A Paycheck is a Paycheck is a Paycheck, Right? Wrong!

Ok so you get a paycheck. It is delivered to you, sent by email or handed to you by your arch-nemesis (your supervisor). Or maybe you are the person handing them out. Either way, the scenario is the same. You have in your hand or inbox a document showing you what you were paid. And to some, quite mysteriously, there is money taken out of your earnings and given to the government, or whoever, and it reduces the amount that you have to shop, save, or pay bills with. It could happen to you every week, every other week or each month. And you take that money that is left over and do with it whatever you chose. So why should you care where the extra money goes? It's gone, right?

But here is the thing …. where did it go? Did it go in the right amount? How does it affect you? Your spending habits, your budget, and the way you save for the future? It's gone, right? So who cares where it went, it's not coming to you, right? WRONG!

I'm not going to be one of these people to tell you that you can not afford things, or will ring bells and make funny noises to indicate that something to do with your finances should be important to you. But I will tell you this – it's your money and you need to know where it goes and why.

Now, most of us are savvier about money than say our mothers. (Sorry Mom!) Or we think we are. I was recently working with my mother going through her financial paperwork and was surprised about the things I took for granted as common knowledge that she was not aware of. She is a smart woman, so I was a little surprised. So we might be ahead of our mother's generation in terms of being more financially independent, but ask yourself, where does the money that comes out of your paycheck go? Do you know? Do you know what all of those fancy little acronyms mean? And why should you care?

First: the paycheck. And yes, we are going to go through it line by line. But I promise it will not be torture. We'll make it quick and then talk about why you should look at this every pay period and how it affects you.

So, what should you look at when you receive your pay stub? You may not like my answer, but the answer is everything. Let me ask you a question. If you lost $ 141.63 from your wallet would you care? Would you look for that money? Be honest with yourself, would you panic? Now I am not saying that you have lost this $ 141.63 from your pay, but if you do not know what it is or where it goes, it is as good as lost.

So now for the fun! Let's go through this pay stub line by line so that you can understand what you are being paid and where those deductions end up.

The first box is Emp #. This is your employee number that is assigned through payroll. This one does not have relevance without your HR department requests you to supply this to them as a routine part of how they identify you before speaking with you about a problem or question with your pay.

The next box is Company Name. It is important for you to know what the legal name of the company you work for is if you have an issue or a problem. An example of an issue or a problem that would be affected by you knowing your company's legal name would be if you needed to apply for Worker's Compensation or Unemployment. Again, why? Because these agencies refer to the company you work for by their legal name. If you do the same you will avoid confusion when dealing with them.

The next box is Period End date. This box is important to check because it states the period for which you are being paid. You may ask yourself, who cares? The answer is -you should. Does the amount being paid agree with the period that you worked for? In our scenario we have a salaried individual but if you were being paid by the hour, how can you know that you have been paid for the hours you worked without you know what period your employer is paying those hours for?

The next box is Dept #. Even I will admit that this one is not too important unless your employer deducts things from your pay for working in a specific department. For instance, in restaurants employers may deduct an amount from your pay for uniform maintenance or you might have a deduction from your pay if a department in that restaurant is allowed to eat lunch while working and the employee deductions a flat amount for food costs.

Our next box is the mystery box! It says FW = M 01. Is it an algebraic formula? Is it something Einstein invented? No, this is actually an important box! The FW stands for Federal Withholding. The M stands for Married and the 01 is the number of dependents that is being claimed on form W4. This box drives what comes out of your pay for Federal Withholding and can determine the all important game of whether or not you receive a refund after filing your annual tax return or whatever you will have to send money into the IRS.

What is important to know about this is that the Federal Withholding taken from your pay each pay period is based on a tax table. So the way this calculates is any payroll system will look at your gross pay, the frequency you are paid (weekly, every two weeks, etc.), and what you claimed on your W4 to see how much tax to take from your check.

The tax table calculates based first on whether you are claiming the status of Single or Married and then on the number of allowances you have claimed, in our case 01. The general rule of thumb is that Single claiming 00 allowances takes the maximum tax and Married with more allowances takes less and less tax. We will get further into this in why you should care a portion of this article.

Our next box SS # xxx-xx-0123 again looks something we learned in high school algebra. It's not. It is your social security number. What do you need to know about this? You need to know that this is the way it should look on your check stub. Or it could look like: *** – ** – 0123. Or it could be all exes or all * s. What you should NEVER see on your check stub is your full social security number printed out.

Our next box is your name and address. This one is only of concern to make sure that it is correct. Sounds simple. Make sure it stays simple. Your company may have different policies of how they get information to you. Most will mail at least your W2 form directly to you at the end of each year. So make sure your information is current so that there is no disruption to you receiving important tax information. If you move, alert the appropriate person in your company as soon as possible so that they can get your salary records updated.

Under your name and address are two boxes: check # and net pay. The check number is not something that you need to look at. It is the check number assigned by your company. If you misplace a check or need to speak to someone regarding your check they can look up the information they need in their records. The net pay is the amount of pay that you will take home after taxes and payments have been taken from your pay.

Our next box is the earnings box. Stay with me here we are getting to the good stuff! This box tells you how much you are being paid before taxes and other items are deducted from your pay. In this pay stub we have a salary amount (Sal1). However, if you are paid by the hour, you will want to make sure the hours you told your employer you worked and the hours on your pay stub match. Mistakes can happen in processing payroll, they are not intentional. It is your responsibility to check your pay stub and let your employer know if there was an error in reporting your hours to the payroll company.

Other types of earnings may include commissions, bonuses, and even reimbursements for telephone usage, mileage or office supplies purchased.

The next box is labeled taxes. We are going to go through each item in this box to explain the different payroll taxes.

– FWH = Federal Withholding. Weave the example of this above when looking at the SS # box. This is your Federal Income Tax being withheld from your pay each payroll period.
– FICA = This tax is the Federal Insurance Contribution Act tax. It is taken at a flat percentage of 6.2% up to an annual earnings cap. These taxes are taken to provide a variety of benefits to qualifying workers and their families through the program known as social security.
– MEDFICA = This tax falls under the Federal Insurance Contribution Act and allows an additional 1.45% of your pay to be withheld for Medicare, which provides health insurance for qualifying disabled workers and people 65 years of age and older. There is no earnings cap with this tax.
– ST = State Withholding. Here in Pennsylvania this is a flat percentage tax. However, in many states the withholding works much like the Federal Withholding tax. It is based on what you claim on your state W4 form. Again the principle is the same, the tax table calculates based first on whether you are claiming the status of Single or Married and then on the number of allowances you have claimed, in our case 01. The general rule of thumb is that Single claiming 00 allowances takes the maximum tax and Married with more allowances takes less and less tax.
– WCHPA = This is the local tax where my company in this example is located. In Pennsylvania there are thousands of local taxes. They range from.5% to the Philadelphia wage tax that exemced 3%. The tax is based on where you are employed and not where you live. The next state close to Pennsylvania in the number of local taxes is Ohio. Many from this area would have surprised to know that many states have no local taxes.
– PA UNEM = This tax is the Pennsylvania employee share of unemployment. This tax can come and go. In times of high unemployment percentages the State deducts this tax from employees to help offset the cost of the payment of unemployment to those who do not have work. Other states have similar taxes and some also have employees contribute to disability and state paid health care.

Next is our discounts box. There are two discounts here as an example of what you could expect to see.

The first deduction is labeled MED125. Med125 refers to medical insurance premiums that are deducted from your pay and that are run through a Section 125 plan as defined by the IRS. What does this mean to you? If you have a health insurance premium deducted from your pay there are two ways to do it. One is a standard deduction that comes out of your pay after all of the taxes have been deducted. The other is through a Section 125 plan. If your company has an established 125 plan then your health insurance deduction comes out of your pay before taxes and is not subject to payroll taxes. If you are not sure what your company offers ask someone in your HR department. Using a Section 125 plan saves employees the cost of paying taxes on their health insurance contribution deductions.

The next deduction is labeled LST. This is the Local Services Tax for Pennsylvania. The local services tax is a tax that is deducted from your pay up to a maximum of $ 52.00 per year. It is collected on a pro-rata basis that is determined by the number of payroll periods established by an employer for a calendar year. This tax is used to help offset the cost of emergency services and also is used to reduce property taxes through homestead acts in certain municipalities.

Our final pay check stub box is Year to Date. Ok, we are almost done here! This is just a total of what has been paid to you and what has been deducted from your pay for the year.

So, now the all important part of this exercise. Why should you care about all of this and how does it affect you?

Well, to start this is your money. And yes it is important to know where it goes. This is really not the day and age where a woman is kept in the dark and her husband takes care of all of the financial responsibilities while the woman takes care of the house and children. Most families are made up of two working parents. For most it is a necessity to meet the rising cost of food, fuel and health insurance and it is not an option for many mothers to stay at home. It is also unfortunate that the divorce rate in our country continues to rise but it also means that women, like it or not, are almost forced to be financially savvy. So let's get started on the importance of understand how your money comes and goes through a paycheck and why you should care.

You earn an amount from your employer. You submit a time sheet or some type of data to your employer letting them know what work you have accomplished or the hours that you have worked. They take that data and process it through payroll. You then receive a net amount and it is direct deposited in your bank or you take a check to the bank and deposit it each pay day. We have established that there are taxes and deductions taken from your pay and you get what is left over. Now here is why it matters.

Unlike the popular thought that taxes and deductions are taken from your pay and there is not much you can do about it, there are portions of your pay that you can directly control to put more money in your pocket now!

We are going to reference back to those pay check boxes again and go through the portions of those taxes and allowances that you have control over. I know what you are thinking! Not the boxes again, but bear with me. There will be strategies to help you put money into your family's hands. It will be up to you to decide what strategies to use and what your comfort level will be with their affect.

So let's get started.

Ok, the first thing you should take a serious look at is your Federal Withholding. Let me ask you a question; are you one of those folks that get a huge refund when you send in your Federal tax return? If you are, you might want to think about what you are doing. By allowing the federal government the use of your money through the year you are missing opportunities. Do you have credit card debt? Is the credit card company charging you interest on your outstanding balance? Then why "loan" the IRS your earnings when you have debt to pay? Yes you get a big refund at tax time, but what if you had use of that money through the year? What would you do with it? Could you pay down debt? Invest it? If you invest this money, even in a money market account you could be earning money with these funds instead of allowing the federal government to use it and then pay it back to you later.

You have to be careful with this one. Think about your comfort level. Are you comfortable using that money through the year or do you have a need to get this all in one lump sum? If you are not a disciplined saver then that lump sum return of your money may be attractive to you. You also have to make sure that if you decide to take that money now that you check with your accountant or with an online paycheck calculator at the very least to make sure you do not reduce your Federal Withholding too much and end up owed money at the end of the year. That will certainly not help you achieve your personal financial goals, not to mention the IRS frowns upon you owed them money. Ironic, is not it?

There is another item on your paycheck that is important and can keep money in your pocket – it is your social security number. When we went through the individual boxes on our check stub I stated that you should NEVER see your entire social security number on your check stub. Instead, the number should be masked by stars or exes. Why? Because identity theft is a real threat in our society. So if your paycheck is lost in the mail, that is bad enough, but if your social security number is on it you are just asking for trouble. Check your latest check stub. If you see your social security number on your check contact your payroll administrator right away and they can have that number masked. It should be standard practice with payroll providers, but some are not paying attention to those trends that can affect the end user, namely, you.

Another item that can save you considering money is that MED125 deduction. A lot of companies have their employees pay a portion of the cost of health insurance. With the increasing cost of health premiums it has become a necessity for most companies. But how can you pay towards your health insurance save you money? Remember this health insurance deduction is taken from your pay and is not taxed.

You can not assume that if you have a health insurance deduction that it falls under a Section 125 plan. You have to ask your employer if they have this plan. If they do not you could ask them to research one. In the past it was a headache for companies to maintain a 125 plan. But now a plan that only contains health insurance premiums or a premium only plan has little administrative headache to it if your part of a company with under 99 employees.

Also, another way to save money through payroll is to ask your HR or payroll contact if your company has a Full Flex Plan as part of their 125 plan. What does this mean? A Full Flex Plan or A Flexible Spending Account as a part of a 125 plan gives you a great opportunity to save money. It allows you to have a predetermined amount withheld from your pay each year to pay for various medical needs. If you are having electrical surgery, it could be run through the Flex account at your work, so you do not pay tax on that amount. Many Flex accounts have a list of items that you could put this money toward, such as, contact solution, certain over the counter medications, and even nicotine patches are reimbursable. The thing to watch with Flexible Spending Accounts is that they are what is called "use them or lose them". So if you have $ 2000.00 deducted from your pay each year, but only submit reimbursements for $ 200.00 then you lose the $ 1800.00 you contributed. Check with your HR or payroll administrator to find out the rules to your company's Flexible Spending Account.

Another expense that you could be running through payroll using your company's Section 125 plan is Dependent Care. So if you have children that go to a day care facility during the week the amount that you pay to the day care could be run through your pay check and be deducted from you untaxed.

So to summarize this Section 125 plan, when these items are run through your paycheck on a pre-tax basis (meaning the amounts deducted from you are not taxable) you in effect save approximately an automatic 12-15% on health insurance, medical necessities , and child care. Really think about that statement. If you child's day care asked you if you wanted to save 15% on their fees, would you look into? If a pharmacy offered you savings of 15% off of all purchases would you go to there? This is like an automatic paycheck coupon to save your family money.

My final suggestion is what is missing from our check stub. There is no 401 (k) or Simple IRA deduction on our stub. These are savings for retirement accounts that are taken from your pay and are not subject to Federal Withholding. If your company offers one of these options look into it. 401 (k) plans are run according to the way your company sets them up, so the rules are not standardized. However, many companies offer what is called an employer match for discounts that you make into this type of retirement account. If your company does offer a match then this is instant earnings on your contributions. Simple IRA plans require an employer match so you are guaranteed to have an immediate return on your investment.

Consider carefully before you decide that you are not going to participate in one of these plans. If you put aside even a small amount I would venture to say that you are not going to miss that money on a pay pay basis and it will go to securing you financial freedom when you retire.

So now your paycheck should not just be a piece of paper to you. The mystery of what is taken out and why has been explained. I would challenge you to think about some of these strategies for putting money back into your pocket to see how you can save your family money through payroll. Of course, everyone's financial situation is different, so review these strategies with your financial professional before implementing them.

I would also challenge you to look at your pay stub each pay period. The more you look at it the more familiar you become with it and you will start to know what to expect. When you know what to expect then you will get a feel for what you are paid, when you are paid and how you are paid. Knowledge is one of the first steps towards becoming more financially savvy.

Simple Living Lessons From "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau (Part 1)

As I continue reading "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau, I must admit that life in 1854 was dramatically different from life today, and I would never want to return to those days of hardship and sacrifice, no matter how simple it appears. However, I have discovered that there is a similarity in our views about dissatisfaction, disorganization and discomfort.

As with those that have gone before us, we make difficult choices; some of them made simply by habit and others that end up enslaving us to our possessions, pushing us deeper into debt. We fill our environment with more than we need while searching for ways to stave off creditors. In essence, we are in debt because we confuse the necessities of life with the luxuries that are available.

Thoreau stated, "It is desirable that a man live so compactly and preparedly that, if an enemy takes the town, he can walk out the gate empty-handed without anxiety."

How many of us in an emergency situation could just get up and walk out empty-handed without anxiety? Many of us would find it difficult to determine what things of value or necessity we should grab if we were forced to vacate our homes and offices.

We have been told that the necessities of life are food, shelter, clothing and fuel. Thoreau expands on this concept when he stated, "Humans are bound to things beyond the necessities when these items become so important that we never attempt to do without."

Even more so today, it is imperative to know the difference between a necessity and a luxury if we are really seeking a debt-free, simple life. Our purchasing power and available options are so much greater than in Thoreau's time. Those abundant choices have obscured the line between needs and wants.

I've written this before, but I am compelled to repeat it because it gives you the opportunity to ponder the importance of investing in a life rather than buying a lifestyle. So again, consider the following:

– We need to eat, but we do not need filet mignon.

– We need to be clothed, but we do not need overflowing closets and drawers.

– We need shelter and domestic comfort, but we may not need a 4,000 sq. foot home.

– We need a means of transportation to get to work, but we do not need a Mercedes.

Consider the words of Thoreau carefully. "While civilization has been improving our homes, it has not even improved the men who are to inhabit them."

I challenge you to consider what is truly a necessity and shy away from lifestyle trappings and the consequences of debt. Take time to recognize that less is best. Less household clutter means less time to clean and less to search through when you are looking for something. Do as Thoreau did: He thread out the pieces of limestone on his desk that required daily dusting. All he really wanted to do was sit in the open air, for "no dust cats on the grass!"

Head YouTek Prestige Midplus Tennis Racquet Review

Every major racquet company has a flagfish racquet that is synonymous with the brand. Wilson has the Pro Staff 6.1 95, Babolat has the extremely popular Pure Drive, and Head has the Prestige. Originally introduced in the mid 80's as the Prestige Pro, the Prestige family of racquets has become instantly recognizable in the hands of such greats as Goran Ivanisevic, Marat Safin, Gustavo Kuerten, and young guns Marin Cilic and Stanislas Wawrinka. Head's newest incarnation of the Prestige line is the Yutek Prestige infused with Head's patented d3O technology and a classy new cosmetic. For this particular play test, I took out a new Youtek Prestige Mid Plus strung with a Polyblend at 57 lbs.

Anyone who has played or demoed a Prestige in the past knows that this racquet is geared for control and more control. Everything about the frame from its moderately low stiffness rating (which is 62 by our RA), thin beam, and dense string pattern (18×20) are geared for pinpoint precision, and this racquet does not disappoint. Starting from the backcourt, I could instantly feel that this racquet has superior stability and plow through on the ground. My ground strokes were deeper and more penetrating than racquets with less weight, and I felt no vibration whatever when connecting with well stuck balls from my opponent.

Moving into the net is where I really started to enjoy the feel of the new Prestige. For anyone who has had some higher level player frames from Head in the past (ie Radical, Prestige), there is a tendency for the racquet to feel something dead near the top of the racquet. For this reason, I sometimes struggle with my feel at net with my current racquet (Microgel Radical MP). This was not the case with the new Prestige. I felt that all of my volleys were crisp and accurate, even when I did not connect right in the center of the sweet spot. This was a big bonus for me as I actually picked up some free points at net that I would not normally get.

While I certainly enjoyed the Prestige from the backcourt and at the net, the racquet really excels when you start to serve. From the service line, I was able to crack hard flat serves down the "T" and slice some great looking serves out wide. With other racquets, I sometimes have to hold back in order to gain my control within the box, but I was able to let loose with this racquet and gain some much needed free points.

From my review you might think that this racquet is magical and will instantly make you a better player. While I certainly approve of this new version of the Prestige, here are some things to consider. First, the racquet is heavy in comparison to most of your other racquets in the market, and will be best suited for strong players 4.0-4.5 and up. If you are not used to playing with a racquet this heavy you can really start to feel the weight, especially if you have to go a third set. Second, this racquet provides you with control for days, but that means that you must generate most of your power from your swing. Nothing short or compact will work here; it requires those long loopy strokes. If this sounds like your kind of racquet, feel free to use the coupon at the end of this newsletter for a free week long demo of the new prestige!

Sustainable Forestry Practices Adopted by Many Lumber Companies in the US

There's arguably nothing more visually pleasant than the smooth, natural beauty of a piece of finely crafted furniture, or the simple elegance of a beautifully finished hardwood floor. But for many years, concerns have been raised about harvesting old-growth hardwood forests for use in the furniture and building industries.

Back in the nineties, home improvement giant Home Depot was under fire for offering wood and wood products harvested using destructive lumbering practices, and even offering exotic woods taken by clear-cutting methods from endangered tropical rain forests.

To everyone's astonishment, Home Deport recorded; and today they are proud to claim that 85 percent of the wood they sell comes from sustainable forestry practices. They are an amazing example of what can happen when a major corporation chooses to adopt a responsible attitude towards the environment.

Meanwhile, many smaller companies began their business with a commitment to sustainable forestry practices, and continue their dedication to environmentally sound timber harvesting today. For instance, Morse Hardwoods , a company specializing in flooring and millwork crafted from both soft- and hardwoods, uses selective cutting to ensure the continued growth of forests, and plans each cut it makes before it cuts the harvested timber to maximize the yield from every log and to minimize waste. Morse and other small timber companies in the US have led the way to sustainable practices.

As the public becomes more aware of the importance of forest sustainability and chooses products manufactured from wood harvested in environmentally sound ways, the demand for these products will increase, and the sustainable forestry movement will continue to grow – which is good news for the environment.

Food Safety Bacterial Growth Requirements

As food safety bacteria are very similar to us they need similar conditions in order to grow. The main conditions are food, moisture, warmth and time.

Food and Moisture.

There are four main food types:

· High risk foods

· Raw foods

· Low risk foods

· Ready to eat raw foods.

High risk foods are common in food poisoning outbreaks. They are usually composed of protein, are ready to eat, stored under refrigeration and no further processing such as cooking is required. Examples include pates, sandwiches, filled rolls, fresh cream and artificial cream cakes, pies and cold cooked meats.

Raw foods are a major source of food poisoning organizations. High risk foods must be kept away from raw foods at all times or cross contamination will result, compromising food safety and food poisoning will occur.

Low risk foods do not pose a food safety hazard mainly because they lack one or more of the requirements for bacterial growth. They could be acid foods with a pH of less than 4.5, they may have a high sugar, salt or fat content which are good natural preservatives. They may be treated products or preserved foods not requiring refrigeration. They may be foods that require ambient storage.

The last category of food is ready to eat raw foods. These include fruit and salad vegetables and they must be thoroughly washed before consumption to minimize the risk from low-dose pathogens.

High risk food contains sufficient moisture for bacterial growth.

Warmth.

The next thing to consider is warmth. If we control warmth then bacterial growth will not occur.

The maximum recommended temperature for freezers is -18 ° C. At this temperature there is no bacterial growth, bacteria remain dormant. Although some bacteria are killed during the freezing process, many remain alive.

Fridge temperatures should be between 1 and 4 ° C. Although the maximum legal fridge temperature in the UK is 8 ° C. At fridge temperatures some bacteria will grow very slowly including Listeria and C botulinum.

The next range of temperatures is the temperature danger zone. This is between 5 and 63 ° C. Once food is being prepared it must be kept out of the temperature danger zone. If food is left in the temperature danger zone bacterial growth will occur, affecting food safety and food poisoning will result. As bacteria enter the temperature danger zone at 5 ° C they start to grow slowly. As the temperature increases the bacteria will grow more profusely. Bacteria grow best at 37 ° C, which is body temperature. As temperatures increase from 37 ° C bacterial growth slows down. Most bacteria are killed by 52 ° C. The UK recognized safety cooking temperature is 75 ° C, although foods can be cooked at a low temperature over a longer period of time.

The hot holding temperature is 63 ° C, which is the top of the temperature danger zone. If food is to be served hot, for example in a carvery situation it must be retained above 63 ° C. If the food is above this temperature, there is no time limit to how long the food can be served for and there is no food safety hazard.

If cold food is refrigerated, it must be kept at 1 and 4 ° C. The time limit would depend on the food product. The food could not be retained without time limit as ever there would be mold growth (mold can grow at very low temperatures).

The two hour hot rule allows foods that had been prepared and are meant to be served hot, to be served at ambient temperature for no more than two hours. For example if food is being retained at 63 ° C and suddenly the heating equipment breaks down then that food which is losing temperature can be sold for a further two hours. After two hours the food is allowed to be chilled and reused at a later occasion after refrigeration.

The four hour cold rule allows foods that are normally sold at refrigeration temperature to be served at ambient temperature for no more than four hours. For example if sandwiches are prepared and refrigerated, and the refrigerator breaks down, the temperature will rise. The sandwiches must be sold within four hours. After four hours any remaining sandwiches must be disposed of.

In order to check temperatures of freezers, fridges, cooking temperatures and delivery of foods, a temperature probe must be used. It must be a thermocouple temperature probe which is able to be calibrated. You can calibrate with boiling water, when the probe should indicate a temperature of 100 ° C. The bottom range of temperatures can be checked with mixture of ice and water. The probe should indicate a temperature of 0 ° C. Probes must be cleaned and disinfected between use. This can be achieved by using alcohol wet wipes or simply boiling water. The temperature probe must be inserted into the thickest part of the food which is known as the core temperature.

For further information and details of food hygiene training courses go to: Food Safety Training .

How to Be Sexy and Find Love – A Stripper's Secrets Revealed

Strippers are real women just like you, but they have learned the secret combination to sexiness and have got it down to a fine art. You do not need a wig, fake tan, stilettos or professional lighting to make men eat out of the palm of your hand. External appearance can help, but it mostly comes down to confidence and attitude. You do not need bucket-loads of money either. Here are a few simple, yet minor tricks you can use to ooze sex appeal and unleash your inner sex kitten.

1. Confidence
Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint what makes a woman alluring. There's just something about the way she stands, moves or her intrinsic body language that says, 'Hey baby. I am a powerful and sexy woman. Come on over (meow …). ' At the root of this mysterious quality is self-confidence. To become sexy you need to build up your self-confidence. The best way to do this is to accept and love the body that God gave you (with a little perseverance, it's easier than it sounds). Believe me, not all men are attracted to Barbie doll look-a-likes. Your body is unique and you owe it to yourself to compliment and celebrate it.

Find ways to boost your self-confidence and your sexiness level will soar. One way you can do this is to focus on highlighting your best features. For example: If you have beautiful eyes, then apply cosmetics to enhance their impact. Another way to build self-confidence is to practice saying positive affirmations to yourself like, 'I am woman. Hear me roar! ' or 'I feel positive and vibrant everyday,' or 'I love my body. I feel sexy and voluptuous. '

2. Posture
The more you work on building your self-confidence, the more you'll notice your post improvement. Women who are confident and stand up straight, look and feel like they're ready to take on the world. So stand up straight and stick your breasts out. You will immediately get more attention and look more approachable. Your entire energy will change in a more positively sexy and assertive way.

3. Premeditated Body Language
Just like posture, body language has a powerful effect on the senses. You might ask why I refer to it as 'pre-meditated?' I call it this because body language is usually something you're unaware of. However, in the following techniques we kindly think about how we are going to use body language to influence and seduce men.

You can use body language to your advantage by echoing the movements of the man you're attracted to. If he looks in a certain direction, take a few seconds, then look in the same direction as him (this could also give you both another talking point in your conversation). Also, if he takes a sip of his drink, synchronize with him and take a sip of yours at the same time. You can also use your hands to rub or softly trace lines and circles on your glass, on the bar, your handbag or on either of your bodies. Only do this in nonsexual places, like his arm or tie (you want to be sexy, not tarty). Move slowly and gracefully in everything that you do. These tame, but flirtatious movements go along way to concreting your sexy mojo vibe. Tip: Do not play with or flick your hair too much. It does not project the desired sexiness and some men find it irritating.

4. Appearance
Take pride in your appearance. You do not have to take on an exhausting beauty routine, though you must at least shower regularly and moisturize your skin. Usually the bigger the beauty routine, the better the confidence. Add a few little finishing touches here and there, week by week and see what makes you feel the most seductive. For example, use a scanned body wash or paint your nails.

5. Listen
Listen to what he is really saying and focus all of your concentration on him. Forget about "trying" to be accepted and making yourself look good. Stop talking, and let the spotlight fall on him. This does not mean you will not make any contributions to the conversation. It just means that it will not be so focused on you. Many males have the mistaken belief that women talk too much. Ask him questions about topics he's passionate about and slowly he will open up to you. If you take the time to listen to him, it will give you an element of mystery that will increase your sexiness. This is because most people can talk about themselves all day and when somebody else is interested, they immediately feel connected and more intimate with them. By doing this, you create the space for more sexiness to breed.

6. Pheromones
On the subject of breeding, I always struggled in my science classes when I was at high school. Even though I sucked at it, I did pick up something worthwhile. Here's a valuable chemistry lesson every woman should know. Pheromones are invisible secretions from our sweat glands that travel through the air and let men know that you are ripe and ready for breeding. These pheromones encourage attraction, intimacy and action! Some scientists believe oral contraceptives can interfere with your natural pheromones and change their quality.

If you're on the pill you could consider alternative methods of birth control and see if your sex appeal changes. But it's most important your method of contraception works effectively for you. There are natural alternatives you can try that will boost your invisible booty call. They include taking herbal supplements like zinc, sticking to a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and showering with no soap (as long as you do not get too stinky). There is also a range of products on the market that claim to increase your pheromones. Some of these perfumes, gels, oils, lotions and love potions are a little 'hocus pocus' so only choose reputable companies with proven results.

7. Self-respect
If sexiness was a diamond, self-respect is probably one of the diamond's hardest facets. Self-respect can be tough to build and does not usually just happen overnight. It can take a lifetime to develop and involves caring about yourself and acknowledging your worth on all levels. The best way to develop self-respect is to be true to yourself and your needs while still respecting the needs of others. Look after yourself and take care of your appearance because it will help you to build confidence. Another way to nurture self-respect is not taking criticism personally and not comparing yourself with others.

If you become jealous of someone else this can make you feel worthless in his or her shadow. The key is to celebrate their success with them and treat it as another source of happiness available to you. Be comfortable with yourself, rather than trying to impress others with fancy cars and accessories, etc. Look for the good qualities in everyone and they will be mirrored back to you. Why is self-respect sexy? It is the epitome of class that we all strive for, gives you a particular air of mystery and colors your mannerisms in an intoxicating way.

You might think that some of these ideas are unorthodox, but trust me when I say they've been tested on thousands of men with great success. Some elements of sexiness like building self-respect and self-confidence will take practice, but others are easy to gain like changing your post and improving your appearance. The more you work at it, the better results you'll get. Do not give up if you do not get a response immediately. Once you get the combination of these factors just right, 'Mr Right' is sure to come your way. On the road to finding (or keeping) your man, you may even discover you have gained something more valuable. You can not put a price on feeling happy, passionate, confident and positive about who you are and the life you are living. Every woman describes to feel sexy and so do you! So, go get em 'tiger …

Aim For The Best Layout Design And Atmosphere For Your Nightclub

Everyone loves a nightclub where the songs are pumping, the beverages are flowing, and there are lovely people smiling and dancing on a fantastic dance floor. A great nightclub has the perfect atmosphere where you can go and release all the troubles and worries away for the night in dancing and absorbing the energy from the other people. So how do you open a nightclub that has the most effective layout design conducive to create this atmosphere? Well let's hope this could help respond to that question.

The layout of the design can make or break a nightclub. Once a patron walks into the club it has to have a sense of flow to it and the original impression can have a long-term impact on the people determining in their mind if they will ever return.

Right here are two questions you want to ask yourself initially, what is the main direction you wish the patrons to be aimed at when getting inside and how the layout make that easy. Well naturally you need the patrons to reach where you generate the profits from, the bar. By establishing the layout design so when a patron enters the club they can see the bar clearly and also must go past it to get to various regions of the nightclub helps increasing the profits.

The first impact a patron has once gotten inside the nightclub may be enhanced by the employees. Although it is imperative to have a bit of an overwhelming big man standing at the entryway, a strong positive public relations can go a long way. Believe it or not, this is favorable in the layout design. A friendly doorman / bouncer who greets everyone using a smile and wishes them to have a great time while entering can manipulate the people's view even before stepping into the nightclub. From there it depends on the wait personnel to stick to using that very same friendly and live attitude. To help keep the employees in a positive attitude the layout has to be developed to give them enough room to serve beverages while at the same time enabling a good circulation of traffic. Some various key elements you need to memorize if considering how to open up a night club using an effective layout design other than the location of the bar, employees attitude and room to work are:

– Sq. Footage you have to work with compared to what capacity the health department allots in patronage.

– What types of features do you want to incorporate into the nightclub such as VIP room, lifted dance floor, more than one dance area, more bars, lounge area, etc.?

– Where do you wish all the features of the nightclub located such as restrooms, coat checks, staff break room, and the above-mentioned that should enable ease in circulation of traffic while at the same time point traffic to where the profits are made?

– All of the functions agree with each other for example; are the bathrooms very easily accessible from the VIP place or just near the bar? Is the staff break room off set from the activities to avert patrons from having easy access?

All these issues should be taken into consideration once looking into how to open up a nightclub using the most effective layout design. A great way to get started in the design is to check out popular nightclubs. Explore their layout design as you ask yourself the aforementioned questions. Right after you get a good idea for what you are searching for talk to a designer to assist you with the layout of the nightclub decor and furniture.

Doggin’ Philadelphia: 10 Cool Things See When You Walk Your Dog

“If your dog is fat,” the old saying goes, “you aren’t getting enough exercise.” But walking the dog need not be just about a little exercise. Here are 10 cool things you can see in greater Philadelphia while you hike with your dog.

FOLK ART

In 1855, a hotel entrepreneur built a new inn on Rex Avenue. To draw attention to his hostelry he constructed an Indian from old barn boards and propped it up on top of a rock overlooking the Gorge. In 1902, when the Indian Rock Hotel was long gone but with the silhouette still there, artist Massey Rhind was commissioned to make a representation of a “Delaware Indian, looking west to where his people have gone.” The kneeling warrior has gazed up the Wissahickon Gorge ever since. A switchback trail leads to the Indian Statue where you can get close enough to pat his knee. And take in a breathtaking view.

MONUMENTAL M0NUMENTS

The Multi-Use Trail rolls past reconstructed huts and parade grounds that transport you back to the Revolution. The National Memorial Arch, a massive stone tribute dedicated in 1917, stands out along the route. The inscription reads: “Naked and starving as they are, we cannot enough admire the incomparable patience and fidelity of the soldiery. Washington at Valley Forge, February 16, 1778.” In the southern part of White Clay, reached by the Twin Valley Trail, is the Arc Corner Monument marking one end of the 12-mile arc which forms the Pennsylvania-Delaware state line, unique in American political boundary-making. The circular divide dates to William Penn’s directive of August 28, 1701, when Delaware was still a part of Pennsylvania, known as the Lower Three Counties. A little more than 1/2 mile to the west is another monument marking the tri-state junction of Delaware,Pennsylvania and Maryland.

AMERICAN CASTLES

Breaking out of the woods at several points on the hilltops you are greeted with an unparalleled view of Granogue, one of the more spectacular of the American castles dotting the Brandywine Valley’s chateau lands.

MOVIE LOCATIONS

Flying concentric circles outward from Philadelphia, Hollywood location scouts for Oprah Winfrey’s movie project, Beloved, spotted the Fair Hill terrain and selected it as the backdrop for the film’s rural scenes. A ramshackle 19th-century tenant farm was constructed and much of the movie shot here. The producers decided to leave the movie set intact, to deteriorate naturally. You can wander among the fake buildings and even knock on the styrofoam stones.

COOL FORTS

Where else can a dog climb into an actual battery and scan the Delaware River where gunnery officers once aimed guns capable of accurately firing 1,000-pound projectiles eight miles like he can at Fort Mott State Park? Fort DuPont, named for Civil War fleet commander Admiral Samuel Francis duPont, saw active duty in three wars before becoming a state park. The 1-mile River View Trail, a grassy loop path, begins in the marshland along the Delaware River and finishes in shaded woodlands. The trail takes you past several ruins of the military installation, camoflauged to river traffic, and features sustained views of the Delaware River and Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island.

REMARKABLE BRIDGES

In the farthest northern section of Tyler State Park is the longest covered bridge in Bucks County. The 117-year old Schofield Ford Covered Bridge burned in 1991 but after five years of fundraising the 166-foot, two-span crossing was entirely rebuilt by volunteers on its original stone abutments using authentic period materials and methods. An elaborate, reinforced wooden railroad trestle bridges a ravine on the Glen Trail. The trail runs by a stream under the trestle and there are sweeping views of Wenonah Woods from the top.

A walk through Brandywine Park provides a quick lesson is the history of bridge architecture. The classical arch form is represented in grand style with the magificent stone viaduct across the river and numerous reinforced concrete spans. There is even a small iron arch bridge over the mill race. A prototypical 19th century pier and girder iron bridge transports trains over the Brandywine. And the pedestrian footbridge across the water, the Swinging Bridge, is a little suspension bridge employing the same engineering principles as the mythical Brooklyn Bridge.

A floodplain is a safety valve for the release of a raging creek’s overflow. Along the Paper Mill Trail, just off the Creek Road Trail, is an exhibit on managing these protective wetlands that create a unique wildlife habitat. The stone double-arch bridge next to the floodplain exhibit was built in 1847. The fall line on the Pennypack Creek was the natural choice for fording the creek back to Indian days. William Penn was not so patient in waiting for the tide to take the water away each day and in 1683 he asked that “an order be given for building a bridge over the Pennypack.” Each male resident was taxed in either money or labor to build the bridge, which, when completed in 1697, became the first Three Arch Stone bridge in America. Designated a National Civil Engineering Landmark, the bridge over Frankford Avenue in Pennypack Park is the oldest stone bridge still carrying heavy traffic in America. Germantown Pike was the first road to be started in Montgomery County, dating to 1687 when funds were allocated for a “cart road” from Philadelphia to the Plymouth Meeting settlement. Later extended to present-day Collegeville, an eight arch stone bridge was built to span Skippack Creek in 1792. An equestrian trail crosses the bridge, which is the oldest bridge in continuous, heavy use in America. Ashland Covered Bridge, built in the days before the Civil War; the adjoining Succession and Flood Plain Trails visit meadow, marsh, pond and forest landscapes.

Theodore Burr built a bridge spanning the Hudson River at Waterford, New York in 1804. He added an arch segment to the multiple truss bridge popular at the time, attaining a longer span. Patented in 1817, the Burr Arch Truss became one of the most common in the construction of covered bridges. The Larkin’s Bridge, a 65-foot long, 45-ton “Burr Arch” covered bridge erected in 1854 and rebuilt in 1881, was relocated to the northeast section of the park in 1972. Larkin’s Covered Bridge is the only remaining legacy of Milford Mills.

In 1850 Albert Fink, a German railroad engineer,

designed and patented a bridge that used a latticework of rods instead of cables to reinforce stiffness. This construction was cheap and sturdy, making the Fink Truss one of the most commonly used railroad bridges in the 1860s, especially favored by the powerful Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Only one Fink Truss bridge remains in the United States – an abandoned 108-foot span in Zoarsville, Ohio. A wooden reproduction of a Fink Truss is in a field at Warwick County Park for you and your dog to climb.

CANAL LOCK

Pennsylvania’s first canal system was cobbled together in 1815 using 120 locks to stretch 108 miles from the coal fields of Schuylkill County to Philadelphia. Railroads began chewing away at canal business in the 1860s and the last coal barges floated down the Schuylkill River in the 1920s. Today, the only sections of the canal in existence are at Manayunk and Lock 60, built by area name donor Thomas Oakes, at the Schuylkill Canal Park. In 1985 the Schuylkill Canal Association formed to keep the canal flowing and maintain the lock and towpath. In 1988, the area was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

CHAMPION TREES

The Taylor Memorial Arboretum provides a 12-Tree Self-Guided Tour. The collection is especially strong in Far Eastern specimens and spotlights three Pennsylvania State Champion trees: the Needle Juniper, the Lacebark Elm and the Giant Dogwood. Also on the tour is a Dawn Redwood, an ancient tree known only through fossils until 1941 when a botany student tracked down living specimens in rural China. Some of the first seed to come to America resulted in this tree. Liberated from their sun-stealing neighbors of the crowded woods, the “King” and “Queen” White Oaks have spread out into a massive canopy of leaves. The “Queen” measures seventeen feet around at the thickest part of the trunk and the “King” is closer to twenty. The two trees are part of the “Penn’s Woods” collection of 139 trees standing when William Penn arrived to survey his Pennsylvania colony.

The arboreal oldsters reside at the last stop of the nature trail. bacterial infection. Awbury Arboretum in East Germantown was the summer estate of 19th century Quaker shipping merchant Henry Cope. Across the 55 acres are plantings of groves and clusters of trees set amidst large swaths of grss fields in the English landscape garden tradition. You can investigate more than 200 species, mostly native, in your informal explorations of the grounds. Old macadam paths lead to most areas of the odd-shaped property. Also on the grounds are wetlands surrounding an artificial pond.

BARNS

While many of the Hospital Farm’s buildings have disappeared, the unique dairy barn remains. Built in 1914, it is shaped like a wheel with four spokes. The fame of the hospital’s dairy operation was widespread. In 1961 alone, nine cows produced 1.1 million pounds of milk – more than 300 pounds of milk per cow per day.The Visitor Center is a restoration of a 1923 Sears & Roebuck mail order barn. A century ago Sears sold anything and everything by mail – including kits for building houses and barns. The kit, which could cost as little as a few hundred dollars depending on style, would include rough lumber, framing timbers, plank flooring, shingles, hardware, sash and paint. Usually shipped by train from the west, the barn kit would be loaded onto a freight wagon and hauled to the building site for assembly by local carpenters.

COOL ROCKS

Forty million years ago an igneous explosion occurred underground here and cooled very quickly leaving behind a particularly fine granite rock. Tourists and students of geology alike made the pilgrimage to the Falls of French Creek to study the rock formations. Granite quarries mined the rock and granite from Saint Peters once received an award at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago as “a fine-grained polished cube, a good building and ornamental stone.” The quarries closed in the 1960s and many pits can still be seen. Today the giant boulders in French Creek are ideal for your dog to sramble on – or just lie in the sun. Mountain in State Game Land #157. The mountain is essentially a ridge of diabase boulders and the trail to the top calls for almost continuous rock-hopping, a technique called bouldering. The basaltic rock provides incredible traction.

And our vote for the coolest thing of all on Philadelphia trails – the “Ringing Rocks” in Ringing Rocks Park where the rocks ping when struck by a hammer – or thud on “dead ” spots.

copyright 2006

Difference Between Hot and Cold Lamination

You can use cold or hot lamination depending on your need and your budget. In hot lamination, the item you want to laminate is subject to heat. However, if you use cold lamination the item is subjected to pressure. For both techniques, you require a film to laminate the material. The thicker the film, the firmer will be the lamination and its durability will increase.

Hot lamination

To laminate a material using hot lamination you need hot laminating film. This technique can be divided into standard and special low melt hot lamination. Standard lamination is used for everyday purposes while special low melt technique is used on items that cannot be subjected to heat. For instance, it is best that you avoid using standard hot lamination on photographs.

The film that is used in this process has two layers – the adhesive resin layer and the polyester layer. The material is placed between the layers which are then placed in the machine that melts adhesive in the sheet. The machine also spreads the adhesive evenly over the item. Since the machine can generate a temperature of up to 300 degree Celsius, it is important that trained personal handle the machine. The process is complete when the aggressive dries up and becomes cold.

This technique is usually cheaper than cold lamination and the items laminated using this technique is more durable. The biggest disadvantage of using this technique is that it cannot be used for material that is sensitive to heat or have inkjet ink. If you use this technique on inkjet ink paper, the ink in the paper may melt. This technique is more time-consuming than cold lamination because you must heat the machine before you start the process.

Cold Lamination

Cold lamination is a simple procedure that helps you get laminated documents in a few minutes. To laminate a document using this technique, you must place the document in the cold lamination machine. After the document is placed in the machine, you have to set the attributes depending upon the shape and the size of the document. If you have a limited budget, you can also use cold roll laminator to laminate the document.

The best part about using this technique is that it can be used for all documents. Paper that have inkjet ink and heat sensitive material can be easily laminated using this technique. It is a simple procedure and can be easily performed by people who have no formal training. Other advantages of using cold lamination machine are that they require little maintenance and are safe. The biggest disadvantage of using this technique is that it is expensive when compared to hot lamination. Also, the chances of bubble formation are high during this technique.

The hot and cold lamination machines have their own advantages and disadvantages. Your choice of machine will depend on your budget and your requirements.

Views From Seats Around The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Track

In part 3 of this series we describe the various seating views on the outside of the south end of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The south end of the Brickyard covers slightly more than a mile of track and includes the Southwest Vista, the South Vista, Grandstand G and the Southeast Vista.

RESERVING YOUR SEATS: At the Brickyard 400 all seats are reserved. But if you want to reserve the same seat year after year, you must purchase your tickets from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) directly. Getting on the renewal list requires you to not only purchase your tickets from the IMS, it also requires you to purchase your tickets each year right after the race. Once you get on the IMS ticket purchasing list you can also ask to be placed on the list to upgrade your tickets as better tickets become available.

It may take many years before you earn the right to purchase prime tickets, but if this is your goal, you better get started now. The IMS will allow you to reserve your seats for your lifetime and then they will allow you to pass your renewal rights to your children. They will not, however, allow your children to pass it down to their children.

GRANDSTAND INFORMATION: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway offers grandstands on the inside and the outside of the track. All grandstands on the inside of the track end with Terrace in its name. Grandstands on the outside of the track include Vistas, Paddock, Penthouse or a Grandstand with a letter in the name. The IMS has removed all infield grandstands in the turns. If your seating chart shows grandstands on the inside corner of the speedway, it is outdated. See the updated seating chart at the Brickyard 400 Seat Photos on this website for an updated seating chart. The following list provides detailed information about each grandstand at the speedway.

SOUTHWEST VISTA: The views from the Southwest Vista located at the end of turn 1 at the south end of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway provides a view of turn 1, the short chute and turn 2. The seating in this grandstand is bench style with no backs . There is no roof covering these grandstands. As with most other grandstands at the Brickyard, the best views are up high in the stands. You must have seats in the double letter rows in order to have a good view of the track. There is no view of the front straightaway from this grandstand. The closest parking to this grandand would be the Main Gate Lot and Lot 2.

SOUTH VISTA: Sitting on the outside of the track between turns 1 and 2 is the South Vista. This grandstand provides views of Turn 1, turn 2 and the short chute. No view of the front straightaway or the back stretch is possible from these seats. The seats are bench style with no backs. There is no roof structure covering this grandstand. The closet parking to this grandand would be Main Gate Lot and Lot 2. Double letter rows offer the best view of the track. Seating in the single letter rows have a somewhat less expansive view of the track and are partally constructed by the catch fence.

GRANDSTAND G: This grandstand sits on the outside of the track in the south short chute. The seats in this grandstand are bench style with no backs and there is no roof covering the seats. The Main Gate Lot and Lot 2 would probably be the closest parking lots. The best views are high into the grandstand. This grandstand is somewhat smaller, height wise, than the South, SW and SE Vista grandstands. From this grandstand you can see turns 1 and 2. Views from the seats in the single letter rows are more constructed by the catch fence.

SOUTHEAST VISTA: This grandstand sits in Turn 2 on the outside of the track. The seats in this section are bench style seats with no backs. There is no roof covering this grandstand. Best views of the track from this grandstand will be found in sections 17, 18, 19, and 20 high in the double letter rows. The Main Gate Lot and Lot 2 would probably be the closest designed IMS lot. Views from the single letter rows are somewhat obstructed by the catch fence.

Is That a Chicken Coop Or an Outhouse? Chicken Coop Construction Plans

Chickens need a safe and comfortable home just like any other animal. Their home is called a coop. For people who wish to raise chickens in their backyard, it is highly recommended to construct a coop where the birds will be kept safe from bad weather and their predators.

But first, you have to plan well for this particular poultry backyard project. Planning means deciding on the number of chickens you will raise, the size of your coop, the materials you will use, the design and the location. If this is a first for you, you can just start with a few say, three chickens and find out how you're doing as you go along. You can add a few more later on if you feel you can manage well.

Other important factors you will have to take into account are the ventilation and insulation of your coop as well as the lighting. Just like humans, chickens also feel the heat of the summer season and when proper ventilation is not provided, the birds can get sick. If you're building a closed coop, you can install vents ideally on the south or facing the east or you can create large holes on the north and south areas preferably at the point where the walls meet the roof.

For the cold winter months, the insulation will help keep the birds dry and warm so do not forget this as well. You can use Styrofoam sheets and place them between the walls and ceiling.

Lighting is as vital. Remember in your Science subject in the elementary grades, you were taught that plants and animals need light, water and air to live. Chickens, therefore, need natural light as often as they can. If you're going to put your coop in a dark or shaded area, build a structure that has openings to allow sunlight to enter or you can also install light fixtures for your birds.

Placement of feeders is another important aspect. Feeders are containers where you put the food of chickens. These have to be placed at a higher level and not on the floor to keep dirt away. Make sure that you place them in a way that you can easily reach them when feeding your chickens.

When building the structure, you do not have to make a complicated one. Start simple if possible. Keep in mind that chickens require sufficient space to move around so determine the right measurements. The standard measurement for each bird is two to three square feet. As your chickens grow, though, additional space will be needed. Do further research if you're special about the chicken breeds and their minimum space requirements.

You can use cheap wood materials combined with chicken wire for the coop. GI sheets can be used for the roof but be sure to build this in a sloping style to keep the water running when it rains.

Raising chickens is a nice hobby and one which can benefit you and your family. You not only have poultry meat for your meals but you can also enjoy chicken eggs for breakfast.

Handy Tips To Help You Make Your Own Wood Wicks For Candles

Wood wick candles are the newest rage in candles. These painted candles have a wick that is made of a particular kind of wood that allows the candle to burn not only with a pleasant fragrance but it also has a familiar crackling sound much akin to wood fire in the fireplace.

If you make your candles then it is possible for you to make these too. There are a few tips to help you make your own wood wick. You will need a few strips of hardwood which are the dimensions of a Popsicle stick. You should choose a hardwood that burns at a very slow rate like olive, ash, walnut and eucalyptus. Also, you need to remember that these wood wicks are to be used only when making jar candles.

Now that you have the strips you must lay them out and place them next to each other without touching at all. The surface that you place them on should be a flat surface and they should be allowed to lay like that overnight. The next day you will need to prime the strips. To do this you will have to heat some wax in a double boiler. You should now take one wick at a time a dip it in the wax with the help of a paperclip clipped to it. Once removed it takes about 30 seconds for the wax to dry. Once the wick is dry you can store it in a metal holder and use them the next time you make your candles.

Service Design – Steps and Processes Involved

There are a lot of stages and processes involved in service design before any new product or service is launched into the market. This concept offers a lot of benefits both to the customer as well as the service provider. While the customer is guaranteed reliable, usable, desirable and quick service, the provider obtains adequate profits, long-term success and customer satisfaction in return.

The first and foremost step in the service design process is research. Extensive research at multiple levels is required before any new service or product is launched. Reports developed after insightful research helps the provider to understand the requirements of the customer and also the kind of service that is currently available in the market. Exploratory research techniques are used to understand the current situation and get a deeper understanding of the customers, their needs and expectations. The next step is genetic research in which the focus is on exercises and activities that will reveal how to respond to the findings of exploratory research. The final leg is evaluative research which helps to validate whether the service or recommendations designed actually meets the need of the customer or end user.

Service or product development process can be categorized into four stages starting with design, analysis, development and then market introduction. Each of these is connected and can be considered to be a feedback loop. The design process can involve both product and service design in equal measures and is put forward as a blueprint, physical model, prototype or business plan. While designing a physical product, multiple characteristics and attributes of the product is considered to make it effective and efficient. And while designing a service, the new idea is put forward through creative and meaningful representations. Usually both fuzzy and procedural approach is used during designing; in the fuzzy approach, the importance is on the idea. The executives are asked to come up with creative, genuine, unique and technologically advanced ideas that can be implemented either into the product or the service. In the procedural approach, a more methodological way of planning is employed and the product or service is looked into with greater detail.

There are various tools that are employed in this process; along with physical elements, interactions with people are also an important part during development. Sometimes, only an improvement in the existing service will be taken up which require a defect understanding of the current service, its strengths and weaknesses and the customers' opinion obtained in the form of feedback and surveys.

The success of any service experience depends largely on an integrated service design program which has been implemented seamlessly into the process. Creating a service blueprint allows the organization to consider all the issues and factors inherent in managing the particular service. The first step is to analyze and identify the weak points in the service, then create a time frame to make the necessary changes and the final step is to analyze the user reaction and profitability of the service.

How to Save Money Using Carpet Remnants

If you are looking to redo the carpeting in your home, you may wish to consider using carpet remnants in some of the rooms. This is something that may sound strange at first, but you would have surprised at the quality you can find following this money saving method.

All rooms are equipped with a TV, cable / satellite channels and a mini bar. Instead, this is a very popular method that people and contractors use in the smaller rooms such as bedrooms, offices, and dens. The do this for several reasons, all of which will help you understand why using such remnants can be very worth the little extra time it takes to find them either online or in the store.

First, you can save a lot of money by using carpets remnants. You can save over 50% versus traditional, full length carpeting, which can obviously add us in our current economic environment. Not only that, but you can find this discounted carpet remnants for all types and for all brands of carpets. So what is the reason for the discount? It's very simple – contractors and other carpet layers always have extra carpet. The main carpet rolls obviously will not fit perfectly for every home and job, so the leftovers are left for people to use as remnants.

Second, by using different remnants in various rooms in your home you can add a level of style that does not come when you use the same carpet through your whole house. So, you get savings and style at the same time.

Pointe Shoes – What Is Sickling And Fishing?

Dancing in pointe shoes is a very precise technique – if you want to avoid common dance injuries such as sprained ankles and knee sprains. A young dancer, or an adult ballet beginner, may take two or three years of classes, and be constantly sickling in, or curving the ankle inwards towards the center of the body, or “fishing”, or curving the ankle outwards away from the center of the body. On a working, or presenting leg, where there is no weight on the foot, it really does not matter. But on a supporting leg, the leg that bears the body weight, it certainly does matter – especially if you want to dance in pointe shoes.

Keeping the ankle aligned, meaning neither sickling or curving in, nor curved out, is the ideal situation. But dancers with less arch curve may want to sickle out, or “fish” the ankle curve, on a working, or lifted leg, to show a lovely curve of the foot that a very flexible ankle joint would show. This will not result in a ballet injury, to the foot or the knee.

However, allowing the ankle to sickle in, or out, on a supporting leg, will eventually affect the condition of the foot’s arch muscles, as well as the ligaments supporting the knee joints.

So a properly instructed dance student may choose to “fish” or sickle out a working leg foot, in an extension devant, or an arabesque, to create the ballet aesthetic that ballet teachers, choreographers, and artistic directors look for. This is okay in a presenting leg ballet position.

Most audience members that go to ballet are not looking for this kind of detail, please believe me. PLEASE.

On a supporting foot, whether in toe shoes or on demi-pointe, the ankle must be aligned, that is, in a position a straight line down from the knee joint, in order to protect the tendons and ligaments that keep the structure of the upper leg, knee joint, and lower leg, safely intact.