3 Quick Crock Pot Sauce Recipes That You Should Learn

Sauces add more flavor and texture to any dish. A simple cooked meat or vegetable dish can come alive bursting with flavor with the right sauce. If you want to try quick yet delicious sauces, take out your slow cooker for a fuss-free cooking experience.

Here are 3 simple yet flavorful crock pot sauce recipes that are definitely a must-try:

Home-Style Crock Pot Pizza Sauce

What you need:

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cups tomato paste
  • 5 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a slow cooker, mix together garlic, lemon juice, water, tomato paste, dried parsley, honey, dried onion, dried basil, dried oregano and cayenne pepper. Stir to mix ingredients well. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 hours on low. When ready, allow to cool for a few minutes before spreading on pizza crust.

Easy Slow Cooked Teriyaki Sauce

What you need:

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/8 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup sweet rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

Combine garlic, soy sauce, 1/2 cup water, brown sugar, sweet rice wine and ginger in a slow cooker. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 hours on low. When ready, remove lid and stir. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water. Stir in to sauce until well-combined. Add sesame seeds to the mixture. Cover and cook until sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes more.

Bolognese A La Crock Pot

What you need:

  • 1/2 kilogram ground beef
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small can sliced ​​mushrooms, drained
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes, juices preserved
  • 3/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a pan over medium-high heat, cook ground beef and onion just until meat is light browned. Place meat and onion mixture in a crock pot then add garlic, bay leaf, mushrooms, tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock, sugar and butter. Season with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir to mix ingredients well. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 hours on low. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Try these quick and easy crock pot sauce recipes for a more flavorful and satisfying dish!

Disposable Plastic Plates – Not Just For Weddings

Most of us think of receptions when we think of disposable plastic plates. The pretty decor, the nice music, the beautiful tables, and those cute little clear plastic plates and cups that add a little class to the occasion. The ways to use plastic plates is so much more versatile than that. Granted, a wedding is a great place to use them, but did you know that the reasons to use them for other events is equally viable? Here are a couple of suggestions to incorporate the use of disposable plates for other events.

  • Barbecue – Who would have thought that plastic plates would come in handy for a backyard bash? One of the serious advantages of choosing plastic is that they can handle hot and cold food. Barbecued food can get pretty messy, and these plates don’t soak up grease and become soggy and unstable. Nothing is more irritating than having a plate of delicious food cave in on your lap and an inopportune time.
  • Birthday parties for smaller children – Admittedly, there are a lot of cute theme-centered plates out there, but consider using plastic for these occasions instead. Small children have such a hard time holding onto anything. If a plate can be bent, it will be, and the food can fall right off. Plastic plates usually have a small rim, and are much more sturdy than the traditional paper. Young children have a harder time recovering emotionally from their birthday cake splatting to the floor. It is a great way to avoid some of these disasters.
  • Showers – Usually, at a shower, the guests end up having to keep their plate in their lap. It is not typically a sit-down at the table affair. People will be scattered throughout a room on various pieces of furniture from couches to folding chairs to stools. Hard plates can eliminate a lot of the stress of trying to hold your plate and keep it from collapsing.

These are just a few reasons to choose disposable plastic plates. Remember the key word, disposable. Purchasing plastic plates for any of your social soiree’s will make the cleanup so much easier and quicker. When stacking a multitude of plates, nothing can be more disheartening than the leftover food or grease spilling onto your clothes because the plates are soggy. This will never happen with plastic. They can hold up under a lot of stress. As you can see…it’s a great idea to stock up on disposable plastic plates.

Fairline Phantom 40 Boat Review – Boat Buyer’s Guide on Second-Hand Fairline Phantom 40’s


The Fairline Phantom 40 is a very popular flybridge cruiser, held in high regard by boat owners and the industry alike. This boat combines the practicality required for serious, long-distance cruising with the spaciousness and comfort to accommodate four people with an exclusive blend of privacy and sociability. The Phantom 40 is a boat that should feature on the wish list of anyone looking for a second-hand family-friendly flybridge cruiser.

Who and what is the boat designed for?

The Fairline Phantom 40 is a power cruiser built to cross large expanses of water with ease. It features wider side-decks, heavy-duty hand railing, deeper flybridge steps, elevated helm position, and many other sound, sensible design decisions. This boat is a good choice for anyone who enjoys sharing their love of luxurious high-performance cruising with friends and family.

What commentators say about this flybridge cruiser

The Fairline Phantom 40 is strongly influenced by the runaway success of the Phantom 50, drawing upon many of her design insights.

The distinctive ellipses that characterise the Phantom 40’s exterior and interior give her a graceful yet purposeful air that will stand out, even in the busiest of marinas.

The Fairline Phantom 40 perfectly captures that elusive blend of privacy and sociability that is the secret behind successful onboard entertaining.

Model variations

If you’re thinking of buying a used Fairline Phantom 40, you can choose from a range of variations.

  • The Phantom 40 (Mk1) launched in September 1994, with 68 built up to December 1996.
  • The Phantom 42 was launched in 1997, following a facelift, and ran until December 1999, with 116 built in this version.
  • These early models were fitted with a choice of Volvo TAMD63L engines (318hp each) or Volvo TAMD63P (370hp each).
  • The Phantom 40 (Mk2) ran from January 2002 to September 2009, with 118 built.
  • This model was originally fitted with Volvo TAMD63P (370hp each), replaced by Volvo D6/370 (370hp each) or Caterpillar 3126 (426 hp each)


  • Length of hull (bow to aft end of bathing platform including gunnel): 39ft 6in (12.04m)
  • Length overall (including gunnel): 41ft 1in (12.52m)
  • Beam (including gunnel): 12ft 11in (3.95m)
  • Number of berths: 4 – 6
  • Draught: 3ft 2in (0.97m) unloaded
  • Height above waterline (including arch + navigation light mast): 14ft 10in (4.52m)
  • Transport height (approximate): 14ft 3in (4.35m)
  • Dry weight (approximate): 11.4 tons (11,600kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 220 gallons/265 US gallons (996 litres)
  • Water capacity (including calorifier): 99 gallons/118 US gallons (450 litres)
  • Engine recommendations (twin): from 740mhp to 870mhp

What’s great about the Fairline Phantom 40?

  • Good stability.
  • Excellent visibility from both helm positions.
  • Easy to manoeuvre.
  • Hulls are stronger than any other competitor, according to Fairline.
  • Large fuel capacity.
  • Very secure.
  • Quality finish inside and out.
  • Spacious interior, with two good-sized heads.
  • Plenty of storage.
  • Luxurious design.

What to look out for on a pre-owned Fairline Phantom 40

If you’re buying a used Phantom 40, our engineers have reported some things to watch out for and potential faults that might occur on this boat from time to time.

  • Access around the engines is tight.
  • When taking the radar arch down for transport, the boat is prone to water leaks and electrical problems affecting the items on the arch. This will show as staining of the head linings in the saloon and dark discolouration of the cherry wood panels. To avoid the problem, ensure that the build up/break down is carried out by a professional when transporting the boat.
  • Metal blinds in the saloon can suffer from corrosion.
  • Cherry wood panels can “bloom” if the boat has had excess humidity. A white sheen will show behind the lacquer.

Keeping your Fairline Phantom 40 in shape

When buying a used Fairline Phantom 40, regular scheduled servicing and attention to some minor points will keep your craft in top condition.

Regular servicing

Carry out regular engine and drive servicing in line with Fairline’s recommended intervals for the Phantom 40.


  • Check the steering reservoir is up to pressure.
  • Keep the bilge dry to avoid humidity and condensation.
  • Always keep batteries well charged.

Laying up

  • When turning off fridges, leave doors open to avoid mould.
  • Put the windscreen nets on to keep out the harmful UV that will bleach the wooden surfaces.
  • Keep the flybridge covered with a tonneau or console cover.

Model-specific repairs

The Fairline Phantom 40 is not known for needing specific repairs more frequently than other boats.

Why buy a pre-owned Fairline Phantom 40?

This boat offers a great balance of performance, luxury, spaciousness and practical design. The Phantom’s secure, sea-going qualities and refined comfort will give you, your family and friends enjoyable, safe and luxurious cruising, wherever you sail.

Furniture Removal Tips to Save Money

Any furniture removal can be an intimidating process no matter what the location of your new home or office. If moving interstate, the need to figure out how interstate back loading works and whether or not you should backload is crucial for a successful interstate move. 

The most important thing to do is to plan everything ahead of time and to get the right information from qualified professionals. Time is money and making the time to map out how you’ll spend your money will mean bigger savings.


This list contains some money saving moving tips that you might consider when undertaking a furniture removal:


Make a Budget and Don’t Deviate 


It is absolutely essential to stick to a budget once you have itemized all your expenses. Write down a list of predictable expenditures such as packing supplies, professional movers, takeout food, hotel stays, fuel, etc. Include a buffer in your budget so that if unforeseen expenditures arise, you’ll be prepared. 

Employ Professional Furniture Removalists 

Interview several removalists and get quotes. Moving expenses are normally calculated depending on the volume or the number of rooms, the distance between the two start and end locations, efforts exerted in packing as well as access, and the time of year. Peak moving times include the summer, weekends, and holidays so they will cost you more than if you were to move on other days.


Remember that just because one company gave the lowest price estimate, it doesn’t necessarily mean that is the best arrangement. The quality of your moving service is important, so remember to look at the policies concerning damaged items (while in the process of moving). 

Use Affordable Packing Methods and Supplies – If You are on a Tight Budget  

Do the packing and unpacking yourself. You’ll save a lot more money this way. Hunt for good deals on packing supplies. Sometimes, friends and families have these items saved up from their own moves. Get free boxes from your workplace or a local supermarket. There are plenty of ways to get cheap moving supplies. Investigate – you’ll sure find something that’ll be useful for your move. 

Lessen Your Travel Weight 

The less goods you have, the less there is to move, and the less you pay your movers. In many cases, professional movers will charge based on the volume of your possessions. So try, whenever possible, to eradicate unnecessary items. You can get rid of them via a garage sale or donate them to charity. Many things can be sold quite easily on eBay now, so don’t rule that option out when you’re ready to sell. 

Switch Off the Utilities 

Call the utility companies (and cable company) ahead of time to ensure that your service has ended on your moving day.

Switch off the water heater and turn down the heating. Be certain that all lights are not on. Lock and seal any openings such as windows and doors so that the house’s contents are protected.


Moving can be intimidating, but if you plan everything and start early, you’re sure to have a successful move. And always remember to ask when in doubt – checking a professional furniture removalists background and feedback can make or break your move. Enjoy these budget-friendly tips so that your moving won’t cost you too much.

Which Are the Things Causing Damage to Your Hair?

The dreary existence of the hair are not fit for the occasions when you have to make sure that your hair turns out to look their best. A number of things have to be kept in mind before you fix yourself on a specific hairstyle. Heat styling is the main factor that causes excessive damage to the follicles, strands, and tips of the hair in general.

You may not be aware of this, but heat styling is the enemy of the hair as it not only absorbs the hydration of the hair but it also prevails the hair from producing the natural oils. Selecting products that are produced with the help of natural or herbal ingredients is the best thing that you can do. Apart from that, if you notice your hair falling out or any other form of hair loss, then you have to take care of it there and then to stop the problem from exceeding.

Buying products that are infused with sulfur or ammonia, etc., can do more harm than good to your hair. You have countless options to take care of your hair but when you do not pay attention to this matter, the problems can get out of hand, leading to baldness. The pattern of hair loss for men and women both differ which should be noticed ahead of time. Another key feature that ruins the health of your hair is choosing the products that do not go with the type of hair that you have.

Applying unusual products can lead to the downfall of the health and condition of your hair. The moisture of the hair should be maintained at all costs, and the easiest way to protect it is by using a leave-in conditioner, or a regular, yet relevant, conditioner while taking a shower. Taking exceptionally warm showers is also one of the major causes of damage, as the scalp does not remain hydrated, extremely leads to hair loss and dandruff.

Washing your hair on a daily basis is also liable for the ruined texture of your hair as it does not allow the scalp to produce the natural oils, which keeps it hydrated and maintains the balance of the PH level of the scalp. Nourishing products manufactured and designed with hair care formulas works on the hair like magic. Out of the many things to bear in mind while considering hair damage is the volume of your hair. You simply can not skip the volume and nature of your hair while opting for a specific style or product.

The texture of the hair mainly depends on the health of your hair, so if you have a dull hair, it is easily identified by the naked eye.

Energy Diet – Feel Lively Healthy & Happy Now!

Do you often feel tired drained and lacking in energy? Well follow our energy diet tips below and you will be full of energy, healthy and approach the day with renewed vigor.

The energy diet tips are easy to use, so let's look at them.

A change of diet is the simplest way to boost energy levels and this means you need to:

1. Eliminate Energy Sapping Foods

Firstly, energy draining foods such as sugar, coffee, alcohol and cigarettes should be reduced or eliminated altogether.

2. Eat naturally from the earth

Get rid of energy sapping processed foods and go for fresh natural produce.

Make sure you eat good carbs such as brown rice, pasta and baked potatoes and get rid of the fries and pizza!

Make sure the meat you eat is lean.

Great choices are: Steak, turkey, chicken and fish.

Saturated fats and salt should be eliminated or cut down and good fats containing omega 3 from oily fish, should be consumed at least 3 – 5 times a week.

Great choices are salmon, mackerel and sardines.

3. Eat 5 meals a day

You need to start eating 5 meals a day, so your energy levels do not flag and you will not suffer from hunger pangs.

Make sure you eat breakfast, it's the most important meal of the day.

6. Get extra Iron for energy

Eating to little iron can make you feel exhausted, so make sure you get iron rich food in your diet everyday.

Good choices include:

Lean red meats, eggs, fortified breakfast bran, sardines, dried apricots, crab and dark green leafy vegetables.

7. Up your protein for extra focus

Protein rich food like fish, meat and tofu are proven to improve focus so get daily portions.

Make sure your lunch is protein rich as it will help you avoid that flagging feeling in the afternoon.

8. Eat bright fruits for a quick pick me up

Brightly colored fruit is proven to send energy messages to the brain.

For a great sack combine apples, strawberries raspberries and apricots for an instant pick me up.

You can incorporate the above into your daily diet and you will feel more energetic and able to face the day with renewed enthusiasm.

Always remember your body is a whole and you also need to ensure that to feel energetic you also need the following:

9. Get proper sleep

Make sure you get at least 8 hours sleep per night.

Your body needs time to replenish itself and sleeping is essential to boost overall energy levels.

10. Move your body

You may not have time for the gym, but you do not have to go to the gym to be healthy.

When you walk, walk quickly, skip the elevator and use the stairs instead, or do the housework as a workout.

Your body will respond to this and you energy levels are guaranteed to increase.

11. Take time out

Finally, take 30 minutes a day to relax and just think.

Mediate and get away from all distractions and loose yourself in your thoughts.

If you have lack of time do it in the bath just relax for 30 minutes in silence and think of you.

Energy for life!

We all need energy and all the above tips are easy enough to do so try them today.

Prevention of Gingivitis is Proper Treatment

Gingivitis refers to an ailment in the gums. It basically reflects to the inflammation in the gums, causing the gums to become tender and swollen. In such a condition, the gums have a tendency of bleeding very easily even while brushing the teeth.

Gingivitis is generally caused due to plaque or food particles becoming ensnared between the gums and the teeth. The resultant bacterium causes the gums to get inflamed. If this condition is not appreciated on time, it could certainly lead to severe dental damage.

Gingivitis is a type of periodontal disease, which involves inflammation and inflammation of the gum that damages the tissues supporting the teeth, including the tooth sockets or the alveolar bone, periodontal ligaments and the gums.

Long-term effects of deposits of plaque in the teeth are one of the major reasons for causing gingivitis. Plaque refers to the sticky material in the teeth that is made up of mucus, food debris and bacteria, which develops over the unclarified portions of one's teeth. Plaque is the basic reason for tooth decay, if you do not remove it on a regular basis, and it forms into a stiff deposit known as tartar, which gets trapped in the base of your teeth. Both tartar and plaque inflame and irritate the gums. The toxins and bacteria produced by them causes your gums to become tender, infected and swollen.

Apart from these, injury or damage to your gums in any form, including forceful brushing or flossing of the teeth may result in gingivitis.

There are a number of factors that can increase your risk of developing gingivitis such as:

– Bad dental hygiene
– General illness
– Pregnancy as changes in hormones could raise sensitivity of your gums.
– Uncontrolled diabetes

Prevention is the only way out

Preventing this condition from taking place is the best cure. It is something that could easily be avoided with a little bit of effort from your part. This involves the following:

– Good and regular oral hygiene is the most essential and the basic step towards preventing the disease. This is so because maintaining cleanliness of your teeth would remove the plaque and would not let it deposit at the base.

– You should at least brush your teeth twice a day and make sure that you gently floss them once everyday.

– For those who are susceptible to the disease are advised to floss as well as brush their teeth after each meal and also before going to bed.

– Special tools and appliances such as toothpicks, electric toothbrushes, water irrigation and other such devices are recommended by the dentists in particular for those who have a tendency of getting plaque deposited in their teeth.

– Anti-tartar and anti-plaque toothpastes along with mouth rinses also recommended by the dentists in sever cases.

All the above things are extremely important for your perfect dental hygiene. If the ailment becomes serious then you must visit your dentist before it is too late.

Copyright (c) 2008 Robert Sifer

Art For Art's Sake – It's All About Paris

Let the numbers speak for themselves. In 1996 about 90,000 people visited Parisian galleries and antique trades. More than 13 million were recorded in museums. Paris is the capital of France and art as well. Who dares to doubt it? There's a great number of galleries: from the most traditional up to the modern ones which are in a constant search of new forms of work. For instance, La Galerie Pascal Vanhoeke which introduced a curious system: you can borrow any exhibition paying just 3.8% of its worth. And so for each item you take. In 28 months you can buy any picture or a sculpture of the modern author for the price you have paid during this time. Until you make up your mind you can keep it as long as you wish. During the opening days, which take place every month, you can meet with the artists and professionals of the art world. A nice talk to the accompaniment of champagne or wine is a good way of spending your evening.

The International Exhibition Of Modern Painting is another must for a person who is interested in modern art. This is one of the key world exhibitions, hosting more than 150 galleries from all over the world every year. A wide range of works is displayed here: from Alechinsky to Picasso. A honourable country-guest is elected every year. The best way to keep up with the modern world of art is to visit this exhibition.

For antique-lovers there's nothing like antique shops, which are in abundance represented in Paris. Antique furniture, jewelry, crockery, canvases … anything you like. Antiquarians are real treasure hunters. In search of a rare thing they do not spare time and effort, exploring collection after collection, address after address. A long period of study, affiliation and restoration follows. Only after that can the antiquarian item appear in the shop. So buying the picture in such a shop one can be sure he purchases the original. Beside do not miss a chance to visit the auctions where one can buy rare things. The majority of them are located in Le Louvre des Antiquaires (the antiquarian louver). Paris is a real treat for the true connoisseurs of art. There's only one problem: the choice is so great that one can not help buying more and more!

Commercial Marketing – The Greatest Fishing Sport There Is

According to scientists, humans have been fishing for over 40,000 years – and they do not appear to be letting up anytime soon. When speaking of the lure (pun intended) of fishing, whether it takes the form of commercial, sporting, or recreational – fishing enthusiasts the world over describe the thrill of the “hunt,” and the euphoria of the “catch.”

Interestingly, I have heard nearly the same terminology used in the business world to describe the ever constant cycle of finding and acquiring new customers. If truth be told, I calculate that there is more “fishing” occurring in global business than in all other forms of fishing combined. Moreover, if we can compare business to the sport of fishing, then commercial marketing is the discipline of fishing, and marketing collateral becomes the gear.

While not intended to be an exhaustive treatise on the subject, this article will focus on six of the fundamental questions a company should ask before creating new pieces of collateral or creating a new marketing campaign. It will also look at some of the common marketing mistakes companies make as they attempt to land the “big” one.

Choosing the Right Gear

1. Who is Your Audience?

The most important thing to know when buying your fishing gear is what type of fish you want to catch. Are you going after salt water, lake, or river fish? The equipment you will need is dependent upon the answer to that question.

One of the largest mistakes I see companies make in their marketing collateral is that they often seem confused as to who their audience is. Your message should be clear and compelling. That is hard to do when you don’t know to whom you are marketing. Are they an end user, a business, a reseller, or perhaps a specifier? The type of collateral and the message it contains should always be a clear reflection of that answer.

Some may state that it doesn’t really matter all that much – the product or service remains the same, right? Well, some may also say that a fishing pole is a fishing pole and it doesn’t really matter which type you use. Any professional fisher will tell you that this just isn’t the case. The actual story (your product or service) may remain the same, but how you tell that story and what form that story takes should depend completely on whom you are telling.

I spent years working with and making presentations to both architects and engineers. While my central message remained the same, I had to tailor that message to my listener because both groups were interested in different things. The architects were interested in the aesthetics and more of the big picture features. The engineers were much more interested in the details and the mechanics of the product.

While some types of collateral may cross over multiple groups, such as a brochure or video, you should try and create multiple versions of the same collateral piece to target the particular type of recipient to whom you are reaching out. If this is too expensive, then you should always tailor the message to your largest, most valuable audience.

Learning How to Use Your Gear

2. What is your Call-to-Action?

There are a lot of different pieces of equipment used in fishing. Before going out to the stream or lake, you should have a clear understanding that every component has a different purpose and not mistake the use of one device for that of another. Individuals often make this type of error. For example, job hunters often mistake the purpose of a resume as a tool to get a job. This is a complete fallacy. The purpose of a resume is to get an interview.

Companies often make the same sort of blunders with their collateral. Just as a lure has a different use and objective than a hook, you should develop different kinds of collateral for all the various stages of the sale. Every brochure, ad, or campaign should have a clear and distinct purpose. Is the piece designed to get someone’s attention, build company credibility, provide product or service information, or perhaps a sales call Leave Behind? Sales personnel should also be trained on the various distinctions between the material and know when and where to use what.

After you know what the objective of your marketing piece is, it becomes much easier to decide what your Call-to-Action should be. Once you have an individual’s attention, what do you want them to do after they have read, heard, or viewed your material? Do you ask for an appointment? Do you ask for an order? Don’t make them guess – tell them. Don’t get them all excited and then walk away. Every campaign or article should leave them with clear instructions on what they should do next. Perhaps you can’t compel a horse to drink once you’ve led it to water, but you would be remiss if you didn’t at least ask it to drink.

Casting Your Line

3. How Are You Delivering Your Message?

Some novice fishers may wonder how far out they should cast their line; will the larger fish be further out or hidden in a hole closer to shore? In business, it is important to know how and where to deliver your message. The answer to this question largely depends on what your product or service is, and how large your business is.

If your product or service is widely used, you may choose to cast your line way out there using global or national press releases, email blasts, and expansive social media campaigns. If your product or service is more of a niche market or industry vertical, you may have more success using a combination of internet, radio, television, email, or direct mailer campaigns that target a particular fishing hole such as specific geographical locations, companies, or individuals. For a standalone retailer, the hole may be as small as a particular town or even distinct neighborhoods. Market research goes a long way to identifying the holes that you should be fishing in.

The size of your business is also important when considering how far you should cast your line. It is important to ensure that you can support your product or service in every location you market. You also need to be confident that your company can handle the amount of business you may generate. While it may seem like the whole point of the game is to bring in as much business as possible, you may not have the inside structural support and manufacturing to handle all of the sales. More than one company has collapsed in on itself because they did not have the infrastructure to handle their incoming sales volume. Your business, marketing, and sales should all grow together at a planned, even rate.

Using the Right Lure

4. What Sort of Impression Do You Want to Make?

Different types of lures attract different types of fish. Using the wrong type of lure can make for a very long, fruitless fishing trip. Whether you like it or not, your marketing collateral can wordlessly make an impression that will either attract buyers or send them scurrying into the water’s depths.

What sort of impression do you want to make on potential customers? First impressions are important and you need to know beforehand whether you want your product or service to be seen as dependable, fun, exciting, expensive, inexpensive, or whatever. Keep in mind that the images, colors, layout, music, and quality of materials you use will all tell a story – you just need to ensure that it is telling the right story.

Besides the typical, “Hey, look at me over here” type of lures, another powerful lure your sales people should carry is the “credibility” lure. This sort of collateral can come in the form of case studies, images of past jobs, testimonials, etc. The use of these devices helps ensure the buyer that you can be trusted to deliver on what you are promising.

One last thing to keep in mind, when it comes to marketing, the truth is not always as important to a buyer as their perceived truth. In other words, if it is true in their mind, there isn’t much you can do to change that. The more your marketing materials reflect the truth as they see it, the more success you’ll have. Now, I am not advocating false advertising or unethical practices. I am merely stating that you should use situations and terminology where with they are most familiar. For example, a widget may be called an “ABC Device” in the engineering world, but if your targeted clientele all think of this particular widget as an “XYZ Component,” then you should probably market it as an “XYZ Component” – regardless of what the engineers say. Yes, it may be semantics, but this can make a big difference as to whether someone will be attracted to your product or not.

Using the Right Bait

5. What Problem Do You Solve?

Depending upon the type of fishing you’re doing, you may use cheese, worms, elaborate flies, or even smaller fish as bait. In marketing, it is important to make sure your intended clientele know which of their problems your product or service is going to solve.

Too often in marketing, companies are scrupulous about listing all of their product’s incredible features, but then they rely on the potential customer to build the bridge in their own mind as to which of their problems that feature is going to solve. Your marketing materials should build that bridge for them. In other words, Product, Feature, Benefit; “Our product is ‘A,’ therefore you should enjoy ‘B.'”

Along these same lines, it may not be enough to share with someone how your product has solved a similar problem in a different market – they want to know how your product is going to solve their problem in their market. This situation is where vertical specific marketing material is hugely beneficial.

Hooking Your Fish

6. Does It Evoke the Desired Emotion?

We have all heard the saying that “People buy emotionally and defend their decisions logically”. Well, it’s true, and if your marketing doesn’t stir any emotion, most of those large fish are going to get away.

If we are honest, we must admit that a portion of that excitement is generated by a sales person, but not every company is fishing with live bait; some rely almost entirely on their marketing materials. Even if you do employ sales people, why should they have to do all the work? They should have professional tools at their disposal to assist them in their efforts.

One of the pitfalls I see many companies fall into (especially those with technical products) is their marketing materials only show the product. There is a place for this in some pieces such as specification sheets, but people have to understand that most individuals are not moved to emotion by an image of an inanimate object. Your marketing materials should include people either a) Needing your product or service, or b) Enjoying the benefits of your product or service.

What if a potential buyer is unable to make a decision at the time of the sales presentation, or perhaps they are not the only decision maker? Your sales professional’s presentation may have generated all the needed emotion for the potential buyer to want to say “yes,” but if they are unable to move forward immediately, you cannot expect that emotion to remain indefinitely. They will settle back down and start thinking about all the reasons why they shouldn’t buy. Alternatively, they will talk to the other decision maker, and because they are not as skilled a presenter or as knowledgeable about the product as your sales person, they will not be able to generate the same level of emotion in their counterpart as they initially experienced themselves and they will decide to pass. This reaction is the reason it is so important to have a good Leave Behind, a video or brochure that can remind the potential buyer of all of the important highlights of the sales presentation. This material will allow them to get excited all over again while remembering all of the relevant facts when sharing the information with others.

To conclude this section, just remember – If they feel nothing, they buy nothing.

Packing Up and Heading Home With Your Catch

Conclusion and Summary

Once again, this article was not meant to be an in-depth discussion on all the salient points of commercial marketing and marketing collateral. Instead, it was designed to focus on some of the fundamental questions a company should ask before creating a new piece of collateral or creating a new marketing campaign. Those questions are:

1. Who is Your Audience?

2. What is your Call-to-Action?

3. How Are You Delivering Your Message?

4. What Sort of Impression Do You Want to Make?

5. What Problem Do You Solve?

6. Does It Evoke the Desired Emotion?

Like fishing, commercial marketing can be very challenging. It can also be an exhilarating and rewarding sport. I wish all those who read this article – Sunny Days, and Good Fishing!

Various Benefits of LED Street Lights

More and more cities around the world are installing LED street lights due to the wide range of benefits they offer. The use of these lights is also seen in homes, offices and other public spaces as sustainable lighting is the need of the hour. Installing them have rendered in huge savings.

Countries around the world are investing in LED street lights due to the below mentioned benefits offered by them:

Low energy cost – LED street lights consume 50% to 70% less power compared to HID lights. They can help cut your electricity bill to almost half. They have long life and can be used easily for a decade without burning out. This helps reducing the hassle of changing them repeatedly. They use only 15% of the energy of an HID bulb while giving more brightness.

Improved Light Quality – These lights are much brighter as compared to HID lights. They offer uniform light distribution which helps in improving visibility. They have proved to be very beneficial in cities with various dark spots. They are shock-proof and do not emit a lot of heat. Lesser number of LED street lights is needed to achieve the brightness given off by many fluorescent lights.

Low Maintenance Cost – Because of their long lives, LED street lights are not difficult to maintain. They heat less and are best suited for streets as frequently replacing street lights is expensive, inconvenient and difficult.

Low Emissions – These lights are being used widly as they are very environment friendly. They are free from hazardous chemicals like mercury and lead which are harmful for our surroundings. They are a way to combat climate change as they significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Also there is a proper disposal procedure for these lights which help protect the environment from further toxic waste.

Reduction in Crime Rate – Criminals typically take advantage of poor light conditions for stealing or attacking someone. Improved light quality provided by LED lights has significantly helped in reducing serious crimes. Burglars and Criminals fear attacking someone in bright light for the fear of being seen or caught.

LED street lights have become important as some health benefits are also associated with them. This new technology has opened the doors for designers to come up with unique and beautifully designed lights. They offer an opportunity to reduce electricity costs immensely while ensuring a better environment for future generations.

Is Your Stucco Leaking?

The problems with synthetic stucco claddings are well documented. Lawsuits involving Internal Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) have been common knowledge among the home inspection community for years.

Most home inspectors, however, are ignorant of the problems that are occurring in high priced sub-divisions with both coat plaster stucco and the newer one coat stuccos. I believe that the number of homes with extensive rot and mold reflected within the walls is fundamental.

Traditional three coat stucco is a mixture of Portland cement, lime and sand. In older applications it is generally installed over some type of sheathing material such as plywood. More recently stucco has been applied over foam sheathing or engineered Oriented Strand Board panels known as waferboard or OSB. A water resistant barrier, usually building paper or a house wrap, is applied to the sheathing and then wire lath is attached to the framing. The stucco is applied in three coats, the scratch coat, brown coat and finish coat.

Stucco is actually a porous material and designed to allow the absorption of water. The water restive barrier acts as a drain plane and as the stucco dries water flows down the building paper and weeps out the bottom of the stucco. As long as the wood sheathing holds dry and water does not get trapped in the wall cavity problems will be rare.

One relatively recent noteworthy change in practice is the use of OSB sheathing rather than plywood. OSB panels have very poor moisture resistance qualities and tend to easily delaminate when wet. When OSB gets wet, it swells and rots at a much faster rate than plywood.

Another change is the use of house wraps such as Tyvek HomeWrap rather than the heavier felt building papers as the water resistant barrier. There is evidence to suggest that when stucco is applied directly over house wrap there is a chemical bond which can occur between the house wrap and the stucco. When this occurs the house wrap loses its ability to prevent water from migrating through the water resistant barrier. The 2006 International Residential Code and Dupont, the manufacturer of Tyvek, no longer support one layer of Tyvek HomeWrap as a water resistant barrier. Dupont now recommends StuccoWrap which is correlated to allow drain. A layer of building paper is also recommended as a bond breaker between the Tyvek and the stucco.

By far the greatest problem is the improper flashing of windows. Water runs down the window frames and if the window is not properly integrated with the water resistive barrier large quantities of water will get into the wall assembly. Unfortunately it is nearly impossible to determine if the window is flashed properly after the stucco has been installed. Sometimes the only visible clues are the stains at the stucco and trim junctions.

An infrared camera can be used effectively to diagnose leaks behind stucco. Areas of the stucco which retain large quantities of water such as around window flashings and roof wall connections will appear cooler than dry areas. Ultimately some type of invasive testing will be required to determine if the sheathing is water processed.

Problems with both traditional three coat plaster stucco and one coat applications are far more widespread then most home owners realize. Often what appears to be a small crack or stain adjacent to a window can be indicative of a far deeper problem. Too many times when the problems are readily apparent the damage is so severe that rot and mold will be present within the wall assembly. Many times well meaning contractors are not aware of the issues surrounding the improper flashing of windows and consider small cracks and stains to be normal.

Contractors may often recommend band aid solutions such as caulking and elastomeric sealers. These measures rarely resolve the problem and many times make the situation worse by sealing water into the wall assembly.

Buying a Safe For Securing Your Valuables

Buying a safe is a really good choice for those who own goods that are easily transportable, like jewelry, a collection of coins, furs luxury or digital camcorders, as they are easy to take for thieves. Experienced thieves know where to look to find these objects, so it's a safe bet to say that your favorite hiding place might not be as safe as you think. A bank safe is certainly the most secure place where you can put your valuables, but they tend to be too small and are only capable of containing small objects.

Personal safes are another option. Before buying a safe, make sure you understand the different levels of protection. In Europe the standard used is the European standard anti-theft EN 1143-1. This standard determinates the resistance of a safe from the fire, and the amount normally covered by insurance in case of theft or damage:

– Class 0: Insurance 8 000 EUR
– Class 1: Insurance of 25 000 EUR
– Class 2: Insurance of 35 000 EUR
– Class 3: Insurance 55 000 EUR
– Class 4: Insurance 110 000 EUR
– Class 5: Insurance 200 000 EUR
– Class 6: Insurance 300 000 EUR

The higher a class is and the more the walls and the system locks are secure. These amounts for reimbursements of insurance depends on your contract and are indicative.

Typically, the class 1 to 3 are sufficient to effectively protect irreplaceable documents. There are very specialized safes to protect digital storage media or computer hard drives. A good safe will also protect against the collapse of a building.

Safes are usually firmly attached to the structure of your house. They are typically a lot smaller than conventional safes, but they are also a lot more expensive. Because they are small, they can potentially be dropped from a thin wall and removed by a thief so that he can force him later. Therefore, if you are considering buying a safe mounting, you should take one that can be secured by embedding in a wall or a floor of masonry.

Safes combination, which are often shown on television, are popular choices. These safes are made in two parts: a sturdy safe jewel within an equally strong fireproof safe. They have a thick metal door and walls of the same ilk, with a combination lock. They can be locked to the ground or embedded, to be sure that a thief can not prevail.

From BIM to Facility Management

BIM (Building Information Modeling) has become an essential tool in building architecture and construction. Creating a logical, structured model of all information related to a building project can help the project move seamlessly from one phase to the next.

BIM helps keep building projects on schedule and on budget. It helps ensure regulatory compliance. It helps facilitate the necessary collaboration that must occur between a project’s planning and eventual construction. A quality BIM also helps keep stakeholders involved in the process, adding a kind of transparency that inspires trust and confidence.

For most people, the notion of a Building Information Model implies a detailed 3-dimensional rendering of a building. With the 3D imaging and design software technology available today, it is true that designers and architects are enjoying powerful new tools to do their jobs, and these 3D models are in fact a big part of BIM. They are not, however, what BIM is all about.

A typical BIM will include not only detailed renderings of the planned building, but also specific information related to the engineering, construction, and operation of the building. This information can include designs, architectural specifications, site information, material sheets, budgets, schedules, personnel and more. BIM is not only useful in the design and construction of a building, but can also be very helpful in the management of the building once construction is complete.


In 2007, a pilot standard was developed by Bill East of the United States Army Corps of Engineers for the delivery of building information that is essential to the operations, maintenance, and asset management of a building once construction is complete. COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange) was accepted by the National Institute of Building Sciences in December 2011 as part of its National Building Information Model (NBIMS-US) standard.

COBie is used to capture and record essential project data at the point of origin, including: product data sheets, spare parts lists, warranties, and preventive maintenance schedules. COBie’s popularity is increasing, and in September 2014 it was included in a code of practice issued as a British standard (BS 1192-4:2014 “Collaborative production of information Part 4: Fulfilling employer’s information exchange requirements using COBie – Code of practice”). This standard will require contractors involved in the construction of government buildings to comply with COBie when delivering facility information to the building owner after construction is completed.

While this expectation in Britain is controversial, and it has been characterized as “unrealistic”, it is becoming increasingly clear that the information involved in Building Information Models can, should, and will be used to aid in the maintenance and management of the building after its construction. This is where BIM becomes facility management, and this is where some enterprising software developers are creating a new market for themselves.

Some developers of BIM software have expanded their product portfolios by including Facility Management products that transfer the information from BIMs into a useful format for operating and maintaining the constructed building. This seems to be a natural extension of BIM, and these companies will benefit greatly by placing themselves ahead of their competition in what is nearly certain to become a large and lucrative market.

In the space between BIM and Facility Management, there is often a need for greater automation. The exchange of building information today frequently requires a tremendous amount of labor – an amount of labor described in man-years.

Often, facility managers are provided several large boxes of paper documents, from which they must manually retrieve asset information and maintenance schedules to be entered into Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS). This process usually involves pallets of boxes full of paper of operations and maintenance manuals and drawings. Imagine the time required to create, review and transcribe hundreds of pages of documents, validate the transcriptions, and manually enter data, assuming a system like a CMMS is even used.

Even if a CMMS is used, maintenance technicians often still need to search for information in these paper boxes to complete many of their jobs. As time passes, documents can be moved or lost, increasing the cost of maintenance activities and potentially increasing downtime in mission-critical facilities. A study in 2011 suggested that 8% of annual maintenance budgets could be eliminated if open-standard electronic information were made available to technicians before starting complex work orders.

This is where some BIM software developers are finding a new market by providing the tools to painlessly transfer BIM information into a facility management system. This is also where there are still many who would benefit from an open software platform that allows users to consolidate and organize disparate information, making it available for real-time visualization on any device.

The New OEE Impact Andon Boards for Lean Manufacturing System

Andon can be defined as "visual control" device that shows machine, process status or line. Most lean manufacturing systems need this device as it is very useful to reduce production waste in all levels. By using andon boards, a company can monitor and ensure productivity easily. Manufacturing warehouse use this tool to see order status or priorities in an instant way even from more than 100 feet away. This device can also function as early warning devices since audible alerts or warning messages are installed in the device. In short, it can be said that this communication tool leads to a better coordination of orders, priorities and parts in a lean manufacturing system. This good coordination finally leads to a better customer service.

The use of andon boards replaces the role of traditional communication tool in lean manufacturing systems. With this device, now a company does not need to use clip boards, white boards or emails to communicate. Most of the boards are able to project a number of 4 "characters." If you wish the device to display smaller characters, it is also possible. You can also install Windows applications inside the displays. So the applications will operate on the boards just like when they run on a PC. HMI applications like Wonderware, Iconics, GE Cimplicity and Visual Plant can also be operated on this device.

With the benefits of andon boards, the device has enhanced lean manufacturing tremendously. Therefore, this communication tool has to be developed further to reduce more waste. The older ones usually only display data with fixed and restricted to single word headings. In addition, the data is lost when the display changes.

To improve the performance, Gemba Solutions have developed the new andon board called OEE Impact Andon Board. This device offers flexibility and displays that users can configure with a PC. The new OEE Impact Andon Board will give another dimension for lean manufacturing. Its software will inform you how you fare against target by calculating TAKT times. This device can also view progress within work shifts or within a specific period of time. In addition, this latest communication device will inform historical summary that reports targets, down-times, reject.

The new products are very helpful since they help a company know how well their production is going. The EOO Impact Andon Boards can also use powerful software to track problem areas in case the results are less than what you expect.

Outdoor Canopy Swing Covers

Outdoor canopy swing covers are a valuable addition for your outdoor canopy swings. Outdoor canopy swings add comfort and elegance to your backyard. If the canopy swing is made of wood, it may require frequent polishing and termite treatment. In some cases, the swing cushions wear out quickly. In order to avoid these problems, the better idea is to purchase canopy swing covers. These are designed to fit any outdoor canopy swing. Outdoor canopy swing covers provide great protection from the sun, summer weather, and mildew.

Many different styles and varieties of outdoor canopy swing covers are offered for sale. Some outdoor canopy swing covers come with zippers and ties. Most of them feature embossed vinyl with PVC binding. Outdoor canopy swing covers made of polythene and breathable polyester fiber are durable. A wide array of color options is also available. With pre-made canopy swing covers, securing eyelets are provided to tie the cover. Weather-resistant acrylic fabric is another option for outdoor canopy swing covers. There is no need to cover the canopy swing, if the swing is rustproof. In this case, the canopy and swing cushion covers could be made with waterproof vinyl or PVC coated materials.

Outdoor canopy swing covers of all size and color combination are available according to your choice. Most of the suppliers offer free shipping for the featured product. You can also find a wide range of selection in online stores at affordable prices. This allows shoppers a chance to compare the rates offered by different companies. It is better to check several sites before making a final decision.