Marketing Your Rental Income Properties Effectively

Anyone who has been engaging in real estate investing for any amount of time has surely tried to sell an investment property at one time or another.

It’s called marketing. Over my thirty-year real estate career, I certainly did my share. And though my attempts didn’t always produce a successful outcome, the experience taught me a few things about marketing rental income property I would like to pass along.

Most are common sense, but mentioned as a reminder because there are realtors and sellers out there who need to hear it. The remaining tips are more subjective, but included to help you consider what might be a more effective marketing approach than you’re using.

Foremost, never make your marketing packages too vague. When you omit important financial data, it makes it very difficult for a buyer to adequately determine whether or not it presents a good investment opportunity. And this will typically lead to a further exchange of data with a buyer or agent that, at the very least, will be time-consuming, and at the worst, could cause a buyer to lose interest in the deal altogether.

Secondly, resist the temptation to skew the property’s financial data to appear overly optimistic. Perhaps rents can get raised, for instance, and you want to reveal that. But if you over-inflate what you deem could be future rents, you risk losing your credibility with the buyer, or may end up wasting your time in a deal that never has a chance anyway, once it’s subjected to the buyer’s due diligence. Keep your estimated assumptions realistic.

Thirdly, and this is a bit more subjective, don’t present marketing packages that contain everything but the proverbial kitchen sink-at least not in your initial presentation. In my opinion, distributing more than a three-page property report at your local investment club meeting or in response to a telephone inquiry, is overkill. Remember, you’re just trying to generate a response from credible investors with a valid interest; a more comprehensive set of reports can always get presented during subsequent exchanges.

Okay, now let me show you the essentials that worked for me. For simplicity, I’ve organized them by category: the numbers, and the reports.

The Numbers

Aside from sale price (which is a given), you’ll want to provide an itemized break down for the property’s annual cash flow, and computations for at least two rates of return.

  • Cash Flow

Cash flow is crucial because it’s essentially what the real estate investor is purchasing in the rental property. So compute it for at least the first year of ownership by focusing on the following three financial elements:

  • Gross Rental Income
  • Operating Expenses
  • Debt Service

Rates of Return

The rates of return (at least the two listed below) are important for the investor to determine whether or not his or her yields get met as well as providing a good way to compare the property’s financial performance and value to other similar-type rental properties in the market area.

  • Cap Rate
  • Cash-on-Cash

The Reports

Here are two reports I commonly used for initial inquiries. Both clearly show the rental property’s cash flow, and each include the cap rate and cash-on-cash rates of return. So they are informative, easy to read and understand, and straight to the point. Consider them as examples.

  • Marketing flyer

This announces the listing to the community-at-large (i.e., investment meetings, call-ins, and inquiries from colleagues). (Sample available on my site).

  • APOD

This enables you to show your own investor-customers a likely scenario during the first year of ownership. (Sample available on my site).

In a Nutshell

An effective way to market rental income property is to consider the process in two stages: the initial presentation, and the subsequent follow-up. Keep the initial presentation concise; even one report with enough data to reveal the property’s description, estimated cash flow, and investor’s rate of return should be adequate to garner interest from credible buyers when they exist. And reserve all the other reports (e.g., acquisition funds, proforma income statement, rent roll) to the subsequent follow-up exchanges.

Lending Private Money on Real Estate

Lending to real estate investors offers the Private Lender many benefits not otherwise enjoyed through other means. Before we get into the benefits, let us briefly explore what Private Money Lending is. In the real estate financing industry, private money lending refers to the money an individual, not a bank, lends to a real estate investor in exchange for a primary determined rate of return or other consideration.

Why private loans? Banks do not typically lend to investors on properties that require improvement to attain market value, or ‘after repair value’ (ARV). Savvy people with available cash in a broker account or self-directed IRA, realize that they can fill the void left by the banks and attain a greater return than they may be currently getting in CD’s, bonds, savings and money market accounts, or even the stock market. So a market was born, and it has become essential to real estate investors.

Private Money Lending would not have become popular unless Lenders saw a tremendous value in it. Let us review key advantages to becoming a Private Money Lender.

Terms are negotiable

The Lender can negotiate interest rate and possible profit share with the borrower. Additionally, interest and principle payments can also be negotiated. Whatever agreement that suits both parties to a private loan is allowable.

Return on Investment

Current interest rates charged on private money loans are generally between 7% – 12%. These rates, as of April 2018, are currently greater than returns from CD’s, savings and money market accounts. They also outperform the 4.7% the stock market has produced, inflation adjusted, since 1/1/2000. That is over 18 years.

Collateral provided

Real Estate property serves as collateral for the loan. Most real estate investors acquire their properties at a significant discount to the market. This discount provides the lender with quality collateral should the borrower default.

Choice

The Private Money Lender gets to choose who to lend to, or what project to lend on. They can get detailed information on the project, the investors experience, and the kind of profits normally made.

No Effort

The Lender only worries about the loan. The Investor takes all the other risks and does the work to find, purchase, fix and sell the property. The Lender just collects the interest.

Stability

Real Estate does have ups and downs. But its volatility is nowhere as pronounced as the stock market. Additionally, when purchased at a proper discount, the property provides a cushion against the ups and downs.

Tax Free/Tax Deferred

A Private Money Lender can lend on real estate from a self-directed IRA. The gains achieved can grow either tax-free or tax deferred helping to build the retirement nest egg faster than ever.

Diversification

Lending on real, tangible, brick and mortar assets provides additional diversification to a Lenders portfolio to provide protection in the event of a down period.

If you have the desire to invest in real estate, but don’t want to take on all the associated risk, or get your hands dirty, private lending could provide a wide range of opportunities and benefits in growing your wealth and providing for your retirement.

Global Business on a Budget

Businesses today need to look beyond geographical borders in order to expand. There is a whole world of consumers, customers and clients out there waiting to buy your service or product. Opportunities aplenty await the astute businessman willing to take the risk and go global.

“Going Global” does not need to be expensive. It’s relatively straightforward and cost-effective to target foreign markets if you are astute enough and cost conscious enough. Neil Payne set up his business on a laptop in a studio flat in 2018. He now oversees a company with offices in the UK, USA, Argentina, South Africa, Germany and the UAE. Here are some tips on how he did it.

  • Marketing

“Marketing doesn’t need to be expensive anymore,” explains Neil. You don’t need a massive budget to get customers. A simple website, fully-optimized for the search engines and in the local language is probably one of the most effective means of entering a market at very little cost. If worse comes to worse you may lose a few hundred dollars.

  • Phone Bills

Using Skype, Google Chat or any other VOIP system dramatically reduces phone bills. With Skype you can call internationally for as little as £0.02 per minute which, compared to landlines, is peanuts. “Skype has helped us in many ways”, adds Neil. “Not only can all offices conference call for pennies, but in emergencies we can even have calls forwarded via Skype to one of the other offices ensuring we never let clients down.”

  • Virtual Working

If you fancy having a go at a market it’s not always necessary to actually have staff on the ground there. “When we first started our operations in Germany we actually had a German speaker in the UK office handling calls and emails. We still had a German number and appeared to be in Berlin through using a virtual office,” comments Neil. “Once we knew the German market was for us, we only then invested in people there.”

  • Get Funding

Governments generally want to see businesses doing well abroad. It’s good for everyone. As a result there are usually pots of funding available for companies wanting to trade abroad. UK Trade & Investment (in the UK) offer numerous incentives including Market Research, Aid-Funding and one-to-one business advice. Check what other grants may be available through local governments, enterprise incentives and the like.

  • Watch Exchange Rates

Many a decent business as been caught out by exchange rate fluctuations. “I remember many years ago when the Euro suddenly shot up against the Pound. We were losing money hand over first to our Europe based suppliers, ” states Neil. “In the end we decided we had to fix rates against the Pound so that we were always paying the same amount regardless of exchange rates.”

  • Money Transfers

Working internationally inevitably means you have to pay people in foreign locations. Avoid paying money via wire transfers. Banks charge extortionate rates. There are plenty of alternatives now on the market such as Moneybookers, Paypal, Payoneer and the like. “We used to be charged £25 per international transaction by our bank. Now we use Moneybookers and literally get charged around a £1 per payment,” states Neil.

  • Minimize Business Trips

Travel costs time and money. In the age of conference calls, emails, the internet and online demonstrations travel is no longer a necessity. You save thousands in using technology to address problems, meet with employees or sell to customers. “But,” adds Neil, “always bear in mind cultural differences. Some cultures will only ever really want to do real business with someone face-to-face. Doing so online may actually alienate them.”

  • Book Flights in Advance

If you are prepared enough you can block out a few weeks well in advance and use this time to visit a location. You will then be able to tell suppliers, customers and staff to also set aside those times to meet with you. This then allows you to book flights well in advance and save serious money.

  • Centralize Functions

If it’s possible to do so, have one of your offices deal with a certain function. For example, you may do all your invoicing from one location, all quoting from one location or all marketing from one location. This saves time and money and decreases the burden on the different locations.

  • Look for Local Partners

“My strategy for all our offices has always been that I want to find someone like me in that country; someone with entrepreneurial skills and plenty of passion. If you find the right person they can take on your business and make it their own at a fraction of the cost of immediately employing a manager for example,” says Neil. If you do not want to go through the burden of managing an office or staff, then look to franchise or partnership agreements.

Apartment Accommodation in Argentina

If you are planning a trip to Buenos Aires, one of the most important things to take into consideration is your lodging during your stay in the city. Today Buenos Aires has a wide selection of accommodation and furnished apartment rentals have become a popular choice.

While international known hotels have similar average rates in all big cities of the world, apartments rental rates in Buenos Aires offer great amenities with domestic rates, which makes it very attractive for the independent traveler.They find it more convenient and considerably less expensive, specially for long stays.

Renting an apartment is the most cost effective way of lodging, giving the traveler more independence in terms of time and of course much more privacy. In an apartment you can cook your own meals in a proper fully equipped kitchen, while enjoying homely comfort.

When traveling with the family there is no doubt that this is the best way to continue with the home routine, having lots space for each member, and more than one room if required. Many students also lower their accommodation costs sharing an apartment during their stay. Executives, tired of hotel rooms and restaurant meals prefer renting an apartment in a high quality building.

There is a wide selection of apartments in every neighborhood of Buenos Aires. All of the apartments are thought and design by their owners to provide the best facilities for the guests whichever their budget is. They are fully equipped and furnished, and include all the linen, crockery or anything you might need during your stay. They all come with cable TV, fridge, microwave oven and now many of them offer a weekly cleaning service and Internet connection.

There are also exclusive luxury apartments, with attractive design interiors, stylish furniture, and the latest entertainment equipment, many of them offer amenities such as swimming pool, tennis court, gym, sauna and maid service. Located in the best neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, such as Puerto Madero, Downtown , Recoleta, Palermo and Las Cañitas, they have nothing to envy a five star hotel suite.

Fortunately, today you can search for a short term rental apartment online before arriving to Buenos Aires. These sites will show you pictures of the apartments, have a complete property description, check the equipment and the availability calendar, locate it in a map and learn about its surroundings.

Weekly rates start at around USD 250 and the monthly rates at USD 550! All included.

Usually studios are for 2 guests and bigger apartments with one or two bedrooms are for 3 or more guests. Some apartments have lovely patios or terraces with barbecues where you can grill your own Argentine “asado”. This is definitely the best way to take better contact with the Buenos Aires way of life.

Every apartment is strategically located, close to commercial areas, touristic points, and universities, so if you come to Buenos Aires as a tourist, a student or a business executive there is surely a furnished apartment that will suit you best.

Land and Property Investing in a Rising Market

Argentina is one of the most varied and interesting places to be found on the globe. A melting pot of nationalities populated the country in the 19th century and they have left indelible marks on the country from the English Cricket Club at Buenos Aires, the Welsh in Patagonia, the Italian Chic and Parisian construction of the Capital city and the organizational structure taken from the Spanish.

As many people know, Argentina defaulted on its foreign debt in 2001 and one of the effects was that the banks were closed and people could not get access to their money. It was finally decided that the old order had to go, the politicians that had taken Argentina to this point and for once it wasn’t the military who took the action. New President Kirchner has steadied the ship despite the forced devaluation of the peso which previously traded at 1:1 with the dollar, is now at 3:1. Therefore life became a lot more expensive for Argentinians who earn in Pesos as everything from real estate through to cars became triple their previous price. Things that are priced in pesos remained the same apart from the relatively high inflation rate which is now being dealt with.

Investors therefore had and are having a field day. Suddenly there was a fire sale of properties because people couldn’t get their money from the banks and prime real estate was being sold off at bargain basement prices. Those who came in taking both the long and medium term view are currently enjoying increases in their investments of over 200% compared with the prices in 2001-2.

Buenos Aires real estate is booming with increase reported of up to 37% in the year to October 2006 and the rest of the country is enjoying the boom that the trickle down effect creates from Buenos Aires.

The Mendoza province is the huge wine growing area and is considered a paradise on Earth by some. Patagonia is enjoying a tourist boom to what they describe as a huge Lake District. Argentinians now take their beach holidays in Las Grutas where the warm waters lap up giving it a large advantage over other areas at these latitudes and Argentina shares part of the Iguazu Falls, the most spectacular waterfalls in the World probably which is now being developed for tourism.

The country is fantastic, the culture is a melting pot, part Italian, part Spanish in its majority but there is a part of Patagonia where Welsh is spoken by a whole community, the remnants of a business in cattle and sheep from many years ago (Even the place names are in Welsh)

The economy of the country is basically sound now that the old order and corruption have been eased out of power. It is based on land, lots of it, meat, wines, cash crops, and possibly most importantly oil. The area around Neuquen is a huge oil field meaning that petrol in Argentina is around 30p per litre (if you can afford a car which of course are priced in dollars)

Valencia Property S.L is offering a tract of land by the beach in Las Grutas in Rio Negro province. It is the perfect place to construct holiday villas or small hotels as demand is multiplying in the area year on year and looks to continue that way for the medium term future. This is the area that middle class Argentinians are flocking to in their droves for investment and holidays since they cannot now afford the USA. The plots we are selling are priced at between 12 and 13500 Euros and building on the plots will be relatively inexpensive too with a 100m2 house expected to be built for around 40000 Euros.

Business Cycles – The Stages of Business Growth

Business Cycles – The Stages of Business Growth

  • Initiation

There can be varied reasons for a business start-up but the main values in running the business are of those who are the founders. We can see that company exhibits the main skills of the founder in its spirits, for example, if the founder is an engineer, he will emphasize in production rather than sales and marketing which should not be neglected. Main efforts are centered on the acceptability of the product in the market. If the owner can provide the demands of business i.e. time, energy, and finances, he/she can move to the second stage. Otherwise, he/she will have to wind up their business as there is limited time for the company to stay at one stage. Here the main focus changes to establish the company and earn profits. With this financial push company will need to formalize the system and start record keeping, an unskilled manager can’t handle this all. After this, there will be demand for change in administration’s style because of increased activity in his business.

  • Growth

The moment a company moves forward to the expansion stage it should be able to earn a decent profit, but that profit will not go to the owner. This is because it will be invested in the business in order to assist in the capital demands of the company. It demands time for coordinating functional managerial activities; it demands complicated organizational structure mainly focusing on functional lines. Now research and development will be established in order to increase product range. At the start, it will be on a smaller scale because of lack of capital. If management continues changing its environment, the company can stay at this stage for some time. In many cases, owners sell their business at this stage for substantial benefits. The increase of new markets and product will demand more finances. This stage faces larger competitors who deal the situation by putting stress on emerging firm; this stress can be in the form of very low prices as well. At this stage over trading is the biggest threat if not handled properly it can lead the business to demise. As the company grows it need to extend geographical trading and distribution, so ‘supervised supervision’ will be required at this stage. If new competitors enter the market and the owner wants to maintain his shares, he will have to put more capital by himself or attract some partners.

  • Expansion

This stage demands proper management reports, budget control, and dispersed authority, along with a formal accounting system. Basic adaptation at this stage will be to systemic administrative roles which are keys to survival through this stage. The expansion stage demands stable long term funds which will be important and if there is not plan for partners then this stage must be considered right now. Although retained earnings are major forms of funds but dividends are the special attraction to the investors; at this stage these are inevitable. Now company’s track record will help in gaining long term loans but the company will have to give security in the form of assets.

  • Maturity

At this stage main issues are about expense control, search for growth opportunities and productivity. The direction of authority can be towards functional lines or it is reorganized with production lines. As there is severe price competition, therefore, productions department should be the center of focus and authorities should emphasize on innovative moves towards betterment.

Now basic investments are in sales and marketing struggles and maintenance and plant up gradation. The company grows up to a level that income is sufficient to tackle this but occasionally more long term load prove to be a support. At this level firm may limit its operations or move on, normally acquisition in order to become a large corporation.

Whatever the situation, managers are pressured by shareholders to safeguard the future of the firm. However, the time of great trial falls to the founder. He built his business with great effort and sacrifices, and now he is asked to give it away.

Innovating The Business Product Quality

There are a large number of products available today. The first and foremost thing which comes to our mind, as a customer, is the quality of a product which we would like to purchase. We will be going through some tips which could be implemented as a producer to produce the best quality product in the market.

Keep it Simple – Producer’s creation should be such that it appeals to the customers by its simplicity and ease of use or handling. Customers do not want a product to be complicated or difficult to use. Some products get rejected even after getting shortlisted by the customer. This happens during a trial session.

  • Tryout the product yourself

Think about the situation where you yourself are not satisfied with the product. It is hence, the most important and ignored part that producers should mind while trying to improve the quality of their product. The producer should indeed be pleased with the quality of his produce. Sometimes quality control is not enough.

  • Product needs to be Unique

Everyone craves to be different; similarly, everyone also want their products to be different from others. As a producer your vision should be to provide variety to your customer. Variety can be of colors, shapes, sizes and whatnot!

  • Never Target a particular group

A product can be meant for a particular group of people when produced, but as it comes out in the stores, there can be different types of buyers depending on their personal requirements. People can buy a product for their friends or family, for gifting it to somebody, or simply for any use other than expected!

Focus on the product’s Usefulness

Even if your product is of different use for each customer, but for improving your product quality, you need to focus on how your product can be of a better use for the general customer base. A person by and large buys those products which are more worthwhile.

  • Avoid Comparing your product

Most of the producers compare their product with those of their competitors’. Comparisons mostly lead to producing similar attributes as others. Customer tends to gets confused when he comes across such a situation where he has to choose between two similar products. Especially when he is out to buy a product for the very first time.

Always remember the rule of customer satisfaction and to promptly redress their grievances. Producing good quality product can be a challenging task, but maintaining and improving the quality at regular intervals of time can be even more challenging. As a producer, one needs to have that zeal for delivering a great performing product on a regular basis.

Start-up Restaurant With No Money

For some, owning a restaurant is a dream come true. Though restaurants are tons of work, they can also offer immediate gratification for those that love the work. Starting a restaurant is hard enough if you have the money to open it in the first place. But for those that have no money to back it up, the task at hand can take a little bit of creativity and tons of good hard work.

Start a Restaurant with No Money

Write a business plan. The plan should include the amount of money that you’ll need to make weekly, monthly and yearly. It should include your overhead, or what it costs to run the restaurant. This includes paying staff, rent, utilities, cost of food and advertising.

Apply for a small business loan. Use the information that you gathered from writing the business plan to apply for enough money. Go to a bank with which you have done business in the past. Take time to fill out all the paperwork and include all the information requested. You should already have be knowledgeable of your income in order to fill out the forms.

Approach friends and family who you think might be interested in helping you. Present them with your business plan. Assign an amount of interest that you are willing to pay for the loan.

Approach a wealthy friend to be your partner in the business. Tell him that when the restaurant gets off the ground you’ll pay him a certain amount in order to become a partner in the business.

Advertise cheaply. Once you have established loans to open the restaurant, it’s time to advertise–and the cheapest way to do that is online. Build a website by either enlisting the help of a website-designing friend or by building your own using inexpensive website design software. Start a free blog about the restaurant. Send out specials about your restaurant via email throughout the week. Use Facebook, MySpace and Twitter to advertise your restaurant.

Starting a Costume Rental Business

If you’re looking for a great business idea you may want to start a costume rental shop. This type of business rents costumes to individuals and community groups for special events, performances, holidays and festivals. While you will need a small amount of start-up financing to start a costume rental business, you will find that this type of company can become profitable very quickly. Best of all, this type of business can be fun for the right person, such a one who enjoys working in the entertainment or hospitality industry.

Research what type of costumes are needed in your area. Look to local events calendars and community organizations to see what type of costumes you could provide. For example, if your town hosts an annual Renaissance Fair or Formal Gala, you could market your business to patrons of these events.

Find a location. Most people won’t feel comfortable renting costumes from your house. To make your business look professional, rent a small storefront. Look for an area that can support costume rental fees. Make sure your shop has plenty of foot traffic or access to parking to make it a convenient place for customers to shop.

Purchase a supply of costumes from wholesale manufacturers. Start with the basics, like gorilla suits, clown costumes, Santa Claus outfits and the like. Add more specialized suits as demand becomes apparent.

Consider making some of your own costumes or adding to those you purchase to make them unique. This could save you money and also help your shop stand out. If you can’t sew, find a seamstress who can translate your ideas to cloth.

Add a selection of wigs, shoes and theatrical makeup to your store. Customers will purchase these items outright, adding to your bottom line.

Market your business to theatrical groups, community organizations and the public. Set up booths at area fairs and special events to let those who are most interested in costumes know about your new business.

Food Vendor Business

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own food-selling business? You can accomplish your goal by setting up a food vendor cart or table outdoors or at indoor special events. This way you will save money on overhead while sharing your culinary skills with the people in your community.

Purchase supplies. You can find discounted food items at local wholesale clubs like Costco or BJs, or buy in bulk at meat packing districts in your town. Don’t forget to purchase plenty of condiments, cooking oil, seasonings, drinks and eating supplies for your customers, including forks, knives, spoons, handy wipes, cups and napkins.

Go to your local courthouse or town administration building and apply for a food vending permit. You cannot sell your food out on the street or to the general public without a permit. The only exception is when you are on your own property or at an approved event. If your state has a sales tax, you are required to collect sales tax on your food sales as well, so you will be required to register as a business so the state can collect sales tax from you. This is a very important step—if you’re caught selling food without a permit you may face hefty fines and possibly have your food and equipment confiscated.

Purchase a vending cart or table. Consider how you will transport your cart when you’re making this choice. Buy a food vending cart with wheels and a trailer hookup so you can attach it to your van or truck and haul it away at the end of a selling day. You can also just buy four or more folding tables to set up in a square if you will be vending food at a festival or fair.

Purchase additional equipment that you will need to cook and heat up food, including propane tanks, pots and pans, grills and utensils.

Design a large colorful poster with your business name, logo, phone number and motto, and hang it on your food cart. Use a large banner sign if you’ll be setting up a food table. Create an easy to read price list for your customers that shows all the cooked food you have available for sale. Your price list can be your poster—just include the name of your business at the top.

Enlist help. Hire one or two more people to help you cook food, handle customers and deal with money. It’s almost impossible to take care of all of these duties on your own.

Purchase a cash register and/or a safe to store money received while vending your food. Some food vendors choose to keep cash on their person rather than storing it in a register. Sign up for a merchant account if you want to give customers the option of using a credit card; there are cell phone merchant accounts available that will allow you to process a credit card using your cellular phone.

Pick a location. If outdoors, this will be one of the most difficult steps, because there is usually a lot of competition in high-traffic outdoor vending locations for spots to sell food. Scour popular areas in your town to find ideal locations for your food vending cart or table. Bring your list of locations to your town administration building to ask if the locations are OK for setting up a vending station. Scan the events listings in your towns and call coordinators to ask about vending fees for each event.

How To Find Your Own Style

Each of us have our own unique  sense of style. Our clothes can sometimes reflect our personality. This is the reason why most of us love to play around with different pieces. Some fashion styles are categorized in different types. It may be a mix of one or more styles but what makes it special is because these styles are worn uniquely by you.

HOW TO FIND YOUR OWN STYLE

1. Bohemian Goddess 

If you are more of a laid-back kind of girl, and has a knack for putting together unique pieces in a flash, then you may be a bohemian goddess.

Key pieces: tie-dye shirts, floppy hats, batik prints, unique accessories

Put it Together: You can mix and match boho-inspired items with classic garments such as jeans, vests, and cotton tees. You can even add a unique flavor to a neutral outfit with some funky, vintage looking accessories and other beaded details.

2. The Classic Chic

Your love for classic cuts, clean lines and elaborate detailing determines your affinity for elegant and chic styles.

Key Pieces: Classic pieces that never go out of style, statement jewelry, sophisticated bags

Put it Together: Give some glam to your outfits by mixing floral or animal print patterns. If you love wearing subtle prints, pair them with crisp neutral pieces such as a peach top and a white blazer. Finish the look with gold accessories and a big pair of sunglasses.

3. The Head Turning Avant Garde

If you have a fearless approach to fashion, you may have an avante garde kind of style. You are more inclined on fashionable, up and coming pieces and you are never scared to take risks.

Key Pieces: Black pieces layered with eye catching materials

Put It Together: Try to choose conversation-starter pieces and combine them with your classic black garments. Who says that you can’t be as avante-garde as Lady Gaga?

4. The Whimsical Fairy

Fun, creative and flirty are the three words to describe the whimsical style. Retro pieces are given a fashionable revival thanks to your confident, and effortless stride.

Key pieces: Vintage accessories, quirky prints, playful, girly pieces

Put it Together: Give a retro-ish dress a modern twist by pairing it with classic accessories and a trendy bag.

Fashion isn’t all about following the rules by the book. It’s all about letting yourself loose and express your own style. Remember that there is a fine line between tacky and tasteful. Try to experiment with different styles and you will eventually discover one that is uniquely yours.

Natural Beauty Cosmetics – Enhance Your Natural Beauty

Nothing can enhance a woman’s face, beautiful or otherwise, better than the right make-up. Today, the beauty industry is a billion dollar business and the choice of Beauty Cosmetics available, is mind-blogging to say the least. While buying them, one has to keep certain things in mind. Some of them are the skin type, allergic reaction to a certain product if any, night or day wear etc.

How to buy Beauty Cosmetics

Before buying beauty products one must keep in mind to buy not the right beauty product, but the one most ideal for them. Buying them is a very individualistic exercise, as what suits one may not suit another. Hence, one should do some basic ground work before venturing into the shopping exercise. Cosmetics include facial make-up, perfumes, Nail-polishes and so on. People prefer buying branded cosmetics as there is always the safety issue to be considered.

Preference for Natural beauty cosmetics

Today, women are better informed than their counterparts a few years ago. They know the harm some ingredients used in manufacturing cosmetics cause; for e.g. lead. Similarly, there is also a growing sentiment among them to go for products that have not been tested on animals. Herbal and Natural Beauty Cosmetics have become the order of the day for many women. Natural cosmetics are popular these days as their long term benefits are preferred over the short term benefits that could be potentially harmful in the future. Natural beauty products use a lot of natural ingredients as opposed to synthetic ones.

Buying Beauty Cosmetics Online

Nothing can beat buying branded cosmetics from the comfort of one’s home. And if they are available at better or discounted rates, there is nothing quite like it. Nowadays, online beauty products sites offer a variety of cosmetics at the click of a mouse. One can chose the ones they like and need and order the same. The payment is made securely and the package is delivered to the door-step in a matter of just a few days. Nothing can beat that surely.

Urban women have gained financial independence in ways, not even thought of earlier. They like to be groomed and look their absolute best at all times. They have changed the way they shop for their cosmetics. These days it is just a matter of using a mouse and a keyboard and a credit card. The rest as they say is her story.

Fashion Style – Granny Chic to Look Young

After the vintage style and oldies taken over the trend and catwalks of the world, looks like an old woman style is ready to look young again. Several years ago, if someone is wearing a 70s dress, people will surely look with weird stare and called it ‘ancient’. However, once catwalks bring back this style. The word ‘ancient’ was turned into ‘vintage’ and the whole world affected by this trend.

Dress small floral knee-length, with belts and sunglasses are the same width back to be a trend. Even those who have quite fashionable mother can smile because of the clothes, and accessories appear to be their mother’s vintage. This time, the world’s hottest catwalks present various granny-chic styles as a trend for autumn and winter 2010.

What is distinctive of a grandmother? Glasses, it helps the already blurred vision. You will need oldies-style glasses to look like grandma; one with width and thick-rimmed, black or brown. Furthermore, you will need a tote bag. Tote bag with floral or other vintage motif and soft colors, not too flashy style, is well suited to accompany your style. Choose a tote bag which has a simple model and still the typical old style. The more modern design would eliminate the impression of granny chic.

It’s time to play with the skirt that is suitable for this style. You can choose a classic pencil skirt or A-line skirt with natural colors. All these high-waist skirt are seldom subordinate to the elderly who designed hipster. Complete with beautiful small belt to give the chic impression. Like the skirt, select a blouse with soft colors, simple design and high cut collar. Say good bye to the deep V-neck collar and piece of other modifications. You can choose the accented modern blouse in the arm.

Finally, choose accessories that are not too big, just small to medium sized; simple but beautiful enough to be admired! Avoid contemporary and modern design, of course. Remember, a grandmother usually does not use an excessive amount of accessories. A pair of earrings, one to two rings, necklaces and bracelets and a watch is enough. You can be stylish with granny chic if you are creative in mix and match.

How to Have Your Own Unique Fashion Style

Are you ready to break out and find your very own fashion style? Everyone has his or her own unique fashion sense. Don’t just blindly follow the trends set by someone else. Here are some tips for you to help you search for the fashion that speaks of who you are.

First and foremost, to be able to make a fashion statement about yourself, it is important that you figure out your personality. Are you the fun, quirky type, the serious “brainy” type, or the athletic type? There are many different types of personalities, and discovering who you are will most definitely pave the way to discovering your own fashion style.

Go through your closet and separate the clothes you want to keep and those that you don’t. Check out the clothes you want to keep because they may help you in choosing the style that you want to have. At this point, you can either create a style that is based on your current clothes, or create one that is entirely new.

Be creative! Do not just think of fashion based on the norm or the current trend. Remember you’re making a fashion statement about yourself, so be brave and try different match-ups even if your friends may think it’s strange. Remember that not everything you try would be perfect. But at least you can learn from those errors and then improve because of them.

Choose colors and patterns that you think represent who you are. Having a signature color or pattern might make things easier for you when choosing your style or fashion. Use different accessories to compliment the clothes you wear. A simple accessory such as a bandana can define your style if you use it the right way.

It’s also not a bad idea to study different styles, not to copy them but to get different ideas from different stylists. Watch the fashion of celebrities, read fashion magazines and walk around the mall and check out the latest styles on sale. This will help you choose which styles you like and those you don’t.

Remember that choosing a style is not just about being different. Choosing your own type of fashion should be about being comfortable and being confident in wearing your clothes. If you feel embarrassed or awkward wearing something, then that style is probably something you should avoid.

Finding a unique style that is just for you needs a lot of time, a lot of sweat, and probably a lot of misses. But if you have the will and the determination, you can certainly achieve that goal. Coming up with your own fashion style may not be a piece of cake, but it will definitely be worth the effort.

Beauty Cosmetics For Men and Women

Cosmetics and make up items has been utilizing from many centuries by men and women all around the world. Among all, Egyptians are the more well-known people today to wear these beauty and cosmetics items. The Persian citizens also made wonderful offerings towards history of makeup. The significance of cosmetics has increased as lots of people would like to stay young and attractive. Cosmetics in the industry are readily available in distinct form like lotions, lipsticks, fragrances etc. Cosmetics like skin care creams and hair gels are used on a everyday basis by both ladies and males. Cosmetic creams serve as a pores and skin food for hard, dry and chapped skin color. Cosmetics assist to enhance our appearance and make us feel far more confident.

Cosmetics are something applied to your face or human body as a way to enhance your appearance. Makeup consists of anything from cold cream to lipstick. Makeup is often a branch of cosmetics which has to do with beautifying in the face. Throughout the early many years on the 20th century, makeup became fashionable while in the United States and Europe. Cosmetics and makeup in ancient times stood for symbolism in the class of your family. Throughout the years, men and women have put to use makeup for different factors. Cosmetics are any product that you simply put on your face or physique with the purpose of creating your appearance better, and perhaps creating your skin tone healthier.

Usually most of us use makeup as a way to think far well about ourselves. Women and men, both use makeup. Girls use far more of color makeup that guys. Anytime you invest in a cosmetic, read the label of ingredients carefully. If you ever know about any of them that may lead to dermatitis in you, do not use that merchandise. Some form of ingredients might cause skin problems that may possibly take a long time to disappear after treatment. Save yourself from skin tone inflammations and colored patches and blisters. Other use of make up which has just recently surfaced is as sun protection. This is a fantastic development mainly because before sun protection and make up were pretty difficult to blend together.

Advertisers have spent millions of dollars recently to industry the planet of hygiene and skin tone care to adult males. More and much more gentlemen are finding the joy in these items and the benefit from caring for the pores and skin and system with some additional pampering and attention. It is obvious that more marketing dollars are now being spent for the male gender. A trip to any grocery or department store will reveal entire lines of shampoos and hair color kits. When men come to feel that something has been produced just for them they’re additional likely to buy it, specifically the unmarried males that do not currently live with a woman. With so several items thrown at you day-to-day, it is usually challenging to understand where to begin. When a person shops on the internet, you have no chance to try for the color so it is usually a fine notion to know the points that you simply are trying to find. You will find on the net shops close to the globe that provide totally free shipping. It is a very good idea if you can find the correct item using a wonderful price.

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Expressing Your Fashion Style

To express your personal style the more variety you have to choose from the better you can express yourself. Your wardrobe should have a lot of variety to express different moods. When a new season comes go through your wardrobe and see what you don’t wear or does not fit you any more. Remove that item from you wardrobe and give it away to charity. Make notes and see what is missing from your closet. Put as much details as possible so that when you are shopping next time you will know what you need to buy. But Don’t throw away items just because you have brought a new similar item, such as a pair of jeans. You can keep both of them and wear them differently. It could be that one pair of jeans is slightly shorter and can not be worn with heels so wear that one with your flats and get the new pair of jeans slightly longer so that you can wear it with heels.

Putting on a new outfit or any clothing item is a great feeling. But it’s a shame that feeling is not long with us. Soon that new item will become like the rest of items in our wardrobe. The trick here is to buy versatile pieces of clothing so that you can reinvent them again and again. Take for example a white shirt dress and especially using the power of layering, you can wear that in many ways, such as wear it with a pair of jeans for a relaxed look either opened under a t-shirt or closed. Wear it with some tailored trousers for a more formal event. You can also get many looks with a shorter white shirt. It can be worn with a long sparkly skirt for a night out or worn under your trouser or skirt suit for work. So buying versatile pieces is the best and least expensive way to express your style.

Turquoise and 2017 Fashion Styles

Turquoise has been described as the 2017 color of the year by Pantone. To be exact it is the color Pantone 15- 5519. And Pantone describes this turquoise as an inviting, luminous hue. There is something yes truly illuminating about turquoise. ‘Illuminating’ seems to be the right word. Turquoise doesn’t sparkle. Instead it illuminates and it is a color that can seduce too. But ‘seduce’ may not be the right word either. Scarlet reds and maybe blacks seduce but turquoise, a color of the sea, a color linked to Caribbean, Mediterranean waters calms and excites and illuminates rather than seduces.

Other words used by pantone for turquoise are tranquil and exciting. These might seem contradictory terms. But the effect of color is contradictory and actually there might be nothing contradictory at all in calling a color, both exciting and tranquil.

Still how can one truly describe the effect of colors? But the effect of colors is important. In fashion, colors can be used to electrify and excite e.g if turquoise was used with a metallic look or a certain type of fabric eg Mesh. Or it can be calming like with cotton. Anyway let’s not dig a hole.

Effects are important. The right effect is important for fashion. So turquoise should be used to create the right fashion effect and for 2017, Pantone is perhaps saying that turquoise is a color that can do this for 2017.

Turquoise is just a color and it needs to be used to create the right looks, and the right look needs the right fabric, style/design and also perhaps the right patterns, where the turquoise hue is part of a pattern e.g. with whites and other lighter hues or perhaps with more powerful hues like red.

One can perhaps imagine turquoise as having that loose effect, loose feel, effect. Perhaps it can be described as a color suitable for casual wear but to be more exact, it is a color for Spring and Summer where the casual look is important. It is suitable for the world of the beach or clubs, the afternoons where the sun shines and people rid themselves of coats and heavy jackets and color is important.

Imagine the drapy turquoise chemise dress, the drapy turquoise t-shirt and there the more fitted looks, the tight looks which accent the body, And turquoise is the sea color, the color of beaches, spring/ summer afternoons. It can be used for the popular gypsy dresses and the popular 70s styles which are in vogue. And turquoise is of course an illuminating color which means too that it is a powerful color so a simple turquoise chemise dress might be the right look. One might need subtle designs. Turquoise is a pure, simple color but powerful too and one might just need another color/hue for contrast e.g. white. And then there is black which combined with turquoise can create an edgy, stylish look. And one can move into the world of prints but here the effect of turquoise might be lost when combined with reds, purples, violets. Imagine the turquoise dress, shirt worn on the beach. One doesn’t really need a red, purple contrast hue with it. There is also turquoise combined with a green hue. Yes turquoise can be merged with other colors/hues to create interesting prints but this is really another area completely.

Turquoise can be used for different social functions/gatherings/parties. There are obviously different types of occasions. There is the beach party, the afternoon gathering too and turquoise is ‘there for that’. Turquoise can be imagined as a ‘t-shirt’ color, a dress color but it can be used as the skirt color in a separate look with another hue for the top area.

So turquoise can be used to create the cool warrior look. Think of a cool warrior walking along the sea. Actually a cool ‘girl’ warrior look because in the fashion world, warriors are usually women. The cool warrior wears the cool turquoise. And the warrior wears a dress but there is an edginess about the look. It is an edgy warrior look. Maybe there is a short turquoise chemise dress. The shoulders are shown and there is a purity about the turquoise here The emphasis is on the effect turquoise brings across. Yes turquoise is one color that can be used to style apparel for the months of sun; the seasons of sun, spring and summer.

Home Health Care: Some Basic Information

Home health care is just what the name suggests – health care services that can be taken care of in your home. There are quite a number of these possible home-based services, and they can be cheaper, as useful, and more convenient than the services you could get in a hospital or other nursing facility.

The point of this is to take care of an illness, injury, or other ailment. The idea is to get your independence, confidence, and self-sufficient behavior back on target as quickly as possible in your own environment.

Potential home health service options include caring for wounds, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, patient and care-giver education, intravenous and nutrition therapy, injections, and monitoring serious illness and unstable health status. There is also health aid, to help with things like getting into and out of bed, getting dressed, baths, eating, and bathroom activities. This is also considered things like housekeeping duties, laundry, shopping, and cooking.

There are lists of agencies that do home health care work. Check your local phone book, or look up information on the internet to find local places and check what services they actually provide. Some health insurers like Medicare will only cover the costs of this if the home health agency has been certified by them.

When present, the staff will check what you’re eating and drinking, check things like blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and breathing, make sure that you are taking your prescriptions, drugs, and other treatments appropriately, check if you’re in pain, be aware of the safety in your home, teach you to care for yourself over time, and coordinate your care with you, your doctor, and others who treat you.

It’s very important that you understand how your plan of care works. An agency member will consult with you and your doctor to make this happen. The plan of care includes what services you need, which care professionals should give those services, how often those services are required, what medical equipment is needed, and what results you expect. All involved will review this plan as often as required to do the job properly.

If you are getting home health care, you should ask yourself questions regularly to make sure you’re be treated appropriately. For instance, if the staff is polite, if they explain everything to you in a way you can understand, if they respond quickly to your requests, if they check in with you physically and emotionally with each visit, and if they regularly suggest changes to improve your situation.

With all these things in mind, now you know enough to get started researching to determine if home health care is the right decision for you and your family.

Home Health Care: Convenient and Less Expensive

Despite popular belief, you don’t have to be in a hospital or nursing facility to have a staff of professionals take care of you – the is an alternative called home health care. Essentially, many of the same type of services offered at hospitals can be offered to you at your home through specialized agencies, and often it’s more convenient and less expensive for you in the end.

You know that health care, ultimately, is to take care of you after you’ve been injured or sick. Now, if you can do this at your home, and gain your strength and self-sufficiency back in an environment where you’re more comfortable, that would be a great option to exercise.

Some home health care services include: wound care, patient education, nutrition therapy, injections, intravenous therapy, and speech-language therapy. Staff can also monitor serious illness and unstable health status, as well as helping with getting you into and out of bed, helping you bathe and use the bathroom, and doing things like light housekeeping, cooking, shopping, and laundry.

To find agencies available for this type of work, do an internet search and find out if there is anything local, and find out if they provide the exact service to the specifications that you require. Be aware that there are arrangements made between insurers and the agencies, so always ask questions before deciding who to hire.

So when they’re there, what should you expect from a home health care team? They should be aware of your diet, your amount of exercise, your blood pressure and heart rate, your breathing, your temperature, and all of your vitals. They should know your medication routines and have them all up to date. They should check on your pain levels and your mental and physical condition every day, if not more often. They will make sure that your home is safe, and they will teach you how to take care of yourself as the process moves forward.

They’ll also explain to you what your plan of care is. It’s essentially a list of everything you need – what services, by what type of care professional, what equipment they need, how often they need to take care of what parts of your health, and what you should expect when the treatments are complete.

And be sure to ask yourself questions while you are under care. Are they treating you respectfully? Are they explaining why they are doing what they’re doing? Are they continually suggesting ways to improve your treatment? Are they putting your mental and physical health first with regard to the service?

What You Should Know About Home Health Care

Home health care services may just be the assistance you need for your aged parents. But you need to understand that the term itself is so diverse. There are different kinds of professionals who can provide home health care assistance to you. Just the same, there are also different types of institution where such care can be provided.

The most common health care personnel you might have encountered are registered nurses. They are also considered the most skilled because they don’t just care for the basic needs of their patients. They can also be made to supervise monitoring for vital signs as well as giving the right medication for the patient. RNs and experts in using health equipments.

Another type of home health care personally are home care aides. They are a good choice for a health companion because they can provide assistance to basic living skills such as bathing and dressing up. They can also provide a nutritional diet for your aged loved ones as well as do some light cleaning to avoid the spread of illnesses at home.

Then there are also the homemakers or home companions. However, these people are not exactly schooled or formally skilled with caring for aged people. But they can be expected to take care of the home where your aged loved ones live and also make sure that some of their basic necessities are being cared for.

Getting the type of home health care is something that you should talk over with the whole family. If your parents are still good enough to comprehend the situation, it would be best to also involve them during the decision-making process. This way you can prevent having any problems between the caregiver and the care recipient because the latter actually resents having someone else to tend to him.

After that is cleared, the next important thing would be to clearly define what the caregiver tasks should be. Do this in accordance with your aged loved ones current medical conditions. It would even be best if the tasks are actually advised by the doctor. If you can also include an actual daily schedule for the caregiver to follow, then that would be much better.

When the decision-making process to hire a caregiver and the actual tasks are done, then you will now be ready to find the best homecare services. It would be best to look for one within your area so you can easily compare their fees and requirements.

When choosing your home health care services, make sure that you get from an agency duly certified by the government. It would also help to engage in the services of an agency whom you can pay through your insurance coverage.

Why Looking For Self-Help and Self-Improvement Products is Anything But a Sign of Helplessness

As a writer and editor for an online self help store, I frequently encounter the common misconception that self help, self improvement and personal development products are only sought out by those who are, ironically, unable to help themselves.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The individuals who find themselves browsing through the virtual shelves of the online self-help marketplace are anything but weak, anything but helpless.

Think about it. First of all, by deciding that they need a helping hand, that they need advice and tools to improve one or more areas of their life, they are demonstrating considerable self-awareness and perceptiveness. That takes strength of character. Consider those who occupy the other end of the spectrum, the there’s-nothing-wrong-with-me, it’s-everybody-else’s-fault, I’m-not-to-blame types. Which is the weaker, those individuals who demonstrate a complete lack of self-awareness and self-critical faculty, or those who are willing to list their faults and seek out remedies? It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?

Now, consider for a moment the will power it must take to set out on that journey of self discovery and self improvement. Surely, it would be easier to just curl up on the couch and watch TV? How can any quest for personal development be an indication of weakness? The very idea is ridiculous.

So, far from being weak and helpless, the individual making their first tentative steps into the self help, self improvement and personal development marketplace, is a person of strong character, someone with formidable self-awareness and the will power to confront and do something about their faults and imperfections.

Self Help Books Are a Boon

Through self-help books one teaches oneself to be economically, emotionally and intellectually mature and independent. The whole process has a lot of psychological as well as spiritual base.

Self help books inculcate in the reader the spirit of self-reliance. There are of course likeminded support groups to lean on. It is not a partnership of dependence but of co-operation. Examples can be given of self-help legal practice, homespun advices and many more. In course of time self-help books are leading guides in the field of education as well as business. Psychology plays an important part in the writings of these self-help books. These books have led to self-help movements.

According to prominent psychiatrists the self-help books are quite distinct from the professional counterparts. The latter cannot provide friendship, emotional prop up, first hand experimental knowledge, self-identity, roles in life with a meaning and above all a sense of being belonged. Self-help books links people with any kind of health condition. It is especially applicable to those who are mentally unstable. However everything does not work for everyone. The same applies to these self-help books. People going through similar travails form lobby groups and by sharing problems many knots are untied. Actually self-help books bring about link with like minded people – contact between peers.

The self-help books are based on an ancient concept of autosuggestion. It is repeating to one self the magic words of ‘I can! I can!’ The books are getting worldwide acclaim from humble beginnings. Self-help legal services are also expanding. The Internet is now an invaluable tool for the popularizing of self-help books. On a gigantic scale free information is being provided leading to self-empowerment.

The self-help concept, now being codified in books, has a long history. It goes back to 2,500 BC when we first come across the advice poems of Hesiod. It is an adaptation of Eastern philosophy and thought. The Stoics of Greece offered similar advice of awakening the powers of the self. The ideas are expressed in ancient proverbs of different cultures of the world from time immemorial. The word self-help found a place in legal parlance when it came to be acknowledged that a person has the right to plead his own case in court of law.

Nothing talks about self-help more lucidly than the famous saying ‘Heaven helps those who help themselves’. Samuel Smiles in the late 19th century authored the first book on personal development. The title was Self Help. This principle of self-help or autosuggestion is used widely in the treatment of curing alcoholics and the like. It is the self that cures and the self that destroys. It is a question of awakening the self. These self-help books advise certain techniques to achieve this goal.

In this field of work Dale Carnegie is a famous name in the first half of the 20th century. In 1936 he published his all time best seller – How to Win Friends and Influence People. It reflected his own successful battle against repeated failures. So far 50 million copies have been sold and continues to sell captivating each new generation. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill also hit the market inspiring people about the power of thought.

Researches show that self-help books have captured the market in a big way covering a wide variety of topics form weight loss to friendship gain. One can teach oneself how to become even a politician and win laurels. There are critics who say that these are easy answers to difficult questions that cannot be really implemented.

Self-Help Books – The Unparalleled Advantages Of Reading Self-Help Books To Improve Your Life

It is true that self-help seminars and workshops can do a lot to help you get a better self esteem. It is also true that going to a life coach or a counselor or psychologist for training can work well for some.

However, the only thing that can accompany you wherever you go is self-help books, and there are many available on the market by renowned authors. Since the problems of low self esteem are not predominant in America alone, but all around the world, it should not be too hard for you to get your hands on a good book, wherever you may be.

Self-help books need not always be on increasing self esteem directly. One look through a book shop’s self-help section will show that you can buy books on hobbies like photography and cooking, and on personal help like doing better at relationships and at work. All these will however help you with better self esteem in the long run. So, there is a self-help book for you, whatever the goals that you set for your self may be.

As human beings, we are superior to all other living things on the planet and one of the things that prove this is our ability to effect change on our surroundings. So do get one on whatever it is that you would like to change, and put what you learn from these books into affect.

Soon you will see a positive change in your life, and the feelings of accomplishment that come with this can work wonders for your self-image. So many self-help books have been published to date that it is not a problem finding one on whatever topic you may have in mind. In fact you may face a bigger problem selecting one or two books out of the dozens to choose from.

They are a great thing to carry if you travel a lot. Not only do they help you pass your time constructively they are easy to carry and store. As sophisticated and miniature that palmtop computers have gotten today, the feel of a good book in your hands can never be replaced by a computer, and any one accustomed to handling books will confirm that.

We may get so preoccupied in our day to day problems that it is not always easy to take out the time to attend a self improvement seminar or lecture. But we can all at least take out the time and money to get a good self-help book. After all, it is for our own improvement that we do this, so do take the time and effort to get your hands on a book of this sort.

How Can a Kid Make Money When Many Adults Are Unemployed?

The unemployment problem in this country is a harbinger for our next president to give serious consideration to. There are many people who at one time have had a well-paying job, and held a respectful place in their community. Today those people are driving cabs or working at a fast food joint just to help pay the bills. Sometimes people take it for granted that kids need to make money too. When kids have money, they spend it and help our economy. Kids need to make money, but how can a kid make money when many adults are unemployed? Has the job market retracted for kids the same way it has for adults? When the powers that be talk about creating jobs, kids don’t get mentioned, but how can a kid make money?

Many kids are ambitious, motivated, and have lots of energy. Kids are fun to work with and many want to learn and have responsibility. How can a kid make money though if the jobs are not available? Another trait that kids have is that they are resilient, and they are not afraid to do the jobs that some adults may be reluctant to do. Today’s kids are tomorrow’s workforce, and when kids work it helps build character, confidence, and independence. Since there is a minimum age to be able to start working on the books, the question again rings loud “How can a kid make money?

It would certainly seem that kids are entrepreneurial by nature. Whenever we see a lemonade stand, we intuitively know that there is a young person behind this money making venture. Kids don’t need to make top dollar to pay the bills, so they are open to opportunities that adults will shun. Kids will help clean the house, mow the lawn, rake the leaves, and clean the garage. So when we ask the question “How can a kid make money?” we don’t have to look far for answers. A kid can deliver newspapers, run errands, wash cars, and walk the dog. Some adults may even feel a little envious realizing how many opportunities that there are for kids.

Kids are usually not shy about offering their services to someone. Once a kid is old enough, they want to babysit, especially girls. The boys may offer to do some painting. While the jobs or opportunities are not always readily apparent, the kids with the desire, fortitude, and insight will find their rainbow that will hold their pot of gold. How can a kid make money? It is a good question to ask kids and see their imagination go to work. They may surprise you and come up with something you may not have thought of. How many times do you wish you could find someone to pull weeds, or wash the car? Girl Scout cookies have not become one of the biggest selling cookies in the world for nothing. With a ready, willing, and ready workforce in place, our country is headed in the right direction.

The Stigma of Being a Foster Kid

“Please Don’t Call Me a Foster Kid”

Just recently I was watching TV with my foster grandson when the mattress company commercial came on the screen…the one that asks people to donate money so that children in foster care might have warm clothing for the cold weather. I asked Tony if the commercial embarrassed him at all. He admitted that the company probably meant well but “it sort of gives the impression that we are all poor kids and need to be pitied.” His comment reminded me of the stigma our foster children are made to bear in our society.

I am proud to be a foster parent but I find myself sort of dancing around the word when I refer to Tony as my foster kid.. He much prefers that I simply call him my grandson rather than his foster grandson. I’m good with that. I understand that teenage kids in the foster system don’t need to have their legal status branded on their chests. Just being a teenager is tough enough without attracting notice by having an additional label added to your name.

Foster kids already know they are different from their classmates. They are aware that their school trip permission slips and Medicaid authorization slips are signed by “guardian” not a parent. They are conscious that their teachers and school administrators “know” they are foster kids and that in some cases they are watched more closely than other students. Wanting more than anything to merge in seamlessly as just another normal kid, their legal status makes them stand out in a crowd.

It’s hardly a secret that many foster kids, even those whose foster parents would allow it, do not feel comfortable inviting their friends over for a sleep-over. This is especially true for kids who live in group homes but it is also true of kids in family homes. As Tony would say, “It’s just too awkward.”

Ironically, this “awkward” situation is made worse by the media, which throws a spotlight on the failure of our foster care system to produce successful outcomes for kids transitioning out of foster care. When the public sees headlines like “70% of incarcerated adults spent at lease some time in the foster care system,” it doesn’t give them much incentive to welcome foster kids in our communities or make it easier for foster kids to own up to their status.

No one seems to “get” that kids entering the foster system were admitted because they were deeply troubled kids already. By definition, they came to the system because they were abused and neglected by their birth parents. Of course they have attachment and abandonment issues. Of course they act out. Those early childhood years were traumatic. Granted that the foster care system needs improvement, it’s more than a little simplistic to blame everything on those trying their best to salvage kids when the kids have been deeply harmed before they were even placed in their first foster home.

I would like to see a dramatic change in the way we look at foster kids. Sure the system can improve. We need to invest in these children by providing better training for foster parents and by giving foster parents adequate resources to do their job right. We need to assure a more stable system so that kids are not bounced from one foster home to another. We need to make more of an effort to keep siblings together in care.

But, just as important is a change in attitude on the part of all those people who take care of children. From teachers to coaches to administrators, we have to begin to realize that the negative “tude” we have towards foster kids is part of the reason so many give up on life and waste their lives in prisons. When a kid says, “Don’t call me a foster kid,” he is already buying into the expectations that he will fail. That’s a tragedy for all of us.

I told Tony that I ‘ll go along with his request not to referred to as a foster kid as long as he understood that there is nothing bad about being a foster kid, that he had done nothing wrong and that foster kids are perfectly capable of succeeding in life. “Is it a deal?” I asked him. “Yea, grandpa. That’s cool,” he smiled and gave me a high five.

5 Healthy Eating Habits to Teach Your Kids

Once kids develop comfortable routines, it is very difficult to change their minds. The same goes with their eating habits. For this reason, you need to keep unhealthy foods out of the house, and instead teach them about healthy eating habits. Below are 5 healthy eating habits you can teach your kids.

1. Encourage your kids to make smart eating choices in school

Half the time, your kids will be in class, and chances are, you do not know what they are eating while in school. The best way to make sure your kids develop healthy eating habits, is to pack their school bags with healthy homemade meals and snacks. Alternatively, you can go over the school lunch menu with your kids. Schools generally print out their monthly lunch menu. Sit with your kids, and challenge them to identify the healthiest options on the school’s lunch menu. When you do this regularly, your kids will naturally develop healthy eating habits.

2. Do not outcast junk food outright

Once kids get their first taste of junk food, they will always want more. If you want your kids to develop healthy eating habits, you will have to teach them to gradually let go of junk food. However, do not ban your kids from eating junk food. If you ban children from doing something, they will do exactly what they were banned from doing. Instead, limit their access to these junk foods. For example, feed them sweet treats only once a week, rather than everyday; that way, your kids’ desire for junk food will decrease over time.

3. Teach your kids about calories in drinks

Although kids may be aware of the amount of calories contained in unhealthy foods, they may not know that certain drinks are packed with empty calories that promote weight gain. For example, certain ice cream shakes sold by fast food restaurants, contain up to 900 calories (nearly half of the daily calorie intake suggested for most 9 to 13 year-old children).

To help your kids naturally avoid unhealthy beverages, have them drink enough water and plain milk. The more water and plain milk they drink, the less they will be attracted to sugary beverages. If you have to give your kids some juice, make sure that the juice is organic, and is 100% fruit-based. In addition, mix the juice with water.

4. Set a good example to your children

Your healthy eating habits will directly determine your kids’ eating habits. Eat healthy snacks with your kids as much as possible. Tell them about the benefits of eating vegetables. Encourage them to choose water instead of soda.

5. Keep a strict eating schedule

When you and your kids keep a regular eating schedule that seldom changes, it will prevent your kids from snacking on unhealthy foods throughout the day. Moreover, when kids have a strict eating schedule, they are rarely hungry between meals. When your kids skip a meal, do not allow them to eat candy or chocolate at the place of that meal. Instead, give them a healthy snack, such as an apple or a banana.

Conclusion

The sooner you teach your kids about healthy eating habits, the easier it will be for them to adapt to a healthy lifestyle. Rather than hiding unhealthy foods from your kids, teach them why these foods are not appropriate.

PlayStation Network Review – Blacklight: Tango Down

Blacklight: Tango Down is an ambitious first person shooter from developer Zombie Studios. With a futuristic theme and more weapon and player customizations than you can shake a stick at, Blacklight: Tango Down offers an expansive multiplayer suite at an extremely low price point. While the competitive multiplayer is a blast, some technical issues do work to hinder the experience.

Story is not at the forefront of Blacklight: Tango Down. A single player “Black Ops” mode is available, but there is no narrative to follow. The “Black Ops” mode is reminiscent of the co-operative mode available in games such as Resistance 2. On the PlayStation 3, I was unable to get the “Black Ops” mode multiplayer to function successfully, and it appeared that only friends could be invited to a game. I attempted to play through a few of the “Black Ops” missions solo, but each death reset the mission and without help that makes it terribly difficult. It’s clear that these missions are designed exclusively for multiplayer. The missions do include interesting mini-games involving hacking gates and disabling devices, which is an interesting change of pace.

Where Blacklight: Tango Down really shines is in its competitive multiplayer modes. These include standard deathmatch, team deathmatch, domination, detonation, retrieval, and last man standing. Most of these modes are self explanatory, but for those that aren’t, domination involves teams gaining and holding control of various points on the map, detonation involves planting a bomb in the opposing teams base, and retrieval is a standard capture the flag mode. All the modes are designed well and there is enough variety to keep multiplayer fresh no matter what mode the player chooses.

There are two factions within the game. The first is Blacklight, a U.S. special forces group donning black armor with blue highlights. The other is The Order, a group of former U.S. special forces and local militia who wear orange and black armor. There are no real gameplay difference between factions, and players can change factions on a per match basis.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of Blacklight: Tango Down is the player and weapon customization system. Players unlock new armor, weapons, colors, and weapon modifications by reaching the requisite player rank. There are a ton of weapon modifications to unlock for every weapon type. Said types include sub machine guns, light machine guns, assault rifles, shotguns, and sniper rifles. Each weapon can be fitted with custom barrels, sights, stocks, and ammunition clips that alter the weapons stats and player mobility. Players can also unlock weapon tags which are basically key chains that hangs off the side of each gun and also effect the weapon statistics.

The weapons work well but don’t feel as realistic as the ones you might find in Call of Duty. The variation in weapon scopes is very cool with some sporting futuristic holograms and useful dot sights. With so many options, players should be able to get exactly what they want out of each weapon type. My biggest complaint regarding the available weapons lies with the sniper rifle. The gun simply feels underpowered and has an extremely slow fire rate, generally requiring perfect precision to pull off a one-hit kill headshot. It seems as though others feel the same way as I haven’t run into many players that use the sniper rifle as their go to weapon.

Each player is equipped with a Hyper Reality Visor that displays the location of friends, enemies, and supply stations for a limited amount of time. While the visor is active, players are unable to fire their weapons, but the visor can be deactivated at any time. It’s a great tool to use after a spawn to determine where the action is happening, or if you need to find additional health or ammo. There are a few grenade types that include the standard digital (smoke) grenade, a proximity mine, or an EMP grenade that scrambles enemy HRVs.

In my time with the PlayStation 3 version of Blacklight: Tango Down, I experienced quite a few network and loading issues. Frequently when attempting to join a team deathmatch game, the game would freeze at the loading screen forcing a restart of the game and in some cases a restart of the entire PS3 system. Network lag was an issue in some games but non-existent in others, leading to an inconsistent play experience. The games are hosted by individual players and not dedicated servers, so occasionally the action will be interrupted by a host migration, but it’s better than a full on disconnect.

At it’s best, Blacklight: Tango Down holds it’s own against contenders like Killzone and Halo, with gameplay that feels like a good mix of the two. Players are given plenty of customization choices to match their play style, and each game mode is balanced well. For gamers who are strapped for cash but still want a fully featured multiplayer FPS, Blacklight: Tango Down is right up their alley.