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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Obama To Raise Auto Fuel Standards. Auto Dealers Worried.

The Obama administration is finalizing a program that will raise fleet wide fuel efficiency to 54.5 miles per gallon.

The auto dealers warn this could hurt the recovering car industry and make sticker prices so high that will keep buyers away.

While dealers support fuel economy increases, if they can't sell them it won't help. Some estimate the program would cost buyers an additional $3,000 for a new vehicle.

The program is intended to save motorists $8,200 at the gas station over the life of their vehicle.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Coffee Benefits? Results Are In!

Coffee not only tastes good but has health benefits as well!

Research has shown that coffee drinkers are less likely to have type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease as well as dementia.

Even fewer cases of certain cancers, some heart problems and strokes.

Lower cases of breast cancer has been found in women coffee drinkers compared to non coffee drinkers.

Most research believe the benefits of coffee outweigh the bad.

Coffee doesn't prevent the onset of diabetes but instead is believed to help in the metabolism of sugar.

It's all about drinking coffee in moderation as excessive drinking could be counterproductive.

Drinking decaffeinated coffee is best as caffeine makes it more difficult to regulate insulin and glucose levels.

Research shows people who consume 3 to 6 cups of coffee per day experienced a less risk of diabetes. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Apple IPhone 5 Release Around The Corner?

Excitement is in the air over the new iPhone 5

The new iPhone 5 is rumored to have a release date sometime in September or October of 2012. 

The phone is believed to have a new 19 pin connector instead of the standard 30 pin connector.

Word on the street is that an adapter may be made available so that your current iPhone accessories will not be obsolete.

The smaller connector makes room for a headphone jack on the bottom of the phone.

iPhone 5 cases have already started to surface.

It is believed that the new phone will sport a larger but thinner display.

Support for 4G LTE? Perhaps, as the believed Qualcomm chip would make it possible. 

Diabetes On The Rise Among Young Adults

Obesity linked diabetes progresses more rapidly in children and more difficult to treat!

The American Diabetes Association reported there has been an alarming increase in Type 1 diabetes over an 8 year period ending in 2009.
Type 1 diabetes is often called juvenile diabetes and is an autoimmune disorder where the body loses the ability to produce insulin. Type 1 is not linked to a lifestyle factor such as being overweight.
Each year more than 13,000 young people are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is when the body developes a resistance to insulin and no longer uses the insulin properly.
Children and adolescents diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are generally between 10 and 19 years of age, obese and have a strong family history for type 2 diabetes. Blood tests are needed for diagnosis and the diabetes can go undetected for long periods of time with little to no symptoms.
Type 2 diabetes belongs to all ethnic groups but is more commonly seen in non-white groups.
Type 2 is typically diagnosed in patients who are overweight. Left untreated, can lead to heart disease, blindness, nerve and kidney damage.
Diabetes more than doubles the risk of post operative joint infection.
While there is no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes, a healthy lifestyle can go a long way to prevent type 2.

Facial Expressions Important In Business !

Before we open our mouth and utter the first word, our facial expression and eyes have already said plenty!
 Can you tell if someone is lying by their facial expression and eye movement? Not entirely however, these combined with other body language can provide strong signs if someone is telling the truth.
 Making little eye contact often is an indicator that someone isn't telling the truth. People can't maintain eye contact when they are bending the truth.
Making direct eye contact usually means that person is confident and honest which is what we want in business!

Your facial expression is worth a thousand words! Our facial expression shows our mood. Daily, our facial expressions show we are happy, sad, angry, confused or surprised. It's important to be self aware and know what your face and eyes are telling others before you speak and while speaking. Be self aware before making that in-person sales pitch!
If you ever have a speech or presentation recorded, you might just be surprised about your facial expressions and eye movement when watching it played back to you.

Being Successful Without College

Is college a scam?

The prices continue to soar and students are often told which laptop computer brand and model they must purchase.

Many professors are seldom in the classroom leaving students to online classes and reading expensive books and periodicals.

We have all heard how much higher your salary will be with a college degree yet in todays economy graduates are fighting to be policemen and firemen which often doesn't even require a degree.

College students do not get what they pay for and are usually strapped with huge debt from student loans. Tuition at many schools range from 30 to 50 thousand dollars per year. Most families just cannot afford to shell out that kind of money.

Is it possible to make big money without graduating from college?  Maybe we should ask Simon Cowell from American Idol and the X Factor or perhaps Mark Zuckerberg who created Facebook. These are just two examples of very successful people who did not get a college degree. Emmy winning television personality Rachael Ray got her start a Macy's department store but now her 30 minute meals are known around the nation.

I know by now you are saying that most companies require a degree and I cannot disagree with that fact. However, this is why it's a perfect time to start and operate a business where you are the BOSS!

Getting Started is The Key!

There are so many of you that would really like to launch your own business but just never get started!

I recently enjoyed watching a tv program where a man became a millionaire by the time he finished high school. He had started 12 businesses starting from age nine. Each business he started grew larger each time.

Most people never get started because they can't think of the perfect opportunity. The truth is there are countless success stories whereby the type of business the owner has today is not even the same as they started.  The key is just get out there in the world and start something! See where it takes you. Don't be afraid!  I'm not saying you should jump in blindly without doing your homework by researching potential costs associated, profit margin, etc. But... you have to GET STARTED. You also don't want to be in research mode for 5 years.

Set a target LAUNCH date so you won't procrastinate. I know people that say the same thing every time I talk with them. The conversation always starts off with "I sure wish I could just........". I call it the broken record syndrome. Every time you talk with them it sounds like a broken record playing over and over telling you about their dreams. GET STARTED!

Living Solutions For Small Spaces

Small spaces can be a challenge!

Although small spaces can be a challenge, there are creative solutions. Have a place for everything and get rid of items you haven't used in the past 90 days.
Have you considered turning a closet into a home office? Add shelving, your laptop, trash can and a chair. Use WiFi for connectivity.
Add a space saving table in the room that has multipe purposes. Consider a foldout desk wall cabinet. 
How about a lift top coffee table that can be used for eating and then lowered to relax and watch tv? The surface of the lift top can also be used as a desk.
A coffee table with drawers can hold remote controls, magazines and other small items.
Tv trays can be easily moved and used for multiple purposes from eating to playing cards.
The kitchen is the perfect place to find creative solutions. Wire organizers can be purchased and hung on the back of cabinet doors. Don't forget about overhead space where you can hang pots and pans.
If you have a staircase, see if it's possible to have storage underneath. Consult a carpenter. 
Often there are closets and cabinets that could contain more items if you had the extra shelving. Are you taking full advantage of the space you have? Perhaps items could be placed higher or lower than existing shelving.
Underneath the bed can be a great place to store items. Don't just pushed them under the bed, instead purchase a storage container with a handle. Be organized with under bed storage and make it easy for you to retrieve and return the items. Bed too low? Consider raising it to allow for storage.
Shop for furniture that can do double duty. There are ottomans that have lids that can be easily removed and some are hinged. These provide great storage from blankets to important documents. Perhaps keep an air mattress inside the ottoman for when guests arrive.
Walk around your home looking for unused spaces. You will likely find a cubbie hole somewhere that can be used for another purpose.
Don't just look at eye level. Be sure to look up and down for extra space.
Purchase storage bins that can be stacked and consider available vertical space in your home.

Everyone deserves to be happy!

It's important to accept yourself. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't improve yourself and become complacent. It's essential that you are self confident and live an unstressed life. You must also live for today and take great pleasure in all of the little things that life has to offer us. You can find happiness when you have self confidence, less stress and reward yourself. Obviously, rewarding ourself with that car that we can't afford is going to bring more stress. My statements are not carte blanche to just start spending out of control for our reward. We must however, not feel guilty when we buy something we want that we can afford or perhaps delve into that ice cream sundae. 
Often we are so busy pursuing our goals that we don't take the time to determine what it is we truly value in life. It's very important to think about the things that you value and bring you pleasure. You will likely modify your life goals after you have really thought about them. What you value will change as you age especially in your forties and fifties. For this reason, you should periodically re-evaluate what it is that you value and brings you happiness.

Changes for a healthy and less stressful life.

Stress can literally make you sick! My statement is not based on my being a medical doctor (I'm Not) but instead is based on my experience. I have dreaded upcoming events such as having to deliver a presentation in-front of many people and found myself vomiting due to stress and worry. Managing stress in your daily life is key to your physical, emotional and mental state.
I tell myself that a particular event is not the end of the world, Afterall, tomorrow will come. It's also very important to have self confidence. Believe in yourself! Many authors will recommend yoga, meditation and exercise for stress relief. I take a different approach. I think you should maintain the right positive attitude (self confidence) , have supportive people to talk with, clarify your feelings through journaling (blog), find humor, do something you enjoy such as your favorite hobby.

Shopping With the Kids

While shopping with the kiddos may not be the best idea, sometimes it is necessary.

Below are a few simple tips to keep in mind that may help keep your shopping day more pleasant. Remember your apartment doesn't likely have a huge fridge so shop wisely when buying food.

A) Be prepared with items you will need such as baby wipes, diapers, change of clothes, tissues, toys to keep them entertained, snacks and water.

B) Lay Down The Law! Tell them where you are going, what you are going to buy and that fighting and whining will not be tolerated. Let them know this is not the day for buying toys so don't even ask. If they follow your rules they will be rewarded with ice cream later in the day when the shopping is near completed.

C) You can avoid crowds by getting on the road early. Try to be one of the first shoppers walking into the store for the day.

D) Having your child be part of the shopping experience will help keep them focused. Allow them to place bought items on the checkout counter or perhaps help you look for needed items on the shelf.

E) Be sure to take a couple of breaks during the shopping day. Perhaps swing by a nearby park or have lunch at a restaurant that has an indoor playground.

Dogs And Apartment Living

Pets Are A Huge Responsibility

Getting a dog will require a significant amount of your time and money for many years!
Most apartment complexes require a large pet deposit!
Barking and running/jumping make can make your neighbors unhappy and result in frequent calls to the apartment manager.
Remember the apartment complex manager will likely require to pickup after your dog and dispose of waste using doggie poop bags. 
While a dog can bring love and joy into your home, it can also bring frustration and stress.
If your children want a dog you must first admit as parents that this is really your dog. Kids likely play with a dog initially when getting it but then later only play with the dog occasionally.
Many families are already stressed with work and family obligations. Ask yourself if it's the right time to get a dog.
Parents often give their kids dogs as gifts but these cute adorable pets grow up quickly and the child may not realize how much responsibility they are.
It's a better idea to have your child pick out a dog rather than for you to bring one home as a gift. Perhaps purchase a gift certificate from a pet store instead. Also be sure to consider a rescued animal.
Taking care of a dog can be expensive so it's important to know that you can handle the increased cost to the family budget.
Do not make a decision to get a dog based on how cute a dog looks as appearances can change as they get older. Also do not let your decision be based on pressure from the kids or other family members or that you feel sorry for the dog.
Ask yourself if you have the time and patience to care for a dog.
What are your long term plans? Will your future lifestyle allow for caring of a dog? Planning to go back to school next year and won't have the time you do now?
If you decide that you are ready for a dog, make sure you research and know the breed that is best for your family. Be familiar with size and behavior of the breed.
This article is not to talk you out of getting a dog for your family. It is written to make sure you understand and think about the level of responsibility for years to come and for you to make an informed decision.

How Often To Wash Your Bed Sheets?


You should wash your bed sheets and pillows at-least once per week using 130 - 140 degree water to get rid of dust mites.
If you sleep in the nude, you should wash or change your sheets twice per week.
Having several sets of bed sheets available to rotate is best so they last longer giving the fabric a chance to rest. Use non-chlorine bleach on colored sheets. Bleach white sheets only when necessary so as to not weaken fibers.
People shed skin cells in their beds and dust mites love to eat skin cells.
If someone wets the bed, sweats at night or there has been sexual activity you should wash the sheets right away!
Other bedding such as comforters, blankets and bedspreads should be washed every few weeks.
Pillows take on a yellowish hue due to oil from face and hair as well as drool.
Pillows should be replaced every few years because they collect dust mites.

Planning A Great Child's Birthday Party

You want to make sure everything goes off without a hitch!

You want to make sure everything goes off without a hitch when you are planning your child's birthday party. It should be a fun time that you can look back on and smile; after all, it is a party celebrating the birth of your child. Below are a few common mistakes you will want to avoid when planning your child's special party. When you avoid these mistakes, you will have the best birthday party possible and everyone will have a great time.

Mistake-1- Do not assume that you can throw a big party and disturb your neighbors! Remember that you live in an apartment and should respect your neighbors. They likely do not want to hear loud noise!!! Check with your apartment office to see if they have an area that you could use for your birthday party. Most apartments do not allow grilling on your patio or inches from the building. Be familiar with what your lease says about cooking out and BBQ grills! Apartment complex pool areas often require pool passes and limit how many guest can be on property. Do not assume your 15 guests can go jump in the community pool! Your guests can negatively impact your lease. Know and follow the rules!

Mistake-2- Not Planning for early and late arrivals: Yes, in an ideal world 4Pm would mean 4Pm but we both know that someone is likely to arrive at 3:15 and someone will arrive at 7 when the party is almost over. While you could take the stand of "OH Well... I clearly stated the times on the invitation"; planning for these type of things will make you have less stress and keep the guests happy!

Mistake- 3- Number of Tables and Chairs- You do not want to make the mistake of not having enough tables and seating at your party. It is easy to be short sighted when determining how many tables you will need. Many people forget that they will need tables for food, gifts and the entertainment. It is better to have a table or too many than too few. An RSVP with a (respond by date) on your birthday invitation should help plan the number of tables and chairs needed.

Mistake-4- Although you may think you will contain your party to a particular area, you must plan on visitors going in rooms and areas that you originally wanted off limits. What if you clean and designate one restroom but little Suzy really has to go bad and the designated restroom is occupied? Clean your entire apartment home and know it will be very difficult to keep areas off limits. Make sure there is nothing in ANY room in clear view that you would not want a guest to find. Having a party at a venue other than your home can save lots of time and it allows you to avoid these potential issues.

Mistake-5- Keep all guests an active part of the party. Allowing the guys to sit in-front of the tv with a beer watching the game is a bad idea.

Mistake-6- Weather! While you don't have a crystal ball, you must do your best to determine what the weather will be like the time of year of the party. Are you planning an outside party where guests will disappear into your apartment seeking warmth or cool air? Are you prepared for bad weather? Is there a plan B?

Mistake-7- Supervision! Children will be children. Staying in the kitchen chatting with the parents while the kid's are playing outside could be a formula for someone getting injured. Perhaps a BBQ in approved designated area that allows you to watch the kid's playing may work best.

Your child's birthday party will be a smashing success if you avoid these common planning mistakes. You and all your guests can have the time of your life when you take the time to plan everything carefully and avoid these blunders!

Is Your Child Watching Too Much TV? Not Going Outside?

Children need to be active. Especially in an apartment lifestyle with limited space.

Your child sitting in front of a tv screen doesn't promote social skills or playing with others.
Not all tv is a bad thing as watching educational programs on public television can help learn the alphabet.
On average children spend around 32 hours each week sitting in front of a screen.
The more time younger kids watch tv, the harder time they have turning it off as they become older.
Toddler tv watching has been associated with lower eductaion achievement and increased body mass index. Children spending more than 4 hours per day watching tv are more likely to become overweight.
Your child may show more aggresive behavior if they are watching violent acts on television.
Tv should be for occassional and not around the clock entertainment.
Today more tv shows and even kid's cartoons depict behaviors that you may not want your child to learn. 
Be aware that tv shows often contain arguments, murder, shootings, car chases, hitting, stabbing, slapping, disasters and death.
It's important that a child understand that most violence on tv is fake with fake blood. Children should also be taught the real dangers involved with violence and weapons.
Watching too much tv can skew your child's perception of reality.
Be aware of what tv programs your children are watching and how much time each day they spend in front of the screen.
Consider having your child read, get involved with music, art or explore a hobby.
Tv pushes people toward a sedentary lifestyle and has also been linked to teen attention problems. 
Like most things in life, moderation is the key when it comes to watching television.

Declutter Your Home!

Things You Could Get Rid Of Now!

Any clothing or shoes that you haven't worn in the past 18 months can likely be donated to help someone.
Your older cellphones or computer can make an exciting difference in another persons life.
How about older toys, books, small appliances that are no longer used? 
Tell me you don't have an old piece of excercise equipment somewhere in your apartment. It's time for it go!
Do you have any old paint in your cabinets or storage room that has been in the same spot for years?
Get rid of all expired medicines. 
Printed magazines and old greeting cards are usually found taking up space in drawers. It's time to toss them.
VHS tapes...really?  Convert them to DVD or other digital media and toss them now.
Donate any food items you are unlikely to eat. Many of us have food items we were going to eat but have been in the kitchen cabinet for a very long time.
What about coat hangers? Do you need 30 but have 200?
Women, just how old is that makeup? Set a rule about the lifespan of makeup products and brushes.
Do you have a closet that you refer to as the junk closet? Start tossing!
No matter if you have a studio apartment or 5 bedroom home, we all have things we can donate, sell or toss today. Get started!

Home Energy Efficiency Tips

Want to save money?

Simple steps can save you money!
1- Home Cooling/Heating: Stop constantly adjusting the temperature. Leave it fixed at a comfortable temperature while at home. 
2- Improve the airflow through your furnace and air conditioner by changing your filter often.  
3- Wash your clothes in cold water and try only drying clothes for half the time. Only wash full loads.
4- Unplug smaller appliances such as coffee pots, microwave until you need them. These items do pull some amount of electricity due to clocks and other electronic circuitry. Wall chargers such as used by cell phones use some electricity as long as they are plugged in.
5- Change out older light bulbs to more energy efficient bulbs.
By taking small steps, you can save money at home that will add up in a years time!

How much life are you actually living?

Each day I find myself forgetting to be in the moment. By this, I mean we often are looking for the next pleasant life experience.
 If you go to work, you can't wait until you leave work. If you know of a newborn baby, you think of their first birthday or perhaps their first Christmas. If it's Sunday, we can't wait until the next Saturday.
We tend to look into the future, wishing our lives away, not living in the moment.
You may find that you are growing old and will one day wonder where did the time go?
Be sure to ask yourself, what have you done for a loved one today? Are you living life or wishing it away?

If you were to die today, what would be the most precious moments of your life?
Start thinking of your life differently starting now! BE HERE NOW. Keep reminding yourself just how short life really is and if you are living in the moment or wishing for next week or month.

Apartment Noise

Unless you are very fortunate, hearing noise from adjacent apartmet dwellers can be a problem.

Unless you are very fortunate, hearing noise from adjacent apartmet dwellers can be a problem.
Here are some suggestions:
1) Purchase higher end wireless headphones that completely cover your ears for tv watching. Don't go cheap! Wireless headphones that utilize the 2Ghz spectrum compared to your local FM radio band is best.
2) Go to your department store and select floor fans that make alot of air rushing noise. Having a constant air rushing sound can go a long way to help cover other sounds plus can be smoothing and help you sleep. Keep them running 24 hours a day so you get accustomed to hearing the fans. You can turn the air flow away from you if needed so you don't get cold. Sometimes you may want to feel the air and other times you just want the air rushng sound. 
3) Complain to your apartment manager if you feel neighbors are being unreasonable. Try your best to identify the source of the noise so that your landlord can address it.
4) If you hear noise after 10pm that keeps you awake, call your apartment complex security guard. 
5) It may be possible to demonstrate what you are hearing to your neighbor. They may have no idea that you can hear them so well. Keep in mind that if you confront your neighbor in a hostile manner, they will most likely make your life worse! Be polite and maybe even invite them over for a BBQ so you can work the noise topic into the converstaion.
Keep in mind that even if you lived in a single detached family home, dogs barking from your neighbors yard could keep you awake. Noise is all alround us. If you have more than one bedroom, consider changing the purpose of the room if it allows you to distant yourself from noise when you sleep.

Dad's Role

So just what is dad's role in parenting?

A) First and foremost he must show respect for the mother of your children.

B) Spend quality time with the children. Read to them.

C) Don't just talk with the children when it's time to discipline. Praise your children and LISTEN to their thoughts and problems.

D) Provide meaningful rewards for good behavior. Discipline with love.

E) Show affection. Let your child know you love them!

F) Be a teacher and role model. Set good examples for your children to follow.

G) Do what dad's do best... spend outside time such as playing sports with the children.

H) Help mom with taking care of the kid's and household chores. Always be thinking how you can make moms life easier. Perhaps establish a share the load policy while at home.

I) Be a willing husband that takes an active part in parenting. Children will benefit from a real relationship with their dad even if he makes some mistakes along the way.

J) Don't get involved in activities that you would not want your children to be a part of.

Being a bread earner and security provider will likely cause your children to want to one day be like you. Your children and others will look up to you as a symbol of stability and hope.

Fatherhood is one of life's greatest challenges but the rewards are a happy functional family!

Furniture Shopping

Sales Tactics!

You walk into a furniture store and are greeted by a sales person almost immediately. After walking around the store and finally showing interest in a particular item, you hear that it just happnes to be on sale. The sale ends in the next 24-48 hours so buying this weekend is essential to save hundreds of dollars!
No... there is no sale. The sales person knows the chance of you returning is not likely so they need to strike while the iron is hot.
They want you to believe that you must make a decision now so you can save hundreds of dollars!
Do not fall for these sales tactics. Jot down the maufacturer and product number. Take the needed time to go home and conduct research online for pricing. You will be better armed to go back to the store and let them know you have already found the item for less money. Ask the sales person to throw in free shipping and pay the taxes for you. Let them know you expect their best price regardless if you purchase today or 3 weeks from today. Get their best price in writing with the sales reps name and date.
I don't blame sales people who need to receive a salary and eat for using these tactics but you can go in better informed and prepared.
Be absolutely sure to zero in on a delivery date and never leave it hanging. Furniture stores are famous for not delivering on time! Telling you 2-3 weeks for delivery can easily turn into 2-3 months. Do not allow that to happen to you. Be very specific and upfront about your delivery date need and have it in writing. Do not fall for the " we seem to have plenty of stock so I don't anticipate a problem" routine. Agree on a date and get it in writing, with your ability to cancel your order and get your money back, should they not deliver your furniture on time. 
Keep in mind that your furniture will seem to be much larger and take up more room in your home due to the items appearing smaller on a large showroom floor. Take measurements!

How To Use Linkedin for Great Results

One of the hottest networking sites online today is Linkedin.Com.

Making the most out of the top part of your Linkedin profile is key for improved results.

Instead of displaying a boring job title, you have an opportunity to say how you can help someone!

An example of what I am talking about: Fashion Designer vs. Designer of Vibrant Fun Kid's Clothes.

Use the website section of your profile to lead your visitors to where you want them to go. Don't just use words like "Company Website" but instead describe your link (Example: Children's Clothing) or point them to a particular area of your site or blog.

Adding applications to your profile such as a slideshow can help showcase your talent!

Another tip is to join the maximum number of groups allowed. Be careful not to just join vendor type groups but instead join groups where you are likely to find your target customer base. An example of this would be not to join many event planning groups, if you are in the wedding business, but instead join groups where you are likely to find brides to be.

Unfortunately, you are likely to find that not all group managers are on top of new requests to join. If you find a group is still "Pending Approval" send a message to the group manager explaining why you should be allowed to join. Be sure to explain that you are wanting to network by both learning from other group members and by sharing your experiences with others. "Let me in" is not the best approach! 

You are going to want to network within each group but do not spam. Add comments of value. Raise interesting questions that become "STICKY", meaning the post will be there for day's or weeks while other comment on your post.

Use the "LIKE" option to like certain posts but do not just like every post you find. You want to be seen as an active group participant and not just someone that enters the group and makes unrelated subject comments and leaves.

Network with other Linkedin members by adding them to your network. When you view a profile you will see a long gold button that say's something like " ADD TOM JONES TO YOUR NETWORK". You will either already have to know this person, know their email address, be introduced by another member or indicate you share a common group membership. This is another great reason for joining the max number of groups so that you can network with other Linkedin members within the group.

Texas town to be renamed Bikinis, Texas!

Bikinis, Texas to become world class destination.

Bankersmith, Texas was purchased on Craigslist and is located 10 miles from Fredericksburg. 
The town is being named after Bikinis Sports Bar and Grill, a breastaurant franchise operated by ATX Brands, LLC and Founder/CEO Doug Guller. 
Bikinis is one of the fastest growing sports bar and grill concepts in the nation with 11 locations and expansion plans for 50 locations and 4000 employees by 2017.
The new community will be unincorporated. 
What's the population? Well.... around 10 people the last time anyone checked.
Perhaps the mayor of Bikinis, Texas will be determined by a wet T-Shirt contest?
Planned events and maps can be found at:

Wine For Your Health?

Wine is good for you in moderation! Your health risk will go up if you drink beyond what is recommended.

Women should drink no more than one glass per day and men can drink two glasses.

One glass is defined as 5 ounces. Moderate amounts of wine can raise your good cholesterol level and thin your blood.

Thanks to the alcohol content and natural occurring plant compounds, wine can reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers and slow the progression of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

You must be careful to drink in moderation as wine has also been shown to increase the chance of migraine headaches, tumor progression in women and cause you to gain weight.

Conspiracy Theorists Get Ready!

The Australian Government seems to have lost or destroyed their UFO files!! After 2 months of searching they came up with one single file when a newspaper submitted a freedom of information request.
The Sydney Morning Herald was informed the files could not be located and are deemed lost.
The single file found involved a series of sightings in and around a military weapons testing range.
This isn't the first time that governments have misplaced UFO files. Britain's Ministry of Defense recently released documentes however all files from 1980 to 1982 were missing!
So are these files simply missing or did Earth experience an alien encounter and the documented evidence get destroyed?
What do you think?


How To Make Moving Day Easier

Be Smart About Your Next Move!

Make sure you get rid of everything you don't need by tossing it or donating it to a charity. If you haven't used it in the past 90 days, do you really need to keep it?
Keep in mind that you will be able to stack boxes if they are the same size. Using small boxes will require more trips but will keep you from breaking your back.
Purchase a quality tape gun and plenty of tape.
Clearly label the boxes by the room the contents are going in as well as the primary contents inside. This will be a great help to movers and will help you find items. Labeling the weight "HEAVY" will also help.
Important items you will need first immediately upon arrival should be packaged separately. An example of this would be items you need to get ready for work the next morning.  Coffee pot, hairbrush, toothbrush, toilet paper, soap etc.
Take care of essential things like setting up the bed first as you will have time to open boxes and put other items in their correct place later.
Have important documents such as medical records, lease agreement etc. packaged separately from other household items and keep them close at hand. I recommend that you take these with you and do not allow movers to carry them.
If you have children, prepare drinks and snacks for moving day. They will get hungry and everything will be in a state of disarray unless you plan.
Checkout available phone apps to help with moving inventory.
Moving day is never fun and involves lots of work but if you think and plan ahead it can be made much easier!

Migraine Headaches

Millions of people suffer from migraine headaches.

Migraine headache sufferers know that it can be a very debilitating illness. There are many triggers that can bring on an attack such as food, stress, noise, light and smell. Usually sound and light are the triggers. Little or disrupted sleep can also be a cause of headaches.
Before you can treat the symptoms it's important to know what combination of factors caused the attack. 
You are more likely to sufer from migraines if your parents has migraines.
Some people also experience nausea.
Water may help if the headache is caused by dehydration. An imbalance of blood sugar levels can also be a cause which is why you should stick to lean healthy proteins.
Caffeine has been known to both trigger and stop headaches.
If headaches are disrupting your life and causing you to lose time from work, you are unable to perform household chores, you become short tempered with loved ones then you should see a doctor and seek pain management!

Getting the Most Out of Etsy!

Standing out among the 250,000 shops on Etsy.Com can be difficult! Please allow me to share some tips that will give you an advantage before you launch your Etsy Shop.

1) Consider the cost of shipping! People hate to pay shipping fees and they can seriously eat into your profit margins. Sell small items that do not require large boxes and are light weight. Flat rate shipping from the U.S. Postal Service may be a good option but do not automatically assume it's the least cost path to take. 

2) When shipping, always get delivery confirmation from the postal service even if you have to eat the cost! Unless you are selling digital media that can be downloaded, you will absolutely receive a message from a customer that wants to know where their package is located. It's best to be in a position to be able to provide some type of tracking or delivery information. You don't want to have to resend the items, provide a refund and have an upset customer. While you are not in control of UPS, Fedex or USPS; you can limit the amount of grief by having tracking and or deliver confirmation in hand. While you can try to charge extra for the tracking or delivery confirmation service,  in the end you need it whether the customer is willing to pay extra for it or not! 

3)  Try to keep your product cost to $50 or less. Let's face it that the economy is sluggish and people just do not have the extra money!
Keep in mind that a potential buyer may not complete an order once they see the total cost including shipping. What seemed a reasonable price to pay for the item may suddenly be a deal breaker once shipping cost are considered. You want to make a profit but also put yourself in the buyers shoes when pricing and thinking about shipping costs.

4) Being Heard Above the Noise
Adding new products often and re-listing existing products will cause you to appear more frequently within Etsy product search. This is a must!

5) It's very important to name your product photos so they can be found in Google image search. Don't use a product photo labeled something like "R1834T.jpg". Instead name it Teal Fashion Necklace.jpg. 

6) Good photography is a must!  Submitting some blurry or poor quality product photo will not get sales and it reflects bad on you and your brand. If you cannot afford to hire a photographer, buy the best camera you can afford. Explain to the store that you will need to zoom in on products that will be placed online for sale. Have the store demonstrate the camera buy taking photos of products in their store and showing them to you on a computer screen. Remember that most all photos look decent on a tiny camera screen. You need to see the photo on a nice quality large computer monitor.

7) Don't have a cheezy business logo. I'm not saying you need to pay $500 for it but make sure you are proud of your logo when people view it in your shop. Does it look good to you? Does it look good to others? Will your friends be honest with you about your shops appearance... if not ask someone else!

8) When describing your products, tell a story and be descriptive. Remember typical people on Etsy will appreciate your fun and somewhat eccentric personal descriptions of what the product means to you and what it may mean to the buyer. Consider your target audience. Why are they online at Etsy instead of in the checkout line at Walmart?