UBC Vancouver Environmental Design Application: Architecture School Application Portfolios

I have been lucky enough to have been accepted into the University of British Columbia’s School of Architecture + Landscape Architecture Environmental Design Program. The Environmental Design Program, a third-year transfer program, offers a design intensive education that prepares its graduates for continuing on into a Master’s of Architecture, Landscape Architecture or Urban Planning. The program is relatively new to UBC’s School of Architecture but in its few years of existence has grown to hold a strong reputation for developing highly skilled students with strong work ethic, a broad scope of design-based knowledge, and an unprecedented ability to collaborate.

Like the hundreds of applicants each year, I was among those who read the pages of the program’s website until I nearly had it memorized. The online information discusses how this design school is proud of the diversity of the students it accepts and how the small class size fosters a strong sense of teamwork within the Environmental Design Community. In May of 2011 I was one of the 25 fortunate applicants to be accepted into this tight group of design-minded individuals. I started the school year with basic expectations; thinking that this year would be similar to my first two years of general university education. However, my expectations were soon blown away. I had no idea that architecture school would teach me skills that stretch so far beyond the immediate skills required to produce good design or that classmates could become a design family. For those who have not been through the Environmental Design program, the closest thing I can equate the experience to is A&E’s Project Runway. There were tears, throwing up, fits of laughter and risky design but in the end and through the process of working closely with extremely talented creative minds, good design was produced and a strong design team was formed.

If you are interested in also being accepted into UBC’s Environmental Design Program in Vancouver, British Columbia, then you need to know that the most important part of your application package is the portfolio. Here, I offer the knowledge gathered from my personal wins and losses with my ENDS application process. I hope that it may be helpful in your own work and I wish all potential applicants as this past year in ENDS was my most rewarding to date. The struggles were worth it and I would do it all again.

For Environmental Design hopefuls, the item that holds the most weight in determining your acceptance into the program is the portfolio of your design work. The best and only piece of advice I received regarding the application portfolio was to present as varied a body of creative works as possible. I submitted photos of my textile work, wood work, furniture, paintings, sculptures and charcoal drawings. After comparing portfolios with other classmates that had been accepted into the program, I realize that presenting a very diverse body of work was the way to go. If you are a great painter, excellent; submit your best two paintings you have ever done and then turn your creative focus to another medium. Some of the other members of my class submitted songs or plays they had written or documented an extraordinary hike that they completed. Stepping completely out of the box like this is great, and perfect for the ENDS community, however you need to know how you can relate these different experiences to design and you need to be able to explain it very briefly in a short description accompanying the piece you are submitting.

I’ll tell you right now, that one of the biggest lessons I learned this past semester is that everything, EVERYTHING, can be related to design in some way, shape or form. What makes a truly individual is being able to make the connection and explain it in such a way that the less creatively inclined can also understand the connection you are making.

Diversity of creative works are preferred, but beware of stretching yourself too thin in order to try something new. You do not want to sacrifice the quality or integrity of your work in any way. The application committee have their eyes trained to throw out portfolios that contain anything that is of poor quality and that was quickly done. Do not try to fool them, it just will not work. Take the time to produce the best work you can. I would highly recommend taking a few visual arts courses. They are extremely helpful in getting those creative juices flowing, especially for applicants who are predominantly interested in math and sciences. Please note that this does not make you any less qualified of an applicant as someone coming from a major in fine arts, it just means that you have different skills that will be useful to your ENDS community and that you have to be creative in coming up with a way to show the portfolio reviewers that math and science are extremely creative fields as well. Again, I’ve seen examples of this very thing in some of my fellow classmates who came directly out of majors in science and they are doing very well and have unique qualities to add to their own work and the work of the class. If you are in visual arts classes, the work produced in those classes are good candidates for pieces in your application portfolio, however, if you are submitting an art work that was a class assignment, make sure that it is your best work and that it is unique. School art projects typically tend to look like just that: school art projects. A few of these are fine as they demonstrate that your learned some useful skills, however the more art work you can submit that is 100% unique to you, the better.

The ENDS application requires there to be no less than 15 and no more than 18 pieces in your portfolio. I would shy away from submitting the maximum number. If you can keep it around 15-16 pieces, it shows that you can say more with less, that you know how to recognize good from bad work and that you are able to self-edit. The criteria for the format of the portfolio is let completely open to the applicant. The one and only criteria is on the size: 9x12x1/2.” This is another place to show your creativity. This of the assembly and presentation of the portfolio as an art piece in itself. How are the pieces arranged? It is a book? A web page? A slide show on a disk? A miniature horse wearing a sandwich board with your portfolio posted on it? I heard of one student years ago who applied to another local design school by buying a Boler camper unit, gutted it and turned it into a mini, mobile gallery of his art work. He drove it down to the school and was accepted on the spot. Be as creative with the assembly of the portfolio as you were with the pieces themselves. If there is one thing to remember here it is to be consistent with your design moves. Every move means something whether it is a colour choice, paper size or thickness, digital or hard copy, black and white or colour, scrap booked or formatted in inDesign. My advice is to make your choice, and then stick with it 100%. If you are going to scrap book your portfolio, do it all the way and do it extremely well.

If you are unsure of how to take the portfolio assembly process to the next level, then the next best thing you can do is to produce the most professional work possible. Get yourself a layout program, I suggest the trial version of Adobe inDesign, and assemble crisp, clean-looking pages. Spend the money to get your work scanned or photographed at the highest resolutions possible for sharp images. If you are submitting a hard copy, invest in getting your portfolio printed at a respected print shop and on quality paper. The cleanest way I have found to attach the portfolio pages together is to leave a 1/2 inch margin on the left side of each page, punch holes straight through the entire stack (no more than two or three) and then insert Chicago screws. This is called post-binding and the screws can be found at any major hardware store, Rona or Home Depot for example. It is a two-part mechanism, so be sure to get both parts. This is just one suggestion for one method, but it is up to you to create the portfolio that best matches your style and your personality.

I would like to clarify that the information that I have shared is not necessarily specific to the Environmental Design Program at UBC alone and that the information in this article can be applied to a portfolio application to any design school.

Consider Restoring A Vintage Chrysler, Plymouth, Dodge Or Desoto

More and more vintage Chrysler cars and trucks are being rescued from fields, woods, junk yards and the crusher than ever before.

The reason for this change in the hobby is largely related to the fact that as Fords and Chevy’s (yawn) are getting fewer in numbers and subsequently more difficult to find in good restorable condition, restorers and street rodders are finding the old MoPars to be just the ticket for scratching the restoration/street rodding itch.

In this article, we will take a look at the MoPars of the early to late thirties and compare them to their GM and Ford counter parts.

From the beginning (1924), Walter Chrysler set out to build a superior automobile and in keeping with that idea throughout his tenure as the supreme leader of the company that bore his name, he was sure to include things that were uncommon for cars and trucks in the low and mid-price field.

One such aspect was four wheel hydraulic brake systems in every car and truck they built, while the competitors were still using mechanical brakes which required frequent adjustments and were unreliable in terms of uniform braking of each wheel. While the more luxurious and expensive cars of the day (Duesenberg, Packard, Cord, etc.) used hydraulic brakes all around, GM and Ford did not change over until the middle to late thirties respectively.

Shifting back to the 1930’s we find that with the end of the 1934 model production run, Chrysler had built the last “Chrysler” badged automobile to use wood as a structural component as the 1935 model PJ introduced the era of the all steel bodied low price car. This type of construction was unusual for most cars at that time but unheard of in a car that sold for a mere $510 FOB. Ford and GM continued to use wood for several more years.

The all steel body provided a more rigid vehicle, less prone to body flex on rough terrain or roads and when coupled with the use of leaf springs made of “Mola” steel, on a 113 inch wheel base, the ride was smooth and quiet.

Finally, the 1935 model introduced the most advanced flathead six cylinder in the industry and Chrysler used this engine with relatively few modifications until it was replaced by the slant six engine in 1960.

Rated at 82 HP it placed fit neatly between the Chevrolet six at 80 HP and the (large) Ford flathead V8 at 85 HP. Additionally, this new engine known as the ‘L – Head’ Six had the most advanced cooling system of any engine built at that time.

Using a water distribution tube that ran the length of the cam shaft and extending the water jacket to the bottom of the connecting rods produced a cooling process that kept the block uniformly cooled – front to rear and top to bottom.

As we all know, the cooler the engine runs the less friction is produced resulting in better fuel economy and oil consumption.

The engines are factory balanced and valves are located within the block and are perfectly uncomplicated requiring little or no maintenance.

All Chrysler engines were mounted on what Chrysler had dubbed “Floating Power” (introduced several years earlier) that is, mounting the engine on blocks of rubber instead of directly to the frame thus removing engine vibration that would ordinarily be transferred to the body through the frame.

Additionally, the positioning of these motor mounts gave the engine perfect weight balance which further reduced harshness and vibration.

This engine was used continually in regular production (with very minor changes) from 1935 – 1959 but carried over for nearly another two decades in commercial use. NOS parts are easy to locate making this one of the most economical engines to rebuild and operate.

Having owned many MoPars (from 1935 – 1951) with this venerable six cylinder engine I can attest to achieving between 18 and 22.5 MPG depending upon the conditions and the final drive ratio. They are so reliable that I purchased a 1951 Plymouth on e-bay, brought it home, tuned it up, replaced the battery hoses and tires, inspected the brakes and headed for Arizona in what turned out to be one of the hottest summers on record (2003).

With the temperatures in the low 100’s every day or driving at altitudes of more than 10,000 feet through the Colorado mountain ranges, this little Plymouth performed flawlessly over more than 5,000 miles.

Before the year 2001, there were precious few manufactures of sheet metal replacement parts for these cars. Today however, the reproduction industry is responding to the needs of the restorer and street-rodder by producing the type of parts necessary to reconstruct these great old cars and trucks.

The following reproduction companies are both dedicated to the preservation of Chrysler products and the production of high quality parts to help ease the process of searching for what is needed to do the job right and get the desired result:

1933 – 1934 Plymouth & Dodge sheet metal

Mr. Floyd Riley


1935 – 1952 Chrysler, Plymouth, Dodge & DeSoto automobile sheet metal and 1933 – 1947 Dodge, Plymouth & Fargo Truck sheet metal

Wayne Brandon – Plymouth Doctor Restoration Parts

P.O. Box 467 Perry, MI 48872 (517) 625-PLYM

1949 – 1966 Plymouth & Dodge automobile sheet metal

Bob McGee

R/Car Customs & Restoration

570 Deming Rd. Berlin, CT. 06037 (860) 829-2076

Rubber Parts

Castro Valley Autohaus (’41 Steering Post Cover) 510-581-4525 510-581-4501

Metro Rubber Parts 800-878-2237

Will Knudsen (’37 – ’41 Brown Floor Mat) 734-626-0261

Sal Salerno (’42 – ’48) 90 Mil Floor Mat 717-697-7757

Restoration Specialties & Supply Co. 814-467-9842 or 814-467-5323

Steele Rubber Parts 800-544-8665

Running Boards

Paul Bowling – Buckeye Rubber 937-833-2885

Hunley Acuff 706-866-4875

Tires – Jim Benjaminson (Contact Plymouth Doctor Restoration Parts for contact information)

Homemade Compost Bins – How to Build a Compost Tumbler

Not everyone is privileged of having his or her own compost pile in their backyard, so I’m going to discuss some info on how homemade compost bins are done and how to compost in a garbage container.
Composting is not as hard and as expensive as it looks – not like what we see on TV and those catalogue for organic gardening tools.

Oftentimes, people believe that they should have the proper organic gardening supplies in order to do composting perfectly. Some examples of these are those fancy compost bins like rotating barrel composter, compost tumbler and aerator tools that are currently introduced to us by different manufacturers.

However, the truth is, with just a little dose of creativity and resourcefulness, we would be able find these tools and materials right at our very home.

If you don’t have the money and the resources for organic gardening materials, then, hanging on to the “recycling” idea is a perfect start. Keep in mind that the best compost bins are homemade.

Let’s look at the steps on how to make a composter out of a garbage can.

A recycled garbage container, for example, makes a wonderful composter for home use. You can use any simple or old garbage can that you are no longer using inside your home.

Puncture enough holes so that air gets into the compost materials. Oxygen is essential in the composting process so you need to put enough holes in order to give way for air circulation inside your bin. You can simply do this by using a nail and a hammer to create the holes. Giving way to oxygen is also the same reason for using a compost aerator. In this case, organic gardeners use compost or lawn aerators like the Winged Compost Aerator which mixes and turns compost materials.

Now, you’ll need to use two types of materials to mix inside your compost bin. 50% of your compost should consist of dry materials (aka brown materials) which can be newspapers, cardboards and wood shavings. These materials are rich in carbon which is good in composting when combined with nitrogen rich materials. Nitrogen rich materials that are used in compost bins are also called “green materials”. 50% of your compost should be green materials – fruit peels, coffee grinds, tea bags, grass and weeds are good examples of nitrogen rich matter.

Fill in your compost bin with alternating layers of brown and green materials in equal proportions. You can add more materials throughout the composting process.

It’s also important to keep your materials moist so that if it dries, you can just take your watering can and water it to add some moisture.

Seal it properly using the garbage container’s lid and turn or roll it on the ground to make sure that the materials are properly mixed. Roll your bin at least once a week and maintain its moisture for a continuous composting process.

Provided you followed these steps and maintained the moist and turning of your compost bin, your compost will be ready for harvesting in a month or two.

This is not only fun and interesting, but being able to save money and the environment all at the same time are only some of the advantages and heroic deeds that you will be accomplishing once you’re compost bin is “up and running”. I trust that these useful tips on how to build a compost tumbler will help you start your own homemade compost bins in no time!

The Art and Inspiration of Gustav Klimt

The splendor of Byzantine churches with their glinting gold mosaic domes and beautiful art work spread throughout the Mediterranean area, especially in Sicily, with Cathedrals like Monreale and Italy, with St Marks in Venice. The jewel colors of silk (whose production was a state secret in the Empire) combined with gold and enamels made Byzantine walls explosions of color. The Byzantines were aware of their effect on visitors and at times deliberately cultivated it, perhaps in the process causing the jealousy which brought about the fourth crusade and the Empire’s eventual decline.

Nowhere can the colorful golden influence of the Byzantine world be seen more clearly than in the work of celebrated artist Gustav Klimt, yet his subject matter was very different from his source of inspiration.

Where Byzantine art features two dimensional portraiture often of mythical and religious scenes, the art of Klimt is often described as erotic and almost entirely composed of female figures. The Byzantine influence is seen in the use of mosaic patterns and ornament, jewel colors and gold. Klimt’s father and brother were gold engravers, and perhaps that is the reason for the use of gold in so many his works. Although Klimt did not travel a great deal, he frequently visited both Ravenna and Venice and it seems likely that this is where he was exposed to Byzantine influences.

Klimt began work as a an architectural painter who worked with his brother and a friend to paint interior murals and ceilings. He received a medal for his work in 1888, but his style changed following the death of his father and brother. For 10 years from 1897 Klimt was a member (and at one time president) of the Wiener Sezession a group of artists who protested traditional teachings and hence seceded from the Association of Austrian Artists. Their aim was to provide exhibitions for unconventional artists and bring the best of foreign art to Vienna. They did not favor any particular style and received government support including a lease on some public land where they could build an exhibition hall.

Klimt’s own work did not fare well at first. Some of the paintings he was commissioned to create were rejected and regarded as ‘pornographic’. His later work was far better received, especially that of his ‘gold’ period where he incorporated a great deal of gold leaf. In 1911 Klimt won first prize in the world exhibitions in Rome, but he left little behind other than his art. His life was not filled with scandal, he made no self portraits and left no notes and no diary. He died in 1918 leaving many paintings unfinished.

Three of Klimt’s paintings received some of the highest prices ever paid for art with the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I selling for $135 million in 2006. At the time it was the highest price ever paid for a painting, though it has now been eclipsed by the $137 paid for Willem de Kooning’s Woman III and the $140 million paid for Jackson Pollocks No 5, 1948.

Few of us have the money to indulge in original art work, or even the right space in which to hang a good Klimt reproduction, however some of Klimt’s more famous works can now be enjoyed as sculptures, and as such they make interesting decorative pieces and useful gifts for art lovers or anyone who might enjoy a an art-inspired gift.

A Brief History of Pet Portraits and Pet Paintings

Pet portraits and pet paintings are something we see everywhere in this day and age. However it is not a new idea that we have beautiful drawings of our dearest pets done so we can cherish them forever.

The first known examples date back to over 17000 years ago when a number of ‘pet portraits’ were found in some caves in Altamira, Northern Spain. The paintings were discovered in 1879 by a little girl called Maria. She was out with her father who was an amateur archeologist and a Spanish nobleman. Maria’s father was investigating a cave he was hoping to find ancient tools that his ancestors may have abandoned on the cave floor from many thousands of years ago. He didn’t have much luck and Maria was getting bored, as she shuffled her feet through the dirt she happened to glance up at the ceiling. “Look Papa”, she said, “Bulls!

In 1903 long after the Spanish nobleman had died a young priest from France called Henri Bruil began documenting the paintings in the cave. Until that time academics had thought the paintings in the cave were no more than 20 years old, but over time as they were studied the world became more aware of the caves treasures.

Another famous example of pet paintings would be the caves of Lascaux in the South of France that were found in 1940. A bold and powerful horse portrait drawn on the wall of the cave. When Picasso first saw them he said ‘We have learned nothing’ He was astounded by the beauty and the strength of the images.

Cave paintings were the first pet portraits or pet paintings that man had created, it shows us all that although the people living in these caves where fully integrated into the natural world they were some how apart from it expressing themselves and communicating with their art and showing the importance that animals had in their lives.

I feel that this lives on today with animal art being a big part of our lives and has been throughout the ages. If you look for example at ancient Egyptian art in many of the tombs of the great pharaohs there are always portraits of cats or dogs these are a powerful symbols showing how close we are to our animals.

The more animals we domesticated the closer we got to our pets the stronger our relationships and bonds became and thus we see pet portraits created for the monarchs of England. King Charles being a famous one for example with his King Charles Spaniels. Charles had many pet paintings created of his beloved dogs.

The Different Reasons Why People Love Brunch

Almost all people start their day by having breakfast. While sipping a cup of coffee or tea or their favourite fruit juice, they partake of their preferred breakfast staples: pancakes, scrambled eggs and toasts, or a bowl of oats or cereals. If they have time, they can also read the daily newspaper or watch some TV while leisurely having their breakfast.

Unfortunately, not all people have enough time every morning to prepare and enjoy their breakfast. They may wake up late and have to rush for work every day. Some people may prefer to work out early in the morning as well; as such, for such individuals, breakfast is out of the table.

For people who don’t have enough time to enjoy their breakfast early in the morning but need to eat before lunch, brunch is the perfect meal for them. This is the type of meal that you can eat and enjoy when it’s too late for breakfast but too early for lunch.

A lot of people are into brunch nowadays and in fact, have included this meal in their routine. And below are the main reasons why brunch is so popular among many people today:

When you have brunch, you can combine your food choices and nobody will judge you. If you’re having brunch with some other people, you can order coffee while your mates can have their cocktails. And nobody will question your choice. Brunches can be a fusion of various cuisines intended for both breakfast and lunch. As such, it can be a gastronomic adventure on a day where you get enough time for leisure. Brunch is an adventurous meal – it follows its moniker since the name itself has got attitude.

This meal is perfect for people watching. Brunch is such a relaxing time so even if you’re alone, you can find yourself lingering at the restaurant, taking your sweet time finishing your food and drinks, because it’s nice to just sit down and observe people.

Weekend brunches can be particularly special because you get to spend it with family and friends – people you love. You don’t hurry brunch – that’s the principle. The meal can also last a long time, which is super fun since more stories exchanged means more food shared.

You will have fun choosing and going to various dining establishments that serve brunch. From high-end restaurants, to casual dining places, you can take your pick for a more enjoyable brunch with the people you love. Discovering a new place to have brunch with your loved ones is in itself quite an enjoyable activity, as well as finding your ultimate brunch destination.

Camping Checklist for Forgetful Campers


Campground reservation info.

Directions to the actual campground.

Packing – Put food on the bottom (you’ll need other items first)

Backpack, daypack, and/or fanny pack

Bags – Tent bag, grocery bags, etc.

Cardboard boxes if needed

Ice Chests


5 gallon bucket or similar container

Large (18-30 gal) Rubbermaid(tm) container for food storage

Lighting – Check batteries!

Maglight – The larger, the better

Gas lantern (and/or electric)

BIC lighter

Matches (preferably water proof)

Spare batteries and bulbs

Spare lantern fuel and mantles

Solar Panel

Glow Sticks

Batteryless Bulbless Flashlight


Sleeping bag

Space Blanket

Ground Cloth – Tarp for big tents

Floor Mats (use at tent entrance)

Mattress or pad – Inflator for air mattress



Seam Sealer

Camp axe or hammer to pound tent stakes

Shade Canopy & Rope & Stakes

Emergency blaket (found at walmart)

Tikki Torches (fill with citronella oil), also listed in medical.

Overhead rain tarps (not just shade).

Hay bale (to spread in dirt or mud areas).

10-12 inch nails from hardware store for emergency tent stakes

Tea candles to mark where tent stakes are

Sign that says No Candles in Tents!


Epipen if you have allergies


Bug Repellent – Spray, Citronella Candle, etc.

Tylenol, Advil, Aspirin, Naproxin


Antibiotics creams

Tweezers for splinters & ticks

Antiseptic, bandaids and bandages

First Aid Kit (may include all the above items)

Benadryl Sinus Tablets

Allergy Eye drops

Pocket Tissues

Campho-phenique (good for minor burns, cuts, scrapes and many use it on

poison ivy)

Moist Towelettes (for cleaning wounds and early uses on poison ivy)

Extra weeks supply of any Prescriptions

Box of latex gloves (100 pack)

Cleaning & Personal Items

Bar soap

Hand Sanitizer (waterless)



Toothpaste & toothbrush

Comb/hair brush/clips/bands/hair ties

Make-up bag

Razor & shaving cream


Toilet Paper

To save space, unroll toilet paper and reroll it and put inside the tube

Whisk broom to clean table and tent site


Contact lens supplies

Feminine supplies

Dishwashing soap and rubber gloves

Dish rack

Laundry Detergent (biodegradeable preferred)


List of important phone numbers

Spare car/truck/boat/rv keys

Small shovel

Swiss Army knife

Compass and Map

Fishing pole and gear (+ license & bait!)

Duct tape and/or electrical tape

Safety pins

Sewing kit

Cellular phone w/extra battery and car adapter

Two way radio(s) (ham, CB, Family)

Camera w/good battery and extra film

Camcorder w/good battery and extra tapes

Radio and/or TV

Weather Radio

Crankup Radio

Books (ID books, Little House), cards, games, toys, Bible, etc.

Card table

MONEY, credit card, ID

Pocket Tool

Guitar/Harmonicas/Other musical instrument(s)




Signal Mirror


Travel Clock

Clothesline and Clothespins

Basic tools (screwdrivers, pliers, etc.)

Copper pipe pieces for the campfire See note

Rope or String

Leather strips

Heavy rubber bands

Canoe or boat

Life jackets

Piece of carpeting (fake grass) for tent or RV entranceway

Pet Food

Eyeglass strap (to hold them on your head)

Fire starters (found in BBQ sections of stores) made from wax and sawdust

Steel Wool (can be used to start a fire by touching ends of battery to it – BE CAREFUL!)

Sand Paper

Extension cords

Pads of paper and pencils/pens

Milk crates (good for storage, step ladder and more)

Fly Swatters



Ear Plugs (to block out the noisy neighbors)




Jacket – As weather dictates; Eskimo style, mackintosh, windbreaker, etc.

Poncho – Doubles as emergency tent/lean-to

Pants/Overalls, with belt

Underwear – 2

Shirt – 2 or 3 (one light, one flannel)

Shoes, shower shoes, HIKING BOOTS

Socks – 2 pair

Work gloves & warm mittens/gloves

Swim suit



Sulfer – keeps chiggers out of your clothes


Stove with fuel & lighter

Newspapers for lighting a campfire

Firestarter sticks (wax/sawdust things from the grocery store)


Charcoal or wood & Grill for BBQ

Frying Pan – Nonstick w/plastic spatula is nice

Cooking skewers (for hot dogs, s’mores, etc.)

Pot or sauce pan – Big enough to cook noodles for all; With lid

Dutch Oven

Can opener – If you have canned goods

P-38 Can Opener (military type, small, flat and fits in wallet)



Coffee maker & filters

Pot lifter and/or pot holders


Stew Pot

Soup Ladel

Sandwich maker (type you put in fire)

Measuring cup

Cutting Board


Veggie Peeler



Plate – Partition tray/plate is nice

Collapsable camping/hiking cup

Alladin travel mug

Kitchen knife – Nice to have; in general, carry a pocket knife

Small mixing bowl

Knife, Fork, Spoon, Spatula

Small flat and phillips screwdrivers

Scrub Pad

Dish Pan

Tupperware (for leftovers)


Paper towels & napkins

Trash bags

Garbage disposal bags (stronger than regular trash bags)

Paper plates, cups, bowls, etc.

Plastic knives, forks, spoons

Ziplock Bags

Aluminum Foil

Dish soap


At least 1/2 gallon per person/day — Water filter if relying on natural water sources

Water bottle, to carry while hiking

Garden hose

Food & Drink

Pancake Mix – Krusteaze, 1/2 cup per person per day (need large skillet)

Cooking Oil – About 1 oz per person per day or Pam Spray

Syrup – About 2 oz per person per day

Butter – 1/2 stick per person per day

Malt-o-meal, or Cream of…{wheat, rice, …}

Oatmeal – Instant single serving packs

Potatoes – 1-2 per person per day — freeze dried if packing

Bacon – 2 slices per person per day

Eggs – 1-2 per person per day, fresh or powdered

Noodles – Spaghetti, Angel Hair, Ramen, or shells

Spaghetti Sauce – In jars or dehydrated

Parmesan cheese

Bouillon cubes – Chicken & Vegetable

Rice packages

Soup/Chili – mix or cans

Tuna – Don’t forget Mayo, pickles, and onions

Onions, lemons, mushrooms, Tomatoes

Bread – One or two loaves per day if camping with a small group

Dry condiments – Salt, Pepper, Spices, Sugar



Mayo – Small jar or squeeze bottle

Cheese – Cheddar, swiss, American

Fruit – Small fruit cups or fresh fruit

Veggies – carrot/celery sticks daily

Taco Stuff – (Meat, seasoning package, olives, lettuce, tortillas, buns)

Hamburger meat (pre seasoned and ready to cook)

Frozen hashbrowns in the bag

Cocoa, Coffee, & Teas (don’t forget SUGAR!)

Marshmallows, Graham Crackers & Hershey Bars (S’mores)

Peanut Butter & Jelly

Deli meat slices: Turkey, Ham, Salami

Hot dogs & buns

Milk, juice, soft drinks, Ice Tea, Lemon Ade, Kool-Aid

Vienna Sausages

Lil Smokies


Hamburgers & Buns



Corn on Cob


Nutri Grain Bars/Granola Bars

Fixin’s for stew (some of the items are above)


Jiffy Pop or Regular popcorn

Popcorn oil

Spray oil (like Pam)

Squeeze butter or margarine


Camping with Children

Current photos of the children in case they get lost


Swim Diapers




Jogging strollers

Backpack carriers

MANY sets of clothing

Extra pair(s) of shoes


Jar foods

Gerber toddler foods



Favorite blanket or stuffed toy(very important!)

Powdered milk(for children that have outgrown formula)



Baby Hammock

Baby Swing

kidsafe bugspray


Portapotty with grocery bag liner (easy cleanup)

Cosmetic Surgery For The Nipples

Inverted Nipples: One or both sides may be affected and to varying degrees. If the inversion of the nipple has been of recent onset, it is very important that a thorough investigation as to the possibility of breast cancer be pursued. Breast cancers can be associated with nipple inversion. Most cases, however, are essentially a simple nipple tissue abnormality that was actually present since birth but only first became noticeable during breast development and puberty. These are simply aesthetically objectionable. Mild cases often respond quite well to simple maneuvers performed during a breast enhancement (augmentation with implants) and are a welcomed “side benefit” to the procedure. More severe cases require some rather sophisticated and tiny incisions which are made in and around the nipple but usually with good success and minimum required in the way of a recovery. Most patients have these issues addressed while having a cosmetic breast procedure – such as a breast augmentation with implants, breast lift or breast reduction – in the operating room. Otherwise, it is quite realistic to have the nipple inversion correction performed alone as an office procedure (usually with local anesthesia and mild sedation).

Inadequate Nipple Length or Poor Projection of the Nipples: This can actually be due to a disproportion in sizes between the nipple and areola rather than a true nipple deficiency. The areola diameter may need to be decreased to make a better match. True length problems can be often be corrected with a minor surgical procedure similar to that used to correct inverted nipples as described above. Sometimes a long-lasting, injectable filler (such as we use for the face) can help in the improvement.

Overly Long or Large Nipples: Again, the possibility that this is actually due to a disproportion between the nipple and the areola sizes must be determined first. The areola diameter may need to be increased. Cosmetic tattooing is the simplest way to do this. In more severe cases of small to absent areola tissue, skin grafts of darker pigmented skin can be used. Otherwise, a surgical reduction in the actual length of the nipple is a very straightforward and relatively simple procedure which can be performed in an office setting. Puffy or overly “fat” nipples can also be thinned down a bit by a similar technique.

Overly Large Areola Diameter: Areola diameter reductions are often performed in coordination with a breast reduction or breast lift procedure in the operating room. We want the already excessively large areola to have good proportion to the newly lifted, compacted and re-shaped breast. Occasionally, an areola reduction will be performed alone. The new, smaller diameter is planned and the intervening ring of tissue is removed with the outer “circle” edge tightened in to fit. The scars tend to blend within the natural circle of the areola circumference. The human eye and brain are wired to expect to see this circle-like line which automatically makes it less likely that a scar mimicking this line will be visible.

Irregular Areola Border: The same techniques which are used to decrease the size of the areola are modified to create a smoother, more circle-like shape to the border of the areola. The scars generally hide within the natural circle that characterizes the areola margin.

Nipple is Off Center within the Areola: Usually fixed as part of a breast reduction or breast lift as this would be much harder to surgically fix otherwise. Cosmetic tattooing to balance the areola out is a good non-surgical option. Skin grafting is a much more aggressive alternative and rarely done for this particular problem.

Too Light, or Inadequate Areola Pigmentation: The best option for this, hands down, is cosmetic tattooing.

Nipple/Areola Complex Too High on the Breast: This is usually best treated by a breast enhancement with implants because in most situations the displacement is an optical illusion created by poor breast volume and awkward positioning of the tissue on the chest wall. True high displacement of the nipple/areola complex on the breast/chest is a tough problem otherwise – all existing techniques to move the complex lower will most likely result in an obvious scar on the upper pole of the breast/chest.

Nipple/Areola Complex Too Low on the Breast: This is a very common problem, often associated with large and/or drooping breasts. During a breast lift or a breast reduction, the complex is lifted to its proper position, resized proportionately and properly centered on the breast mounds. The nipple/areola complexes are placed so that they are in mirror image symmetry to the size, shape and position of the each other as much as possible. The scars hide within the circular edges of the areolas.

Nipple/Areola Complex Not Centered on the Breast: Many women have nipple/areola complexes which seem to be out toward the sides of the breasts. Bringing them inward so that the complexes are closer to the midline of each breast makes for a much more desirable look. Most effective solutions to this problem are as a part of a breast lift or breast reduction procedure as described above. More minor procedures which are modifications of some of the steps in a lift or a reduction can be performed for less severe cases or where the breasts are otherwise acceptable and not in any need of reshaping, resizing or lifting. When the complexes appear to be too close together (i.e. “cross eyed”) a well-done breast augmentation will often result in a more centered and more pleasing look to their positions.

Overly Prominent or Numerous, Highly Visible Bumps within the Areola: These are known as “Montgomery Glands” and although perfectly normal, they are sometimes aesthetically offensive if too prominent or too numerous; they are very edgy, irregular and “bumpy”. Simple excision works well – they do not typically recur.

Prominent Nipple/Areola Complex Hair Growth: Electrolysis is probably a better choice for this than would be laser hair removal. There are usually only a few hairs to treat and electrolysis is usually less expensive, more reliable and more definitive. Depigmentation – the loss of the darker areola color which it is supposed to have as compared to the surrounding skin – is always a risk with almost any procedure. But depigmentation is a well-known side effect of lasers. Lasers used on or near the pigmented areola can result in permanent, spotty depigmentation – very undesirable!

Pale, Depigmented Scars in the Areola: These can occur from previous trauma, procedures, surgery or lasers. The depigmented scar in the areola is unfortunately a very common occurrence in women who have had breast augmentation with implants placed via the areola incision approach. The best option is usually cosmetic tattooing.

Extra Nipple/Areola Complexes: Some patients have what might appear to be small moles on the chest or abdomen – but these may actually be extra nipple/areola complexes! These are also known as “accessory” or “supernumerary” nipples. Small, extra complexes can occur anywhere along the so-called “milk-line” which extends from the armpit through the center of the breast and down to the groin crease. A bump or lump underneath could also represent a small amount of breast tissue as well. It is generally agreed upon that it is important that these extra collections of breast related tissues be removed because of risks for malignant changes. Simple excision of these extra nipples is usually all that is required.

Post-Mastectomy Nipple/Areola Reconstruction: This is somewhat beyond the scope of this article, but certainly there are cosmetic issues involved in this very important aspect of breast reconstruction following any breast cancer treatment involving a mastectomy. Typically, nipple/areola reconstruction is not definitively planned and performed until all other aspects of the reconstruction of the breast are deemed complete and stable. Combinations of some of the techniques as described above – such as skin grafting, minor surgical procedures and tattooing – are all commonly employed.

How to Recognize a Sign From God

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” Ana├»s Nin

Recently I was asked by Soul Kisses TV for my input on this question:

“I always wonder how people interpret signs from God. How do you know? It’s a hard thing to describe. What do you think?” -Cocoa Popps, NYC

As Iyanla Vanzant said at the recent Hay House conference “It all begins in the mind.” How people interpret signs from God, a look from a stranger or even street signs on any given street, begins in each and every individual’s own mind. Therefore, before we can look at how we may interpret signs from God, we have to look at ourselves more closely.

These core beliefs that create the way we see the world are learned from our families, culture and personal experience. The key here is that they are learned and can be unlearned when they don’t serve our highest and most fabulous good.

Ask yourself: How do I see the world? What do I believe about life? Do I believe in love? Do I believe that it’s supposed to hurt? What defines success for me? What is my belief and relationship to God? The way we define anything has an impact on how we define everything. Our beliefs color our lens and our thoughts, feelings, reactions and experience will become self-fulfilling prophecies.

Do you think that you exist in a fundamentally benevolent world? Or do you believe deep in your heart that it’s a cruel, dog-eat-dog existence? Is your version of God loving and kind? Or punishing?

What we believe…is inevitably what we perceive. This will affect how we define, experience and react what we may call signs from God. For example if the world is a frightening place were there is not enough for everyone a pink slip from a job can seem to be the end of the world. It can make someone wonder/believe they if they were betrayed by a co-worker, an employer, or even God.

Another person, trusting in the Universe’s benevolence might be surprised at first, even worried and then decide that its God’s way of saying, “Your time here is done. Take some time off and explore options that may make you happier.”

If your worldview includes that the world will end in 2012, every earthquake, all political unrest and each piece of disturbing nightly news feeds into your belief as “signs” that the world is ending. If you believe that God is kind and this Universe is benevolent you may very well notice greater kindness in the Universe, more people meditating, an overall increased spiritual awareness in the world that may be signs to you that our Earthly existence is going thru a consciousness shift rather than a “physical end.”

For example, I believe that I am a child of God and that the Universe is conspiring towards my outrageous success! So when it’s time for me to leave a situation, or someone calls me with an opportunity, I see it as a sign and explore it! It doesn’t mean that its not scary but I trust the Universe and while it may not look exactly the way I thought it would…my signs lead me to greater peace and joy.

How to receive and understand a sign from God:

1. Breathe deeply: Take several deep breaths. Allow yourself to truly breathe. So often we do not let ourselves breathe deeply because we fear feeling our feelings.

2. Feel however you feel: Allow yourself in this moment to just feel however you feel as you breathe deeply.

3. Allow yourself to be present: Close your eyes. Gently allow yourself to be present and release attachments to the past and worries of the future. Bring your full attention into the present moment.

4. Pray: One of my favorite prayers, “Dear God/Goddess/Ganesha/Great Spirit: help me to believe the truth about myself – no matter how beautiful it is!”- M. Wiederehr

5. Ask for answers: Most religions and spiritual paths express the idea, “Ask & you shall receive.” One possible prayer to ask for guidance: “Dear God/Goddess/Great Spirit: please help me see, know, understand, and act on your signs as inspiration for my highest good.”

6. Trust: Know that as you quiet your mind, connect to yourself and open to your divine connection, that the prayers and asking has reached its sacred mark.

7. Pay attention: Watch, listen, breathe and allow yourself to be still. Is what you are sensing as a sign of God bringing you to greater peace? Is it filling you with hope? Is it unsettling in the moment because it asks that you release or let go of something that you want to hold on to? Imagine that you are brave enough to go through the changes… do you see the light at the end of the tunnel? Remember that in order to bring in what you are wanting, whether true love, great friends, new clothes or a successful career…we must be ready to let go of what no longer serves us. Not because it is “bad,” simply because it has served you as well as it could and now as you are evolving, as well as the relationships, jobs and experiences that you are having.

8. Be open: Signs from the Divine come in emails, a stranger on the bus, random occurrences that are really synchronistic answers to your prayers, a dream, a commercial, a song on the elevator, Oprah, a chance meeting, an unseen break-up, your mom’s advice, your best friend’s jokes, re-runs, an inner feeling or sense, knowing things without knowing how you “know.” Basically, we are in communication with God…all the time, whether we are open or not. When we are open we feel supported and connected to something greater. When we are closed, we feel disconnected, lost and sometimes abandoned.

Remember: if you don’t like the way things feel in your world…you can always change your mind!

What’s the Difference Between Omelette and Scrambled Egg?

Eggs can be considered as a healthy and a tasty food that can be used to prepare many delicious meals. Out of the tasty food that can be made from eggs, omelettes and scrambled eggs are two popular food types that can be found in every corner of the world. Even though omelettes and scrambled eggs look the same, there are a few differences between them.

Scrambled eggs are basically the eggs that are stirred when cooked. But the omelets have some other ingredients included in it. That is the most important difference between an omelette and the egg. Even though the cooking procedure of scrambled eggs are easier than cooking an omelette, some amateur people in cooking end up in scrambled eggs when they try to prepare an omelette. Omelettes have some other food ingredients included to make it tasty. They are often flipped like a pancake to give more color. Scrambled eggs are just lose and an omelette is where all the eggs get together along with your favorite toppings.

The cooking process of omelettes and scrambled eggs slightly differ from each other. Normally people use egg beaters when preparing omelettes. Those beaters help a lot to avoid beating the eggs into oblivion. Water is added during the cooking process to add more fluffiness and the heat is supplied genuinely for a better cooking. One or two eggs are added to the plate along with medium heat and the other eggs are added to the center after a sometime. The other ingredients which are also called as topping are added when the eggs are in their liquid state. Then they will fit into the eggs and the consumer will get the opportunity to eat it with less hassle. Once the liquid form is gone, the omelette is folded while keeping it on the plate. Then the omelette is slid on the plate and it is heated until it gets the brownish color.

When it comes to scrambled eggs, the process is bit different. After beating all the eggs, a bit of whole milk or cream is added to make it more tasty. Some essential ingredients including salt are also added using a fork. Then the mixture is poured into a heated pan having some butter or oil in it. Then it is heated until it gets the brownish color under a gentle heat.

As you can see, the cooking process of egg is easier than the cooking process of omelettes. These cooking methods will slightly differ from country to country. Scramble eggs can be considered as a quick food because it takes only a few minutes. But for the people who need more tasty food with some toppings, omelettes are great. Eggs do not have the tasty things inside them like pepper, ham and other goodies. But for the omelette you can add whatever you want and make a delicious food.

Master Cleanse Recipe – Using Cup Measurements

Master Cleanse or Lemon Juice Diet Recipe

3/4 C or 12 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

3/4 C or 12 Tbsp. Grade B Maple Syrup

7 1/2 C or 60 oz. Filtered Water

Mix all ingredients together. Use 32 oz empty glass juice bottle or plastic water bottle for storage and swigging. Makes 6 servings. 6 servings= 1 day’s worth of Master Cleanse.

* Use freshly squeezed lemon juice.

* Maple Syrup must be Grade B.

* Water must be purified.

* Organic if possible. (Optional)

* Can use lemon pulp -not in the original recipe, but I find it is more cost effective, and does not alter results.

Single Serving Master Cleanse

2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup

1/10 tsp. Cayenne Pepper Powder

1 1/4 C or 10 oz. Filtered Water

Take Single Serving Recipe 6 times a day to equal a whole day’s worth of Master Cleanse.

Salt Water Flush

4 C or 32 oz purified water

2 Tbsp. Non-Iodized Sea Salt

Mix all ingredients together and warm on the stove until salt dissolves. Drink all 32 oz. of salt water.

The salt water acts as an enema and causes immediate release. If nothing happens, do the salt water flush again adding more salt.

The salt water is supposed to trick the mind into thinking that it is blood and therefore is not absorbed by the body. Do this in the morning, but leave the whole day free for this experiment.

Herbal Detox Tea

Can be purchased at any drugstore or online vitamin store. It is recommended to take the detox tea nightly and do the salt water flush in the morning (but I prefer to skip the detox tea because I find it unnecessary.)

Pros and Cons of the Master Cleanse

Pros: Will lose weight quickly, but may gain weight back once eating solid foods. May be better than current diet. If you thrive on structure and few food options, it can get you focused on eating healthy and lifestyle change. Can help rid your body of toxins and other ailments.

Cons: May feel irritable and light headed the first few days. Can be Expensive. May need an electric Lemon Juicer because manually juicing lemons gets tiresome. Detox Tea can cause diarrhea and painful cramps with no elimination. Salt Water Flush may have no elimination. If no elimination occurs, the salt water can be absorbed by the body leaving one bloated and physically swollen. Bad breathe. Should not be used by people with who are pregnant or nursing. May effect medication. I also find that those who are already pretty healthy or vegetarian do not benefit from the Master Cleanse as much as people who are heavy meat eaters or those who eat a lot of junk foods.

Note: I find that doing the detox tea and salt water flush is a bit much for most people to handle. Side effects can be painful cramps or bloating. I would only recommend doing the salt water flush and not the detox tea for no more than once a day for a maximum of 1-2 days. (This is from personal experience, and not part of the original master cleanse instructions.)

Brief History of Home Appliances and the Everyday Life

Industrialization dramatically and unevenly transformed world society, altering technological patterns and work processes of preindustrial ways of life. This socio-technological revolution changed how households dealt with food provision, clothing, cleaning and medical care. In a word, it affected the basic elements of human reproduction.

With the development of mass production at the turn of the twentieth century, many traditionally male tasks were abandoned, and others were left most in the hands of women and servants. Corporate industry began providing goods and services that households had previously self-produced. As the process of modern urbanization took place, many households started to purchase foodstuffs from grocery stores, health care from physicians and ready-made clothing from department stores.

At the same time municipalities developed a water system. Hence, homes were finally equipped with running water, water heaters and indoor bathrooms. Moreover, electricity substituted kerosene lamps, whilst other electric appliances were slowly appearing on the market (e.g. electric fans, sewing machines, washing machines, and vacuum cleaners). Telephone and automobiles were also appearing in a small number of families.

These developments consolidated and further expanded during the post-war economic growth. Indeed, after World War II, household technologies dramatically spread through all the social layers. The assembly-line production of home appliances was balanced by an increasing consumerist culture and people’s adequate purchasing power. It was the era of mass consumption of refrigerators, electric dishwashers, radio, TV and many other durable goods.

Finally, as of the 1970s, the technological evolution brought the use of computers and micro-chips. This determined the massive and fast expansion of consumer electronics. At the turn of the Twenty first century, new products such as microwave ovens, compact-disc players, Mp3 players and personal computers, keep altering household everyday life. More importantly, the attention of producers is increasingly focused on the environmental impact of new technology. Indeed, the new frontier of technology should be capable to progressively address its consequent effects on human reproduction in relation to the biosphere.

The 4 Most Common Welding Processes Today

There are more welding processes out there then I have fingers and toes! Let’s face it, if you pick up the classifieds, and look for welding jobs, there are going to be four types of welders that are in demand! That is the reason these four welding processes are the most commonly used:

  1. Stick welding
  2. MIG welding
  3. TIG welding
  4. Flux Cored Arc Welding

Stick welding is one of the oldest welding processes used today. It is a very practical when it comes to being able to weld on the job site, in a shop, or even at home. The most common metals Stick welded are steel and stainless steel. Even though Stick welding is capable of welding many other metals these are the ones time has proven to be the most practical.

MIG welding is what is considered a semi-automatic welding process. Its main appeal is fast production and ease of use. MIG welding is typically used in factories, fabrication shops, and automotive manufacturing. The equipment can be complicated to set-up, but once things are in place, it is a breeze to operate. The most commonly MIG welded metals are steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.

TIG welding is known for the weld quality it produces. It is also the most difficult process to operate and requires a lot of skill. The main attraction of TIG welding is it can weld any known metal. More commonly this welding process is used in places that require extremely high quality welds or on exotic metals like titanium.

Flux cored arc welding it is not really another welding process. This process is nothing more than a different filler metal or wire used in a MIG welding machine. It is the fastest of the most common welding processes used today. For that reason it is typically used anyplace that needs massive amounts of welds like in shipyards. The metal that it welds best is steel. There are current developments for other alloys and metals but steel is the most widely welded metal with this process.

Crossfit Vs Turbulence Training

Everyone wants to know: what is the difference between Crossfit and Turbulence Training? Well, lets take a look at some pros and cons:



  • Provides you with free, intense workouts that help you lose fat, gain strength, and boost your athletic abilities.
  • Recommends sound nutritional guidelines
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) provides a great tutorial for beginners trying to get into Crossfit
  • Crossfit Forum is free, and is relatively beginner-friendly
  • Promotes the use of Free Weights and Bodyweight Training as opposed to Machines
  • Provides detailed instructions for each movement they use
  • Credited for workouts that helped transform the “300” crew
  • Best training programs for professional athletes and military personel
  • Crossfit Journal costs only $25 per year


  • Too advanced for average individuals and complete beginners
  • Potential for injury is too great
  • Recommended frequency for workouts is too high
  • Not the best program to increase lean muscle mass
  • Not recommended for obese or overweight individuals
  • There is no clear-cut answer to the development of the articles
  • Too random – workout schedule makes no sense
  • Former Crossfit trainers complain of “cult” mentality
  • Founder of Crossfit is extremely out of shape
  • Crossfit trainers are expensive

Sample Workout:

For time:

  • 225 pound Deadlift, 15 reps
  • 50 Pull-ups
  • 225 pound Deadift, 12 reps
  • 40 Pull-ups
  • 225 pound Deadlift, 9 reps
  • 30 Pull-ups
  • 225 pound Deadlift, 6 reps
  • 20 Pull-ups
  • 225 pound Deadlift, 3 reps
  • 10 Pull-ups

Turbulence Training


  • Perfect training program for men and women of ages 14 to 75.
  • Able to get individuals who are even 300+ pounds into great shape
  • Very clear cut, simple approach to training
  • Uses minimal equipment. Most workouts only require your bodyweight.
  • Full support from Trainer Craig Ballantyne via Members Forum
  • Craig Ballantyne is in great shape
  • Minimal Risk of injury
  • Does not promote steady state cardio
  • Does not recommend machines
  • Extremely safe method of training with controlled intensity
  • Recommends the use of Free Weights and Bodyweight Training
  • Saves you money on trainers
  • Saves you money on gym membership
  • Saves you money on training equipment at home


  • You have to pay for it.

Sample Workout:

1A) DB Bulgarian Split Squat – 8 reps per side

No rest.

1B) Spiderman Pushup or Pushup – 10 reps per side or 15 reps

Rest 1 minute & repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 supersets.

Superset #2

2A) Inverted Row or Beginner Inverted Row – 12 reps

No rest.

2B) 1-Leg Deadlift – 12 reps

Rest 1 minute & repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 supersets.

Triset #3

3A) Stability Ball Rollout – 10 reps

No rest.

3B) Cross-Body Mountain Climber – 10 reps per side

No rest.

3C) Side Plank – 30 second hold per side

Rest 1 minute & repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 trisets.

Final Verdict

I like to use some Crossfit workouts in my regular training, although at a much lower intensity level. In the forums and material presented on their website, they do not give you any guidelines to use when scaling the workouts to meet your intensity level.

The biggest mistake you can make is to perform the Crossfit workouts as is. You will need to modify them slightly based on equipment you have access to, training level, and level of mental strength.

The Turbulence Training workouts on the other hand, can be taken as is. There is no guesswork. All the information is provided to you. If you need to make them harder, simply add another set, more reps, or add weight.

Craig Ballantyne also shows you how to make a workout more easier. Turbulence Training was developed with the average individual in mind. Crossfit was developed with the athlete in mind.

It’s up to you to make your decision. But, I recommend Turbulence Training for the average individual.

Chinese Restaurant Business Plans – Why You Need One

When you start a business you have to know what you are getting yourself into. The restaurant business can throw many surprises at new owners so you must do your research and know exactly what to expect. Many owners of Chinese restaurants that failed within the first year will blame their failure on a lack of planning. If you spend some time researching and writing a business plan for your Chinese restaurant then you will be more likely to see your business succeed.

There are many reasons why it makes sense to prepare a business plan prior to opening a restaurant. Some benefits will seem obvious to you at first but others may not yet have occurred to you.

In the following article we highlight some of the reasons why you need to put together a restaurant business plan before you take the plunge and open up the dim sum or Beijing cuisine restaurant that you have been dreaming about.

Avoid Mistakes

When you start a restaurant you will have to make a lot of different decisions. Some of these decisions can be difficult or expensive to reverse at a late date so you must be sure that you make the correct choices the first time around. By doing the right kind of research and planning you will be able to make informed decisions instead of just guessing.

Imagine opening a Chinese restaurant and then discovering that there are too many located nearby or that there is a trend towards European style cuisine over Asian food among households in your area. In some cases you would have to correct a poorly informed decision by totally re-branding your business and paying for new interior decorating, a new logo, new menus and much more. Your business plan should let you know the right path to follow at the right time.

Clarify Thoughts and Ideas

By writing a business plan you will be able to turn your loose ideas into something more concrete. As you research and write you will allow some of your ideas to evolve and you may come up with new ideas altogether. You may even decide that the ideas that you had originally are not viable at all and look at a totally different business model or industry.

Prove the Viability of Your Proposal

While a business plan is essential for proving the viability of the proposed business to yourself as the future owner, you may have to provide proof to other parties as well. Lenders will want to know more about your business before you can borrow funds from them. Equity investors will want to know what kind of return they will be getting on their investment before they invest. You may even find that a business plan can come in handy when it comes to negotiating a lease with the owner of a commercial space that you would like to rent.

Identify Difficulties and Challenges

It is easy to dream about the Chinese restaurant that you would love to set up and how glamorous it must be to own a restaurant. However, you may be viewing the prospect of being a restaurant owner through rose tinted glasses without imagining the difficulties that go along with it. Some business plan formats encourage you to perform a SWOT analysis. In such an analysis you look at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. By asking the right questions you will come to learn about the weaknesses of your business model and how you can strengthen them. You will also be challenged to analyze some of the threats that could affect your restaurant and to come up with contingency plans to deal with them.

Assess Startup Requirements

It is important to understand that launching a new Chinese restaurant is a process and a business plan can help you to manage this process. You must have a clear idea of what you need and a schedule so that you can proceed to set up an operational restaurant in an organized manner. There are many things that have to happen in a logical order before you can open your doors to diners. To fully understand each step you will need to know your startup costs, where the funding will come from, how you will acquire equipment, when you will hire staff and much more. There will also be actions that you have to take to comply with local rules and regulations relating to restaurant owners.

Understand Exactly What You Want

You need to know exactly what you want before you can map out a path to get there. Your Chinese restaurant business plan will help you to set some realistic goals and targets. Goals could be related to monthly gross or net profits, restaurant capacity levels or customer satisfaction for example. Once you have set some reasonable goals you can then look at putting systems in place to achieve them.

Make Your Chinese Restaurant Marketable to Potential Buyers

There comes a point in most restaurant owner’s lives when they decide to sell their restaurant. When this day comes you can be sure that prospective buyers will want to examine a huge amount of information about the business before they decide to make an offer. If you have an up to date business plan it could make it easier to supply most of the information that a buyer would need. If your plan does a good job at explaining the present situation in the restaurant and outlines a way forward to further growth then it could become an invaluable resource for you, and the new owner.