MLM Business Plan: 5 Essential Features

Like with any conventional business, it is essential that you write out a clearly outlined business plan when you start off with an MLM or network marketing business. If you are not working according a structured plan, your MLM business will contribute to the 97% failure rate in this industry. Here are some key factors to consider when writing your MLM business plan:

1. A way of reaching thousands of prospects.

The most successful way of reaching thousands of people with your business is to use the power of the internet. Therefore, it is essential that you choose an MLM company that allows you to do this. Many companies are still using outdated methods like approaching your friends and family with your business. Most companies also have very strict rules and regulations when it comes to promoting your business online. You need a company that gives you a website to promote your opportunity with and that is designed to incorporate the power of the internet.

2. Effective Advertising.

Telling your friends and family about your business and hoping they will build a massive business for you should simply not be part of your MLM business plan. The internet provides many effective ways of placing your opportunity in front of the eyes of millions of people who are actually interested in what you have to offer. Someone just needs to show you how to do this, and once you have done it, your advertising pretty much runs on autopilot. The era of word of mouth is pretty much dead in the MLM industry. Does your company train you to do this?

3. The right training material.

When using the internet to promote your business, there is some simple training that you will have to go through (unless you are already skilled in this area). Again, choosing a company that provides free training is essential. Training and motivational material should really be free if your company wants you to succeed. With the power of the internet, it has become unnecessary for endless meetings and seminars.

4. What type of product are you promoting?

A strategy to consistently move product through your downline is essential, and still remains the major headache of most MLM distributers. Finding ways to get your customers to buy product themselves and also sell to their downlines, is the lifeblood of any MLM business. Many forward-thinking companies have now opted for a subscription based system. This is as close as you are going to get to any guaranteed money in MLM. Seriously consider teaming up with a company that work on a subscription basis. This will simplify your MLM business plan immensely!

5. Choosing the right vehicle (company)

Some companies simply do not allow you to focus your effort on the above four business avenues. They basically set you up to fail before you even start. So, part of your MLM business is to use a vehicle that allows you to channel your time and effort into something that is going to give you results. If you are working with a company that allows you to put your effort into these four areas, you are on the right track.

If you are with a company that still wants you to make cold calls, bug your friends and family, attend endless meetings, do follow-ups, sell products and keep your downline motivated, it is probably a wise business decision to opt for a company that allows you to tailor your MLM business around internet based strategies.

8 Tips To Avoid While Heating Your Home This Winter

Simple Tips To Help You Save On The Heating Bills

We all like to come home to a warm house when the temperature drops outside, but at the same time we don’t want to be wasting money. I have listed some tips below that will keep your home warm while at the same time save you money on those ever increasing fuel bills.

Thermostats

If you have a room thermostat fitted to your central heating system make sure it’s fitted in the right location, it should be fitted in the last room to heat up, this is normally the hallway area. If you don’t have one, then have one fitted.

Smart Thermostats

There is a lot of new technology around today to control our home central heating systems, and one of the best to come onto the market is the smart room thermostat. There are many makes to choose from, but they will all help you cut down on those fuel bills. Most of them work through an app on your smart phone. Depending on what one you choose, they can sense when no one is home and adjust the heating accordingly. They also check the outside temperature via the internet and adjust the boiler heat output, plus they have many more money saving setting. These thermostats are well worth investing in.

Radiator Thermostats

If your radiators don’t have TRVs (Thermostatic Radiator Valves) fitted, then consider having them fitted to all your radiators. They work by sensing the temperature in the room, you adjust the temperature on the valve head, once the temperature is reached they will close that radiator down, as the temperature drops, the valve will open and the radiator will reheat the room. They don’t need any form of power to work.

Don’t Set The Thermostat Too High

If you turn the room thermostat too it’s highest setting because you have come home to a cold house and want to heat up quickly don’t, thermostats don’t work like that, be patient and wait a little, it will save you money.

Overnight Room Temperatures

When it’s excessively cold outside, don’t turn the heating off when you got to bed, keep the heating on, but lower the room thermostat. The most expensive part of heating your home is from cold to hot. It’s better to keep the heating ticking over and keeping the costs down.

One Of Your Rooms Not Reaching Its Temperature

If you find one of your rooms is not reaching its temperature but the radiator is very hot to touch, then it could be down to an incorrect radiator size, but before you do anything first make sure all windows are closed, and if the radiator is fitted under the window that the curtains are open. When the curtains are closed they will restrict the heat from heating the room.

Boiler Service

When was the last time the boiler was serviced? All boilers need an annual service to keep them in tip-top condition. When your boiler was made at the factory it was fully tune to give you the user the best optimal performance, but just like any car or machine they need to be maintained. If your boiler works on Gas, then call your Gas Safe Registered company to arrange a service, it will save you money in the long run.

If Going On A Short Break

If you are going away for a long weekend don’t turn the heating off, turn the thermostat down to a low setting, it will stop the pipes from freezing in your home. If you have a smart thermostat fitted it will protect your home from freezing, it will also sense no one is home but also sense when it get excessively cold.

These are just a few tips that could help you save money on your fuel bills and keep you warm at the same.

How To Tell Genuine Pearls From Fake Ones

Fakes include glass and plastic beads, and mother of pearl beads, coated with ground mother of pearl. Also there are some fake pearls that are made from the solid part of the shell and sold as “pearls”.

-the best known way to tell a genuine pearl from an imitation pearl is to rub the pearl across the front of your teeth. A genuine pearl will feel gritty. An imitation pearl will feel smooth. Not completely reliable, this test has been used for years.

-similar to the tooth test, rub two pearls together. They will feel gritty. Glass or plastic will feel smooth.

-Magnification will show the edges of the drilled holes, and that they are drilled pearls or not. The surface of the genuine pearl will look under magnification to be irregular and rough, compared to the “perfect” machine made bead. A lot of what makes a pearl identifiable is that it is not “perfect” it has irregularities.

-X-rays can show a nucleus in a cultured pearl. All pearls that are cultured have this bead inside that is visible when x-rayed. Generally Freshwater Pearls and natural pearls are not bead nucleated, and are solid nacre.

-take athe pearl necklace into the sun. The sun with it’s full spectrum of light will show the irregularities such as color, overtones and surface. A real pearl necklace will show the pearls in one necklace to vary in color, shape etc. An imitation pearl necklace will look perfect, all seamlessly matching in color and size.

If you are buying from a reputable pearl jeweler, you will be unlikely to buy fakes. The current fake fad is Masami “pearls”. Made from a bead cut and rounded from a shell, they blatantly call them “pearls”. They are made from the discarded shells. They may be coated with a mixture of mother of pearl.

Article Writing Strategies To Get Into Zen Flow – 7 Tips

The more you write, the larger your impact. If that’s true, why is it that so many authors find it hard to either start writing or to complete articles that they started?

You either buy into the perception of writer’s block or you buy into the perception that it’s easy for you to enter and exit an effortless state of flow (some call it the alpha mind state) or the zone when writing. It’s always a choice and therefore you either set yourself up for failure or for runaway success.

Here are 7 strategies that can help you achieve the zone of flow when it comes to writing your best works:

1) Intentionally create and control your writing environment. This may include having the right clothing on or off, the right music or complete lack thereof, the perfect temperature that you enjoy writing in, your favorite chair or desk and the right amount of lighting or darkness.

2) Time Management: This includes being free for blocks of time without distraction or interruption from friends, family, co-workers, or whomever. You have permission to not answer the phone and it’s also OK to shut off the ringer. It’s also OK to not check email, voice mail, your PDA, …nothing.

3) Try writing off hours when you’re beyond tired. Usually the sage advice is to only write when you’re at your mental best… but glorious works have been created when burning the midnight oil. Consider testing writing a block of time when you normally would have gone to bed.

4) Prepare and invest in the best writing tools. If you want to create great works, you must have the best tools. This may include a fast computer, broadband Internet to do research faster, a large flatscreen monitor to be easy on your eyes, and Microsoft Word.

5) Create an anchor to get yourself in state. This is NLP or self-anchoring if you will, but you should have something you do, say, think, touch, or execute in order to instantly put yourself in the state of flow that allows your best works to come out. Imagine yourself the last time you were in flow and writing was effortless. That’s the place you want to put your mind to begin writing.

6) Pre-write your way to success the day before you enter the zone. This means free writing ideas and thoughts about what you’re going to write about in the future so that your unconscious mind can organize the thoughts for you. The creativity that is in you will often mentally pre-write the entire works for you or at least help you outline your major points so that it will be effortless when you begin to physically write.

7) Remove negative self-talk and mental chatter if you want to enter and stay in the zone. Deny yourself the payoff that you normally get from negative self-talk and be open to the possibility of allowing yourself to zero in on the purpose of your writing. This is a time to let your ego check out. Meditate if you must for a minute or two to focus on your breathing to stop the chatter. Raise your standards and only allow positive self-talk to keep your writing on target.

Conclusion:

You can consciously choose to enter the state of creative writing flow and it takes a conscious effort to set yourself up for success. This includes controlling your environment, pre-writing, having the right tools to do the job, and only allowing your mental self-talk to lead yourself into positive questions that result in a creativity release of your very best written works. Decide and then execute to increase your creative writing volume in the Zen state of creative writing flow.

Why You Should Seriously Consider a Ventless Bathroom Fan

A ventless bathroom fan is the answer to your humidity problem if installing a wall or ceiling ducted model is not a practical option. For example, if you have a bathroom in the basement or if you live in a rental home that does not currently have a fan, why should you have to deal with the odor and the mold that is associated with all of that extra moisture from your shower? It is fair to say that no bathroom should be without some type of fan.

Features

With these types of fans, you do not have to worry about cutting any holes or fitting into walls. Ductless systems require no outside vent and can be installed either on the wall or the ceiling. They feature 12v motors that are traditionally removable so that they can be easily cleaned.

You will also find that installation is a breeze with these units as they usually have tension spring mounting. Not to mention, they often weigh less than five pounds.

Why You Need One

While you may be able to live without a bathroom heater fan, you still need some type of unit in there to help with humidity. When you take a shower, you create steam which leaves you with an abundance of moisture left in the air. Where exactly do you think all of that water goes? It actually has no place to go besides to be absorbed by your wood molding, cabinets, cloth shower curtains, rugs, towels, decorative items or any other absorbent material that you have in the room.

Moisture that lingers in a bathroom that has no ventilation promote the growth of mildew and mold and you should know that these are living, growing organisms. Additionally, moisture from your shower creates another serious problem with your wood in the room being that it rots it which will cause a larger home improvement project in the long run when you have to start replacing moldings, etc. Not to mention, the smell of mold as it continues to get moist and grow over time is anything but pleasant.

Whenever possible, your goal is to install an extractor fan that is manufactured by a trusted company such as Greenwood, Silavent or Xpelair that comply with all building regulations. However, if you absolutely cannot add the duct work to your bathroom, a ventless bathroom fan is your next best option.

Defensive End in Football

Football positions: Defensive End

Overview
A defensive end (DE) is a defensive lineman which standard alignment is on the outermost edge of the front defensive formation. There is usually a defensive tackle flanked to their inside shoulder. As far as physical attributes, most professional defensive ends possessing a combination of speed and strength; They are both fleet of foot, and extremely powerful. Indeed, they need every ounce of that power and accuracy when they find themselves engaged in gridiron warfare with the offensive unit. On each and every down, defensive ends are locked in mortal combat with wave after wave of offensive linemen, tight ends, and fullbacks.

When it comes to bodily stature, DE's often stand out for being awesome physical specimens. While most Pro Bowl-caliber ends in the NFL are hefty men, they are almost always lean and muscular. A couple of these guys, however, are straight-up mutants. Take the Houston Texans' former # 1 overall pick, Mario Williams, for instance. He had to grow up near a nuclear reactor, seriously. This guy shatters the mold for what a DE should look like, standing at an unbelievable 6'7 "and checking in at a shade under 300lbs. And he runs a 4.6 in the forty-yard dash.Yikes! Other more compactly built DE's, Although arguably smaller, are equally effective pass rushers. See Robert Mathis of the Indianapolis Colts, who is a flat out stud at the defensive end position. This dude racks up double digit sack numbers on a many years base, and is less than many linebackers at Just 6'2 ", 245lbs.

Defensive ends are like the "Swiss army knives" of their unit due to their versatility, and having multiple responsibilities. A typical DE's length and athleticism give them incredible range, so they excel at both defending the flats, and containing scrambling QB's. Depending on the scheme they are running, a defensive coordinator might even ask their DE's to drop off the line and guard against short curl passes and drag routes. But what they excel at – what they live for – is rushing the passer. Elite defensive ends take down quarterbacks like hunters take down prized bucks. When a Brady or a Peyton Manning suddenly finds their backside on the turf, they usually look up to see a menacing DE standing over them. Even when they are not destroying QB's, a great DE will create constant, unlenting pressure off the edge. By the fourth quarter, the opposing quarterback will be so rattled that he is forging bad throws and displaying a serious case of happy feet. The telling rings true: Defensive ends engage in psychological warfare with quarterbacks, and often come out on the winning end.

Defenses that can shut down the run consistently are sound at every position, including DE. An indemnity that ties heavily on draw plays can have great success against an undisciplined defensive end. So a DE can not just blindly pin their ears back and play heat-seeking missile; They have to be aggressive but under control during their forays into the backfield. In run defense, they are also responsible for containing the outside and defending against sweeps, tosses, and pitches. If they can not make the tackle in space, a smart DE will "string the play out" until further reinforcements arrive. Also, effective DE's will not allow themselves to get locked up with offensive blockers. Instead, they use superior technique and sound fundamentals to shed barriers and flow to the football. Most importantly, a DE's skill is not simply measured by sacks; The overall tackles they make in the backfield or tackles for loss (TFL) is an equally important barometer for gauging a DE's true value.

The Elites of the past:
Because sacks are one of sports' most universally recognized statistics, defensive end is among the most popular positions in the game. There are so many famous former defensive ends in NFL history, that it's hard to name them all. Michael Strahan, the gap-toothed assassin at DE for the New York Giants, made Multiple Pro Bowls in the 2000's by lining the wood to quarterbacks through the league. He currently holds the NFL record for sacks in a single season with 22.5, and sports a Super Bowl ring as well. Reggie White, considered by many football observers to be the all-time king, terrorized signal callers playing for both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers. His tenacity and leadership anchored a defense that helped the 'Pack capture a Super Bowl victory in 1997, and he retired with the all-time sack record. The NFL's current career sack leader, though, is none other than Bruce Smith of the Buffalo Bills. With a non-stop motor that would put a Ferrari to shame, Smith amassed a mind-boggling 200 sacks when it was all said and done. He was also the lynchpin for a defensive unit that helped the Bills make four consecutive Super Bowl appear in the early nineties.

Current Elites:
Over the last decade, the NFL game has moved towards potential passing attacks, and many offsets are pass-happy as a result. Subsequently, defenses of today feature dominant defensive ends to combat this non-stop aerial barrage. For example, the Indianapolis Colts enlist the services of Dwight Freeney, and he delivers every Sunday. What does he deliver? Bone-rattling, teeth-chattering collisions on any quarterback brave enough to line up under center, that's what. Freeney is always atop the leader board in both collecting quarterback sacks and cowering left tackles. Justin Tuck of New York Giants leaves offensive coordinators with insomnia while trying to figure out how to contain him. The Giants boasts one of the best front defensive fours in all of football because of his penchant for waylaying quarterbacks. Tuck's partner in crime, Osi Umenyiora, lines up on the opposite side and takes equal delight in creaming QB's. This sack-happy duo rival Freeney and Mathis of the Colts as the league's best, bar none.

Show me the money:
Defensive ends in today's NFL earn a very handsome living, trailing only quarterbacks with a yearly average salary of $ 1.6 million. A few guys at DE spot make the league minimum of $ 310,000, but they are rare. Superstar pass rushers, on the other hand, subscribe to Forbes magazine where they read about themselves. Julius Peppers, formerly of the Carolina Panthers and now with the Chicago Bears, recently signed on the dotted line to the tune of $ 90 million over 6 years, with roughly half that in guaranteed money. Jared Allen of the Vikings was in line for a similar payday and got it in the form of a 6 year, $ 73 million deal. The Falcon's paid their pass rushing demon, John Abraham, a cool $ 8 million this past season. The message NFL owners are sending is clear: produce at the DE position, and we'll make you a very rich man.

Training:
As mentioned earlier, DE's are both fast and strong. They put in long hours in the weight room, and on the practice field. Young football players who envision themselves playing the DE position should do the same. On the practice field, pulling weighed sleds, sprinting with parachute and bungee harnesses, and doing cone and ladder-rope drills should be a staple of any DE workout. These exercises serve to develop the explosion, agility, and footwork that are a must at the position. In the weight room, the focus is strength. Front and box squats, "clean and jerks," and incline bench presses help to maximize the power a DE will need to flatten any tack standing between them and the quarterback. Combine these with a comprehensive core building regimen, and a young player has all the tools necessary to become a DE QB's lose sleep over.

What is CPM, CPC, CPA and CTR ?

CPM

CPM means Cost Per Thousand. (M is the Roman numeral for thousand – and so Cost Per Thousand).

This is the amount you will pay the ad-network or website publisher to show your ad a thousand times on their website or across their ad-network.

Whether your ad is shown only once to each visitor (Unique Impressions) or any number of times – is something that you will have to work out with the nad-network or the website.

CPM rates were once (pre yr 2000 bubble-burst era) as much as $75, but have now dropped to as little as $1 CPM.

CPC

CPC means Cost Per Click. This is how much you would pay the ad-network or website every time a visitor clicks on your banner. CPC rates can be as high as $3 per click or as little as 5 cents per click. It depends on your product and your market – amongst other factors, the more competition there is – the higher you will probably end up paying as you compete with competitors.

CPA

CPA means Cost Per Action. The Action could be any of the following types of actions – A visitor clicking on your banner coming to your site and filling up a simple enquiry form (CPR – Cost Per Registration) , or if the visitor makes a purchase (CPS – Cost Per sale). It could be a flat fee or a percentage commission of the sale made. Affiliate-Networks like commissionjunction , linkshare and clickbank have very good software systems in place to track all this and provide statistics to online merchants and publishers on their network of websites.

I have explained in detail what an Affiliate Network is, in another section. They basically, allow publisher websites to sign up for free so they can start earning commissions on sales arising out of the traffic they send to online merchants. The Affiliate Network tracks all this using their system and code merchants and publishers are required to place on their website. Publishers can sign up for free mostly, and in some cases online Merchants are required to pay a one time setup fee and possibly a monthly fee with commissions – eg. As in commissionjunction. A very popular site that is free to Merchants is Clickbank network.

CTR

CTR is Click Through Rate. This is the percentage rate at which people click on your ad banner. If your banner ad is seen by 100 people but clicked by one person – then it’s CTR is 1% or .01

Similarly, if your ad banner is seen 100,000 times and in the same time period it is clicked 2000 times – then your banner CTR is 2% or .02 .

This is how we calculate CTR …

(Number of Clicks / Number of impressions) x 100

Example, for above case it would be –

(2000 / 100,000) x 100 = .02

CPM, CPC or CPA … which is best for my ad campaign?

Your choice will depend on various factors. Sometimes companies such as Pepsi, would just like to enforce their brand and be seen across many websites, without any need for the user to click on their banners. This is a brand hammering strategy, and a CPM deal would be preferred.

Apart from the above mass branding effort, the decision to go for a CPC, CPM or CPA ad becomes a calculated decision when you have a product that you want to sell on your website.

Would you pay the publisher for only visitors he sends you? or would you pay him for every thousand ads he displays for you?or would you pay him a commission on sales from visitors he sends you?

This is tricky. You may need to read the paragraphs below slowly, or even several times over to get the gist of what I am saying …

To help you decide, you should first run a pilot CPM campaign that will help you gauge results. Your CPM campaign and number of Clicks on your banner, will let you know exactly what your CTR (Click through Rate) is for your banner.

Your CTR will help you decide your campaign type – CPM or CPC ? If your CTR is high, you should go in for a CPM, if its low you should go in for a CPC.

The reason for this is simple. If you have a low CTR then you would rather only pay for the low traffic that comes to your site. If your CTR is high , then you don’t mind paying CPM – because your cost will not escalate for more and more visitors that come to your site, but will remain the same.

I will explain the above, with a couple of examples –

Example 1

Lets suppose a website that you want to advertise on charges a CPM of $5.00 and a CPC of 50 cents.

And, you need to decide if you should go in for CPM or CPC ?

Lets suppose you first buy 1,000,000 impressions.

This works out to $5000 ($5 per 1000 impressions x 1000)

Now lets suppose your CTR is not good and is 0.2 % (or 2 clicks per 1000 ads)

Now, you need to calculate the amount you will pay of you had bought a CPC.

If your CTR is 0.2% and you display 1,000,000 ads, then this works out to …

.002 x 1,000,000 = 2000 clicks.

So essentially you have paid $5000 for 2000 clicks or $2.50 per click!!

This means that I am better of buying on a CPC basis, because one click there costs me only 50cents! And if I go for CPC, then I will get 10,000 clicks for $5000 … which is 5 times more than the clicks i get in the CPM model (2000).

Example 2

Lets assume that your banner ad turns out to be very good and gets a very good CTR of say 5%

Now you need to decide ..CPM or CPC.

Lets analyze as above –

I paid $5000 for 1,000,000 ads at 5% CTR

That means 5% x 1,000,000 ads were clicked on , which equals

= .05 (5%) x 1,000,000 = 50,000 clicks!

So for $5000 i got 50,000 clicks.

Now, if I had bought on a click basis, then at the CPC rate of (50cents) I will pay

50,000 x $0.50 amount for 50,000 clicks, which is $25,000 (5 times what I would pay with CPM, for the same traffic)

So, I am better of buying with a CPM system for this banner ad campaign

What about CPA ?

I have dedicated a separate chapter for this. This system is gaining popularity slowly. It seems to be the fairest system of all the three methods – specially when you are selling a product or service. Both Google and Yahoo are leaning towards taking their CPC system into a more fair and measurable CPA system. Google has recently launched Google Analytics and Google’s version of PayPal (Google Checkout) – that is a positive and firm step towards its CPA plans.

Selling ad-space on your website – how much can you charge?

Nowadays CPM rates have fallen from highs of $50 to $10 to $2 in many cases.

If you have high traffic you may approach ad-networks, and they will serve out the ads for your website. They will give you a piece of code to insert into the pages of your website. You will get a Username and Password to login to a control panel area on the ad-networks main website, to see how your site is performing. Ad-networks pay you based on CPM or CPC, depending on what their client (the advertiser) opt for. They will take from 40% to 60% commission. This is acceptable, considering the fact that they get you the clients and revenues, and they have to manage all the advertising technology and payment systems.

Most of these ad-networks require that you have a certain number of impressions per month to qualify to become part of their network of websites. For example, DoubleClick requires at minimum 5 million monthly page impressions. There are many mid sized networks, like Advertising , fastclick , ValueClick (only CPC, owned partially by DoubleClick) and even smaller ad networks like, burstnet . You should visit adbalance to get a complete list and brief on popular ad networks.

Banner Management Software

If you would like to manage your own Clients and their banner ads for your website, you will need to develop an ad-serving engine or license a third party engine and install it on your website. You can get a list of free and paid software scripts that you can install on your website from cgi-resources.com or hotscripts.com

Garden Decor Ideas That You Cannot Get Enough Of

With most of us living in concrete jungles, having a garden in your home can be considered nothing short of lucky! From a small flowerbed to a large lush green space, there is a lot you can do with your garden that helps put your own personal stamp on it. From installing garden ornaments to adding outdoor lighting, you are only limited by your imagination.

Plants of various colours and shapes add to the beauty of your garden. Think green holly, ivy or fuchsia. Consider enhancing the place further by creating live ornaments from plants. Prune them into columns and craft hedges that have everyone in awe. In fact you can enhance the look of the garden by creating an archway with plants such as draped wisteria vines. Alternately consider flanking the garden gates with bougainvillea. There will be many people wanting to get a sneak peek into this haven!

You could also consider a whole lot of other ornaments as a garden décor idea. A wrought-iron gate, a lantern or an iron bell hung on a tree, a bench are great outdoor accessories that add to the appeal. You can also repurpose old items such as those metal watering cans that make for lovely planters or those antique dresser drawers that add oodles of style. Pro tip-Ensure that all the décor elements are subtly placed though, so the garden doesn’t look too contrived or overdone.

Add charm to regular terracotta pots by doing them up in vibrant paint. You can also create a mosaic on those pots with broken ceramic pieces. They add loads of colour and texture to your garden. If you run out of space, you can also look at creating a vertical garden with spray painted cans hung on a fence with lovely blooms.

Give your creativity free reign as you think of the garden furniture. You can turn a workbench into a place to display greenery as also a great venue for those potluck parties. Opt for a small table that adds a dash of colour with a corner flower vase and just enough space to enjoy that morning cuppa.

Outdoor lighting is another aspect that lends oodles of style to your garden. Go in for those bistro lights and savour their warm glow. Alternately you can also hang outdoor lanterns or those spring lights. The romance that they add to the garden is indescribable.

With a garden as charming as this, you certainly would want some privacy to be able to enjoy this calm haven. Opt for artificial plant wall coverings that are awfully easy to install and yet look like real foliage. That it is low on maintenance, is an added perk. You can also add to the charm with other artificial plant décor. Tree ferns and other colourful buds kept in beautiful pots create one enchanting space. Whoever said you need a green thumb to maintain a garden, hadn’t heard of these artificial plants.

Geoffrey Chaucer As a Father of English Poetry

Geoffrey Chaucer as a Father of English Poetry

Introduction:

Geoffrey Chaucer is called the father of English poetry. He symbolizes the Middle Ages, as no other writer does. He stands in much the same relation to the life of his time as Alexander Pope does to the 18th century and Tennyson to the Victorian era. Chaucer’s place in English literature is more important than both of them. He is the first great English writer. His work is divided into three different phases;

In his first phase, he was under the influence of the French (1357-72).

The second phase was under the influence of Italian (1372-86).

The third phase of his life was that he focused on the native originality and produced his own literature in English (1386-1400).

Literature was not published or not in people’s approach before him. There was the government of Normans in Britain, which came there from France, therefore, French was the official language and Latin was the language of religious people and of church because their Holy book ‘Bible’ was in Latin. Chaucer was the first person to introduce modern English language in Britain.

At that time, there were four dialects of English used in Britain.

· Northern

· Southern

· Midland

· Kentish

In London, there was midland dialect. Chaucer picked out this midland and made his standard in this dialect. He used embellished and ornamented words in his poetry that people liked a lot. And the next generation used this type of words in their writings and people used to speak these modern words in their daily language that Chaucer introduced in his writings. The Canterbury Tales is a landmark in Chaucer’s life and he is well-known for it.

Chaucer is also a pioneer of English novel. In his Troilus and Criseyde and The Canterbury Tales, we can find the seeds of novel. He was called first novelist, even before the appearance of novel in Britain and he was also called the first dramatist even before the appearance of drama in Britain. That’s why he is also called the Father of English literature. But he is well-known for his poetry.

Characteristics of Chaucer’s Poetry:

Chaucer had a very busy career as a man of affairs, poetry for him was necessarily a part-time activity. Chaucer made several contributions to English poetry. He tried to enlarge the range, scope and mentality of the poets, introduced very close observations of the life around him, presented the crystal clear picture of the conditions of his times through his writings, excelled in characterization and above all gave a new shape to English language and poetry. With these contributions, he remains at the top of the history of English literature, and no one can challenge his position.There are several features of his poetry.

· The First great National Poet

Chaucer was the first great national poet. He expressed the new hopes and aspiration of the people of his time. The foundation of Chaucer’s art lies in English life and character.

· Realism

Realism attempts to describe life without idealization. Chaucer was the first realist in English literature. He rejected the themes of traditional concept of fantasy and ideality. Before him, the war, heroes and the royal family were the main topics for the poets, but Chaucer broke this chain and focused on reality. Everything in his Canterbury Tales was from life. He was a good observer; he saw the appearance, dress and behavior of pilgrims very deeply. He painted as it is what he observed.

· Narrative Skill

Chaucer is highly appreciated for his narrative skill. His power as a narrator, the power to tell an interesting story is simply astounding. He is the first great English story-teller in verse form. His employment of verse as the vehicle of storytelling is the most memorable contribution and the modern English literature is greatly thankful to him in this respect. His Canterbury Tales is actually a collection of excellently narrated stories.

· Humor

He is regarded as the first great English humorist. No English literary work before him expressed humor in the modern sense. That was serious and based on heroic deeds. Chaucer’s humor is always sympathetic, natural and spontaneous.

· Art of Characterization

In English literature Chaucer is the first great painter of characters. He presents his character in a masterly manner. He presents his characters both individually and in the forms of types.

William Blake views that the characters of Chaucer’s pilgrims are the character which compose all ages and nations. The Knight, the Friar, the Wife of Bath, the Doctor of Physic, the Prioress, the Monk, the Merchant and many others are living and eternally fresh and their features symbolize the qualities of universal human life. Such characterization gave the guideline to the upcoming writers.

· Iambic Pentameter and Rhyme-Royal

The credit of the use of rhyme-royal for the first time in English literature goes to Chaucer. Rhyme-royal is also called the Chaucerian stanza; the stanza of seven lines with rhyming scheme of ABABBCC. He borrowed this technique from France. King James I of Scotland in 15th century used this stanza in his famous poem “King Quair”.

When five stress syllables are used in a verse of poetry, then it is called pentameter. Iambic pentameter means ‘rhythm of five patterns of syllables’.

e.g. “Grave nods at grove, each alley has a brother.”

· Humanistic Outlook

Poetry portrays not merely the art and artificiality of age, rather it hints at humanistic outlook as well. This reflection of humanity in poetry starts with Chaucerian literature. His descriptions of his fellowmen express his wide humanity and prepare the way for Shakespeare. He has no hate for the fools and no distaste for rascals. He is the poet of humanity.

Chaucer also introduced the rhyming couplet in the end of every stanza.

To wind up the above discussion, we may say that he stands alone and no one climbs equally with him. It can be said that Chaucer, with his remarkable, impressive and comprehensive literary works, has remained till now not to be exceeded. English language and literature became mature because of Chaucer’s production. So, he is called “father of English Poetry”.

Planning Your Garden Part 1

Soil Conditioning

The soil conditioning is largely dependent on how large your garden will be. So before I go into what’s important, make sure you have an idea of how big your garden will be. If you are doing a relatively small garden (4×4 feet- 10×10 feet) you won’t have to worry about drainage, or turning the soil every season. For example, if you are doing a raised bed garden you won’t have to till up the grass in your yard to do so, you can just build the bed and fill it with dirt & compost. The compost is a great medium for plants to grow in and doesn’t require extra work to get great results, also it will drain just fine on its own.

With larger gardens (10×20 feet- 1 acre or more) the ability to just fill it in with compost becomes very expensive, time consuming, and can still have flooding that will kill your plants. With a larger garden tilling up the grass or dirt is the first step. The ground needs to be broken up, once its broken up it can be planted in. Many people use a tiller or a disc to break up the ground but depending on the size, you can easily rent equipment or invest in buying some equipment to prepare the soil each year. Once you have turned the soil a bit and have it broken down to small chunks smaller than your fist and at least 5 inches deep you should focus on preparing for drainage. Take a step back and look for low spots in the landscape and either make a small ditch or buy drainage pipe to put in the ground before you get all the plants in the ground. This is a CRITICAL step, do not overlook it or ignore it, one hard rain could kill half of your garden in a matter of a day or two and there will be nothing you can do (yes its happened to me). Since the ground is tilled up and loose digging a drainage ditch or putting in plastic piping is very easy. Depending on the size you may need just a shovel and a couple hours or you may need heavy equipment to dig the ditch.

As I said before, planning for all of this can be the difference between success or failure. Taking a few hours to take a step back, look at what you want to do and where, and then seeing it before its there is a powerful way to become successful the first time rather then suffer through trial and error.

The Benefits of PSD to Magento Template Conversion

Electronic business is getting more and more popular, one effect of which is increased competition. To differentiate and make their venture stand out among others, business owners strive to add more useful functionality and design features to their sites.

But many of them face various hurdles in the way for being not much tech-savvy. This results in implementation of various actions that cause only harm to their business, quite often what made with good intentions turn out to be time-consuming and expensive. So when it comes to web development, it’s better to find a reputed company that can professionally guide you through the jungle of e-business insides.

As a leading ecommerce development platform Magento offers multiple opportunities to its users. It’s the most widely used CMS (content management system) and many businesses have already fully enjoyed its advantages. Magento is an open source framework, which determines a huge amount of useful tools, plugins and overall flexibility it offers. Online stores developed on this platform are not only attractive for visitors but also cross-browser compatible and SEO-friendly.

If you have specific design requirements it’s a high time to benefit from PSD to Magento conversion. Besides the fact that this process is a fast way to refresh your site, among the important reasons to add PSD transformation to your e-business development plan is that it helps to increase conversion rates.

As for other weighty benefits, check a few ones below:

  • Unique design. There are a lot of Magento themes and templates available on the market. But as business owner you know exactly who your target audience is and can say for sure what should your store look like. Converting your PSD design files into Magento you get absolutely exclusive theme that will make customers come back.
  • Lift up on search engines. Properly implemented conversion is impossible without SEO-friendly codes. Well structures and clean coding that corresponds all basic standards ensures top page rank in search engines.
  • Speed optimization. Online stores contain a lot of data and changeable content, which influences pages load speed. Adding more and more functionality and design elements can affect loading speed and as a result users will leave your site without making a purchase. PSD to Magento theme conversion helps to avoid this problem by splitting Photoshop files into different design layers.
  • User-friendly interface. Ecommerce site are made for people, so user-friendliness is crucial for them. PSD to Magento conversion helps to make functioning web pages out of regular picture. Sites created on Magento are easy to navigate and as a special advantage its coding allows to implement media files upload such as video and audio.
  • Pixel-perfect dynamic interface. The conversion of PSD files into Magento requires solid expertise from developers and entails a long-term process. Only skilled programmers are able to provide really smart and totally hand-coded markup. Such a smart and clean conversion allows to add JS and attach images later.

Magento is a powerful framework and it’s getting more and more popular everyday. The benefits above are just a few major reasons to act in this direction. In fact due to its popularity the platform is being constantly upgraded and a significant amount of programmers all over the world create the new features and modules for it every day. Start your own online ecommerce business or enhance the existing one with the help of professional PSD to Magento services.

Upgrade Your Camaro Tail Lights

It is great if you have got a nice car in the fast developing modern world. You must have felt the convenience and the high efficiency daily life your car has created for you, have not you? Your answer must be absolutely yes! As the time passing by, you will be certainly accustomed to the life with a car, and it will become hard for you to live without it.

However, as everything has its lifetime, important parts or equipments of your car are very likely to be out of stock due to overuse. In this case, you should consider looking for replacements fit for the OEM parts or even buy a brand new car. Take your nice Camaro car as an example; You must and have to find replacements for its broken headlights, if you do not do so, how can you keep a safe driving without seeing the road surface clearly? Also, you should place importance on the tail lights (tail lamps) as they not only send warning signal, but indicate the car's turning direction.

In relation to this important item, it is strongly recommended that one get a new excellent pair for his Camaro car. How to find a great pair of tail lights to replace your existing ones, then? Tips about this are provided below:

Firstly, you should know that the real difference between common tail lamps and more beautiful ones lie in the led. It is proven that tail lamps with led are much more popular with customers as these tiny shinning items not only increase the brightness of the tail lamps and make them cute and delicate.

Secondly, think about which style you are interested in? Generally speaking, there are two main popular styles: JDM and Euro Altezza. Both of the two styles will upgrade the overall appearance of your tail lamps.

Thirdly, choose the best color to match your Camaro car. You can either find the black tail lights or chrome ones on the aftermarkets. Black ones will create a cool look for your car, and shinning chrome ones with smoked color will highlight the exterior appearance of your car.

There are numerous tail lights for sale on the aftermarkets and online auto parts stores. If you want to save on time and money when looking for a right pair of tail lights for your Camaro car, you'd better go to online superstores. Things there are usually at a discount price but of the same high quality as OEM factory ones.

How Spring Cleaning Can Improve The Feng Shui In Your Home

Black Sect Feng Shui deals in both the mundane as well as the emotional and spiritual. Feng Shui consultants use intuition to assess the flow of chi through a space, and, if we find a home unsuitable, seek ways to remedy problems. We also emphasize the importance of intention when we implement a specific Feng Shui cure.

It is with this intent in mind that it's important to talk about clearing clutter from a space – and what better time to think about spring cleaning than the start of spring?

Benefits of Reducing Clutter
A clean and uncluttered home makes guests feel welcome and makes its inmates comfortable. It's often easier to think clearly in a neat and organized room – and that includes the desk in your home office.

Clutter representations stagnant, confused chi. It may be difficult to make a decision in a cluttered home, or even to make positive moves toward growth and personal development. Our clutter also has our emotions tied to it. We may not want to let go of it for emotional reasons – and that leads us to our feeling "stuck" in our life.

Good Feng Shui is characterized by free-flowing chi – not too fast, and not too slow. If a human being can not walk across a room because furniture is filling the space with no wide pathways or toys, books, and random clutter blocks the path, the chi can not flow freely either.

Clutter in Your Attic, Basement or Garage
When we own a home, we tend to place objects we do not use – or intend to some day throw away – in our attic, garage or basement. Even if we can not see it, this clutter can weigh us down.

Clutter in the Bedroom, Kitchen and Entryway
Clutter in these three areas is the worst of all when it comes to free-flowing chi and Feng Shui, because these three areas of the home are the most important in Feng Shui. Clutter in the bedroom can prevent a good night's sleep.

In Feng Shui, the kitchen represents our career success and how others perceive us – getting rid of clutter in this area and always making sure appliances (especially the stove) are clean, can lead to increased wealth and career success.

Our entryway creates a first impression and affects the chi that flows through the rest of the house. If the chi is blocked by clutter at your front door, it can not move freely through the rest of your home in a positive, life-affirming way.

How to Clear the Clutter
Begin by sorting through your marriages. Does everything serve a purpose? That purpose may simply be that it makes you happy – that's okay. Objects that do not serve a practical purpose or bring you joy when you see them should go. Recycle, donate or, if you really can not find a use for it and do not think anyone else can, either, throw it away.

With the remaining objects, find a place for everything and put it there. Keep everyday items in easy to reach places. Store clothes and other objects used seasonally neatly in closets, the attic or garage, where you can find them easily when you need them.

When you're finished using something, put it back. It really is as simple as that to keep clutter at bay and let chi flow freely through your home.

Where to Find Waste Pipe Products for DIYers

For many DIY enthusiasts, carrying out maintenance in the home after a pipe has sprung a leak, or even renovating an entire room according to your specific needs and requirements, is a pleasure as much as it can be a great deal of hard work. Unlike professional tradesman, you do not necessarily have access to all the products and equipment that you need to do the job easily.

One of the biggest issues for many DIYers is not obtaining the support they need in carrying out a task, and also not knowing which products are the most suitable for them and where they can find them.

For those who are looking to find waste pipe products – whether they are looking for a push fit pipe or a solvent waste pipe – one of the best places to begin the search for information is online. There are many reputable sellers now operating on eBay as well as those who have independent online stores, all of whom offer a wide range of products that can meet your needs.

There is also the major advantage that there is a larger choice that there is likely to be in your small local hardware store, meaning that you can take your time to browse a much larger selection and choose exactly the right product to suit your particular requirements.

As with all online shopping experiences, however, take your time to find a reputable seller that not only has a range of products that you want but also has great customer feedback. This can be evident when looking on sites like eBay where reviews are provided by former clients, but search the net for the retailer in any case in order to carry out a background check on their credibility.

Once you have created a shortlist of a few reputable suppliers that seem to have a range of supplies that meet your needs, it is critical that you get in touch with their customer support team in order to benefit from the free advice that many of these companies give.

As you are a DIYer doing the project yourself, obtaining the advice of an expert can make the difference between failure and success. Checking with a number of suppliers to get a second, third and fourth opinion on your renovation intentions and how you want to install that solvent waste pipe is therefore critically important.

Another place to looking order to find the right products for you is in major outlets that specialise in plastic building supplies. Whereas generalist local DIY stores – or even some of the large national chains – will have products that are likely to meet your needs, choosing to go to a retailer that offers these products exclusively can give far more choice and a higher level of expert help.

This information can again be obtained by going online and searching for the names of companies that specialise in plastic building supplies. You can then travel to their nearest outlet in order to make your selection from a huge range of products and receive the face-to-face help you need in planning your project.

Finally, one last solution to finding the right push fit or solvent waste pipe product for you is going directly to the manufacturer of high quality pipe products. If you are a non-professional who has never carried out one of these types of project before, finding a reputable independent company that you know will provide high quality products can be difficult.

Choosing to contact a major brand name of plastic building supplies can therefore assure you of a level of quality that might otherwise be hit and miss with independent retailers. Furthermore, manufacturers overspecialization their own products and will be able to provide you with detailed advice on just what you need to do to install your new household piping system.

Touring the Otherworld

It would not appear so from immediate appearances but Cebu is steep in spirituality. It would take an amount of sensitivity to realize it but one could tour this island not just for its physical destinations. One could also take in the spiritual world with its own vistas and sites.

The nature of local religiosity is something quite noteworthy. Catholicism came here in 1600 with the establishment of local Spanish settlements. Before these there had been the practice of Islam and Animism. Catholicism ever took deep root but even so, many of the old animist practices persist in a system of mythologies, belief systems and rituals that are practiced to this day.

The Catholic faith is quite easy to appreciate. The city celebrates the Sinulog in January, every year. Sinulog is a ritual dance traditionally performed at the door of the Sto. Nino Basilica. The dancer raises candles to the air while dancing to a tempo alleged to be pre-Christian in origin. Some theory relates this tempo to sea currents. But the idea is that the candles become "blessed" by this dance and will have the greater potency in delivering the request of the person who lights it in a designated area inside the Church. Thus, the ritual is a transaction of sorts. One buys the blessed candles from the dancer who actually performs a religious function as alternative to the regular authority to bless reserved for the regular priest. This practice is actually the norm here where regular Catholicism is now interwoven into a system of indigenous spiritual practices.

One good way to appreciate local religion is to rent a car and drive down south with a group. One of these days the local tourism office will probably have to train locals to guide visitors through the religious practices here. But any local will probably be well versed in the local church monuments. The first stop you should make is Carcar. The church plaza complex here is quite typical. The central portion is an unusual due to the statement of Jose Rizal, the national hero (who was also well known for being a Freemason) dominates. The plaza is a clash of religious and civil statues, which speak of a history of conflict between religion and civil practice, which has occurred here over the past 100 years.

As one enters the plaza one sees immediately a statue of a dignified soldier on a horse. This is the statue of Leon Kilat who led a local revol here against the colonizing Spanish in the late 1800s. Like Rizal, Kilat fought against the abuses of Spanish friars. Much metaphysical powers were attributed to this rebel hero. His followers did not have sufficient weapons to fight. According to historical accounts they had only sharpened bamboo stakes and knives. To convince his followers to fight neverless he fashioned for them cotton vests onto which he inscribed various incantations in pig-Latin in order to make their wearers impervious to the enemy's bullets. He succeeded in this revolt for awhile until he was suddenly murdered. An elite family staying across from where this statue is now invited Leon to the town fiesta and filled him with food and drink. In the night, his henchmen came stabbed the rebel leader to death after which they buried him in a shallow grave away from the town cemetery.

This town plaza also contains exquisitely maintained wooden buildings for either civil or religious use. These include the convento, the hospital and St. Louis. Catherine's school. All offer good picture opportunities. The local delicacies are good to sample (try the chicharon, tapa, lechon and ampao at the local wet market) before driving down to the next town. You could make a right turn to the hills but that's for another story. For this one, you should drive straight through towards Sibonga after driving through the famous Carcar rotunda. This rotunda was designed and made by the brothers Martino and Ramon Abellana with some help at the beginning from Fidel Araneta. These three are the most accomplished of their generation of local artists and came of age after the second world war.

In Sibonga, go directly to the church and gaze upwards toward the ceiling. The paintings here give us a good picture of the quality of the local Catholic belief system. Reymundo "Ray" Francia painted this ceiling in the mid 1930s. He did many of these all over Cebu and Bohol but very few of the paintings survive. The islands are regularly visited by typhoons some of which blow off the roofs though destroying the ceiling paintings. But Sibonga is the best preserved of Francia's works. The ceiling over the altar depicts the 7 days of creation in a charming half-circle tableau with God the Father occupying the central area. Depictions of the devil are definitely surprising and bespeak the dark Gothic imagery popular of the mid 1900s Christian thinking.

This imagery makes for good comparison with the ceiling paintings at Dalaguete and Argao town. You'll drive past Argao town but skip this and drive directly to the next town of Dalaguete. Canuto Avila with whatever Francia competed for renounced made these paintings with the help of sons and daughters. Avila's style is more classic and staid. It is unfortunate that the papers near altar are quite faded. As you revel in the images notice that the paintings are painted over the original wooden planks of the ceiling. Some of the cloth caulkings are falling off. Soon these art works will have to be restored or be lost forever. Consider yourself lucky to be able to see these works at all. If they are destroyed absolutely a good part of local history would be lost to us because these paintings are really examples of how local culture deal with the intruding colonial culture and in a way mastered it in the sense at least of art.

Before leaving Dalaguete try a see the wonderful beach. From there drive on to Argao and see the church there. The ruling here was done probably by Francia and Avila although this work is not signed. Here you can really see the stylistic differences of these two artists. The battle between the angels and devils is especially interesting. It is unfortunate that the statue on this church has actually been destroyed by erroneous restoration attempts. But in a sense this makes a trip like this timely. These works may soon be lost if not by natural causes then by the most well meant efforts.

Stay overnight at Argao and ask about local beliefs. For right beside this Catholic religiosity hides beliefs in the animalistic creatures of old. "Dili Ingon Nato" is a general name applied to all otherworldly creatures including abat, wakwak, kikik, ungo and others. Any query along these lines will draw immediate response. But the most interesting creature of all is the sigbin. Reported to look like the Australian kangaroo this is a mythical pet, which will grant its owner the power to travel quickly from place to place. Other powers are now attributed to this being whose blood was recently rumored to be a cure for AIDs. But do not get too interested many "visitors" are reportedly out there still in the long and so far fruitless search for this creature of the "otherworld".