Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Finding the Perfect Gifts for Your Wife

When determining the best gifts for your wife, there are several things to consider. Cost, your wife's style, and interests are just a few things to keep in mind. With a few mindful consideration and some planning, your wife will be pleasantly surprised and pleased with any gift her husband gets her.

The most important thing to consider when buying a gift is what your wife is interested in and her personality. A woman who is concerned with the environment and buying organically will not be happy with a gift that she would consider wasteful or a detriment to natural resources. A woman who enjoys style and fashion will most likely not be pleased with a gift that includes camping gear. Every woman's personality is different and a gift that suits her own likes and desires will be highly appreciated. Even if the gift is not the most wanted item on her list, the effort and thought put into it will be noticed.

Personal style goes along with making a good purchase for one's wife. This is also a personality trait to be considered. It is important to know the style of your wife. One good way to make this determination if one is unsure is to look at her closet. Think about what colors are prominent. Is there lots of jeans, business suits or cocktail dresses. What kind of shoes does she own? Boots, high heels, or tennis shoes? The choices that a woman makes regarding her clothing tells a lot about her likes and dislikes. A pretty good bet is that a woman who enjoys wearing heels and dresses may not be pleased with casual wear or appliances.

Another thing to consider when buying gifts for your wife is cost. This may go along with your wife's personal preferences and personal beliefs about finances. If your wife is usually clipping coupons and keeps to a tight budget, she may be highly stressed when her husband buys her an expensive gift. On the other hand, if your wife enjoys splurging on nice things, she will much more appreciate a more costly gift.

Personal sentiments are important to consider. Some women would much rather have a personal item with much thought put into it rather than an item that costs a lot. If your wife loves to collect personal momentos of family, such as photography or scrapbooks, it would be a great idea to put together a collection of scrapbooking items or make a collage of her photographs. Even a piece of jewelry that she could display her children's pictures or birthstones would be enjoyed. If your wife enjoys diamonds and sparkle, that is always a good gift.

Most women appreciate the thought behind a gift more than the actual item purchased. Thinking about a wife's likes, dislikes and interests can go a long way in determining a great gift. Noticing what she buys for herself or at least looks at when shopping, her beliefs and personal interests can go a long way in finding ideas for gifts. It just takes a little work and thought in finding the gift that your wife will be bragging about to all of her friends.

Shelley Hamilton is an insurance professional in Cambridge.  You can quickly compare insurance quotes at Kanetix, and free up the money you need to get the perfect gist for your spouse.

Selecting the perfect Christmas card

It’s come to my favourite time of the year when we all start focussing on the festive season and get ready for Santa to make his annual appearance on his reindeer led sleigh.
The only quibble I have is about the boring, old chore of selecting Christmas cards or that’s what I used to think until a friend of mine sent me through a photo card a couple of years ago.
Since then I’ve adopted a new approach to sending out my Christmas salutations to my nearest and dearest.
Initially, I still get out the old contact book and scour it for the names and addresses of people who I want to wish a bit of festive cheer – I usually focus on family, friends and work colleagues.
Once I’ve done this process, which still seems to take forever and used to be the bit I didn’t like, I concentrate on each person individually.
Rather than concentrating on the old traditional “To…” “Merry Christmas” “From…” that always felt quite impersonal to me I write a short limerick, joke or message to each person I’m sending a Christmas card to.
This makes what used to be a boring chore enjoyable and fun, while letting me be quite creative and most of all keeping the Christmas greeting personal to everyone.
On top of this, I no longer buy the traditional box of 50 cards that all have the same generic picture or message on the interior – again I consider who I’m sending the card to and what their personality is like.
What I’ve learnt over the recent years is that I seem to get a lot of comical cards from the people that I work with, usually because there is always someone laughing and joking in the office.
So, for all my colleagues I pick funny cards, but I still consider each person on their merits because not everyone’s sense of humour is the same. And I truly believe that a one-size-fits-all approach is not the best way to send out cards.
However, I think I’m safe selecting ones with Santa stuck in the chimney while Rudolph and Dasher drink the wine and eat the mince pies left in the living room.

Once I’ve done this I turn my attention onto my large group of friends and have found that photo cards are becoming the perfect style for old school mates and university pals who I haven’t seen for a while. It also reminds us how much we’ve changed or what we’re doing nowadays.
Finally, I focus on my family (of which there are many) but I hand-pick each Christmas card for my parents, grandparents, partner and siblings so that the card reflects their personality.
I truly believe that taking the little extra time writing and selecting Christmas cards can send out the perfect festive message for the people I know.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wedding Planning Ideas That Help You Save Money


Wedding planning is one of the fastest growing retail industries. In 2010 the average American wedding cost $28,000! That’s a huge sum of money and most people do not have that kind of a budget to plan their wedding. Does this mean that you cannot have a grand wedding without completely breaking your bank? Of course not! Here are some tips to have a grand wedding on a low budget.

1. Have a day wedding. Late evening weddings evolve into sit-down dinners that are far more expensive than lunches. Also, since lunch is a less formal affair you can go for a buffet instead of a sit down dinner and save money on the serving staff.

2. See if you can plan it on a weekday or Friday at least. Saturday is the most expensive day of the week and rates are inevitably higher for ceremony and reception sites.

3. Plan a 3 course meal instead of a 5 course one. It is cheaper to have 3 fabulous courses than have 5 individual ones. Also, don’t try to get too exotic and import food items that are not indigenous to your area. Instead select items from the menu that are popular and easily available and add a new dimension to them.

4. Buy your own alcohol! Much cheaper. Also, serve Dom Perignon for the toast but switch to cheaper champagne for the rest of the evening. No one will ever know the difference since they never see the bottles!

5. Get a gorgeous cake in a small size to be cut by the bridal couple. Also have several sheets of the same cake in the kitchen from which everyone is served. Also, request your caterer to decorate each plate of cake with different sauces instead of expensive sugar icing flowers.

6. Request a friend or close family to help with the planning and film your wedding video for you. Splurge on a good wedding photographer instead. You’ll save a fair amount of cost on the video and yet have professionally clicked photographs too.

7. Hire a DJ for the music instead of a band. Much cheaper and you can ask him to double as the Master of Ceremonies as well.

8. Forget about orchids and other tropical blooms that cost the Earth. Opt for an easily available flower that costs much less. Also, request your florist to create the arrangements so that they can be easily transported from the ceremony site to the reception site. Also, you could opt for small potted plants as centerpieces and make them do double duty as wedding favors!

9. It’s OK to ask friends and family to pitch in with the wedding planning efforts. Hire just one limo to transport the bride and maid of honor or the bridal couple. Get the rest of the wedding party to carpool. Also, a Lincoln would serve just as well as a limo!

10. Keep it informal. This will allow the groom and other men in the wedding party to wear suits they already own instead of spending on tuxedos. Also, it means less expensive invitations, decorations, seating, food and favors.

11. One important thing to help maintain your budget is time. Often we end up paying a lot extra simply because we haven’t planned ahead or spent enough time researching. Take your time to make decisions and make the most cost effective decisions that you can.

Also, remember that the budget overshoots without any help from you! So keep a tight rein on it and start your marriage debt free.

Samet Bilir is a freelance writer who writes about wedding topics such as budget wedding tips and traditional wedding vows.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Make the Switch to Eco-Friendly Beauty Products

There are so many reasons to go green with your makeup and cosmetics. It may seem as though all is gloom and doom about the environment, but things are changing for the better all the time and the cosmetics industry is definitely doing their part.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The Environmental Protection Agency states that every year, packaging makes up more than one quarter of landfill waste. Ecologically friendly beauty products use packaging that is sustainable. Some companies, such as Lush and Nothing Nasty, allow you to refill your own personal tub from larger containers at the store. These companies also encourage reusing or recycling the packages their products come in.
Save Your Skin
Those with sensitive skin may really notice a difference after switching to naturally made cosmetics. Products that use sodium laureth sulphate, formaldehyde, lead and other heavy metals, synthetic dyes and scents can cause red skin, inflammation, dermatitis, chapping, even burning, doing just what you don't want your makeup to do - make you not look good at all! It seems to be a circular loop that many consumers find themselves in; they have skin problems, so they use cosmetics. Many find that after switching to natural, ecologically friendly beauty products, these allergies and skin problems simply disappear. Lavera, Alima Pure and Pellenova use minerals that are great for sensitive skin.
Save Your Health
Unbelievably, up to 60% of what you put on your skin will end up in your bloodstream. Scary thought, right? Those ingredients that we often can't pronounce very well may be posing serious threats to your health. Parabens are used as preservatives in cosmetics, but they have hormone-like qualities and may be carcinogens. Phalates and dibutyl phthalate have been found to have an adverse effect on the reproductive systems of laboratory animals. Aluminum may cause Alzheimer's disease, toluene, found in many nail polishes and nail polish removers, may do damage to the nervous system and many synthetic fragrances cause dizziness. When you make the switch to natural cosmetics, you may notice fewer headaches and more energy, too! Supermodel Josie Maran created her own line of luxurious makeup with no harmful ingredients that has been gaining popularity since she began in 2006.
Save the Earth
It's not only small businesses that are taking ecological responsibility seriously. Larger companies are getting into the game as well. Certain cosmetics companies are taking this so seriously, they are making sure that even the trees that make up eyeliner pencils and makeup brushes are sustainably harvested. Some of the more strict requirements for environmentally friendly makeup requires that all of the ingredients are natural, plant-based and without silicone, parabens or other similar harmful ingredients. Even better yet, the ingredients should be organically grown and should not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Always read labels and check ingredients since the word "natural" technically doesn't mean much. Physicians Formula, Plant Love , Ecco Bella and Living Nature are just a few companies who are taking this challenge seriously. With the abundance of ecologically friendly cosmetics available today, it's prudent to be on the safe side and shop green. Whether you're in the market for lipsticks, lip glosses, eye shadow, mascara, deodorant, after shave or tooth paste, you can be certain that the eco-friendly version is available. You'll be healthier for it, and the earth will thank you, too.
Cindi Lewis writes for a natural skincare and beauty products online retailer.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

How to increase your salary

We could all do with a little extra cash at the end of the month in our pay packets, no matter how much we earn. No matter how many times I use the online salary calculator to help me budget and plan for the future I always seem to be running sort or have some unexpected bill to pay. I have came up with some cool ways to increase that bank balance and finds ways so you can afford that coat you’ve always wanted or that special restaurant you’ve been meaning to try out.
Those who love working with money sometimes look into online accounting
Ok first things first, if you have been in your position for a while and haven’t had a pay increase and feel that you have been doing your job well then I think it’s time you asked your boss for a pay rise. Get to know how your boss handles their pay practices to see if they have a certain time of year where they offer employees pay rises. If they have you will have to wait to then but if not then look at the trend in the current market and gather information about what other companies are offering as their market pay rate. Use a salary calculator to project and estimate what you should be getting paid. Then you should list that you have brought to the company and make a list of any goals you have achieved and any extra responsibilities you have gained. Then make an appointment for with your boss and ask for that rise. After all what the worst that could happen, they could say no?
There are also lots of ways that you can make extra cash online. Blogging is a brilliant way of creating some extra cash and is really popular. Blogging is really easy and can be set up in no time. Blogging platforms such as word press, blogger, tumblr, square space and posterous are all extremely user friendly even for beginners. Selling links or advertisements on your blog will help make you a right little packet. Programs like Google ad sense, Yahoo publisher network, Chitika can guide you on how to make cash. Affiliate marketing on your blog will also make you cash by referring online shoppers from your site via a link to various products and you gain a percentage of the sale when a customer buys the product.
Taking part in paid survey participation is a brilliant and easy way to make cash fast. Just registers register on a number of different databases and take part in as many surveys as you like each month. Although the money isn’t big for taking part in surveys, but remember the more you do the more you will make.
Another may to earn some extra cash is to sell things. Everyone has items that are lying around their house that no one wants. After all ones man’s rubbish can be another man’s treasure. Use sites such as eBay or craigslist to help you sell your belongings and remember not only do will you be making extra cash, but you will also be clearing up your house.
Making extra cash doesn’t have to mean that you have to work doubly hard. But if times are tough or a little bit of extra cash could come in handy them it’s definitely worth while checking not how to earn a little more.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Avoiding the Nightmare of Black Friday

Black Friday is almost upon us, and with that day comes hordes of shoppers looking to get the best deals for the holidays. One can avoid the trauma sometimes caused by shopping on Black Friday, by looking ahead of time to see what is going to be offered and planning accordingly. Here are a few ways you can go about avoiding the headaches that come with holiday shopping.
Do Your Homework Ahead of Time
Black Friday deals are advertised in advance all over the web. One can find deals from stores such as Walmart, Target, JC Penney and other major retailers simply by doing a little detective work in advance.
In addition, many stores are looking to open earlier than normal. With Target opening for the first time at Midnight, other retailers plan to follow suit. This will give consumers earlier time frames than ever in which to shop.
Cyber Monday
One can opt to avoid Black Friday altogether and its rush of consumerism by shopping online.
Cyber Monday is now one of the largest shopping days for consumers. Online retailers offer deals that are sometimes just as good or better than ones the brick and mortar stores are promoting. One can often get free shipping with their items purchased online, and have the convenience of something being delivered to their door. This certainly beats fighting fellow shoppers for a parking spot at Toys R Us.
Devise a Strategy
For those who simply feel life will not be complete without a Black Friday road trip, and don't mind the crowds, advance planning is simply the best way to go. One can find any number of items in the stores. Probably the best strategy is to plan a route, rather than driving frenetically from store to store, only to find that your coveted items have already been sold out. Don’t be afraid to call ahead and make sure that that item you have your heart set on is still in stock.
Know Your Budget
It also helps to plan a budget in advance so that you will know how much you have to spend. When everything seems like a bargain you are apt to spend way more than intended to. You also should read the fine print and specifications on the ads so that you will be prepared in advance, and know exactly what it is that you will be buying. That way you won't be left disappointed with your purchase when the big day arrives.
Retailers expect to make a great deal of their yearly sales on Black Friday. Just take care when adding to that number, so that your Black Friday doesn't end up a nightmare.
Rebecca Jones is a financial blogger and contributing writer for payday loans.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Choosing the Right Shoes

Put the word shoes into a search engine such as Google and you will find over a billion results. Step into the mall and you will find that every other store at least is selling shoes. Small boutique stores and large department stores all offer you a wide selection of shoes in every color, shape and size. The choices of shoes available are seemingly endless. However, no two shoes are alike and no two feet are alike as well. So, with all the shoes that are out there, you will want to make a smart choice and select shoes that are perfect for you.
Accredited online schools have fashion design classes for people who love shoes and more.
With every new season there are new looks that designers come up with. This season pointy front shoes as well as rounded front shoes are making a comeback so there are a great variety of styles to choose from. Chunky and Spiky heels are in at the same time as well. So for this season just about everything goes. Choose a style that you desire. There are so many styles that are fashionable this season, choose one that suits your taste not just the designers. In order to be up to date and in style you will need to buy a couple of new pairs each season. A great suggestion is to keep a pair of classic shoes in your closet that you can pull out at any time. Any pair of shoes from Mark Joseph shoes will take you from season to season without going out of style and also pairs well with so many different looks.
Choosing the right color is very important. Some people prefer to start from the bottom up, by buying a great pair of shoes and then matching up an outfit to go with it. The popular colors for the fall/winter 2011/2012 season are black, white, stone, metallic, beige, burgundy, dark blue, chocolate, deep violet, khaki and red. Bright hues are few for the fall/winter season as we generally tend to stick to darker colors during the chilly winter months. So whichever direction of color you prefer to take, a classic black shoe or a more flashy metallic colored shoe, you will be looking up to date and in style.
As much as you would like to look good at all times, feeling good at all times should be of equal importance. With every shoe that you buy, make sure that the fit is right. There is no point in buying a shoe that you like only to have sitting in the shoebox because you just can’t take walking around in them. For every foot shape, there are plenty of shoes out there that will fit you right. Take the time walk around in the shoe and see if it still feels good after a few steps before you purchase the shoe. You need not compromise on style in order to find a shoe that is comfortable for you.

With the so many stores and online retailers selling shoes it’s easy to find a good a good buy. You can step into a department store and try on a couple of shoes in order to find the one that you like in every way. Then do a quick price comparison straight from your phone do find the best deal. If you are not that tech savvy, you can wait until you are at home and do an online price comparison from your computer. If you opt to order your shoes online, make sure to take shipping costs into consideration as well. There are many companies that will offer you free shipping both ways such as Zappos and Endless.
Cheryl Davis is a fashion consultant for With her years of experience in the clothing and shoe industry, she has used her expertise to assist in implementing up to date design on their popular line of Marc Joseph Loafers and their other lines as well.

Christmas Decorating All Wrapped Up


Although Christmas only comes once a year, it might as well be every day, especially as we spend most of the time in between planning for the next one. If you are a busy working wife and mother, as so many are these days, then a few hints and tips on Christmas decorating might help.

Even if you don’t plan on painting the living room and regrouting the tiles in the bathroom, you still want to add a few touches. Nobody wants their home to look too benighted when the Christmas lights and decorations are taken down – and you haven’t even put them up yet! One of the most difficult lessons to learn when you start managing Christmas for your own family is not to leave everything till the last minute.

Purchase Presents throughout the Year

Don’t leave the buying and wrapping of presents until Christmas is upon you. Check out what those closest to you want and pick up whatever you can at sales and clearances throughout the year. The best way to avoid being up at least half the night on Christmas Eve, is to make sure that all your presents are properly wrapped and labelled before Christmas.

Regular Shopping

Other than the turkey, gammon and other fresh foods, try to have all your groceries and special Christmas treats delivered to your door. Most large supermarkets now offer to deliver virtually everything that they stock when you place an online order. Buy cake and pudding ingredients at the start of November, which gives you time to make them and let them mature in time for Christmas.

Get your windows cleaned and your curtains washed, if you have some extra money then why not consider replacing your existing curtains with something like classic roller blinds in a warm shade. If you haven’t done so already, this is also the time to purchase Christmas cards and get those off in the post early in December. Check your Christmas lights and replace any dud bulbs.

Ready, Steady, Go

If you can, get a male member of the family to help you get the windows clean. Wash the curtains and put them away and put up made to measure Roman blinds in a warm shade and get some contrasting cushion covers. Once the house is clean and tidy, the food bought, cards sent and presents wrapped, it’s time to think about garlands and Christmas trees.

Kids generally enjoy blowing up balloons if they have enough puff, and helping to make the garlands. You might also want to let older children help to decorate the Christmas tree the day before Christmas Eve. When it comes to the cards you have received, you may want to think about putting them on string and placing lines of cards around the walls.

Make sure the spare room is clean and aired in case people can’t go back straight away because of the weather or train cancellations. Once you’ve dealt with all this, with a little help from your family and friends it’s time to get the turkey on and change the water on the vegetables that were pealed the night before.

This post was written by Crispin Jones on behalf of Moonshadow Blinds, the home of made to measure Roman blinds. Crispin loves Chrismas and ejoys sharing seasonal tips.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Top 4 Tips To De Stress Our Lives


A little bit of stress never hurt anyone; in fact, a little stress has the power to spur us into action, making us more productive and zippy. But an abundance of stress can wreak havoc on our bodies from digestion, to immunity to the health of our hearts.

Stress can trigger bad habits, such as bad eating and neglecting exercise; α the effect of stress can also have biological effects. Sustained periods of stress can add ten years to the age of our cells. Stress triggers rushes of the hormone cortisol, which encourages fat to deposit around our abdomen, and fat around our middles is detrimental to our health. Plus cortisol, accelerates skin aging, as our skin’s defense system goes into overdrive when we are stressed, cause inflammation which weakens collagen structure resulting in sagging skin.

Let’s be clear, the odd stressful day won’t do our bodies much harm, but a few wound up weeks or month will certainly take its toll.

Here are the top 4 tips to take control of stress!

Understand the Mind

Whether or not we feel stressed comes down to how we perceive a situation, rather than what is in fact going on. Feeling terrified before a presentation or irritated by a colleague are all stress inducers; but being aware of our natural predisposition and what spurs our anxieties is the first step to getting a handle on the situation.

Identify Pressure Patterns

We all have repetitive thought patterns that either contribute to stress of help decrease it. For instance a need for approval can have us feeling anxious. Also for those of us who are “catastrophizers” meaning we believe the worst and jump to conclusion, often find ourselves wound up thinking of the worst case scenario. Identifying and deconstructing our patterns of approach goes a long way to helping us find a healthier alternative.

Become Stress Hardy

Having a backup plan for when stress creeps up, is an essential part of a distressing tool kit. Finding people, activities, and commitments that help us deal with stress gives us the stress reliever that we need. Taking stressful energy and putting it a positive place is king in stress management,

Small Changes

To prevent long term accumulation of harmful anxiety, make a point of distressing daily; be it through exercise or deep breathing. If work is the stressor, take a 10 minute breaks to breathe deeply and refocus. Avoid skipping meal, smile and laugh as much as possible- research show this has significant positive effect on stress levels.

Not sure if you are stressed? Look out for these symptoms

  1. Anger
  2. Sleep Problems
  3. Lack of motivation or energy
  4. Headaches
  5. Skin problems
  6. Poor concentration
  7. Digestive upset
  8. Low sex drive

Leading a stressful life can have so many negative effects on not only our minds but our bodies; by controlling our stress levels with a plan we will see benefits everywhere, from our skin to our bodies.

Author Bio

Bianca Osbourne is a freelance health writer and natural foods chef; she writes voracious about diets for skincare, which she believes is the best acne skincare treatment product the world provides! Technorati Tags: ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fun and Affordable Ways to Make a Very Happy Birthday

Have a beloved child in your life? When considering his or her next birthday why not do it up by taking the party out of the backyard and doing something special? Whether playing up on an area of interest that intrigues your child, or doing something completely unique and new for the child, there are plenty of ways to plan something memorable while still keeping the party within budget.

Skate parties are great fun, and can be a good time for the whole family. Pick a kid-friendly rink that plays music you'll all love; better yet, look for one that has a dedicated birthday party room and bring a skate-themed cake and party favors. Make sure that all children have accompanying adults to help ensure safety. In addition to having a lot of laughs together you'll also have a fun way to get fit while celebrating.

Horseback riding is another terrific way to celebrate your budding equestrian's special day. Depending on the region where you live you should be able to find numerous companies available where the children can ride based on their skill level. And if some children are too timid to ride they can still enjoy petting the animals and learning about them.

A beach party is another terrific option, so why not do it up with a picnic and special beach toys and a beach-themed cake? And a bonus is that the kids will all be wonderfully tired out on the car ride home, too. Just be sure to have an adequate number of supervisors around and don't forget to bring plenty of sunscreen, drinking water and snacks.

Another option is something like the Build a Bear company. It's a fun and happy way to spend the day, where your child will have a dedicated party room, and he or she and friends will experience the great joy of creating their very own teddy bear. The child also gets to decide on an outfit, ranging from ballerina to a biker, and then is given the step-by-step experience of bringing the bear “to life”. Kids not only love the social aspect of this type of party, they also get to learn while having fun. And when finished they get to take their souvenir bear home.

However you choose to make this birthday a particularly special one, remember that it doesn't really require a lot of money – a happy birthday is one where your child is surrounded by people they love and made to feel like the guest of honor. So think of what your child loves and then create the birthday of her dreams. Just remember that with all the planning and implementing don't forget to ask for help from friends so you can have fun, too!

Author Emma Bell writes for Coupon Croc. Need a discount voucher for Build a Bear? Look here.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

5 Most Famous Paintings in the World


There have been quite a number of famous artists in this world, and you would be hard-pressed to come to a conclusion about which one is better than the other. While you might prefer one’s work over another, it’s difficult to argue with the near eternal stranglehold that these painters have on the artistic world. With so many paintings that have been created over time, which ones are the best? Below you’ll find five of only the most famous paintings in the world.

1. The Scream
Everyone knows this painting. The weird looking guy with his palms on his cheeks, standing on a pier or something with the background in shades of blue and red. The original was created in 1893 by Edvard Munch in Norway, but several other versions were painted some time after as well. The painting shows the hill of Ekeberg in the background, and it’s believed that the figure is actually Edvard himself after a day out with friends.

2. The Last Supper
The famous Leonardo Da Vinci painted this piece in 1495, and it is considered an “accurate” portrayal of Jesus’s final days as told by Gospel of John 13:21, when one of his Apostles would betray him, some believe. It was painted for Duke Ludovico Sforza and Beatrice d’Este as a sort of gift offering. Even though the painting has been restored countless times, it is still considered an original and can be seen by anyone who is interested in visiting Milan, Italy.

3. Birth of Venus
Painted by Sandro Botticelli around 1485, it is now being held by a museum in Florence, Italy. Said to depict the goddess Venus, she is shown emerging from the water on a clamshell, surrounded by two other figures. The original location for the commission of the painting and the actual painting remains a mystery, much like the mystery of how Michigan Buick dealers can give such great deals.

4. The Starry Night
Crafted by Vincent Van Gogh, the guy who chopped off his own ear and sent it in the mail as a sign of love, painted this in 1889. Still considered by many to be his finest work, it’s hard to agree with the level of detail and interesting signatures that the painting entails. Sure, the guy might have been a bit eccentric and somewhat crazy, but the man could paint a hell of a painting. The painting depicts his view from the window of his room while in a sanatorium. Makes sense.

5. Mona Lisa
Probably the most famous painting in the world, you knew this one would come up eventually. Also painted by the genius Leonardo Da Vinci in 1503, it is on display at the Musee du Louvre in Paris. Depicting Lisa del Giocondo in a sitting position, the facial features of the painting are often described as the pinnacle of human art. Perhaps the most famous woman in the world because of Leonardo’s painting, Lisa del Giocondo will be forever known as the Mona Lisa.

These are perhaps the world’s most famous paintings to have ever been created. While there are plenty of paintings that people know about in addition to these, you cannot argue the fact that most of the world could recognize these paintings in a heartbeat.


About the author:

Joe Petchonka has been a writer for over five years, and has written for newspapers, websites and automotive dealerships. In addition to having an extensive writing background and bachelor’s degree in English, he has helped companies develop professional material to help them achieve their goals. He currently writes for a company that hosts online classifieds and more through the use of social media and web design.

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3 Innovative Websites To Distract You This Christmas

It's approaching that time of year again. Soon we'll all be dusting off our Santa hats, and deciding whether to pay that little bit extra for a tree that promises not to drop any needles. That's right, Christmas is around the corner and whether you like it or not, there's no escape. Not even on the Web. You may be thinking that all the internet has to offer at Christmas are sites featuring flashing animations that probably looked dated in 1997, and endless lists teaching you how to say "Merry Christmas" in more languages that you even knew existed.
If this is where you stand, it's time to think again. These three sites will show you that Christmas on the web can be both fun and innovative.

Elf Yourself
Created by Office Max in 2005 as a viral marketing campaign, Elf Yourself allows the user to upload their own face, alongside faces of their family, friends, enemies or pets, and transform them into dancing Christmas Elves. No one is safe. These can then be sent to the unsuspecting victims free of charge as an e-card. Since its creation over 169 million elves have been created on the site, significantly reducing the productivity of offices around the world in the process.

Norad Santa
North American Aerospace Defence Command or NORAD, as they're more commonly referred to, may have been tracking Santa since 1955, but this activity has been transformed into an online phenomenon in recent years. The website uses Google Earth to track Santa's journey around the world alongside other features, such as the "Santa Cam" video - which shows him flying over famous landmarks. Although the impatient among us will be disappointed, as the website does not get up and running until December 1st, it's well worth a visit in the lead up to Christmas. There may even be a few surprises in store come Christmas Eve, as in the past Celebrity commentary has been provided by Ringo Starr, Jonathan Ross and Aaron Carter.

UK Snow Map

The brain child of Ben Marsh #UKSnow Map is a brilliantly innovative way to create a real time snow forecast in the United Kingdom. The site's application works by searching the social media platform for tweets that feature a UK postcode alongside the hashtag #uksnow. Users are also encouraged to rate the falling snow out of 10 to add extra detail to the map, as well as include images and details of the snow's depth. The concept is certainly an interesting alternative to the inaccurate weather forecasts of years gone by. All that's needed now to see the latest twitter revolution in action is some snow fall!
Hopefully these sites have shown there's more to Christmas on the web. Elves, Santa and Snow. What more could you want?
David James researches and writes about entertainment and tech topics for the quirky Christmas gifts retailer Find Me A Gift.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Saving Yourself Money at Christmas

With Christmas coming up, now is the time to tighten those purse strings. Christmas is a very expensive time of year and with the increased prices at the supermarkets then you have to think about how you are going to cope this year.

Below I will offer you a few pointers on how to save money this Christmas.

Make Just Enough
At Christmas time there is often a lot of waste, both in food and wrapping paper. When figures suggest that we waste a massive 230,000 tonnes of food each year at Christmas (equalling around £275 Million) then surely we need to think about the consequences of making too much.
If there are four in a household then you don’t need to fill the table with all varieties of food, try to be minimalistic for a change. There is nothing worse than sitting down for Christmas dinner and being faced with no room left on the table for anything else. Be considerate when you are planning your Christmas dinner after all you don’t want to be eating the left overs into January.
When it comes to wrapping paper, recycle it. You can either keep it and use it for something else or take it to the recycling bins. With people buying more at Christmas then there is going to be an increase in the use of wrapping paper and that means more waste paper over the festive period. Around 8000 tonnes of wrapping paper is used at Christmas and most of this is wasted, do you not think we should do something about this?
Why not buy cheaper brands
Buying cheaper brands from the supermarket may help you save a lot of money this Christmas. As Christmas is such a busy time and a lot of food is consumed then if you are buying the more expensive brands the bill soon rises. Buying own brand products may seem cheap but then you have to think that there are other things that you need to spend your money on during the festive period, there is fuel (as you have to visit the family), food and drink and of course the presents.

Compare Prices
This is an obvious savings tip. If you are buying lots of presents for everyone then trying to find the cheapest deals around is a good idea. If you are using the internet for shopping then you can compare prices using Google. Perhaps finding the best packages for items, such as Xbox 360’s and PS3’s, can save you money in the long run.
If you are buying a lot then look for offers from retailers. There are often ‘3 for 2’ or ‘buy one get one free’ offers that you can take advantage of. By comparing prices and using offers to buy your gifts then you can save serious amounts of money.

There are hundreds of other ways to save money over the festive period this year I have only broached the subject slightly with a few larger items but then there are the cards, decorations, parties, going out and more.

Author Resource

Philip writes for his own blog Healthy Wealth where he covers all the finance news and events that happen in the UK and Europe. He sometimes branches out to writing about the US economy and financial situation.

Digital Printing – The Flexible Solution

Digital Printing – The Flexible Solution

Digital printing has changed the landscape of the printing industry. In the traditional offset printing industry, the number of color combinations that can be tried out is limited to 4 basic colors. But in digital printing, there is an endless possibility of color combinations that can be achieved.

It’s not only the color combinations, but also the clarity and sharpness of the printed images. In online printing, one can obtain sharper and crisper images compared to the images obtained in offset printing. The companies really want to create attractive images in the form of logos and captions as a part of the branding activities. The output provided by digital printing satisfies all the requirements of a modern company eager to take forward their brand image.

Digital Printing

Digital printing has been increasingly used by companies to print the company’s brochure, flyers and marketing material. One of the great advantages of digital printing is that it has the capability to print thousands and thousands of print-outs in a matter of a few minutes. This could have taken at least a day to be completed, when done with traditional off-set printing technology.

Another great advantage of the digital printing process is the ability to review the final layout without the need for taking a sample print out. The print review option available in the computer system will help the users to have a look at the current print layout and the formatting features of the image to be printed. Additionally the image editing software will help the customer in editing the image by adding more saturation effects, shimmering effects, shadow effects, vibration effects and many such special effects. This is not possible in normal offset printing process. This has been made possible because the digital printing and the image editing software are run on the same computer system. One cannot add these special effects in a traditional offset printing process.

In order to arrive at a good design, one has to take many sample proof-printing copies in a traditional offset printing. This consumes a lot of resources such as the printing paper and the printing ink. But in the case of the digital printing, with a view of the soft copy of the print design in the form of print previews, customers get to save a lot of paper and the printing ink. With both small and big organizations providing more emphasis on going green and consuming lesser number of papers, digital printing is a good bet for the current business environment.

Mark Gregory is writing on behalf of Digiprint Express, who offer large poster printing and poster print uk services.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

2011 Holiday Gift Guide

Use an Amazon promotional code with this gift guide for savings

Tips to Consider if you want to Buy Cheaper Gifts this Christmas

With the current standing of the economy today, buying expensive gifts for Christmas is not really an ideal thing for people though there are some people who can still give expensive gifts like SLR cameras, Nintendo 3DS, laptops, computers, jewelries and other expensive stuffs. Today, people are striving to still give gifts to their loved ones even if they are having a very tight budget.

Because of this, people are trying to look for effective ways on how they can still continue the tradition of giving gifts without having to spend too much money. Here are some of the things that you can consider if you really wanted to continue gift giving this Christmas.

First is shop the clearance racks before the Christmas season. You can try to look for amazing bargains that can help you save money. Actually, if you will be giving gifts to kids, you can try buying wholesale items. You can save money by buying a whole bunch of items all at once. If you are giving gifts for teenagers or older people, the same can also be used. Look for valuable items that you can give them.

Second, you can try to look around and look for discounts. During the Christmas season, you can expect a lot of discounts from stores. You can look around from shops and look for discounts. Actually, if you feel like staying at home, you can still look for discounts. You can use the Internet to look for discounts. You can also consider buying on the web since most of the items there are already discounted.

Third is to create your own gift this Christmas. This kind of task may seem to be a bit daunting since you need to spend a lot of time creating the gifts. However, this is probably one of the best ideas since you will not be spending a lot of money though you need a lot of time for this. Also, gifts that you directly made will surely be appreciated by your friends and loved ones. You can create designs on your own and place it on small teddy bears, cups and personalized things.

Giving gifts can still be possible even if you are low in budget. There are a lot of ways on how they can still continue the tradition of giving gifts just like some of the ideas that are mentioned above.

If you are looking to save money this Christmas, try buying cheap slr cameras, instead of top of the range or a Nintendo 3DS instead of the Wii.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Great review Artistico etsy shop By WebSer

I found a great shop review , about my poster art here  and i want to share it with all of you :)
Thank you Webser Great review
Artistico shop Canvas Posters

How To Keep Foods Fresh Longer

Most of us wind up throwing away lots of food on a regular basis.  The average household throws away an astounding 14% of all the food they purchase. This is nearly double the average of what it was 20 years ago.  If the average family of four spends $150 per week on groceries, this adds up to about $1,100 every year.  Listed below are some tips to keep food fresh longer!

Herbs tend to be pretty expensive and you almost always have to buy more than you need. The best way to keep herbs fresh is to wash them, seal them in a zip lock bag and freeze them.  If you follow these steps, your herbs should last about a month, which is twice as long as they would in the refrigerator.  An additional benefit is that herbs are easier to chop when they are frozen.  

Veggies tend to go bad quickly and they are the most commonly tossed out item in America today.  The reason vegetables wilt is due to water loss.  The best way to crisp up a wilted vegetable is by putting them in ice water for about a half an hour.  You can even throw in a couple pieces of raw potato to help the re-crisping process.

Moldy cheese is not always a good thing…  A weird but reliable way to keep cheese fresh longer is by spreading butter or margarine on the cut side.  This helps seal in the moisture and works best on hard cheeses.

Water is the mortal enemy of salt, so you must keep salt as dry as possible so that it does not clump together.  Add some dry rice to your saltshaker and it will stop the salt from hardening.  The rice works as a sponge and absorbs any condensation.

Freeze it.  It is really that simple. Butter is expensive, so when it goes on sale, stock up! Butter will keep in the freezer for up to six months. 

There isn’t a way to make eggs stay fresh longer. However, there is an easy way to find out if the ones in your fridge are fresh or not. Many people go strictly by the expiration date, but you may be throwing away perfectly good eggs by doing so. Fill a container with water and put the eggs in it.  Fresh eggs will sink and spoiled ones with float.

Sour Cream
Sour cream does not last very long and there is a simple remedy.  Place the container upside-down.  Doing so will create a vacuum effect that slows the growth of bacteria.  This tip also works for cottage cheese.

Fun fact - honey never goes bad! The sugar itself in honey acts as a preservative and the acids in it keep bacteria from growing.  Honey will crystallize and become hard though. However, all you need to do is heat it up in the microwave for about 15 seconds

Lisa VanKampen likes to write about home improvement, frugal living & term life insurance quotes.

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Natural Flea Remedies: Control Fleas Without Chemicals

Most pet owners know the annoyance that fleas cause their pets—and how difficult it can be to get rid of fleas. Conventional flea control products are typically filled with chemicals and toxic ingredients—and as fleas become increasingly resistant, the conventional products become stronger. You may even notice a warning on the bottle to keep away from children, which raises the concern whether you want to apply to your pet a substance that has such a warning on it. Fortunately, there are alternative natural alternatives for flea control without the chemicals.


Start with Cleaning your Home

Fleas are resistant, fast-breeding little critters. If you've discovered any on your pets, the first step in naturally controlling fleas is to vacuum your home, including upholstered furniture and your pet's bedding, being sure to dispose of the vacuum bag. You’ll want to be very diligent in this process as fleas can live on many surfaces. Dusting and using a mild household cleaner is also good practice to get a leg up.

You can also make a flea trap that is natural and chemical-free. To make a flea trap at home, fill a shallow pan with soapy water and place it near a light source; the fleas will be attracted to the light and drown in the soapy water.

Bathing and Grooming your Pets

Comb and brush your pet frequently so that you can catch fleas at the first instance they appear. Bathe your pet regularly, as submersion in water and mild soap is enough to kill most fleas. Lemon is a natural flea deterrent, so try sponging or rinsing your pet with diluted fresh lemon juice.

If you'd like to forego creating flea remedies at home, there are natural, chemical-free sprays and shampoos available to purchase from a health food store or some veterinarians. The natural store-bought flea control shampoos and powders often contain wormwood, citronella or rosemary as natural repellants. All seem to work well, but you may want to try a couple options to see what works best for you.

Nutrition for your Pets

Before resorting to chemicals to get rid of fleas, consider making some natural changes to your pet's diet, especially before flea season starts. Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to the water bowl and a teaspoon of brewer's yeast to the food bowl. Like shampoos and powders, natural flea-control supplements are available at health food stores.

The key to controlling fleas without the chemicals is to consistently clean your home and your pets, and to try to catch any flea infestations before they grow out of control.

Nathan Joynt works with Gaiam, a leading lifestyle media company streaming health and wellness videos and yoga videos online.

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