image courtesy of Kheiligh
Instead of waiting in line for hours and hours, you walk straight up to a ride or attraction with hardly a wait at all.
Booking a Disney vacation package is a great way to save money. Not only do the packages allow you to group everything together, it also allows you to customize your Disney vacation to fit your monetary needs as well as fitting the attractions you want to see. Disney packages will typically save you money on transportation within Disney World, as well as savings on hotel or resort prices, and even food.
The two biggest savings, food and hotel, are the main reasons most people decide to go with a vacation package. If you choose to indulge in a character dining experience, for instance, your bill could easily be well over $100. A dining package adds value by giving you a low flat rate for your dining plan. It doesnt matter if your bill for dinner comes to $5 or $150, you pay a flat fee for the plan. Many families enjoy the fact that there are no loose ends or unknown expenditures for dining. Your dining package will also save on snacks and quick meals, which, just like a gas station candy bar, can add up very fast.
Another way to save money at Disney is to take full advantage of all the perks, such as extra hours, formally called magic hours, for which the park stays open to those who reside at a Disney Resort. There are also travel savings, such as buses which take you in between each park, saving money on parking and gas. There is also a monorail and boats, which will not only take you between the parks, but will give you an exciting tour of the entire park.
Of course, these are just a few ways to take advantage of Disney World savings. While there are many other ways to reduce your expenses, these tips are great places to start with serious savings right off the bat. If you want to go to Disney for the first time, or the hundredth time, hop online and see what kind of deals you can come up with. Chances are, with a few of these deals, Disney is more affordable than you could ever imagine.