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4 Tips for Choosing an Accountant

Posted By: on March 17, 2015

Keeping your business on track will highly depend on the accountant you hire. The key to keeping track of the money coming in and going out is having the right person to help you do so. The financial records for your business are an ideal way to keep track of how well you are doing. Knowing tips that can help you hire the best accountant for this job is extremely helpful if you’re in the market for one. 

Tip #1: Check Credibility

You will want to ensure the person that you do choose for this job has the necessary expertise. It’s ideal to check with the right accounting association to determine if the person you’re interested in hiring has completed the right training. Additionally, you could contact the college that’s listed as the place where this person attended school.

Tip #2: Get References

It’s a great idea to ask for at least two or three people who can vouch for this person. You should get the full name, address and contact number for each of these people to ensure you are able to make the contact that you want. It’s also a good idea to get the email for any of these individuals, as well. Be sure you ask for people who aren’t a family member or close friend because this could affect the type of reference that you receive.

Tip #3:  Check Past Employment

One of the best ways to understand how well this person has done in the accounting business is by taking a close look at past employers. You should look at the company this individual has worked for and the amount of years of employment. This can alert you to any potential problems, such as short-term employment or being fired for not doing a job properly.

Tip #4: Consider the GPA

One way to help you determine if this person is an ideal fit for your business is by looking at the grades of this individual. The average of the grades this person made while taking accounting courses is known as their grade point average (GPA). The higher this number is, the better for you and your business. They didn’t need to have a 4.0 all the way through college, but they should have had at least a 3.0, especially in relevant courses.

By doing your research and learning about any potential accounting employee, you can find the best person to suit your needs. The key is to take your time and not to rush into hiring a person quickly. The time and energy you put into this project is sure to render huge dividends for you, and you’ll be much happier with your decision in the long run.

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4 Necessary Accessories for Keeping your Hot Tub Hot

Posted By: on March 17, 2015

Do you enjoy unwinding after a long day by soaking in a hot tub? Millions of people love using these devices to relax and the way to make the most of them is by having the right accessories. This will help sure that your hot tub continues to work well and efficiently for years to come. Knowing the right accessories to purchase can keep your hot tub toasty warm and looking good as well.

Cover Removers

You won’t have to worry about using your hot tub and getting the cover off if home alone if you have a cover remover. This item makes lifting it off a breeze and can be easily done by one person. The advantage of choosing this item is that it’s simple to install and can even contribute to the life of your hot tub.

Hot Tub Cover

Of course, you’ll need to protect your hot tub, whether it’s indoors or outdoors. This means you need a high-quality cover that can significantly decrease the possibility of damage happening to your unit. Furthermore, the cover will help keep debris out of your hot tub and assists in regulating the water temperature at all times of the day, year-round.

Accessory #3: Hot Tub Steps

Being able to get into your heated oasis safely is critical. By purchasing heavyweight steps that can provide easy accessibility, you can make the transition from the ground to the hot tub much easier. Be sure to measure the space from your floor to the height of your hot tub to guarantee the most accurate fit.

Towel Bar

Why not make it as easy as possible for you to use your hot tub? Install a towel bar so you can hang your towels for easy access when getting out of the hot tub. Consider choosing a towel bar that will match the exterior of your tub for the best possible look. This accessory can complement the area when it’s color coordinated to match the entire ensemble.

Selecting the right accessories can make a world of difference in usability. Make sure you make the right choices!

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Toilet Paper Roll Art

Posted By: on September 20, 2011

You’d be amazed at all the things people use empty toilet paper rolls for. I put them in my sugar glider’s cage so she can crawl around in them. This, however, is probably the most Read On »

How the Foreclosure Landgrab Worked

Posted By: on August 7, 2013

There’s a new trend in home renovation since the economic collapse and recession during the first Obama administration. It has nothing to do with updating your own kitchen cabinets or knocking down your carport. Renovation Read On »

Top 10 Hottest Female Chess Players

Posted By: on July 20, 2010

If smarts turn you on then you may want to check out a few of these brainy beauties. If you play your pieces correctly maybe she’ll have you mated in no time. 10.) Zehra Topel Read On »

5 Common Workplace Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Posted By: on March 13, 2015

workplaace injury

Safety regulations for workers have come a long way over the past few decades, but work related injuries and deaths are still much more common than you’d expect. In fact, according to OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) more than 4.1 million individuals suffer from a work-related illness or injury, and every day more than 12 people die while they’re on the job. With numbers like these, it’s important to know which activities cause the common injuries. Here’s a list of the top five, with tips for staying safe while you’re making your way.


  • Falling

A preponderance of workplace injuries are caused from slipping, tripping, and otherwise making acquaintance with the floor. It sounds silly, but slip and fall injuries can cause concussion, broken bones, muscle strains, and even death.

Prevent a fall at work by wearing non-slip foot wear (or at least shoes you are confident walking in), and always make sure your workspace is safe by, clearly marking uneven floors, replacing burnt bulbs, and ensuring that cords, wires, boxes, and other hazards are stored safely.

  1.   Repetitive Motion

Simply sitting at a computer for 8 hours can cause long lasting physical damage. Conditions like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, are known to be caused by the repetitive act of typing.

While interacting with a computer at a desk may be an essential part of your job remember that it’s important to use equipment that is designed to be ergonomic, and to take frequent breaks. Also, focusing on your overall posture, will help prevent lasting damage.

  1.   Driving

Cars kill more people each year than plane crashes, bear attacks, and probably lots of other things too. The point is, it’s no surprise that driving is a dangerous activity to engage in at work. Especially given the amount of people who get paid to drive: think EMS workers, the fella who installed your cable internet, your plumber, your pizza delivery gal, the fine folks who keep municipal transport going, not to mention the long haul trucker stocking grocery stores across the nation.

So, when you’re driving on the job, stay away from your phone! It’s statistically factual that drivers who are texting perform no better than drivers under the influence of alcohol. And don’t exceed the posted limit for your vehicle type. Trucks can’t take turns as safely as cars, it’s physics. If you feel tired or have taken medication: don’t drive! These measures can save your life, and the lives of others.

  1.   Lifting

Musculoskeletal injuries are probably the most common work related injuries. From pulls to strains, slips and pops, dislocations, and ruptures: all manner of injury can be attributed to improper lifting practices.

So remember: always lift from your legs, never use your back. If something appears to exceed 50 lbs, use a piece of equipment like a dolly or a forklift to help you move it safely.

  1.   Operating Equipment

Many workplace injuries are sustained in environments where heavy machinery is being used on a daily basis. While equipment training is certainly the responsibility of your employer, keep in mind that protecting your body by following best practices is ultimately your responsibility.

Never work with heavy machinery if you are drowsy, unwell, or if you feel nervous or uncertain how to operate it safely. Tucking away loose clothing, hair, and other stray objects can save your life. Follow regulations closely, and always know emergency procedures by heart.

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4 Tips For Becoming a Successful Landlord

Posted By: on March 12, 2015

Renting a home or apartment to a tenant sounds like an easy way to make money, but there is more to being a landlord than simply collecting rent every month. Between drafting a rental agreement that everyone can agree upon and keeping up with repairs that are beyond the means of the tenants, being a landlord is a lot of work. And yet, there are some surprisingly simple things that landlords can do to make their jobs easier. Here are just a few things that people should keep in mind if they are considering renting out property to tenants.

Treating Landlording Like a Business

According to Brandon Turner, VP of Marketing and Communications at BiggerPockets, far too many landlords see their property investments as hobbies. They don’t put nearly enough thought into their rental properties, especially since the rent they receive is passive income. The truth is that landlording is a business, and it should be treated as such. Landlords don’t have to be in constant contact with their tenants, but they should keep one eye on their property and make improvements and repairs when they deem it necessary. They should also periodically check in and make sure that the tenants are satisfied and that everyone is holding up to the rental agreement.

When a landlord treats an investment property like any other business, amazing things happen. Tenants treat the landlord and property with more respect, property value increases, and everyone involved is more satisfied with the arrangement that they have.

Drafting a Rental Agreement

Drafting a rental agreement can be a major headache for landlords and tenants. Some experienced landlords can do this easily, while others find that they need some extra help. Fortunately, there are online services such as this one that can draft a customized rental agreement that will ensure that all parties are satisfied. A landlord only needs to fill in the agreed-upon details, terms and clauses online, and a customized document is delivered for all parties to sign. The landlord and tenants still have to decide on all the small details, but much of the hard work is completed automatically from the comfort of the landlord’s home.

Choosing the Right Tenants

One of the things that trips up many landlords is leasing to bad tenants. These tenants may damage the rental property, regularly pay the rent late or maybe not pay the rent at all. Since evicting a tenant is a costly and lengthy process, landlords need to screen out potentially bad tenants. Good tenants will have a stable income, no recent evictions or felonies, and good references from their previous landlords.

Landlords can choose their tenants, but they need to be careful about rejecting potential tenants for the wrong reasons. Kevin Perk, co-founder of Kevron Properties, LLC, a real estate management company suggests avoiding personal questions and keeping all rental applications as neutral as possible. Tenants can be asked about their previous addresses, income and references, but they should never be asked about their marital status, their ethnicity or their religious background.

Treating Tenants with Respect

The key to a good business relationship is respect, and that especially goes for a landlord-tenant relationship. Landlords can and should expect their tenants to hold up their end of the rental agreement, but they should be given the benefit of the doubt as long as things are running smoothly. A rental property is a tenant’s home for the duration of a lease, and it should be treated as such. As long as a tenant is treating a landlord and a rental property fairly, then the landlord should do the same.


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4 Ways to Travel Internationally with Ease

Posted By: on March 11, 2015


Do you have a big trip planned that means leaving the country? If so, there are many things you should do to help you prepare for this major venture. Planning in advance will help you reach your destination with ease and can allow you to experience peace of mind in the process. Knowing tips for traveling to another country can ease your transition and ensure you have the best time possible.

Know the Culture

It’s likely you may not have the appropriate skills when it comes to speaking a certain language in another country. It is ideal to learn some basics that will help you communicate effectively when you get there. Simply purchase a book that is easy to understand and that will allow you to learn some simple ways to help you communicate while you are there.

Gather your Documents

When going to another country, be prepared to pass through the customs department. This means you should have an up-to-date passport on hand, a driver’s license and a photo ID that will allow you to enter.

Be sure to put these items in a carry-on bag or your purse so that you can easily get to these when you are traveling. If you fail to deliver these when requested, you could risk the possibility of being sent home.

Take a Friend

You may enjoy being alone, but when going to another country, it’s a good idea to take a friend. This will allow you to have a person with you that you can talk to if there is a language barrier.

There are sure to be a number of things to do and activities to enjoy, as well. By having another person with you, this can help you feel safe in a country that you may not know anything about at all.

Know the Climate

Is the weather going to be extremely cold or warm where you are headed? It’s important to learn the climate of the country you’re headed to so that you can pack accordingly. Do a little research before you prepare to leave, and this can help you learn a great deal about what you should take with you and if you should leave the shorts at home.

“The key to making the most of your trip abroad,” says Thomas Hollowell, a guidebook author and owner of a travel company, “whether you are going to Morocco, Ireland, Canada or Italy, planning (or not planning) can make or break your trip. In a crazy-weather place like Essaouira for example, the mantra that ‘Morocco is a cold country with a hot sun!’ proves true. Wind, cold rain, and then a hot sun can all beat down upon you in one day.” You can avoid a number of potential obstacles along the way by planning and researching ahead. So, do some reading before packing up, have fun and make the most of your journey into the world!

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Making a Good First Impression

Posted By: on March 10, 2015

first impressions

There are many occasions in life where it’s important to make a good first impression. Whether you’re going to an important job interview, meeting a partner’s family for the first time, or applying for a loan, the way you come across during this first meeting can influence how you’re remembered for a long time.

Fortunately, your first impression isn’t up to chance. You can come across positively when first meeting someone with just a few simple tricks.

Make Eye Contact

Have you ever met somebody who wouldn’t look you in the eye? Not making eye contact with somebody is a bad way to begin an acquaintance. If you don’t look somebody in the eye, you may come across as lacking confidence — or even worse, as if you’re being dishonest about something.

As a species, humans use gaze to converse. When you’re walking towards a stranger on the street, the direction of your gazes helps you both avoid a collision. When you’re meeting somebody for the first time, holding their gaze shows you’re paying attention and you value the interaction. It establishes you as a person who should be respected.

Making eye contact with a stranger can be difficult, particularly if you’re nervous about the interaction. If making eye contact doesn’t work for you, try looking directly above, below, or between the person’s eyes. Be sure to not look at the ground or off into the distance, as you may come off standoffish.

Dress for Success

The way you dress for a first meeting can be enough in itself to make a positive impression. It’s good to err on the side of caution if you’re not sure what the appropriate dress for an occasion is. Dress slightly more formally than you may have to. Don’t dress overly formally, but simply wear something mature and fairly conservative. Some people have strange hangups about clothes — whether you understand their reasoning or not, it’s good to respect their feelings.

If possible, ask somebody what the appropriate outfit for the occasion will be. When in doubt, accessorize! Implement bow-ties, scarves, hats, and more. The right accessories can make an outfit both stylish and mature, perfect for making a positive first impression.

Listen Actively

When you’re nervous, it can be easy to let your mind wander. Don’t let it, or you risk coming across rude, or as if you don’t value the person you’re meeting. Active listening is a skill you must work at to do well.

If you’re at a job interview and your interviewer asks you a question that confuses you, don’t panic. Use your active listening skills to restate the question and confirm with your interviewer you got it right. It’s much better to repeat the question incorrectly and have it clarified than to just give an answer unrelated to the question.

When you’re listening, don’t think of what you’re going to say next. Simply take in what the person is saying. Once they are finished, you can compose your response thoughtfully.


Making a good first impression is a skill that can help you in all parts of your life. Practice these tips to come across mature, intelligent, and likeable the next time you’re being introduced.

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Niagara Falls: Illegal or Not?

Posted By: on March 9, 2015


Going Over the Falls

Going over the falls might not be the smartest thing to do. In fact, going over the falls is actually illegal. However, it has been attempted many times, with about a 75% survival rate. Currently, survivors are heavily fined. One daredevil has even been banned from ever entering Canada again because he approached the falls from the Canadian side of the river. The first person known to ever go over the falls in a barrel was a 63 year-old teacher named Annie Edson Taylor.

A man named Charles G. Stevens outfitted his barrel with an anvil for ballast. He even tied himself to the anvil for safety. When his barrel was recovered, the only thing left in the barrel was his right arm.

In order to call attention to the plight of the homeless, Robert Overcracker rode a jet ski over the edge of Horseshoe Falls. However, Robert’s parachute didn’t open. His body was never recovered.


Casinos abound in the Niagara Falls area. There are facilities on both the United States and Canadian sides. According to one tourism site, it’s interesting to note that the legal gambling age in Canada is 19, while most areas of the United States its 21. The casinos don’t just offer gambling, though. Each offers entertainment, sometimes big name entertainment. One casino, located in the United States features 82,000 square feet of gaming space with 2,595 slot machines and 91 table games. Seneca Niagara Casino is Open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The casino has a buffet, steakhouse, Italian and Japanese restaurants.

Approaching the Falls

Nearing the falls, from below, on a chartered boat is legal. Many boat tour companies exist and offer a variety of viewing opportunities. You can take a trip that visits all the major portions of the falls and then gets close up to the heart of Horseshoe Falls. It also offers a night trip where you can watch the fireworks over the falls, weather permitting. That trip offers a music, a bar and snacks, as well.

You can even go behind the falls. It’s as close to the falls as you can get. You ride an elevator down 150 feet through the bedrock to tunnels that go to a couple of portals. You end up one-third of the way behind the massive wall of water falling from Horseshoe Falls. During the spring and summer, you even get a biodegradable poncho to keep you dry from the all the spray. The mist freezes over in the winter so the observation decks have to be shut down for the safety of visitors. The ice is too slippery.

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4 Tips for Getting your Website Noticed

Posted By: on March 9, 2015

If you have an online business, you will need to make an effort to get the customers you want. Therefore, it’s important to find effective methods to help drive traffic to your site. This can take some time to accomplish and specific knowledge of what you should do. Knowing tips to help get the needed attention to your website can aid in your online success. 

Tip #1: Create Content

Content is king when you want to attract people to your website. However, you must create high-quality articles and blogs that keep this individual’s attention.

One way to do this is to become an expert in your field. Know your product or service inside and out in order to give your potential customer the answers to any questions that may be asked immediately.

Additionally, consider creating an outline for your content before beginning the writing process. This may help it go faster and can allow you to brainstorm for good content.

Tip #2: Add Links

One effective way to get people to land on your page is by adding links to your content. You may want to do this at the end of any articles or blogs that you write with a call to action. This works to encourage readers to buy what you have for sale and it is effective.

Tip #3: Use Keywords

The placement of specific keywords throughout any of your content will help you gain potential customers. These should be thought out in advance, and it is important for you to conduct some research to help you use the most effective ones.

There is a variety of tools online that can help pinpoint the best keyword phrases for you to use. For instance, if you sell jewelry, you could use the types of jewelry you sell, such as earrings, necklaces as keywords. Additionally, if you offer brand names, you can add these to your phrases, as well.

Tip #4: Use Social Media

These days you have a lot of options when it comes to advertising your website. You should consider creating various social media accounts at some of the largest media outlets and advertise your business.

It is important to be consistent with your updates or tweets to help you get and maintain the necessary amount of traffic that you need for online success.

It is not difficult to increase the amount of exposure your website has, but it will take time and effort. Consider creating a plan that you can stick with on a regular basis that outlines the amount of online marketing that is required for you to have consistent success.

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Make Your Kitchen Really Cook: 3 Tips for Increasing Your Home’s Value

Posted By: on March 7, 2015

home value

Ready to rehash your kitchen to drive up the value of your house?  Kitchens are really the heart of any home, and to improve the value of the entire house, you need to start in the kitchen. It doesn’t have to be expensive or take forever, either. Just follow the three tips listed below.

Remodel on a Mini-Scale

It might sound silly, but simply giving your kitchen a fresh coat of paint will spunk up the space. It is one of the least expensive changes you can make to the area. Plus, there’s something magic about new paint. It makes the space seem completely refreshed. If you need help picking a good color, go to the home improvement store and ask. You can also look through home improvement magazines for suggestions. You might even want to pick up a fashion magazine. The colors that are trending in fashion often transfer over to home decor.

Additionally, you can paint your cabinets or create a faux-finish on them. If you have a little more money, you could even order new doors from a home improvement store and hang them yourself. These changes will save you tons of money as compared to actually replacing the cabinets.

Adding a splash of color by putting a new tile backsplash up will definitely impress. Sometimes that one pop of color will be all the room needs to look brand new. Plus, if you have had any water issues from the faucet, you can quickly address those while replacing the backsplash.

Perk up Your Appliances

It really isn’t a secret that people like matched sets. So, if you have a white refrigerator, a black oven and a stainless dishwasher, you may want to rectify that situation. That doesn’t mean you have to get new appliances. You can order new doors or face panels for them. Sometimes, in the case of dishwashers, you can take the existing face off and turn it around. Many are black on one side and white on the other.

Stainless has been the trend in appliances for many seasons. Bear in mind, if you should opt for stainless, that it shows fingerprints and smears like no other. Special cleaners for stainless help with this, but if you have children or a particularly messy grown-up living in your home, you may want to forgo the stainless.

Clear That Old Counter

Replacing old laminate or tile counters used to take forever and cost an arm and a leg. Lots of new counter products exist and some companies can complete the transformation in just one day. You don’t have to deal with contractors and dust and noise for endless weeks. Plus, you budget doesn’t have to get decimated. And, as a plus, if you’d like counters made of something eco-friendly (which by the way, really raises your property value these days), you have a wide variety of options available. There’s concrete and recycled glass. There’s bamboo, even. There are plenty of options.

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4 Reasons To Increase Broadband Speeds

Posted By: on February 20, 2015

internet speed

Net neutrality is an idea that, although it has been championed for decades, was given its current form only in the early 2000s by a Columbia University law professor. In short form, it simply states that everyone should have equal access to the information highway, and not be subject to limitations that would otherwise be imposed by class or other situation.

The Federal Communications Commission has always been behind this one hundred percent, and has recently submitted a codified proposal for precisely this kind of open Internet, with the help of Internet service providers. In the coming months, the ramifications of this will become clear, but there are already some very good reasons why an increase in broadband speeds benefits consumers tremendously.

  1. To Become Competitive with Other Nations

According to Fabián E. Bustamante, a professor of computer science at Northwestern University, the United States is currently not competitive with first-world places like London and Paris when it comes to broadband availability in the 25-50 Mbps range. The service is available; but at over double – in some cases, almost triple – the prices paid by the French and English populations. Primarily, households with an income double the national average enjoy true net neutrality with broadband Internet at these elevated bandwidths.

  1. Open the Way for Innovation

Some of the most successful tech inventions and start-ups owe their success to the principles of net neutrality. Facebook, for example, was started by a young college student at Harvard, and much of the access he needed would not have been possible with low bandwidth and other restrictions associated with a sub-par Internet connection. Even now, there’s certainly a child somewhere in the nation with an idea that may revolutionize the way people interact online, and he or she will benefit from adequate broadband speeds.

  1. Maximizing Business Performance

Slow connection speeds reduce the effectiveness of any business that’s reliant on technology – which is all of them. If employees have to compete for fast broadband services, then productivity and efficiency decrease. The more employees there are, vying for time on the same network, then the more important a robust delivery service becomes.

In fact, having this at the office encourages employees to implement broadband services at home – so they can enjoy the same level of productivity. Quite a few businesses set up resources for their employees to work at home; in fact, many prefer to do so on sick days, or even just to get ahead.

  1. Reducing the Loads

Another reality that businesses are dealing with is the sheer availability of devices that connect to the Internet. A single person might have three or four different Internet-enabled mobile devices; these draw resources from the network and can slow it down if many people are using their devices at once. The list is growing ever larger; from tablets, notebooks, e-readers, Smartphones and even digital computer wrist-watches. At any moment, several people could be on several of these devices at once, which will ultimately tax the system and slow down the network. Higher broadband speeds delivers performance across all fields, and Internet service providers are working in conjunction with the FCC’s new rules to deliver optimal performance comparable to European nations.


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