Month: August 2022

Many tourists flock to well-known destinations in Southern California like San Diego, Disneyland, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara. These are all great places to visit, but if you’re looking for somewhere different that’s a little off the radar, check out the following amazing destinations:

the channel islands

My husband and I have lived in California most of our lives, but somehow we miss these spectacular islands that are classified as one of the United States National Parks. After seeing some awesome photos online, we took a short boat ride to Anacapa Island from Oxnard as part of a weekend anniversary trip.

If you decide to go, be prepared and bring supplies. This trip is for adventurous people in good physical shape. You will have to climb 157 steps to the top of this small rugged island where there is no food, services, water or toilets. Now, I HATE outhouses, but I assure you: the views of the rocky coastline, huge cliffs, and jagged peaks were worth it. You can easily walk around the edge of the island in just a few hours with Inspiration Point, a great reward for your efforts.

We visited in June, when bursts of bright wildflowers covered the tiny island and thousands of adorable seagulls could be found around every corner. Just beware of their protective mothers who will pounce on your head if you get too close.

We returned a couple of years later and visited the larger island of Santa Cruz for an exciting kayak tour of the historic sea caves. On the boat ride we saw a whale and two large schools of dolphins. The waters can be choppy at certain points, but the caves were amazing. This was a once in a lifetime experience.

Some people consider these islands desolate, but if you have an adventurous spirit and love nature, the Channell Islands are considered the Galapagos of North America.

The Huntington Botanical Gardens

This is another awesome place that we haven’t visited for decades. Located in Pasadena, the magnificent property is home to more than a dozen spectacular gardens spread across 120 acres. It’s hard to say which garden is the most stunning, but the Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden and the California Garden are some of my favorites.

We didn’t even get a chance to visit the art galleries. The Huntington Art Gallery houses 18th- and 19th-century British paintings, sculpture and decorative arts, including the famous Blue Boy. And to my embarrassment as a writer, we didn’t visit The Huntington Library, one of the largest and most comprehensive research libraries in the United States.

Next time.

Ventura County Wine Trail

Napa may get all the attention as California wine country, but my husband and I enjoyed savoring our way through the coastal foothills near the seaside town of Ventura. We visited two of the almost 20 wineries and tasting rooms.

You can book one of the many wine tours on offer. However, we decided to get a map and explore on our own. Starting in Ventura at the junction of Highway 1 and Highway 101, we headed up Highway 33 towards Ojai.

Surprises await you on this somewhat lonely but charming road, from the “Smallest Post Office in the USA” to the last place anyone saw James Dean alive. Our favorite find was Old Creek Winery, which felt like returning to a simpler place and time where friendly people and dogs welcomed us. We enjoyed our purchased bottle of wine and a picnic outside at tables enjoying the American view.

By the way, both Ojai and Ventura are worthwhile stops with charming inns, luxurious spas, and bed & breakfasts along with a wide range of outdoor activities. In summer, Ventura Harbor Village is a hive of activity with festivals and live music on the weekends.

lagoon beach

This charming beach town is located halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego. With over 20 different scenic coves, this beach area offers everything from surfing, paddle boarding, snorkeling, kayaking, and whale watching excursions.

Just be careful, the surf can be rough in places. As a teenager, I decided to body surf despite the choppy waters and got wiped out in a huge wave (think of the Beach Boys song: Hehehehehehe, get the hell out!). Actually, I blame the Beach Boys for this whole mishap, as they romanticized this whole surfer girl thing with songs I grew up with, like Surfer Girl. SO your fault.

However, the scenery is unbeatable. Add ultra-chic restaurants and shops and unique art galleries and you get the picture. There’s even a Baby Boomer Club with dances on Saturday nights. Every summer, they host the Laguna Woodstock, where baby boomers party like it’s 1969.

Heisler Park is a good place to start, located just north of the main beach, an easy half-mile walk along a paved path with spectacular views of the coastline and the soothing sound of crashing waves. You can take one of the paths to the beaches and tide pools. Benches, picnic tables and barbecues abound where you can enjoy the magnificent views. My husband and I had a picnic on one of the grassy areas and it was perfect!

Treasure Island Park is another great place, located on the grounds of the five-star Montage Laguna Beach, where the truly wealthy stay. Exquisitely landscaped, several observation benches line the easy-to-walk winding path. Stairs and ramps take you down to the beach, where you can walk through a beautiful rock arch at low tide, find a spot on the sand to sunbathe, and a large tide pool. Also, there are plenty of grassy areas to have a picnic. I would suggest bringing some wine and cheese to enjoy a romantic sunset.

big bear lake

I live in the desert so near Big Bear is a great mountain escape with its beautiful lake and pristine forests. Boating, fishing, and hiking are just some of the activities in this sleepy little town.

Last summer, my husband and I biked around the lake, had a picnic, slid down an alpine slide, went go-karting at speeds up to 30 mph, and took a ride on the panoramic chair for amazing views. After seeing people take the chair lifts to ride mountain bikes on the trails, we put this on our to-do list for next time.

For the adventurous at heart, paragliding and ziplining are also available.

Matador Beach

Looking for a spectacular coastline with white sands, towering cliffs, crashing waves and rugged rock formations in a secluded location?

Look no further than El Matador, located north of Malibu off the winding Pacific Coast Highway. It’s easy to miss the little brown sign pointing to the small parking lot at the trailhead, so be careful between Broad Beach and Decker Canyon Roads. Once you find it, prepare to walk down a 150-foot cliff with the help of some steep stairs.

It’s not for small children or the physically challenged, but if you can get down the steps you’ll be treated to some stunning views. Locals know this beach and you might see some photo shoots, we did!

Fortunately, there is little to do on this small but glorious stretch of beach, so bring a picnic lunch or some wine and find a hidden corner to enjoy the incredibly romantic setting.

round beach

By now, you’ve probably noticed that my husband and I are beach bums. We found this beach by accident while looking for a nearby place to spend the night before flying out of LAX the next morning.

The Redondo Pier is a landmark with panoramic ocean views and water activities including harbor cruises, seasonal whale watching, kayaks, paddleboards and paddle boats. To tell you the truth, we didn’t try any of these, but we loved the views from Tony’s on the Pier, where we enjoyed happy hour!

The pier is also home to a 16-foot great white shark affectionately known as Georgette, on display in a large tank at Shark Attack on the Pier. If you have grandkids with you or are young at heart, you can enjoy the semi-submersible yellow submarine (damn, I have the Beatles song stuck in my head now) to observe the local marine life underwater.

It sure beats staying in an airport hotel if you’re flying into or out of Los Angeles.

catherine island

This island is better known than some of my previous recommendations, but it’s a sentimental favorite. My husband and I honeymooned there 40 years ago and have been back several times. This is a quaint little island with no traffic lights or fast food restaurants. A typical traffic jam involves two golf carts and a bicycle built for two.

On our honeymoon, we happily biked around Avalon, went horseback riding, toured the famous casino, and sunbathed on the small beach. We also took a bus to Two Harbors, the only other town on Catalina Island. Other popular activities include snorkeling, parasailing, fishing, glass-bottom boat rides, rowing, Segway tours, golf, and hiking.

Decades later, we sailed our boat to the island from Long Beach, which turned out to be one wild ride. My husband and adult sons returned again for our open water dives to become scuba certified amidst the famous kelp forests surrounded by the bright orange Garibaldi fish. Next time we visit I want to try the new zip line that is 600ft above sea level with a 1,100ft long run with speeds up to 30mph Wheee!

As you can see, Southern California has so many wonderful places to visit that it’s impossible to list them all. But I hope I’ve given you some ideas to get you started!

From the warm blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea to the snow-capped mountains of the Italian Alps, the country of Italy has more to see than almost any other country in Europe. The Roman Empire rose and fell from here, shaping much of world history. The rolling hills of Tuscany and the canalized streets of Venice, Italy have produced world-renowned artists, poets, musicians, winemakers, and historians who have also shaped the world’s cultures. It was once the center of civilization in Europe and was responsible for the technological innovations that transformed the world. If you can only take one trip to Europe, making that trip an Italy tour will be one like no other. These are just some of the best places to visit in Italy.

1. Rome

The capital city of Italy has so much history that you could spend a week exploring the city and still not see it all. The city was the seat of power at the height of the Roman Empire. In this land of gods you can find countless nodes from pre-Christian Rome as well as its Christian past. Start your tour with the famous Colosseum where gladiators used to fight to the death. The ground is gone, but it gives you a chance to see the maze of tunnels that once housed the wrestlers, animals and props. Next, continue your walk through the Roman Empire by visiting the Pantheon, once a temple to the early gods of ancient Rome. It is now a Christian place of worship, although it is open to tourists of all faiths and backgrounds. You can’t escape the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica towering above the city skyline in the heart of Vatican City. This is where not only does the Pope reside, but also has the famous Sistine Chapel and the beautiful Michelango ceiling. The Trevi Fountain is the largest and most beautifully detailed fountain in the city. Don’t forget to bring your coin because making a wish at the fountain ensures that one day you will return to the Eternal City. Nearby is the Plaza de España which also leads to streets with great shops. These are just some of the places to visit in Rome, but there are many small gardens, museums, cafes, wine grottoes, boat tours and much more.

2. Tuscany Region

The rolling hills of Tuscany are famous for their beauty, their wine and their history. The city of Florence is also one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy. Its old narrow cobbled streets were home to famous poets and artists and was once a powerful and wealthy port. The food and wine in this region is unlike any other. Also in the Tuscany region is the city of Pisa with its famous leaning tower. However, the charming town is architecturally beautiful with historic streets and shops. However, throughout the countryside you can visit old castles, towns and vineyards, not to mention the chance to sample more of the famous wines. One of the best cities to feel like you’ve truly stepped back into the Middle Ages is the city of Siena, south of Florence. This city has a history of fierce independence and many of its buildings are original, making it a truly charming and unique stop in the region.

3. Naples and Pompeii

This ancient city in southern Italy is home to the infamous Mr. Vesuvius whose epic eruption buried the city and all its inhabitants in AD 79. Soot and ash kept the city in a preserved state until excavation. Much of the area is still being excavated and has been turned into a large open-air museum. The fascinating look at an ancient city preserved in time where not only jars can be seen on tables but also victims frozen in time for eternity is something not to be missed. The largest city of Naples is not far from Pompeii. Here are medieval castles, museums, beautiful parks, and the world’s largest museum of Roman architecture that includes artifacts from many excavation sites, including Pompeii. You will also find the Royal Palace, squares and restaurants. If you get the chance to snorkel or dive off the shore, the waters are clear and you can even dive into a part of Pompeii that is now underwater.

4.Venice

Venice is by far one of the most interesting cities to visit in Europe. Both the canals and the long history of this northern Italian city make it unique on Earth. It has remained remarkably unchanged since many of the buildings were built over 600 years ago, giving it a unique identity and character. The lagoon and canals rise and fall with the tides and because the city is slowly sinking, it’s not uncommon to have to wade through flooded streets, so bring or buy waterproof boots when you arrive. However, it will be a unique experience. A gondola ride on the Grand Canal is a must, though all of Venice is car-free and therefore pedestrian-friendly. It is a beautiful and romantic city that should not be missed on your next trip to Italy.

Jameson General Store was a historic treasure in the small North Carolina community. Jim Jameson, the owner, had been a part of the family legacy for over 100 years. The company had seen bad times, including the Great Depression. However, his hard work and the loyalty of his customers had sustained the company’s success.

Even when a neighboring community got their Walmart’s Marketplace store, their customers remained loyal. Jim did not believe in using online advertising and social media platforms. He believed that these activities were just a fad. However, his customers gradually started shopping online because the Jameson General Store’s product offerings were limited.

In fact, most of the business that Jameson Store lost went not to local competitors, but to online sellers. Jim was adamant about resisting the temptation to shop online. However, when he saw his own 10-year-old grandson buying a hard-to-find item online at a significant cost, Jim had to reflect on his current marketing strategy with the changing landscape of the nation.

Today’s customers can purchase a variety of items online with minimal effort. Faced with this scenario, physical companies are struggling to stay alive with the fierce competition of the Internet. According to a 2017 survey by Square and Mercury Analytics that looked at 1,164 US business owners, the following observations were made:

  • 96% of Americans with internet access have made an online purchase in their lifetime, 80% in the last month alone.
  • 51% of Americans prefer to shop online.
  • 67% of millennials and 56% of Gen X prefer to shop online over in-store.
  • Millennials and Gen Xers spend almost 50% of the time shopping online each week (six hours) than their older counterparts (four hours).
  • 51% of seniors have shopped at markets, 66% at large retail sites, 30% at web stores or independent boutiques, and 44% at category-specific online stores.

Marketers understand the importance of the Internet and how to harness this power effectively. According to Socialmedia.com, 90% of marketers use social media for their business. Unfortunately, many small businesses do not recognize this fact. Many companies have chosen to bury their heads in the sand in the hope that this “Internet thing” will go away. I did not do it!

In fact, electronic commerce is growing more than 23% per year; however, 46% of US small businesses do not have a website according to research from Square and Mercury Analytics. This article focuses on how small businesses can take advantage of digital marketing to achieve greater success and improve their market opportunities.

Digital marketing should be a tool that every serious small business should use. Digital marketing goes by many names, such as eCommerce marketing, online marketing, and internet marketing. Digital marketing can be defined as “the marketing of products or services using digital channels to reach consumers”. The key objective is to promote brands in the use of the Internet.

Digital marketing extends beyond Internet marketing to include channels that do not require the use of the Internet. Some digital marketing channels include websites, social media platforms, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), blogs, podcasts, and online advertising to name a few. Beyond technological tricks, companies must know their customers and their core competencies. Digital marketing is not a panacea. Digital marketing is a tool for the savvy business professional.

Catherine Juan, Donnie Greiling and Catherine Buerkle, authors of Internet Marketing: From Start to Finish, suggest that effective digital marketing requires a lot of careful planning. They add: “The heart of getting real traction from your Internet marketing program is to link marketing and sales data, with metrics. Track what you’re doing, track impact, and track sales.” resulting”. Looking at the technology and innovation landscape on the internet, small businesses should think strategically about the following five digital marketing trends:

Artificial intelligence – Some people develop elaborate doomsday scenarios of machines to control the world. However, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a way of life in marketing. AI can be defined as “the theory and development of computer systems capable of performing tasks that normally require human intelligence.” Voice-activated technology like Amazon’s Echo is drawing public attention to AI. By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their purchases without interacting with a person.

Internet search – Buyers are more informed than ever with Internet access. In fact, 81% of shoppers do research online before making a big purchase. Therefore, exploring how to use search engine optimization and get your business to the top of searches is an invaluable step.

Mobile Communications – Most Americans have grown accustomed to instant gratification and easy access to technology. Mobile and tablet e-commerce will reach $293 billion by 2018. Smartphones and tablets are part of this wave of innovation. Mobile devices will account for 72% of US digital ad spend by 2019. Marketers acknowledge that mobile marketing is an untapped business tool.

Social networks – Social media platforms, like Facebook, allow shoppers to virtually connect with each other. 65% of business-to-business companies have acquired customers through LinkedIn ads. Marketers realize this value.

Web content – Good content will attract customers. In fact, customers are more likely to buy from sellers with good, relevant videos/photos on their website. 52% of marketers globally cite video as the type of content with the best ROI.

Facing competing tenants, small businesses need to use digital marketing. Some small businesses may be hesitant to explore digital marketing due to their lack of trust and understanding of the internet. Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller, authors of MarketingManagementnotes: “Major companies are comfortable using technology to improve the way they do business with their customers on a business-to-business basis.”

This article demonstrated that small businesses today can use digital marketing to improve their market opportunities. Hopefully gaining this knowledge will help business owners not continue to bury their heads in the sand. Internet is here to stay. Pray that you are listening to this message.

© 2017 by DD Green

“Do you have Facebook?”
“Yes, of course. But I don’t think you can find me, since there are too many people who have the same name as me. Try searching with my last name too.”
“Hey, you celebrated your birthday at K-Box, right? I saw the pictures on your Facebook.”
“Brother, I saw your comments on the YouTube video I posted on my blog. I’m happy that you are also deeply moved by the ‘Dancing Peacock Man.'”

Social media or “social networking” has almost become a part of our daily lives and has been shaken up in recent years. It is like any other medium, such as newspapers, radio and television, but it is much more than just sharing information and ideas. Social networking tools like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and blogs have made it easier to create and share ideas faster and more widely than conventional media. The power to define and control a brand is shifting from corporations and institutions to individuals and communities. It’s no longer about the 5Cs (eg, condo, credit cards, and car) that Singaporeans once talked about. Today, it’s about the new C’s: creativity, communication, connection, creation (of new ideas and products), community (of shared interests), collaboration, and (changing the game of) competition.

In January 2010, InSites Consulting conducted an online survey of 2,884 consumers from over 14 countries between the ages of 18-55 on social media. More than 90% of the participants know at least 1 social networking site and 72% of the participants are members of at least 1 social networking site. On average, people have around 195 friends and connect to social networking sites twice a day. However, 55% of users are unable to access their social networking websites at work. In the past, not many adults could make more than 500 friends, but with social media, even a child or teenager can meet more than 500 people in a few days with the click of a mouse. Social networks have devalued the traditional definition of “friend” where it means trust, support, compatible values, etc. Although we get to know more people, we cannot build a strong bond with all the people we meet as our available time is limited. So there is an upcoming social trend of people with wider social circles, but weaker ties (people we don’t know very well but who provide us with useful information and ideas).

Social networks also influence people’s buying behaviors. Digital Influence Group reported that 91% of people say consumer reviews are their #1 purchase decision aid and 87% trust a friend’s recommendation over a critic’s review. Three times more likely to rely on peer opinions about advertising for purchase decisions. 1 word of mouth conversation has an impact of 200 TV commercials. With the prevalence of social media use, there are numerous news related to it, from the most viewed YouTube video on “Armless Pianist Wins ‘China’s Got Talent'” to cases of Internet-assisted suicide (e.g. college student from New Jersey who committed suicide after a video of him in a sexual encounter with another man was posted online). So, do social networks make us better or worse as a society?

Positive effects of social networks

In addition to having the opportunity to meet many people quickly and easily, social media also helped teens who have physical or social mobility restrictions to build and maintain relationships with their friends and family. Children who go abroad to study can still maintain meaningful contact with their parents. To a greater extent, there is anecdotal evidence of positive results from these technologies.

In 2008, President-elect Obama won the election by effectively using social media to reach millions of viewers or voters. The Obama campaign generated and distributed a large amount of content and messages via email, SMS, social media platforms and his websites. Obama and his campaign fully understood the fundamental social need that we all share: the need to be “who we are.” So the campaign feels like “Because it’s about YOU” and chose the right form of media to connect with people, call to action, and build a community for a social movement. They encouraged citizens to share their voices, hold house debate parties and organize their own campaign meetings. It really changed the delivery of the political message.

The Obama campaign had made 5 million “friends” on more than 15 social networking sites (3 million friends on Facebook itself) and posted nearly 2,000 YouTube videos that were viewed more than 80 million times. At its peak, his website, MyBarackObama.com, had 8.5 million monthly visitors and produced 400,000 blog posts. To make sure people find their content, the Obama campaign spent $3.5 million on Google search in October alone, $600,000 on Advertising.com, $467,000 on Facebook in 2008, and so on. Currently, Obama’s Twitter account has about 6 million followers.

In 2010, after the earthquake in Haiti, many of the official lines of communication were down. The rest of the world could not get the full picture of the situation there. To facilitate the sharing of information and make up for the lack of information, social media was very helpful in reporting the news from the affected area about what happened and what help was needed. Tweets from many people provided an impressive overview of the ongoing events of the earthquake. The BBC covered the event by combining tweets from its reporter Matthew Price’s work in Port-au-Prince on the ground. The Guardian Live Blog also used social media along with information from other news organizations to report on the rescue mission.

It’s been two years since CNN officially launched iReport as a section of its website where people can upload video footage, complete with contact information. During the Haiti crisis, CNN had posted a variety of material on social media, but not all of the material was verified. The editorial team would examine citizen journalist reports and label them differently compared to unverified content. On Facebook, a group called “Earthquake Haiti” was formed to show support and share updates and news. It had over 14,000 members and some users even asked for help for injured Haitians in the group. Using email, Twitter, and social networking sites like Facebook, thousands of volunteers as part of the Ushahidi Project were able to map reports submitted by people from Haiti.

The most impressive part of the impact of social media in Haiti is the charitable text message donations that totaled more than $10 million for victims in Haiti. People interested in helping victims are encouraged to text, tweet, and publicize their support through various social networking sites. The Global Philanthropy Group had also started a campaign asking wealthy people and celebrities, such as Ben Stiller and John Legend, to use Twitter and Facebook to encourage others to donate to UNICEF. One aid worker, Saundra Schimmelpfennig, allowed advice from other aid workers and donors to be posted on her blog regarding choosing which charities to support. Meanwhile, donors were asking questions on Twitter, Facebook and blogs about their donations and sponsorships of their favorite charities. After every crisis, social media for social causes becomes a more effective means of getting the word out.

Negative effects of social media

There are always two sides to every corner. Social media is just a tool or a medium for people to use. It is still up to users how to use this tool (just like a knife, it can help you cut food or hurt others). The Internet and American Life Project at Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center conducted a study on “The Future of Socializing Online” of the diverse and highly engaged set of respondents to an online participation survey volunteer consisting of 895 technology stakeholders and critics. . Negative effects reported by respondents included that time spent online steals time from important face-to-face relationships; The Internet fosters mostly superficial relationships; the act of leveraging the Internet to engage in a social connection exposes private information; The Internet allows people to isolate themselves, which limits their exposure to new ideas; and the Internet is being used to generate intolerance.

Some respondents also noted that there will be the development of some new psychological and medical syndromes that will be “variations of depression caused by lack of meaningful quality relationships” and a “new world society.” The term, “Social Networks”, has started to mislead users into believing that they are social creatures. For example, spending a couple of hours using Farmville and chatting with friends at the same time doesn’t translate into social skills. People become dependent on technology and forget how to socialize in a face-to-face context. A person’s online personality can be totally different from their offline character, causing chaos when the two personalities meet. It is evident in online dating when the couple comes face to face for the first time. Their written profiles do not clearly represent their real-life characters. It is more tempting for people to write something that others want to hear than to tell the truth.

In addition to “friendship”, the creators of social networking sites and users redefine the term “privacy” also on the Internet. The challenge in data privacy is sharing data while protecting personally identifiable information. Almost all information posted on social networking sites is permanent. Every time someone posts photos or videos on the web, it goes viral. When the user deletes a video from their social network, someone may have saved it and then posted it on other sites like YouTube. People post photos and video files on social networking sites without thinking, and the files can reappear at the worst possible time. In 2008, a video was circulated of a group of ACJC students hazing a female student at school on her birthday and another video was circulated of an SCDF recruit being “welcomed” (he was sprayed with water and tarred with shoe polish). ) to a local fire station. the path of him online.

There has been a lot of news about the violation of online privacy on Facebook and Facebook is constantly reviewing its privacy policy and changing its privacy controls for users. Interestingly, even when users delete their personal information and deactivate their Facebook account, Facebook will still retain that information and continue to use it for data mining. A reporter asked if the data will at least be anonymized. The Facebook representative declined to comment.

In the corporate world, HR managers can tap into Facebook or MySpace to learn a candidate’s true colors, especially when job seekers don’t set their profiles to private. Research has found that nearly half of employers have turned away a potential worker after finding incriminating material on their Facebook pages. Some employers have also checked candidates’ online details on Facebook pages to see if they are lying about their qualifications. Today, younger generations have a complete disregard for their own privacy, opening doors to unwanted predators or stalkers.

Some of the things to take into account in a kitchen floor are the type of incidents and traffic that occur in a kitchen. There are some types of flooring that would not do well in the kitchen realm. Kitchen floors deal with dropped eggs, spilled liquids, and other miscellaneous masses.

One option is that hand-scraped, grooved and distressed floors can be much more than just a style statement. These types of flooring can help hide dents from jars hitting the floor and blending in with the general wear and tear your kitchen floor goes through. There are styles that make it easy to do your kitchen floor renovation because they can be joined together and “float” in place without the need for nailing or gluing.

When looking at floors, it is beneficial to have a kitchen floor that is non-slip. It is also important to have a surface in the kitchen that is resistant to stains and scratches. If you have babies nearby or are planning a family in the future, you may not want to choose vinyl for your kitchen floor. While some vinyl flooring emits relatively few volatile organic compounds (VOCs), there are still concerns about health and pollution issues when it comes to vinyl.

Stone or tile work great in high-traffic areas of the home, like the kitchen. One of the most durable tiles is ceramic, which comes in various colors and styles. Ceramic tiles also have many options that can be used for decorative designs and/or borders.

If you want to use limestone, remember that it is a porous stone and must be sealed at the time of installation and twice a year thereafter. Limestone is a natural stone and offers an Old World look, however if maintenance is not something you want to do then I would suggest looking for another flooring material for your kitchen.

Wood is a great and popular choice for kitchen flooring. Maintenance is fairly minimal and it can create a wonderful warm look in your kitchen. You can match the color of the hardwood floor to the kitchen cabinets, or choose a lighter or darker shade compared to the cabinets. Hardwood floors can be aged as mentioned above, to help remove dents that may occur. Many of today’s prefinished hardwood flooring options can easily withstand heavy traffic and even water stains. There are also high-pressure plastic laminates that can be an alternative to hardwood flooring, but offer a similar look for less money.

Vinyl flooring can come in many styles and colors, whether in tile or sheet, and is much less expensive. Cork is a versatile and durable material that is also available in various colours. Not only is it waterproof, but it can also help reduce impact noise.

I would suggest that before you lay your kitchen flooring, you take the time to research the different types of flooring and consider your budget. When doing the research for this article, hardwood flooring is by far the most popular choice for your kitchen flooring with ceramic tile coming in second.

Helen Keller said, “It is terrible to see and have no vision.” Ask yourself a question. Do you know what an opportunity looks like? Describe it. Define it. Bottom line… would you know one if he bit you on the butt? They all say they are looking for “one”. Being in the right place at the right time is not enough. As network marketing industry legend Randy Gage says, “It’s about recognizing a magical moment of opportunity and acting accordingly.”

In network marketing and home-based businesses, everyone says they have the “perfect opportunity.” So how do you evaluate? What’s the difference between a golden opportunity and fool’s gold?

The scope of this article is to help you evaluate businesses, determine indicators of success, and outline potential risks. I am a CPA, business owner and consultant. I look at companies from top to bottom, from start to finish. There are some fundamental characteristics that will point you to a good opportunity. A little homework and research can go a long way in making a wise decision.

Nine out of ten business failures are due to a lack of general business management skills and proper planning. Misery loves company and mistakes involving any of these three M’s will put you in the company other than the “nine” out of ten businesses that fail: Money, Management, and Marketing.

Money. It takes a long time for a new business to become profitable. It usually takes much longer than most business plans project. Business projections that seem too good to be true in the early years are probably just that. Even the best product ideas, management, and marketing won’t be enough if you run out of capital before achieving enough momentum, exposure, and market acceptance. You have to look at what will happen if the company has a bad first quarter, a bad second quarter, or even a bad first year. If a company is relying on cash flow to be generated in the first few months and quarters, beware.

management. If you’re looking for a new business, the management of that business should be seasoned veterans, not first-time entrepreneurs, and your five closest friends. Yes. You need the visionaries, but you also need long-term planners, people who have started small and grown big, know the industry, react quickly to change, etc. To be successful, a new company will go through many stages such as introduction, market penetration, exponential growth, expansion, etc. A company can be mortally wounded if it is not equipped to handle each of these stages.

Marketing. Great ideas, innovative products and services die unrealized due to improper marketing. There are two marketing forces: the “push” and the “pull”. The lack of attention to the latter is where the ball most often falls. “Push” is the strategy that “pushes” the product through the marketing pipeline and brings it to consumers. This creates exposure for the consumer. The “pull” is the piece that makes the consumer aware of their need for the product. It tells them what the product will do for them and prompts them to “pull” the product out the other end of the pipeline. A company’s marketing plan must be able to evoke emotions in the final consumer. Emotion that is tied to a need or want that your business can satisfy. Otherwise, all the exposure, fancy packaging, and “opportunity” appeal will be wasted.

People generally fall into two general categories. The optimist who wears rose-colored glasses and the pessimist who wears dark glasses. They can both see. However, you should take off those glasses when looking at various home or network marketing business opportunities and compare them to a set of standards that will guide you to the ones with real potential.

The last thing you have to do is be ready to act! Alfred North Whitehead, a British philosopher, said, “Without adventure, civilization is in full decline.” Take a look at where you are now. Then ask yourself where you will be in five years. Are you on your way to decline? Network marketing is not the network marketing of 15 or 20 years ago. Things have changed and it is an increasingly viable option for those who really want to change their financial situation.

The trick is to find those home based business and network marketing opportunities that have the capital, the management; product and marketing plan to achieve sustainable success. If you’re actively searching and know what to look for, when opportunity knocks on your door, you won’t risk going out to lunch!

Snow globes are great for any occasion or holiday, simply switch up what you use to create your scene. Just let your imagination run wild!

For example, make a harvest scene for Thanksgiving, a spooky haunted house for Halloween, a red heart for Valentine’s Day, or a colorful Easter/Spring display for the holiday of your choice.

Other themes might include a birthday or special event, a sports team, a favorite cartoon character or superhero, a seashell, or a Victorian motif, to name just a few.

Once you have an event or theme in mind, it’s easy to pull together the elements for a truly unique custom creation.

SNOW GLOBE FOR WINTER CRAFTS

Materials:

Clear glass jar with tight lid (pickle, bell pepper, jelly, baby food)

Small Ornaments, Figures or Waterproof Decorations

Distilled water or boiled and cooled water

Clear silicone sealant (aquarium sealant) or florist’s clay

Egg shells or foil confetti

Brilliantine

Glycerin or Mineral Oil

Optional: Plastic cap to fit inside the jar lid,
Fabric, Ribbon or Lace Circle

1. Choose a clean and dry glass jar – A baby food jar is perfect for a toddler craft, bell pepper jars have a unique ball shape, and pickle jars are large enough to allow you to add various elements to your scene. Simply adjust your jar to your desired end effect. Remove labels and food residue.

2. Plan your Snowball Scene – Look for materials and inspiration in your sewing kit and craft supplies at home. You can make people, animals, trees, you name it, out of craft foam. Sewing accessories are also a great source for small decorations. Also consider miniatures at the craft or hobby store. Remember to shop the day after a holiday for lots of discounted items!

3. Secure the Figures and Decorations inside the jar lid with silicone sealant or florist’s clay. To raise the scene so it’s in full view, glue a plastic lid inside the jar lid or build up the area with a little more florist’s clay. Be sure to leave the edges clear so you have room to screw the lid on. Set aside to dry.

4. Prepare your “Snow” using the shell of a hard-boiled egg. Separate the shell from the membrane, place in a heavy-duty ziploc bag, and crush with a rolling pin. The finer particles will fall more slowly into the snowball and have a more pleasing effect. However, avoid crushing the eggshell into a powder, as it will simply float on the water instead of falling smoothly.

Depending on your theme, you can change your “snow” to go with it. Try themed confetti available at craft stores to add an interesting element to your creation. If you’re making a Halloween or Thanksgiving scene, look for foil confetti in fall colors. For Easter you can use foil flower confetti. For a sports theme, use glitter in the colors of your favorite team.

The possibilities are endless and ensure that you are creating a unique snow globe!

5. Fill the globe with snow – When you are satisfied with the snow globe scene, fill the jar with distilled water, leaving a small space at the top to accommodate the figures. Add several drops of glycerin to keep the snow suspended and floating properly. Mineral oil or baby oil can also be used in place of the water and glycerin.

6. Add snow and glitter. When adding eggshells, make sure you have enough to cover the top once it has settled to the bottom. Use silver glitter along with eggshells to make glittery snow – use one teaspoon of glitter for every inch of water. If you are adventurous, experiment with different effects. Use a drop or two of colored lamp oil to create a swirl effect. Add food coloring to the water or use different colored glitter.

Close the jar tightly and shake your snowball. Observe how the snow falls and the general appearance. Modify until you get the desired effect by adding a little more snow, glitter, or confetti.

7. Seal the Dome – When you are sure that the figures and scenery are arranged to your liking and that the proportion of water and snow looks good, add a drop of silicone sealant around the threads of the lid and close well.

8. Add Final Keys – For a more decorative, finished look, cut a circle of pretty fabric slightly larger than the jar lid. Secure it to the lid with an elastic band. Hot glue a piece of ribbon or lace over the elastic band.

You will be proud to display and enjoy your original.
winter crafts creating snowballs.

Based on the current collection of popular diets, one might think that high-carb diets are bad. Some of the most popular diets, like the Keto diet, seek to minimize carbohydrates as much as possible. Other diets, like the Paleo diet, allow fruits and vegetables but eliminate all grain products.

Diets like Paleo don’t target carbs per se. Rather, a diet like Paleo seeks to model what our ancestors ate. Those dieters think that the caveman probably didn’t harvest wheat or make bread or harvest rice, of any color. Cavemen (and women) were hunter-gatherers.

However, while the Paleo diet allows for simple carbohydrates in the form of fruits, vegetables, and nuts; eliminates a tremendous source of complex carbohydrates. And to be fair, Paleo is less of a weight loss diet than a lifestyle diet. Perhaps the best comparison would be with a lifestyle diet such as the Mediterranean diet.

But Keto is a weight loss diet. The general essence of this diet seeks to eliminate all carbohydrates from consumption. The reasoning is that with the absence of carbohydrates, the body will begin to use fat for energy. It’s a reasonable assumption.

After all, even though carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy, the body can’t use what it doesn’t have. Therefore, the body enters a state where it begins to use fat stores. The body does not like to use protein for energy. Protein is for muscle maintenance. Fat is the option.

The Keto diet works. A large group of dedicated followers and practitioners can attest to this. But if low-carb, high-fat, high-protein is the key to weight loss, how come countries like Korea and Japan produce some of the “leanest” and healthiest people in the world?

A cup of cooked rice contains about 44 grams of carbohydrates, 0.44 grams of fat, and 4.2 grams of protein. I can tell you from personal experience that Koreans eat more than 1 cup of white rice in one sitting, let alone throughout the day. However, as a society, Koreans are a skinny bunch. The same is true for Japan, maybe more so.

Besides white rice, Koreans love sweet potatoes. Street vendors roast sweet potatoes in converted 55-gallon drums with wood fires burning below. Picking one up on a cold, wintry day is one of life’s true pleasures. 1 cup of sweet potatoes has 30 grams of carbohydrates, just 0.2 grams of fat and 2.5 grams of protein.

The question to ask is why. Why are people whose main staple foods are high in carbohydrates and low in fat with moderate levels of protein not overweight? Because if cutting carbs is the answer to weight loss, then it stands to reason that carbs caused or contributed to weight gain in the first place.

And it’s not a question of good carbs versus bad carbs. These low-carb diets seek to eliminate them all. And lifestyle diets like Paleo seek to eliminate all complex starchy carbohydrates, possibly the best form of long-term energy carbohydrates.

And looking at lifestyle diets, pasta is a key component of the famous Mediterranean diet. Although the term pasta is quite broad, one cup of “regular” pasta yields about 43 grams of carbohydrates, 1.3 grams of fat, and 8 grams of protein. Again, another wildly successful and healthy lifestyle diet that features high carb and low fat with moderate protein.

The answer to this dichotomy is that carbohydrates are not appreciably stored or converted to fat. Generally speaking, the body burns carbohydrates until there are no more carbohydrates to burn or the body no longer needs to burn carbohydrates for energy.

Excess carbohydrates are stored as glycogen. It is not initially converted (or stored as fat). The average person has the ability to store up to 1,500-2,000 calories of stored glycogen. Once full, carbohydrates are stored as fat. But glycogen is constantly being converted to glucose and therefore is constantly being depleted. And yes, “constantly” in need of replenishment.

What is stored as fat is the fat that a person eats. It’s dietary fat. It’s not the carbs or protein that magically sticks to your belly or hips, it’s the fat.

The total fat intake recommended by the FDA is 65 grams per day. The consensus is that any diet that gets less than 30% of its calories from fat is considered a low-fat diet. 30% is huge. A cup of cooked white rice produces less than half a gram of fat. 65 grams of fat a day translates to a lot of rice and potentially a lot of happy Koreans!

The body uses protein to build or maintain muscle. The body burns carbohydrates as an immediate energy source. The body stores fat for the long winter hibernation (well, if we were bears).

Not getting fat means not eating fat. Not getting fat means eating enough protein to maintain muscle mass. Not getting fat means eating enough carbohydrates to fuel the body and glycogen stores. Proteins and carbohydrates don’t turn into fat (maybe a little), it’s fat that turns into fat.

And the holy truth about weight loss is simple. Eat less than your body uses, and your weight will drop. And stop eating fat.

Satellite television is the latest technology to take over the television broadcasting industry. While satellite TV may sound complicated, it’s really easy to understand.

how the satellite works
Satellite television is a great concept. Television signals are transmitted and sent to satellites that are in Earth orbit. The satellites then transmit the signals back to earth. Regular television broadcasts send signals from tall towers that are transmitted in a straight line. These signals can only travel a short distance due to the curvature of the earth. Satellite signals, on the other hand, can be sent from the earth’s surface so they have a wider range.

Pick up satellite signals using a well positioned dish. The latest satellite dishes are small and compact. The installation technician uses a special detector to find the best location to place the dish, usually on the ceiling. Unlike old satellite dishes, there is no need to move the dish once it is in place. Satellite signals are encrypted. You need a special satellite receiver that is specially programmed to scramble the channels to watch them. The satellite provider will program the satellite box to decode the channels you purchase.

What do you need
When you order satellite television programming, you will be provided with two basic items. These include the satellite dish and the satellite receiver. The satellite dish is a small circular metal object that collects signals from the sky. The dish is connected to your TV through a receiver box via a coaxial cable. Television signals travel from the dish to the receiver on this cable. Your satellite company also provides the receiver. The receiver is a small box that connects to the satellite signal cable and distributes it to televisions. The receiver decodes that signal based on the programming channels you purchased.

what you get
There are many different stations to subscribe to. These are offered as part of a package and cannot be ordered separately. Packages are great because they provide the options you like best. You can usually choose from several package options. You can also add movie show packages that give you access to many movie channels or add sports programming packages that give you access to tons of sports channels.

The receiver is also a DVR – digital video recorder. This allows you to schedule events to record with a simple touch of the remote. It also allows you to pause the TV, rewind and fast-forward. You can record many hours of programming because it is stored digitally on your hard drive. The DVR also allows you to watch two shows at the same time using picture-in-picture.
Satellite also allows you to watch pay-per-view movies and sporting events. The remote control allows you to order the program quickly and easily. The cost of the program will be added to your monthly bill. You can often see new movies very soon after they are in theaters. You can record the shows to watch later.

Acupressure massage is a regimen that has been practiced since Chinese medicine originated in 1600 BC. The ritual has many benefits for the hair including:

  • blood health
  • Blood circulation to the scalp and face.
  • Bring oxygen to the scalp
  • Eliminating toxins
  • Remove dandruff, dead skin cells and debris.
  • In turn, these benefits stimulate hair growth and strengthen existing hair. To increase the overall benefits of acupressure massage, it is recommended to use olive oil when massaging the scalp as it neutralizes DHT, a hormone linked to hair loss. Olive oil contains natural ingredients that reduce the formation of DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) in the scalp; therefore, by using it when doing a massage, you are helping to promote hair growth both on the outside and inside.

How to do it:

1) Start by twisting a strand of hair around your finger and gently tug at the roots, just to stimulate the nerve endings.

2) On the scalp is the place called “the seat of bliss”, located approximately 6 or 8 finger widths above the eyebrows; start here. You will be able to feel that it is a little softer than the rest of your skull.

3) Start in circular motions, gently massaging into the seat of bliss before branching out over the rest of the skull; allow your touch to become firmer as you move away from the seat of bliss.

4) As you branch out, pay special attention to the occipital crest, this is the attachment point where the muscle attaches to the skull, right at the hairline above the neck. Here you will find a powerful acupressure point. If you feel any tension here, apply pressure with your thumb or fingers and hold for a few moments; you can hold this point for up to a couple of minutes if you want a deeper release. After letting go, you will feel your blood circulation begin to flow easily and traces of tension will disappear.

5) Draw a line with your finger down the middle of your scalp. There are acupressure points located along this line; stimulate them by applying gentle pressure with the fingertips. Stopping when you reach the bottom of your hairline.

6) Pay attention to the edge of the hairline that frames the face. Massaging these points will not only stimulate hair growth, but they are also perfect places to promote stress relief.

7) There are acupressure points all over your scalp, so be sure to massage the entire area with your fingertips. Repeat the process of applying pressure and releasing until you feel the stitches loosen.

8) This concludes your hair growth massage. After following these instructions, the flow of blood along with nutrients and oxygen is pushed towards the scalp. This will nourish hair growth from the inside while the olive oil will remove DHT buildup on the outside.

Other powerful acupressure points include the jaw joint points, the temples, behind the ears, and the inner corner of the eyebrows. Add these points to your daily massage to complement the hair benefits. Here’s a quick guide to those points and the benefits of manipulating them.

Inside the brow bone:

If you’ve been spending too many hours on the computer or are stressed, there’s an easy way to fix that tension headache. Gently press your thumb or forefinger against the inside of your brow bone and move it in a circular motion. This point may be very tight and sore at first. In general, if you press hard enough, you will be able to feel the pain spreading from your eye socket to your neck. The good news is that after working this point for two to five minutes, the relief follows the same pattern. You will feel your tight head loosen and the sensation often extends down around the eye socket and along the jaw and neck.

The occipital crest:

This is the region located at the back of the head where the base of the skull meets the spine. The muscle is attached along this point which often becomes tight and cramped when we sit for long periods of time or get stressed. A slow, rhythmic circular massage or firm stroking motion to the tight spots on the occipital crest will relieve tension in the neck, shoulders, and head. Massaging this area often relieves headaches so well that there is no need for pain relievers. When the stroking motion is used, the cerebrospinal fluid is often helped along the spinal column; this promotes general well-being and is a wonderful stress reliever. Stimulating the points along the occipital crest also stimulates blood flow to the scalp, which promotes hair growth.

The temples:

A circular massage of the temples is a well-known cure for headaches; but what most don’t know is that it also brings blood to the face and scalp. This promotes hair growth and encourages the skin to gain a healthy glow. The increased blood flow to the face also stimulates muscle tone and prevents premature aging. Rhythmic massage around the temples will loosen tension and aches around the head and often the neck as well when done correctly.

The jaw:

Many are surprised when they discover that the muscle attachments to the jaw can be stimulated during acupressure massage. We hold an immense amount of tension around our jaw; The sad thing is that many miss out on the amazing results that stimulation of this acupressure point can produce. Massaging the jaw increases blood flow to the facial muscles, giving them a concentrated dose of nutrients; this in turn promotes good muscle tone, a healthy glow and wrinkle prevention. The best method of massaging the jaw is to let the mouth open and feel the areas that are tense. Once you identify the tight spots along the muscle attachments, begin a gentle, circular massage. It’s often very sensitive for many people, so be careful when starting out. Be gentle.

It’s important to have on mind:

  • All of the points listed above can have constant pressure applied for a couple of minutes at a time. “Holding” the points for an extended period of time provides a deeper release.
  • Massage releases many toxins in the body, so it is essential to drink a considerable amount of water afterwards. This prevents cramps, headaches, and muscle fatigue.
  • Alternate between long, relaxing strokes and massage acupressure points for a stress-relieving experience.
  • A one-time scalp massage will not produce new hair, you need to do it daily to really see results.