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воскресенье, 31 июля 2016 г.

How to Avoid Getting Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

Motherhood is a very rewarding stage. You can’t wait for the ninth month for when your baby comes out to the world. Some of my friends are so intent on having one but vanity sometimes do factor in. My female friends are afraid of getting fat (usually unavoidable) and eventually get stretch marks. Jessica Alba for one mentioned she hated how she looked when she was pregnant (piff…). But one thing that’s not pretty during motherhood are the stretch marks. Can’t one just enjoy motherhood without getting these ugly marks?
Stretch marks are believed to be your mom’s fault — well, actually it’s more of, if your mom got stretch marks when she was pregnant, chances are, you’ll have them too when you’re the one with the bump. But this is only one cause, so don’t go blaming your mom.
Don’t worry, though. There are things you can do so you can avoid getting stretch marks.
Keep your weight within a healthy range. Most moms get a little heavy during pregnancy. There’s no better time to practice discipline regarding your appetite and also on the kind of food you eat. Take pre-natal vitamins and make sure you get enough calcium, protein, whole grains, fruits and veggies. Avoid sudden weight gain so your skin won’t get stretched as much.
Don’t scratch the itchy parts. When you have an itchy area, use a soft brush on it or a soft cloth to relieve your skin instead of getting crazy with your nails.
Maintain your rituals. Motherhood is a very difficult time. With that bump, it’s almost impossible to move around as much. But never neglect your skincare rituals. There are a lot of anti-stretch marks creams which you can use to keep your skin moisturized and supple. You should go to your dermatologist and ask for recommended products which can protect your skin from the threats of the stretch during pregnancy.

Top 10 Running Tips

Running is a great way to lose weight, and there’s nothing like a little competition to make your exercise a little more fun and varied. Of course, good technique is important. Running without proper technique is like trying to drive with a flat tire.
Trialathlon rules has a 10 tips to get you started on this, and here’s a summary to get started. Drop by at their site for the full details.
  1. Keep your head up. (Not looking at the sky up).
  2. Watch your arms. A huge mistake even among experienced runners is bad arm form.
  3. Think/talk to yourself and others. Find reasons to keep going.
  4. Run your own race. While you can use your watch as motivation , listening to your body is more important.
  5. Take care of injuries and don’t press yourself to run injured.
  6. Join a local running group.
  7. Do speed work, since it will teach you to run faster.
  8. Don’t run in the dark, especially if you run alone.
  9. Don’t run your hardest every day.
  10. When running land of the middle part of your foot
So get your style in order, have fun, and go running!

How to Make a Better Cup of Instant Coffee

James Yeang’s post 10 Tips to Make Better Coffee got me thinking: you don’t always get time to make proper coffee every morning in a house with kids, dogs, cats and goldfish demanding your attention. If you still need your coffee but only have time to grab a cup of instant, there are a few things you can do to improve your morning cuppa.You’ll need:

  • a jar of instant coffee
  • a mug
  • a kettle
  • a bit of milk or soya
  • a mini-whisk
  1. Boil the kettle. This will give you at least a minute or two to do other chores
  2. Put 1-2 teaspoons of instant coffee in a mug
  3. Fill a quarter of the cup with water.
  4. Whisk the coffee for about 30 seconds with one of those dinky mini-whisks you got for Christmas and have never used
  5. Add a drop of milk/soya and hot water and continue to whisk for about 30 seconds
  6. Find a quiet spot to enjoy a frothy instant latte.

Tinderbox - Great for Keeping Notes

If you’re one of those people that thinks laterally, loves mindmaps, stores tons of notes all over the place and would like to get organized, you might considerTinderbox by the folks at Eastgate if you haven’t done so already.
I’ve been using the application —which is currently only available for Mac but Window’s version is due for release in the near future— for about five years now. Along with my mail programme, NetNewsWire and Firefox, it’s the only other application on my Mac that’s continually open and running.
With a Tinderbox Weekend about to take place in Boston, USA, I figured now’s the time to introduce LifeSpy readers to a special piece of software.
I use it as;
  • a reminder
  • a place to store notes
  • a means of organizing my thinking
  • a place to doodle
  • a box to store clippings, pictures and anything else I need to access
  • and a way to get a different view on the information I work with whether that’s blogging, teaching, consulting or dog-training.
I know others use it for blogging, organizing their photos, teaching, presentations. You might want to find out what it can do for your life.
A word of warning, however; You might balk at the initial price and the rather steep learning curve. It’s worth working with this application because the more you use it, the more it changes the way you make notes, think and work.
Oh, and by the way: Eastgate are renowned for stellar support and a willingness to help you make Tinderbox do what you want to do.

10 Ways To Get Someone’s Attention And Keep It

Kathy Sierra of ‘Creating Passionate Users’ has put together this set of tips about how to cut through the noise, and get someone’s attention.
Everything revolves around this golden rule:
“The secret is to be more provocative and interesting than anything else in their environment.”
To pull this off, she gives the following tips:
  1. Be Visual
  2. Be Different–Break Patterns and Expectations
  3. Be Daring
  4. Change Things Regularly
  5. Inspire Curiosity
  6. Pose a Challenge
  7. Be Controversial and Committed
  8. Be Fun
  9. Be Stimulating. Be Exciting. Be Seductive
  10. Help them have Hi-Res Experiences
In a day and age where we are constantly bombarded with information, and need to find a way to differentiate ourselves from our competitors, this advice couldn’t be more timely.

10 Powerful Direct Advertising Options to Easily Monetize Your Website or Blog

 This is the second post in my series of articles on developing Direct Ad Sales as an alternative revenue source. You can find the first post and an introduction here.

I previously talked about the benefits and disadvantages of direct advertising sales while covering the basic steps you can take to create an impressive advertiser sell page. In this article, I will cover the types of direct advertiser options available to bloggers and other webmasters.

While advertising networks can restrict the types of ads you can sell on your website, there is virtually no limitation when it comes to direct ad sales.

A tangible benefit is that all conceivable types of monetization tactics are all under one roof, or centralized under your control. You don’t have to log in and out of the various advertising networks, nor do you have to constantly insert or remove ad codes for the various ad networks you use.

Without further ado, here are 10 direct advertising options you may want to consider for your blog or website. You can choose to use a combination of various methods or pick one that best suits your website’s design structure and development goals.




1. Banner and Text Link Advertisements

The oldest form of online advertising, text links or banner ads is the most basic form of direct advertising and you should always set up ad placeholders before proceeding to other options listed in this post.

I would suggest using a banner or text link placeholder which indicates something to the extent of “Your Ad could be here” at the spot where you would be selling the ad. Naturally, this page should be linked to your advertiser sell page, which I’ve mentioned earlier in my previous post.

If you need some graphics for the ad placeholders, try looking for friends or fellow bloggers who are skilled in web design. An alternative would be to use Elance or other webmaster/design forums to get the work done.



2. Create a Mini-Network for Collective Advertising
Visualization of Blogrolls Network of United Arab Emirates Blog Community (by DC Rob)

Know any webmasters or bloggers with a website covering the same niche or industry? Collaborate with them and offer shared advertising options. For example, if you’re a blogger, work with three other bloggers and create a ad package on all three blogs for advertisers.

All members of the mini network should put up similar details of the package deal on their sell page and agree on a fixed price beforehand. There are two main benefits to this approach:

Advertisers like networked ads because it provides convenience, greater exposure and possible cost savings. Secondly, fusing together as a network will make up for each individual site’s weaknesses and allow you to set higher ad rates.

If you’re interested in starting a mini-network, I suggest starting slow (with 3-5 sites) in order to make things manageable. Remember to only work with trust-worthy webmasters/bloggers who are already familiar to you.

This DIY network strategy will work especially well when you aggressively contact potential advertisers. I will be covering specific marketing tactics on this topic in the next few posts in this series.



3. Offer Content Sponsorship Opportunities

For bloggers, this type of ad allows advertisers to sponsor specific blog posts. The sponsored content usually appear in the form of a sentence with a link, either before or after a post. Advertisers like this type of advertising because it allows them to target specific content.

If you have a particular blog post that receives a high volume of daily traffic or has a large number of incoming links, you can charge a higher rate for this specific page. Remember to vary your pricing according to the popularity of specific blog posts.

For general websites, content sponsorship allows advertisers to publish an entire Press release/advertorial, article or video about their product or service on your website. As much as possible, try to make sure that the content used should be relevant to your site.



4. Set up a Donation Page to Attract Link-Hungry Sponsors 


If you own a website that offers a useful online tool, you could put up a donation request and set up a donation page which honors the various sponsors. While termed as ‘donations’, some of the websites running a donation scheme can be seen as implicitly selling links.

This donation page on a webmaster tool site has probably accumulated over $5,000 from generous sponsors, and in return gives out permanent keyword links on their PR 5/4 donation pages as a courtesy to the donor.

Even if you don’t offer any tools or services, try putting up donation widgets on your website and explicitly indicate that donors will be listed on a donation page. You’ll be surprised how many people will donate to your blog or website just to get a permanent link to their website.



5. Sell Paid Reviews On Your Blog



The paid reviews you can sell on your blog will be similar in functionality to sponsored review networks like Payperpost and ReviewMe. Review and link details can be negotiated in depth with advertisers or you can choose to have complete autonomy over how the review is written or developed.

This is probably the weakest element in direct advertising because paid review networks can provide a large amount of ready customers. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to work directly with advertisers through your own terms and rates.

There are some tactics (addressed in an upcoming post) which will allow you to make full use of the middlemen and still get assignments directly with potential advertisers.



6. Use Feed-Based Direct Advertising



I previously wrote about how to monetize your blog feed and these methods can be similarly applied to direct advertising. The most common feed-based ads include banner or text link based advertising.

Feed based advertising will depend on the strength of your subscriber base, so if you don’t have many feed subscribers (500+) it might be better to avoid offering this ad option. Another possibility would be to offer it as an short-term add-on or bonus to any ad package the advertiser buys.



7. Experiment with Pixel/Favicon-style Ads




This involves selling small squares of graphic icons which link to the advertiser’s website. This method allows you to focus on the combination of low pricing and bulk selling because a pixel or icon takes up very little of your site’s real estate.

While the pixel ad market is no longer a novelty, there are still advertisers who are willing to buy pixels or icon ads, especially if your website is established and sees strong daily traffic.

I suggest allocating a specific section on your website (perhaps the sidebar) and include small blocks of graphics. If you’re using Wordpress, the fastest way to get started on your blog is to use AdIcons for Wordpress, a plugin that allows you to sell advertising space in the form of little brandable icons.

Remember to seed it with icons that link to your friends’ blogs to make your ad space look active and in-demand.



8. Try Selling Contextual Text Links for Existing Content

This technique was first popularized by V7N contextual and allows the advertiser to pick one specific word or key phrase that exists on your website and and pay you for a permanent link to their their website.

Advertisers love these sort of links because they are within relevant content, are perceived as author recommendations and are hard to detect as paid links.

From a seller’s perspective, you won’t need to write a new review or paid post just to promote a specific product and instead, only involves hyper-linking specific words.

Obviously, you’ll need to check if the website you’re linking out to is reputable and worthy of a recommendation. You’ll also need to be ethically comfortable with possibly not disclosing that it was a paid link.



9. Look for Interactive Internet Broadcast Sponsors



Set up a live internet broadcast session in which you can interact with visitors from all over the internet. An good example of this monetization strategy comes from Chris Pirillio who has Adsense, direct sponsorship AND donation-based programs set up on his live internet broadcast page.

While some might think that this only works for semi-celebrities, I think it will work if you are not afraid to come up with something creative. Revver/YouTube artists and Justin.Tv are strong examples of how public video-based websites can attract a large audience.

The anonymity of the internet relishes visual disclosure and video/cam broadcasts can easily create buzz and bring in a barrage of high paying advertisers. For beginners, I suggest setting up a dedicated page for internet broadcasting on your site, instead of running an entirely new project from the ground up.



10. Sell Ads in Email Newsletters 


This is for webmasters who have their own opt-in mailing list of interested visitors/readers. Selling sponsored advertorials or links for highly relevant products can not only add value to your list readers but provide a source of revenue.

Affiliate marketers, especially love advertising on email newsletters/lists because it reaches a very targeted audience who are already pre-sold on specific topics, products and services. If you want to start building your own email list, I highly recommend using AWeber, one of the best autoresponders and newsletter managers in the market.


Conclusion

The next article in this series will be focused on ways you can use to determine an appropriate ad pricing model for your website. How much should you sell those ads? What long term arrangement and form of negotiation will be most beneficial to you?

These are some of the topics that will be examined in detail. If you have any questions on this post, do leave a comment and let me know. I’ll love to hear your thoughts on the direct advertising options I’ve listed.

How to stop your dog barking

Do you get embarrassed every time someone comes to your door because your dog starts barking? Fed up that Fido tries to chew your mother-in-law’s ankle every time she comes around? You need to get control of the stimuli in your dog’s life. What’s more, you might have let it think it’s boss.Typically, a dog will bark when someone comes to your door because he is alerting you, the owner, to the imminent danger that’s approaching. When a dog knows its place within a human pack, it will go silent as soon as you reassure it that the latest visitor is a friend and reassume its place in the sun.

Trouble is, if your dog thinks he’s the alpha of your “pack”, you’re in for a noisy time. Dogs that think they’re boss, don’t listen to their owners. Why should they? They think they’re there to protect you. That’s the whole point of the leader of a pack: the biggest, strongest, bravest dog runs the show. In the wild, survival depends on it.
Because size has nothing to do with attitude: that’s why even the smallest of mutts can, if allowed to run the show, will misbehave.
To ensure that your dog doesn’t think it’s “Top Dog” in your household, you need to implement a new regime in your household:
  • Control the food. Make sure you eat something in front of your dog before he dogs. The alpha always eats first in the pack.
  • Control the walk: Make sure you walk in front of your dog whenever you’re out. If your dog pulls on the lead or charges on ahead, simply stop and wait until your dog stops and looks at you. As long as you stick to this, the dog will eventually realise that you control the walk. Like all alphas.
If your dog barks at visitors to your house, remove your dog calmly and cooly from the door way. You might want to use a training lead. Isolate him for five minutes or until he is calm. Then repeat this procedure. He’ll soon learn that unless he learns some manners he’ll be isolated.
Whatever you do, don’t yell at a barking dog. He’ll just think you’re barking too and join in even more!
Disclaimer:
If you suspect you have a problem dog, particularly from a breed that is bread for fighting or guarding, consult a specialized dog trainer if you are unsure how to handle your favourite mutt. 

Insulation, Why? Where? And What to use.


In the average home, temperature control accounts form almost 70% of energy use, weather it be from heating or air conditioning. Adding insulation will help reduce the amount of energy needed to keep your home around a preferred temperature.
    1. Most homes through out North America have not been built with the best level of insulation, older homes will find a big difference if insulation is added, and even adding insulation to newer homes will save enough money to pay for itself in a few years.
      The main priorities to insulate should be your attic, because as we all know heat rises, and cold air falls. By insulation the attic you cut down on the amount of heat that will escape through your roof. Another area to deal with is under floors over unheated areas, such as crawl spaces and cellars. And last but not least the exterior walls.
      There a few different types of insulation, but the most common are Batt, Blown, and Rigged
      Batt insulation is made from fiber glass or other mineral fibers and comes in rolls or bundles that are the widths of most common spacings between joists and wall studs.
      Most batt insulation is moister resistant and relatively easy to work with. How ever, it can be easily damaged if it gets wet, and if compressed can loose some of its insulation value.
      Blown or Loose Fill insulation is usually the cheapest, and easiest to use to insulate already built walls. It is made from chopped up fiberglass or mineral wool fibers; it can also be made from cellulose fibers which is shredded newsprint that has been treated with a fire retardant substance.
      Blown Insulation is usually used in horizontal spaces such as floors and ceilings, but it may also be used in preconstructed walls as long as precautions have been taken to prevent the fill from settling and compressing itself which will result in the loss of insulation value.
      Rigged comes in sheets usually 2 feet by 8 feet and is made from a variety of materials such as polystyrene. Rigged insulation can easily be added to exterior walls when doing renovation and can be used to block air leaks if laid in a grid pattern.
      The local environment needs to be considered when using Rigged insulation. Polyurethane sheets should not be used for built up roof systems because in can become dimensionally unstable in high humidity areas.
      Adding insulation will not only save you money while you live in your home, it will also increase the resale value of your home.

No Background Music Please, We’re Websites

If you’re thinking about placing background music on your site, stop right now. Along with large animated GIFs, this has to be one of the tackiest things you can do with your site. 
SEOMoz has a list of reasons you can bring to your clients should you ever get asked to do this. Among my top picks are -
  • It’s obtrusive: It’s forcing something down the users throat they didn’t ask for. Users expect web pages to contain useful information, not carry a tune.
  • Not all browsers and operating systems support multimedia content: “If you had to choose between some users being able to hear music and some having their browser crash OR having everyone be able to view the site without any issues, which would you choose?”
  • It slows things down: Having music playing will decrease the performance of the site, especially on slower machines.
  • Not everyone may like your music: What some people consider ambient and pleasant, others may find to be annoying, elevator music.
  • It hogs bandwidth: If it’s a high traffic site having music may run the risk of putting it over it’s bandwidth limit and costing extra money.Bottom line, if you’re not on Myspace, don’t make your site look like it belongs there. There’s a reason why they were rated as the worst site in the world!

Easy-to-make, Delicious Muesli

Fed up with your regular breakfast cereal? Trying to cut down on those bad carbs or high sugar cereals? Why not start the day with an easy-to-make, delicious muesli.
You’ll need:
  • a large packet of rolled oats
  • a small packet of dried apricots
  • a small packet of dried dates
  • a third of a packet of desiccated cocoanut (optional)
  • a small packet of plain almonds
Directions:
1. Put the oats in large bowl.
2. Chop the apricots, dates and almonds into small pieces. Add to the oats.
3. Add the desiccated cocoanut.
Mix well.
Serve with Rice Dream OR Soya Milk and a chopped apple.
Alternatively, sprinkle a little on top of your favourite natural yoghurt.

7 Steps To Teach Anyone RSS

While the benefits of RSS become immediately obvious to some of us, the general internet population, don’t use it. In many cases, it’s not so much that they haven’t heard about it, it’s that they just don’t really see the point of it all.
The Moleskin has a good set of tips aimed at teaching anyone how to use RSS.
  1. Formulate a 30 second elevator description. An example would be just describing it as a notification system that allows you to put the end user in control of when and how they receive information.
  2. Support your elevator pitch with analogies. Everyone has some situation or that they can relate to.
  3. Ask Questions. Figure out where their pain points might be with what they are currently doing. Then you can explain how RSS can fill voids and solve problems for them.
  4. Teach by showing. Most people learn better by doing.
  5. Use examples other than blogs and podcasts.
  6. Some common answers include help desk tickets, auctions, sales, law enforcement alerts (e.g. Amber alerts), and weather reports…the list goes on.
  7. Avoid technical jargon. It just doesn’t matter to the average person.
Interestingly enough, almost all these tips can be used to explain anything technical as well - Something to bear in mind the next time you have to present on a similar subject.
Many people, who use simple start pages like Google IG, don’t even realize they’re using RSS. These are incredibly friendly online readers, and instead of trying to get a new user to understand RSS, you may want to let them try these readers, and let them ‘get it’ at their own pace.

How to Cut Your Dog’s Nails

One of the hardest things about grooming your dog is cutting his nails. You know how it is, you get the clippers out and he runs a mile.
The best thing to do is get your dog used to having his nails clipped when he’s a pup. That way you won’t have problems when he’s older and huge.
But if you’ve never really gotten around to getting him used to trimming his nails, or relied on those long walks on the asphalt to do the job for you, you’ll be in for a shock later on.
Dogs don’t like having their nails cut. They strain and pull and do just about anything to avoid it.
If you’ve got a struggler on your hands, get one person to hold the dogs head, talking to him calmly and reassuringly. Meanwhile, lift the dogs paws, one at a time, as if you were a vet checking a horse’s hoof.
The nail should be cut from underneath, not from the top downward. Slide the opening over the end of the nail while staying in the whitish part of the nail. The pink area of the nail is the live part and has blood vessels throughout.
When you are ready to cut, and you are sure you aren’t at the live, pink part of the nail, just squeeze the clippers in one swift move.
What To Do If You Cut Too Short
Place a tiny piece of tissue paper tightly against the end of the nail and hold it for a few minutes. Or, have some Quick Stop Powder available and put a small amount up against the bleeding end of the nail. If you do nothing the bleeding should stop in about 5 minutes.

10 Tips To Make Better Coffee

Every morning, I start my day with a freshly brewed cup of coffee served up by my tea lady. Doing it yourself, and getting it right, is a whole different ballgame altogether. Wikihow has two articles which I found very useful, and I’ve picked and summarised 10 useful tips from those articles.
  1. Make sure to use coarse ground coffee: Standard grind for an automatic drip coffee maker is too fine.
  2. A burr grinder will give you better results than a whirly blade grinder: Consistent grind size is important.
  3. If you are forced to use a microwave to heat your water, put a chopstick in the container to prevent super heating. Turn off the microwave when you start to see bubbles collecting/creating around the chopstick.
  4. If the plunger screen gets stuck while pushing down: Be careful not to force it — hot coffee may shoot out the top or the carafe may break.
  5. Keep your press pot and filter screen clean: Coffee oils can build up and go rancid over time, making your brew taste bitter.
  6. Do not use boiling water in your coffee as this makes the coffee bitter. Let the water sit for a few moments after boiling.
  7. Avoid pulling the plunger screen back up once you begin pushing down, as this can cause coffee grounds to escape back into the drinkable top section.
  8. Do not let the brewed coffee sit for too long. Coffee becomes increasingly bitter the longer you let it sit.
  9. Do not store beans in the freezer. It both damages the flavor of the coffee
  10. If your coffee often ends up being more bitter than desired, sprinkle 2-3 pinches of salt on top of the grounds. This will help take away some of the bitterness in the taste.

3 Ways To Prevent Break-Ins During A Holiday

 Going for a long holiday, and want to make sure your house is safe from burglars? Here are a few tips to ensure your residence is secure and you can have total piece of mind.
Use Wall Socket Timers
A popular use of this inexpensive device is to plug it into a lamp so it will go on and off at certain times of the day. You can take it one step further by adding sound into the equation. Attach the timer to a TV or radio so it will go on at certain times in the day or night, and no one will be the wiser.
Suspend Your Newspapers
If newspapers are delivered to your doorstep, suspend the subscription in the period while you’re gone. Nothing says ‘ gone on holiday’ more than a big pile of unread newspapers in the front porch.
Make Friends With Your Neighbors
A good neighbor can be invaluable when you’re on holiday. They can report suspicious activity, and keep an eye out for you, so make friends with the people living next door, and inform them when you’re going on holiday. Of course, return the favor when they go on a trip as well!

Tips To Get That Promotion

Dumb Little Man has a great list of 20 tips that got a person promoted, and I wanted to highlight a few of them here for you, as well as point out the article containing the tips, so you can work on some of them, and get the promotion you deserve.
  • I will be the guy to speak out with new ideas in meetings. If it’s going to save money or increase revenues, I will never be out of line.
  • I will study new trends so I am the guy with the good idea.
  • I will know how competitors do things so I can suggest better solutions in meetings.
  • I will be in the office before my boss’ boss 90% of the time.
  • I will leave the office after my boss 100% of the time.
These types of “rules to live by” improve confidence and make you the person that stands out in the business (hopefully in a good way).
I can attest to the disadvantages of not following these, as I have had problems in a previous company I worked for, mostly due to my attitude. I thought I was too good for the job, and instead of aiming for a better job, I basically gave up and my lack luster performance was noticed.
I have also recently read reports saying that if you are the first person the boss has contact with as well as the last, he is more likely to associate you with the company, and help raise your standing in the company.

Blogging and Setting SMART Personal Goals

Blogging has become so popular that massive amounts of people are setting up new blogs and establishing a presence in the blogosphere.
Unfortunately, despite beautifully themed pages, outstanding development, plug ins and precision content, many fall short of success. Potentially successful blogs fail due to numerous conflicts and reasons; however, one of the main reasons tends to be a lack of clear and achievable goals.
Scanty goals tend to leave people with the feeling of frustration, due to the organizational nightmare they have created, which is then followed by an extreme lack of focus.
Creating and maintaining a blog is a great example for an article covering the important of setting goals because so many topics and questions must be asked and answered to determine how your new site is going to be managed, including such things as what clothes you wear while you blog. (We all know there are many pajama bloggers out there.)
Setting goals is an important factor in any endeavor you choose to take on. Basically, the objective is simple, within your head you say something along the lines of, “I want to setup a new website.”
Obviously though, stating the aforementioned comment is almost like saying, “I want to buy a new car.” At some point in the decision making process, you are required to narrow down the scope of your newly created product of excitement and ask questions that will give you definitive answers. What size automobile would you prefer? Does the size of the new transportation device reflect the fact that you have children in your family currently or the near future?
Blogging is essentially the same. Picking what software you are going to use to publish your blog is very much like asking yourself what transmission you are going to use in an automobile. What niche you decide to write about and the surrounding audience it targets is similar to what size car and perhaps even the color.
Once you have asked yourself questions to give you a mental path for success, dig even deeper to determine what steps will be required to achieve such goals. If you want to use WordPress as your blogging platform, what modifications to your existing web site layout must be completed before such integration could be performed?
Professional blogging is only a single example of how goals should be realistic and simple. Individuals set goals extremely high, buy into the theories set forth by other success stories and forget that their predecessors are simply examples.
If you are going to step into the realm of blogging or any other professional services industry, ensure you have performed adequate research and study to compete. Far too often, individuals spend their time reading about the success of a few big names and forget or simply ignore the fact that, what works for one, will not always work for another.
There are more resources on personal goal setting than one would want to believe; however, the SMART system seems to work wonderfully! Best of luck with all your newly generated, goal-oriented projects and tasks!

Saving Electrical Power

As fossil fuels become scarcer, we need to bemore conscious about our power consumption. But conserving electricity is not only good for the environment, it’s better for your wallet too. Here are some ways in which you can lessen your power consumption at home.
Make sure that your appliances are energy-efficient.
You don’t have to buy new appliances instantly, but whenever an old appliance needs replacing, consider buying energy-efficient units. By law, appliance manufacturers include the energy-efficiency level in their product specifications. Take time to read them before buying. Fluorescent light bulbs are more efficient than tungsten ones, and LCD monitors and TVs are more efficient than cathode ray tube (CRT) ones.
Use space heaters rather than a central heater.
You don’t need to warm up your entire house, especially if you live alone. Use localized heaters that only warm up the rooms that are being used rather than the entire house. This can make a dramatic difference in your energy bill during the colder seasons.
Don’t be too dependent on your appliances.
If you have the time to perform household tasks without the aid of an appliance, go ahead and do them in more “traditional” ways. Use a spin dryer or clothesline rather than a dryer. As much as possible, try washing your dishes by hand rather than relying on a dishwasher. Doing this also conserves more water. Only use your dishwasher if you have a full load of dishes to wash.
Use your appliances with more care.
Think of the most efficient ways to use your appliances before putting them to work. For example, unless your clothes have different laundry instructions, try to wash them with cold water rather than hot. When opening your refrigerator to prepare for meals, make sure that you remove all the ingredients at one time – the more times you open your refrigerator door, the more power you consume. Also, allow warm food to cool off to room temperature before refrigerating them.
If you stick to these tips, you could reduce your power usage, thus saving you money.

E-mail Etiquette: Writing an Effective Subject Line

To improve the way you communicate, take two minutes to write more effective e-mail subject lines.
The Problem
Too many people fall into the trap of writing vague e-mail subject titles like “Hello”, “Hi” or even forget to bother with a title at all. The trouble is that junk mail tends to look pretty much the same. When writing e-mails to friends, you can probably get away with being vague or sloppy; however, professional correspondence like at work or college requires more thought. Especially if you want a reply.
Example 1
If you’re applying for a job, leaving the subject field of an e-mail empty is a definite no no. Your mail is likely to get picked up by a spam filter or possibly ignored - especially if it arrives in a busy mailbox.
“Job” is also vague because the company could be advertising a number of posts. It might also imply that you are actually offering a job.
Suggestion
It’s far better to state the post you’re applying for: e.g. “RE: Maths Teacher Required”. But even this might seem like you have a question about the post. If you’re actually applying for the position It would be better to write: “Applying for position of Maths Teacher”. The recipient would immediately understand what the e-mail is about and would know whether it was worth opening.
It’s important to bear this in mind if you’re writing speculative e-mails: “Do you have any short-term vacancies?” is informative and direct. It’s far more likely to earn you a reply than simply leaving the subject field blank or going with the embarrassing “Hello”.
Example 2
If you’re employed in an office or company it’s likely you will have seen e-mails arrive in your In Box entitled “Meeting”. Again, this kind of title is incredibly vague and not really useful. “Meeting” might be used to announce:
  • the cancellation of a meeting
  • the scheduling of a meeting
  • the distribution of the minutes from a meeting or even a request for a meeting.
SuggestionAll the examples in example 2 could be expressed far more clearly with very little thought:
  • “Tuesday’s meeting at 10 is cancelled”
  • “Staff meeting is this Wednesday at 14:00″
  • “Enclosed: the minutes from last week’s Board meeting”
  • “Can we meet to discuss your coming trip?”

First-Aid Standbys, What Not to Do

Numerous momma-dos exist in the medical world, home remedies perse for specific injuries and such. However, many if not most of these methods are actually more dangerous than you would initially think. Everything from placing butter or shaving cream on burns to soaking in vinegar after a sun-burn. The methods are ludicrous, yet almost everyone can admit they have attempted to remedy an injury using one of the crazy first-aid standbys. After reading this article over at Reader’s Digest, you may not be saving lives, however, you will undoubtedly be improving the heal time for your next minor injury.
When the skin isn’t broken, it’s hard to beat iodine for killing bacteria. That’s why doctors use it to clean an area before surgery. But when there’s a cut, says dermatologist Robert Kirsner, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology, full-strength iodine, hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol can be toxic to skin cells, impeding healing. The chemical reaction (and bubbling) that occurs when hydrogen peroxide hits the skin isn’t only cleaning the wound — it’s killing healthy cells. And that stinging from the rubbing alcohol? This stuff hurts because it’s wiping out healthy tissue.
Putting iodine on cuts and wounds kills bacteria, says VanRooyen, but it won’t clean the wound. “You want to protect the good tissue, and iodine doesn’t do that.” Mercurochrome also kills bacteria, but as the name suggests, it contains mercury, which is toxic, and not generally recognized as safe, says the FDA. Today, doctors don’t use Mercurochrome.
Better Bet
Remarkably, cleansing a wound has become much simpler: “The most effective way to get rid of debris and bacteria without damaging healthy tissue is flushing the wound out with water,” says VanRooyen. Put the wound under a faucet, or spray it with the nozzle on the kitchen sink. Flush it with water to clear it of all debris. If you are worried about the bandage sticking to the wound, consider using an antibacterial ointment that contains bacitracin or neomycin to keep the area lubricated.
[ed. note - looks like we got an article that looks very similar to one written inReader's Digest a few years ago. My appologies. Please check out their article for all the details.]

Another View on Rewarding Yourself

Whenever you’ve completed an important task or faced a challenging situation, it’s important that you reward yourself for your efforts. This is especially important if you don’t have any employers or authority figures to give you a bonus or treat you to a nice, rewarding dinner after a successful proposal. Here are some ways in which you can give yourself a ‘pat in the back’ for a job well done:
Have a fun night with your friends. Whether you’re watching a DVD at home or going out clubbing, your friends can give you the break you need from the little stresses of life. Friends serve as great reminders of the important things that make life worthwhile – laughter and companionship.
Buy yourself something. It’s good to buy a little something for yourself once in a while, whether it’s that bottle of cologne you’ve always wanted or some CDs or books from your ‘wish list’. You can even buy yourself a few hours of pampering at a local spa. Get a good full body massage and feel the tension leave your body. This will make you feel recharged for a long period of time.
Get a good workout. It’s common knowledge that exercising can give you a boost of energy. Your body also releases chemicals called endorphins whenever you exercise, making you feel better after times of stress. You don’t need an expensive gym membership to do this – there are several exercises you can do at home, with little or no equipment.
Sleep. This is especially important after working on a project that demanded a lot of your time and energy. Getting a good night’s rest isn’t just healthier – it makes you feel good too. By getting a proper amount of sleep and rest after performing an exhausting task, you’ll feel more rejuvenated and energized for future work.

Choosing the Ideal Business Location

The success of your business largely depends on where it’s located. Finding the ideal business location takes more than just choosing the place with the lowest rent. A lot of factors have to be considered before you move in.
Check the space
You have to think about your location’s size, layout, and quality. Check for any damages in the electrical wiring, plumbing, and construction – any repairs will be added to your expenses. Also, the location should be large enough for all the storage and retail space that you will need to run your business. It also helps to do a little research on the location’s crime rate, and whether it is well lit at night. These factors may affect the amount of crime insurance you’ll pay for.
Reach your customers
Your location should be ideal for your type of business. Restaurants should be near a car park or accessible via public transportation, and video game arcades should be in an area that kids can safely and easily access. Think of your target demographic and make sure that they live nearby. Even if your target market doesn’t live nearby, make sure that your business is located in an area where they can get to comfortably. Be sure that you can shoulder the extra advertising costs to attract customers that live far from your business location.
Face your competition
Look around your new location and try to spot any possible competitors. Evaluate whether you can successfully compete with them. This doesn’t mean that you should avoid competition – you can actually benefit from your competition’s marketing efforts by staying close to them. As long as you’re confident about your products, being close to your competition can be beneficial to your business.
The best thing you can do is to talk to other people in your business. They’ve been through this process before, and they can give you valuable tips and advice based on their own experience. Apply their advice as well as the three tips above, and you’ll definitely come out ahead.

Be a Super Student: Productivity Tips for School

There’s an ongoing myth claiming that you have to sacrifice a lot of free time for your studies. Nothing could be further from the truth. Education isn’t just about listening to lectures – it’s also about experiencing new things outside the confines of a classroom. This means that you shouldn’t spend your growing-up years solely involved in your studies. The quantity of your studying hours isn’t nearly as important as how you make use of your time.
Don’t put equal amounts of effort into all of your subjects
Not all your subjects are labor intensive. Don’t give the same amount of effort for all your subjects. Think of what your goals are for each subject, and organize your study habits based on these goals. For example, if your goal is to simply get a good grade, then put in the right amount of effort that will give you the grade you want. If you need a recommendation from your teacher or if a subject is relevant to your chosen career path, then put in a lot of extra effort.
Recover wasted time
Wasted time is a part of daily life, especially when we’re not aware of it. The minutes you spend walking between classrooms are wasted time. Idly brushing your teeth in the morning is wasted time. Sitting in a class where your teacher is rambling on about his personal life is wasted time. Instead of letting your mind stay inactive, try the following:
  • When walking between classrooms, listen to podcasts or audio books that will entertain, inspire, or inform you.
  • Post lecture summaries in the bathroom mirror so that you can read them while brushing your teeth.
  • Make a list of things you can do during boring classes that seem to be time-wasters. Your list may include doing your homework for other subjects, or reading a book relevant to your career path. Just make sure that you pay attention once in a while to jot down important points in the lecture.
  • Exercise while watching TV. It boosts your energy and prevents you from dozing off in class.
Learn new lessons immediately
Whenever your teacher introduces new lessons, understand them the second they come up. Memorize facts as soon as they are presented, and comprehend your notes as you write them. This requires a bit of discipline, but it will eliminate your need to do lengthy review sessions before exams. Knowing all the material as soon as it is presented also gives you an edge during surprise quizzes.
By applying these techniques, you’ll be able to manage your studying time more wisely. Once you’ve created a successful study pattern for yourself, you can spend more time with your family and friends and do the things that really matter to you.

The Tiddy Bear: Real or a spoof?

I have had an outrageous jump in hits the last two days. I thought it was due to the giveaway I’m hosting but upon checking my stats I come to find that 600 hits were from searches for “tiddy bear”.
I wrote a post about the Tiddy Bear last April and posted a link to where it can be purchased. That link no longer works and there is quite a bit of chatter over the internet if the Tiddy Bear is an actual product or a commercial spoof.
One of my commenters let me know that Ellen DeGeneres attempted to order one on her show yesterday. I don’t know if she was successful or not but I did find a site that sells them. I will call them tomorrow to see if this thing is legit or not.
If only I could get this many hits for this YouTube video of my toddler’s impressive dance skills. Maybe then Ellen would put the video on her show. I know I’m biased but I think it’s much cuter than some of the kid videos she’s shown lately.

How to Keep Cool in the Summer

Thirsty? Irritated? Frustrated? Impatient? Careless? If the answer to any of these is yes, it could be that you’ve had too much sunshine. Although most of us long for the summer months each year, it’s important to remember that overheating can sometimes lead to heat stroke, convulsions, unconsciousness and even death.

For most of us, getting too hot in the summer isn’t just uncomfortable, it can also be dangerous. For example, if you’re used to more temperate weather, you should be careful notto over-exercise or do anything particularly strenuous in the heat until you’ve given your body time to adjust to the temperature. TheAmerican National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)recommends that you do no more than 2 hours strenuous activity a day in hot, humid weather for at least seven days. After that you can begin to build up your stamina.
The biggest problem during the summer is that exposure to high temperatures puts us at risk of becoming dehydrated. If you spend too long working outside in the garden or jogging during the middle of the day, you can lose “one-and-a-half quarts of fluid per hour” [Source: NIOSH]. Let that go on for too long and you risk heat stroke.
Even if you don’t work outdoors in the summer, you still need to make sure you are properly hydrated during to remain at your best and keep your skin looking clear and fresh.
How to keep cool
  • Don’t overexert yourself.
  • If forced to spend long periods outside in the sunshine, make sure you give your body a break.
  • Seek the shade regularly.
  • Drink still cool water regularly; but don’t overdo it. Drinking excessive amounts of water can be dangerous.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes, preferably made from linen
  • Don’t jog or do other physically strenuous sports when temperatures are at their highest
  • Try to workout when the day is still cool: e.g. early morning or at night
  • Avoid alcohol and junk food, as sugar and salt are likely to dehydrate you even more
Remember:
If you’re hot and start to feel weak, dizzy, have a headache or are feeling nauseous, sit down in a cool, shaded place and drink some water.

Training Your Subconscious Mind

The subconscious mind is an extremely powerful mechanism. Each individual has an unique perspective and opinion on what success means to them. If properly trained, utilized and enacted; subconscious thoughts achieve success.
In my previous article I enlightened you on how extremely important goal-setting is. In an effort to elaborate on these details I am going to infuse your brain with something in a slightly different direction. How to maintain the mindset to achieve success.
Entirely understanding how much strength ones subconscious thoughts hold, you must first realize that there is no truth behind the term, “coincidence.” Basically, nothing in life occurs just by chance or out of luck. Absolutely nothing is predestined; you hold the power and tools to control your lifes outcome, both success and failure.
Incidents and occurances occur as a reaction or reason behind one another. The statement, “everything happens for a reason,” however, is true. The reason behind you winning four-hundred and sixty one million dollars in your local statewide lottery is because you took the initiative to purchase a lottery voucher. That ticket held the key to your current success. Therefore, you achieved success and reached your goal.
Though, there is no discouraging to the fact that individuals, at least those of us of the homo sapien race, are able to, at all times acquire everything he or she desires, however, it is true that we can utilize our subconscious power to overcome situations and events and cause them to move into the desire direction, more often than not.
It is important to remember that you subconscious thoughts are derived from your beliefs, actions and effects of situations occuring around you. Once a standard belief is drilled into your head, it becomes available via your subconscious, anytime a scenario requiring that belief occurs. For example, you believe a specific car manufacturer is unreliable, partly due to personal experiences with that brand and the fact that you have only heard negative rumors about their vehicles.
Hypothetically, this specific manufacturer makes a technological break-through with their vehicles and has a super-standard for driving performance. They are guarenteeing their automobiles will out-perform all others, yet you still believe they are horrible and unreliable means of transportation. This is because yoursubconscious is telling you so.
You have become so set in your methods and beliefs that you automatically develop thoughts around your subconscious. Once you have negativity surrounding a topic, extreme difficulty can be experienced when trying to remove it.
In terms of blogging, starting a blog can be extremely time consuming and difficult. It requires enormous amounts of attention and planning. Through your previous attempts you beliefe you have failed. However, with those thoughts and beliefs you will begin to imagine you will always fail in terms of your blogging endeavors.
Therefore, be courteous to yourself and your subconscious. Remember that your actions, thoughts and believes have an enormous effect on success. Always worrying about specific subjects such as money, fitness, not enough content on your blog or a lack of visitors will force you to believe you will never be healthy enough, wealthy enough or obtain the statistics to prove your blog is popular.
Set realistic goals and once accomplished, reward yourself. Kick back in your easy chair, pour your favorite beverage, be it cold tea or hot coffee and relax. Illuminate your thoughts with positive thoughts of how easy and stress free your goal has become. Ensure you spend enough time patting yourself on the back that your subconscious remembers its benefits for succeeding.
Every goal, small or large is just another step in the direction that you want to take. Everyone loves to succeed.. always!
 
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