The More You Read, The More You Learn

Why learning is important..."It is critical that a company create the kind of environment in which people really believe they can learn, grow, and prosper. The focus has to be on developing people."


Google

Monday, December 31, 2007

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Household Tricks

Broken Glass
Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.

Squirrel Away
To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with
cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge, add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Foggy Windshield?
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser. Works better than a cloth.

Reopening an envelope
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside , just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. It unseals easily.

Goodbye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass and fill it 1/2 way with
Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid, mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever.

Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it
home, can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works

IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT CLOTHES DRYERS

If you use dryer sheets, they cause a film over the lint filter mesh and that can burn out the heating unit. Dryer sheets feel 'waxy' and that's what builds up on the lint filter. This is also what makes dryer units catch fire and could burn your house down.

Test your lint filter: Remove filter, under your kitchen faucet, run water through the mesh. If the water doesn't go through the mesh and puddles on top of it...you have the waxy film buildup. Wash it with hot soapy water and use an old toothbrush (or other brush) and scrub the film away. Do this every six months to keep your dryer working longer, keep your electric bill down and save yourself from a potential fire.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Are You Due a VAT Refund?

According to Wikipedia,Value added tax (VAT), is tax on exchanges. Consumers who buy personal products and services cannot recover VAT on purchases, but businesses are able to recover VAT on the materials and services that they buy to make further supplies or services directly or indirectly sold to end-users.

A VAT is an indirect tax, in that the tax is collected from someone other than the person who actually bears the cost of the tax (namely the seller rather than the consumer). VAT was invented because very high sales taxes and tariffs encourage cheating and smuggling.

Has your company paid for services or travel expenses outside your country? Have any of your employees attended conferences or trade shows in Europe? You may be entitled to a vat refund for the following expenses if incurred for business purposes:

. Hotel/Accommodation
• Restaurant/meals
• Car hire
• Car fuel
• Professional services
• Exhibitions/Trade fairs
• Advertising /Marketing
• Workshops/conferences/seminars/meetings/training
• Costs of running a representative offices
• Telephone and communications etc…


Did you know that if you use Google Adwords for your business you may also be eligible for a refund? This is due to the main office of Google's billing department moving to Ireland. Google can charge the VAT tax of approximately 21% on their accounts unless you inform them of your VAT registration number.

The items which are eligible can vary and the tricky law of VAT can be confusing for some. To get expert advice, up to date information and have a company which specializes in reclaim and management of VAT,
I suggest visiting www.globaltaxreclaim.com.

A Quote Full of Wisdom

A couple of hundred years ago, Benjamin Franklin shared with the world the secret of his success.

Never leave that till tomorrow, he said, which you can do today.

This is the man who discovered electricity. You would think more people would listen to what he had to say.

I don't know why we put things off, but if I had to guess, I'd have to say it has a lot to do with fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, sometimes the fear is just of making a decision, because what if you're wrong? What if you're making a mistake you can't undo?

The early bird catches the worm. A stitch in time saves nine. He who hesitates is lost. We can't pretend we hadn't been told. We've all heard the proverbs, heard the philosophers, heard our grandparents warning us about wasted time, heard the damn poets urging us to seize the day.

Still sometimes we have to see for ourselves. We have to make our own mistakes. We have to learn our own lessons. We have to sweep today's possibility under tomorrow's rug until we can't anymore.

Until we finally understand for ourselves what Benjamin Franklin really meant.

That knowing is better than wondering, that waking is better than
sleeping,and even the biggest failure, even the worst, beat the hell out of never trying.


Source: Grey's Anatomy

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Who Would of Thought?

My friend has family in Iowa. Her brothers' son (her nephew) was born with a heart defect, which makes his health critical on a daily basis. The little one must be monitored 24 hours a day. This condition causes other side effects, but makes his heart stop for no apparent reason.

The parents living in the middle of no where were concerned that if the baby's heart stopped, how would they get to the hospital in time for the medical care immediately needed. Of course the parents were trained in CPR and other procedures necessary to respond to this situation, but his life depends on medically trained doctors at the hospital.

They were introduced to an air ambulance service which would be immediately available to them if the situation was necessary.

Who would of thought airambulance.net was available on the Internet to provide resources to people needing emergency air transportation 24/7 to the hospital throughout the United States?

AirAmbulance.net are specialists in medical flight. They provide trained Flight nurses, Paramedics and medical equipment on board this chartered flight.

This has been a godsend to my friends family. They now feel more secure knowing that a potentially life threatening situation can be attended to quickly. This has calmed their fears and they have confidence knowing this service is reliable, has been in existence for 21 years and will provide quality care if needed.

I wanted to bring this to the attention of others who may be in the same situation as my friends family or in the future may find themselves needing an air ambulance.

Take Time to Reflect On The Past Year

2008 will be here in just a few days. I can’t believe how fast time is going by. I guess my mother was right when she said... "wait til you get older, time will fly by". How true!

Instead of just focusing on how you will ring in the New Year…who you will kiss at midnight or which party you are going to…look back over the past year and remember.

Remember accomplishments, regardless of how small. Remember to count your blessings and remember to be thankful. Some of us might have experienced some hard times, difficult situations or even losing loved ones, but all and all, you (we) are alive and still have many things to be grateful for. My usual saying comes to mind… things can always be worse.
And, they could be.

Did you learn from making a mistake or two? Mistakes can be a very useful learning tool, as long as you do learn from them.

Congratulate yourself if you made a positive change in your life that you will carry over into the New Year. Be proud of yourself for starting a new business, taking a chance, any new lessons learned.

Did you find a new way to make money? Continue with your efforts into the new year and don't give up! Be thankful the opportunity come to you.

Did you join a charity? Volunteer your time? Work on becoming a better person? If you answered yes to any of those... be proud of yourself. Remember that you gave your time, gave a bit of yourself to help someone else, gave yourself time to focus on personal growth.

We take so many things for granted. If you look back over the past year, you will find many things to be positive about.

Here's to 2008, which I hope is an even better year for all of us. Wishing all good health, much wealth, loving friends and family, true happiness and peace.

Cheers!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Decorating With LED Christmas Lights

As you disassemble your Christmas Tree and before you pack away the LED Christmas lights, think about the various other uses for them.

I am using them in my kitchen. On top of the hutch I have, I decorated it with ivy. Stealing the idea from my favorite local eatery, I have strung the lights through the ivy, creating a warmly lit, romantic area. A touch of Tuscany. Perfect for a romantic dinner and also useful as a night light in the kitchen. The cost to operate these lights is minimal.

The other places you can use these LED Christmas lights are accenting your landscape, outline the walkway, as decorative lighting when entertaining outdoors. String them through your trees, hang them on your deck when having parties. These lights add that special sparkle and create atmosphere. Your guests will love it.

I am sure you have seen these lights used at many businesses, including Restaurants and wedding halls. Why not bring this decorative idea into and around your home? Be creative and accent the interior of your home.

If you have an idea for the use of these lights or have already incorporated these LED Christmas lights into your decor, please leave a comment and share with us.

Recycle Your Christmas Tree

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, between 28 and 30 million natural Christmas trees will be sold in the US during this holiday season.

With Christmas being over and New Years right around the corner, it will be time to take the decorations and tree down. 93 percent of consumers who purchased natural trees will recycle. Some trees will be collected and chipped for mulch and others end up at a large composting facility.

Jefferson Parish, La, uses Christmas trees to construct underwater 'fences' which prevent saltwater from invading freshwater marshes. Many states use the trees to create fish and bird habitats. They are also used to slow erosion on beaches and riverbanks. There is also a Canadian pharmaceutical company that has discovered a way to harvest a flu vaccine component from the conifers.

Some people recycle their Christmas tree and don't realize it. Trees are processed in their own backyard, using the trunk for firewood. When putting their tree out for trash collection, their tree is actually being separated and given to tree recyclers.

To find a Christmas Tree recycler in your area, check www.christmastree.org. Earth 911 maintains a searchable national database of more than 3,500 recyclers and collection events.

Source: Waste Age Magazine

Does Your New Year's Resolution Include Weight Loss?


Sharing a special holiday with family and friends often includes a feast with all the trimmings and then sampling the many desserts. One can easily over eat, which can lead to gaining a few extra pounds.

When the holidays are over, we realize just how much we actually did over eat. Our bodies feel bloated and then we feel guilty.

How many of us include a New Year's resolution that consists of losing weight with the help of weight loss programs and exercise?

Before starting any diet or exercise program, it is important to get all the
diet information possible, so you can make the best decision on which program is right for you. Your goal should be to become successful in losing weight and keeping it off in a healthy manner.

There are so many diet plans available. Medifast, Nurtisystem, Weight Watchers, Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet and so on, which can easily get you confused.

Weight-Loss-Diet-Help.com is the perfect solution to finding information on multiple diet plans. As the site's name suggests, you can get help through the many motivational and informative articles on weight loss and diets plus receive healthy diet and nutrition suggestions. This site is also providing coupons, so when you join you receive a discount.

This year don't just make a New Year's Resolution, Keep one...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Teach The Children the Symbols of Christmas

Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that now-a-days Christmas has forgotten.

Teach the children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind, all the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man' s thoughts turning toward heaven.

Teach the children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of His promise.

Teach the children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness.

Teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the real nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection.

Teach the children that Santa Claus, symbolize the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December.

Teach the children that the holly plant represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly berries represent the blood shed by Him.

Teach the children that God so loved the world that he gave his begotten son. Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.

Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherds crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother's keeper.

Teach the children that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The angels sang Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men.

Teach the children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring mankind to the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return.

Remember, teach the children the true meaning of Christmas and do not put Santa in the center, for he is but a humble servant of the One that is.


MERRY CHRISTMAS!
May you all have a peaceful holiday, filled with Love, Happiness, Faith and Hope


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Rebuild Damaged Credit

Has your life been touched by the recent financial turmoil of the US economy? With mortgages adjusting making payments higher, there have been more delinquencies. Due to the prices of houses dropping, the chances of refinancing can be more difficult.

This all can affect your credit if due to a higher monthly mortgage, it made it harder to keep up timely on your other bills.

Have you fallen into the trap of buy now, pay later? This too can cause you to easily fall into bad credit by having a large balance and not paying on time.
There are programs available for people touched with bad credit issues.

If you are suffering from credit problems, you may want to consider having one major credit card that helps rebuild your credit while getting back on your feet. Good payment performance when reported to the credit bureaus can help rebuild damaged credit.

Choose wisely and thoroughly read through the terms and conditions. There are many programs available and a wise choice would be to compare all offers that are available and not take the first offer you come across.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Get The Skinny

Here's something that's interesting and enables you to get the demographics by zip code.

Zip Skinny gives you social indicators such as education and marital status. Economic indicators regarding household income and occupations in the town you live in.

Also provided is information on schools, race, ages and lets you do a comparison of up to 20 different zip codes. This information is provided to Zip Skinny by the Census bureau.

This can be useful information if you are considering relocating or conducting business in a certain location.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Do You Know About Pixel Protector?

If you have recently purchased an expensive large screen TV for yourself or as a holiday gift, you should be aware how you can protect your investment.

It may not have occurred to you that to get the best quality and prolong the life of your TV, you need to correctly set up the TV's calibration, keep your TV free of screen burn and fix any stuck pixels. Doing this will provide optimal performance.

With Pixel Protector,you can now maintain your large screen TV and/or Home Theater system. This DVD includes removal tools for screen burn, ghosting, sharpens picture quality, provides a set up guide and alignment tools and will help recalibrate pixel levels,

If you take owning a Plasma,or Conventional TV seriously, this product is something you should look into to provide a longer lifespan and achieve the best quality possible.

When Bloggers Write A Negative Post

All it takes is a single negative post on a blog and it can spread like fire. Although a post can disappear as quickly as it appears, but what would you do if you found a blogger writing something negative about you or your business?

Just because someone is blogging it doesn't mean there are people listening, but what if a lot of people are paying attention? One slam can do some damage.

You can be prepared for any such slam if you know which blogs are following you and/or your business. According to Technorati, there are more than 100 million blogs worldwide as of November.

You can sign up for a free account with Technorati or Google and see what blogs are linking to you that mention you, your business, your service or products. These services also track which blogs are linking to those blogs, which gives you an idea how many people read a post.

If a negtive post about you appears on a blog that doesn't get much traffic, your best strategy might be to monitor the blog, but make no comment...do nothing. A more poplar blogger may cause more attention to the negative post, but you might not want to respond with a negative reply on your own blog or on the bloggers page. That sort of back and forth is likely to draw more attention to the original post and provoke more negative responses.

You can also contact the blogger and try to sort out your differences. But, what if a blogger has an legitimate complaint? Try to resolve it. Chances are the blogger may consider posting something positive about how you addressed the problem.

Have you ever found yourself in this sort of negative light? If so, how did you handle the situation?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Free Web Hosting Directory

If you are thinking of having your own web site, whether for personal or business, you will need a web hosting service.This is a service which allows you to have space on their server and Internet connectivity.

With many companies to choose from and so many options, how do you know what it right for you? The scopes of hosting services are varied. At http://www.webhostingchoice.com, I found a free guide and directory for choosing the right company.

Don't worry if you are new to web hosting. This site gives you the basics and a questions/answers page that will help you along. There is even a link to the web hosting scams that you surely want to avoid.

Everything you need to learn about web hosting, including domains, bandwidth, server information and other resources are right at your fingertips.

If you currently have web hosting with another company, this information can also be useful to compare rates if you are thinking of switching from your current company. With the use of their quick web host search you can find out the monthly cost, set up fee, diskspace and bandwidth in one click.

So whether you will have a small site or a large business site or even an e-commerce website, I would suggest going to www.webhostingchoice.com and bookmark it for future use, so you can make an informed decision.

Dog Owners Beware: Raisin & Grape Toxicity

If you own a dog, you may not be aware that giving your dog as few as 7 raisins or grapes can be extremely toxic causing renal failure.

After I received an email regarding this, I did some investigating and found it to be true. If a dog eats raisins or grapes, aggressive treatment is needed as well as fluids and close monitoring for survival.

Be careful leaving raisins and grapes in places where your dog can help themselves to these delicious treats.If you suspect your dog did ingest raisins or grapes, contact your vet immediately.

Also toxic to dogs are onions, chocolate and macadamia nuts. Chocolate contains Theobromine. This chemical is used to make all kinds of chocolate and can also be found in cocoa mulch, which is sold in garden stores. This is lethal to not only dogs, but to cats as well. Please read the ingredients of your mulch purchase before using outdoors.

See below the email I received and a link to snopes to read further.

Written by:
Laurinda Morris, DVM
Danville Veterinary Clinic
Danville , Ohio

This week I had the first case in history of raisin toxicity ever seen at MedVet. My patient was a 56-pound, 5 yr old male neutered lab mix that ate half a canister of raisins sometime between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM on Tuesday. He started with vomiting, diarrhea and shaking about 1AM on Wednesday but the owner didn't call my emergency service until 7AM.

I had heard somewhere about raisins AND grapes causing acute Renal failure but hadn't seen any formal paper on the subject
We had her bring the dog in immediately.

In the meantime, I called the ER service at MedVet, and the doctor there was like me - had heard something about it, but.... Anyway, we contacted the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center and they said to give I V fluids at 1 1/2 times maintenance and watch the kidney values for the next 48-72 hours.

The dog's BUN (blood urea nitrogen level) was already at 32 (normal less than 27) and creatinine over 5 ( 1.9 is the high end of normal). Both are monitors of kidney function in the bloodstream. We placed an IV catheter and started the fluids.

Rechecked the renal values at 5 PM and the BUN was over 40 and creatinine over 7 with no urine production after a liter of fluids. At the point I felt the dog was in acute renal failure and sent him on to MedVet for a urinary catheter to monitor urine output overnight as well as overnight care.

He started vomiting again overnight at MedVet and his renal values have continued to increase daily . He produced urine when given lasix as a diuretic. He was on 3 different anti-vomiting medications and they still couldn't control his vomiting.

Today his urine output decreased again, his BUN was over 120, his creatinine was at 10, his phosphorus was very elevated and his blood pressure, which had been staying around 150, skyrocketed to 220.. He continued to vomit and the owners elected to euthanize.

This is a very sad case - great dog, great owners who had no idea raisins could be a toxin. Please alert everyone you know who has a dog of this very serious risk.

Poison control said as few as 7 raisins or grapes could be toxic. Many people I know give their dogs grapes or raisins as treats including our ex-handler's. Any exposure should give rise to immediate concern.


Snopes article

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Free e-Cards

With so many having 'Internet' friends and associates, I'm sure you want to include them in your holiday card list.

Since Christmas is right around the corner, you can send fast, FREE online greeting cards to family, friends and associates.

These online greetings cards are available in flash, animation, or a simple image. You can add your personalized text and the best part is being able to reach your recipient anywhere around the globe.

Have friends or family living in another country or speak another language? Not a problem....these greetings can be sent in French, Italian, Spanish and German.

Kissemo.com has an assortment of free e-cards in other categories, so keep them in mind for another occasion or simply...just because.

Entrepreneur Trends to Watch

Trends Entrepreneurs Should Watch For

Those who have technologies and services aimed at reducing carbon emissions will be in luck. Climate change is a major issue across the globe. If you are able to do creative things around reducing carbon emissions you should be able to find great openings for doing well in business.

Big opportunities will be experienced for those who export to Europe and Canada. Continuing fallout from manufacturing troubles in China could give an edge to companies that manufacture in the US. More and more entrepreneurs are blooming in Latin America and more US businesses will hit those markets. This gives you a chance to partner with entrepreneurs in that region.


Some Stats

72 percent of Americans dream of starting their own company

37 percent of small business do not recycle

43 percent of small business have registered their trademarks with the government

Monday, December 10, 2007

Jury Duty Scam

This has been verified by the FBI (their link is also included below).

This scam seems to be spreading fast, so be prepared should you get this call.

Most of us take those summons for jury duty seriously. A new and ominous kind of fraud has surfaced. The caller claims to be a jury coordinator. The caller claims to work for the local court and then claims you failed to report for jury duty. The caller then tells you that a warrant has been issued for your arrest.

If you protest that you never received a summons for jury duty, the scammer asks you for your Social Security number and date of birth, so he or she can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant.

Give out any of this information and bingo, your identity was just stolen.

The fraud has been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma, Illinois, and Colorado.

This (swindle) is particularly insidious because they use intimidation over the phone to try to bully people into giving information by pretending they are with the court system.

The FBI and the Federal Court System have issued nationwide alerts on their
web sites, warning consumers about the fraud.

Snopes site: says this is real fraud.
http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/juryduty.asp

FBI site: warns about the fraud.
http://www.fbi.gov/page2/june06/jury_scams060206.htm

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Mind Body Connection

It is fact that what people think and believe can affect their health. Research shows that keeping the body in a calm state is crucial to well-being and optimal health.

Relaxation and stress management techniques will help you reach a calm state to achieve physical and mental health. Relaxation decreases wear and tear on your body and also helps self-control to handle stressful situations at work and home.

My father introduced me to self-hypnosis for relaxation a very long time ago. He always told me that the influence of the mind on the body can be used in a positive way to improve the way a person feels (mentally or physically). Self-hypnosis methods can be used in many areas. Reduce feelings of anxiety or stress, fears, phobias, manage pain, weight loss, quit smoking, self improvement and any other area you feel you need help in. Hypnosis uses affirmations which are positive statements that we make ourselves counter stress and unpleasant thoughts.

Hypnotizing yourself requires only that you have a private quiet area and a place to sit or lay down. You relax yourself as completely as possible, but not falling asleep. You then can deepen your relaxation, usually by counting down from 100 or by thinking of yourself slowly sinking downwards. When you are very relaxed, you can think about a relaxing image, or an image of yourself as successful and happy and not worried.Once you reach this state of relaxation, you can repeat your affirmations.

An alternative to using self-hypnosis is to listen to hypnosis downloads. The benefit of these is that you can listen to them and relax when you are too tired to want to hypnotize yourself.
A good source of these is http://www.instant-hypnosis.com

This site offers over 300 available sessions for immediately access. Some topics include: self improvement, body image, business success, phobias, overcoming illness, spiritual,women's health, addictions, love, mental health and so many more.

You can learn how to focus from the outside to inside, control stressful emotions and anxiety, increase energy and awareness, harmonize your nervous system, keep you attention in a safe place and center your mind and quiet the 'mental' chatter.

Repetitive Stress Injury: Hand/Wrist

Over 60 percent of all workplace aliments are repettive stress injuries. They can be healed with early diagnosis. If you expereine constant pain in the hands, wrist or forearms, you may want to see a physician for advice.

Hand and wrist warm-up and stretching exercises are beneficial in preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and relieving chronic and intermittent pain. If you use the computer for most of the day, these exercises can help and should be done before starting work.

Typist Warm-up:
Make a fist with both hands, then relax. Repeat this 5 or 6 times. Wiggle your fingers up and down. Rub your hands together as if you were putting hand lotion on.

Finger Stretch:

With both hands, extend and flex your fingers, sprending them apart as you do.

Thumb Stretch:
Raise your hands to should height with your palms facing outwards. Move your thumbs into the center of your palms. Hold for a few seconds then relax.

Wrist Stretch:
Hold your arms out in front of your body with the palms outwards and fingers pointing up. Allow your fingers to relax and drop to horizontal. Bend the wrists down. Hold for a count of 5 and then return your hands to horizontal position. Hold for 5

Palm Press:
Make a loose fist, palm up. Gently press your other hand against the fist. Resist the force for 5 seconds, keeping your wrist straight. Repeat with other hand.

Praying Hands:
Put the palms of your hands together as though in prayer. Elbows out and wrists bent at right angles. Press your palms together, aloowing no movement in either directin. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, feeling the push in your wrists. Repeat several times. Do not hold your breath as you push your hands together.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Second Act Saves You Money

Our thoughts are now on holiday shopping and getting the best deals. With that in mind, I wanted to make you aware of Second Act. This is an online retailer that offers the lowest prices on factory refurbished, factory closeouts, overstocks, end of life products and open box products. Who doesn't like saving money?

I know that there is some doubt when purchasing these kinds of items, but I myself saved a bundle on an open box item. I couldn't believe the discount I was given. Better for me...

At Second Act you will find HDTV's and related items. They are an authorized dealer of some major names in the electronics world. You will also find they offer the "deal of the day" feature that gives a deeper discount on an item for a 24 hour period.

Whether you are looking for an IPOD, flat screen TV's, home stereo systems or computer monitors, you can find it all at Second Act. Maybe you thought you couldn't afford to buy that someone special such a great gift, but chances are you can at Second Act.

NJ Is The Fourth In People Leaving The State

Since I currently reside in New Jersey, I found the following information to be of interest.

New Jersey is the fourth in people leaving the state. In recent studies and polls it shows that more people are leaving the state than coming in. More than half of those who remain would like to leave also.


A study produced by Rutgers University professors James Hughes and Joseph Seneca reported that in 2006, 72,547 more people moved out of New Jersey to other areas of the United States than moved in.

The study also showed those moving into the state were less wealthy than those moving out.. The study predicts that as a result of the pace of the out-migration, New Jersey may experience a net decline in total population in 2008.

In another poll conducted in September by the Monmouth University Polling Institute and Gannett found that half of New Jersey's residents would like to move out.

According to the study released in the Asbury Park Newspaper as well as other Gannett newspapers last month, more than half of the 801 adults surveyed expressed a desire to leave New Jersey, with half the group saying they are very likely to leave.

Nearly 60 percent of those indicating they would like to leave stated financial issues, such as: property taxes, high costs of living and housing costs. This is evidence showing that New Jersey's high costs are a problem for both businesses and residents alike.

How far will your salary go in another city? CLICK HERE

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Do It Yourself or Search Engine Marketing Agency?

Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, is a form of Internet Marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in the Search Engine result pages. This method is effective in driving targeted visitors to your web site.

There is quite a bit involved in SEM and it could be overwhelming to a newbie. You can do research and learn for yourself, but this takes some time on your part. Have you ever tried SEM yourself? If so, what results have you achieved?

The many aspects of SEM are Keywords and search terms, web design, search engine optimization, search engine submission, link building, paid inclusion, pay per click search engines, log file and traffic analysis and page rank.

If you are using the Internet for marketing or have a website that relies on visitors, your goal should be having the best listing possible within search engines. Great listings have great SEO. This will bring targeted traffic in the form of visitors, which in turn, can bring customers.

If you have tried SEM or SEO yourself and have received so-so results you may want to consider a search engine marketing agency. It is important to discuss your SEO plan directly with a qualified search engine representative. An agency will help you learn about and use the advertising opportunities offered by search engines. These agencies are a good source in providing you with excellent tracking of campaigns and keep you abreast of the ever constant changes in Google, Yahoo and MSN. Something you alone may not be able to keep up with.

Have you used a search engine marketing agency? If you have, which agency have you used and what was your experience.....positive/negative?

Bottled Water vs. Tap Water

Which one do your prefer? It seems this is a question with many different answers as to why one likes either bottled or tap water. Personal reasons, scientific or aesthetic reasons.

Water comes from many different sources. It can come from rivers, lakes, reservoirs, springs and wells and the treatment process for each source varies. When water travels over the surface of land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals. The water can also pick up various substances that have been touched by human or animal activity.

When tap water is treated, necessary chemicals are added to combat any contaminants and/or bacteria.
Tap water is highly regulated by State and the Environmental Protecting Agency (EPA). As a result, you can be sure that your water meets or surpasses all state and federal guidelines.

On the other hand, the State Health Department and the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) regulates bottled water. The FDA sets limits like the EPA, but there are differences with process controls. Such as bottling controls, sampling protocols and testing frequencies. Bottled water is not environmentally friendly.

It takes millions of gallons of oil to produce the plastic bottles used for bottled water each year. After the water is consumed, the bottle is usually recycled and end up in the garbage where it takes years to break down. Many cities and towns are taking an active role in educating their residents about the environmental aspects of plastic containers

Although one may feel that bottled waters' main value is the convenience, but isn't it just as easy to fill a water bottle with tap water? What is the biggest difference? The cost of course. Americans have spent approximately $15 billion on bottled water in 2006 alone. Tap water is much less expensive at approximately $.08 to $8.00 per gallon, but the average cost of tap water is about $.02 per gallon.

You could refill a water bottle hundreds of times with tap water for the cost of a single bottle of bottled water.
So maybe the choice is purely a personal one?

Education here regarding the facts and environmental issues may help consumers think twice about bottled water.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Vista Print Holiday Cards

I have been doing business with Vista Print for some time now.

I have ordered business cards, postcards and other items with confidence knowing my items would be high in quality and would arrive in a timely manner. I have been completely satisfied each item I have ordered and received.

I often get emails informing me of special deals. Some products are free and I just have to pay for shipping. Great deal! Their site contains a listing of all free products available, so it's worth your while to check them out.

My thoughts now turn to Christmas Cards. Time is passing so quickly, I was thinking I may be too late in getting my cards out, but I found at Vista Print, I could personalize my card and receive it in as little as 3 days!

I am considering holiday photo cards this year for family and friends and now I know I still have time to order and get them mailed out. There's hundreds of designs to choose from and options that include folded cards, postcards and the new collage cards. That one's for me because I can never decide which picture to use! If you don't have your own picture, no worries...Vista Print offers approximately 70,000 free stock images.

Whether you are looking for Business/Corporate needs or personal, you can get it all at Vista Print.

Legislative Action Soon on Ten Week Paid Family Leave

A paid family leave mandate requiring all employers to provide 10 weeks of paid leave is expected to be considered soon.

There has been a lot of controversy regarding this issue. S-2249 is the bill number of the proposed paid leave mandate. The legislation is expected to see a final vote before the current session ends on January 8, 2008.

The bill would provide employees with 10 weeks of paid leave every year to care for a newborn, adopted child or an ill family member. It applies to all companies, even those with as few as two employees.

New Jersey Business Industry Association members are arguing that it makes no sense to impose the same one size fits all, paid leave mandate on every employer. Under this mandate, businesses will be out nearly three months without key workers and force them to pay increased costs related to temporary workers, overtime and lost productivity.

Assembly speaker Joseph Roberts and Senate President Richard Codey, made it clear they feel the current bill goes too far and would have to be scaled back before a vote could be scheduled. Roberts also said he believes the number of weeks in the current bill is too high and the inclusion of all small businesses is too severe.

I am sure employees are hoping this bill passes, while employers are fighting against this mandate.

Source: NJ Business & Industry Association

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Refinance Your Auto or Truck Loan and Save Money

I think it's safe to say that we all want to save money each month on our expenses. The cost of living is on the rise, mortgages are resetting and homeowners may find these are causing more money to leave our pockets.

If you have an auto loan, do you know what the interest rate you are paying? I was surprised to learn how many of my friends and associates don't know this.

Did you know you can refinance your auto loan as you could refinance your mortgage? Refinance Car Loans enables you to pay off your existing auto loan, but it is a faster and easier process than refinancing your mortgage.

The new lender will pay off your old loan and the title will get transferred to the new lender. Refinancing a car loan is basically used to lower your interest rate, thus reducing your monthly expenses. Auto loan rates are lower now, so why not take advantage of this?

If you had obtained a loan a year or two ago, maybe the interest rate was high due to poor credit and now you know your credit has improved. This will give you a lower interest rate. You have a couple of choices when considering an auto refinance loan. If you want to reduce the amount you are paying in interest, refinance with the same or reduced term. If your goal is to have smaller monthly payments, you can even chose to extend the payment term on your existing loan. Please note though that this may increase the total interest paid over the life of your loan.

If this is something you want to look into, take a look at RateGenius. They utilize an electronic document process that will provide a speedy refinance and at No Cost for using their service. They will find a lender for the terms you want and you may be able to enjoy not making your first payment for up to 60 days.

Stop paying ridiculously high monthly auto or truck payments. Keep more money in your pocket.

Fight Rental Housing Discrimination

I recently received an email asking for my help and/or advice on how to prevent discrimination when looking for rental housing.

The family that contacted me has a very sick child with a rare disease. The family was told to obtain a 'therapy dog' by their physician. For those of you who are not familiar with this term, according to Wikipedia: a Therapy Dog refers to a dog trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, mental institutions, schools, and stressful situations such as disaster areas. A therapy dog is not considered an assistance dog, which assist humans and has legal rights to accompany their owners, but I do feel a certain compassion should be given to this family and not be denied housing.

I also believe this dog should be considered a service dog, which is a type of assistance dog, specifically trained to help people who have disabilities other than visual or hearing impairment. Examples include psychiatric service dogs, mobility assistance dogs, and seizure response or medical response dogs. Service dogs are sometimes trained and bred by private organizations.

To date, this family has been turned down continuously and may find themselves homeless. This therapy dog is making it possible for this child to look forward to another day.

While continuing to get special care for their child, which required trips out of their state, this added burden is overwhelming for them.

In case you or someone you know has been discriminated against, see below:

What types of housing discrimination are renters protected from?
The federal Fair Housing Act and Fair Housing Amendments Act (42 U.S. Code §§ 3601-3619, 3631) prohibit landlords from choosing tenants on the basis of a group characteristic such as:

race
religion
ethnic background or national origin
sex
familial status, including having children or being pregnant (except in certain designated senior housing), or
a mental or physical disability.
What kinds of subtle discrimination are illegal?
The Fair Housing Acts prohibit landlords from taking any of the following actions based on race, religion, or any other protected category:
falsely denying that a rental unit is available to some applicants
advertising that indicates a preference based on group characteristic, such as:
skin color
setting more restrictive standards, such as higher income, for certain tenants
refusing to reasonably accommodate the needs of disabled tenants, such as allowing a guide dog, hearing dog, or other service animal
setting different terms for some tenants, such as adopting an inconsistent policy of responding to late rent payments, or
terminating a tenancy for a discriminatory reason.
How can a renter file a discrimination complaint?
A tenant who thinks that a landlord has broken a federal fair housing law should contact a local office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the agency that enforces the Fair Housing Act, or check the HUD website at www.hud.gov. (A tenant must file the complaint within one year of the alleged discriminatory act.)

If the discrimination is a violation of a state fair housing law, the tenant may file a complaint with the state agency in charge of enforcing the law.

Also,instead of filing a complaint with HUD or a state agency, tenants may file lawsuits directly in federal or state court. If a state or federal court or housing agency finds that discrimination has taken place, a tenant may be awarded damages, including any higher rent paid as a result of being turned down, and compensation for humiliation or emotional distress.

Other tips:

Write to your local paper as the family described above has.
Notify your local news and inform them about the situation. I am sure the landlord wouldn't want bad press coverage.
Start a petition and get as many names as you can who agree you should not be denied housing.

What are your thoughts about this situation? Do you think this family should be denied housing? Please share your comments...



Source: Find Law

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Save Buckets

Now that everyone's mind is on shopping for holiday gifts, why not compare prices before you buy the items you are looking to purchase?

Take for example MP3 Players,which seem to be a hot item this year. You can use this online comparison shopping service to get the best price. Looking for a laptop?Why spend more than you have to?

Save buckets doesn't sell any products. They simply allow you to compare prices of items at many different shops. This will certainly save you time and money. There's also a unique benefit of My Price, which when having a certain item in mind and the cost is over what you want to spend, you can enter the maximum amount you want to pay for it and include your email address. My Price will then check the prices at all the available stores and notify you via email when the product reaches or falls below your maximum price. How convenient is that?

Look for the best deal by searching through the many categories. Be confident knowing that you are saving money and that buying online is secure through Save Buckets.

Be Kinder With Words

Was there ever a time you forgot the power of words? Words can have an enormous power to hurt, to heal, to uplift, or degrade or make or break reputations.

Words can literally change the way we see the world and how we view the people in it. To help our words to be 'good' :

Don't gossip. Gossiping can damage the teller, the listener and the subject.
Talk about ideas instead. They can educate and stimulate. Speaking poorly of others can make us feel self satisfied, but doesn't improve one's self. Even if the gossip is true, it probably isn't your business anyway to discuss. Practicing verbal restraint and not take satisfaction in news about another. When gossip is coming your way, do your best to change the subject

Think before you speak. Do you ever ask yourself who would benefit from what you're about to say? You might hurt someone's feelings or self esteem could be damaged if you make a comment without thinking first.

Confident people sometimes even have feelings of self doubt or worries. Consider sharing a kind word or compliment or smile with not only the people you know, but with strangers you come across on a daily basis. You might brighten someone's day. Look for the good in other people rather than the negative and this will keep you from not only using negative words, but being kinder with your words.

Also remember when being kinder with words towards other, include yourself also. Don't slam yourself about your faults, weaknesses or mistakes. Use them to promote self growth and tell yourself you will do better.

Source: Beliefnet.com

Join Revenue Sharing Boom

I am sure many of you have read success stories in the entrepreneur business world. Why not become one of these successes?

Now with Giblink, you can. You can promote, advertise and expand your business with the use of a business social networking opportunity also known as Web 2.0. This site will allow entrepreneurs and businesses to connect, share thoughts, ideas and also bring to life a business plan, all while helping each other. This is a new concept in online marketing that will allow you to succeed.

Here's some of the benefits to Giblink:

Everyone that Joins after you will be on YOUR Team.
You will get online continuing education!
Full phone support from two top earners!
You'll get taught a proven "passive marketing"
strategy that works.

Web advertising is growing in astounding numbers. There are millions being made by corporations. Are they sharing their revenue with you? NO

GoDaddy produced $100 million in revenue last year, Google reported a whopping $1.6 billion. What about other sites that you know are generating large sums of money...MySpace, You Tube?

With Giblink being the world's first revenue sharing community, they will be sharing 70% of the revenue back to their community members.

We've all heard the saying...you must be in the right place at the right time. Well, I believe the right time is now.

A Business / Social Networking site such as this, while offering a share in the revenue to it's members, is undoubtedly going to cause a huge global income generating wave.

Catch the wave! Click Here For More Information!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thinking Outside The Lines

How many tough challenges do you face in one day? Those pain in the neck problems that keep popping up.

Have you ever asked yourself why you haven't solved these challenges yet?

The same problems will come back again and again if you continue to apply the same problem solving thoughts to fix them. Maybe it's time to step back and take time to rethink the way you are approaching your challenges.

It's not about thinking more, it's about thinking differently. Sometimes you get caught up in thinking ruts. The 'way it's always been done' way of thinking.

If you start thinking outside the lines, you will see changes. Ask yourself what the risks might be if you tried something different and compare them to the rewards if you did.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Go Green with LED Christmas Lights

Now that Thanksgiving is over, our thoughts turn to decorating for Christmas. If you are like me, you have a few old tangled Christmas light sets packed away. Each year I would have to unpack each strand and plug them in to see if they're still working.

This year my home will be going 'green'. My old incandescent lights are not only old, but inefficient and bad for the environment. My choice this year will be to purchase LED Christmas lights. These lights will use less energy than the standard incandescent lights and last more than 50,000 hours.

They are constructed to be more durable, don't break as easily and don't contain that filament as my other lights do. I won't have to be concerned with over loading my electrical circuit breakers or worried about any fire issues because these LED lights are cool to the touch. The way incandescent lights work is electricity runs through the filament. Because the filament is so thin, it offers a good bit of resistance to the electricity, and this resistance turns electrical energy into heat. The heat is enough to make the filament white hot, and the "white" part is light. The filament glows because of the heat -- it incandesces

I also learned that if 20% of households switched to LED Christmas lights for the holiday period (averaging 30 days) it would conserve enough energy to power 200 households for an entire year. That is an amazing stat.

The famous Rockefeller Christmas tree in New York City will also be going green.This year, the tree will be decked out with 30,000 LED lights as opposed to the traditional incandescent bulbs to save energy and our environment.

Our environment issues cannot be ignored and with these small changes, we all can do our part to help save our environment. Join me and go green this year.

Smart Home Solutions

Remove Old Wallpaper
Combine equal parts of hot water and liquid fabric softener in a five gallon bucket. Pour into a tray. Using a paint roller, apply to the wall until it's saturated. Let sit for about 20 minutes, then carefully peel off. The water softens the wall covering and the fabric softener will break down the adhesive.

Spritz Away Soap Scum
To make your own shower cleaner and save money, combine 3 parts water to 1 part bleach in an empty spray bottle. Add 1 tbs. of white vinegar.
Vinegar will dissolve the soap deposits and the bleach will kill mildew and prevents it from forming again

Make Wood Furniture Shine
If you want to keep your unfinished wood pieces shining, combine 2 parts olive oil and one part lemon juice or white vinegar. Shake well Spritz onto furniture and let stand for about 2 minutes, then wipe off with a paper towel. The lemon juice/white vinegar acts like a cleaning agent while the oil brings out the wood's natural shine.

Lift oil based paint off skin
After painting, do you have speckles of paint left on your hands, arms and face? Use olive oil. It sure is more gentle on your skin than paint thinner or mineral oil. Moisten a cotton ball with a few drops of olive oil and rub it on the affected skin. The molecules in the olive oil will attract the molecules in the paint, so the splotches will come off easily.

Gloss Indoor Plant Leaves
Here's a florist's secret: Shine the surface of leaves by rubbing them with a paper towel dipped in olive oil

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Have You Ever Considered HomeSchooling for Your Child?

With so much violence and negativity going on within our school system these days, no wonder more and more families are considering home schooling for their children.

Author John Caldwell Holt believed that the failure of school children was not in spite of the efforts of the schools, but actually because of the schools.

There are many reasons why a parent may want to home school their child(ren). Maybe it's believing they can give a child a better education at home, religious reasons, poor learning environment at school, want to personally and directly develop their child's character/morality, safety, drug use at school, negative peer pressure and so on...

Some parents after making the decision to home school their child(ren) use the public library, bookstores or even their church for resources, but did you know that the use of a community sponsored online academy is available for your use for FREE?

The K-12 Free HomeSchool offers all core curriculum for grades K through 12 tuition free. They offer video lessons, instruction, web adventures and a variety of learning styles to suit your child's needs. You can even choose to include Christian home courses to teach your child a Christian perspective.

Have you ever felt your child was not challenged enough at school? This may cause boredom. If your child was being held back from accelerated learning, at K-12 Free Homeschool, you have the option of letting your child work ahead as their ability allows. On the other hand, if your child seems to need extra time to learn, he or she can learn at their own pace without feeling 'forced', which can cause other problems.

K-12 Free Home School's mission is to deliver a relevant, comprehensive tuition-free home school program that will engage students with an innovative multimedia presentation that challenges the mind, ignites the heart, and enriches the spirit.

Know and learn about the options you have as a parent.


Concerns Regarding Diacetyl Exposure

There has been a rising concern about Diacetyl exposure in the workplace. Diacetyl, also called butanedione or 2,3 butanedione is used in microwave popcorn butter flavoring and has been associated with serious lung aliments.

This compound is also synthesized by chemical manufactures and gives butter and certain food flavorings a buttery flavor and aroma. This product is also used in snack foods, pet foods, candies, baked goods and other food products.

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is taking action by initiating a safety and health information bulletin on health effects and exposure control. In April, the agency announced a national emphasis program under which it is focusing on the health hazards of the compound.

To receive the bulletin and guidance or find out the side effects and illnesses associated with exposure, CLICK HERE

Source: OSHA Compliance Advisor

Thanksgiving Myspace Graphics

Monday, November 19, 2007

Expose Your Blog to the Outside World

In reading blogs throughout the blogsphere, I have come across many great tips for the blogger. These tips when given the chance have proved themselves to be worthwhile.

Some tips explained the many ways you can obtain readers for your blog. When writing emails, include your blog url after your signature. If in business, include your blog url in the footer of your letters, brochures and newsletters. Leaving comments on other blogs and joining networking sites are just some ways to get exposure.

I wanted to pass along something I just read about and it seems like such a simple and ingenious way to give your blog additional exposure.

Why not have a blog business card to expose your blog to the outside world? You can get 100 Free blogger cards from Ooprint.com to attract new readers.

Personalize your card, advertise your content and draw the readers to you. Who doesn't have a business card these days? Well, a blog business card is the next trend.

How many times have you gone into the supermarket, place of business, mall or somewhere else and seen business cards left to attract clients and customers? Here's your chance to leave your mark with your own blog business card. Ooprint's "Business Card 2.0" has many different styles and designs to choose from.

What a great idea and it's FREE. Your thoughts?

Is Procrastination Keeping You From Making Money?

Procrastination is the opposite of decision. How many of us actually have conquered procrastination?

According to author Napoleon Hill who wrote Think and Grow Rich, says that people who have accumulated fortunes well beyond the million dollar mark, have the habit of reaching decisions promptly and if necessary, changed those decisions slowly. People who fail to accumulate money have the habit of reaching decisions slowly, if at all and changed those decisions often and rapidly.

He goes on to say that a majority of people who fail to accumulate money are easily influenced by the opinion of others. How often have you set your goals on something, only to have someone else destroy your desire?

Everyone has numerous opinions and if you are willing to listen and accept them, it will change your thinking. Once you reach a decision, you cannot be influenced by someone else's opinion. If you do, you will not succeed in any undertaking nor will you have desire of your own.

Well meaning people that are around you may destroy your confidence or ridicule your desires without realizing it. Maybe they will voice their opinion, or use humor, but the outcome will be the same.

Once you reach a decision, don't share it with too many people. Make sure the group you do choose to share decisions with are those who will be in complete harmony with your purpose.

If your goal is to make money, keep in mind that others are looking for the same opportunity to accumulate money. If you talk about your plans too freely, you may find that if you procrastinate, someone else has beaten you to your goal by making a quick decision.

So, a decision to keep silent about your plans is a good beginning. Show what you plan to do to accumulate money, before you tell the world.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Spruce Up Your Kitchen

Adding value to your home can be done simply by sprucing up your kitchen light fixtures.This is an inexpensive remodel and will improve your kitchen's appearance. The key to good lighting is the type of fixtures you choose and the placement of the lights.

Define each area of the kitchen separately. The main task space and the dining area should be lit independently. The variety in lighting fixtures are endless...contemporary, country, traditional, Old World and the range of materials can go from pewter, polished nickel, brass or colored glass.

Don't make the mistake of over lighting. This can make the kitchen get too hot. You want even lighting through out the room.

Pendant lights are often used over the counters and islands. Recessed cans are the least intrusive type of lighting. Decorative lighting options can include chandeliers and sconces. One trend seen is having a beautiful wrought iron chandelier over a breakfast table. If you want to create a focal point, try adding a fixture containing stained glass, crystal or antique brass.

Here's a Tip:
If you have cabinets that have a high gloss finish, the lighting should be more subdued. If not, the light will bounce off the cabinets and create too much sheen. If your cabinets have a matte finish, you could compliment them with a sparkling chandelier.

Remember that your kitchen lighting fixtures should blend with the style of the room instead of looking out of place.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Google's Reverse Telephone Book

This is for USA phone numbers.

Google has implemented a new feature which enables you to type a telephone number into the search bar and hit enter and you will be given the person's name and address. If you then hit Map, you will get a map to the person's house! It's a nationwide reverse telephone book.

If a child gives out his/her phone number, someone can now look it up to find out where he/she lives. The safety issues are obvious, and alarming.

Note that you can have your phone number removed or blocked. I tried my number and it came up along with the mapquest and directions straight to our house. I did fill out the removal form for myself, and encourage all of you to do the same.

In order to test whether your phone number is mapped, go to Google, Type your phone number in the search bar (i.e. 555-555-1212) and hit enter. If you want to BLOCK Google from divulging your private information, simply click on your telephone number and then click on the Removal Form. Removal takes 48-hours.

Please share this information with friends and family

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sending Business Holiday Cards

Should you send Holiday cards to your clients and customers? I think so...it's not only a tradition, but shows your clients/customers are important to you.

I believe you should send cards that are high in quality. This is a reflection of your company. You do not want your company to look cheap. Stick with traditional themes, so you don't offend anyone and send only Business Holiday Cards that are tasteful.

For more suggestions, ideas and advice on sending holiday cards, I found a useful blog by Cards Direct. One blog post: 3 Ideas for Recycled Christmas Cards gives you ideas if your company would like to be 'green' this year. A company that is environmentally friendly may think buying and sending a load of paper is a bit hypocritical.

You can even Ask Miss Card Etiquette your questions involving 'card etiquette'. Here you can find useful answers to questions involving sending cards out to your clients and/or customers.

I even had a chance to view cards offered by Cards Direct. They offer 3 free samples of any card. The process is easy. Just click on request sample. The cards will arrive blank unless there is a pre-printed verse on the card. If you would like to personalize your card, the site offers help with this. What I liked best is as you are typing what you would like to say, the card is along side of the editing box, so you can view how your card will look.

With a huge assortment of professional holiday cards, my only problem was deciding which one I liked best because they were all of quality and beautiful to look at.


The Benefits of Exercise

There were two studies done that reinforce the importance of exercise. The first study showed that exercise improves depression symptoms and the other study found that a particular regimen can control blood sugar in diabetics.

In the Psychosomatic Medicine Journal, a study was published from Duke University Medical Center that found exercise could be as effective as medicine in relieving depression. The study had 202 men and women, older than 40 who were diagnosed with major depression. At the end of the 16 week study, 45% of the group exercise participants no longer met the criteria of major depression.

Researchers at Calgary and University of Ottawa found the benefits of exercise on disease. This study focused on Type 2 diabetes. 251 people over the age of 39 with the disease who did not participate in regular exercise. The group performing aerobic and strength training saw nearly 1% lower blood sugar readings. This can be translated into about a 25 to 40% decrease in the risk of diabetes related eye or kidney disease and a 15 to 20% decrease in heart attack or stroke.

Let's get motivated to exercise for healthy minds and bodies....

Source: Parks & Recreation Magazine ~ November 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Termites:A Year Round Problem

It is important when buying a home to have a termite inspection. This is not to be confused with a general house inspection. Having a termite inspection will entail looking for any evidence of wood destroying insects and organisms. The inspector will look at the interior of the home, including the basement or crawl spaces and the exterior of the home.

Don't be fooled into thinking that termites will not live in cold weather. Cold weather does not kill termites. It may slow them down or go into a hibernation state. Termites can be a year round problem.

There are different kinds of termites and you should watch out for drywall termites. This kind of termite does not live in soil, but lives in the walls of your home and must be treated differently.

To get more information about termites and how to kill them, make improvements to your home to keep them from getting into your walls and how to tell if you may have termites, go to Kill The Termites. This site offers guidance all homeowners shouldn't be without.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ask AC Associates

And, the answer is:

Nicole wrote asking:

The selling price is $479K...I owe $385K and I would
like to sell the house outright, but the market is
very bad right now and no one is buying...so how can
your system work for me and how does the bank not
call the loan due if they learn that I'm owner financing?

Hello Nicole,
I understand your question and the confusion you must be feeling.

Offering owner financing works wonders with sellers who own their property outright, but it can also work in a situation such as yours.

With a SIMULTANEOUS CLOSING, you would be able to obtain a buyer for your home using Owner Financing and a note buyer would purchase the newly created note at the same time.

The deal would work as owner financing, but you would not be the one holding the note in the end, a note buyer would.
At the closing, your mortgage would be paid off and you would be out of the situation. The money left after your mortgage was paid off, would be yours.

The new owner would then make the payments to the note purchaser.

Read more information by going to my website at:
http://acassociatesusa.com/simultaneousclosing.html

I hope I was able to answer your question. If you need more information or guidance, please feel free to reply to this post, email me or call my office.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Less Can Be More

Sometimes when looking for accounting methods for personal use or for your small business, less can be more.

Ever try using those complicated accounting applications that you need to be a rocket scientist and takes hours just to figure out how to even use the software? I have and it can be frustrating and cause you to make mistakes.

At LessAccounting.com their approach is simple. They give you an application that takes less time to figure out before utilizing. With a no nonsense approach, you have less hassles, less confusion, less time to waste before starting to managing your personal affairs or small business.

Your dashboard offers a home for your unpaid expenses and invoices. You can track payments, create small business reports, track mileage, send proposals and have a home for your sales leads and projects. In your contact management field, you can manage your employees, clients, accounts payable and addresses.

No prepayment is required to use this service. You pay as you go. You don't even have sign up fees. Their servers are secure, backed up nightly and also offer SSL encryption. There's more...LessAccounting.com even offers free tech support by the people who created this application.

Less is definitely more...

Passport Changes

If you are thinking about traveling, you should know that the rules have changed regarding a passport.

Some changes have occurred since October 2, 2007. If you are planning to fly to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda, you need to know the following:

A US citizen traveling to one of the destinations mentioned above, you will now need a passport. If you are under the age of 16 and traveling with a parent,you need to provide proof that you did apply for a passport.
If you are driving across these borders or taking a cruise, you do not (yet) need a passport.

If you plan to travel in the next few months, start the process NOW or you may have to expedite the passport process. That service usually costs $157.00 compared to the regular price of $97.00

Getting a regular passport can take 3 to 6 weeks, compared to expedited service that can take 2 weeks.
There are agencies that can help you obtain a passport overnight or even the same day, but the costs will be much more and will vary.

If you are getting a passport for the first time, you need to go in person to apply. Visit your post office or town library which may offer these services.

You will need your original birth certificate with the raised seal, your drivers license and two 2x2 inch photos. Before you go to the agency for your passport, be sure to confirm what paperwork you may need.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month

Back in October, I had the pleasure of getting involved with the Alzheimer's Memory walk. I was able to add contributions to this important cause of finding a cure for this disease and help ensure that quality care be given to those affected by this disease.

November is time to bring more awareness of this disease and to urge people to get their memory screenings. This is an important factor in early detection and is the first step toward receiving the care you may need.

Ask you physician about having a memory screening or locate a screening location in your area for you or a loved one.

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America website offers successful aging tips that you should read, learn and implement. Make sure you share these tips with your loved ones. It is never too soon to start preventive care.

Here are a few of these tips:

1) Participate in activities that stimulate your brain, such as reading, crossword puzzles, playing bridge, and other mental exercises.

2) Manage stress through techniques such as relaxation, meditation and yoga.

3) Control hypertension, diabetes and heart disease—risk factors for dementia—through physical exercise, quitting smoking, controlling blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and avoiding obesity.

4) Follow a healthy diet and take vitamins, including vitamins C and E, and folic acid

You goal is having your brain cells function well by maintaining a healthy body, mind and spirit.

As the holiday season quickly approaches, think about giving a holiday gift of a memory screening to a parent, grandparents or other members of your family. It would truly be a gift of love.

Another idea would be in lieu of holiday cards, make a donation to The Alzheimer's Organization to do your part in helping to find a cure for this disease and also help to provide quality care for those who must suffer with Alzheimer's.

Remember Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of aging. It is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain's nerve cells, or neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes. Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia, or loss of intellectual function, among people aged 65 and older.

Let's work together to help fight this disease and make sure that those afflicted receive quality care.



House Committee Passes Mortgage Reform Bill

WASHINGTON -- Members of the House Financial Services Committee voted
to approve a bill imposing sweeping changes on the mortgage industry,
including minimum standards for approving loans and some new liabilities
on those who scrutinize risky mortgages.

Committee members OK'd the bill by a vote of 45 to 19. The bill would mandate licensing for mortgage brokers and bank loan officers and set a minimum standard for all mortgages stating that borrowers must have a reasonable ability to repay. The bill was introduced by Democrats Barney Frank, Mel Watt and Brad Miller. Frank, of Massachusetts, is the committee's chairman.

This may hurt consumers by raising their costs for home loan financing, decrease competition, and give consumers less options for financing their homes.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Keep More Money in Your Pocket

My son recently leased a 2007 Hummer and to get the best rates, he found a site which allowed the car dealers to compete for his business. He didn't pay full price, but received a quote below wholesale price.

He usually asks for my help or advice, but this deal he did on his own. He felt confident by having the dealers contact him and present their quote, he'd then be easily able to distinguish where he'd get the best deal.

He found CarsBlvd and he just clicked on the year, model and make of the vehicle, hit submit and in a short time, he was receiving calls from the dealers. This was all provided for free, with no obligation.

I am also considering using this site to get a Honda Car Quote. Since I witnessed how easy it was, I want to also receive the best deal on my next new vehicle.

CarsBlvd also offers options such as car refinance, car loans, insurance, warranties, and impressively, a course on car maintenance.

It's a great feeling to know you received the best deal on a purchase. I'm proud of my son for getting the best deal possible and keeping more money in his pocket.

Efforts vs. Results

In my opinion, focusing just on results can be damaging. Damaging to your self esteem, to your confidence, to your energy.

You should focus more on your efforts. You have control over that, not the results. In business, if you focus strictly on results, you can kill your drive.

What if you set a goal to have 10 new clients by the end of the month? BUT, if you did not get the results you wanted, you may feel a sense of defeat, rejection or be disappointed with yourself and loose energy to acquire clients the next month. All your energy went into focusing on strictly the end results, which may have lessened the quality of your effort. You can not control the outcome of clients decisions whether they want your product or service. Let go of something you can not control.

If you concentrate more on your efforts, you will feel more empowered. You have control over your efforts and how you present yourself to clients. By focusing on your efforts and not just the results, your efforts might improve and be more of quality. Maybe your efforts can include increasing the number of prospects that view your product or service by bringing more quality content to a web site or enhance your marketing strategies. That in turn will then bring the result of gaining a new client.

Focusing on your effort and putting all you have into that, will show new confidence and that attitude will come across loud and clear. Results will follow.

I believe the same holds true in your personal life. Thinking of going on a diet or decided to start an exercise routine? By focusing only on the result, you may loose sight of your effort. Therefore, feel discouraged or defeated if the result you crave isn't immediately satisfied.

Our efforts is what will make us feel and be successful.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Is Freelancing Right For You?

If you are an entrepreneur, you may want to consider acquiring help from a professional to get jobs done that you may have little expertise in. This will also free up your time to concentrate on developing your business product or service.

Hiring someone who specializes in freelance design will help create professional looking business cards and/or brouchures,a graphic designer who can create an eye catching company logo are important steps to complete before launching your new business.

Have you thought about the quality of your web site? A copy writer or ghost writer can supply your site with immediate quality content.

At a freelance marketplace, which you can easily find online, you will locate professionals to hire to get the work done quickly and within your budget.

On the flip side, if you are a professional wanting to find work doing what you love, you may want to register at a freelance marketplace as a free agent and have buyers looking for your services come to you.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2007

An important issue is happening right now regarding the mortgage industry and the restrictions on borrowers qualifying for home loans.If you are a loan officer or a mortgage originator, this new bill introduced, may affect the way you will get paid or cause extinction in the future. It will also limit the choices consumers have in finding a residential mortgage loan to strictly large financial institutions.

In attempts to start regulating our industry, restoring ethics and responsibility within the mortgage origination industry, The Mortgage Reform and Anit-Predatory Lending Act of 2007 has been established.

To view the Complete Bill (HR3915) go HERE

After reading this new bill, you can show your disagreement by signing the petition by going HERE

What are your thoughts about this new bill? and, will this new Bill affect YOU?

E.coli Warning

If you are like me and do not watch the nightly news, you may have missed this important warning regarding the massive recall on frozen pizza.

Public heath officials are urging consumers to throw away any Totino's or Jeno's brand frozen pizza that contain pepperoni.

There has been a multi-state outbreak of E.coli. The manufacturer, General Mills have recalled all frozen pizza produced at their Weston, Ohio plant. More than 120 million of these pizzas have been distributed since July.

To date, at least 21 lab confirmed cases have been identified in 10 states. Tennessee, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylavania, Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Wisconsin and South Dakata. At least 10 people have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.

View informative article and specific products covered in this recall by going HERE

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Smart Marketing and Branding

Do you have an idea, product or service you want to market? Do you know what steps you should take that would be effective in reaching your potential clients?

You can incorporate drip marketing as your strategy. This means doing something each month to keep your name in front of your current or potential clients. These clients need to see your marketing message continually.

Once you've developed your plan, you then need to figure how to execute this plan. Decide who your target market will be and develop your company's slogan or phrase.

In doing research on marketing strategies, I came across an article on Kolbrener. This company offers a unique Brand Evolution Process that will deliver superb results and increase your company's revenue. Their strategy includes: Interactive, Direct, Television, Radio, PR and Non-traditional.

It is necessary to have a company like Kolbrener that is sales-smart with special expertise to succeed.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Frito-Lay Plant Cuts Waste & Saves Water


According to an article in Storm Water Pollution magazine, Frito -Lay's plant in Arkansas, will eliminate tons of waste and reduce water usage at the facility as part of the US Environmental Protection Agency's top 'green leadership" program.

Frito-Lay has maintained environmental compliance record and making new commitments to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Their commitment in the following 3 years includes:
Reduce 1.6 million lbs of pollution by adding a secondary wastewater treatment system

Reduce total water use by 31.5 million gallons by recycling water used during potato peeling

Recycle more than 1,000 tons of waster through increased recycling efforts.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Use Credit Card Search Engine For Best Offers

With the holiday season quickly approaching, many people will be rushing to do all their shopping. I believe a majority of people will use their Credit Card for purchases.

If you are without a credit card and plan to obtain one for the sole purpose of doing your holiday shopping, may I suggest you use a credit card search engine to find the best credit card for your needs. Using a search engine will provide you the benefits of comparing the many different types of offers and then deciding which card is right for you.

The choices are many: low interest, receive cash back, get airline miles credit, rewards issued on purchases, business credit cards, bad, fair or average credit cards...the list can go on and on.

By using a search engine you can view not only the many credit card offers, but view by brand: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover or also by credit card issuer.

Remember to live within your means and if you can not pay your full balance off at the end of the month, just don't be late paying your credit card bill. Being late can affect your credit rating.

Tips for Driving In The Dark

There is a greater risk of car accidents at night. These accidents are usually more severe. Here's some safety tips when driving at night:

Dusk is one of the most dangerous time of day on the road. Slow down and increase your following distance. Keep at least 2 to 4 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. Darkness can make judging distances harder. You shouldn't overdrive your headlights. You need to see this far in order to be able to slow and stop safely. Don't be blinded by oncoming headlights. Shifting your eyes momentarily can help. Use the white lines on the road to guide your steering.

And, of course, buckle up for safety.

Motor vehicles accidents are the most common cause of accidental deaths in the US.
Did you know...

Every 12 minutes someone dies in a car accident
Every 10 seconds an injury occurs
Every 5 seconds a crash happens.


Source: Osha/Business & Legal Reports

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Confused by Printing Supplies?

Confused about which toner cartridge goes in what machine? If your home or office contains a printer, copier, a fax machine or even a photo printer, how many times do you forget which cartridge to buy?

Wouldn't it make life easier to just sit in front of your computer and click onto a site that would instantly give you the correct information?

Well, now you can go to Cartridge Finder for exactly that information. Just click onto the brand name, choose the model and what appears is a list containing the details of the machine.

You get instant gratification knowing what cartridge to buy and because this site is partnered with Pricegrabber, you also see a listing of the best prices and where to make your purchase.

Random Tidbits

Technology Lifeline

A recent study by Knowledge Networks looked at the various media and technologies that US consumers ages 13 to 24 couldn't live without.

Computer................ 52%
Cell Phone............... 49%
TV............................47%
Microwave.............. 35%
MP3 Player............. 28%
Newspaper.............. 15%
None of the above... 20%

What couldn't you live without from the above list?


File Sharing Revenue

According to Insight Research Corporation, the worldwide market for peer-to-peer file sharing services is expected to generate $28 billion in revenue for carriers and Internet service providers over the next four years.


Young Athletes Have Lower Rates of Substance Abuse

The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse was conducted by the US Department of Health & Human Services recently reported that our youth that participates in sports and other activities used tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs significantly less than other children. These same athletes had a less 'no tolerance' attitude toward those substances.

The survey included girls and boys aged 12 to 17. Of those who participated, 23.4% said they didn't smoke in the previous year. When the individuals said they participated in one activity, the percent dropped to 13.3, when participating in four to six activities, the percent went down even further to 6.8.

Similar figures were reported for drug and alcohol use.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Uptown Saturday Night

Within the next few months people will take a get away trip to Florida to escape cold weather, visit relatives during the holidays or just take a quick break from the hustle bustle of their busy lives.

If you are planning such a trip, make sure you include a stop at St. Augustine. St. Augustine is the Nation's oldest city and you can expect to feel the charm and romance of St George Street.

A poplar event happens at the end of each month: Uptown Saturday Night. The festivities begin on the last Saturday of each month, October 27, November 24, December 29th and so on.

From 5pm to 9pm, you can expect a party like atmosphere and can take advantage of the incredible St. Augustine shopping. The antique district comes alive and offers many opportunities to find that rare treasure. Participating shops will welcome you by offering wine and other refreshments as you listen to live music playing in the streets. You may even want to attend an antique workshop offered by some antique dealers.

Other features of Uptown Saturday night are the exhibits of some of the finest Florida artists, book signings and The Mission of Nombre de Dios, which will provide you a feeling of peace and tranquillity. The Mission of Nombre de Dios will also provide free parking during this end of the month event. From there you can walk the cobblestone streets of St. Augustine and explore the galleries, Ripley's Musem, sign up for a ghost tour, take in all the shops or even take a carriage ride to observe the sights.

The whole atmosphere of St. Augustine surrounds you with pleasure and a sense of belonging. I can't pin point what I like the most. Maybe it's the antiques and the delight in finding a special piece. All I know is that the the whole experience is one that makes you not want to leave.

A must see town, especially on the last Saturday of each month...


Google Page Rank Updated

For those of you interested in Google Page Rank, it appears mine has updated. To my surprise, this blog went up from a page rank of a 2 to a page rank of 3. My business website is also now showing a rank. My icon is not showing the new value as of yet, but I have confirmed this information with the tools available to me.

What is Google Page Rank? According to Wikipedia Google describes PageRank:


"PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages important."

In other words, a PageRank results from a "ballot" among all the other pages on the World Wide Web about how important a page is. A hyperlink to a page counts as a vote of support. The PageRank of a page is defined recursively and depends on the number and PageRank metric of all pages that link to it ("incoming links"). A page that is linked to by many pages with high PageRank receives a high rank itself. If there are no links to a web page there is no support for that page.

Google recalculates PageRank scores each time it crawls the Web and rebuilds its index. As Google increases the number of documents in its collection, the initial approximation of PageRank decreases for all documents.


Use the tool below to find out if your Google page rank updated.



Check Page Rank of any web site pages instantly:




This free page rank checking tool is powered by Page Rank Checker service

Budget Bathroom Makeover

Updating certain rooms in your house can add value to your home. The bathroom being one of those rooms.
Let's face it, the bathroom is one of the most used rooms within a house. Creating a comfortable and stylish bathroom is easy.

If a major bathroom remodel is not in your budget, by updating small aspects in the bathroom you can still have a valuable impact.
The key to your bathroom makeover is to pick one or two projects and budget around those. Replacing outdated plumbing fixtures with Moen faucets will change the appearance of the whole room.

Do you still have old outdated basic facets from the 70's? Nothing says old quicker than seeing those. Now, the options are endless. Choosing from waterfall to traditional fixtures, chrome, brass or a multitude of finishes.

Your makeover can include the tub and shower faucets as well, plus coordinating accessories. Shopping at facet.com you can be sure you will find exactly what you have in mind. The site offers a wide variety of products, fast delivery and the best prices. They have trained sales consultants ready to help with questions and offer ideas for bathroom makeovers.

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