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Gift Ideas to Make the Holiday Special

Posted By: on October 31, 2014

Gift graphic

There is something very special about spreading holiday cheer and watching loved ones light up with joy as they receive your gift. Giving a gift is a way to show the important people in your life how important they are to you.

The best gift is a personalized gift. One that shows the receiver that you were thinking specifically of them when you made the purchase. Follow these ideas to ensure that you are giving the perfect gift each time.

Make a Homemade Gift

Homemade gifts are the perfect way to show that you care. Everyone loves delicious Christmas cookies. Try wrapping them up to make them extra gift-able. Or, you can get creative and give your friends and family homemade pasta, infused olive oil, or home-brewed beer!

Plus, homemade gifts can be non-edible as well. Put your favorite picture in a frame or create a scrapbook for your loved one to enjoy for years to come. You can make an ornament for your family to hang on their tree each year.

Give a Memorable Photo Gift

Photo gifts are a simple way to make any one feel special. For starters, you can give a memorable photo to everyone on your list by sending photo holiday cards! But, the gifts do not have to stop there. You can create photo books, calendars, or large prints to give. You can even put photos on blankets, coffee mugs, playing cards, or just about anything else!

Gift a Memorable Experience

We remember our experiences in life far more than we remember the things in our life. So, this year, spend your holiday money on time spent with your loved ones. This could include a dinner to their favorite restaurant or tickets to their favorite play.

You could even plan a get-away as a gift. Try booking a charming bed and breakfast for that special someone in your life. Or, give your children a weekend at their favorite amusement park. These gifts are experiences that will last a lifetime.

Give to Charity in Your Loved One’s Name

During the holidays, there are many people in need. Your loved ones will feel important when you give a gift to charity in their name. You can gift to a charity that has a particular significance to them. Perhaps this means gifting to a charity that researches a disease they have overcome. Or, you could gift to a local church or food-drive.

You could also gift to those in underdeveloped countries. Purchasing a goat for a family in Africa or providing cleft palette surgery, can be lifesaving gestures. Your loved one will feel special knowing that their gift has made such a difference in someone’s life.

Give the Gift of Time

Everyone feels that they need more time in the day. Considering gifting in a way that provides more time to your loved ones. This could include babysitting their children for a day or hiring a maid service to clean their home. The most important part is that you require them to do something enjoyable during this new found time!

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4 Best Foods When Legally Smoking Cannabis

Posted By: on October 31, 2014

Everyone has their go-to munchies snacks whether it’s Taco Bell, you’re a strict vegetarian only when you’re smoking, or that’s when your sweet tooth hits. However, try branching out and even playing it a little healthier the next time you light up. It’s about more than just taste: Smell, textures and the aesthetics of your food are highlighted when you’re indulging in a toke. If you haven’t experimented, you might be missing out on re-discovering some of your favorite foods.

There are many places in the US where it’s perfectly legal to use cannabis for medical purposes as well as recreational uses. If you’ve been prescribed cannabis as a means of keeping food down during a treatment such as chemotherapy, it’s even more important to make each meal enjoyable. Consider some of these tried and tested healthy treats that are very cannabis-friendly:

  1. Bananas

The creaminess of bananas, their sweetness and of course the joy of peeling them are all heightened when smoking. In fact, there are a number of fruits such as peaches and grapes that you might not appreciate as sensual during your non-smoking meals. The next time you load up on munchies, spend some time in the product aisle.

  1. Granola with almond milk

Do you normally reach for sugary cereals you ate as a kid when smoking? Try loading up on sweet granola instead, such as Whole Foods’ famous flaxseed granola. Pair it with almond milk for a lower calorie and lactose-free treat. Once you experience the complexities of this breakfast at any time, you’ll never crave Froot Loops again.

  1. Fresh squeezed, pulpy orange juice

Juices are notoriously not as healthy as fruits because you’re missing out on fiber, but that’s not the case if you go for extra pulp. Squeeze the oranges yourself, put them in the freezer for 30 minutes, and enjoy a sweet, fiber-rich slushie of a treat. It trumps cola-riddles slurpees and satisfies your sweet tooth.

  1. Pita and hummus

If you regularly crave dips and chips when smoking, try swapping them out for whole wheat pita and hummus. It gives you the dipping vehicle you crave, saltiness, a little sweetness and depending on how much tahini is included just the right amount of tartness.

Plan wisely and discover how more natural, filling and wholesome foods might satisfy your cravings. There’s no rule that a smoke-induced munchies fest has to be bad for you.

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TopCultured Legends

How Mobile Phones Are Becoming The New Credit Card

Posted By: on July 24, 2011

  It is a distinct possibility that you will no longer use the credit cards in your wallet this time next year. Sure, you’ll be keeping them just in case as that’s what credit card Read On »

5 Cool Tech Gadgets for Corporate Professionals-Turned-Farmers

Posted By: on September 24, 2013

During the 2013 Superbowl, Dodge Ram aired a commercial about when “God made a farmer” to do the hard and grueling tasks of the world. It was based on a speech by Paul Harvey in Read On »

Catch of the Day

Posted By: on June 23, 2010

Fresh from the docks, a whole load of crap…and what a price too. With those savings you can eat crap for every meal. If this is their special, it makes me wonder about their less Read On »

How IASbet Could Change the Way You Place Sports Bets Online

Posted By: on October 31, 2014

There are several new and exciting opportunities to bet on sports in Australia. Thanks to IASbet and its recent merger with Sportsbet, a leading Australian bookmaker, those of you who are interested in online sports betting have more options to spend your money and win some extra cash. If you play your cards right and take advantage of every promotional offer available to you, you can even earn free bets that will help you get the most play for your money. Keep reading to find out how you could start making free bets and winning today.

How Does Online Betting Work?

According to Australian government gambling statistics show there are many ways to wager your money these days, from betting on races to lotteries to online casino games. Online sports betting has become more and more popular as well, allowing people to wager a couple of dollars and spice up the experience of watching sports with the possibility of winning a little extra money.

IASbet helps get you in on the fun as quickly as possible. In fact, when you register an account and place your first bet, you’ll be automatically credited with up to $250 of free bets.

How Free Bets Could Change the Way You Play

Free bets? It might sound too good to be true, but it’s beneficial for everyone involved. The betting site or bookkeeper offers you a credit of money to spend on bets in exchange for your putting forth your money for an initial bet. The odds of winning in a traditional casino are slim, and it’s common knowledge that “the house always wins.” That said, if you place your bets wisely and take advantage of matching “free bet” offers, you increase your chances of winning big and don’t have to spend all your own money to do it.

The more you play, the better the casino or bookkeeper fares. Offering you free bets to keep you playing is a no-brainer for them, but it makes sense for you too. Gambling can be risky, and it’s all too easy to bet more than you meant and wind up taking a loss. Betting with free bets, however, is much less of a risk on your part. Taking advantage of free bet offers helps you gamble responsibly.

How IASbet Works

These bookmakers offer customers a chance to make a free bet or earn bonus cash for registering an account. You may be able to earn much as $250 in free bets, depending on how much you put forward; the bookmaker will match that money dollar for dollar.

There are many ways to place wagers through Australian bookmakers like IASbet. You can place bets with a credit card, bank check, wire transfer and more. IASbet is designed to allow you to place bets on your favorite sports effortlessly. Just because IASbet is an Australian bookmaker doesn’t mean you’ll only be able to bet on Australian sports and teams. You’ll have the opportunity to place wagers on everything from American football to hockey, cricket, baseball and horse racing, among many more choices. You can even bet in US dollars or Australian dollars!

Wagering has gotten easier and more affordable thanks to free bet offers and IASbet. Bet responsibly, take advantage of offers of free money, and have fun!

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Vitamin D Deficiency and Cognitive Impairment

Posted By: on October 29, 2014


Healthcare providers report that for a vast variety of reasons, people over the age of 65 may not receive adequate nutrition. Many are deficient in one or more vitamins or minerals, which may lead to or contribute to the severity of different medical conditions. Recently, an international team performed research at the University of Exeter Medical School concerning a possible correlation between vitamin D deficiencies and cardiovascular diseases in the elderly population.

Unexpected Results

During the study, team members from multiple universities followed 1,658 healthy adults for six years. All of the participants were over the age of 65. When the program began, none of the subjects exhibited musculoskeletal problems, cardiovascular diseases or cognitive disabilities. The scientists were curious to learn which volunteers might develop Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

By the end of the six years, the scientists were surprised to learn that the adults who demonstrated a moderate deficiency of vitamin D had a 53 percent higher risk of developing cognitive disorders. Moderate deficiencies also indicated a 69 percent higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s. The percentage for cognitive impairment rose dramatically to 125 percent for the people exhibiting a severe vitamin D deficiency. Similarly, Alzheimer’s risk rose to 122 percent. The team also learned that adults required higher maintenance levels of the vitamin than was previously believed.

More Research Planned

Though the researchers expected some correlation, the final results were two time higher than initially anticipated. Scientists shared that especially during summer months, being outdoors and exposing the skin to the sun for a mere 15 minutes was an adequate amount of time for the body to initiate vitamin D formation. Nonetheless, in many areas of the world, ultraviolet B rays are not emitted in quantities that are sufficient at varying times throughout the year. Consuming oily fish or taking oral supplements are also typical options.

However, researchers believe that further testing is needed before studies might demonstrate that elevating the vitamin levels in those who suffer from a deficiency may prevent dementia or other cognitive problems. At the moment, scientists cannot say that low vitamin D levels cause poor brain health. But the team is encouraged that their research might someday benefit many elderly people.

Up to one billion people may suffer from vitamin D or other deficiencies.

Dementia Statistics

Cognitive disorders affect approximately 44 million people to varying degrees worldwide. Some believe this number will triple in the next four decades with the number of people expected to reach or exceed the age of 65. Dementia is not considered a disorder that develops as part of the natural aging process. In the United States alone, cognitive disorders cost an estimated $604 billion annually in relation to the necessity of personal and healthcare.

Whether friends, family members or professionals care for someone diagnosed with having dementia, the disorders causes emotional, economic and physical stress. Proper care and support of these patients typically requires a network of people from various factions of a community. More education, awareness and research are needed.

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Fall Trends in Men’s and Women’s Fashions

Posted By: on October 28, 2014

In a world where many aspects of our lives are under close scrutiny, from how we look, to what we wear, to when we wear it, being the first to know in the fashion world is more of a lifestyle than a hobby. This article will shed some light on some must buy attire for this season.

Desk to Dinner Dresses

The first suggestion here really is a great piece. Anne Klein’s women’s sleeveless directional stripe sheath dress. In a light charcoal color, this is a great structural career dress, that should be on your shopping list this fall. This could be worn to your first dinner at your in-laws after a mad rush beating traffic and would still look great and fresh. It’s also easy to wear, so take note.

Another great addition is Rebecca Minkoff’s dress, a masterpiece indeed. This stunning piece in it’s oxblood shade retails at $400 at Amazon. It has a pleated front with a leather v neck. This is a must buy item if you want something that works great for work parties.

Suits and Blazers

For men we have the Politix Gregory suit, the latest in trending wear among the top, young and elite businessmen. This goes for about $400. It has a perfect fit to it and a nice Italian ring to its style. It comes in dark blue, cream white and black.

From Burtons menswear, their latest trending piece, is the sharp and bold Tonic Tailored Fit Suit. This is a must have if you are planning to attend business meetings with top managers.

Finally, at the top of the list of suits, is the Uber Stone’s Marcos Suit. It’s flashy and makes a bold statement about your personality. This is a must have this fall. It retails for $560. Colors are dark blue, eggshell and black.


Starting with the women’s collection, one of the latest designs is the Fossil Women’s stainless steel watch that retails for $61 and has a metallic silver look to it. It is trendy and of course it is a must have for business partners.

Finally, the Raymond Weil Noemia gold watch is out. A trendy piece; quite common in the luxurious world, and it’s also well known for its precision time keeping. This should be on every lady’s shopping list. It will accent your attire well at any event.

For a classic masculine finish, there is the Montblanc Meisterstuck. This Swiss made pen is a definite wrist sharpener, a must have from the latest collection of men’s accessories, and you can personalize it with an engraving.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre has a sapphire crystal back and costs a whopping $10,455. It is a must have for the rich and has a great Wall Street look to it. Ladies, if you can afford it, this should be your man’s birthday gift. All guys would appreciate such a fine watch no matter how fancy their mobile phone is.

Now that you have the list, it’s time to hit the stores and stock up on the latest fashions. Remember to think about where you are going to put everything. According to WardrobeWorld.com.au, whether you are totally stocked in all of the latest men’s or women’s fashions, you need the perfect storage space to keep them in good condition and readily available.

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Starting a Restaurant? How to Provide a Fine Dining Experience

Posted By: on October 21, 2014


There is more to providing a fine dining experience than great food. Although the menu will be one of the biggest points for bringing in customers, the entire ambience needs to reflect a level of professionalism. This includes everything from the decor to the actual wait staff you hire. The more elevated a customer’s experience is within the atmosphere, the more likely he or she will pay extra money for the sense of luxury dining.

The Wait Staff

Your wait staff needs to be experienced and professional at all times. He or she needs to know the business and how to provide customer satisfaction. This individual should be able to recite the entire menu from memory while suggesting wines and entrees that are available. Nearly every question about dining within your establishment should be answered by your wait staff on the spot.

Utensils and Dishes

Customers that want to experience the higher end of a fine dining experience don’t want to eat off of plastic dishes or use paper napkins. China and linen are your best choices if you want your patrons to come back while telling friends of their experience. The extra expense for fine eatery can go a long way to improving the ambience of the establishment.

Top Shelf Liquor and Wines

Part of the fine dining experience relates to the type of alcoholic beverages you serve. You don’t have to be a connoisseur to recognize a cheap liquor from a more expensive alternative. Patrons will pay a lot of money for wines and liquors that may be unavailable at the local liquor store. If you plan on hosting a wide variety of vintage and high-end wines, you’ll need to make sure your storage facility is well kept and maintaining the right temperature. Fine wine can be delicate and requires specific care in order to maintain its features.

Food Trends and Variable Menus

Some of the more successful high-end restaurants will have alternating menus that can change periodically. This means your chef needs to be able to handle a wide variety of foods. It also wouldn’t hurt to stay connected with food trends regarding your niche. As certain tastes could change in society, you need to have a menu that changes as well. There’s nothing wrong with keeping signature foods that are the specialty of the house, but you may want to provide alterations for it helps prevent customers from becoming bored with the same menu every time they visit. Each experience needs to feel somewhat unique.

Fine dining restaurants have potential to make an incredible amount of money. As long as you provide that unique and classy ambience, your expenses for the extravagance can easily be made back from your sales. If you’re unsure about the kind of decor that would best suit your menu style, it may be in your best interest to hire a professional interior designer to help you. The more of an impact your restaurant has on customers, the more money your business could possibly make.

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3 Ways to Make Your Employees Happier

Posted By: on October 20, 2014

Happy employees are more productive employees, yet “employee happiness” doesn’t usually top the charts of what CEOs are looking for. They’re more likely to list productivity, multi-tasking, low sick days and other more quantifiable habits in what they want from their workers. However, happiness should also be at the core because if your employees aren’t happy, they won’t give you their best work, turnover will be high and ultimately the company will suffer. How can management focus on happiness over things like sales and figures?

Remember that happy workers lead to better results in every part of business. Plus, making employees happier doesn’t need to take a lot of time, money or effort. Something as simple as kickstarting an indoor plant hire might be all it takes, and it will beautify the office, too. Here are a few ways to bolster happiness and, in turn, the business:

  1. Bring in the green

Indoor plants have been shown by researchers to improve the air quality, the happiness of people, productivity, creativity and reduce colds and other illnesses. Basically, plants provide just about everything you’re looking for. All you need is one plant for every ten square yards and you (and your employees) can easily take advantage of countless benefits. Who knew a “green office” taken literally could lead to so many benefits.

  1. Get a little more flexible

Sometimes this isn’t possible for every company or every employee, but most businesses can be a little more flexible without it negatively impacting anything. The simple option to come into the office from 8-5 instead of 9-6 can allow some people to better care for their children or other tasks. As long as everyone is working their requisite hours, able to meet with their colleagues if applicable, and getting the job done, does it matter if they clock in at a slightly different time?

  1. Plan unique team-building outings

Do you go on the same exact retreat every year or gather at the same happy hour spot every Friday? There’s something to be said for tradition, but look around and you’ll notice that it’s the same people attending (or happily attending) every time. These employees are good when it comes to socializing at this spot. Mix it up and cater to your other employees, too.

Happiness can lead to limitless wonderful things for your business. Focus on it first, then sit back and enjoy the results.

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4 Ways the Tech Era is Hindering Your Relationship

Posted By: on October 19, 2014

You’d think in an era where meeting online (hello, Tinder) was the go-to way to kickstart a relationship, people would be a little more adept at communicating. After all, they need to communicate via the written word first, which is romantic at first blush; it’s kind of like courting in the olden days where you wooed your paramour with your words. However, anyone who’s been on an online dating site recently knows that sometimes “wooing” taps out with “sup?” sent by a stranger who will soon ask for inappropriate photos.

No matter how you met, where or how long you’ve been together, you’re probably letting technology get in the way of your relationship (not nurture it). Instead of asking each other questions, you send each other articles you find amusing. You might “chat” so much all day via text or WhatsApp that by the time you see your partner, you have nothing new to share. It might be time to go a little easy on tech and focus more on your in-person relationship. Is technology ruining your love life?

  1. Your phone is your constant companion

Does it matter if you check your Facebook feed while your other half parks the car and you wait at the entrance? What’s the big deal if you check your news app one the commercial break during “your show”? The reality is that you’re showing your partner that your phone is more interesting and important than they are. Plus, the chances of you really only staring at a screen when they’re doing something else is slim to none.

  1. It’s addictive

Smartphones, tablets and other mobile gadgets are addictive and (just like alcohol) everyone has different dependency levels. Just because it’s not illegal and not as frowned upon as some drugs doesn’t mean it’s not hindering your relationship. An addiction is anything that interferes with daily activities, and that includes quality time with your partner.

  1. It’s the bedroom interloper

Do you check your phone one last time before turning, in, find yourself texting a friend instead of getting intimate, or have you actually thought of checking a notification while you were getting frisky? That’s a big sign your priorities are out of whack.

  1. It makes love seem easy

For those that are single, swiping left or right on dating apps is the new happy hour time kill. Maybe you even sit with friends and compare matches. Remember that online dating is one tool of many to find love, so pick your head up from time to time and check out the potential around you.

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3 Signs Your Renter is Your Biggest Relationship Fail

Posted By: on October 15, 2014

If you think romantic relationships are tough, try experiencing a bad relationship between a renter and a landlord. If you’re a landlord, you know how tough it can be to get quality tenants and sometimes those glowing background checks fool you. However, once you’re “committed” in this relationship it can be nearly impossible to get out even if you haven’t received a rent check in month. It all depends on the location of the property and local laws.

Do you suspect your tenant may be a wolf in sheep’s clothing and you’re looking for red flags? Maybe you’re currently trying to fill a vacancy and are skittish after hearing horror stories from your landlord pals. If you’re a landlord for a few years, you’ll get a few juicy stories under your belt but they won’t seem like conversation fodder at the time. Here are a few signs your tenant relationship is going downhill fast:

  1. They keep breaking the rules

Whether you’ve found cigarette stubs a little too close to the property or are convinced you see cat ears poking out of the blinds, a tenant who doesn’t abide by one of your rules is less likely to abide by any of them. However, this can be difficult to spot, and even impossible if you don’t live in the same region as your rental property. This is where a property management company becomes critical.

  1. They stop paying rent

It might be a slow progression, like paying rent later and later each month before coming up with excuses. It might happen out of the blue, and suddenly you’re the one paying the mortgage with no rent and tenants who refuse to leave. The laws for evicting a tenant vary state to state, and in many cases they cater to the tenant and not the landlord. It’s time to get an attorney on your side immediately.

  1. They don’t hold up their maintenance deal

Depending on your lease agreement, your tenants may be responsible for gardening, mowing the lawn or other tasks. However, if they don’t do it up to your standards, it can be difficult to broach the subject. You need to ensure there are black and white guidelines in the lease since “regular mowing” is subjective at best.

You’ll know in your gut when a tenant is a nightmare coming to life. The quicker you act and more legal protect you get, the better off you’ll be.

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How Simple Stretching and Breathing Exercises Can Change Your Life

Posted By: on October 13, 2014

Americans live with a significant amount of stress in their lives. School and work commitments can lead to chronic stress symptoms such as muscular tension, poor cardiovascular health, and even anxiety disorders. Exercise and proper breathing techniques can help you restore balance and improve your overall mood. Here are four ways to take better care of your body with stretching and breathing techniques.

Getting Better Sleep

Chronic stress can take its toll on your sleep cycle, forcing you to wake up sporadically or preventing you from getting to sleep at an adequate hour. You might even develop insomnia as a result of chronic stress. The National Sleep Foundation encourages people to use deep breathing exercises to lull their minds and bodies into a more peaceful state. While you concentrate on your breath, slowly think about relaxing each part of your body, from your toes all the way up to your head. This can help alleviate tension, remove the worries from your mind, and help you get better rest.

Minimize Injury

When people don’t stretch, their ligaments and tissues begin to loose their flexibility. You slowly begin to lose mobility without stretching, since your limbs and joints don’t practice their full range of motion. This is why it is so important for you to warm up and stretch before working out. You can decrease your risk of hyperextending muscles.

Keep Your Temper

When your body enters “fight or flight mode,” your breathing becomes constrained. These stress reaction can be great if you’re facing an emergency, but unfortunately, our modern lifestyles can trigger fight or flight during less stressful situations, such as school responsibilities or driving incidents. If you discover that you’re flying off the handle more often, then break the cycle and try some deep breathing exercises. This can be particularly useful if you experience road rage. Instead of rolling down your window and yelling, take several deep breaths instead and keep your cool.

Physical Coaching

Many people are familiar with basic exercises and stretches, but you can increase your overall physical performance, mobility, and control by exploring Pilates. These guided sessions can help you discover more effective ways to train and avoid injury as you pursue a healthier lifestyle.

Breathing and stretching exercises are vital in your journey toward better health and wellness. Fight away stress, increase your mobility, rest better, and get into shape by using breath and stretching techniques to calm yourself down and increase your flexibility.

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