Snowmobile Fun and Safety

picture via essentialtreesources. com

picture via essentialtreesources. com

There’s no doubt that snowmobiles are a fun and exhilarating winter sport, but along with the fun comes risk. Each year there are snowmobiling accidents and fatalities. In Minnesota alone, there were 212 accidents and 19 fatalities in 2011. A large number, over 70 percent, of these accidents involved alcohol. So how do you stay safe on the trails and enjoy playing in the snow? Keep reading for the essential do’s and don’ts of snowmobile safety.

DO check the condition of your equipment before heading out. A good checklist includes checking the throttle, belt, lights, brakes, skis, fuel and battery. If you have an emergency kit on the sled, make sure that it’s well-stocked with essentials such as a flashlight, flares and a first-aid kit.

DON’T combine snowmobiling with alcohol. As stated above, a large amount of snowmobiling accidents involve alcohol. An inebriated snowmobile driver has the same problems as a drunk driver on the roads, including impaired balance, reactions and concentration. Don’t just avoid alcohol yourself, but also avoid riding with those who have imbibed.

DO dress appropriately. Dressing for snowmobiling is not just about safety, but potentially also about survival. Wear plenty of layers to stay warm and dry. Always wear gloves, a helmet and goggles. Make sure the helmet is an approved DOT helmet. Gloves and goggles keep the elements out and increase safety.

DON’T ride too long and be cautious about riding at night. The longer you ride, the more your concentration dulls. The assault on the senses during snowmobiling tends to dull your concentration over a long period of time. Take breaks every few hours to keep it sharp. It’s generally not a good idea to snowmobile at night, but if you do, make sure not to overdrive your lights so you can see obstacles in plenty of time to avoid a collision.

DO stay on the trails if you’re participating in a snowmobile event (ex. a large race featured in Idaho Falls Magazine or some of the events Red Bull sponsors). There are two main reasons for staying on trails while snowmobiling. One is simply safety. The trails were made for a reason. The second is that trespassing tends to be a big complaint regarding snowmobiles and you could be ruining it for everyone else if you venture into private property. It’s also important to respect the wildlife and staying on the trails can help this.

DON’T ride on ice. In general it’s best to avoid frozen lakes and rivers, but if you do, make sure you’re prepared by wearing a life jacket over the rest of your clothing. Avoid ice with a visible current beneath it or nearby, as the ice is likely to be weak. However, be aware that it is impossible to tell how strong ice is just by looking at it. The best policy is to stay safe and avoid it entirely.

DO make sure someone else knows your plans. Have a contact that you call before leaving and call back when returning. Make sure they know what time without a call should be cause for concern. Make sure they also know your route. Another good reason to stay on the trails: if you’re in an accident, rescuers will know where to look.

DON’T be tense while riding. Keep your machine flexible by being loose and limber as you ride. When you turn, look in the direction you want to go and do it with your entire head. Use your lower body to guide the machine and not your arms.

Using these tips you can have a blast and still stay safe on the trails!

Bio –

This guest post contribution was made by SnoWest Magazine which features articles, reviews and equipment for your snowmobiling enthusiast including Polaris Snowmobiles and more.

Planning the Perfect Party Food

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Food brings people together in a very special way, so having the right foods at your next gathering could be the make or break point at your party. Take this advice and be sure to be prepared the next time you’re playing host and want to make a good impression.

  1. Know your Audience
    It’s important to remember, when you’re planning the menu for your party, the food is for your guests first and foremost -not you. Know what kind of crowd will show up, and be sure to take note of the occasion. For instance, it’s probably not wise to serve escargo at a superbowl party, likewise hot wings probably wouldn’t go over tremendously well at a dinner party.
  2. Have the Right Tools
    Party supplies are a big part of any gathering. You may have prepared the most terrific dish that suits your party guests perfectly, and has everyone’s mouth watering, however if you have no forks, plates, napkins, and other utensils there’s no point really, as no one will be able to enjoy the food eating with their hands.
  3. Try New Things
    Yes, your fudge brownies are amazing; yes, your guests do like eating them; but no, they do not want to eat fudge brownies every single time that they’re over. There’s nothing wrong with having favorites, but it’s important to mix things up and bring something fresh to your party to keep your guests on their toes and coming back for more. 
  4. Variety
    Going back to the Superbowl party scenario covered previously, hot wings are probably a good fit for that type of party -however, if there’s nothing else but hot wings there, your guests may become a little bored. It may also be a problem if you serve nothing but hot wings, only to learn that your guests don’t actually like hot wings. Mix up your menu, and offer dishes that compliment one another.
  5. Keep It Simple
    It can be easy to get caught up planning your menu and wanting to impress your guests, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, if your dishes take an entire day to prepare, are complicated to serve to a large number of people, or are difficult to eat, maybe think about taking it down a notch. Your menu doesn’t need to be a 5 star restaurant’s caliber to be impressive, keep it simple and allow your guests to enjoy the food without working too hard.
  6. Have a Back-Up Plan
    There are always things that you can’t plan for, there is never a “perfect” party. This rule applies to food as well, unexpected things such as allergies, or spilled dishes can occur and as a good hostess, you should be prepared for them. Have a backup dish ready in case of emergency, always.

4 Easy Ways To Make Your Anniversary More Fun

If, over the years, your anniversaries have become a little stale, now is the time to change that. Perhaps you always head out for dinner at the same restaurant or maybe you don’t do anything at all to mark the occasion. Your anniversary shouldn’t be just another day; it should be a time when you bond with your partner.

Of course, after being together for a few years, it’s easy for your anniversary to be forgotten or treated as just another day. This year, aim to ensure that you make your anniversary a fun and memorable day when the two of you spend some much-needed quality time together.

Stuck for ideas – don’t worry, with these four easy ways to make your anniversary fun, I’ve got you covered.

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  1. Take a road trip

For an anniversary with a difference, why not plan a road trip? This doesn’t have to be anywhere far away; it can simply be to a beach, theme park or city that you’ve wanted to visit for a while.

There’s something incredibly relaxing about getting away from your hometown for a little while. If you want to spend some undisturbed one-on-one time with your partner, going away for the day is perfect. You can have fun exploring a new place or visiting an attraction while having some quality time as a couple.

  1. Recreate your first date

To make your anniversary extra special, how about recreating your first date? There’s nothing more romantic than going back to the place that the two of your first spent time together. Book at table at the place where you had your first date or go for drinks at the bar where the two of you met. Trust me, recreating your first date is the perfect way to mark your anniversary – it’s fun and romantic.

Even if you don’t live anywhere near where you first met, you can still recreate your first date. It’ll just take a little more creativity; that’s all. It doesn’t have to be the same restaurant; it just needs to remind you of your first date.

  1. Spoil each other

Your anniversary is the perfect time to spoil each other. Believe it or not, spoiling each other doesn’t have to break the bank even if money is tight, you can still make your significant other feel special.

While you could treat your partner to a lovely gift, such as one of Shinola’s watches. If money is tight, you can make them feel just as special with a homemade gift. How about baking them something yummy, like homemade bread, fudge or perhaps chutney? Or what about making them a DIY photo album of the two of you? Get creative and you can give your partner the most amazing pressie.

  1. Book into a fancy hotel and spa

What better way to mark the occasion than with a hotel and spa break? If you’re both in need of a little relaxation and pampering, a weekend away at a fancy hotel and spa could be perfect. You can explore a new place, have a pamper, and enjoy some quality time together, what could be better than that?

The good news is that booking into a nice hotel doesn’t have to be pricey, if you’re willing to shop around, that is. Browse discount sites, and you should be able to find some fantastic deals on hotels.
Want to make your anniversary more fun? Take note of these four awesome ideas for a more memorable day.

8 Easy Ways to Class Up Your Office

If you want to inject some fun and fashion into your office space, and make those long work hours just a little bit more enjoyable, utilize these excellent design tips and class up your office space in a jiffy. Whether you’re working in a home office or go to an office building across town, there are simple fixes to help you improve your work space and make the long days go by quickly. Like anything, your output will always depend on the tools you have in place. Think ergonomic seating and HP Officejet Pro 8600 Printer Ink.

  1. Give Yourself Some Motivation

Make yourself more motivated with some well-placed inspirational quotes or photos that will give you an extra kick in the pants when your productivity is dipping. Find an image online of a quote you adore, or a place you’re working to visit, and make it your background image. You’ll see it every time you fire the computer up and receive that extra ounce of motivation with no effort at all.

  1. Bring In Some Nature

Plants are an excellent way to class up your office. They breathe a bit of life back into the often sterile office space, they improve air quality, supposedly can decrease stress, and make the humidity level rise to a healthier standard. Whether it’s a small succulent on your desk or a leafy green wonder in the corner of your office, incorporating plants into your design will do more than you think.

  1. Extra Lighting

We all know that office lighting is the worst, so add some new levels and layers of brightness to your desk space for a better vibe all around. Making your eyes strain all day long is terrible for your eyesight, so brighten up your space for both productivity and mood purposes. Whether it’s a homey desk lamp that provides a warm glow, or white Christmas lights that you can string along the walls for an ethereal glow, your peepers will appreciate the extra illumination.

  1. Clean up the Clutter

Clutter leads to a disorganized mind, and that’s the opposite of what your desk should be. Keep your items organized and keep your computer on top of a clean surface. Cleanliness and organization will help you remain focused and on task, and will look better should your boss or supervisor happen to walk by and check in on you. A clean and clutter-free desk looks more professional, it will help your company’s image, and a deep cleaning once a week can keep you protected from those year-round germs.

  1. Get Modern

It’s easy to find office gadgets and décor with clean, modern lines at a website like Touch of Modern. Any of the trendy products will impress your colleagues and higher ups, and you’ll get tons of practical use out of them at the same time. Whether it’s thought-provoking artwork that lines your walls to impress clients, or amazing glass sculptures you’ll love showing off, you’ll find one-of-a-kind pieces in no time.

  1. The Power of Scent

Scent is one of the most powerful triggers of emotion, so make sure your office space smells calming and is beneficial for your productivity. Whether it’s a plug-in that you place in the wall, or a car freshener that you place in a drawer for a burst of good smells whenever it’s opened, you’ll be amazed at the effect scent can have on your day. It will also help you avoid the lingering stench of coworker’s lunches, and make your desk space one that colleagues and supervisors love to visit. You can easily throw some laundry sheets into your desk, or keep a small pillow perfumed with your favorite scent nearby for a mid-day sniffing pick-me-up.

  1. Surround Yourself with Memories

In the midst of a hard day we can all use a little pick me up. Help yourself recall fun times by placing pictures of smiling family and friends around your desk. Create a calendar on Shutterfly.com, and use each month to display some of your favorite photos. You’ll find it hard not to smile when you look up and see your little one or husband smiling back at you.

  1. Stay Healthy

Sitting at a desk hour after hour can have some serious health consequences and as we know, healthy employees are better workers, meaning your productivity will skyrocket if you keep your body in top condition. One way to do this at the office is to use a different type of desk or chair. A standing desk will help you fight the negative effects of sitting up to eight hours a day, or a core building office chair like the Zenergy Ball Chair will help keep your tummy tight and toned throughout the day, improving your posture at the same time.

Informucate’s Daily Trivia

As a mom who travels a lot, I sometimes find it hard to set aside some “extra time” (what is ‘extra time,’ anyway?!) to catch up on the current events going on around me. However, I did come across this website that is able to tell me about the current events (in multiple different categories) in under 200 words, which only takes a few minutes to read! Informucate’s tagline, all the news in just 12 views, says it all. Informucate is made for us busy people who don’t have time to sit down and watch the news or stay informed any other way that takes more than a few minutes.

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The site is updated daily so you are always up-to-date on current stories and they even have sidebars with extra information to help you understand the articles better. On top of the new articles, they also have a fun section of daily trivia!

I think the best part about this site is the travel section. The places are listed in alphabetical order so they are easy to find, and there are a ton! I could spend all day in the travel section. I also love looking at it with my child. It’s educational and sometimes we like to plan our future trips.

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If you have 5 minutes a day to spare, even if that is while you are waiting in the school pick-up line, I highly recommend you check out Informucate and get your daily dose of the news! Keep your brain busy by reading the daily trivia as well!

Fast Play from NJ Lottery

Disclaimer:  I have partnered with Blog Meets Brand to bring you this sponsored post. All opinions are my own. You must be 18 or older to buy a lottery ticket. The New Jersey Lottery reminds players to play responsibly. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1800-GAMBLER®. For more information visit New Jersey Lottery.

Some think Draw Games from the NJ Lottery is a long, drawn out way to play the lotto.  With the most recent games, they have changed from waiting until the winners are announced to instantly knowing if you have a winning ticket or not.  Each game has a low starting point of $1, $2, $3, or $5 to play.  There are a total of seven games with most of them at the $1 to $2 per game price.  The top prizes also become larger as the price per game gets larger, starting with $500 for the $1 tickets to $25,000 with the $5 tickets.

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We recently went to out local lottery retailer to play a few of these games.  They were easy to play.  Instead of picking numbers or filling out forms all we had to do was ask our lottery agent for the game we wanted to play.  We played the Fast Cash game.  The odds of winning were better then 1 in 4, and the prize of $500 would be very nice.  Alas, no big wins for us, but out of the 15 games played we ended up “winning” six dollars.  No one’s wins can be typical obviously, but it was nice to win on a few tickets.

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NJ Lottery games are available everywhere NJ lottery tickets are sold including local delis, gas stations and super markets.  You have to be in it to win it.  Good luck all.

I received compensation from Blog Meets Brand to purchase NJ Lottery tickets. This post is sponsored by the NJ Lottery. All opinions are 100% my own.

September is National Preparedness Month #NatlPrep

“We Prepare Every Day” is the first in a series of videos that aim to deliver a strong preparedness message by showing people with disabilities taking charge to prepare themselves and their families for emergencies.

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The launch of the new PSA coincided with the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, and it precedes National Preparedness Month in September.  The PSA provides equal access to all viewers by including open captioning, a certified deaf interpreter, and audio description for viewers who are blind or have low vision.

Created pro-bono by Free Range Studios, “We Prepare Every Day” shows whole community and individual emergency and disaster preparedness as a part of everyday planning. One of the goals of the PSA is to encourage all Americans to “Be Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit, and Get Involved.” Resources and guidelines on how to do this can be found at Ready.gov/MyPlan.

Be Informed
First, you need to be informed about potential emergencies and disasters where you live, work, or visit. Then, you can go about making a plan that fits you and your loved ones.

Make a Plan
Making a family emergency communication plan with your friends and family before a disaster occurs is important.  Why? Because it will help you answer questions: how will you get in touch with each other? How will your family get to a safe place?  It’s important to make a plan now so that you will know where to meet, how to find each other following a disaster, and how to communicate in an emergency that works for your family’s specific communication needs.

Build a Kit
While each person’s abilities and needs vary, everyone can take steps to prepare for all types of emergencies. By evaluating your own individual needs and making an emergency plan that fits those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared.  For example, if being without access to medications, help, or other services you need to maintain your health, safety and independence for even a couple of hours or days could be devastating, and you need to be prepared more than ever.

Get Involved
People with disabilities are encouraged to take a seat at their community and local government- level planning tables.  Planning for emergencies and disasters with people who have disabilities and others with access and functional needs rather than planning for them will allow us to understand and address the needs of the whole community in a disaster.

To get more information on how to make a family emergency communication plan, build a disaster supply kit or to learn how to get involved in community preparedness, please visit Ready.gov/MyPlan.

  • While each person’s abilities and needs vary, every individual can take steps to prepare for all types of emergencies. By evaluating your own individual needs and making an emergency plan that fits those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared. Some items to consider including in your post:
    • What medical devices or assistive technology devices you need to have with you if there is an evacuation order from local officials
    • Your plans to remain independent if you require oxygen or mechanical ventilation
    • Practice your plan with your support network, just like you would a fire drill.
    • Discuss your needs and/or the needs of a family member; learn about their assistance requirements or the services they depend on.
    • Advocate including people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs into emergency planning in your community.

All of these questions and more are covered in the free guide available for download here: http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/90360

Here’s Why I Upgraded To Cable Internet At My House

Whether you like it or not, one of the things you need to think about in a busy household is your technology needs. One example of that is Internet connections. Today, most homes have some form of Net connection.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a growing family or you are just about to start having kids. What does matter is that you have a reliable connection to the Internet. Yes, we all use the Web to buy stuff and look at interesting sites (like this one)! But, it’s also a valuable tool for communicating with relatives and friends across the globe.

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Here at my place, it was about time we did something to make our Internet speeds faster. I often have relatives and friends visiting us, and many of them stay over for a few nights. They also need the ability to go online here too.

After much research, I decided to upgrade to cable Internet. Here’s why:

It’s fast
It’s no secret that there are plenty of ways to get online in 2015. Sure, I could have got an ordinary ADSL broadband connection. If I lived out in the sticks, satellite Internet would perhaps be a better choice. But, for me, cable Internet represented the best value for money.

One of the reasons for that is because the connection speed is fast! The thing about cable Internet is that it’s the most affordable way to get the highest broadband speeds.

I have more choices to watch TV

The way that cable Internet gets delivered is through the same connection that provides your TV services. But, because I’ve got my Internet services through the same place that gives me those extra TV channels, I have more choice.

Why is that so? Well, for a start I’ve immediately got access to on-demand TV programs. That means I don’t need to be in front of the box when my favorite programs get aired! I can just “download” them when I wish. Trust me; that’s handy when you’re running a busy household!

I got a super deal

Another reason for making the move to cable Internet is the price. In general, when you buy many services from the same provider, you can usually get a discount. And that’s exactly what I got!

Had I got the TV and Internet from different providers, I’d have certainly paid more than I am now.

Of course, the price you are likely to pay will depend on where you live, who you use and what you want. The good news is that you can find the best broadband Internet plan for your household easily by doing a search online.

I can easily upgrade to faster speeds in the future

One final reason for switching to cable Internet is future-proofing. What you might not know is that some types of Internet connection are limited by speed. With cable Internet, you can upgrade to even faster speeds later on as the technology improves.
So, now you know why I upgraded to cable Internet. I recommend comparing the latest deals against your existing Internet package. I’m willing to bet you’ll get a better deal!