20. July 2009 · Comments Off on Green Cleaning Products: A Life Away From Toxic Threats · Categories: Home Improvement · Tags: , ,

Cleaning is a part of life. We always thought that if our home is sparkling clean it’s much better and more pleasant to live in; but have you noticed changes occurring to your health? You may say that outdoor pollutions caused your illness and weaken your body, but are you sure that it’s the only reason?

Our home contains a lot of cleaning products, products we always use day after day. We use it to clean our dishes, bathrooms, floors and many more. But these products may be the possible cause of our diseases. Why? These manufactured products may contain dangerous and harmful chemicals (toxics),

Now that you know about the manufactured cleaning products you’re using, maybe you’re asking what to use in replacement of your cleaning products.

Natural cleaning products answer all of your cleaning problems. These products contains natural and organic materials that are not harmful yet effective in all cleaning situations. These products will help you reduce of toxics in your homes; also this is more efficient. Why? These natural cleaning products can be brought at low cost.

Another alternative in cleaning is making your own organic cleaning products. This way you can save money and it’s also fun to make (it’s like the olds days in your chemistry subject mixing and experimenting). Ingredients of these homemade cleaning products can be found right there in your cupboards. You heard it right, some can be used alone and some are better when compounded to another.

I’m sure you’re interested about these homemade cleaning products. Here are the list of some recipes and where to use them:

As a replacement for your Air fresheners, all you need are Lemon and Baking soda. Just dissolve baking soda in 2 cups of hot water and add lemon juice. Put it on a spray bottle and now you have it your own air freshener.

Here are some recipes to make you own all purpose cleaner:

1. For general cleaning mix 1 quart of hot water and 4 tablespoon of baking soda, or make a paste of baking soda, warm water, salt and vinegar,

2. Salt and vinegar mixed together makes a good surface cleaner

3. Cleaning floors you can use Liquid Castile Soap mix with borax in different ratios, with water, you can clean floors and counters also sinks and windows.

4. Mix 3 tbsp. vinegar, ? tsp washing soda, ? tsp. vegetable oil based liquid soap and 2 cups of hot water in a spray bottle, you can now apply this on surfaces.

Recipes for disinfectants (germ killers)

1. Plain soap with water can kill bacteria

2. Borax are good disinfectants and deodorizers, just combine ? cup borax in 1 gallon of warm water and now you have a good cleaning solution.

3. Another is borax and 1 gallon of water, soaked with rosemary or lavender and sprigs of fresh thyme (you can add essential oils depending to what kind of smell you want), store in a spray bottle.

4. 2 tablespoons of borax, ? cup lemon juice, 2 cups of warm water, mix them all together in a spray bottle.

Remember that make your cleaning products in advance and buy ingredients needed in bulk. That way you can save your time and money; and always ensure that you label the product you made. Store them in places where your kids won’t be able to reach it. Also, adding essential oils or herbs will add fragrance.

For safer and more comfortable lifestyle, we must be well informed about all the products were using. We must be smart and act fast before it’s too late. Using these natural cleaning products is our main option.

13. July 2009 · Comments Off on Mutant Ninja Turtles Costumes – Add Some Kick to Your Child’s Halloween · Categories: Home And Family · Tags: , ,

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costumes are based on the popular characters of the comic book series bearing the same name. The turtles appeared in 1984 and have since been featured in 2 animated Television series, a live action series, and 3 full feature films.

The mutant ninja turtles are 4 ‘brothers’ trained in the art of ninja fighting by a giant talking rat sensei called Master Splinter. They live secretly in the storm sewers of New York City and battle against evil doers, alien invaders and petty criminals.

The foursome consists of Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo. Each turtle has his own unique personality traits, and brings something different to the group.

Leonardo is the oldest of the four. He serves as the fearless leader and is a dedicated student of martial arts. He is named after Leonardo Davinci, the famous Renaissance man who was an engineer, scientist, inventor, paintor, and sculptor (among other things).

Donatello is the next oldest mutant turtle. Whenever possible, he prefers to use his wits to solve a problem rather than his martial arts skills. He is extremely intelligent, and is a scientist, engineer, inventor and technological mastermind.

Raphael is the 3rd oldest of the turtles and the group’s resident bad boy. He is quick to anger, and never backs down from a fight. In fact, he often starts them. He is intense in his fighting, and can be just as sharp with his words. However, he is very loyal to the other turtles as well as to their sensei.

The final member of the group is Michelangelo. He is the youngest and most carefree of the turtles. He loves to crack jokes and is very free spirited. Adventurous, and creative by nature, he also enjoys his relaxation and is usually very laid back. His name is derived from the famous painter Michelangelo who, like Da Vinci, was a true Renaissance man.

Together these turtles form a tight knit family. They are trained by Master Splinter who acts as a mentor and father to the turtles. Like any “family” the group have their share of arguments and squabbles, but when it comes to what matters most, they band together to fight evil villains and right the injustices they see around them.

This is one of the most endearing traits about the turtles – that they’re all so real. They’re not like the usual heroes who have a perfect temperament and almost no character flaws. The turtles have many shortcomings and lapses in judgment. Yet they all possess the desire to right the wrongs they see, and their loyalty to their family and close knit group of friends is legendary. They also possess awe inspiring martial arts skills, and are dedicated to furthering their ninja training.

07. July 2009 · Comments Off on Mombasa & the Kenyan Coast- Where the Sun is Ever Faithful · Categories: Travel And Leisure

Kenya’s 480 km coast is one of the principal attractions for visitors to the country. Every year, hundreds of thousands of sun lovers find their way here. Many are returning pilgrims who truly know that the sun here is ever faithful. Unlike other beach destinations, the visitor is served with much more than just sun and sand but is delighted to discover ancient coastal forests and historical sites and a people with a fascinating history and culture. The casual visitor impressed by the tranquil beaches and gentle people will not suspect the colourful and eventful history of these realms.

For the tourist, the Kenyan coast can be seen as five regions. These are: the town and island of Mombasa; the south coast –stretching from Mombasa to the Tanzanian border 135 km away: the north coast- covering the beaches from Mombasa up to Kilifi, 60 km away: Malindi and Watamu about 130 km to the northeast of Mombasa and Lamu island and archipelago, 225 km further up from Malindi. Each of these regions has similarities in terms of history, culture, natural attractions and beach experience. But as sports fans will understand, it is the differences that matter to the dedicated fans of each region.

The gateway to the Kenyan coast is Mombasa. You get here by flying into its international airport or by taking the 520 km road journey from Nairobi, the common entry port for most visitors. If you demand the freedom of your own car, consider taking a rental car either in Nairobi on in Mombasa to help you get around. Review the options you have for Kenya Car Rental and Kenya Domestic Flights as you plan to get there.

Mombasa, the principal city at Kenya’s coast is one of the oldest human settlements on the eastern seaboard of the African continent. Though it has without doubt been in existence for at least 700 years, it is mentioned in writings of Arab, Roman and Egyptian travelers dated as far back as 2,500 years ago. The Arabs came to trade and settle, starting from about the 8th century AD. With the push of the northeast monsoon, their dhows brought ironware, glassware, textiles, and took home rhino horn, ivory and slaves. Substantial settlements gradually developed and many traders settled and intermarried with local Africans. The Arabs also brought along the message of the Prophet and the Kenyan coast is even today predominantly Muslim.

Relative tranquility prevailed at the coastal towns until the Portuguese showed up at the end of the 15th century. The Portuguese were a substantial seafaring power of the day and were anxious to break the stranglehold of the Ottoman Empire on Indian Ocean trade. Vasco Da Gama opened the way for his compatriots when he made his way round the southern tip of Africa and up to eastern Africa in 1498. The Portuguese were not warmly received in Mombasa, but not so at Malindi. The local sultan offered his ready friendship and proved very useful to Da Gama by providing a pilot who knew how to get to India, his ultimate destination.

Between the 15th and 19th centuries, Mombasa saw plenty of war. For this reason, the city was nicknamed Mvita, which in Swahili translates as Isle of War. Fort Jesus, the permanent garrison whose construction was started by the Portuguese in 1593, changed masters 9 times before 1875. By the terror of war, the Portuguese sought to control the east African coast. As colonial overlords, the Portuguese were deficient in that they were mostly interested in plunder and trade and did not establish robust systems of administration. Another related difficulty they faced was that they were supplied from Goa in India. The student of military theory will recognise this as a classical case of “long supply lines”.

The Portuguese were finally driven out by the emerging power of Omani Arabs in 1729. The ascendancy of the Omani Arabs lasted until Britain, a leading super power at the time, appeared at the beginning of the 19th century. The British came in under the guise of a humanitarian mission- the suppression of the slave trade. The Omani Arabs were notorious slave traders. Christian missionaries put pressure on the British government to persuade the Omani Arabs to pursue other trade other than trafficking in humans. This is somewhat like the problem the Americans face today in South America with respect to the cocaine trade.

The British were actually successful in this, by using time honoured carrot and stick tactics. Under the resulting deal, the Omani Arabs whose headquarters was in Zanzibar were recognized as overlords over a 16 km strip along the Kenyan coast. The sultan was to be paid an annuity as compensation for resulting loss of revenue. This territory acquired the status of a British Protectorate until 1963 when the Sultan of Zanzibar ceded it to the newly independent Kenyan nation.

Mombasa is today a cosmopolitan metropolis reflecting the influence of Africans, Persians, Arabs, Turks, Indians, Portuguese and the British. The Old Town is a grid of narrow winding streets lined with houses built to coastal Swahili and Indian styles. Some of the houses have intricately carved doors similar to what you find in Zanzibar and Lamu. In the Old Town you will find Fort Jesus, the permanent garrison built by the hapless Portuguese. Fort Jesus, in addition to being an attraction itself, houses a museum exhibiting various artifacts reflecting the various cultures that have influenced the Kenyan coast. You will also see articles recovered from the ill-fated Portuguese warship Santo Antonio De Tanna, which sank in the siege of 1697 that lasted 1000 days.

In Mombasa you can take an all day dhow trip and relive the experience of the traders who sailed along the East African coast and as far as India and the Persian Gulf aboard these vessels for centuries. For the past few years, every November the Mombasa Carnival has been staged in the town. The Carnival is a lively street parade where you see incredibly adorned musicians and other artists from the Kenyan coast and other parts of the country. Street comedians, Swahili Taarab singers, Maasai warriors, brass bands and individual artists in outrageous costumes brave the November heat to march in the parade.

Visitors to the south coast usually head to Shelley, Tiwi, Diani, Msambweni and Shimoni. These are the beaches to the south of Mombasa, where hotel and resort development has taken place. To get to the south coast beaches you need to take the ferry at Likoni, the southern tip of Mombasa Island. If this does not suit you, take a flight to Diani airstrip. Diani beach, 40 km from Mombasa is the most developed beach at the south coast. This is the quintessential tropical paradise and here you will find a wide range of hotels, including an 18-hole golf resort. Though some of the other beaches are excellent, they have limited range of accommodation and attract fewer people.

Shimoni, 100 km from Mombasa is a centre for serious deep-sea fishing. It is also from Shimoni that you can visit the Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park. Here you will see the treasures of Kenya’s underwater world. At the marine park, the snorkeling experience is outstanding and on a lucky day you will swim with the dolphins. At Shimoni, there are a series of deep coastal caves stretching from the sea to deep inland. Arab slavers reportedly used these caves in the dark days of the slave trade. The slaves who perished here are remembered in Roger Whittaker’s song “Shimoni”.

At the south coast you have plenty of chances to indulge in some thrilling marine activity such as water skiing, wind surfing, scuba diving, goggling and deep-sea fishing. The Shimba Hills National Reserve, directly inland from Diani is a surprise and you have the opportunity to see some of the wildlife that Kenya is famed for. Though the wildlife is not as prolific as in the upcountry game parks, the beautiful rainforest and the spectacular Sheldrick Falls make it worth a visit. You can also spend the night here at Kenya’s only tree lodge at the coast, which has some water holes where elephants and other animals come for a drink.

The main attraction of the north coast is its beaches. Heading north from Mombasa these are: Nyali, Bamburi, Shanzu, Vipingo and Kikambala. Here you will find hotel and resort complexes to suit the taste of most beach holiday enthusiasts. From your north coast base, you may want to visit Mamba Village, reputed to be one of the worlds’ largest crocodile farms. Those interested in eco conservation projects must not miss Haller Park. The park is named after the Swiss agronomist who by sheer grit and vision transformed a huge abandoned cement quarry into a spectacular 7 sq km nature and animal sanctuary.

At Mtwapa, just beyond Shanzu beach, Kenya Marineland houses some very diverse marine life, which you view from a glass-sided underground tunnel. From the same point, you can take a dhow sailing trip that includes onboard entertainment – acrobatics, fire eating and local dancers. Just off the coast, spectacular coral reefs teem with numerous fish, sea turtles and dolphins. You have an opportunity for world-class diving here, including some serious wreck diving. Diving at the Kenyan coast is good year round, expect in the months of July and August when silting and high seas are a problem.

Malindi has a history going back at least 800 years. This is the only town along the east African coast where the Portuguese found friendship without the persuasion of arms. Vasco Da Gama erected a pillar to serve as a navigation aid that still stands. Today, the town is a particular favourite with Italian visitors. Most of the hotel and resort development are to the south of the town along the Silversands beachfront and nearer town around Malindi Bay. At Malindi Marine National Park, you can see some fascinating coral gardens by diving, snorkeling or from a glass bottomed boat.

Malindi is a respected centre for big game fishing and several world records have been set here. The writer Hemingway was here in the 1930’s to enjoy one of his favourite macho sports. Watamu, 15 km further south, is a small beach development around the beautiful inlets of Turtle Bay and Blue Lagoon. Watamu too has its own Marine Park. At the edge of the park, you find a collection of caves housing a school of giant rock cod, some stretching the whole of 2 metres. Consider making an excursion to Gedi Ruins, one of Kenya archeological treasures. Gedi is estimated to have been founded in the 13th century but was mysteriously abandoned in the 17th century. Experts guess that marauding Galla tribesmen from up north did in the settlement.

Lamu has in recent years found favour with the international glitterati. The town has an ambience of mediaeval romance that attracts those who are offended by the burdens of our modern existence. Life in the island goes on almost like it did in the 14th century when the settlement was founded. Lamu has narrow streets and the town has only a single car for use by the top government official. Everybody else walks, takes a dhow or uses donkey taxis. If you come in by air you land at nearby Manda Island, from where you take a dhow or ferry. In this centre of Islamic culture, the men wear full-length whites and the women are shorn head to toe in black.

Shela is the main beach on the island and is just 15 minutes away by motorboat. You will find good rated accommodation at Lamu. There are also some very pricey hideaways in the neighboring islands of the archipelago favoured by the jet set. In the centre of the town, you find a fort built by invading Omani Arabs in the early 19th century that now serves as a cultural centre. Lamu museum is located at the seafront, in a house once occupied by Jack Haggard, Queen Victoria’s consul in this then important outpost. The museum is a repository of Swahili culture and on display are artifacts, dhows, jewelry and crafts.

At Mombasa and the Kenyan Coast you will find rated accommodation. Once you are there, you can take a break to view some of the wildlife that the country is famed for. From Mombasa, the nearest park reachable by road is Tsavo East, 4 hours away. Another good option is to fly to the Maasai Mara, Kenya’s top wildlife sanctuary and home to the big five- elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo. There are many Kenya safari options with Mombasa departures

The Kenyan coast has a tropical climate and it is a hot and humid place. Temperatures year round vary between 22° C and 33° C. July and August are the coolest months. Light clothing is
recommended, as even the evenings are usually warm. Short sleeve shirts, shorts and trousers for men and short sleeve blouses, slacks and skirts are sufficient. However, in this predominantly
Muslim area, women need to dress modestly so as not to offend local sensibilities. But swimwear is perfectly acceptable at beaches and hotel premises.

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