5 Window Treatment Ideas To Improve Your Home

Coming up with interesting window treatment ideas that

bring out the best in your windows as they bring in the

sunshine, is a challenge to anyone with a yen to decorate.

There are tons of non-traditional options and tips to make

the most of what you have, and give your windows that

million dollar look on a mostly discount budget.

How about recycling old items? If you inherited lace

tablecloths that are no longer fresh and white, you can

still get a lot of mileage and an interesting antique

window treatment, by using a sewing machine to turn the

tablecloths into window curtain panels. You might even

have some old lace curtains on hand, that need to be

brightened, but the bleaches have failed you.

Accept their “age” and build on it, by staining them with

tea for a totally antique look. Simply take a bucket and

use half hot water and half boiling water, to “steep” 30

black tea bags. When the water is dark, add your curtains

and stir the mixture. Then let them sit for 30 hours, with

the occasional stir to keep the color evenly distributed.

Remove the curtains, squeeze out the liquid, and hang them

to dry.

Window treatment ideas aren’t always about curtains. The

once popular wooden window blinds are making a comeback

with people who prefer the warm, natural tones of wood to

go with a wide variety of décors. Antique folding window

covers can be had for a song at garage and auction sales,

then refinished, and if you are artistic at all, decorated

with tole paintings.

Little touches can add a lot to plain curtains. If you

have a set of long, lined drapes and would like to liven

them up, place small hooks or other mountings above where

the rod is held, and top your curtains with silk flower

garlands, or just silk greenery. There’s no more fuss to

cleaning these, than there is to washing a swag or valance.

Just put a little soft dish soap in a tub of water, swish

the silk garland around, rinse and hang to dry.

Your window treatment ideas are limited only by your

imagination, and the time you have to spend decorating.

Some of the most interesting and attractive looks are born

from using leftovers, cast-offs and your own ingenuity.

Eye of the Storm – Effectively Preparing for Hurricane Season

Early preparation, according to the National Hurricane Survival Initiative, is the key to facing hurricane season. By starting early, residents avoid the rush at home supply stores, grocery stores and other venues that typically get crowded and sometimes chaotic when hurricane watches and warnings are issued. The Initiative is comprised of organizations and businesses including the National Hurricane Center, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), The Salvation Army, and AT&T, to name a few.

To date, the National Hurricane Survival Initiative has generated more than 370 million media impressions overall, with media coverage in newspapers, radio and television nationwide, including CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, New York Times, Orlando Sentinel, and the Palm Beach Post, among otheres.

Three conditions need to be in existence for the formation of a hurricane: pre-existing disturbance of thunderstorms, warm ocean temperatures up to 80 degrees to a depth of approximately 150 feet, and light upper level winds that speed throughout the depth of the atmosphere. Even with today’s sophisticated computer-forecasting models, a hurricane’s path, strength and potential for damage can not be precisely predicted. That is why preparing for the worst possible situation is a smart move.

In preparing for a hurricane or disaster, families should identify ahead of time where they will go if they need to evacuate. Choose a home of a friend of family member show home is well away from coastal areas. Other options include a motel or approved hurricane shelter. Following a disaster, it’s often easier to call long distance. Consider asking an out-of-state friend to be the “family contact” – someone everyone in the family knows to call to tell him or her where they are. Locate important papers and documents and have them ready to take with you should you need to evacuate. These include driver’s license, Social Security cards, proof of residence, insurance policies, wills, birth and marriage certificates, and tax records. Exterior and interior photos of your home should also be included.

A hurricane plan must also include the things you have to protect and secure your home against during the storm. Do everything you can to minimize the danger to your family and damage to your house.

Outside of house:

Keep trees and shrubs trimmed

Remove loose branches

Clean out gutters and downspouts

Clear the lawn of furniture, potted plants, and any other items that can become windborne.

Secure windows and glass doors by using shutters or installing plywood

Brace garage doors

Leave swimming pools filled and add extra chlorine

Secure trailed boats

Fill vehicle fuel tanks

Inside house:

Locate water valves, gas valves, and main electric breaker. Have instructions on how to turn of electricity, gas and water if authorities advise to do so.

Unplug all but essential appliances and electric equipment.

Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest setting

Secure and waterproof your home office. Back up computer files on disks.

Stay indoors, away from windows.

Locate a safe room in the center of your home, without windows, such as a bathroom or closet.

There are six basics you should stock for your home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items. It’s important to have certain items on hand to make you and your family as safe and comfortable as possible in your home or when you evacuate:

Important papers, in waterproof container

Water – figure on at least one gallon daily per person for five days

Ice

Water purification tablets (halazone)

Food – non-perishable foods that do not need cooking such as canned meat and fish, canned fruits and vegetables, canned soups and puddings, dried fruits, cereal, bread, and instant tea or coffee, to name a few

Special food for pets, babies or the elderly

First Aid Kit

Radio and extra batteries

Toiletries

Useful tools such as hammer and nails, screwdrivers and screws, all-purpose cleaner, shovel, duct tape, ladder, and portable generator, to name a few.

Other hurricane and earthquake preparation sites recommend safety knives as part of self-rescue kits because of their small size, long shelf life, and multiuse capabilities. Many rescue personnel after Hurricane Katrina carried safety knives for quick-access cutting ability without having an exposed blade at all times. This cost-effective item can be replaced cheaply, lessening incidences of contamination. Forward-thinking companies are planning ahead for disaster operations and ordering supplies of utility knives to issue on demand along with flashlights and other items.

Here are a few things NOT to do in preparation for, or during a storm:

Don’t put masking tape on windows – it won’t keep the windows from shattering

Don’t crack a window – this will not equalize pressure atmospheric pressure inside/outside the house

Don’t buy a chainsaw – Sleep deprived and distraught, after the storm is not the best time to use a dangerous power tool.

Don’t buy candles With roads out and the fire department grounded, do you really need a house on fire? Invest in battery-powered sources of lights and a battery-powered radio.

Pros and Cons of Cap 40 Pound Dumbbells With Carrying Case

Dumbbells are found anywhere in the market. One of the most common brands is the CAP 40 pound dumbbells with carrying case. But before you buy this product, you should first read the customer reviews. This way you will get an idea of how well the 40-pound dumbbells are working. When you are packed with information, you can better weigh the pros and cons of the dumbbells and get the best value for you money.

Pros

The CAP barbell and the 40 pound dumbbell set with carrying case come in very reasonable price. For only around $40 to $50, you already get a solid cast iron plate. At this price, you get the complete package which includes two standard dumbbell handles, four star lock collars, four 5 lb dumbbell plates, four 2.5 pound dumbbell plates, and a plastic carry case. Since the prices vary from one store to another, it is still wise to make a comparison before buying them. Black finish is also available if you want a more elegant look for your home fitness equipment.

The CAP dumbbell sets come in adjustable sets. Thus, you do not have to buy new weights whenever you progress with your training. The equipments can be adjusted up to 20 lbs per dumbbell.

One advantage of the CAP dumbbells is the portability. Because it comes with a carrying case, you can bring it anywhere you go. Just store the plates in the case to keep them secure while you are on the road.

Cons

The carrying case of CAP dumbbells is only made of plastic. Thus, do not expect that they can withstand the test of time. Many of the customers’ feedbacks are about the poor quality of the carrying case. If you are not a constant traveler, you may just want to keep the case and only use it when necessary.

Although the product is an adjustable type, it may take more time to adjust the plates. First you need to unscrew the lock, fit in your desired dumbbell plates and screw the lock again. If you compare this mechanism with SelectTech, it only requires few clicks and the sets are ready to use. If time is of extreme importance to you, the Cap adjustable dumbbell may not be the best choice for you. But for many who are willing to endure the tedious task for a lesser pay, the product is a good investment.

The product labels of the Cap dumbbells say that they come in 40 pound weights and the lightest is 10 pounds. But some customers say that these weights are inaccurate. Usually, they weigh less than the actual weight. For instance, the 10 pound dumbbell is only approximately 8 pounds. If you are training for a professional competition and you are very particular with this, you may consider other products. But again, if this is only for home use, the slight difference is still acceptable.

Balance Transfer For Credit Card Debt Consolidation

Balance transfer is one of the options that many people would consider when they are flooded with mounting credit card debts in their hands. It could have another hidden on the shoulder if it is overlooked or not scrutinized thoroughly beforehand. There are things to consider such as higher rates than before, balance transfer fees, and expensive rates for initial purchase. Also contrary to what they originally offered, lenders tend to offer a higher rate product when the final decisions are made at the end. Such a changing situation will get the customers frustrated and make them give up in a desperate mind.

But with all those gray area of ​​aspects, balance transfer could be helpful when you need to get out of credit card debt if used correctly. The most important key point is that you would need to focus on using the low rate in order to help yourself pay off the balance, and no more. For the rest of case, you do not want to use it as an excuse to continue carrying out your debt no matter what the situation is. Your main goal is to pay off your balance as much as possible before the low rate comes near to expiration. For example, with $ 3,000 balance at zero percent interest, you will need to make a monthly payment of at least $ 485 to pay off the balance in six months which offers typically last. At 4.99%, you can boost your payments to $ 490.

In addition to it, here are some precautions you would want to take:

Consider alternatives

If you think you can not pay off your balance prior to the introductory rate expiration, you might need to consider shopping around for a card with lower and fixed rate. Even if you can not guarantee the fixed rate, at least you know that the other card will have rate increase. Also you will not know where you will be able to get another great balance transfer offer when it is available.

Mark down a good rate when you see one

If your credit score is about 720 and more, then you have a good chance of getting qualified for the rates under 10%. If it is mid range – about 650 – then you still have fair chance of getting pretty good deal, although the introductory rate may be lower. Check out your credit score and know what your situation is.

Watch the fine print

When you receive the new credit card, find out exactly how long the rate will last and when it will expire with current low rate. Also mark the date on your calendar as soon as the cards are in your hands, otherwise you will forget. Try to avoid any offers that only apply for a few months and the rest will be upon lenders own discretion. Or any lenders who reserve the right to send you a higher rate rate card if you are not qualified for the low rate offer initially. They tend to give you much higher rate after all those initial sweet deal offer.

Know the fees

If the new credit card company charges a fee for the balance transfer as part of your debt consolidation strategy, make sure you will be able to save enough during the low rate period to offset the additional charge incurred. Otherwise there is no point of doing this balance transfer after all.

Keep another card for purchases

With the new low interest card, you can have power of purchasing and transfer, but remember that any balances you owe will start accruing interest at much higher rate, when the introductory rates expire which will happen ever. So it would be better to have a separate credit card for any new purchases, and keep paying off those balances in full every month.

If you are considering a credit card debt consolidation , then a balance transfer may be an option for you. It can help you lower your interest rate on the card and move out of imminent debt situation if used well.

Planning For Lighting

Have you visited a shopping-center lighting store lately? Sure your eyes had probably enjoyed so much the hundreds of varying designs of lighting fixtures ranging from chandeliers, wall lamps, table lamps, floor lamps and so much more. Was it like being lost in a lighting jungle? If you were there to find a lighting fixture for your decorating project, did you have any idea how to find that perfect fixture for your specific decorating plan? Probably you were as lost as a kid in a jungle of goodies. You did not know where to start or what to choose.

How do interior designers come up with the perfect lighting fixtures for their decorating projects? They follow three basic guidelines which include function, mood and harmony.

Function: There are areas in a room that require lighting so that people will be able to perform their tasks seamlessly. Examples of these tasks are reading a book, writing a letter or playing cards. This type of lighting is called "task lighting". Also, you need to install enough lighting in order to illuminate the area so that people will not trip over furniture. This type of lighting is called "ambient lighting". This is the overall lighting that floods the entire room. These two types of lighting, the task lighting and ambient lighting are both functional in nature.

Mood: Installing correct lighting can influence the mood of a room in many different ways. First, the general lighting of a room can project different moods. A room which is bright lit expresses a positive and upbeat move. On the other hand, a room which is darkly lit projects a more intimate and romantic ambiance. Second, by properly selecting the lighting fixtures, one can express a mood. Today, there are many kinds of lighting fixture designs that are suitable to different historical periods. Also readily available are lighting fixtures that express traditional and contemporary moods. Many come in very ornate designs, others in simple straight lines. As with any other components of a room like furniture, rugs, draperies and window treatments, lighting fixtures should be suitable in mood and style with the rest of the décor. Third, specific parts of a room can have accent lighting without any functional purpose at all. It provides only the added dramatic touch needed to heighten the mood. This type of lighting is called "mood lighting".

Harmony: To produce an interesting cohesive effect, the various lighting elements in a room must work together in harmony. Most lighting schemes done by amateur designers fail because these do not offer variety. Harmony does not mean monotony and some designers in order to achieve harmony opted to have no variety in their choice of lighting fixtures. To avoid monotony, good designers use different types of lighting fixtures for various tasks. Lighting should flow in varying directions. Some might have upward projection, others in downward projection and still others should project in all directions. Positioning the lighting fixtures at various heights will also add variety. Even creating different levels of illumination in various areas of a room can produce variety. Some areas can have bright light others could be less bright and subdued. Although, there is variety in the lighting scheme, this does not mean a mishmash of lighting fixtures. All must still work in harmony with one another.

Plan A Holiday Party In 10 Steps

Holiday parties can be major events, requiring plenty of planning during this busy time of year. Be sure you plan far enough ahead so that everyone can work your party into their holiday schedule. Here is a helpful guide for planning your party.

Step One

Set the date. Try to plan your party several weeks before Christmas before travel plans and other holiday activities fill everyone’s calendars. Perhaps ask some friends when a good date for them would be to ensure that your favorite people can attend.

Step Two

Come up with party ideas and decide which ideas you would like to follow. Decide whether you want a large gathering with catered food, a small get together with friends, or maybe a mix of both. You can easily find holiday party ideas online or in holiday magazines to get ideas. You could try a dressy cocktail party, a black and white themed party, a caroling party, a soup party, or a tree trimming party. Determine your budget before you make any final decisions.

Step Three

Write a guest list. Invite some close friends for a sit-down dinner, or as many people as your house will hold for a jovial get-together with small snack, mini-meals, and drinks. Remember that not everyone you

invite will be able to come. Those who can attend may come and leave at different times, leaving your house more room for guests.

Step Four

Decide on a menu. If you are hiring a Utah holiday caterer, consult with the caterer as soon as possible and plan the menu. Be sure to include healthy foods too. If you are serving alcohol, have non-alcoholic drinks also available for those that don’t drink. Be sure you have a good estimate of the guest list and you stay within your budget. Consider using the caterer for other items as well, such as the decorations, linens, and flatware.

Step Five

Send out the invitations. Invitations should go out as early in December as possible so that your guests can RSVP. Be sure to include the meal time or arrival time, possible activities, if they can bring food, and appropriate dress.

Step Six

Decorate. Depending on the party, you can use traditional decorations with centerpieces, or use themed party decorations. If you need help with the decorations, plan a mini party with the girlfriends to make some decorations, or a shopping trip to your local store, or perhaps even borrow some decorations from close friends. It’s always a good idea to have a holiday tree, snowflakes, and candles. (Be sure to thoroughly clean your house before you fully decorate.)

Step Seven

Buy all the party items. Buy the food, beverages, paper goods, and decorations you will need for the party.

Step Eight

If necessary make the food and chill the beverages, or set up a time with the caterer, set the tables or make the arrangements on the serving table.

Step Nine

Just before the guests arrive, turn on the holiday tunes and set out the food and drinks. Leave the entryway open for the guests to come in! Perhaps have hot cider or hot chocolate ready to warm your guests from the cold outside.

Step Ten

Mingle and have fun!

What Tools Do You Need for Metal Detecting?

When you go out searching for treasure with your metal detector, you need more than just your detector to really be comfortable and successful in finding targets. Here's a list of some other metal detecting tools that you'll find useful:

Headphones: these are essential if you do not want to miss some of the very slow signals that your machine will emit. If you're searching in a very noisy area such as a beach then it's also imperative to have some headphones.

Pinpointer: this is like a tiny version of your metal detector. It's a tool that can be used to locate your targets when you are actually digging a hole. Sometimes you're not sure if the targeted item is to the side of the hole, in the dirt pile around the hole or at the bottom. A pinpointer will save you time and energy by telling you exactly where it is.

Digging Tools: you can use any old garden trowel for digging, although there are specialized metal detecting trowels available. It's essential that you have something to dig with. However, you do not always have to excavate a hole the size of the Big Hole in Kimberley to get your target. You should always aim to have minimal impact and many smaller targets can be attained by using a probe, or a slim long piece of metal such as a screwdriver. A long sharp knife to cut through the soil is also very useful. Another good idea is to have a digging cloth that you can dump soil from your hole onto. A dark colored cloth is a good backdrop to allow you to more easily spot gold or silver items. Otherwise, you'll find that your goals often get "lost" in the grass or soil once you've dug them up.

Sand Scoop: If you're detecting on the beach then a sand scoop is absolutely critical. You want something that is not going to corrode with all the salt in the air. A tough plastic scoop is perfect. It should have holes that allow the sand to escape but keep your treasures behind.

Magnifying glass or loope: Once you've found an item you want to identify it. A magnifying glass will enable you to see dates on coins, or designs on metal plates.

Treasure Containers: Some detectors prefer putting their finds into a pouch on their person. Others use a bag, or even a plastic container. A fishing tackle box with all its separate compartments is quite a useful way of organizing your finds when you're out in the field. Its up to you what your personal preference is.

Also remember to bring a bag for any rubbish that you dig up. You should always take this with you.

Protective Gear: Gloves are important to protect yourself from any broken glass or metal that could cut you when you're digging up your finds. You might also want to consider kneepads, especially if you're detecting on the beach. If the weather is sunny, then a sun hat is essential.

Headlamp or Torch: even if you're not hunting at night, there might be dark corners or dank holes that you need to have a look at.

Home Security Equipment – Identify Your Needs First

Having a security system for premises is something everyone thinks about but the challenge lies in selecting the best suited security option available so that you get the right level of protection. Although there are different types of home security systems available in the market today, choosing the right one can be overwhelming at times.

Basically security systems are of two types – Monitored systems and Un-monitored systems. Monitored systems include 24/7 surveillance by the company itself which provided the security system. You get higher level of security and professional help with monitored systems. At the second phase of security systems are un-monitored security systems. Unmonitored systems do not have a monthly fee since you are doing the monitoring yourself. In case on unmonitored systems you rely on your neighbours for calling help in case the alarm is triggered, when you are out. Most popular types of home security equipment that you can add to your home or office include:

MOTION DETECTORS: Motion detectors are primarily meant to detect and prevent unauthorized access to your property. Generally these are placed at doors or windows and when breached, they set off the alarm. When buying a motion detector make sure it has the option to adjust the sensitivity level so that the possibilities of getting a false alarm are minimized.

SMOKE AND HEAT DETECTORS: As the name suggests these types of equipment are used as a protection against Heat and Fire. Most modern houses are already equipped with these right when they are built, for those which are not, it can be a must have addition.

EXTERNAL VIDEO CAMERAS: External video cameras are probably the first type of DIY home security option to come about in the home security market. Security cameras can be wired or wireless. Installation is generally very easy for these type of cameras and it only requires mounting the device outside the premises in the desired location. This kind of security system is most commonly found in homes, stores, shopping malls, companies and industries where continuous monitoring is required. Most security cameras come with the option of being hooked up with a video recording device for continuous recording.

DOOR AND WINDOW CONTACTS: These are a common part of most modern alarm systems. The purpose of it is to determine whether a door or window is currently left open unintentionally. The device will send a signal to the alarm system in such an event and it will set off making the house owner or the monitoring team aware of the situation.

SECURITY SIRENS: The purpose of a security Siren is to make an emergency situation known. It also scare off intruders and thieves with its sound. If you are not going to use a unmonitored security service, a security Siren is an accessory that you cannot afford to miss.

FLOOD AND WATER SENSORS: Flood and water sensors generally come as an optional feature in home security alarm systems however these are very important for houses having a basement or houses in close proximity of a lake, river or sea. These devices can detect high water level at the sump pump or when water is present in an area where it should not be.

Home security systems can be both budget friendly and expensive so a little bit of research is worth investing both time and money in. In case you are going for a monitored home security system, ask the security official for a quick security requirement assessment for your home or property. Once you know your exact requirements, you can request and compare quotes from major home security companies in your area. You can also go online and compare prices of equipment from various providers.

When availability is at disposal, the challenge only lies in choosing the right product or service. Having a security system around makes us feel safe when we are far from our home and hence everyone should be availing such a system.

A Healthy Nutrition Plan for Everyone

How to Create a Healthy Nutrition Plan

What should you do when you feel like all hope is lost for your efforts at dieting?

Here is a short healthy nutrition plan that can be customized to fit your diet and own agenda. Although there are numerous ways to make good choices with nutrition, you have to find the way that works for you.

1. Research Nutrition

Before you go out trying to find a nutritious diet based on your gut feelings, you should research the topic and find information about many different foods. It is of utmost importance to start slowly and introduce a healthier diet in steps so that you do not feel like this diet is something that you can never accomplish. Begin by eating more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. They are very easy to purchase and can cause a complete change in the energy you have and how you feel from your diet. Another big step in a healthy nutrition plan involves listening to your body.

2. When to Eat

You might be wondering when you should eat in your nutrition plan. The main thing to remember is to listen to your body. If it tells you that you are hungry, then you should probably eat. This does not mean that you should continue to snack on junk food and other things detrimental to your health just because you are hungry. Maybe you will eat a low fat yogurt or a bag full of blueberries.

3. No “One Size Fits All” Healthy Nutrition Plan

One key thing that should always be on your mind is that there are many ways to achieve the nutrition that you seek. You do not have to do the exact same thing as any other person, and there are many avenues available to achieve your goal. I try to always find new ways to stay healthy and eat foods that will benefit me for years to come.

4. Stay With It

Please do not give up on your healthy nutrition plan. It might require you to give up some foods and work hard to make good choices, but you will be glad that you did it. Never stray from the goals you have set for yourself and try new things everyday. Once your healthy nutrition plan becomes second nature, you can go on to help other people start their own. The possibilities are endless when it comes to healthy nutrition.

Is Pinterest Poking Holes in Other Social Medias Like Facebook?

Pinterest is really making its way into the fabric of the social media kind in 2012. Have you heard about it?

Check it out at Pinterest.com

As a custom website designer, I've jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon to see what its all about and I must tell you, I'm quite impressed. Pinterest is easy to use, fun to share, and of course the nature of free online marketing is always fundamental fascination to me. I like to kick and prod these new digital technologies for the purpose of advising my valued customers about low or no cost sales and marketing techniques that work for small and medium sized businesses. We can all use these social media tools to generate exposure for our business, product, services or organizational needs.

Pinterest offers a very visual option to social media that engages in a way that other social media's have not. Thats what technology is all about. Finding new ways to garner attention from the world at large.

Do not have time to squeeze in yet another social media gizmo?

I understand. When Facebook became the rage, you might have been one of those who held off, waiting to see what other people would say, and what they would experience.

If you took the step to create a Facebook page, but left the faceless silhouette on your account because you preferred the incognito approach, you may have been pressured to setup an account and try it because your friends or your family members are there and they begged for your presence in this new digital world where people share … well just about everything, really.

On the flip side, it might be that a social media tool like Facebook is part of your everyday life, keeping you in touch with old friends and work associates … people who would otherwise, be simply a distant memory or even forgotten.

There are moments too when we decide that the information shared on Facebook by friends, is just not the place we want to air much at all. Oooh, very private …. AGH! Very public in a TMI sort of way.

My husband is retired and being that migrated across the US to Central Idaho from Florida a dozen or more years ago, he has thoroughly enjoyed Facebook and has reignited friendships from his past career, and stayed in touch with the culture at the company where he spent 33 years of his life, from 16 to 48. For my husband, Facebook has been an open window of sharing, laughs, late night chit chats and political jokes. Facebook has been a meaningful social tool for him, a way to enjoy a private life in Idaho, while staying connected to the people who mean so much in his life.

I use Facebook for mostly business purposes. Not to boldly sell my wares, but to show what I do, what I've accomplished, what consumes my time. I also have used Facebook for some social encounters with friends and cousins, brothers and acquaintances. I help my website customers to understand the meaning of building a community of fans, engaging with people through social media and committing to the slow and steady building of a fan base through this FREE method of effective marketing. By adding links from Facebook to your website article or page, fans or friends are able to click through to your site and find out more. This also helps with link popularity, a gauge of relevance that Google auditors important in ranking of your website pages.

As for social media tools available in the online world today, there's Linked In, Twitter, Flickr and oh, I do not think any other social media worlds really matter that much …. except Pinterest. Wow! Pinterest is cool. I've discovered it, and I LIKE!

So ok, going back to the subject of social media. The problem is, it can suck the time from your day, make employees unproductive, increase costs to try to keep those who should be worker bees from spending their time chit chatting online and sharing life.

I've always tried to balance it all. Not too much of this, not too much of that. "Everything in moderation" is what I say often, mostly to myself. After all, I'm a working girl, totally committed to harvesting all of the fruits of my business, day to day, week to week, month after month, year after year. As a technology buff, I find it interesting to touch on various social medias, use them, figure them out, help my customers to determine the benefits for their own businesses and generally understand whether the time spent once a week to post a new item on my own Facebook Fan page is of value.

My answer is YES! Social media used at a consistent tempo, whether weekly or monthly, is of great value. Its not getting on Facebook everyday or once in a great while that really affects the world around us. The benefits of Facebook Fan Pages come from the slow, steady, consistent flow of some information that your fans will see and realize what you are all about.

So lets focus on Pinterest. What is it?

Pinterest is the hottest newest social media out there. Its based upon the concept of a virtual pin board. All of Pinterest is VISUAL. Visual is good. If I had a dime for every time someone says to me "I'm a very VISUAL person" – well, I've got about 50 dimes a year. You do the math. Will not make me rich, but a lot of people utter those words to me.

I think Pinterest is taking flight in the world of social media because of this VISUAL aspect. After seeing the little 'P' icon start popping up here and there – I said to myself, "Marigold, its time you take a moment to look at Pinterest, sign up and see what its all about!" And that I did.

I've setup five boards. Foodie endeavors, website designs, favorite places, etc. If you're on an iPad, or iPhone, you can setup an easy app to just Pin things right and left, repin, etc. You can also upload photos to your Pinterest account and place them on a particular board. People might repin your pin and thats how things go viral. Ok, I've never seen any of my pins go viral, and its really not in my nature to seek QUANTITY over quality. Quality is always best for Mary because I'm all about the slow and steady building of anything …. business, relationships, understanding new technology, training my husband (ha ha!) And other life pursuits.

So if you're interested in trying out Pinterest, do not feel pressured or challenged to do it all in a short period. After all, Rome was not built in one day. (It took quite some years for Rome to fall, as well, but thats for another storyline).

Sign up for your Pinterest account and take the slow steady approach. I think you'll find it visually appealing and quite fun to share.

And oh, one last thing. Will Pinterest put holes in Facebook or Twitter? Nah! – at least not the kind of holes that would make Facebook sink. Market share will be dissected, Google may ever get its social media circles to flourish. But the big chunks will continue to rise to the top and I think Pinterest is worthy of our attention!

Planning For Lighting

Have you visited a shopping-center lighting store lately? Sure your eyes had probably enjoyed so much the hundreds of varying designs of lighting fixtures ranging from chandeliers, wall lamps, table lamps, floor lamps and so much more. Was it like being lost in a lighting jungle? If you were there to find a lighting fixture for your decorating project, did you have any idea how to find that perfect fixture for your specific decorating plan? Probably you were as lost as a kid in a jungle of goodies. You did not know where to start or what to choose.

How do interior designers come up with the perfect lighting fixtures for their decorating projects? They follow three basic guidelines which include function, mood and harmony.

Function: There are areas in a room that require lighting so that people will be able to perform their tasks seamlessly. Examples of these tasks are reading a book, writing a letter or playing cards. This type of lighting is called "task lighting". Also, you need to install enough lighting in order to illuminate the area so that people will not trip over furniture. This type of lighting is called "ambient lighting". This is the overall lighting that floods the entire room. These two types of lighting, the task lighting and ambient lighting are both functional in nature.

Mood: Installing correct lighting can influence the mood of a room in many different ways. First, the general lighting of a room can project different moods. A room which is bright lit expresses a positive and upbeat move. On the other hand, a room which is darkly lit projects a more intimate and romantic ambiance. Second, by properly selecting the lighting fixtures, one can express a mood. Today, there are many kinds of lighting fixture designs that are suitable to different historical periods. Also readily available are lighting fixtures that express traditional and contemporary moods. Many come in very ornate designs, others in simple straight lines. As with any other components of a room like furniture, rugs, draperies and window treatments, lighting fixtures should be suitable in mood and style with the rest of the décor. Third, specific parts of a room can have accent lighting without any functional purpose at all. It provides only the added dramatic touch needed to heighten the mood. This type of lighting is called "mood lighting".

Harmony: To produce an interesting cohesive effect, the various lighting elements in a room must work together in harmony. Most lighting schemes done by amateur designers fail because these do not offer variety. Harmony does not mean monotony and some designers in order to achieve harmony opted to have no variety in their choice of lighting fixtures. To avoid monotony, good designers use different types of lighting fixtures for various tasks. Lighting should flow in varying directions. Some might have upward projection, others in downward projection and still others should project in all directions. Positioning the lighting fixtures at various heights will also add variety. Even creating different levels of illumination in various areas of a room can produce variety. Some areas can have bright light others could be less bright and subdued. Although, there is variety in the lighting scheme, this does not mean a mishmash of lighting fixtures. All must still work in harmony with one another.

Compulsive Gambler Continues Down Self Destructive Path With Little Hopes To Stop Gambling

Everyday I here of compulsive gamblers who are continuing to gamble even though they have tried one recovery program or another. This is a story of a compulsive gambler named Robert who relapsed over and over again until he found the right recovery program.

Robert a compulsive gambler from the United States relapsed more then ten times in the last three years. He continues to search for a stop gambling recovery program.

He asked what made him go back to the casino after he abstained for at least three weeks or more? One day he realized that the gambling establishment's use of sub subliminal advertising was what bought him back time and time again. This was a major break through for Robert. Understanding this helped him to break his negative repetitive pattern.

He remembers driving to work at eight in the morning. The news came on and informed there was a hundred thousand dollar winner last night at the Casino. Then they continued to talk about it and continually repeat the words "someone has to win maybe that would be you." That's all Robert needed to hear. He called in sick and headed straight to the casino. He arrived and two hours later he lost a thousand dollars. He was depressed and very emotional. He had no idea how this happened again.

It's unfortunate but he continued to go down a self destructive path that seemed impossible for him to ever escape from. Along the mounting debt, his self esteem declined as each day passed. Robert was trapped. He knows gambling is no good for him

I have known gamblers to put thousands of dollars in one slot machine believing it will turn around. It's does not happen often, but just suppose the gambler hits for five thousand dollars. At that moment in time, the gambler feet great. He now believes there's nothing they can not do. It does not matter if they sat at that slot machine for five hours. Then with out realizing it a few hours later they lost all the money they had just won. After leaving they would head home and ask themselves how? Robert had done this hundreds of times only to go back again and again.

Robert was determined to stop gambling but he kept asking himself "How did this happen again? He once stopped for three months. During this period he was more financially sound and more relaxed and very content with his family. hundred dollar gift certificate to the gift shop at the local gambling establishment Christmas holiday. With his hanging tie wife, Robert jumped in the car and head to the gambling establishment. out the door and back to his car he thought maybe just one bet. He bought with himself for about five minutes which seemed like hours.

Robert decided it was time to stop. He was so accused of himself. He was now determined to stop. He found a self help manual and a private chat room and the rest is one day at a time. He's learned to confront these triggers and move forward. The I Stopped Gambling website helped him move move and deal with his gambling addiction head on.

God Has a Plan For You

Do you think Our Father In Heaven and Jesus Christ know you?

Do you think Father has a plan for your life?

Is it possible He knew you before you came to earth and sent you here on a Mission?

How many of you believe in Satan, the Devil or Lucifer?

Do you think Satan knows you too and knows your life’s mission? Do you believe he wants to stop you from accomplishing your life’s mission? Stop you from doing what God sent you to earth to do?

We don’t remember any of that, but in the scriptures there are accounts of people, in the bible, who he definitely knew and had a life plan for them, and even knew things about how they would live their life?

Do you know any of those people?

Jesus Christ.

John the Baptist

Sampson

Jesus

Jesus was God’s son and had a special mission to teach us God’s Gospel and to sacrifice his own life to save all of us. The Angel Gabriel-New Testament-(Matthew 1:21) told Joseph -that Mary would bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS. For he shall save his people from their sins.

Did Satan- the Devil – know God’s plan? Yes. Did he try to stop him? Yes he tried to win him away from God by making big promises to him- (Matthew 4: 8-10)

What did Jesus say to Satan? (Matt 4:10) Get Thee hence Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

John the Baptist

An angel of God also appeared to John’s father Zacharias and told him his wife would also have a baby and what that baby would do.

Luke; 1:15 and in Luke 1:76 – His father was told that John shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways. He did this and prepared the people by teaching them to repent and be baptized and got them ready for Jesus to come to them and John even baptized Jesus.

Interestingly – Zacharias was told of his son (Matt: 1:15) for he shall be great in the sight of the Lord and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink? And he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.

Was John’s mission important? Yes

Samuel

When the children of Israel had been in bondage for 40 years God raised up a person, who would begin to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians.

Before Samuel was born, an angel came to his mother- old testament- (Judges 13:3,4,5) and told her she would have a son and told her his mission but also told her something very interesting. He told her “drink not wine nor strong drink and eat not any unclean thing.”

If God loves us and knew us before we were born and has sent each one of us on a mission, like he did Jesus, John the Baptist and Samuel and he tells us not to use alcohol or drugs – do you think Satan knows that too? If so, if you were Satan what would you try to get us to do, so he could stop us from fulfilling God’s mission for us and destroy us?

Don’t you think Satan would try to get us to use the very things he said John the Baptist should not use and Samuel’s mother should not use, to try to destroy us too?

Yes there is very much significance in God not wanting us to use wine or strong drink or eat anything unclean – I see those things being alcohol and drugs.

If Satan can get us to use these things, we all know we can become addicted, and if we are addicted we have lost our freedom and Satan has control of us and he can then stop us from ever fully living our life and he will stop us from fulfilling the job God sent us here to do?

How many of you have seen people who are addicted to alcohol and drugs and have seen how Satan controls and destroys them?

I have a personal experience in my life – My Dad died an alcoholic at the age of 57 after destroying the lives of his family with his addiction.

If you truly believe you are a child of God and that God loves you and he has a very special purpose, job, mission for you to fulfill, then you must be smart enough to be aware of Satan and his temptations to get you to do things which can destroy you.

Alcohol and Drugs are his greatest tools but there are other things he will try to do, to stop you from reaching your potential and fulfilling your mission.

What are some of things he will tell you to do?

Don’t pray

Don’t read scriptures

Don’t go to church

Don’t go to school

Steal

Use the Lords name in vain

Don’t obey the Ten Commandments

Be disobedient

Be unkind

Etc.

Remember, the truth is, we have a Father-in Heaven who loves us. We have his Son Jesus Christ who loves us and who died for us so we can repent and return to them. Always remember God sent you here on a mission to help prepare the earth for his second coming and that Jesus will come again. We each have a part in that mission. We are just like John, who prepared the people for the first time Jesus came. We all have the same mission now, to prepare the earth for Savior’s second and final coming and return.

Along with that, we can never forget, that Satan knows our purpose and us and mission and it is his plan to do all he can to stop us from doing our Fathers work and fulfilling his plan for us.

We have to be very careful and not allow Satan to be successful in our lives. We must choose: no alcohol or drugs. We must pray and read scriptures etc.

God loves us, Jesus Christ loves us and they will give us the power to be able to say “Get Thee Hence Satan”, and thereby make the right choices to fulfill our life’s calling, and to have a happy and successful life and have the blessing of returning to live with our Father-In Heaven and his Son, our Brother, Jesus Christ.

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Printed USBs – Different USB Devices Used As Promotional Gifts

All computers these days come with USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports which are designed to allow different external devices to be connected to a computer in a way that allows the user to simply “plug and play”. This provides an excellent opportunity for creative marketing people to take advantage of the branding possibilities created.

A USB flash drive is one of the devices that can be personalised and will be well received as a promotional gift. These devices are available in an ever expanding range of colours and shapes and are further enhanced by the wide variety of materials and finishes that are available. Some flash drives are supplied pre-loaded with a link to a specific web site and these are generally known as web keys.

Although flash drives are the most popular they are not the only USB devices that make good promotional gifts. There are dual purpose items such as pens and torches which have a flash drive built in. USB computer mice can also be personalised and supplied with matching mouse mats. In addition to this there are presenters that have USB connectivity which your clients will be using for their own presentations whilst displaying your branding. Digital photo frames are always welcome and still photographs or video images can be transferred to them using a USB connection. They will stay on a desk for a long period and your discrete branding will be ever present.

With all of these devices needing a USB port to plug into, another very good promotional gift would be a USB hub which plugs into a single socket and typically provides up to four extra ports. These hubs come in a variety of shapes and sizes including one that incorporates a very useful desk fan. There are also hubs that will light up your logo when plugged in, novelty shaped hubs and hubs that serve a dual purpose such as business card holders, staplers, mobile phone holder/chargers and even mood lights.

Computer peripherals have become very popular promotional gifts and will associate your company with a modern, forward thinking and technologically aware approach to business. Although all of these items have a high perceived value there are products to suit all marketing budgets and a little time spent exploring the specialist promotional gifts websites will give you an idea of the discounts available on bulk orders.

The Must-Knows About Foreclosure and Its Stages

Foreclosure:

A foreclosure occurs when a property owner can not make payments on their loan. If a homeowner is able to keep up with payments he simply had to relinquish the property back to the bank that holds the mortgage on the house. A bank can bring a foreclosure action against the homeowner. They can sell or repossess (take ownership of) a property in order to recover the amount owed on a defaulted loan secured by the property. A homeowner's rights to a property are forfeited because of failure to pay the mortgage. If the owner can not pay off the outstanding debt or sell it via short sale, the property then goes to a foreclosure auction. If the property does not sell at auction, it becomes the property of the lending institution. Foreclosures are fairly straight-forward sales because the banks typically do not want to be "home owners", they want to be "home loaners".

Here are the five stages for foreclosure:

• Missed Payments:

Foreclosure is a long process, which varies from state to state. A foreclosed property is a property that has already been taken over by the bank. This stage begins when the homeowner falls behind on home-loan payments (or sometimes other terms of the loan). This is usually due to hardships such as unemployment, divorce, death or medical challenges. Lenders may wait for a second, third, fourth or even more missed payments before sending the homeowner a public notice.

• Public Notice:

After three to six months of missed payments, the lender records a public notice called 'Notice of default' (NOD) with the County Recorder's Office, indicating the borrower has failed on his mortgage. Notice of default and intention to sell must be delivered to the homeowner within 30 days of the recording. This notice is intended to make the borrower aware that he is in danger of losing all rights to the property and may be evicted from the home.

This NOD includes the property information, your name, the amount you're delinquent, the number of days that you're behind, and a statement indicating that you're in default under the terms of the note and the mortgage you signed when you purchased your home.

The homeowner has a given period of time to respond to the notice and / or come up with the outstanding payments and fees. If the money owed or other break is not paid in a given time, the lender may choose to foreclose the borrower's property.

The next step is for the lender is to file a notice of sale for the property. However, if the borrower catches up on his or her payments, the foreclosure process can be halted.

• Pre-Foreclosure:

This stage begins when lender files a default notice on the property, which informs the property owner that the lender will pursue legal action if the debt is not taken care of. After receiving notice from the bank, the homeowner enters a grace period known as "pre-foreclosure". During this time the homeowner can work out a deal with the bank or pay the outstanding amount owed before it is foreclosed. Property owners who are in the pre-foreclosure stage may enter into short sale in order to pay off outstanding debts. If the borrower pays off the default during this phase, foreclosure ends and the borrower avoids home eviction and sale. If the default is not paid off, foreclosure continues.

• Auction:

If the default is not remedied by the prescribed deadline the lender or its representative sets a date for the home to be sold at a foreclosure auction (sometimes referred to as a Trustee Sale). The Notice of Trustee Sale (NTS) sale is recorded with the County Recorder's Office. Notification is sent to the borrower, posted on the property and printed in the newspaper. At the auction, the home is sold to the highest bidder for cash who must pay the high bid price in cash, typically with a deposit up front and the reminder within 24 hours. The winner of the auction will then receive the trustees' deed to the property. An opening bid on the property is set by the foreclosing lender which is usually equal to the outstanding loan balance and any other charges. Money from the sale is used to pay off the costs of the foreclosure, interest, principle and taxes etc. Any amount left over is paid to the homeowner. In many states, the borrower has the "right of redemption" (he can come up with the outstanding cash and stop the foreclosure process) up to the moment the home will be auctioned off.

• Post-Foreclosure:

If a third party does not purchase the property at the foreclosure auction or there are no bids higher than the opening bid, the lender takes ownership of it. The property will be purchased by the attorney conducting the sale, for the lender. If this occurs and the opening bid is not met, the property is deemed as a Bank-Owned Property or Real Estate Owned (REO). This occurs because many of the properties up for sale at foreclosure auctions are worth less than the total amount owed to the bank or lender or when no one bid on it. The "bank owned" property is then put back on the market for sale, usually listed through a real estate broker.