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Fort Myers Florida – A Great Family Vacation Spot

The city of Fort Myers is located on the sunny southwest coast of Florida and is the perfect spot for a Southwest Florida vacation. This friendly city is an very accessible holiday destination serviced by the recently expanded Southwest Florida International Airport. More than 7.5 million people pass through its gates each year, coming from all over the world for the beautiful weather, world famous beaches and casual, easy-going lifestyle.

Fort Myers was the site of an actual military fort, built in 1850 to defend the local white settlers against the unhappy local Seminole Indians led by Chief Billy Bowlegs. The Seminoles were eventually persuaded to move west and did so in 1858. It lay empty until 1863 when a small detachment of Union soldiers occupied it and held it until the end of the Civil War.

Settlement gradually trickled into the area after the war, but it was not until the 1880s that a significant number of settlers made their way to the Fort Myers area. By 1885 when it was incorporated, Fort Myers was the second largest city (after Tampa) on the west coast of Florida. Settlement really took off after the extension of the Tamiami Trail (today’s Highway 41) over the Caloosahatchee River in 1924.

Today Fort Myers is the county seat of Lee County and is linked to Tampa further north and Fort Lauderdale and Miami on the eastern coast by Interstate 75 and U.S. Highway 41. The population of the metropolitan area of Fort Myers stood at around 625,000 in 2008.

Fort Myers has a rich history and is the home to quite a number of museums, historical landmarks, and yearly celebrations. Visitors will find it very accommodating and easy to find a place to stay, with luxury resorts, budget-friendly inns, and hotels with internet service that cater specifically to the business traveler.

One of the most interesting places to visit is the Southwest Florida Museum of History which opened in 1982. The museum was created by transforming the old railroad passenger depot and surroundings lands on Peck and Monroe Streets. There is also a Downtown Walking Tour exploring the historic buildings of Fort Myers.

Florida is famous as a family-friendly place to visit, and Fort Myers is no exception. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the Imaginarium which features a hurricane simulator and many exciting hands-on and interactive exhibits for kids and adults of all ages. For the very littlest folks there is an early-childhood area.

With over 250,000 visitors each year, the Edison and Ford Winter Estates are the biggest tourist attractions in the city. In fact it is one of the top 10 most popular national historic sites in the United States. Visitors can explore the 15,000 square-foot museum which showcases Edison and Ford memorabilia. The site also features a 14 acre tropical garden and a guided tour through the homes and laboratory.

Like much of Florida, Fort Myers is dependent on the tourist trade for a large part of its economic activity. Many seniors make the trek to the area to spend the winter months, and others come for the beautiful beaches, boating and fishing, and year-round golfing on the many golf courses in the area.

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Seven Questions To Help You Find The Perfect Metal Photo Frame

With the huge selection of metal picture frames available, sometimes it can be difficult picking the one that’s right for you. To help you narrow down your search, use these helpful tips and questions to help you find the right frame quickly and easily.

#1- Frame Budget: How much do I want to spend?

If you’re not sure how much you have to spend to get the type of metal frame you want here are some rough guidelines for different types of metal frames, based on a 4×6 size, that can help:

* Under $10 – basic aluminum frames, simple solid brass frames

* $10 and up – basic silver plated frames, decorative metal frames, steel frames.

* $30 and up – decorative silver plated frames

* $50 and up – decorative hand made solid pewter frames

* $100 and up – decorative solid sterling silver frames

#2- Keepsake frames: Do I want it to be a treasured keepsake?

If you’re looking for a quality metal frame that you want as a keepsake, then there are three types of frames to consider: silver plated frames, solid pewter frames and sterling silver frames. These three types of frames are durable and made to last plus they have a distinct look of quality that sets them apart from other types of metal frames.

#3- Frame style: What style of frame do I want?

No matter what your style preference, there is a metal frame style to match. Here are some examples of metal picture frame styles to consider. Just keep in mind that there is a huge variety of frame styles within each grouping of metal frames.

* Elegant: Silver plated frames, sterling silver frames, metal decorative frames, and metal jeweled frames

* Casual: Decorative metal frames or solid pewter frames.

* Professional: Aluminum frames, silver plated frames or sterling silver frames

* Modern or Traditional style: Almost any type of metal frame, including aluminum frames, steel frames, pewter frames, silver plate frames, sterling silver frames, fit into this style category.

#4- Color: What color of frame do I want?

Metal frames commonly come in various gold or silver tones depending upon the metal material. One thing to know about any “silver” frame is what it’s made out of because it could be made out of an aluminum or metal alloy instead of being made out of a silver plate or sterling. So, the wording “silver frame” is describing the color, not the material it is made from. This is the case for pewter picture frames as well. Unless it’s specifically identified as “solid pewter,” it’s most likely describing the color of the frame instead of the material.

Metal frames are also available in a wide variety of colors. You can find aluminum frames in colors like gold, silver, copper, blue and black or you can find metal frames with brightly colored enamel finishes or decorated with items like crystals or beads.

#5- Finish: What type of metal finish do I like?

The most common metal finishes are matte, shiny, brushed and antiqued. Unless the finish is specifically called matte, brushed or antiqued, it will be a shiny finish.

#6- Engraved Frame: Do I want a frame that can be engraved?

If you want to engrave a frame, be sure to choose a frame that is identified as an engraved frame, or an engravable frame. This means that the metal frame has the same color metal throughout the depth of the frame. It also has to have a smooth, flat surface for the engraving. Engraved frames are available as silver plated, solid pewter or sterling silver frames.

#7- Size: Do you need a specific frame size?

If you are framing a standard sized photo, you should be able to use a ready made frame. Ready made frames are the most convenient way to frame because there are many standard sizes from which to choose.

For a piece of artwork or non-standard picture size, you will probably need a custom metal frame. Your budget comes into play in this area also. You can either buy a custom frame and have it assembled for you or, to save money, you can buy the size you need and assemble it yourself. If you’re handy at putting things together and have some extra time, you can always try assembling a metal frame yourself to save money.

Now that you have answered these 7 simple questions you should be able to easily and quickly choose the frame that fits your needs.

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Ideas to Organize Your Closet and Get Rid of Mess

Are you unhappy with just how your closet actually looks? The smartest thing you ought to do is make the decision to get sorted out. This could seem like an overwhelming task but there are some helpful tips that will make it easy. How you use your closet space is much more important than the actual space you have. Instead of taking a look at the whole job, break it down into achievable steps, and then it won’t seem like too much to handle. Your primary goal should be to not only remove the clutter in your closet but also not let it all build up again.

Get all the stuff out of your closet, and be frank with yourself about everything that is in there. Even though it is easy for some to get rid of things, for others it is a very difficult task. In case you haven’t touched something that’s been sitting in your closet for years, why do you need it? Even though you have things that possess sentimental value, they fit in somewhere other than your closet. There are numerous worthy causes that will use the clothes you haven’t worn for a long time. Permit someone else to get some use out of the things you don’t wear, especially when they no longer fit. If you find clothes that are torn or need to be altered, then you should do it now.

You should also get rid of items that were simply put into the closet for no other reason. As an element of keeping arranged in your closet, you should have a procedure to keep the clothes in order. Keep similar sorts of clothing together, such as what you wear around the house, not being mixed with more formal wear. You’ll be able to arrange them by color, style or by the season. The key point to remember is that you happen to be organizing to maximize closet space. It is necessary that you decide what is essential so that it continues to be in the closet and what is not.

Should you have a lot of shoes, you will want some racks strictly for your shoes. The same is the situation for books, sweaters and other items you wish to have in there. It will end up being different for each individual. Once you know precisely what needs to go in the closet, you can measure to see how much space you actually have. You have to figure out how many shelves and racks you are able to put in the closet. You need to additionally take into account how much money you are willing to spend on your closet and decide if the shelves and racks are permanent or temporary.

You should see if this is a process you do on your own or you have someone else do it. You’ll find places that will perform the work for you, even the designing, or you can get their kits. Either way, ultimately, you will have a neat and organized closet.

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Tomatoes – A Vegetable or Fruit?

Tomatoes, the red juicy variety makes me absolutely nostalgic. It reminds of the days when vacations meant spending time with my grandparents. My maternal grandmom had a beautiful kitchen garden and walking with her (holding her hands and listening to her experiences) in her elaborate kitchen garden was real fun. Kids today talk of generation gap in a big way. However, at the time there really did not seem any generation gap between me and my grandmom. I enjoyed every trip back in time with her. Her garden was indeed beautiful and looking back what a collection it was. From tomatoes, eggplants, green chillies, onions, potatoes to coconuts, bananas, guavas and spices like pepper she had it all.

She loved taking a mid-morning walk in the backyard. Walking alongside the varieties of plants with juicy fruits and vegetables hanging from them was a sight that is still very fresh in my mind. She had a lot of interests from gardening to stitching and was an exceptional cook. With age however, she has been restricted to a great extent in what she is able to do physically. When I see her today I really am forced to think of the effect time can have on us. How over the years things change, circumstances change and from a young energetic woman you are restricted to the confines of your home.

It makes me realize as to how important it is to take care of oneself and remain fit. Guess I have been a little carried away by emotions. It does happen to me at times when I sit to write and get a bit nostalgic then it is one thought connecting to the other and here I am on an emotional trip.

Coming back to my topic of tomatoes. The tomato is still surrounded by the many controversies of whether a fruit or vegetable. However, for all practical aspects now we do consider it a vegetable.The earliest discovered cookery book that contained recipes with the tomato dates back to the year 1692 and was found in Naples. However, the tomato definitely has come a long way since. From the pizza, burgers to ketchup and curries, the tomatoes have come to be an important part of our everyday meal. They are available in a variety of colors, sizes and types. From reds, oranges, greens to whites and tiny cherry tomatoes to the big bulky beefsteak tomatoes, they are all superb. The canned tomatoes are a little different, slightly longish, they are known as plum tomatoes.

With a high vitamin C content and rich in the antioxidant Lycopene, tomatoes sure are a must have on your menu. The antioxidant Lycopene fights against the free radicals in our body and has protective properties that prevent cancer and other diseases. It has a high fiber content too in addition to being rich in vitamin A, B, iron and phosphorus.

There are several dishes and variations possible with tomatoes. However, while cooking them you must ensure that you do not do so in an aluminum utensil. The acid content of the tomato reacts with the metal and is not really good for health.

The very thought of the many permutations and combinations that are possible with tomatoes makes me so hungry. Yummy tomato soups, Indian curries, delicious pizzas, lasagna …. can’t resist it any more. I am off to my kitchen to create a mouthwatering dish with the tomatoes lying in my refrigerator.

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Live Longer and Happier With Rhodiola Herb

Clinical studies on Rhodiola herb reveal that it can help us live longer and happier. First, Rhodiola is suggested to increase lifespan for its anti-aging and anti-stress benefits. Second, it has been found to be useful in treating mild to moderate depression. These are perhaps two of the most important Rhodiola benefits ever discovered. After all, who wouldn’t want to live a longer and happier life?

Rhodiola rosea also known as “golden root” is a shrubby herb that typically grows in the cold mountains of Asia, Europe, Scandinavia, and the Arctic Circle. According to historical records, the Vikings were the first to use Rhodiola Rosea for its medicinal uses. Rhodiola was used to help them survive extreme stress and fatigue during long campaign periods. On the other side of the world, it was used by the natives of Central Asia in the treatment of common colds and flu. Mongolians were reported to use it for more serious health problems like cancer and tuberculosis. Today, Rhodiola benefit can be a lot more with all of these combined.

One study conducted in the University of California revealed that Rhodiola Rosea extract actually extended the lifespan of fruit flies. According to experts the positive effects of the Rhodiola herb in longevity is due to its strong anti-agin and anti-oxidant mechanisms. The herb boosts the body’s response to stress, a very prominent risk factor. Stress negatively affects energy metabolism, immune functions, and speeds up oxidative stress in the cells. With chronic stress, we experience fatigue or loss of energy, recurrent infections, and the early onset of age-related diseases. Stress even causes fatal medical conditions like heart attack and stroke. By helping the body properly respond to stress both physical and mentally, Rhodiola Rosea extract helps prevent all these health risks for longevity.

Now on the happy part, Rhodiola Rosea supplements are considered natural remedy for depression. Studies on Rhodiola for depression found out that it helps stabilize emotions and encourage positive mood. It is thought to produce its anti-depressant effects in two ways. First, Rhodiola Rosea extract blocks the action of the monoamine oxidase enzyme, which helps in increasing the level of the “feel good” neurotransmitter serotonin. Second, it produces a calming effect on the HPA axis in the brain that connects to the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands produce the stress hormone “cortisol” and over stimulation of the HPA axis leads to more production of this hormone. Patients diagnosed to have depression were observed with high levels of cortisone in the blood.

Perhaps, there are other ways to live longer and happier, but if you want to make sure, go for the clinically tested. Maybe life isn’t too short after all, thank God for Rhodiola Rosea.

Log on http://www.tasmanhealth.co.nz/ for details!

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Quality Trampolines Make a Perfect Summer Gift

Buying a trampoline for your family is the best gift to give them for the warm summer season. Quality trampolines are safe, exciting, and they can be used for many years to come. Because they are an outdoor structure, you don’t have to worry about finding enough space in your home for a new game or objects. Setting up a trampoline is a great way to encourage your children to spend summer time playing outside in the fresh air instead of watching television at home. Remember that adults can have fun on a trampoline too. It’s a perfect gift for you, your friends, and your family.

Buying a trampoline sounds like a great idea to most people, but many are worried about price, quality, and safety. After all, you know what to look for when you buy a house, but you probably have no idea about trampolines and their features unless you’ve had one in the past. All people want to buy quality trampolines, but many don’t bother looking because they assume they would be too expensive. In reality, if you know what to look for, there are plenty of affordable trampolines you can choose from that are perfectly safe. If you have a family, safety is a big concern, but it doesn’t mean that you have to spend a fortune to get your dream trampoline.

The most important thing to consider when shopping for quality trampolines is exactly how you intend to use yours. Trampolines have a wide range of sizes and uses, so it’s very important to buy the one that fits your needs. You can even choose from indoor and outdoor trampolines. Indoor trampolines are much smaller, but they can be used all year round. Outdoor trampolines, on the other hand, add an element of fun to any yard, and they can be enjoyed on those perfectly warm summer days when you and your kids just want to have fun.

Also, think about how many people would use the trampoline at one time and how much they weigh. Some trampolines are designed for just one person while others are big enough to support a couple. The number of people that can use a trampoline safely depends mostly on its size. It’s very important not to disregard the manufacturer’s recommendations, and only buy a trampoline that you know will fit yours and your family’s needs. Don’t be afraid of the price. There are many affordable trampolines you can choose from that will fit your home and lifestyle.

When summer comes around, jumping on an outdoor trampoline is one of the best ways you can enjoy it. Kids absolutely love bouncing up and down while enjoying the outdoors. Even adults use trampolines to let loose and forget about stress. Quality trampolines are fun, safe, and perfect for the summer. Enjoy the best season of the year with your family by investing in a trampoline of your own.

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Shopping For The Best Dressers

Looking at dressers is a very fun task that can reveal more options than you ever could have dreamed of. In most cases, dressers come with an entire bedroom set, and purchasing in a set is the best way to save money on them. However, sometimes you need a different kind of dresser than what is available with the bedroom set you have, and other times you just need one dresser that may not necessarily go with any other furniture in your home. The best possible selection depends on a combination of factors, so here are some thoughts that should be kept in mind when looking at dressers.

Size

The very first thing that should be considered when looking at dressers is the size you need. Often a dresser will be needed in a room that has a lot of other furniture and a very specific placement in the room. It is vital that you measure the amount of space that is available in the room so that you do not end up with a dresser that is too large. Remember to account for walking space in the room and avoid getting something that will stick out too far. It may help to look at how far other pieces of furniture stick out along the same wall. This will help ensure a smooth line of furniture inside of the room.

Another factor involved in looking for the appropriate size is how big the drawers are. Some dressers have very small drawers, while others have large drawers. Thinking about what you intend to store inside of the dresser can help a lot. For example, a dresser that will be used to store large sweaters will need drawers that are fit to store very bulky items, while one that is going to be used for socks will require much smaller drawers.

Style

Another important consideration to make when looking for the perfect dresser is the style. Try to find something that matches the other pieces in the room. The easiest way to do this is to match colors of wood, although the color of the wood is not the only thing that should be looked at. The way the wood is carved also makes a big difference. For example, some furniture pieces are very plain and flat, while others may have unique shapes or designs carved into them. Also the style of the handles can play an important role in the style of the piece, so keep those in mind also while you shop. Remember to keep in mind whether you are aiming for a class, contemporary, or modern look and try to incorporate that idea in the piece that you choose.

One other element of style is the height of the dresser and whether it has a mirror attached to the top of it. Taller dressers typically do not have a mirror, but they might be preferable to a shorter dresser with a mirror, depending on the size of the space available and what kind of piece you are looking for. Having a mirror attached to a dresser is a great way to save by not purchasing a separate mirror, but it may not always be a good option. In some cases, you may even purchase a dresser that comes with a mirror but choose not to attach the mirror to the dresser.

Material

The most common type of material for a dresser is wood, and there are many different kinds of woods used. Always try to find a hard wood like oak or cherry and make sure that the hardware is of good quality also.

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Choose the Best Apron For Superior Protection and Style

Few people can maneuver a kitchen without getting a little dirty. Whether they’re pro chefs or beginning bakers doesn’t matter, it seems cooking well and getting a bit messy go hand in hand. With this in mind, aprons are a mainstay of the smart cook – pro or not.

Apron patterns are available in a number of styles from very simplistic designs to very complex patterns that involve a number of advanced cuts and seams. The choice is really up to the maker, but remember, whatever is produced should be durable so the cook who receives it can enjoy it for years to come.

Apron styles are more in number than many might think, too. They can include:

* Basic around the waist aprons. These are good for protecting the pants from spills and splatters, but not blouses or shirts. These wouldn’t be advisable for those who work with a lot of sauces that can splatter or those seriously into barbecuing, but they are more than fine for basic flour baking and so on.

* Barbecue aprons. Designed for both men and women, these are pretty simple aprons that offer both top and bottom coverage. These can come with pockets for holding implements such as brushes or sauce bottles. They tend to slide over the head and tie in the back and generally are made in colors that lend themselves to barbecuing.

* Women’s full body aprons. These come in a number of different styles that include those with pockets and without; with lace and without; with crosshatch ties and without; tailored centers to show off a waistline and more. These aprons run the gamut of styles and even come in vintage patterns.

When choosing material for aprons, keep in mind the following things:

* Aprons are meant to absorb spills in the kitchen so more expensive clothing does not. With this in mind, materials should be sturdy and capable of handling a spill or two and lots of washing without being destroyed.

* Colors. Barbecue aprons should almost never be white, but pure white is just fine for baking pastries and other such goodies.

* Patterns. Checks and solids are great for barbecue chefs of both sexes. Men likely won’t swoon over a calico or flower print though. Know who you’re making the pattern for and choose the materials accordingly.

Basic apron projects are great for beginning sewers to dive into. Whether hand stitched or a machine is used, the simplicity of some of the patterns really lend themselves to teaching a beginner the basics of everything from working with a pattern, to cutting clothing and handling stitching. Remember though that some patterns for aprons can be pretty complex, so for those just starting out, stick with a simple apron that involves only a few cuts and perhaps only a few lines of stitching.

Aprons are very handy articles of clothing that can save “good clothes” from the beating a kitchen can dish out. Whether for barbecuing, baking or more, aprons are great additions to any cook’s wardrobe. They also serve as great projects for beginning sewers or even the more advanced ones to practice their skills while netting a useful item in the process.

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Pot Racks – The Solution to Your Storage Problems

If not having enough storage space is becoming an issue in your kitchen, especially with the pots and pans that you cook with, then turn to lovely pot racks to solve your problem. Installing one in your space is a great way to keep it clean, neat, and organized.

Pot racks have one main purpose, which is for pots and pans to hang from them and their design reflects that. Generally, one will have some sort of bar or grid structure with hooks attached to it. They can come in all shapes, styles, designs, and sizes. You can get ones that are large and rectangular and are made to hang from the ceiling, others that are just a single bar and can be hung on the wall, and many, many others even ones that can fit right into the corner of your space where you can even store things on top of them if you want to. There are also ones that are made just for hanging and storing utensils, which is really convenient when you need to quick grab for a spoon to stir that tasty sauce you are making. The nice thing about all the options is that you can easily find one to match your needs and the space that you have available to put it in. Like, if you just need to hang a few smaller pots, then you do not want to go with something huge in size since it is not practical.

Not only do pot racks provide a valuable function of by giving you some extra storage space in your kitchen, but one is would also add a nice decorative element to it as well. How is this possible? Well, it is because these home accessories are crafted out of different gorgeous substances and the most popular are metals like copper, stainless steel, steel, brass, iron and wrought iron. These materials can be finished in a number of eye-catching ways as well, like you can get one made from steel that has a polished finish. Or, maybe you are into things that have more of a vibrant appearance, if that is the case, you can get one that is also crafted of steel but this time around it is painted a bright color, like blue. Plus, the accents, like the hooks, that comes with this accessory also adds to its overall appearance since they too are offered in a plethora of stunning finishes.

Basically, with pot racks, there are a wide variety of options and one stress free to see them all is by hitting the Internet for some online shopping. You can browse the different items just by the flip of the mouse and will probably end up finding what you want at the best prices available.

So, if you are having some storage space issues in your kitchen, turn to pot racks to solve your problem. Functional, and beautiful, it is a lovely home accessory that is sure to please.

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Farmer’s Market – Off I Go For a Great Buy

The farmer’s market is a really wonderful place. I am sure most of you would agree with me entirely. I just love to make visits to this great place where every visit is a feast for the eyes, so colorful and everything in plenty that is what I love. I have been enjoying my visits there and now with the rising prices and everything hitting the roof the farmer’s market sure is a place to get some good bargains. Eat locally and feast on the seasonal produce is what I have decided to do.

The farmer’s market also provides the advantage of buying right from the person who has grown it. The creator knows best and so you can gather all the information about the product straight from the horse’s mouth. Make the most at the farmer’s market with these tips that I have gained from my frequent visits there.

1-There is one rule here that holds true each time. Go early and you would get the freshest of things and quality is at its peak. However, if you want to pick up in bulk for your squashes and sauces, go late and you will be able to strike a good deal.

2-Bring your own bag. Your seller may not offer a bag and even if he does it may just give way under the weight of the things. It is best to carry a big sturdy bag that would see to it that all you buy reaches home safe and sound and in one piece.

3-I like to make up my menu for the week and so I pick up all that I would need to put my meals together. Plan in advance and it would sure save you a lot on time effort and of course money.

4-Make the most of the seasonal fruits and veggies. Buy in bulk so you would get the price advantage with the attractive market rates and make jams, sauces, squashes and pickles that would last you till the next season. A wonderful way to enjoy seasonal vegetables and fruits all year round.

5-Planning is one thing, but in a farmer’s market you need to also just keep your eyes open. You might just come across something interesting if you look around and not just stick to that on your list.

A trip to the farmer’s market is truly worth it. If you haven’t been to one yet try it and you are surely going to be all praise for this interesting place. Carry change with you, helps to pay exact change (it would save you a lot of time than having to wrangle with the sellers). Make trip and start experimenting with all the interesting recipes that you have bookmarked to try one day.

What is your tip to a successful and wonderful visit to the farmer’s market?