AUGUST 2012

Shopping for wine on the Internet

by: David Kelly (reading – 2.7. - 8.7.)

Shopping for wine on the Internet is a lot different than shopping for wine at a brick and mortar wine shop; Wine, after all, isn't like a book or CD. Holding a bottle, inspecting its label, you just can't replicate that experience inside a browser window. The fact is that even though it is not the same as being at a wine shop in person, buying wine online has many advantages.

The ability to do comparison shopping is unbeatable. With search engines like Wine-searcher.com and of course Google, you no longer have to go to the wine; the wine will come to you. Cross referencing the latest wine reviews and scores and top recommendations is delightfully easy, and particularly enjoyable when you can do it at home in your bathrobe on a Saturday morning.

The ability to buy wine online from wine merchants who sell via a website is a good example of how the Internet can be of great benefit to both the wine merchants and the consumer who decides they want to buy wine online.

All online web merchants are not created equal. Certain things separate the top wine merchant’s websites from the second tier wine retailers. Ease of use and good customer service are critical and so is price. But at the end of the day, what really counts is variety and availability. There are many wine merchant websites to choose from, ranging from huge, super sites to tiny, quirky specialists, these e-merchants can procure great wines in top condition.

Buying wine online also allows the wine aficionado to search out that rare or obscure item that would have likely not have ever been found by physically looking in traditional wine shops. The world of wine buying has truly been revolutionised by online wine merchants. The online wine buyer has at their disposal thousands and thousands of bottles of whatever type and vintage they may prefer, and often at bargain prices. With the advent of online wine selling, dealers have been forced to adjust their prices now that comparison shopping is so easy.

Like with any online purchase, the person who chooses to buy wine online needs to exercise a reasonable amount of caution; there are unscrupulous online wine merchants out there. The majority of online wine merchant’s websites are legitimate, honest dealers, but there is always the small percentage that is out to dupe the unwary wine buyer. A little research into the history of a particular online wine merchant is a prudent measure, and fairly easy to accomplish; do a search on any of the major search engines for the merchant in question, and usually if there have been issues in the past there will be plenty of people who have posted complaints or warnings in newsgroups, blogs, and wine forums.

Overall, online wine merchants provide the internet wine buyer a tremendous opportunity to get a wide selection of great wines at bargain prices.

About The Author

The author is an expert in wine related information and has written many resourceful articles on how to buy wine the right way. Wine merchants make it easier for the wine shoppers by allowing their customers to buy wine online through their websites. For more details visit www.greatwinesdirect.co.uk

The author invites you to visit: www.greatwinesdirect.co.uk



Large Diamonds of the World

by: Nir Livnat (reading – 9.7. - 15.7.)

Starting from Briolette of India, which is 90.38 carats (18.08 g) and possibly the oldest diamond on record, large diamonds have consistently grown in popularity. Yearned by all jewelers and possessed by only a handful, these rare diamonds have collectors and jewelers bidding in millions at auctions held all over the world. Afforded only by the elite, these diamonds are exclusively crafted to perfection by large diamond manufacturers. Great care is taken to give the rough stone an ideal cut that will bring out the best that it can offer. The Steinmetz group took approximately 20 months to cut the 100-carat rough stone into the now, 59.60 carats, Internally Flawless clarity grade, Steinmetz Pink.

Large diamonds don’t necessarily have to be white; there are diamonds available in a range of colours. Through the ages there have been distinguished diamonds in all colours and shapes. Colours like pink, orange, black are available at an enormous cost and make to be fashionable, and extremely rare in the rich circles. A notable auction in 2008 saw a sale of the Fancy Deep Grayish Blue, antique oval stellar brilliant cut, Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond, which is 35.56 carats (7.11 g), for a whopping $23.4 million.

With big players spending huge money to get a hold of such exceptional diamonds, manufacturers are working extra hard to fulfill the growing need. With economies thriving, and the cream of the crop making more profits every year, it is no wonder that the exclusivity of these rare diamonds catch their eye. From celebrated celebrities that have said ‘yes’ to their significant other over a glimpse of its magnificence, to royal proposals that have remarked the legendary diamonds to their current glory, these stones have made history over and over again. To put examples forward; while, in yesteryears Prince Phillip presented Queen Elizabeth II with an engagement ring that was made from diamonds from his mother's tiara, a 69.42-carat pear-shaped Taylor-Burton diamond hanging pretty on Elizabeth Taylor’s neck marked her marriage to Richard Burton. Even more recent is the huge 6-carat pink diamond ring Ben Affleck gave to Jennifer Lopez that became news quickly.

Large diamonds are a sure way of keeping the limelight on you. Emotions like envy, admiration and awe skyrocket whenever a solid rock dazzles at a prestigious party or occasion. Large diamonds manufacturers are the ones you should seek out, to taste the joys of not just buying a diamond but investing in a stone that can turn your life around and make it a part of history.

About The Author

Nir Livnat Managing Director of Steinmetz, who are one of the world’s finest large diamonds manufacturers, with seven decades of expertise and heritage; providing rough and polished diamonds to customers around the world.



Things to do in Malaysia

by: Mandy Mandy (reading – 16.7. - 22.7.)

Malaysia is the most developed nation of Southeast Asia after Singapore and is a progressive Islamic country blessed with rich natural resources, vast rainforest tracts, pristine sand beaches and a renowned cuisine. Malaysia is a multicultural and multi-ethnic country where Chinese, Thais, Indians, Malayans and ethnic tribes coexist peacefully. The country is divided by South China Sea into two landmasses, one is the Malaysian Peninsula and the second is Malaysian Borneo. Malaysia is a diverse country with rich flora and fauna coupled with rich cultural heritage and traditions. Malaysia is a unique a mix of the modern values which intermingle perfectly with the deep cultural traditions. Malaysia’s economy is based on open market economy and enjoys a constant growth rate. The country unlike Singapore doesn’t burn your pockets and offers the same level of services and infrastructure like Singapore.

The country is divided into various administrative zones namely – West Coast, East Coast, South, Sabah and Sarawak. The West Coast is more developed side of the Malaysian Peninsula and it incorporates the states of Kedah, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Perak, Perlis and Selangor, as well as two Federal Territories; Malaysia's capital city Kuala Lumpur and the new administrative centre of Putrajaya all located within this region. The East Coast comprises the state of Kelantan, Pahang and Terengganu and is more traditional. The South Coast includes the state of Johor. The Sabah and Sarawak comprises the East Malaysia region and is renowned for its tourism industry. Here you can enjoy scuba diving, nature hiking, and wildlife photography, look out for the aboriginal tribes or simply get lost in the vast wilderness of the Borneo rainforest which is rich in natural resources and some endangered species.

The Capital city Kuala Lumpur is a multi cultural and is famous for many monuments of national importance and the home of the Petronas Towers and KL tower. The George Town is the cultural capital of Penang. Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands famous for its beaches, rainforests, mountains, islands, mangrove and pristine nature. Malacca is a historical Portuguese colonial city of Malaysia with strong Portuguese influence still present today. Penang still retains the old British colonial charm and many more attractions. Malaysia offers good quality of hospitality and services throughout the country and this diverse country offers great memories to the tourists who visit here.

Visit the Batu Caves which is also the most revered Hindu shrine outside India and is dedicated to Lord Murugan. The Batu Caves is a series of Caverns and Caves located inside a limestone hill surrounded by thick green foliage. Visit Malacca, the third smallest state of Malaysia and its capital - Malacca City, is a multi cultural and dynamic city. Its historical city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage. The Malacca saw many rulers including the Portuguese, Dutch and British all contribute something to its rich culture and heritage. Visit the Palau Ketam Island which is also known as the Crab Island. The Palau Ketam is a fishing Village which is built on wooden stilts. The entire village seems like floating above the water. Even the roads are built of wooden stilts. Visit the Rainforest of Malaysia and on the way you will admire the quaint villages and countryside of Malaysia. Visit the Kampung Kuantan region which is renowned in the world as the largest firefly colony. See the blinking fireflies which resemble a flashing Christmas tree. Enjoy a city tour of Kuala Lumpur and admire the iconic Twin Towers and KL Tower and learn about the rich history and culture of Malaysia. Malaysia offers so much as a destination that a single visit will never be enough. Visit Malaysia and watch the beautiful balance of nature and technological innovation driving a vast diverse and culturally rich country.

The information in the article is provided by dpauls tour and travel that offer Malaysia Packages and Malaysia Sightseeing tours at best prices. Get best deals on honeymoon Packages and holiday packages at www.dpauls.com .

About The Author

Source: www.articlealley.com/things-to-do-in-malaysia-2404075.html



Artificial Plants in Your Home Decor

by: Chad Young (reading – 23.7. - 29.7.)

When Redecorating or just trying to give a space in your home a new look try using artificial plants. There are some pros and cons when using artificial foliage and you should carefully think about them before purchasing. Read more to find out the things people don't think of when choosing between artificials and live plants.

First and foremost is the maintenance involved with each, while live plants require a bit more, artificial plants will still need some maintenance to keep them looking their best. Live plants will need watering a few times per week depending on the plant and what climate you're in. Pruning is a necessary chore to keep them healthy and vibrant looking and unless you have a green thumb, unlike me, they may start to brown and die. Fertilizing and soil treatment is necessary when dealing with live plants and if you have pets, keeping them out of the planters is always a chore. Cats love to climb into planters and sometimes eat leaves which can be very unhealthy for them so be very careful if you have pets on what types of plants you keep in your home. If you have young children you will want to be aware of any dangers live plants may have and you will need to watch the watering very carefully as mold spores can form in the moist dirt causing or triggering allergies for young children and older adults alike. Overwatering is a major problem that can cause costly damage to carpet and flooring with stains and water damage to hardwood floors. Certain plants are seasonal and will shed leaves or flowers and will only look their best during their blooming season and then look bare the rest of the time. This will also cause a clean-up when this happens so if you're set on live plants keep this in mind when making your choice.

With artificial plants the maintenance involved is much less however there may be some differences you will want to assess to see if they're right for you. With artificials you will need to fan them out to make them look natural. If you are purchasing from a local shop you can ask them to do it for you and most of the time they will be happy to oblige. Some of the downfalls of cheap artificial plants is there are a lot of plastic parts that can scream artificial and for some higher end decorators this is a no no. Higher end artificial plants don’t have this problem as you will find they tend to use real wood trunks for the trees along with some natural elements in their designs to give them the most realistic look. Of course if you examine the plant close enough you will always be able to tell fake from the real thing but from a few feet back is what you're going for. Depending on how much dust is in your area will determine how often you will need to clean them. There are products that make it easy to clean and maintain your silks one of which is named Silk'n Splendor. This product is a simple spray on and let dry type of treatment, ridding dust from the foliage along with putting a micro thin coat of silicone on them to give them their luster back and to inhibit dust from forming in the future. A simple spraying once every 3 months or so will do the trick once your plants are in place.

Now you can see why many people are going towards artificial plants rather than live because of the maintenance issues and health risks involved with live plants. Keep these options and differences in your head next time you have to choose and you can be sure you’re getting the right fit for you.

About The Author

This article was written by Chad Young who has been in the artificial plant and silk plants business since 2004 and continues to find the most realistic and lifelike artificials in the world. His products have been featured on television, major hotels, theme parks and many homes across the world. He makes these products available to the masses by offering them on his site www.qualitysilkplants.com/


Top 10 Eating Healthy Tips for 2012

(reading – 30.7. - 5.8.)

Eating healthy is not just a fad. It’s not just for hippie granola types, it’s not something to practice only under a doctors direction. Carefully choosing the foods you eat has an impact on every aspect of your life, happiness, social interactions, and overall well-being.

However, eating healthy means different things to different people, and that’s okay. To some, it means salads and carrot sticks at every meal. To others, it’s simply finding a new way to enjoy more wholesome ingredients without feeling like they’re depriving themselves of flavor and enjoyment.

Most people don’t want to be on a “diet”, while the truth is that everyone is on a diet. Diet is the summation of all you eat, good or bad it’s your diet. My point is that you needn’t be on a diet to improve your overall diet if you think of the word as something permanent, not temporary. We all know temporary diets are just that, fleeting in time.

If you want to improve the quality of what you eat, whether for health or just a curiosity of the world of foods now available, I’ve got 10 Eating Healthy Tips for 2012:

10) Understand that recipes have inherent limitations and you CAN change them. Don’t go looking for recipes that call themselves “low fat”, you can make ANY recipe low fat when you know the changes to make.

9) Examine what foods or eating habits you KNOW are bad for you and slowly try to eliminate or reduce them in your diet. Too much take-out food? Too much snacking? What small changes can you make immediately?

8) Identify the foods in your pantry that are not contributing to eating healthy and stop buying them. When you eat complete, nutritious meals there’s no reason to keep bags of chips or unhealthy snacks around. You won’t need them.

7) Change your eating habits by eating better quality foods more purposefully rather than quickly consuming convenience items. Stop eating in the car. Stop eating while you walk or eating meals in less than 10 minutes. Sit down, relax and concentrate on the good fuel going into your body.

6) Stop the guessing in your cooking. Healthy eating may not be appealing to you because you lack confidence to cook the most wholesome foods. You might hate asparagus because you have never had well cooked asparagus. Find a way that you can cook healthy items consistently.

5) Then, get some healthy foods. That should be obvious, you can’t eat better if you don’t know how to go about it. Visit the farmers market. Ask you local grocer which foods they recommend.

4) Master ONE basic cooking method, like sauté. Basic sauté is a procedure you can repeat over and over again, only changing the ingredients to create an endless number of recipe-free meals that come from your inspirations and desires.

3) Be sure you keep the healthy in healthy eating. Use methods like steaming over boiling for vegetables so you don’t cook out all the nutrients.

2) Use a basic method, but substitute better proteins. Using beans instead of rice, pasta, or potatoes gives you nutrients your body will love as much as your taste buds.

1) Use seasonings correctly to add unique flavors to healthy foods, and don’t over-season. All the herbs and spices in the world won’t save a badly cooked item. However, the skillful use of seasonings can highlight the natural flavor of what you’ve cooked and add endless variety of worldwide flavors.