Posts by Rafael Beck:

Tips for Writing Thank You Cards

Whether you just got married and you have 100 thank-you cards to write or you just had a new baby and have to send thank-you notes to your friends and family, here are some great tips to help get you through the writing process of writing the thank-you cards.

Keep them short and to the point. Thank-you cards are not the time to let people in on your life story at the moment. You should not brag about your new job or complain about anything going on in your life. They are a note to say thank you to the person. You should express your gratitude, let them know how you will use the gift or how the gift has helped you and them close the note up.

Make sure that you send a thank-you note for every gift that you receive. Even if it is a small gift, it still deserves a thank you. If you have trouble keeping track, make a spreadsheet or a list that you can write them down as soon as you receive the gift. At most parties, like bridal showers, someone will write down all the gifts down for you with the names of the gift givers. Make sure that you follow that list and are checking off the people you have sent thank-you cards to. You want to make sure everyone receives a thank-you card and also that someone does not receive two thank-you cards.

Mailing a thank-you card is a lot more personal than emailing the person a . Actually handwriting a letter shows the person that you took the time out of your day to write a letter and mail it, were as an email sort of looks like an afterthought. I know most people like receiving friendly letters in the mail and this is an excellent way to make a person’s day.

If you have a lot of thank-you cards to write out, set up a place in your house that you can have a station set up to write all of them out. Choose a spare bedroom or a spot in your office that does not have clutter. Gather up the stationary or cards with the envelopes, pens, stamps, and your address book and you can quickly put together the cards when you have the time and they will be there and organized so it can go much quicker.

Even if you do not like the present that was given, you still need to write a thank-you card to the person. Everyone likes to be appreciated and just because they got you something that you may not like, it doesn’t mean that they didn’t like it or thought it was special. Focus on the positive, such as the thought of the gift.… Read the rest

Danby DWC276BLS Wine Refrigerator Review

src=”https://www.canadianappliance.ca/img/xxlarge/silhouette/wine-cooler/DWC276BLS_1.jpg” width=”” height=”” />The Danby DWC276BLS is a 12-inch wine refrigerator. You can use it as a built-in or a freestanding design. You can find this model for an average price of $650. Keep reading to learn about some of the features that it offers.

Shelves

The Danby DWC276BLS wine refrigerator is fitted with seven black wire shelves with a stainless steel face. All together, there is enough space to accommodate 27 bottles of wine. You can slide each shelf out so that you can access your wine more easily.

Thermostat

The Danby DWC276BLS is equipped with an adjustable thermostat. You can set it anywhere from 39 degrees to 64 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range makes the unit very versatile. You can use it to store white, red, or even sparkling wines.

Door

The Danby DWC276BLS wine refrigerator has a reversible door. Therefore, you can set it up to open to either the left or right. The tempered glass door is tinted which helps keep UV rays from damaging your wine. The door is also fitted with a child-proof lock so you can keep little children out of the unit.

Humidity

Another nice feature offered by the Danby DWC276BLS is the humidity reservoir. This reservoir is designed to keep moisture inside the refrigerator. Without moisture, the corks in the wine bottles may dry out and damage your wines.

Light

The Danby DWC276BLS wine refrigerator is equipped with an interior light. It is an LED light instead of lighting provided by an incandescent bulb. An incandescent bulb generates heat while LED lights do not.

Design

The Danby DWC276BLS offers a total storage capacity of 2.47 cubic feet. It measures 12 inches tall, 23 inches wide, and 34 inches deep.

The Danby DWC276BLS is useful for storing or simply displaying your wine collection. It is fitted with seven wire shelves that pull out so you can access the bottles easily. The unit can store up to 27 bottles of wine at once. There is also a humidity reservoir which will help prevent the corks from drying out. You can also adjust the thermostat anywhere between 39 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can store any type of wine at the ideal temperature.… Read the rest

Computer Programming Language Comparison

A wide variety of computer programming languages exist, with varying levels of sophistication, compatibility, and learning difficulty. Read on for a comparison of some of the major languages and the benefits or drawbacks which apply to them…

“C”/”C++”: C and C++ (an improved version) are in widespread use for creating applications and operating systems. According to wikipedia.org, this programming language can be used to make executable programs for multiple operating systems. It has sophisticated capabilities, but is considered more difficult to learn in comparison to QBASIC or Turbo Pascal.

TURBO PASCAL: A significant benefit of this programming language in comparison to most others is that some versions are legally available for free. Wikipedia.org indicates that TP versions 1, 3.02, and 5.5 have been freely released. It also states that this language is still taught in some universities, and (like QuickBASIC 4.5) has a convenient all-in-one programming interface with a built-in program compiler (for creating executables). Screenshot

BASIC: Many different versions of this programming language exist (GWBASIC, DEC, MSX, etc.), each with similar syntax but somewhat different capabilities. BASIC is one of the easier languages to learn, but has fewer capabilities in comparison with “C” or QBASIC; many versions cannot create executables, so users of the programs must have the same version of BASIC to use them.

QBASIC: QuickBASIC/QBASIC offers more commands and a better programming interface than BASIC. QuickBASIC 4.5 can create executable programs which can be used on operating systems ranging from DOS 2.11 to Windows XP, although graphical programs won’t work in XP. Although there are more commands, the improved interface and help feature make it potentially easier to learn than regular BASIC. Another advanced version of BASIC is TrueBASIC, which has a website at truebasic.com. Screenshot

VBASIC: The Visual BASIC language makes it easier to code window-based programs, not that this isn’t possible in other programming languages. Early versions of VB created DOS programs, whereas the latest versions generate programs which will run in Windows but not DOS. It is in more widespread use than Turbo Pascal or QBASIC at present, and some colleges offer programming courses for it. Screenshot

COBOL: This is among the oldest programming languages still being used in business and government, according to wikipedia.org. The COBOL language is relatively easy to learn (probably easier in comparison to “C”), partially thanks to its syntax which allows commands to be entered using entire English words in a sentence-like format. It enables creation of programs for multiple operating systems and has more sophisticated capabilities in comparison to QuickBASIC.

Other noteworthy programming languages include Fortran, Python, and FORTH, as well as online/web languages like HTML and PHP.… Read the rest

Have Lunch and Shop at the Antique Sampler Mall Tea Room in Arlington, Texas

The Garden Tea Room inside the Anttique Sample Mall boasts beautiful antiques and collectibles, in addition to delicious teas, desserts, and lunch. What more could you ask for? I had reservations at the Garden Tea Room for a bridal party, and it was truly the best dining experience. The atmosphere is serene, and the air smells of cinnamon and flowers. It literally looks like an indoor garden. Everyone was incredibly nice, especially the server. She was so accomodating and attentive. The menu is surprisingly large, for a tea room, and the desserts are heavenly. The chocolate cake was the most decadent I’ve ever tasted. Try the gourmet food and flavored teas, and then take a look around the store and do a little shopping because there is a fabulous collection jewelry and gifts. The Antique Sampler Mall Tea Room is located at 1715 E. Lamar Blvd. in Arlington, TX, right across from Hurricane Harbor.… Read the rest

Digital Vs. Traditional Scrapbooking

Several years ago I was introduced to the world of scrapbooking by several girlfriends. I had always been intrigued by their own creativeness with the scrapbooks that they have made of their children and families. It seemed like they had every event encountered photographed and outfitted with its own set of embellishments before it even got into their book.

I was quickly hooked on this new project as I have a passion for photography and telling stories. Not much later I was further introduced to the concept of digital scrapbooking. This really caught my attention along with the criticism it received by the more traditional scrapbookers. So I needed to research each of these concepts for myself.

Traditional scrapbooking involves cutting, pasting and designing a page layout that will be filled with embellishments and journaling. The scrapbooker uses only acid-free, lignin-free paper and embellishments to create pages themed after the pictures to be placed on them. This type of scrapbooking offers plenty of flexibility on page designs. However, each embellishment and piece of paper must be purchased separately. Pages must be planned carefully so that there is not unnecessary cutting of the materials. There are also a variety of cutting tools that are necessary to create the layout.

Digital scrapbooking is very straightforward offering the same, if not more flexibility than the . It can be done on any desktop or laptop computer. There are wide selection of scrapbook and photo editing software that allows the user to design customized pages for scrapbooks and other digital gifts.

Being an experienced user of both methods, I have more recently settled with digital scrapbooking. Personally, it offers me the ability to create wonderful pages and the ability to pay for the completed project when I need it. My young children and new puppy cannot damage or harm themselves with any of the cutting tools used in traditional scrapbooking. Lastly, I can work on my projects anywhere and at any time since it doesn’t command much use of space or storage.

There will always be a place in my crafting for traditional scrapbooking. However, digital scrapbooking should not be outlawed just yet. It may be the way for new scrapbookers to share their memories.… Read the rest

Enter Serenity: WordPlay Welcomes a New Mentor Writer

Baton Rouge's WordPlay Teen Writing Project traffics in safe spaces and scorching syntax. For a year and a half WordPlay staff have worked hard to empower young people in Baton Rouge by supplying them with the knowledge and resources they need to create art, community, and social change through literacy. The frenzy of activity and work constantly happening in the WordPlay office space at the Big Buddy Program is tiring just to watch. We are all thankful – young people and adults – once a month, to find some release, some pat on the back, some right word on the mic, some snatch of applause, some new voice to carry us forward.

When the feature poet took the stage at the January Freshhhh Heat open mic, she came with a certain calm. Latasha Weatherspoon, member of the Baton Rouge Poetry Alliance, took the stage with a slow gate and handed out two hot poems. Before leaving the stage she treated the audience to one last piece, a collaborative freestyle. She asked the young people to lift an object into the air so that she could work each object into her poem. The poem became a story of moving, carrying on, not stopping or letting up, with each new object a twist in the road, a talisman, a forebear of the journey. Each bag and each cap, each comb and each pen, each potato chip and each soda can, mine! and mine too! and don't forget that one sitting over there! every head and every shoulder, every young voice in the room willing to raise their hand, considered and engaged, accounted for and counted. The beauty of the poem rested in the poet's ability to work with the audience rather than speaking at the audience alone. By the end of the sometimes tangential narrative, the mood of the room was, well, serene.

A week after the open mic, WordPlay introduced Tasha to WordCrew, Baton Rouge's teen poetry council, and the staff of WordPlay welcomed Ms. Weatherspoon into their office, their classrooms, and their programs. Tasha, already a Project Rise mentor, was hired by WordPlay to teach workshops and tutor teens after school.

Since her first day with WordPlay, students have been lining up to work with Ms. Weatherspoon, and I'm happy to say I have the chance to do so too. Sitting in the library at Glen Oaks High School, I watch Tasha conduct a handful of students – an orchestra of youthful angst – like a master. She tells one student to "hush up and concentrate" on her work. But lurking behind the strong directive is a smile and a pile of compassion. She leans back in her chair and begins softly to herself, almost laughing, "God grant me the serenity…" Before I can wonder about the meaning, the usefulness of this Christian prayer, and its looped ending, the phrase has already stuck. I look around and see young people studying and working together and I figure something is going … Read the rest

Rose Wine Comparisons: Sutter Home vs. Clarendelle Rose

Ever curious to learn about the wines I've come to enjoy, I wondered what made one rose (or blush) wine different from another. Eventually, I did come to realize that these wines in general tend to have less alcohol, and are popular amongst those who don't like strong cocktails. But I also learned that not all rose wines are alike. Depending upon the region, and even the way the wine is produced-one can end up with a hearty, fruity experience, or a light and airy one. I selected two rose wines, and took a closer look at how the grapes were grown and how the wine was manufactured. It was also very interesting to note how much the flavor of wine can vary depending on a few small environmental factors. See how France's Bordeaux rose wine compares to America's more popular Sutter Home White Zinfandel.

Clarendelle Rose (Bordeaux Region)

Clarendelle Rose is a bright rose-colored wine whose notes are equally bright. The intense color is a result of allowing the grapes to ferment while in contact with their red skins, for only a short time. Sophisticated palates will probably detect hints of blueberry and raspberry. Some have claimed to taste elements of blackberry as well, in this Bordeaux wine. But because of the Bordeaux region's pebbly soil, the undertone still remains very light and sandy.

Those who happen to be serving spicy Indian food are in luck if they have a bottle of Clarendelle Rose, as this wine goes well with punchy foods. And because of the wine's delicate texture, most cheeses go well with it. Desserts and entrées seasoned with ginger (carrot cake, or ginger bread) are also good pairings. The $20 price tag (give or take) makes this Bordeaux a reasonably affordable wine for entertaining.

Sutter Home White Zinfandel (Napa Valley, California)

The Zinfandel grape, typically deep red in color, is used to make Sutter Home White Zinfandel. In order to achieve the light rose color of the wine, the Zinfandel grapes are crushed, with excess juice being removed and fermented separately. It is this fermented liquid that becomes "White Zinfandel."

This wine has considerably less alcohol than other wines-and because of its lightness in texture, goes very well with a variety of foods, especially barbecued meats and most pastas. This is perhaps why it has been referred to as a "quaffing wine": wine that can be gulped rather than meagerly sipped. All in all, Sutter Home's flavor is sweet and light, without as much kick as its red and white siblings. The brand sells in most supermarkets for under $10.

SOURCES:

www.grandwinecellar.com
www.sutterhome.com
www.shopping.com… Read the rest

Peach Ice Tea Protein Shake

If there is one thing that is for sure about the south, people love ice tea. If you are looking for a way to make your protein shake a little more southern, then you need to try out this protein shake recipe. This peach ice tea protein shake is perfect for a meal replacement during the day or a post workout recovery shake. Plus this shake only has 226 calories and 1 gram of fat so it is great for anyone watching their weight.

Ingredients:
8oz un-sweet tea (cold)
1- Scoop vanilla protein powder
1- Cup peach slices
1- Tbsp mango jam
4-5 Ice cubes

Preparation: Combine all ingredients in blender, mix until desired smoothness. Pour in to chilled glass. Serve and enjoy

Macronutrient Breakdown:
Total calories: 226
Carbohydrates: 31g
Fat: 1g
Protein: 27g… Read the rest