Friday, March 20, 2009

The Best Home Care Provider - Who Can You Trust

As people grow old, their siblings main concern is to provide them with home care assistance in their Golden years. It is better safe than sorry. The bottom line is that you are entrusting your loved one to a complete stranger. Therefore, it would be worth the money spent in checking applicant’s background. 1. What Is Home Care? Home care pertains to services that are not medically related. It helps individuals, mostly the elderly, in going through a healthy lifestyle each day. Home care service became well liked mainly due to the fact that the elderly do not need to go to a hospice or house for the elderly to be taken care of. They can just remain at home where they are comfortable and be given services there. As people grow old, home errands like cleaning the house, buying groceries, cooking dishes, opening or carrying something heavy becomes harder. Also, personal grooming like taking a bath, dressing up, even getting up from bed or stairs could be difficult. Now, due to those home care service providers, there are people trained and monitored by agencies to give those types of services. As a rule, people who provide home care should be ready to perform their duty 24 hours each day. Depending on the arrangements, home care providers can work by shift, hourly, living-in or can be called when needed. 2. Types Of Home Care: Homemaker This service includes preparing meals, minor house cleaning, laundry, buying food and household needs and other chores at home. Personal Care Service totally focused on the daily activities of a client like taking a bath, getting dressed, use of toilet, eating and grooming. Companionship This means that the home care provider is just somebody to talk to when needed. For example, the elderly is usually left at home when everybody is at work or in school. A home care provider is hired as a talking buddy. Depending on the arrangements, the service can be over the phone, a daily visit, or a stay-in companion. Home Health Care Service This service is performed by professionals that can provide help like nursing, psychiatric care, social work, health aides at home, respiratory therapy, speech development or occupational or physical therapy. Respite Care A volunteer trained in home care or professional lives in with the elderly or client. This is a comprehensive care giving service. Any help needed by the client will be provided by the home care provider. 3. Selection Tips: Money matters If money is an issue, agencies that provide home services are much expensive compared to individual providers. The advantage of an agency-based though is that they are professionally schooled and trained for the job. Individuals do not provide this assurance unless they present related proof of their professional training as a home care provider. Easy To Deal With Home care providers that are agency based have a much more systematic way and processes in dealing with clients. Payment is professionally processed and in case the provider is sick, an agency can give a replacement. Also if a problem comes up regarding the service provider, there is an agency wherein you can file a complaint; whereas for individual home care providers, you have no other person to report to if he or she falters. In case you decided to choose an individual provider instead, here are some things to do to assure that your loved one will be safe and given a good service. - Know the person - Perform a thorough interview - Have clear expectations - Explain clearly what you expect - Discuss Salaries Immediately - Ask for personal information

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The 12 Step Program Guide Provides Honest Help

Alcoholics Anonymous is an organization well-known for helping people with addiction problems. The 12 step program is the operational basis for the organizations program. Countless people attribute their success to the program. Many individuals have incorporated the 12 step program into their lives for all kinds of addictions besides alcoholism and drug problems. Anyone who wants to take control of his life and behavior may benefit from following a 12 step program. As suggested by the title, there are twelve levels to the program. The first step is to surrender power. In other words, the persons life spins out of hand when alcohol, drug or other damaging elements take control. People like to pretend that they can manage the situation. However, there are certain cases in which trying to effect any kind of control is impossible. Admitting that cold hard fact is the first step towards success. The next two steps urge the person to attempt to reach a higher power. Many critics of the 12 step program claim that in this respect, the system is too religious in nature. The second step asserts that the person needs have faith in a higher power and the third insists that the person needs to hand his life over to God. The forth step is the moral inventory. This step is another one closely affiliated to religion as anyone who has attended a confessional session will testify. The moral inventory leads to the fifth level of the 12 step program in which the individual honestly confesses his wrong-doing to himself, those close to him and to God as well. The sixth step is ironically similar to step one. The individual surrenders power. Instead of being powerless to the harmful element, he admits himself to be powerless to God. The higher being is entrusted with the responsibility of removing the negative aspects from the individuals character. This passive approach to recovery has been under heavy criticism as well. The next three levels involve making apologies and trying to compensate for the wrong doings the individual had committed. From there, the tenth level seeks another moral inventory and the eleventh step encourages prayer and sense of oneness with God. The twelfth level of the 12 step program promises a spiritual revelation and encourages the individual to spread the word of his success to others. Critics of the 12 step program claim that the system is too religious in nature. Others criticize the program because the individual is viewed as helpless instead of pro-active. He does not really take matters into his own hands when he surrenders and leaves everything up to the mercy of an invisible higher power.

Spring Cleaning A Breeze With Clean Sweep Tips

Personal satisfaction. That, said Peter Walsh, organizational guru and host of TLC's popular show "Clean Sweep," is what spring cleaning is all about. It triggers homeowners to revive their home and renew their lives. "Cleaning does not have to be a list of dreaded chores, it can actually be a rewarding experience," added Walsh. "Spring is the perfect time of year to get your home and life organized." Following a simple checklist and using the right products for each job can be key, according to Walsh. According to cleaning experts, "Today's homes feature surfaces that require special care and protection. From stainless steel to stone countertops, fine wood and leather, each requires a product that will clean and showcase its beauty." Tackling high-traffic rooms, such as the kitchen, can be a breeze following this simple checklist: • Start Slowly. It takes months for a home to become cluttered so it's not realistic to try to organize everything in one day or even a weekend. Instead, start small-one drawer, one cupboard or one shelf at a time. Make a commitment every day to clean sweep another room until it's done. • The One-Month Cardboard Box Test. As clutter accumulates over time, the first step to getting clean and organized is to seriously pare down the number of items in each room. Empty the contents of drawers, clean objects under beds and sort through closets. Put everything in a big box. For one month, put back only the items you use. If after four weeks you haven't used it, you probably don't need it. • Tackle High-Traffic Rooms. The kitchen has become the unofficial gathering place of most homes. From overflowing junk drawers to chaotic cabinets, kitchens are a magnet for mess and clutter. First, make sure your kitchen is clutter-free. Next, focus on appliances and flat surfaces. You can remove burned-on food from your stovetop and make the surface shine by using Weiman Cook Top Cleaner or Weiman Cook Top Quick Wipes. To get rid of irksome fingerprints from stainless appliances and create a streak-free shine, try Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish or Weiman Stainless Steel Wipes. • Use the Right Products. Cleaning an entire house means cleaning a lot of different surfaces. From granite countertops in the kitchen to a leather club chair in the family room, it's important to use a product that is specifically formulated to nourish and protect that surface in addition to cleaning it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shampoo selbstgemacht

Viele Menschen legen ihr Körper im Alltag unter viel Stress, sei es physisch und psychisch, der Körper leidet immer unter den Mangel an Schlaf, unter den Stress des Alltags und der schmutzigen Umgebung, in der er umgeben ist. Die Luft heutzutage ist nicht mehr die reine Bergluft, man merkt schnell, dass der Smoke in einer Innenstadt steigt. Der Mensch gewöhnt sich immer an schwere oder unangenehme Umstände, schnell vergisst er dass die Luft die er einatmet voller Smok ist, dass er vielleicht viel zu wenig Schlaf hat etc, doch sein Körper gewöhnt sich nicht so leicht an diese Umstände. Langsam aber sicher wird er SOS Rufe ausschreien. Viele werden erste Symptome einer Revolution des Körpers auf der Haut oder auf die Haare sehen. Zu meist wirken Haare matt, strohartig, verfallen, energielos und versplisst. Was kann man aber bei einem solchen Fall tun? Job kündigen, Stadt verlassen? Nein, wie wäre es auf Natur Kur für Haare! Die Haare werden zwar regelmäßig gewaschen und gepflegt, doch auch hier werden die Haare in Berührung mit chemischen Inhaltsstoffen gesetzt. Die Alternative heißt, Shampoo und Haarprodukte selber machen, und zwar aus natürlichen Zutaten! Einen Shampoo selbst anzufertigen klingt kompliziert und zeitaufwendig, ist es aber nicht. Shampoo selber machen ist weder kompliziert noch teuer. Bei solch einem Shampoo weiß ist man der Zutaten mindestens gewiss. Zudem kann man die Zutaten eines jeden selbstgemachten Shampoos auf seine individuellen Bedürfnisse abstimmen. Und hier ein paar Shampoo "Rezepte" Klassischer "Seifenkraut" Shampoo Für dieses klassische Shampoo braucht man jegliche 100 Gramm Seifenkraut, die man in der Apotheke kaufen kann. Die Seifenkraut dann in 1/2 Liter kochendes Wasser aufkochen lassen, bis etwa die Hälfte der Flüssigkeit verdampft ist. Darauf das Kraut aussieben und die restliche Flüssigkeit in einer Flasche abkühlen lassen. Seifenkraut trägt seinen Namen, weil sich beim Kochen dieser Pflanze ein seifiger Schaum bildet. Dieses Shampoo reinigt auf milde Weise und befreit dennoch gründlich das Haar von Rückständen aus Pflege- oder Styling-Produkten. Shampoo für trockenes Haar Bei diesem Shampoo muss man eine halbe Tasse Buttermilch mit einer Tasse Kamillentee und einem Esslöffel Babyshampoo vermischen. Haare damit gründlich waschen und danach sehr gründlich ausspülen. Die Mischung zwischen diese Zutaten verspricht seidenweiche und glänzende Haare. Shampoo für stumpfes und struppiges Haar Bei dieser Shampoo Version muss man ein Esslöffel Bier mit einem Eigelb mischen. Wer kein Bier verträgt kann auch gerne Milch als Ersatz nehmen. Beim Waschen der Haare, das Shampoo mindestens fünf Minuten einwirken lassen und danach gründlich ausspülen. Kur-Spülung für fettiges Haar Wer eine Extra Portion Natur für seine Haare will, sollte die Kur-Spülung ausprobieren. Für diese Kur-Spülung benötigt man eine Handvoll getrockneter Brennnesseln, die man in einem Viertel Liter Obstessig legt. Man lässt die Brennnesseln eine Viertel Stunde ziehen. Darauf siebt man die Brennnesseln ab und gießt die fertige Spülung nach dem Haare waschen einfach übers Haar. Die Kur nicht ausspülen, sondern ins Haar lassen. Kur-Spülung für feines Haar Bei feinem und schlappem Haar sollte man folgende Rezeptur ausprobieren. Ein Viertel Liter kochendem Wasser über eine Handvoll getrockneter Pfirsichblätter übergießen. Die Flüssigkeit sich abkühlen lassen und die Blätter herausfiltern. Die Pfirsich-Spülung nach dem Haare Waschen einfach über die Haare gießen und nicht ausspülen. Kur-Spülung für strohiges Haar Wer strohiges Haar hat, sollte ein halbes Liter Wasser mit zwei Esslöffeln und einem Teelöffel Glyzerin Honig verrühren. Auch hier die Kur-Spülung nach dem Haare Waschen einfach über die Haare gießen und nicht ausspülen.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Residential Asbestos Abatement- Reducing The Risk Of Asbestos Diseases

The Firms and Cost Incurred in Asbestos Abatement Residential asbestos abatement is the process to determine if a material is asbestos containing and to take necessary steps removal of asbestos containing materials from the residential buildings. During residential abatement processes you have to ensure that the material is sampled and analyzed by an analytical laboratory. Laboratories that are accredited by the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) through the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program or which successfully participate in the asbestos bulk-analysis program of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) can only be relied in determining the presence of asbestos. There are certified asbestos inspectors who collect the bulk samples for determining asbestos content during the residential asbestos abatement process. These are certified asbestos inspectors and can be hired through a consulting firm. These consulting firms are registered in the yellow pages under asbestos or environmental consultants. You can also look for them under the head of residential asbestos abatement. The asbestos inspections are conducted on a random basis, cost incurred depends on the amount of material being removed, and which method is adapted for the abatement. The residential asbestos abatement can cost from $500 to $2000. Precautions required to be taken in Residential Asbestos Abatement Process Any asbestos removal includes the use of engineering controls to reduce the release of fibers in the environment. This is to make sure that the residential asbestos abatement process is safe and do not pose any health hazards. Engineering controls include the use of water during removal, filtered ventilation systems, and plastic barriers for isolating the work area. Though there are no immediate health symptoms from asbestos exposure, but when getting a residential asbestos abatement program done, you should observe that containment constructed of polythene sheeting is surrounding the component(s) from which asbestos is to be removed. In cases where there is a small quantity of asbestos to be removed, you should use a glove bag. You are entitled to request for a copy of the contractor’s license, project/program work plan, the original results before the program, air-monitoring results from the analytical laboratory and a copy of the waste manifest for the disposal of the asbestos. The whole procedure of residential asbestos abatement would take a full day or possibly two days for completion.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Practical Housewarming Gifts They’ll Treasure

Housewarming gifts need to be practical yet unique gift ideas. Use some common sense to give a gift that fits the occasion but more importantly the people you are gifting to. Most people have a kitchen. Most people could use a useful kitchen or gourmet item. Be inclined to purchase an elegant glass teapot over that crazy cuckoo clock you were considering. No man but feels more of a man in the world if he have but a bit of ground that he can call his own. However small it is on the surface, it is four thousand miles deep; and that is a very handsome property. ~Charles Dudley Warner Housewarming traditions date back centuries. It’s possible to believe that people were more neighborly back then. However, good neighbors still exist and they exist, in most cases, because they believe that knowing and welcoming new neighbors is not an outdated idea. Often neighbors remain behind closed doors and fail to notice or welcome others to the neighborhood. It usually takes just one neighbor to help others see that being neighborly has multiple benefits. Whenever we move we can feel anxious about a new neighborhood, new city and a new way of life. When others reach out to us it helps us acclimate to these new conditions much more rapidly. They often become trusted friends. There are many housewarming gift ideas and none of them have to break the bank. A simple kitchen gift is always welcome because it helps fix in the mind of your new neighbor that there is investment in making their new location a home. A cooking gift may well be used on a regular basis and the recipient of the gift may conclude that they are indeed amongst good neighbors. There are upscale neighborhoods where a more extravagant housewarming gift may be appropriate; however, most gifts should be both functional and beautiful while remaining within your budget. The hallmark of a housewarming gift is their practicality. While other celebrations may call for an unusually high degree of creativity, housewarming traditions have always erred on the side of common sense. Housewarming traditions have changed over the years. Where eggs and cherry pie might have been the primary gift in times past, small practical kitchen gifts coupled with a home produced gift will be an appealing combination to new neighbors in the 21st century. This may be why some good neighbors may choose to implement a two pronged approach to housewarming traditions. For instance they might provide a glass oil lamp that provides elegance and an inspired aroma, but they may also provide a secondary gift of home grown produce or home baked goods. It might also be a combination of gourmet oil and vinegar cruet coupled with a potted plant or flower bulbs. The addition of a kitchen gift is almost assured to leave a favorable impression with new neighbors. Cooking gifts are well received housewarming gifts as well. Because we spend so much time in the kitchen, receiving a gift that either enhances cooking techniques or makes cooking easier remains a memorable token. Your gesture should indicate that you believe your new neighbor is a great addition to the neighborhood and that your hand of friendship remains extended. Your housewarming gift should communicate a genuine joy in meeting someone new. New neighbors should understand your wish for a quick adjustment and that it is your intent to remain a good neighbor while contributing to the warmth and charm of the newest ‘home’ on the block. You may have many neighbors over a lifetime or you may have very few. Please remember, sometimes the greatest neighbors are discovered when housewarming traditions are observed and implemented. A new best friend might be waiting - just next door.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Personalizing Your Gifts With Flair

When you give a gift of any nature or for any occasion, you want to make it something that the recipient will really like and keep for many years. While you want to put your own personal stamp on the gift so that whomever you give it to will remember you, you do need to make it personal for the gift recipient. A retirement gift for an employee that has given years of service is usually a bracelet or a watch. That in itself is an expensive gift, but when it is engraved with a personal message or Thank You, it makes the gift all that much more memorable. Taking the time to search for the perfect gift shows in the gift itself. When you give clothes to a child at Christmas or for a birthday, the parents are happy. However, the child is probably devastated because he/she wants something to play with. Even though teenagers love to get clothing as gifts, you really do need to know that person well to be able to pick out a style that suits the taste and personality. This is why giving a teenager money as a gift is the best choice because it gives the young person a choice in what he/she wants to buy. Baby showers, wedding showers, weddings, birthdays and anniversaries all offer an opportunity to choose the perfect gift. For many people receiving money in a card says that you couldn't be bothered to take the time to go shopping for a gift. You do have to know the person and take time to reflect on what he/she likes in order to give a gift that will count. Although gift certificates are acceptable, you may be limiting that person to shop at a store that he/she does not like. Jewellery is always a good choice as are candles, ornaments and electronic gadgets. The price of the gift is not important. It is the thought and the actual gift that count the most.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pacifier Or Not?

Before I had children, I swore my child would never use a pacifier. To me, they were simply signs that a child was just not very well taken care of. You know, Mom doesn’t want to pick the baby up and comfort her, so she just puts a pacifier in her mouth to quiet her. But, I’m older now, and I have three children, so I’m wiser too. There definitely are times when a pacifier is a huge help – not just a crutch for Mom. As it turns out, some newborns just have a greater urge to suckle than others. If your baby is like this, a pacifier is almost a necessity. For these babies, the suckling they get from nursing or taking a bottle is simply not enough. My daughter was one of these babies, and unless she fell asleep while nursing or taking a bottle, that pacifier was critical to getting her to sleep. Other children simply don’t need this extra suckling, and, for these children, a pacifier is usually not necessary. Occasionally sucking their thumb or fist is satisfying enough for them. Watch your child in those first few days, and make the decision based on your baby’s behavior. One caution, however; if your baby is nursing, you should avoid the pacifier until your baby’s nursing habits are fully established. A pacifier can cause nipple confusion in babies who are struggling with breastfeeding. The problem with pacifiers isn’t really the use of the pacifier itself, rather overuse, or use of it long past a normal age. Pacifier use can cause serious dental issues, and should be used only for the required amount of time. Plus, the older your child gets, the harder it will be for you to keep it clean. Also, if your child relies on a pacifier to fall asleep, you will be required to retrieve it for him multiple times during the night, when he is unable to locate it on his own. If your child uses a pacifier, look for the natural opportunities that will arise for giving it up, and seize them. For example, my daughter caught a bad cold at about six months old, and wouldn’t use the pacifier; because she was so congested she could hardly breathe. As soon as she started to refuse it because of the cold, I put it out of sight. Once her cold was over, she had forgotten about it. My middle son held on to his a little longer, but at about thirteen months, I noticed that just before he fell asleep at night, he would toss the pacifier out of his crib. So, one night, I picked it up off the floor, and put it away. Same ending – he never noticed it was gone. If your child needs it, a pacifier can be a great comforter, and can make life easier for you, too. Just be sure not to let it go on for too long, or you and the baby can become dependent!

Friday, March 13, 2009

New Study: Cleaning The Tub Is A Pain

People have been complaining about cleaning the bathroom since the advent of indoor plumbing. Now a new study by the University of California San Francisco/Berkeley Ergonomics Program indicates that help is on the way for those who detest bending and stretching to get a clean tub and shower. According to the study, using a tool with a long handle can make cleaning the tub/shower easier, taking less effort and decreasing stress on shoulders, knees and lower back. "The widely used sponge and spray cleaner cleaning method tends to place users in several postures that can result in injury to the musculoskeletal system," said study lead ergonomist and physical therapist, Ira Janowitz. "Our research shows that using a cleaning tool with a long handle to do the stretching for you helps relieve musculoskeletal stress." Following a few easy tips can help you prevent low back pain, says Janowitz. • Push rather than pull when you have to move a heavy object. Keep your back straight and the object close to your body when moving an object. Always avoid twisting while you are lifting. • While performing common household chores, use products that are ergonomically designed to reduce awkward bending or stretching, such as the Clorox BathWand. Designed specifically for cleaning the tub and shower, this handy tool has a 23-inch handle and swiveling head that allows you to easily reach large and hard-to-clean areas without straining or kneeling. • An inactive lifestyle can contribute to lower back pain, so make sure to exercise regularly. Exercise is important for strengthening and conditioning muscles of the torso, or "core" muscles, that support the lower back. Experts estimate that 80 percent of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. To keep back pain from interfering with the activities of your daily life, be sure to take the necessary precautions when possible-be it on the job or while doing chores around the house.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Marriage or Divorce — Check Your Social Security Number

Newlyweds and the recently divorced should make sure that names on their tax returns match those registered with the Social Security Administration (SSA). A mismatch between a name on the tax return and a Social Security number (SSN) could unexpectedly increase a tax bill or reduce the size of any refund. For newlyweds, the tax scenario can begin when the bride says "I do" and takes her husband's surname, but doesn't tell the SSA about the name change. If the couple files a joint tax return with her new name, the IRS computers will not be able to match the new name with the SSN. This could result in tax assessments or even an audit since the IRS may be under the impression that you are simply evading taxes. Similarly, after a divorce, a woman who had taken her husband’s name and had made that change known to the SSA should contact the SSA if she reassumes a previous name. Failure to take this action can lead to audits. Can you imagine going through an audit with your former spouse? It's easy to inform the SSA of a name change by filing Form SS-5 at a local SSA office. It usually takes two weeks to have the change verified. The form is available on the agency's Web site,, by calling toll free 1-800-772-1213 and at local offices. The SSA Web site provides the addresses of local offices.

Make Grandma's Day - Kids Gift Suggestions For Grandparents Day

Gifts for Grandparents Day don’t have to be complex. In fact, of all the holidays that children participate in, Grandparents Day is one of the simplest for which to create a gift. The first thing to remember is that, for a grandparent, spending money is not always the best option. Grandparents love gifts from the heart. This often means crafts or gifts created without spending any money. For example, rather than buying a bouquet of flowers to hand to Grandma, a handpicked bunch of wildflowers would be more appreciated from her young grandson or granddaughter. And in place of a store-bought greeting card, a hand drawn and written card would be more expressive of the youth’s true feelings toward his or her grandparents. If your child is old enough to read, help them to find a simple, short book or story that involves children with their grandparents, and have them read it to their grandparents. Or, if they are a little older, perhaps they could even write a poem for their grandparents. All of these ideas cost nothing and yet mean the world to your child’s eldest relatives. If your child is too young to get involved in such projects, give them simple tasks. Have them color a picture and give it to Grandpa, or let them glue macaroni to construction paper and create a picture for their grandparents. Even something as simple as writing names when the child has learned to spell can be impressive as a gift to doting grandparents on Grandparents Day. This is one reason that grandparents are so special and deserve to be celebrated. They are always excited by the smallest of accomplishments by their grandchildren. It is almost as though they see it as a job to make a “mountain out of a mole hill” in regards to the slightest advancement in their grandchildren’s intelligence or abilities. So, whether a simple stick-figure picture or a complex collage depicting what the child thinks or feels about his or her grandparents, any gift is bound to be seen as special by Grandma or Grandpa on Grandparents Day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lemon Oil - Not Just for Furniture

I have had a successful cleaning business for nigh onto twenty five years. As a result I have learned many secrets. As I get closer to retiring from my business, I plan to reveal some of those secrets. One such trade secret is the many ways Lemon Oil furniture polish can be useful. First and foremost Lemon Oil on furniture does an excellent job of nourishing & protecting your low luster furniture. The oil leaves a beautiful shine, and prevents fine wood finishes from drying out. Lemon oil replaces lost moisture in older wood surfaces and penetrates worn finishes. Wood furniture should be polished at annually and lemon oil is a my product of choice. Be sure to pick a brand of lemon oil that polishes without the use of waxes, silicones, or harmful solvents. An added feature of the popular brands is that of a sunscreen to keep your furniture from fading. When polishing with lemon oil, I recommend putting a small amount on a soft, non-abrasive cloth (old t-shirts make great dust cloths) and applying onto the wood surface. I do not recommend using lemon oil on high gloss veneers. On heavily soiled surfaces such as painted wood, plastic-laminated surfaces, fiberglass shower stalls and glass shower doors spray a small amount of lemon oil on the surface before spraying with the all purpose cleaner of choice. The lemon oil penetrates deeper and loosens the dirt. The combination of oil with your cleaner will result in a cleaner surface in half the time. After cleaning shower stalls and doors, rinse well in order to get rid of excess oil. Dry surface and wipe with a cloth that has been treated with a very small amount of lemon oil to prevent hard water stain build-up. The thing to remember is to use a very small amount and not to use it on the tub or shower floors or you will make it slippery. When cleaning offices which have many large leather chairs I would simply wipe the arms and top of chairs lightly with a treated cloth and it would wipe the dust and leave a nice protective shine. The office chairs get a lot of wear, especially on the arms and just a light rub with the oil helped to preserve the leather and prevent splitting. I once cleaned a chiropractor’s office and there were many leather tables. Some of them were starting to split and wiping them with a lemon oil treated cloth retarded the splitting.. When cleaning house, lemon oil was invaluable. My oil treated cloth would quickly wipe away the beginning signs of tarnish on silver and brass knickknacks. This served to extend the length of time between thorough cleanings. The face of the microwaves which would get so greasy from fingerprints would wipe to a clean and brilliant shine with my magical lemon oiled cloth. Stainless steel is another troublesome surface to clean. It gets smudged and smears easily. There are several good products made specifically to clean stainless. However, you will find that these cleaners are all oil based products. Cleaning professionally, economy was a factor to consider. Also I had to consider how many products I could fit in my kit. Therefore the fewer products that would give the same results the better. I found that a cloth treated with lemon oil did wonders for wiping out smears and smudges on stainless steel leaving a spot free shine. Even marble surfaces can be brought to a smudge free brilliant shine with lemon oil. One more use I want to mention is the cleaning of scuff marks on floors. On wood floors use a very minimal amount on a soft cloth or sponge and rub ever so gently to remove stubborn scuff marks. On other floors you can use a little more and rub a little harder. The oil lifts the scuff marks like magic and then mop as usual. When I first starting selling on ebay, I would come across some very old musty items that had been stored in basements and attics.. Spraying a cloth with a small amount of lemon oil and wiping the items would clean the items and aid in removing water stains. This worked well on old vinyl and leather items, although the color would darken a bit. I would suggest that you always test an inconspicuous area first. An added benefit to cleaning these items with lemon oil was the pleasant citrus fragrant that lingered. In extreme mildew, a hint of the mildew odor remained. However, in most cases there was always a definite improvement. I could also salvage many hard covered books by wipe the outside with a cloth that had been pre-treated in lemon oil. It would help to remove any water stains. Of course you would not attempt to wipe the pages. If the book had any old labels, like book store stickers that had been partially worn away the lemon would dissolve the glue and remaining label. The oil did darken the color of the book cover a little. Again the key factor is to use just a little and not to put the oil on the book but on the cloth. The important thing to remember when using the lemon oil is ‘less is best’. I always treated a cloth with the oil and kept it in a plastic baggie. It would be enough to last through the whole days worth of cleaning, sometimes longer. Today you can purchase lemon oil in premoistened wipes if that is your preference. I would be careful using such wipes on surfaces like leather or shower stalls as there may be too much oil in the wipes. I still prefer treating my own clothes. Whichever you use, lemon oil has many uses in cleaning professionally or for your own personal use.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

John Reese's Top Traffic Secrets

Track all sources of traffic generation. John Reese stresses the need to track where all traffic comes from and at what cost. It is crucial to know exactly how many sales, newsletter sign-ups, or other leads your particular marketing campaigns generating. This enables you to work smarter and not harder. By tracking all traffic to your site you can make twice as much while working fifty percent less. Content is King On the internet, people are searching for one thing....... Content! Load your website with as much content as possible. Then, continuously add content. Search engines love information and they will love your site if you've got lots of it. There's plenty of free content for the taking on the internet. You can load up your site with articles from article directories like Or, you could be like John and use content from the public domain. Or, you can use content that is in the creative commons. This type is now easier than ever to find now that Yahoo and others have come out with a search engine designed specifically for content that is in the creative commons. An affiliate program is critical to maximum traffic and sales. Lots of internet marketers don't take advantage of this powerful traffic-generating technique. An affiliate program allows you to have your own personal salesman spread all over the web. The best part about it is that there is absolutely no risk involved but tons of traffic and sales to gain. Your website simply cannot grow to its full potential without an effective affiliate program. Banner Ads John Reese advocates the use of banner ads during a time when they are largely an untapped marketing source. Banner ads are one of the most overlooked sources of targeted traffic online. Also, banner ads are now one of the cheapest sources of targeted traffic. In the late 1990's during the dot-com boom, people were selling banner ads for $40 and $50 CPM. Then the dot-com bubble hit and these rates hit the floor. You can now buy banner ads dirt cheap, at $1 to $1.50 CPM. This is $1 for 1,000 banner impressions. The key here is to find the perfect place to advertise that will send targeted, willing to buy customers to your site. Create viral reports that can quickly spread around the internet. This method works best when you have an affiliate program. Allow others to brand your report in order to encourage its distribution. A quality free report can be a powerful promoter when passed around the internet. This same phenomenon can occur when you submit your articles to article directories and popular newsletters. Take advantage of your virtual real estate. Take advantage of the different parts of your website. Don't let any of your web pages go to waste. You can do this by adding a link to another one of your web sites or pages on your thank-you or sales confirmation pages. If you have articles on your site, place links to related articles on the bottom of the page. The longer you keep a visitor at your web site, the more valuable they become. It is very important to funnel traffic from within the multiple sites you may have. Continually seek out other web sites to link to you. Now, we're not just talking about any kind of link here, but powerful, traffic-generating links from respected sites. Here are some quick suggestions: Send a related web site an article that you have written and allow them to display it on their website with a resource box at the end. Offer to exchange articles and tell them about the benefits of doing so. Allow multiple, related web sites to distribute your free e-book or report. All web masters are looking to add value to their web site, why not make it easy for them. There are unlimited possibilities, be creative! Online group participation can produce a no-cost stream of traffic and sales. Get involved in email discussion lists, online groups and forums that are related to your target market. Becoming involved in discussions makes you very credible. Traffic from forums can produce a much higher sales conversion rate. This method can produce quite a bit of sales for you just by helping others out. Not to mention, you'll learn a lot along the way.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

How to Win at Multiplayer First Shooter Games

The way most first player shooters score kills is simple to understand the harder it is to make the kill the more points you get. This means that if you kill someone with a knife you will get more points then someone using a chain gun, but running around with just your knife out is a big gamble unless you are extremely skilled at the game. This method of play will usually just make you the biggest loser. One way to get a good score is to take a long range weapon like a sniper rifle and camp out near the enemy camps spawn point. By doing this every time someone on the opposing team gets killed they will instantly revert back to the spawn point and you can shoot them, then they will disappear and then reappear and you can shoot them again. You get fewer points like this, but it is the same principal as playing roulette in the casinos, it is easier to get many smaller wins, rather then one big win. When using this method try to pick your location using your head and do not just take a gamble on your sniping spot. You will want to have the advantage of height, but sometimes if you can get a good shot and be in a lower location it may be the last place someone looks for you. Many of the newer first player games allow the sun to be used as it would in real life. So going up a hill and having the sun at your back will give you a natural advantage in the game, and allow you to snipe from the same spot for a longer time before someone finds and kills you. Another way to get a higher score is to work as a team with other players. Most people playing a First Player Shooter are playing alone with the goal of running around and killing everything that moves, but if you and some friends are playing you can use each other as in real combat. Now that you have other people watching your back as a unit you can be a more effective killer in the game, an example of this is that in some of the delta force games you can take a helicopter and if your friend is flying it you and another friend can man the chain guns and you can cover a bigger area, and deciding on a plan before starting the game you can develop a good strategy as a professional gambler or Online Poker player would allowing you to focus on 1 thing instead of many different aspects of the game. Many times I would jump into the pilots chair and other players would jump in and I would circle the enemy camp but the players in the back of my chopper would not attack instead they would jump out or just wait for me to land instead of helping me attack from the air. So instead of increasing our chances of winning by working together they just wanted to be a team of 1. This will decrease the chances of our team winning the game, just like a player at a blackjack table can make all the other players lose by making bad decisions when it is that players turn. Formulating a good strategy, playing as a team and using all available tools at your disposal you can not only win more games and get more points, you will also have a better online gaming experience, and this applies to playing first person shooter games and gambling in online casinos.

Friday, March 6, 2009

How Evil Gains Entry

With fierce crime on an increase, eager For Sale By Owners, are often slack in their judgment of just how dangerous such a thrift venture is. Husbands become homicides, wives are ravaged, families forever devastated, all because invincible men are anxious to sell homes themselves to people who-they only want to believe–are qualified buyers. What would For Sale By Owners do if they knew they were really buying trouble? As a retired real estate broker, I feel qualified to shed some light on this, all too often, evaded area of concern. Most agents are reluctant to tell people just how dangerous it is to open their door to strangers. Understandably, people who must sell homes would, if they can avoid it, rather not pay sales commission fees. Of course, it is absolutely within a consensual couple’s rights to sell their home themselves. But all too often, the man saying, "We can sell it ourselves, Honey," pops a FOR SALE BY OWNER sign in the yard, and goes off to work. His complacent companion places an ad in the local newspaper, fields the phone, and sets appointments for supposedly "Interested buyers" to come see their home. The danger is cloaked in ignorance. I've had women, former clients, tell me they had prayed that no one would call, and after peeking out the curtains, then refused to answer the door. In their efforts to be professional, most agents do not wish to alarm or alienate sellers who might list with them later. I am retired and have no such vested interest. Even Realtors® recognize they are placing themselves at risk when showing houses. Every year, many are abducted, robbed, murdered, or raped in this country. NAR®, the National Association of Realtors, cautions agents to be vigilant, wary with whom they work. Often well-informed agents will no longer do “Open Houses” because it is simply too hazardous. The commission reward of marketing a home in this manner is disproportional to the risk. Evil is denied entry when we bar the door.

Hotels: How to Get Free Gifts

Title: Hotels: How to Get Free Gifts Word Count: 525 Summary: How to receive complimentary items by passing yourself off as a high roller at the different hotels in Las Vegas. Keywords: vegas,vacation,vacational,resort,resorts,travel,destination,game,gaming,hotels,hotel,travelling Article Body: Planning to visit Las Vegas or any other vacational resort where casinos are a major portion of their business? I have just the thing for you. Here, I will show you how to pass off as a High Roller and collect many complimentary items and gifts. What is the Secret? The Secret is that you have to make them believe you are rich and love gambling. In short you have to impersonate a High Roller. Why? Hotels love high rollers because these players leave behind thousands of dollars each visit. And the real cool part about this is that if you act the role, casinos will lavish you with the same gifts and complimentary items that a real High Roller would receive. How ? It is not that difficult to fool the hotel and resorts with some finesse and true self-confidence. It can be done. 1) The Way you Dress: Elegant and smart is the way to go. Opt out of the baseball cap, t-shirt and jeans. Try and wear a suit or at least a regular buttoned shirt with an elegant dark jacket. It was Shakespeare who said that the clothes maketh a man, and so too, when going to a hotel resort. They judge you according to how you dress, so dress according to the role. 2) A Large Pad of Notes: Yes. Just like in the movies. Carry a large bundle of notes with you and keep them in plain sight. You do not have to really take with you that much. Instead, take a few notes and place them at the top and at the bottom of real note-size paper cuttings. Just remember to never expose this while you are in the casino. Use other notes you’re your wallet instead. But do it nonchalantly so that none of the casino personnel will notice. 3) Always Flash Your Notes Around: No matter where you go, whether its to the hotel restaurant for lunch or for to the bar. They will be watching. From time to time, use that money to play at a range of table games or video game and bet some of that money. Remember you must use some of your money to play but just do not use all of it. 4) Play Complicated Games: This is one of the more problematic things to do and requires some training at home. Learn on your own how to lay and how to bet on the high rolling games such as roulette, baccarat and craps. You could also play poker or Texas holdem in one of the larger ante tables, but in any case stick to your plan and you will soon reap the flowers. Conclusion: Above, I have outlined some of the more practical methods by which one can save money by receiving gifts from the casino. These gifts range from casino comps (free money to play), room deals that can get nearly free and many others such as free drinks, clothes, coupon to stores in Las Vegas and many more. Note that what you are doing here is completely legal provided you don't take up a false name or falsify your passport card.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Herpes and Pregnancy

As any pregnant woman knows, protecting your baby is top priority. For women infected with the herpes virus, this becomes even more of a concern. While the chances of a woman with herpes passing the virus onto her baby are slim, there is still a possibility that the child could become infected with herpes at the time of birth. Talking openly with your doctor and educating yourself on herpes and pregnancy and how it can affect your pregnancy and baby are your best tools to protect yourself and your child. Following are some questions that you may have if you are experiencing herpes and pregnancy. Can my baby get herpes from me? Yes. While neonatal herpes occurs very rarely, with herpes and pregnancy, there is a small chance (less than one percent) that your baby will contract the virus from you at the time of birth. In 90 percent of the cases, herpes is passed from mother to baby via an outbreak in the birth canal. In some instances, the virus can be spread even if there are no herpes sores because herpes can be passed asymptomatically, meaning that it has reactivated but there are no symptoms (sores) to indicate it. I was just recently diagnosed with herpes. Is my baby at less risk? No. Actually, pregnant women who were just recently diagnosed with the virus before becoming pregnant or during pregnancy pose slightly more of a risk for passing the herpes on to their baby. This is because a woman who hasn't had the disease for a longer period of time has not had as much of a chance to build antibodies to the virus that can be passed on to her unborn child. However, the risk of transmitting herpes is only slightly increased in newly diagnosed women, and women that get the disease during the first and second trimesters should still be able to provide enough antibodies to their babies. Can I still have my baby naturally? Yes. With herpes and pregnancy, unless you are having an outbreak with active lesions, most doctors and obstetricians will recommend a vaginal birth as the risks associated with a Caesarean section far outweigh the risk of your baby becoming infected with herpes. Because of the antibodies you have passed to your baby during the pregnancy, your child will be protected against the virus and there is only a minimal chance (less than one percent) of the disease being passed on. What if I get an outbreak right before I deliver? The most important thing you can do if you notice an outbreak before delivery is to tell your doctor. Where herpes and pregnancy are concerned, it’s always best to be honest and let your OB know as soon as possible that you have active lesions. This is the best thing you can do to protect your baby because your doctor can then determine which is the safest route to take for delivery. How can I protect my baby from getting herpes? When trying to control herpes and pregnancy, the best way to protect your baby is to educate yourself on the virus, take precautionary and preventative measures to lessen your chance of having an outbreak, and discuss your condition frankly with your doctor.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Good Things To Know About Luxury Bedding

For many years, the only places where one could find good quality bedding were hotel rooms, as ordinary people could or would not afford to invest a huge amount of money in sheets. The beds in hotels remained a wonderful experience that they remembered for a long time. But these years are far gone now, as luxury bedding have come to our houses and ito our beds. What may this mean, you must be all wondering. Well, even if hotel bedding is not suitable for back home, there is a way to invite that luxury feeling, at a smaller scale, in your everyday life. The best quality sheets are not bound to be made of silk, but most importantly they have to be easily cleaned and cared for at home. This is a thing one can find out by using a little trick: asking the staff working in a hotel on advice on how to keep bedding in perfect shape, even after many washings. This is a thing they surely know, as hotel owners an managers may not be willing to give away the luxury bedding they have purchased at prices of several thousands of dollars after only a few washes. It would not be a good policy for a hotel’s management plan. Of course, if you have this kind of money available, you should try the most expensive and luxury bedding in the store. But there is a risk that must be taken into account: the silk or velvet sheets may not be suitable to your lifestyle and to your needs or wishes, especially when it comes to comfort. Because every single person wants to have the chance of getting good sleep, you should be very careful with what you are buying, or , better said, with what vendors advise you to buy, as you may fall in the trap of purchasing sheets that are long out of trend. Keep track of the changes in styles, but also in the matters of fabric quality or manufacturing practicies, as high prices do not state god quality anymore.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Going on a Picnic? Pack a Comfortable Seat.

Going out with you family for a picnic trip can be a very soothing activity and the perfect opportunity to spend some more quality family time in a healthy country environment. If you are planning taking your family out, you need to think about keeping them as comfortable as possible, in order to fully enjoy the experience. To do so you need not only delicious food, a good table and a jolly picnic table, but you might want to add some extra comfort by using good picnic chairs. Sitting on the floor eating a great picnic meal under a tree is great, but if you want to add extra comfort to your trip, picnic chairs are the right way to go. Obtaining good picnic chairs is an asset not only to your family’s outdoor picnic activities but also to your garden and exterior space’s decoration. They are traditionally used for picnics, camping trips, fishing and several other outdoor activities but, if you invest in stylish good quality picnic chairs they will certainly add to the comfort and character of your outdoor setting. Most picnic chairs are specifically fabricated in order to be light-weighted, durable and easy to carry and that is why most picnic chairs are made using specific techniques that make them easily foldable. Picnic chairs are easy to find; they tend to be widely available on the market and on specialty outdoor activity stores; they come in all kinds of materials, colors and styles. Such styles can go from simulate and antique weathered appearance, exquisite high class picnic chairs to unique pieces of outdoor furniture with classical appeal to help combining modern styling with character and comfort. The variety of available materials is impressive and you can easily obtain picnic chairs made from all types of durable plastic fabric to a wide selection of aluminum based pieces or even picnic chairs with sturdy steel frames. They tend to be made of durable and resistant materials. Most of the times picnic chairs are meant to be portable and durable, but them also need to be comfortable. When you go out on a picnic you want to spend quality time and what use does a chair have if you cannot sit there comfortably? When buying picnic chairs always keep in mind the need for portability but also comfort as you will find many uncomfortable models in the market. From super sized chairs for extra sitting space to children’s sized small picnic chairs, they came in all sizes to accommodate your family members. In specialty stores you can find very functional picnic chairs with special compartments, drink supports and even picnic chairs with mini tables attached – those are very handy if you do not wish to carry a table with you, they can serve both as picnic chairs and tables.An obvious option for extra comfort and extra pleasure, picnic chairs will take care of your family’s sting needs in all kinds of outdoor events.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Every Family Needs A Budget

There is not one family in the world that could not benefit from a budget. A lot of people feel that a budget is a waste of their time because they have enough money to go around. Even though this may be true, there are still many advantages that go along with keeping a strict budget. It is not very difficult to do if you are aware of what you are trying to accomplish, and how much money you have to work with. Regardless of how much money you have, you can still set a budget. The only difference is that wealthy people will have a higher budget than those who are trying to watch their money. The number one advantage of going on a budget is that you will know exactly where all of your money is going. This is often times one of the biggest problems for people. They have money to spend, but are not exactly sure where it goes every month. To aid this problem, all you need to do is allot a certain amount of cash each month to every activity or bill that you have. This means that if you like to eat out a lot, you will need to set a budget that allots a certain amount of money to this activity. This way you will not end up spending more money than you want or have. Going on a budget is also a great way to save money. If you are looking to save for retirement, a new car, or a new home, going on a budget is a great way to save money so that you can reach your goal. All you need to do is determine how much money you need, and how much you can save each month by going on a budget. This will then determine how long it will take you to reach your savings goal. A budget is something that should be taken very seriously. Many people start a budget just to break it the next month. They usually do this because they find something that they “cannot live without.” If you are going to go on a budget you need to have a lot of self control and discipline. Even though it may be difficult at first, if you learn how to live by the rules of your budget you should have no problems at all in the long run.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Entertainment Center Furniture

The entertainment center furniture is an important part of any living room furniture. They not only serve the purpose of furniture’s but also provide space for keeping the electronic equipments. They are available in all types of colors, styles and designs from the oak, maple, antique, cheery or usual styles to the modern ones. Hence a person should choose the right ones that go with the theme and the other furniture at his home. Along with the design and colors, the craftsmanship of the furniture is important. Excellent quality craftsmanship ensures longer lifespan for the furniture. Also while buying the entertainment center furniture, be sure to check the quality of the wood used as some manufacturers often keep bad furniture’s along with the good ones under the same roof and try selling them to the customer’s. Thus a bit of research on the internet always helps in choosing the right piece of furniture for your home. While purchasing the entertainment center furniture, firstly the cabinets has to be decided. Even though the television entertainment cabinets are relatively new in the market, there is a great demand for them and a wide range of them can be found in the market. They come in various range of sizes and depths and are designed to protect, support and fashionably exhibit the electronic equipments. TV cabinet holds the place of the primary cabinet in any home entertainment center furniture. The size of the cabinet will vary depending on the size of the TV. The associated cabinets used for equipments such as CD/DVD player and PC are relatively smaller. Also the cabinets are available with glass or wooden doors. Some cabinets available in the market also have remote control functionality to operate the cabinet door. These cabinets can also be used to store books and other accessories. The design of the cabinet must also be carefully chosen keeping in mind the latest technology and trends. The cabinets must have the outlet for the heat produced from the electronic equipments to defuse out without ruining the circuit boards or the microchips within the electronic equipments. While deciding upon the entertainment center furniture, the furnishing and the decoration of the rest of the available space has to be kept in mind. This makes sure that the newly bought furniture’s perfectly matches with its surrounding instead of being an alien. The measurement of the available space in the room is also essential to ensure that you don’t end up buying furniture’s that doesn’t fit in the room. Hence if you are going for the custom made entertainment center furniture, get the cabinet or the professional designer to come up to your place to take the accurate measurements. Lastly while considering on the entertainment center furniture, the equipment storage space should be such designed that the wiring in the electronic equipment doesn’t show.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What You Should Know About Adoption

What is Adoption? Adoption occurs when a person takes full parental custody of a child that is not naturally theirs. The natural parent(s) give the adoptive parents full rights and responsibilities of the child(ren) and relinquishes all rights of their own. There are a variety of circumstances that may have occurred and the child was placed for adoption either privately or through an agency. A natural parent may wish to give their child a better life than what they feel they can provide them. The death of the natural parent(s) may also create the need for adoption either by family members or by an adoptive parent. Whatever the reason for the adoption, the adoptee becomes the legal child of the adoptive parents. There is no real difference between a child who lives with his or her biological parents or with adoptive parents. When adoption occurs the adoptive parents assumes all rights and responsibilities when it comes to the care and well-being of the child(ren) Why do people adopt? The reasons people choose adoption vary a great deal. Some people may choose to adopt because they cannot conceive a child of their own with either natural or medical methods. This is probably the most common reason that a couple chooses to adopt a child. Some older couples will seek adoption after their own natural children have left home because they loved raising children and want to help another child. Couples that are gay or lesbian also choose adoption because having their own child naturally is not a possibility, yet they long to have a child and raise them together in a loving environment. Another reason many people choose to adopt is out of the goodness of their own hearts. Many people who have children or have the ability to have children naturally still seek adoption because there is such a need for adoptive parents in the world. What are the different practices of adoption? There are three general categories of adoption, private adoption, public adoption and international adoption. Private adoption occurs when the natural parent decides to place their child up for adoption, however, they want the choice of who the adoptive parents are. Typically, the adoptive parents place an advertisement and the natural parent will respond. This type of adoption generally includes the adoptive parents taking care of all costs and possibly the medical costs associated with the birth of the child. A public adoption is performed through an agency. In general, older children and those with disabilities are placed with a public adoption agency. These children very often have some emotional, physical, or mental disorders that will need attention. An international adoption takes place outside of the country where the adoptive parents live. Many people are choosing this type of adoption more and more. While it is a little more expensive and requires a lot of extra work, the adoption of an international child is a loving choice. Many of these children do not have enough food to eat, medical attention or families for one reason or another. Permission is granted to reprint this article as long as no changes are made, and the entire resource box is included.

Which vacuum cleaner?-let's suck it and see.

Vacuum cleaners are used to suck up dirt from a carpeted floor or sometimes can also be used on a bare floor. The vacuum cleaners rely on an air pump that sucks up air along with the dirt, deposits the dirt in a reservoir (Vacuum bag or dirt cup) then expels the air back into the room. Vacuum cleaners can either be upright, canister, back-pack, robotic, hand-held or central vacuum units. The most common vacuum cleaner is the upright vacuum cleaner. This type of vacuum cleaner stands upright and has the motor located right above where they intake is. Upright vacuums are also installed with brushes that help agitate the dirt from the carpet or floor. The dirt is either deposited in a vacuum bag or in a dirt cup referring to the either bag or bag less vacuum. The vacuum bag is changed out when full and the cup emptied out when the dirt reaches a certain level. There are many manufacturers of vacuum cleaners that are designing an array of different styles of vacuums that boast different functions. There are two new trends developing in the vacuum cleaning world today. The first is the upright bag less vacuum cleaner. This style vacuum cleaner was developed by James Dyson approximately 15 years ago. The Dyson vacuum cleaner does not use a bag and is considered on the most effective vacuum in the market place today. The Dyson does not loose suction and effectively has more cleaning power. The vacuum cleaner sucks in the air/dirt combination and uses the centrifugal principle to separate the dirt from the air. The air is then expelled from the vacuum after passing through a number of filters which keeps the air clean. Since Dyson introduced a bag less vacuum there have been many other manufacturers introducing their version. Dyson vacuums are however still expensive unlike the bag less competition’s vacuum cleaners. The second trend is the robotic vacuum cleaner like the Roomba or the FloorBot. These are not vacuum cleaners per see but are self propelling and clean the floor and carpet of dust and debris. They are equipped with special sensors that allow them to navigate around the room and are efficiently programmed to cover the entire floor. To comparison shop for vacuum cleaners you can visit the popular manufacturer’s websites. Miele, Dyson or eureka vacuum cleaner website have online product catalogues where you can read up on the various features of the vacuum cleaners. You can also visit some of the websites like where consumers rate and review vacuum cleaners. This will give you a more unbiased opinion. Another good source for comparisons are Consumer guides. They do a thorough and detailed comparison of vacuums cleaners and summarize their findings. Vacuum cleaners can be considered a big investment with some of the more popular brands going for as much as $500 dollars and some for as little as $50. The high end vacuum cleaners boast high technology that makes them more effective. Allergy sufferers are being advised to purchase vacuum cleaners like the Dyson Vacuum that is designed to keep dust to a minimum.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What is IQ?

Copyright 2006 Francesca Black IQ or intelligent quotient is supposed to test intelligence irregardless of age or environmental factors, yet numerous studies show that environmental factors can strongly influence IQ. The concept of intelligence has continued to evolve, despite problems with and misuses of IQ testing. Some researches say that IQ, an income predictor, is partially inherited. IQ is not influenced by family size or birth order. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that IQ is lower in large families. There is also no evidence to suggest that a first born child will be more intelligent than any other child. Social class is just one of many factors, both environmental and genetic that might impact a child's IQ. Others can include: diet, birth weight, parental IQ . IQ tests can't measure all forms of intelligence. Studies have shown that children who are breast fed display IQ's up to 10 points higher by the age of three. The right side of your brain controls the left side of your body, and the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body. Brain weight accounts for about 2 percent of your body weight, but your brain uses 20 percent of your body's oxygen supply and 20-30 percent of your body's energy. People with lower IQ are at a greater risk of getting a concussion. A Danish study looked at 520 men who had sustained concussions after having their IQ's test . 30.4 percent of the concussed men had had low scores, resulting in experts declaring that lower IQ is a risk factor. In the 1960s and '70s, IQ tests began to fall out of favor, partially because of racially and culturally specific test questions. Assumptions were made that a lower IQ indicated the need for more teaching, not an inability to learn. Education matters, studies show that dropouts lose IQ points. Summer vacation means brain drain. Two independent studies show an IQ decline over the summer, increasing with every month of school out. Kids hit the hardest are the ones with the least amount of academic orientation. Swedish researchers found a 1.8 point IQ loss for each year of high school missed after dropping out. An analysis of 1 million students in a New York school district showed that school cafeteria food affected IQ scores to an astonishing degree. When preservatives, coloring and artificial flavors were removed from the cafeteria menu researchers found that 70,000 students performed two or more IQ grade levels higher than before. It is widely agreed that standardized tests can't measure all forms for intelligence including creativity, wisdom, practical sense and social sensitivity. Researchers compared the incomes of fathers and sons and found if you were in the bottom five percent of society you had a one in 20 chance or less of getting to the top. Another problem was that it was difficult to convert to IQ scores from other achievement and ability tests.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What to look for when shopping for a personalized gift.

Personalized gifts have always been a proven way to demonstrate that you are not only thinking of someone... but willing to invest some extra time in selecting something special and meaningful. Sometimes "thinking outside the box" can land you at the door of a web site or an eBay seller who has something unique and special to offer. (like myself for example) I would first encourage you to take a look at what they have to offer with an open mind. Don't limit yourself to the old list of standby gifts. If their product makes you smile or gets you thinking about your Aunt Ida.... or that neighbor of yours who moved away... you know the one you promised to keep in touch.... but haven't..... then you owe it to yourself to investigate things further. Sometimes the best gift is the unusual or completely unexpected one. Secondly, get to know their product..... understand exactly what it is that they are selling and what you have to do in order to purchase their item. Personalization requires precise communication in order to get your item done right! Third is feedback or testimonials .... If they have a web site, take a peek at their testimonials page. Now of course they aren't going to put something bad on there, but you can get a feel for why folks where happy with their purchase. If they sell on a site like eBay, LOOK AT THE FEEDBACK. Were their buyers thrilled with what they bought... or just satisfied? Feedback in the personalized gift world is usually blunt, to the point and an excellent gauge of how the recipient of your gift may react! The fourth thing to do is ask the seller a question... any question. In addition to getting an answer to any valid questions you may have, the real point here is to see how responsive they are. Many times (especially in my line of cartoons), communication is key and requires a few emails back and forth. Having someone who is quick to answer a question and available to address your concerns is very important in gift personalization. Finally I would remind you to not be afraid to try a new product. I have thousands of happy customers from many different parts of the world. I've not had one person ever come back to me and say that either they or the recipient wasn't pleased. Good Luck!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What Parents Can Do To Help Children With ADD

Once your child has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, you may feel a bombardment of emotions: guilt, for feeling responsible; relief, for understanding the cause of your child’s behavior; or anger. As you sort through all of the emotions, it is important to understand your child’s position is not a hopeless one. Many things can be done to help your child reach their full potential and to deal with the disorder. The first thing you should do to help your child is research ADD; learn everything you can about the disorder. You will be more help to your child if you fully understand what they are up against, common treatments, and what to expect down the road. You will also be more prepared to work with your child’s doctor in effective management of the disorder. You should also decide, with the help of your doctor, if your child should be medicated. This is a personal decision and can be only be made by you. Some parents feel they are giving their child the best opportunity they can by providing a means to a normal life. Others feel as though medication is not an option. Whatever your decision, you should be educated and certain of your decision. Regardless of if you use medication, you should implement certain behavior therapy guidelines to help your child control their behavior. These train your child to utilize lifelong skills to be effective and productive. You should have set behaviour guidelines, as well as consequences. Children with ADD need clear expectations and consistent discipline. You should be supportive of your child; you are their best advocate. In school, be sure they are being treated in a manner that will ensure their growth and development, as well as at home. You should consider yourself, your child’s teachers, and doctors a part of a team whose goal is to help your child succeed. Help your child grow to be a confident and happy person. Acknowledge their strengths and tell them how much you love them. Children with ADD often suffer depression and low self-esteem; if you know this is the case, take measures to help avoid this fate for your child. Seek professional help if necessary. Consider joining a support group and seek out people that share your situation. Often the best advice you can take is from someone that has been in your shoes. Utilize life experience!

What are Gift Baskets?

Gift Baskets are a popular gift option especially during the holiday season. The basic purpose of a gift basket is to give your fellow friend number of small gifts instead of giving a larger one. Every item in the gift basket is arranged in a container and the entire package is attractively wrapped in cellophane. Each gift basket is designed to create a complete and personal moment for the recipient. The small gifts present in the gift basket are carefully chosen and blended to make a cohesive whole. Gift Baskets are available in different themes. For instance, if you want to gift a gift basket to writer then you can tailor the basket as per the recipient’s interest. You can fill the basket with books, paper, pens, pencils, and dictionary and so on. Similarly if you want to gift the basket to a beautician you can arrange the basket with nail polishes, lipsticks, combs and shampoos, dryer and so on. Gift baskets are not just good ideas for Christmas but also for any other occasion. They create a personalized feeling that anyone would enjoy receiving them. There are three main types of gift basket mainly •Pre-made Gift Basket: A pre made gift basket are attractively wrapped and ready to purchase. This is gift giving at its best. •Create din Store: There are many stores that allow you to decide what gift items should be wrapped in the gift basket. This gives the basket a personal touch while still allowing for a more professional presentation. This is a perfect choice especially when you want to gift a friend with a professional gift. •Homemade Gift Basket: if you want to have a total control over what to put in the gift basket and how it is presented then a home made gift basket would be a perfect choice. Homemade gift basket gives you an opportunity to buy the contents and wrap the basket yourself.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Unison Smile and the whole world smiles with you

What is wrong with the world today, we have war torn countries battling it out against each other and the shocking sad part about it all is these people are neighbors. Then we have terrorism where we are forced to suspect everyone or anyone around us. Talk of paranoia. Muggings and murders now make the streets even your home a danger zone. A force in themselves are the hurricanes christened with names that come and rip states apart and tsunamis that have the power to wipe out islands. No matter what act of god has been dealt on us, it does not compensate for the heartache suffered by the relatives and loved ones of the thousands who perished. Families where tragedy struck and where they lost a loved one it must be hard for them to accept and come to terms that god was behind this onslaught as some would see it So much pain forced upon survivors and bereaved persons to bear when these assaults took place, causing havoc worldwide. God has his reasons why these devastating tragic occurrences take place. Will we ever find out why he takes such actions. I believe it will always remain a mystery with no answers. For the loved ones you may have lost to a freak of nature murder or on the battle field, those loved ones now stand proudly along side god in heaven. Will we ever find the real reason behind all the hatred and hurt that is going on in this world, do we really want to know? that is question God holds his hand up to take the blame but gives us all back the courage to too survive an aftermath, and that is for all to unite. When disasters strike, you notice how easy relief and aid work becomes with everyone pulling together. People that were once strangers bond with each other. It is sad to say that it takes death to get unison Put hatred behind us and unite together with or without an aftermath then the world can be a better place. Now that is what I call a major relief. Smile and the whole world smiles with you

Sunday, February 8, 2009

To Relieve Wedding Tension: Apply Advice, Repeat As Necessary

For increasing the all-around tension of at least two families, there's nothing as effective as a wedding. You're throwing strangers together in a situation that may be alien to all of them. You're encouraging a clash of styles and tastes, with you and the person you love most right in the middle of it. It seems like a situation wrought with danger, disaster, and debt. But there are ways of defeating all the monsters between you and the wedding of your dreams. How about – organization? Yes, the old-fashioned concept of organization can stand you in good stead. Writing everything down. Keeping detailed forms with lists of caterers, musicians, guests, tasks, things to pick up on shopping expeditions. Organization can be better than a purple-haired, Miss-Manners-reading great aunt. When you get organized, you find yourself in control again. You know what's going on, and you know you haven't forgotten anything in the shuffle – like the ring, or the table and chair rental. And the best organization comes from a genuinely complete book. The Ultimate Wedding Planning Toolkit This is a new book on the scene. The Ultimate Wedding Planning Toolkit gives you advice on every aspect of your wedding, from how to do an outdoors wedding to how to manage your budget, how to keep your RSVPs in order, how to keep your divorced parents in order, and how to keep your mental state in order. How about these bits of advice: • Keep an emergency kit at hand for last minute medical issues (Benadryl to treat those hives!) or fashion emergencies. • If you have unruly relatives, enlist your minister or other officiant to help you maintain peace within the family using a neutral party. • Plan your wedding budget early, and take advantage of discounts by catching venues and caterers at off-peak times. But the Toolkit has more in it than just advice. It's a complete repository of all the checklists you'll need for your wedding. From the master checklist of everything that needs to be done, to later checklists of things you need to do for photography, the day of the wedding, and the honeymoon, the Workbook you'll find included in the Ultimate Wedding Planning Toolkit will help you through the whole ordeal – and help you turn it into the event of your life. The Workbook's lists are also included in the form of Excel worksheets, with handy calculations that help you easily keep track of RSVPs, of your music playlist, and of your budget. You can modify them in any way necessary for your wedding. The earlier in the process you find the Toolkit, the more useful it will be. It covers everything from the day you say "Yes," to the day you say, "I do," and afterward. You know the feeling you have when you get in the car and know exactly where you're going? The Ultimate Wedding Planning Toolkit gives you the same feeling with your wedding. What better way to start your marriage than with a beautifully-planned ceremony? For more information please visit

Friday, February 6, 2009

Top 10 Tips for a Successful Black Friday

Black Friday is by far the biggest shopping day of the year. Prices are cheap and people start out as early as 5 AM. This year there will be many great deals on gadgets and electronics. Plan ahead and create a winning strategy and you might be able to save a few hundred dollars on your holiday shopping. Here are 10 tips for making Black Friday successful: 1. Show up early! Seriously, many of the stores that have massive sales will sell out fast. The whole purpose of having super cheap items is to get a ton of people in the door. Then, once they sell all of a particular item the plan is for you to buy a more expensive item. Let me explain this again...Get their early, but c'mon, there is no need to camp out in front of CompUSA with your uncle's moldy tent. 2. Keep an eye on the prices of items that are not on sale. Many times these items will be over priced to compensate for the super cheap advertised items. If the store that you are shopping at has run out of the advertised item, make sure you don't over-spend on a similar product. 3. Beware of cheap brands. Sure, you may be able to find a DVD recorder for $60 but it is made in a country that you have never heard of and will probably break before you finish recording the "Saved by the Bell" marathon. A couple of years ago I stocked up on cheap DVD players and their life span was about 3 months. 4. Make a list of people you are shopping for. If you are like many other people, you will not only be trying to score a great deal for yourself, you will also be shopping for others. Spend some time before the big day to make a list of people who you will be shopping for. Next to their name, include a budget and a gift idea. Make sure you keep this list handy while you are strolling through the stores. 5. Make a list of specific items that you MUST have from the ads. Most black friday advertisements come out on Thanksgiving day. As you browse through the paper, circle the items that you think will sell out and grab those first thing in the morning. You don't want to lie to your 8 year old son on Christmas morning and tell him that Santa ran out of Gameboys...he WILL catch on. 6. Don't overlook the DVDs and CDs for great gifts. Stores such as Wal-Mart should have a few bins of super cheap new releases. Everyone loves movies and music, so take advantage of this cheap-o gift selection and snag as many as you can for the holiday. Trust me, nobody wants another red turtleneck for Christmas! 7. File rebates AS SOON as you get home. Black Friday is known for having tons of rebates. Some products have 4-5 rebates attached to them so make sure you are fully aware of all rebate porchases. Trust me, you will feel like a complete dweeb when you are in need of $200 in the new year and realize that you never sent in any of your rebates. Do it ASAP! 8. Be aware of your store's price matching policy. Many stores will honor the sale price if you bought the item a couple days before. You can simply purchase your items in advance and then simple show up to the customer service area and request a price's that simple. 9. Create a winning team. If you plan on hitting multiple stores, create a team of family or friends to do the shopping. One strategy that works well is to have a driver that drops off family members at each store and then picks them up. Even better would be to take multiple vehicles or car pool with friends. You don't want to finally hit an important store at 3 PM. Think outside the box...plan on getting all shopping done in the morning. Remember, create organized lists for each family member and figure the money situation out the night before. 10. Beware of "sale rage". Some people are so pumped about getting a deal that they will do anything in their power to make sure you come second. If there is only one $50 flat screen monitor left and a soccer mom is sprinting towards it with foam at her mouth, you might just want to skip out on it...she is dangerous. There you have it...10 tips to make your Black Friday a huge success. Now, here are a few deals that I have my eye on. 1. CompUSA - 9.99 - 512MB USB 2.0 Flash Drive 2. CompUSA - $29.99 - 200 GB 7200 Drive 3. CompUSA - $117.99 - HP 4.1 Megapixel Digital Camera 4. Wal-Mart - $48.88 - Nintendo Game Boy 5. Wal-Mart - $398 - HP Laptop

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Things to Check for Pest Control

As far as possible, this article will focus on pest control tips that would help keep away as much pests as you can. Some of the advises given here will deal on specific pests but some may partly concentrate on the general guidelines. Food storage Disinfection of food items is required by the food authorities to limit the possibility of strayed insects thriving in goods like dog food, flour, and other grains. A good rule of thumb to prevent them from infecting your food in case they happened to be found on some is to completely seal them in air tight containers. This will not only lessen the exposure of food items but may also stop mice from contaminating them. Moisture It is a known fact that all living things need water to survive. This does not exclude rodents, spiders and all insects. For carpenter ants, they never live on extremely dry woods. They will look for materials that were currently damped or a site near to water pies where they may create their nests. Termites generally feed on hard dry wood but they need enough moisture and will most likely set their nests where sources of water are sufficient. Spiders feast on termites and other pests. Though they can practically wander and search for water as often as they want, they still have to live near the food source. And so they are most often sited near moist place where most insects thrive. With these, it is vital to inspect your home an fix it from any leaks. Repairs may be expensive but may prove worth the initial effort rather than expending on more thorough home repairs. Entry Points As already stressed out, inspecting your home is vital in pest control. It will not take big holes in order for pests to penetrate your home. Insects are rather small and they can easily gain entrance from tiny holes. Mice on the other are great escape artists and they would only require a quarter of an inch-sized hole to enter your house. Your house will have a host of entry holes and so you better check on them, inspect your cable lines, telephone lines, garage and especially the attic. Holes in these areas are often forgotten or taken for granted. This is now the best time to see them if you want to gain sufficient control over your notorious pests. Lightning and Screening Any house lights will attract insects and will commonly invite them into your own home. This in turn will lure spiders who will feed on them. Even though you have enough screening, chances are they may still penetrate your home. To get around with this problem, you may use yellow bulbs or any non-insect attracting lights and assure to it that your doors are always closed. All doors and windows and any large entry points must be provided with mesh screens. These should always be kept on their optimum state. If any holes are spotted, it is wise to repair them accordingly to prevent pests from entering your house. Aside from these things, other issues must also be addressed in the quickest possible time for two reasons. One is to prevent insects from entering your home and two to keep them from multiplying right inside your own territory.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Importance Of Having A Baby Ultrasound

Everyone loves a baby picture, right? A special image of the little one all dressed in their little outfit and wrapped in a soft blanket is the first baby picture that most will see. The parents, however, often get to see an even earlier photo thanks to a baby ultrasound. This procedure is not painful at all and involves a cool gel being applied to the pregnant woman’s stomach. At that time, a handheld device that looks similar to a product scanner is rubbed across the gel. During that time, the doctor watches a small screen that has been placed next to the woman. This screen is often a confusing collage of images to the parents, but the doctor sees something very different. When the pointing device is in perfect location, a beautiful image can be viewed on the baby ultrasound machine. Once the doctor shows the parents the exact part of the screen that shows their baby, they are overcome with joy. A baby ultrasound is a necessary part of prenatal care in that it can often detect any potential problems before the actual birth. Among them, improper positioning of the child or irregular heartbeat can be diagnosed with a baby ultrasound. In addition to showing an image, a baby ultrasound also allows the parents to hear their child’s heartbeat for the first time. At the end of the medical session, the doctor will likely ask the couple if they would like to have a photo of the baby ultrasound. This is a terrific image that can be taken home and shared with family and friends. It’s also a wonderful addition to a scrapbook, which most parents want to own in honor of their child and all of his/her special, or first, accomplishments. While a baby ultrasound is a necessary part of caring for an unborn child and monitoring his/her placement and health, it also provides the parents with a way to get a glimpse of their unborn child. But, what else can a baby ultrasound provide? It can solve what is, perhaps, still one of life’s greatest remaining mysteries. The sex of the child can be determined with a baby ultrasound which can provide parents with an easier decision when selecting the perfect baby clothing, decorating the nursery and requesting the perfect baby shower gifts. A baby ultrasound should only be performed by a licensed medical doctor and in a professional setting. The information in this article is to be used for informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of, or in conjunction with, professional medical advice. Anyone with questions regarding a baby ultrasound must consult their physician for further information.

The Older the Tree, the Harder the Wood

It may come as a surprise to learn how many different types of wood are used in furniture making, each one with their own specific properties, weight, density and grain. The hardwood Teak comes from the Teak (Tectona) tree, which grows in southern Asia. The teak is a 30 to 40 ft deciduous tree (its leaves fall off during the winter months). Hardwoods are those which have a high number of pores and a high density. In general hardwoods resist decay better than their softwood counterparts which makes them very suitable for outdoor and patio furniture. Much like cedar and cypress wood, teak has its own natural resins that protect it from damage from extreme weather conditions, especially damp rot. A common problem faced by woods is termite damage and teak is particularly resistant against these pests. There are three different types of teak tree: the Tectona grandis (the common teak), the Tectona philippinensis (Phillippine teak) and the Tectona hamiltoniana (Dahat teak). The Dahat and Phillippine teak are now endangered and therefore the vast majority of teak furniture is crafted from the common teak tree. Teak has been popular in furniture making for hundreds of years due to its attractive look and all round durability and was in great demand in the 1950’s and 60’s when the rise of the Danish Modern style arose. The wood is typically a rich golden brown, but can vary from very pale to dark terracotta red. However, like any other type of wood it can be stained, treated or painted to change its colour yet still look natural. Although not needed with teak, treated wood has the additional advantage of further protection against weather conditions. Its grain is straight, and the wood oily yet grainy. Although teak wood does have remarkable qualities that protect it against harsh weather, it is not limited to being used as outdoor furniture. It is commonly used as a veneer and is a fixture inside the home as flooring and general teak furniture like closets, tables and chairs. The older the teak tree, the harder and denser the wood, which means it doesn’t split as easily as young trees. Although more expensive, older trees are more desirable in furniture making. Joining teak wood is relatively difficult due to its density, so these details are important to take into consideration when complicated furniture pieces such as chairs and plant boxes are made. Despite this, manufacturers of teak are experts in the profession and ensure the highest quality safety for the furniture that they make. Teak can be used to make almost any type of patio furniture including chairs, tables, planters, pergolas, loungers, storage boxes, benches and rocking chairs. Its tropical look makes it great for use in the summer and look especially attractive placed near or directly on grass. As an extremely durable hardwood, teak makes an attractive and sensible choice for the furniture that is placed in a back garden, patio or deck and after spanning many centuries, still remains a popular choice.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The First Step In Event Planning - Choosing The Invitations

Whenever you throw a party the first thing you consider is who you are going to invite. The guest list is important because the number of people attending has a direct impact on the venue and also on the menu. Whether you've hired someone to do your event planning for you, or you've taken on the task yourself, it's important to make a list of the invitees and then decide on the best method of asking them to attend. If the event is a wedding, formal invitations are sent out months before the big day. Generally the bride and the groom visit a stationary store. If you do have the benefit of having a professional helping with the event planning, they may attend as well. Once there, you'll peruse various books with samples of wedding invitations. There are so many choices that the decision can seem almost overwhelming. Once a style is chosen, an order is placed for the appropriate number of invitations based on your guest list. If you're tackling the job of addressing all the envelopes yourself, it's a good idea to ask for the assistance of someone you know with excellent handwriting. If someone is handling the event planning, they may secure the services of a calligrapher who will complete the envelopes for you. This is the preferred method by many engaged couples because it adds a simple elegance to the invitation. If your event is just as important but on a smaller scale, as in a birthday party, you can approach invitations several ways. There are many event planning websites on the internet that offer templates for birthday invitations. A parent can download one of these and fill in the pertinent information, even personalizing the invitations for the children. Children enjoy this because they automatically feel special when they see their name on the card announcing the party. If you've hired a professional to handle the event planning for the party, they might suggest an alternative for invitations or they may just request the guest list and handle the invitation design and mailing themselves. The same approach is often taken for events such as wedding showers or baby showers. The invitations are designed to reflect the occasion. Anyone who has ever received a baby shower invitation appreciates the added benefit of a gift registry being mentioned in the invitation. Event planning services generally can aid the expectant parents in setting up their gift registry. It's a wise idea because new parents normally need so many small things, and allowing the guests to choose from a list makes the gift buying part of the event much easier. Regardless of your event, if invitations are appropriate, it's important to get them out early and ask the invitees to respond regarding whether or not they can attend. This is essential for proper event planning because once you have a good idea of the size of the crowd; you can successfully plan on the other details that will make your party the best it can be.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Teen Toys- What's In And What's Out!

Day in and day out, teenagers are looking for and more variety of toys and gadgets to keep themselves entertained. The toy industry is constantly innovating in the hope to find that next best seller which will capture the fancy of teenagers the world over. Every year, the market is flooded with new toys. While some make it to the top selling list, becoming the fancy of every teenage boy or girl, for a couple of months, some do down without a trace; never to see the light of day again. Evergreen teen toys Some teenage toys are classics and part of the ever popular category. No matter what, years down the line too, these toys will hold the fancy of teens. To cite some popular examples, here are some toys, you will agree, are still on the best seller list. * Rubik's Cube This popular puzzle has been on the best seller list for decades. It is one of the most popular teen puzzles to date and is loved by teenagers' world over. Testing the mental faculties, this puzzle helps to develop skills like logic & reasoning and also tests one’s patience. This puzzle will never go out of style! * Video games There will hardly be a teen that is not acquainted with the concept of Video games. Video games have been popular among teenagers from the time they entered the market. Popularized by Nintendo and then by newer entrants in the market like PlayStation and Xbox, the use of new technology have made these games a must have for any teen. Today, these video games are available in many plug and play forms like mats, wireless pointing devices, eye and head phones for virtual reality games etc. * Dirt bikes Dirt Bikes have been a dream toy for teens for a very long time. At some point, every teen aspires for one. There is an association with the tough and the rugged that possibly drives this craze. At any rate, it is here to stay! * Dance mats These were only invented about a decade ago. These mats really became popular after the launch of the show, American Idol, on TV. With associated branding, overnight, these mats became a rage. These mats are fun and can be used to learn how to dance as well. Popular among teens and also people young at heart, these mats have captured the hearts of many! Latest toys Every year, more and more toys hit the market. As trends change, some stay around while others are replaced by more innovative ones. The popularity of the toys, besides being dependent on the uniqueness of the toy, also depends on the trends as well as branding, which also determines how long they will remain on the hot selling list! Today, we have a completely new set of toys which are 'in vogue'. * School toys Gone are the days of using highlighters in schools to mark important notes. Today, we have a new toy for teens who are copious note writers in school. This is the all famous pen scanner which slide over your text as you read it and scan the important notes and store them in its memory. The gadget can be attached to the computer to download the copy of important notes. * Puzzles Hand held puzzles have seen a new rage. While just a year ago, hand held word puzzles were popular, today, our teens prefer the much more popular touch screen Sudoku! These have caught on like fire on a global level. After the Rubik’s cube, this puzzle is said to be the second most popular puzzle in the world. * Music toys Earlier, teenagers who loved music demanded music systems and music CDs of the most popular rock bands or rock idols. This is the thing of the past! With music downloads freely available, music lover teens are now interested in carrying their favorite music with them or making their own music. The iPods and DJ Turntables are in! The iPods can store up to 60 or 80 GB of songs while the smaller shuffles can store up to 2GB of songs. Available in trendy colors and skins, these compact music hold alls are a perfect toy! As popular are the iKaraoke used with iPods. These are some of the most sought after music toys today! * Digital cameras and camcorders Today, whether a teen loves photography or not, they all aspire for a digi-cam or camcorder! There are many advanced digital cameras and especially camcorders, today which are not complicated to use. Teenagers love to carry them around. * Cell phones Having your personal phone connection in your room was a thing of the past! Today, cell phones equipped with the latest in technology are the hottest teen toys and a practical must-have! Most teenagers today carry a cell phone. The more features the cell phone has, the better. The list of must-have features includes a camera, mp3 player, expandable memory card, document reader etc.