Full Report

How To Keep Looking Great, Even While Traveling

Posted By: on May 7, 2014
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When it comes to travel, it can be hard to determine which of your favorite outfits you should take with you. If you’re going to be taking photos of yourself while exploring new places, it makes sense that you’d want to look your best. travel

However, if you’re concerned that you won’t have enough room in your luggage to bring back some amazing souvenirs for your family and friends, unless you give up that extra set of shoes to make the space, here are some tips for looking great while traveling.

Arrive in style

If you’ve ever taken a long flight, then you know how frustrating, if not utterly impossible, it can be to have to get dressed up nicely just to sit on a plane for hours. Many people end up wearing sweats or more casual clothing for the flight.

But think about what that means: Once you get to your destination, you’ll have to change out of what you wore on the plane to put on another set of clothing. And if your sweats are baggy, they’ll take up a lot of unnecessary room in your luggage.

To avoid all of this, go ahead and take the trouble to look good while traveling; wear a nice outfit on the plane. You’ll arrive in style and just possibly get through security more quickly, without having to spare much room in your suitcase for an extra set of clothing.

Multifunctional shoes

One of the most difficult aspects of the travel experience may be trying to figure out what shoes you should take. Women may want to take heels, flats, and athletic shoes. Men may decide on business shoes or loafers and a pair of sneakers for the gym.

When you start to add a few different options beyond these, you’ll quickly run out of room in your suitcase. So be sure that you take shoes that are going to be the most accommodating for whatever you plan wear and the activities you expect pursue while on vacation.

If you plan to sightsee and walk around a lot, then you’ll need to have something that’s more comfortable. But if you expect to spend a lot of time in the boardroom and meetings, then a pair of shoes that are more suitable for business will be preferable.

Dress like the locals

One great trick to create room in your suitcase is not to pack one on the way to your destination. It might seem a bit crazy, but you can simply buy local clothing once you get there, instead.

That means you’ll have a few extra souvenirs and plenty of room in your luggage, while also being able to look more like a local at wherever it is that you’re visiting.

No matter where you go, you can look great while traveling. But instead of taking your entire wardrobe with you, consider the foregoing tips to guarantee that you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way, while also remaining stylish.

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How Customer Service Skills Help You Eat Better

Posted By: on May 7, 2014
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Think a waiter is the only possible link between customer service and eating? Think again, because the two realms actually have quite a bit more in common. customerservice

Whether you’ve worked in customer service before or have only been the “customer” in the equation, the next time you’re looking at a meal, consider the following tips to enjoy a better experience. You’ll be surprised at the skill sets you already have.

You know that customer support is the foundation of nearly every business that delivers a product or service. But think about how you receive your food, whether at a fine dining establishment, doughnut shop, or food cart, sets you up for your eating experience.

You deserve great service, but if you don’t get it, you have to prepare mentally to let it go. You can allow this to motivate you to frequent places where the service is good and thereby ensure the best possible experience.

Indulging all the senses

The secret to great customer service is actually listening, not talking. Similarly, the secret to a great meal is enjoying it with senses beyond just your taste buds.

Enjoy the aroma, the ritual of breaking fresh bread or cracking into the surface of a crème brulee, and the company around you. There’s a reason many people believe you shouldn’t eat in front of the TV at any time.

Try enjoying a single square of chocolate with no distractions, and focus solely on the sensations (similar to how a great salesperson focuses solely on the customer).

If you want to provide good customer service, you should avoid any multi-tasking, because it makes the customer feel like he or she is not important. It might be convenient to slurp up that breakfast burrito during your morning commute, but how long does it actually take to sit down and truly enjoy it?

Probably about 15 minutes, if done correctly, and you can even count that as your meditation for the day. (Food meditation is a very real activity.)

Closing the circle

Great customer service is a process that improves over time. After each transaction, the conscientious employee will reflect on the transaction, note what was good and what needs work, and strive to do better the next time.

You’re not always going to choose the healthiest menu option or make time for a leisurely meal. But you can use each experience to grow.

Food service and customer service are closely linked, yet people tend to focus more on how they’re treated at boutiques rather than how they engage in their food experience. Food is both a necessity and a joy. So indulge in that joy.

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TopCultured Legends

Kids Sack Race Fail

Posted By: on August 4, 2010

Prince vs. Yoda, a tale of the tape [City Pages] 14 Obvious Inventions You Could Have Easily Thought Of [Huffington Post] The Music Industry’s Funny Money [The Root] 25 Awesome Fake Playboy Covers [Monofest] Who’s Read On »

The Hottest Ticket in Town the Day After Christmas: Horse Racing with Mobile Phones

Posted By: on December 24, 2011

Every year, people pour into Arcadia, CA, the day after Christmas to be part of one of the most exciting days in horse racing: Opening Day at Santa Anita Park. This year, the 75th winter Read On »

Shitty Poem

Posted By: on December 7, 2010

Well let’s hope that he’s not studying Biology and is pursuing something in writing or poetry. I fear the only thing he’s go going for him is is ability to rhyme and his gift of Read On »

Foster Parent Appreciation

Posted By: on May 7, 2014
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If you think biological and adoptive parents receive too little appreciation from their kids, that can be even more the case for foster parents. It’s human nature for children not to show gratitude (or even understand the notion of it) with regard to their parents.

However, it’s also not that unusual for everyone else to neglect to give it up for parents, as well. Nobody becomes a parent for the glory, of course, but sometimes it’s nice to get a “good job,” a figurative pat on the back, or just recognition that you’ve done a hard job well.

Showing fosters parent a little appreciation can be done any time, but May’s the best time of the year for it, since it’s National Foster Care Month. If you know any foster parents, carve out a little time to let them know you appreciate how much they do.

Something as simple as a kind word, positive Facebook post, or email can seriously brighten someone’s day. Keep in mind how quickly the happiness chain of reaction can spread.

How to show your appreciation

There are many ways to show you appreciate someone, from simply saying so to joining the person for a foster care fundraiser, hobby, or other outing. For some reason, humans are really good at staying mum about things that matter, yet having no difficulty at all with voicing complaints.

It should be the other way around, and why not start it yourself? When’s the last time you let someone know how much you appreciate him or her?

With foster parents, it’s not hard to tick off all the things they do to make the difference in the life of a child. They provide a nurturing environment, share their knowledge and skills, help the child to grow and thrive, and expand a family to make it even better.

That’s an amazing accomplishment, and one that deserves a little recognition. No matter how you happen to know a foster parent, he or she will always remember your kind words and the fact that you took notice.

The power of appreciation

Humans so easily overlook many things they take for granted, from their morning cup of coffee to their foster parent friend whom they could meet for coffee. Look beyond the surface and see what your friends, colleagues, and acquaintances are up to on a daily basis. They might just be changing the world, and you hadn’t noticed.

Even better, opening up a dialogue about foster parenting means you’ll probably learn a thing or two (and possibly hear some fascinating stories). It’s much better material for conversation than the latest reality TV recap.

 

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7 Things Anyone Can Do to Prevent Child Abuse

Posted By: on May 7, 2014
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Child abuse is a devastating tragedy that millions of children across the nation are faced with every day. Fortunately, there are several things people can do to help fight this national disgrace. Seven of the best ways to get involved are described below.

1. Learn the warning signs

Perhaps the most important thing people can do to help prevent child abuse is to learn the warning signs of possible abuse. While some of these may not necessarily indicate abuse, it’s always better to get involved if you notice them occurring.

 

  • Extreme nervousness around adults

  • Aggression toward other children or animals

  • Severe fatigue

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Dramatic changes in behavior and/or activities

  • Low self-esteem and/or poor hygiene

  • Unexplained and/or frequent bruises and/or other injuries

  • Acting out inappropriate sexual behavior

2. Understand who’s at risk

Another thing you can do to help prevent child abuse is learn which children are most at risk of being abused. While child abuse can occur in families of any race or social background, children who possess one or more of the following characteristics are more likely to be abused.

  • Children who are mentally disabled

  • Physically disabled children

  • Premature or unwanted kids

  • Children living in poverty

  • Demanding, stubborn, or inquisitive children

3. Help a parent

Parenting can be an extremely stressful job. Many times, the only thing it takes to prevent child abuse is to offer a little help to parents from time to time.

Even little gestures can mean a great deal to a worn-out mom or dad. A few great ways to help stressed-out parents are:

 

  • Offer to babysit for a few hours

  • Offer to take the kids to and from school

  • Listen to their concerns

  • Invite them to a movie, dinner, or party

  • Cook a meal or two for them

  • Invite their kids for dinner and/or a sleepover

4. Become a foster parent

Although being a foster parent isn’t the easiest job in the world, the rewards from fostering children are too numerous to list. The best reward people gain from becoming foster parents is simply knowing that they’ve helped prepare vulnerable children for a more stable and secure future.

5. Volunteer your time

You can also help parents in your community by volunteering your time to various causes. For example, you can help out in a play group or maybe even start your own. Other things you may wish to consider include volunteering for after-school activities, mentoring programs, or parental education classes.

6. Report suspected abuse

If you think a child is being abused, it’s vital that you report it to your local child protective services agency. Take note of any evidence of abuse and whether or not the child has displayed any of the previously mentioned warning signs. If things just don’t seem right, go ahead and make that call.

7. Spread the word

Finally, spread the word about child abuse by observing Child Abuse Prevention Month. You can accomplish this in various ways, such as flying a Children’s Memorial Flag, distributing information about child abuse prevention, and sharing child abuse prevention information on social media sites.

By enacting one or more of these activities, you can help to put a dent in the nation’s child abuse statistics. When you spread the word, you can encourage others to get involved as well.

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How to Throw a Great Theme Party

Posted By: on May 6, 2014
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Just because you’re no longer five years old or even smugly cruising through your undergraduate years, that doesn’t mean you can’t hold a great theme party. Everyone, regardless of age, likes to dress up, and it provides a better icebreaker than just another dinner or cocktail party.

However, it all starts with the guest list and deciding on the theme. You have different circles of friends, and they’re likely to respond differently to various party themes.

Maybe a mini high-school reunion is on the table, in which case an Arabian Nights theme might hearken back to prom night. For a work colleagues’ get-together, you might want to dress as your favorite literary characters if you work at a bookstore or publishing house.

Tap into what your guests will probably like most, and you’re halfway there.

Themes on a budget

Another approach is to look at what you already have in terms of decorations and design the party around them. If you go too far out on a limb, you might get caught having to reinvent the wheel (or in this case, your decoration stash).

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a potluck or BYOB approach. Guests understand budget restraints. However, this is also a great time to work on your creative chops and start perusing Pinterest or other sites for inspiration.

The right lighting can work wonders, and those extra pillows you have in the closet can make great “seats.” There’s no wrong or right way to host a theme party. Just don’t forget that it’s supposed to be fun.

Rally the troops

Ask your friends to help with set-up and/or any decorations they have that might help. Making it a group effort doesn’t just ease the stress for you; it also helps bring people together outside of the party.

The whole point is to get social, and what better way to do that than with a little pre-party shenanigans?

Absolutely any party can have a theme; all it takes is a look at some of the stellar wedding themes to see the possibilities. You don’t need an excuse for a themed event; all you really need is some inspiration, creativity, and a guest list that brings interesting and exciting people together.

Your theme will provide the excuse people need to get a little kooky and let their inhibitions go out the window. But what really matters (the company, the food, and the effort) is what’s going to ensure this party turns out to be one for the record books.

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Greg

Keeping an Open Web

Posted By: on May 6, 2014
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There are those who want to change how the internet works. They want to make it less accessible to all. Don’t let that happen. Firefox is leading the charge as the only major browser working to protect user privacy. Join them by expressing what kind of web you want at http://mzl.la/1hHyqBq

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How To Dress Your Best, No Matter the Situation

Posted By: on May 6, 2014
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Whether you’re the kind of person who spends the majority of your days in a boardroom, or someone that has all the free time in the world, it’s important to dress for the lifestyle you lead. Everywhere you go, people are going to judge you by the way you dress.

This is certainly going to be true of coworkers and others in your professional life, but just as true of the stranger at the supermarket or gym when you’re on your personal time. If you’re hoping to look your best all the time, below are some tips for dressing to fit your lifestyle.

Sort by importance

When it comes to buying a new wardrobe, this can be quite an investment. However, once you’ve graduated from university sweats and hoodies, it’s necessary for you to be prepared to look great as an adult.

In order to ensure that you spend your clothing investment wisely, you should sort your purchases by importance. For example, if you work in an office and need suits to make you look great, then be sure to put the emphasis for your clothing there.

Once you’ve accomplished that, you can work your way down and select the casual clothes that will make you look good outside of work, and special gym attire for working out. Because if you spend all your money on great-looking clothing that happens to be perfect for places where you won’t need it, you won’t have enough for the situations you will.

Take account of your body type

Part of dressing for your lifestyle also includes dressing for your body type. Your figure can change a lot as you get older and move through the workforce.

It’s entirely possible that the clothes you’ve had for years won’t last you much longer. So be sure that you purchase clothing that looks good on you, and compliment your body type. If you make the mistake of wearing overly baggy outfits or clothes that are too tight, you can bet that people will notice it and judge you for that.

Be ready for anything

Most important, it’s vital that you make yourself ready for any situation that might come up. Whether it’s a business meeting with the CEO of an important firm or a stroll around the lake with someone who could become your significant other, looking great all the time is a desirable goal.

After all, you never know when you’re going to encounter someone who is or could become important to your life. If you aren’t dressed your best, you run the risk that they’ll start having opinions about you that you may not appreciate.

You can look great all of the time. But in order to do so, you may need to ditch that current wardrobe and invest in an array of new outfits. If you do so, you can look great and have clothes that fit you well, no matter where you are.

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How to Find the Best Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Property

Posted By: on May 6, 2014
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Digital Image by Sean Locke Digital Planet Design www.digitalplanetdesign.com

Choosing the right real estate agent or broker is critical if you want to sell your property in a reasonable time, at an acceptable price. This person will be responsible for listing the property, marketing it, and negotiating the sales price.

A top-selling agent may specialize in a specific type of home or price range. If your home doesn’t meet specific criteria, the agent may not be qualified, or interested in selling the property. A real estate agent who’s familiar with the neighborhood and the kinds of homes where your property is located will be much better prepared to sell it.

This person will know how to attract buyers for your home.

Where to find a Realtor

Realtors are relatively easy to locate. There are usually numerous real estate agents and brokers working in a given area. They often send out mailers to residents in the neighborhood where they have recently made a sale.

It makes sense to study these resources, because the Realtor has recent knowledge and experience with homes in your area. The agent may also have a list of potential buyers from previous showings.

You can also locate a realtor through one of the sources listed below.

  • Newspapers

  • Mailers

  • Real estate magazines

  • Search Realtor websites on the Internet

  • Recommendations from friends and family

  • Neighborhood realty signs

What to look for in an agent

There are numerous reasons people choose a particular Realtor. Some people decide to work with an agent simply because the person is someone known to a friend or relative.

In other cases, a prospective home seller may choose the Realtor who proposes the highest listing price for the property This may or may not be wise reason to choose a Realtor.

It’s important to consider whether the real estate professional is being realistic, given comparable sales in the area. If your home is priced substantially higher than its market value, that will discourage potential buyers, and your home will remain on the market longer.

It’s essential to take time to interview a Realtor so you can evaluate his or her communication skills. The Realtor you choose should be someone you have a good rapport with, to avoid conflict at a later date.

He or she should also be proactive and genuinely interested in your home. A good Realtor will ask questions about your house to determine if he or she is really suitable to represent you.

Questions to ask a Realtor

Many Realtors have a presentation that should answer many of your questions. However, you will be able to determine if the Realtor is a good match if you are prepared with a list of questions.

The questions below will help you evaluate a prospective agent’s performance and enable you to determine how effectively he or she communicates.

  • What is your fee?

  • Are you a member of the National Association of Realtors?

  • How many sales have you made in the past year?

  • What is the price range of the homes you’ve sold?

  • How many days were those homes on the market?

  • Do you have a specialty?

  • How will you market my home?

  • How often may I expect to hear from you?

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How Hunting Helps: the Benefits One of Our Oldest Traditions

Posted By: on May 5, 2014
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hunting

We live in a wondrous digital age, surrounded by computers and related technological achievements. It’s certainly a great time to be alive, but it can also be an overstimulating nightmare for people who need to take a break for a while and just unplug by getting back in touch with nature.

One of the best ways to do this is by hunting. It’s an ancient rite of passage that’s been with us since the beginning of (human) time, and it might be just the thing for someone who needs a break from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Hunting is therapeutic

A hunter gets back in touch with nature in a very personal way. He or she is surrounded by the tranquility of an infrequently traveled forest while listening to the wind whip through the trees or the birds chirping playfully.

Hunting can be a therapeutic experience for wounded war veterans who need a way to heal physically and mentally. Those benefits are readily available to non-veterans as well.

Waiting to find prey is a great opportunity for meditation that can be hard to obtain in a world where we’re constantly plugged in.

Hunting helps families bond

Aside from the opportunities for personal introspection, a hunter also has a great opportunity to spend some dedicated time bonding with his or her family. It’s a tradition that almost all ages can enjoy, from grandparents to children.

Some great childhood memories can be generated while you’re out hunting, many pictures will be taken, and many experiences can be shared as everyone comes back with his or her own distinct stories to tell and trophies to show one another.

Hunting for trophies

A popular variation of hunting is trophy hunting. Each trophy acquired and displayed is a new conversation piece that has its own specific and personal story to tell.

A good trophy for stag hunting would be a large set of antlers worth a lot of points, or one that looks completely unique. Regardless of what a hunter personally looks for in a trophy, one of the best things about earning one is the opportunity to bond with other hunters over the story it holds for them.

Stories are great to share and can be a good tool to use when you’re getting to know other people.

Hunting supports conservation

While there are many personal reasons to go hunting, it can also be regarded as a duty. Deer can be a dangerous nuisance for drivers when they cross the road because they’re forced to migrate to less saturated areas.

Overpopulation can cause a tremendous disharmony in the local ecosystem. According to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, collisions with deer kill 200 people and cost 10 billion dollars annually, so imagine what it would be like if there weren’t any hunters at all. Hunters are valuable tools in the delicate balancing act of conservation.

There are plenty of reasons to go out and get started hunting. While it’s important that hobbies should be fun, just remember always to be safe while operating a gun or out in the wilderness.

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How To Create a Steady Income While Building Your Business

Posted By: on May 4, 2014
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When it comes to starting a business, regardless of skill level, especially a small business run by an entrepreneur, the main emphasis is on following through on technical details associated with administration, accounting, marketing and advertising, production, and sales. The belief has been that if you can get these five right, then the business will flourish.

Yet life is not necessarily this simple. By following this formula from MBA programs, you may end up with mixed results: success followed by failure, breakthroughs by breakdowns, and deals that should have closed falling apart at the seams like a cheap suit.

Keep your business alive

Something’s missing, and it’s the cash flow to keep your business on track until it becomes profitable. Covering the technical details and redoubling your efforts are not enough for your business to survive the roller coaster ride of gains and losses.

When you’re starting a company, you may be fortunate enough to have sufficient capital to focus entirely on building the business. You may also be fortunate enough to start a business that sees an immediate cash flow. If you don’t have these advantages, then you may you have to find other ways to maintain a steady income while your business grows in size and scope.

A new business is very much like a child. It has to learn to crawl before it can walk, and it has to master the walk before it can run. During the infancy of your business, you may have to do side work to keep the firm afloat.

This is especially true if your business might involve working from home, perhaps as a freelancer, a consultant, or a website owner. It’s important that this other work be part-time and flexible, so you can concentrate on developing your business.

Three part-time job ideas

If you’re looking for contract jobs while you’re starting a business, you may want to consider the following three ideas:

1. Take a short course in Information Technology. There are short courses you can take that will enable you to develop skills that are in high demand. Once you learn HTML, CSS, and Photoshop, you could generate a steady income designing websites for other people.

2. Become a virtual assistant. You can help other entrepreneurs by using your excellent time-management skills. There are many sites where you can sign up for work to be a virtual assistant.

3. Take photographs. There’s always a need for beautiful and striking images. Photographers can work at big events such as graduation ceremonies or weddings, or they can simply take theme-oriented shots and sell them to websites that market images to website owners who are looking for original graphics.

One reason that people don’t start their own business is that they fear they don’t have enough capital to take care of their living expenses or they assume that the business requires some set-up and marketing time during which there will be zero cash flow.

But with a little creative thinking, it’s possible to keep a steady income while launching a business.

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