Monthly Archives: March 2012
It has been said that you should always do what you love and the money will follow. Most people would likely scoff at that statement and the merits of its reality. Some people, however, have found a way to combine their passion for life with the need for money in their bank accounts. The Internet has made it possible for even the most obscure artists and talents to find an audience, making a creative career more possible than ever. Here are a few DIY careers that seem to have found their money-making niche.
- Jewelry Designers. Whether these artists braid hemp or weld bracelets from pure gold, jewelry makers have a strong presence in the world of DIY careers. The most savvy designers use jewelry store software to track their orders, inventory, and earnings. This software can even be specialized to be specific metal or bead inventory software. Balancing the creative design instinct with smart business decisions ensures that these creators have what it takes to make a living doing what they love.
- Photographers. People who take pictures based on their gut and not on the whims of a customer are able to sell that art more readily than in the past. Photographers can post their work on their websites and social media networks, sell it and ship it from their studio to the customer. The chances of finding someone who appreciates the artistic value of a particular photo greatly increases with the exponential power of the Internet.
- Clothing designers. Everything from baby onesies to wedding gowns can be found and purchased online. Clothing designers no longer need to wait for approval from a big-name company in order to market their goods. Joining online communities that promote clothing designers is an inexpensive and smart way for an individual to get the word out about their items. You never know what the next big trend could be, and if you are lucky enough to go viral, it could be your design.
Taking advantage of the numerous online outlets for creative DIY careers, implementing smart tools like jewelry business software and adding in some good old-fashioned sweat and determination can transform any creative hobby into a living. Remember to be original. No one wants to buy something that they have already seen on a hundred different websites. Nobody else can be you, so use that to your advantage and stay true to where your heart leads your work life.
Spring break is always a welcome time of year–especially if you live somewhere with harsh winters. Most people think of sun, sand, and the beach when they think about spring break, but more and more people are forgoing the traditional route for something more creative. Here are four amazing destinations that bust out of the spring break mold.
- Rome, Italy. This spot is not just for those with a penchant for ancient history. Parts of Rome have a hopping night life and boast some of the world’s best restaurants. It is easy to park your car at the San Francisco International Airport parking lot, hop a plane and dream about how you plan to make your own little history as you cross the ocean.
- The Grand Canyon. Who says that spring break has to be about laying around? You can find plenty to do on a vacation to the Grand Canyon, including rafting, hiking, camping, and cycling. You may find that you come back from your time off even more refreshed as a result of all the physical activity in the great outdoors. If you live in the Los Angeles area, you can find a quick flight to the Grand Canyon. From the time you park your car at LAX Airport parking and land at any number of nearby airports, only a few hours will have passed.
- The Agawa Canyon Train Tour. If you enjoy the outdoors but would rather watch it than be an active participant, the Agawa Canyon Train Tour in Ontario, Canada is for you. It is a one-day wilderness trek through the winding woods, lakes, and rivers just north of Sault Ste Marie that will take your breath away. There are stops along the ride and several photo opportunities along the way. Plan to keep your car in SJC long-term parking and head over to Niagra Falls for a few days too.
- The Cayman Islands. Okay, so I would not feel right about a spring break post without at least one beach destination in the mix. The Cayman Islands are known for their sophisticated yet laid-back feel and are a popular spot for vacationers of all ages. Be sure to try some world-famous Cayman Island hot sauce during your stay and pick up a bag or two of Cayman Island taffy to take home to your jealous friends and colleagues.
People who travel a lot seem to have the whole process down to a science. They can usually maneuver their way around an airport without breaking a sweat, stopping for a coffee before boarding a plane and sending out a few emails with the airport Wi-Fi at the gate. If you do not travel much, making it through an airport in one piece may seem a daunting task. Make it easier on yourself by following these simple rules for airport etiquette.
Allow yourself plenty of time. If you are flying out of San Francisco, for example, arrive at the SFO airport parking lots long before your departure time. Wait patiently for a shuttle and be sure to let people with more luggage on first. If there is a family on board the shuttle or someone who is elderly, always offer open seats to them first.
Park with your safety in mind. If you plan to be out of town for several days, be sure that you take out anything that may be valuable or even look valuable. Let’s say that you plan to park in the Oakland airport long term parking lots. Keep in mind that these are further away from the airport than other lots and anyone who wants to prey on vehicles is aware of this. Take a few extra minutes to thief-proof your car and do not tempt anyone to break into your vehicle. This rule applies everywhere–from Chicago’s Midway airport parking to SJC parking in San Jose.
Get organized. Know exactly where your boarding pass is located, your ID, your money, and anything else that you will need as you make it from the curbside to your gate at the airport. This will help the check-in process for not only yourself, but for everyone else around you. If it helps, make a list of what you need handy ahead of time.
Keep an even keel. Even if you feel like you are way behind schedule, panicking will not help. Keep moving forward and do your best to get where you need to be at the right time. Harping about how long the security line is or belittling airport employees will not help your cause and will make you look like a jerk. Nobody else wants to stand in line either and for all you know, someone else might be even more behind schedule than you. Keep other people in mind as you head towards your destination.
There are literally hundreds of details that go into planning a wedding.
From flowers to wedding cake toppers, your big day should be all about you and what your new life represents. Here is a list of ten wedding must-haves for anyone who wants to do it right.
- Thoughtful invitations. Who says you need to go the traditional route? Wedding invitations are now as varied as the couples who purchase them. Shop around until you find one that sends the right message about you.
- Fun favors for the guests. Give guests a little something that they will actually want to keep and use, instead of a favor that ends up in a junk drawer somewhere. Think of your audience and pick out personalized gifts that they will love.
- Cupcakes. One of the hottest wedding trends is having several flavors of cupcakes available to guests, and a small cake for the couple to cut. Put the money you save from a big wedding cake into custom wedding cake toppers instead.
- Live music. Maybe you do not have the money for a full-scale band. Find a friend who will play or sing a song during your first dance or as you walk down the aisle. Adding the personal touch of music heightens the mood of the event.
- The right photographer. If you are going to invest some extra money somewhere in your wedding budget, the photographer is the place to do it. Unlike flowers and cake that will soon be thrown out, your photographs will last a lifetime. If you have a friend who has a knack for taking pictures, ask him or her to do it for you as a wedding gift.
- A creative guestbook. Do not just have guests sign in a book. Use a large matted frame and permanent markers or a piece of ceramic to have guests sign.
- Good food. This can mean ordering a few custom pizzas from a place in town or serving a five-course dinner. Guests will be happier if they eat something they like, and enough of it.
- A slide show. Dig out those boxes of old baby pictures and the one from your first date. Guests love to see the progression of both lives and how they intersected in matrimony.
- Cute kids. Do not underestimate the level of fun that having a few little ones in your wedding party can bring. They are usually the first ones on the dance floor and are the most enthusiastic about the whole event.
Caring properly for your skin is one of the most important steps toward total health that you can take. The things that we do to our skin affect our overall well-being and can have lasting effects, even if we cannot see the damage that some everyday activities cause.
Whether you take care of your skin at a Beverly Hills spa or in your own bathroom, there are some tips that you should follow to keep your skin looking fresh and healthy.
Hydrate. It is so extremely important to be sure that you drink enough fluids–especially water. Steer clear of caffeine as it has a reverse effect on the water that you take in. A good tip is to always keep a full bottle or glass of water next to you at all times. This will encourage you to pick it up and take a sip, even if you do not feel especially thirsty. To know how much you should be drinking, take your weight and divide it in half. That number, in ounces, is the amount of water that you need. If you are not sure if you are taking in enough water in a day, measure your intake for a few days.
Cover Up. The warmth of the sun on your face may be one of your favorite sensations, but it can also be doing more damage than good. Use a strong sunscreen, even if you do not plan to be outside much that day. Even cloudy skies can emit harmful rays that can leave your skin irritated in the short term and damaged in the long term. Wear a hat when possible, too. If you already have damage from the sun, procedures like skin laser treatment are becoming more affordable and accessible. If you have had a similar procedure done, you need to be even more vigilant in keep your skin safe from the sun and surrounding environment.
Keep It Clean. Many of the natural oils found in skin are healthy and you should take care not to scrub them all away. Get a professional consultation on the types of cleansers you should be using based on your skin type and tendencies. Many companies can provide information that is helpful with acne treatment, excess oil, and chronically dry skin. By knowing exactly what type of skin you have, you can make better choices about how to keep it healthy.
Team sports are a great way to improve technique, cardio health, and overall fitness. Athletes who participate in team sports know the benefits and often incorporate them in their personal fitness routine whether they are participating in their sport or doing a solo workout in the gym.
Here are five fitness tips that cheerleaders implement that can help anyone on a quest to improve his or her own workout routine.
- Dress the part. What you wear when you are working out really does make a difference in your overall performance. Cheerleaders wear specially designed cheer gear in order to take their sport to the next level and you should put the same thought into what you put on before you head to the gym, hit the street, or roll out the yoga mat in your living room. If what you’re wearing is comfortable and you feel good in it, you’ll get a confidence boost to go the extra mile.
- Cross train. Cheerleaders know the importance of shedding the cheer uniforms from time to time in favor of a pair of running shorts or yoga pants. If your goal is to run a 5k race, you should be doing more than simply running. Improving your core muscles and adding stretching to your schedule will not only make you a faster runner, but will improve your overall physical fitness.
- Exercise your diaphragm. In other words, breathe better. Cheerleaders use their stomach muscles to yell and cheer and it contributes to overall cardio health. Maybe you do not feel comfortable shouting as you jog in your neighborhood, but be sure to practice proper breathing techniques at all times. Think in through the nose, out through the mouth. During any level of strength or cardio training, you should be very mindful of your breathing. Those muscles need oxygen!
- Work out with a friend. It just would not look right to see a cheerleader shaking a pair of pom poms solo. Cheerleaders practice their sport in groups and so should you. Having a workout buddy will not only make the experience more enjoyable but will keep both of you accountable.
- Get excited. Cheerleaders do not lack enthusiasm and you should follow their lead. Approach your workout like the fun event that it should be and you will find that it is easier to complete. Find sports and activities that are a natural fit for you. There is no shortage of fitness options for those who are serious about getting in shape.
Laptop computers have made it easy for consumers to literally take their lives with them wherever they go. Whether you use a laptop for business or pleasure, the convenience that comes with being able to open it up anywhere and access your files, photos, and the Internet is a modern commodity.
While most places that you take your laptop will have electrical outlets, it is nice to have the option to be “unplugged” for a few hours. The strength of a laptop battery affects your productivity and, in some cases, it affects your level of professionalism.
Laptop battery life varies depending on the type, age, and capacity of your model. You may have noticed that the length your battery lasts seems to decrease fairly quickly after you buy it. Whether you have an Apple laptop battery or a PC brand, the more wear you place on the battery, the faster it begins to go downhill.
Dell laptop batteries are one of the most common brands in use and deserve some attention from their owners in order to keep long lasting charges and live a long life.
Here are four easy tips to help keep your laptop battery functioning at its highest potential and to keep you from searching for the nearest electrical outlet more than you would like.
- Let your battery run a full cycle. Resist the urge to constantly plug in your laptop when the battery is half-drained. You should let the battery run until it is nearly dead once a week.
- Close out excess programs. Unless you truly need all ten of those programs you have open on your laptop, close some of them out until you need them again. There is no reason to waste perfectly good battery life on things that you do not need at that moment.
- Let your laptop hibernate. If you walk away from your computer, even for a few minutes, let it rest. The amount of energy that you save just by letting your laptop take a little nap adds up and will keep your battery running more efficiently over time.
- Keep your laptop clean and cool. Be sure that you clean the outlets on a regular basis and do not let your laptop overheat. You can purchase fans or cooling stations that are especially designed for laptops and special cloths that will not damage the outlets on your brand.
As in any sport, cheerleaders need to “look the part” in order to be successful. Cheerleading clothes that are just right for practice and competition are vital to a squad’s success. Functionality and team spirit need to combine in order to give a squad an advantage in competition. Soffe shorts are popular across the sport for their simplicity, flexibility in design, and comfort in wear. The beauty of Soffe shorts is their ability to be worn by any and every body type and the way that they provide a neutral background for any creative design ideas.
Looking professional does not just apply to what is worn on the body. The apparel chosen for feet is also a vital part of any championship look. Nike cheer shoes are a leader in the industry and provide the proven support of Nike while offering a lot of style options that adjust to any team’s fashion sense. Be sure to put the proper amount of thought into whatever brand is chosen to ensure that it contributes to the overall look of the squad and provides the right support for the high level of physical activity that cheerleading demands.
What is worn on the outside is only part of a successful cheer squad. Determination, enthusiasm, and practice, practice, practice are also incredibly vital on the road to a championship appearance and win. More than other sports, cheerleading requires happiness in every moment–even the very difficult ones. Championship squads realize the impact of attitude on their overall success and put it into practice both on and off the cheer floor. Combining the right attitude with the right look goes a long way toward dreams of a championship appearance and helps the best squads make it to the very top.
The cocktail dress is known as the flirty way to be fancy. With just enough fashion forwardness to be considered edgy but enough foundational fashion to be considered a standard, cocktail dresses are a winning choice for anyone who has an occasion to dress up.
Though there are literally thousands of occasions where cocktail dresses are appropriate, I’ve put together a list of the Top 5 places you should consider wearing one. Here they are, in descending order:
5. Office Party. Who says that your job has to be all work and no play? Shed your regular office attire and show up to your next shindig in a sexy cocktail dress that is sure to make your colleagues’ heads turn. What better way to show off your fun personality than through fashion? I personally like Tony Bowls cocktail dresses for the office party scene because you can find a unique style that fits your after-hours personality.
4. Anniversary Dinner. So you’ve been married for… how many years now? Make him take a second look at you by going to that special dinner in a cocktail dress. Make him remember the reason that he married you and look even better than you did on your wedding day in the process.
3. Night On The Town. Whether you are vacationing or just letting loose for a night in your own area, finding the right cocktail dress will give your party-girl confidence a boost. If you are going out as an escape from the constraints of your everyday reality, buy something that is a little bit outside of your comfort zone in style, fit, or color. It is funny how a piece of clothing can make you feel like a totally different person, but it can and should from time to time.
2. Prom. Forget the floor-length prom dresses of the past and show up to your high school’s event in a cocktail dress instead. There are many affordable and youthful options available, including Tony Bowls dresses, and you can do some online comparison shopping to find the best deal. Be on the cutting edge at prom with a memorable cocktail dress.
1. Wedding. Whether you are a guest, a bridesmaid, or even the bride–there is a cocktail dress out there for you. Shorter dresses are not limited to spring and summer events anymore, especially if it is a destination wedding. Shake up tradition and actually have fun with your look by wearing a cocktail dress on the big day.