Holiday Shipping at the Post Office

The holidays are officially upon us! If you’re planning on shipping gifts or anything else, we have a few pointers for you to keep in mind when you go to the post office to ship your packages.

Do your holiday shipping early!

Do you want your package delivered by December 25th? The post office recommends that first class mail be sent no later than December 20th. If you’re sending postcards or holiday cards, that’s your absolute drop-dead mailing date. The parcel post mailing deadline is December 15th, so if you’re mailing packages that don’t fit into the flat rate Priority boxes, that’s your deadline date. Get your shopping done, get your boxes packed and get to the post office!

One of the best shipping deals around right now is the U.S. Postal Service’s flat-rate priority shipping. Whatever you can fit into the box (provided at no extra charge by the USPS) will ship in the U.S., no matter how much it weighs. Your postman will even deliver the boxes to your door AND the USPS will pick up the package. The largest box measures 12″x12″x5-1/2″ and ships anywhere in the U.S. for $14.50, or to APO/FPO addresses for only $12.50. The medium-size box is 11″ x 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ and only costs $10.70 to ship anywhere in the United States. The small flat rate box is 8-5/8″ x 5-3/8″ x 1-5/8″ and ships for a mere $4.95!

I recently filled a large Priority box with books; it would’ve cost me a lot more to ship by weight, even with the media mail rate, so keep these flat-rate shipping boxes in mind when you’re shipping packages for the holiday.

The later you ship, the more it will cost you, in both time and money. Other delivery services have later ship dates than the United States Postal Service, but you will pay more. And regardless of what service you use, you will be standing in a line if you wait, especially the last week or so before Christmas.

Bottom line? The post office is your best deal, but you need to get your shopping done and your packages sent sooner, rather than later!

Pay attention to packing

Whether you’re shipping in a Priority box or doing your own packing, pay special attention to how you’re packing your boxes, especially if you have breakable or perishable items. It’s worth the extra attention to make sure everything arrives in one piece.

Consider a padded envelope, which you can then place inside a box for shipping. This is sometimes the cleanest and easiest way to protect what you’re shipping. Styrofoam peanuts can be annoying (not to mention their impact on the environment). A padded envelope is essentially the same as bubble packing, but can be less expensive, depending on what you’re shipping and how much you need.

Shipping home-baked goods

Everyone loves home-baked goodies for the holidays! They can send a message that means so much more than purchased gifts. However, there are some basics you need to know if you’re sending goodies through the post office.

Cakes don’t travel well. Quick breads and yeast breads aren’t recommended because they lose their freshness quickly.

Fruitcake travels well because its taste improves with age, as the flavors mellow. Honest – homemade fruitcake is much better than the stuff you buy through mail order or at the store.

Fudge and cookies make the best holiday mail gifts. Separate fudge with waxed paper and over-wrap, first with plastic and then with foil. Large cookies or cookies that have been decorated should be placed back-to-back and wrapped in pairs.

Metal containers are excellent because they help retain moisture. Clean coffee cans or recycled cookie tins from purchased cookies work great. You can also get tins at most dollar stores. Cover the bottom of the container and each layer of cookies with crumpled paper towels or waxed paper and seal the container with tape. In other words – package to send in much the same way the commercial cookie makers do. What works for them will also work for you!

Holidays are a special time with friends and family. Your loved ones who live far away will enjoy your gifts!

When Repairing Railing Don’t Forget The Post Caps!

Decks and porches require regular maintenance in order to keep them in the best shape year after year. Particularly after harsh winters and other bouts of drastic weather including rain and sleet as well as just plain cold! Your railings and other parts of your deck may require some upkeep from the damage done from these extremes. When repairing these railings, don’t forget the post caps!

Post toppers serve to cover each post on your deck railing, or fence. When you install each fencepost, it is critical that you cover each individual one with a cap. Post caps cover each railing post, and protect them from weather damage, and wear and tear that can occur over time. If you’re repairing your railing, it may serve you best to replace your post-toppers as well if you see damage or cracks in the caps that could let water or insects through to the fenceposts. Take this opportunity to explore more creative post tops. Acorn shaped, rounded, and glass caps provide a decorative touch to your front porch railing, or back deck. You can easily add lighting elements with solar capabilities to your porch with lighted post caps as well. Color, style, and flair can be added with ease, when you install these decorative items to your front porch railings and back porch railings.

If you are a confident do-it-yourself homeowner, you likely know that installing post caps is simple, fast, and easy. If you are a first time porch repairer at your home, rest assured that installing post caps is simple for any level of repair expertise. These protective tops are an essential part of any railing and should be looked upon as an opportunity to express your style and repair talent with creativity and ease.

The Key to Bigger Muscles – The Post-Workout Shake

After an intense bodybuilding workout, the body is “screaming” for nutrients to re-fuel and rebuild the muscle. The anaerobic nature of your weight-training workout has exhausted the muscles’ supply of glycogen. In addition, the intense nature of the workout has resulted in “micro-trauma” to the muscle fibers. As a result, a repair and rebuilding process requiring amino acids and glycogen must take place before the next workout. This need to re-fuel and rebuild can be best satisfied with a Post-Workout Shake. The Post-Workout Shake has a blend of carbohydrates and protein.

To achieve the full benefit, a typical post-workout shake should have a ratio of carbohydrate grams to protein grams of 1.5 to 3. Therefore, you should be adding about 20-30 grams of protein and about 30-90 grams of carbohydrates into your Post-Workout Shake.

You should consume this shake within one hour after your workout. The sooner you can consume the post-workout shake, the greater the benefit. The body is most receptive to metabolizing proteins and carbohydrates during the one-hour period after your weight-training workout. This period is referred to as the “anabolic window”. This is the beginning of your “recovery” and “rebuilding” process.

If you can only consume one protein shake during the day, then the Post-Workout Shake is the shake with the most benefits. According to research studies, muscle growth and recovery increased when weight trainers regularly consumed a Post-Workout Shake. Because of the need for a quick up-take of protein requirements, whey protein powder is the best choice here. In addition, the body needs a fast infusion of glucose for the glycogen-deprived muscles. Therefore, blending in simple carbohydrates such as bananas, apples, honey, maltodextrin/fructose powder, Gatorade, or fruit juice will satisfy the need for glycogen replenishment.

Drink your shake slowly by sipping it for at least 30 minutes. Don’t gulp it down! Allow your digestive system to slowly absorb the shake as you would a normal meal.

Consuming a Post-Workout Shake immediately after your weight-training workout is one of the most important strategies in your nutrition/supplementation strategy. Don’t ignore it.

Be certain that you’re implementing the best strategies and techniques to maximize your muscle growth. For information on more effective bodybuilding strategies and techniques and a FREE REPORT on the basics of muscle building, visit this site.