Show Your 4th of July Colors with These Unique Decorating Ideas


Waving a flag around is the most common way for people to show their American colors on the 4th of July. I have some ideas, though, that are not the norm and that are sure to turn some heads!
Dye Your Hair
At any hair supply store, Hot Topic, and many other places, you can buy red or blue hair dye. If you are not blonde, do yourself a favor and get some bleach to go with it. There are lots of ways you can do this, whether you just would like one strip of hair, or your whole head done is a special color. I’ve done a lot of them, and here are some pointers: do not skimp on the bleach. It’s going to look terrible if you do. Red bleeds out of your hair a lot, so avoid white shirts and white pillowcases. Also, make sure you use lots of conditioner afterwards (color safe) to make sure that your hair stays healthy. Bleach and dye are not good for it. The best brand I’ve found was Special FX, but Manic Panic isn’t bad, either.

Dress Up Your Car
This is exactly what it looks like. Window decals, stickers, ribbons, or flags will all be displayed while you drive around. Find out if it’s legal in your area first, but many stores also carry little lights that screw onto the valves on your tires, and you can find red and blue ones. Antenna balls are also a fun addition that can be easily removed from your car.

Dress Up Your House
Again, exactly what it looks like. Put up decorations- those Christmas lights might be good for something else! Try ribbon on the stair railings, or other light touches. in the kitchen, make sure you have some nice wooden dinnerware sets to accentuate your table.

Colored Lights
Not just the Christmas lights. At many stores you can get floodlights and outside lights in different colors, including red and blue. If you have multiple outside lights, this can be a neat way to display your colors. If you have a lantern-style outside light that you don’t want to change the bulb in, try using colored cellophane.

Sidewalk Chalk
Especially good for the kids, give them the pink blue and white chalks and let them go to town on the driveway. Don’t let them play in the road though!

Your Yard
Make your yard a field of flags. (It’ll help aerate it!) If you have the time in the spring, plant red white and blue flowers where they’ll be visible. Barring these, you could also try mowing your lawn with a flag design in it- but that’ll take some planning.

Window Treatments
I wrote about some ways to make your own window treatments in another of my articles. It’s a fun, crafty way to decorate the house and show your colors. Curtains aren’t difficult to make, and thrift stores often have older curtains that are very inexpensive that can be dyed.

This one’s more common on Independence Day. Wear blue jeans, and a red or white shirt. It’s not so different from most people’s wardrobes that it’s hard to find the clothes. Most workplaces will allow or even encourage this, but check the policy where you work so that you’re not breaking any rules.

Enjoy your 4th of July and have a safe holiday.

Employee Financial Counseling – a Needed Employee Benefit


It is no secret that people are struggling with their finances. Many people have debts that have overtaken their lives, while others are struggling just to pay their everyday bills. All of these financial problems produce stress and distract employees when they are at work. This leads to mistakes, lower productivity and even employee absenteeism. If you want to help improve your company position then you need to help your employees manage their personal finances. Fortunately, this can generally be done with your in-office staff’s assistance.
Financial Counseling – A Benefit for Employees?

Financial counseling can be a huge benefit for employees at all levels. It can be used to identify retirement savings strategies, it can be used to help find a way to pay off personal debt or it can be used to establish a budget and more appropriate spending behaviors. Financial counseling services can also be used to help employees set financial goals for things like saving for their children’s college education, saving for a house or increasing their net worth to a specific dollar amount.

Who Offers Employee Financial Counseling

Financial counseling services can be offered by a number of different staff members on your payroll. First of all, if you have a financial advisor that works for your company then they will obviously be the first choice. However, personnel managers that are familiar with your company’s retirement savings plans and other financial products can also be utilized as a financial counseling, at least for sessions that relate to retirement planning. If the company offers financial planning services then you can offer your services to your non-financial employees like your administrative staff. Finally, if you don’t have a financial planner or advisor on payroll then you can bring in a financial advisor from a third party company to meet with your employees once a year, once a quarter or once a month.

Setting Up This Benefit

In order to set up this benefit you will need to create a policy. This policy will describe who is eligible for the benefit, what the benefit will include, how the employee will be able to access the benefit, when it is offered and what restrictions will be applied to the benefit. This policy will need to be added to your employee handbook and an enrollment form will need to be generated. When you are ready to implement this benefit you will need to hold a company meeting or at least release a memo that describes the benefit and the benefit’s policy.

Encourage your employees to know more about financial counselling. As a start, you may encourage them to write down their thoughts and dreams in an organizer, like the one I am using from Toad Diaries. I bet it will be beneficial for them.

Five Types of Archery Quivers


Archery quivers are designed to hold your arrows or crossbow bolts. There are different types of quivers that you can use. Some of the most common include solid mount, detachable, and backpack quivers. This article will discuss some of the different types of archery quivers.
Solid Mount

Solid mount archery quivers are designed to attach to your bow permanently. They don’t rattle and cause noise like some other types. This type of quiver is best used in open areas. If you use the archery quivers in more confined areas, your arrows may get caught in the brush. This type of quiver will also affect the balance of your bow, so you may have a hard time shooting accurately.


There are also archery quivers that can be detached from your bow. You will be able to remove the quiver from your bow easily when you get to your treestand. Detachable archery quivers are usually inexpensive and are capable of carrying a lot of weight. However, like solid mount designs, detachable quivers will also affect the balance of your bow whenever they are attached.


There are also archery quivers that are designed to be carried on your back like a backpack ( see post about The PNW Ultralight Backpack). The fletchings of the arrows are typically exposed so that you can retrieve them better. Although backpack archery quivers are suitable for hunting purposes, you won’t be able to sit down in the field with them on your back. You may also have trouble reaching around to your back to retrieve your arrows.


Shoulder archery quivers are the most traditional. However, they are slowly being disregarded as they present a lot of problems for the archer. Shoulder archery quivers make a lot of noise and can easily get caught on brush. Also, you will have to move your hand a lot to retrieve arrows, which may scare your target off.


The final type of quiver is designed to attach to the belt around your waist. They should also be attached to your thigh so they don’t swing around while you walk. Since these archery quivers aren’t attached to the bow, they won’t affect balance. These types of quivers also don’t make as much noise.

These are some of the different types of archery quivers. Detachable designs can easily be removed from your bow whenever you reach your treestand. Archery quivers that mount on your belt won’t affect the balance of your bow and won’t produce as much noise as other designs.

Logitech Squeezebox Duet Digital Audio System – Review


If you have been looking for a way to play your favorite iPod tunes, access your favorite Internet stations such as Rhapsody and Pandora or listen to your downloaded music files, while also being able to play your favorite CDs on one speaker system with immersive sound , the solution has arrived! Now, you will no longer need long cables or extra speakers, you can enjoy music from all your favorite sources with the use of a single device – the Logitech Squeezebox Duet Digital Audio System.
The small, handheld wireless controller makes it highly convenient and easy to access all of your favorite songs. With this system, you can expect a great sound and the Wi-Fi connection reaches throughout your entire house. It doesn’t require a computer or an Internet connection, but your purchase will include access to a free, Internet based radio service offered through Logitech – the SqueezeNetwork which enables you to tune into thousands of Internet radio stations without a subscription. The system also allows you to store mp3 files without downloading them onto your computer.

You can also use the system to listen to podcasts, so with the convenience of one tool, you can listen to your digital music on your home stereo system without all of the hassle of downloading, transferring, etc. that you typically have to endure to listen to your digital music on your stereo. And with this system, you are no longer limited to listening to your computer stored music via small computer speakers!

The Duet Digital Squeezebox remote control sort of resembles an iPod and has a scroll wheel and small color LCD screen that allows you to control the most highly used functions for your stereo – volume, play/pause, and forward/reverse. In addition, you can set up your system for use in different rooms throughout your house by purchasing additional receivers.

It’s simple and easy to use and setup. Logitech makes it quite user-friendly, even for the technically challenged by installing a wizard that walks you through setting your system up, step-by-step. You coordinate all of your online music via the Logitech SqueezeNetwork and can manage your podcasts, radio stations, and RSS feeds via one source. Their system is compatible with any machine – Mac, Windows, Linux and works with all portable devices. You can also access the SqueezeNetwork via any Internet browser (Firefox, IE, Opera, etc.) making this device great for anyone. Lastly, for the price, it’s the best system on the market – retailing for only around $400.00 versus the $1,000.00+ options currently available.

So if you’re looking for a reasonably priced audio system that will allow you to play music from all of your favorite choices, the Logitech Squeezebox Duet Digital Audio System will make a perfect system for you! It’s reliable and is money well-spent for the convenience, ease of use, and excellent quality that you get.

How to Make the Most of Your Obagi Nu-Derm Skincare Products

The Obagi skincare line has become one of the leading prescription-strength anti-aging and skincare products on the market, and can be found at many plastic surgeon’s and aesthetician’s offices today.

If you’ve ever considered a facial peel or skin resurfacing treatment, Obagi products offer similar benefits without the pain and cost of conventional treatments. These formulas contain active ingredients that stimulate collagen development and increase production of fresh skin cells. This in turn helps increase the rate of cell turnover which is necessary for healthy, radiant skin.

If you’ve recently purchased the Obagi Nu-Derm System, here’s what you need to know about each product:

The Obagi Nu-Derm System: Key Products
The Obagi Nu-Derm system offers a series of products help you manage your skin with in a particular order. The company promotes this system as one that prepares, improves, stimulates, protects, and controls; each product has a specific purpose, and most require a daily application.

You can purchase these items separately with dermaroller amazon , but the starter set is one of the most cost-effective ways to begin. The Start Kit retails for $342 and is best used for normal or oily skin. Each start kit contains the Foaming Gel, Toner, Clear formula, Exfoderm Forte, Blender, Sunfader, and Healthy Skin Protection SPF 35. The kit also comes with a blue travel bag and instruction booklet. If you’re looking for a simple way to get started with Obagi, this is the first investment you need to make.

If you prefer to purchase the products individually, expect to pay $32.40 for the toner and cleansers, $74.30 for the Blender treatment, $78.30 for the Clear formula, and $50 – $80 each for the Exfoderm, various serums, and Sunfader treatment for full-sized versions at retail. A travel-sized collection of four key ‘Control’ products is also available for just under $100.

The Promises of Each Obagi Nu-Derm System Product
Each of the products within the Obagi Nu-Derm system have a specific purpose to help transform your skin throughout each phase of treatment.

Both the foaming gel and gentle cleanser are designed to remove impurities and control your skin’s natural oil production. These are more intensive formulas than standard drugstore cleansers, and offer a pH-balancing solution to manage troubled skin. The toner contains alum as it’s main ingredient, which also helps to manage the skin and flush away impurities. Each serum in the Obagi line has a different concentration, and is made with a high level of L-Asorbic acid; this helps to protect the skin against sun damage, and can be especially beneficial for aging or wrinkled skin.

The Clear formula is designed to balance out an uneven complexion and reduce the visibility of age spots. If you have freckles, age spots, or other marks on your skin that are ruing your complexion, applying a thin layer of this formula is recommended.

Exfoderm Forte is made with alpha hydroxyl acid, and helps to remove dead skin cells more easily than a standard cleanser or face masque and also encourages the absorption of other serums and concentrates you are using.

Obagi Nu-Derm Blender product is one of the most important in the system; this is the treatment which helps with cell turnover, and is used with the Tretinoin Cream to stimulate the skin and encourage healthy cell growth.

For sun protection, the Obagi Nu-Derm line offers sun block, a skin protecting cream, and the Sunfader, a formula designed to product skin from UV damage. All three of these are recommended for anyone living in a sunny climate, or for those who spend a lot of time outdoors. Since sun damage is one of the leading causes of wrinkles, these skin protecting formulas offer one way to reduce the signs of aging at any age.

The Control products in the system include the Eye Cream, Action moisturizer, and Tolereen. Each of these are designed to promote healthy skin and moisturize and soothe any dry areas; plan to use these more infrequently than the other products.

Getting Results with the Obagi Skincare Line
The Obagi Nu-Derm System is one of the leading lines of products from Obagi, and is especially recommended for anyone undergoing the Obagi Blue Peel or other cosmetic peels and skincare treatments. While the kits and products come at a steep price for most consumers, there are many benefits of using a prescription-strength formula to treat aging, discolored, or imbalanced skin.

Ongoing and consistent use is the only way to get results, and this can mean using the products for months at a time. Determining the actual costs upfront is a good strategy to find out if Obagi will be a good match for you; once you start using the products it can be difficult to switch to a different skincare line or brand without creating skin imbalances and skin problems.

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How Drugs Changed My Life


My childhood in the suburbs of Michigan could be considered perfect. I had the right friends, the kind who were part of the “in-crowd”, and therefore had access to all the raves. My parents were incredibly trusting and thought I could do no wrong. I knew how to get anything I wanted with a simply call for Daddy. All these seemingly innocent luxuries aided in sending my life in a downward spiral that I would spend years trying to climb back up.

Growing up, i searched for different products for my face. That’s when I saw a vitamin c serum for face that really help me against pores. Aside from product, I was also introduced to drugs.
It amazes me to think of how an average teenager has such easy access to drugs. My friend’s daughter informed me, to my surprise, that all she had to do was walk into school and find the right people to buy drugs from. In fact, she said most of the teenage drug dealers never even hesitate in selling and purchasing drugs in a public place. Upon hearing the stories from my friend’s daughter, I was brought back to a place in my early life when I was not ashamed to sell, buy, and consume drugs.

I should have been honest with my parents in high school, and perhaps I would not have spent months in rehab and actually have memories of my days as a teenager. Unfortunately, those days are gone with the wind for I was either too high or drunk to remember anything. I was a drug dealer, buyer, and consumer. I was in denial at its worst at the time and managed to find my way out of the once so luxuries hell I had trapped myself in.

“Just say no,” my teachers always told the class. These words, which ultimately saved my life, completed slipped my mind as I accepted my first joint. The first led to the second, the second to the third, and so on. Before I knew it, my life was an uncontrollable whirlwind of drugs and lies.

Ultimately, drugs changed my life. Drugs became my best friend. This “best friend” eventually played a part in the reason why I was sent to jail. When I was nineteen, I went to jail for being caught with marijuana, a controlled substance. The handcuffs were placed firmly… nearly too firmly, on my wrists. I’ll never forget how the cold metal of the restricting handcuffs felt. I found myself in the back of a police car with my friends, who were also high at the time, as my company. My life was slowly falling down around me. My friends were in handcuffs, I was in handcuffs, and curfew was only minutes away.

I will never be able to erase the painful memories of my mom’s tears as she became informed of the events of the night. Seeing the woman I had once used for money, the woman who had trusted me so much, now consumed with tears because of my mistakes proved to be overwhelmingly painful.

I was sentenced to rehab for three months. In rehab, I went through withdrawals, which almost ended in a successful suicide attempt. Those in charge of the rehab institution completely changed my life. I realized my former lifestyle was wrong and harmful, and not to mention, could easily have resulted in death. My life was finally beginning to pick up. As I walked out of the doors of rehab, I was changed for the better. No longer was I restricted to a certain group of friends or a certain curfew. I now had no friends and didn’t have the opportunity to go out, which called for no curfew. My new, sober life was spent indoors under the close supervision of my parents.

Drugs had been a friend and a release. I have used drugs as an excuse for many of my problems in life. Drugs had become my worst enemy and I had allowed them to send my life down a path to nowhere at full speed. Life was no longer enjoyable once the handcuffs were placed around my wrists. No longer was I going to be out past curfew with a bottle of vodka or spiked punch in my hand. Winning my parents trust back was the most challenging, and ultimately most rewarding result of my dance with drugs. I am now sober and have been since the day I was released from rehab. I have not spoken to the friends I had when I was living the criminal lifestyle. However, I have heard through the grapevine one has three children, all of which have been taken custody by social services. I thank the police officers and the individuals I met in rehab each day I wake up for helping guide my life on the right path. Drugs changed my life, and a different, positive outlook on life is what I have to show for it.

How to Participate in January’s Get Organized Month

The group is known as the National Association of Professional Organizers. That’s NAPO for short, and yes, it’s a real organization. As January leads us into 2007, millions of us can jump into some early spring cleaning endeavors with some helpful tips from the folks at Clutter Control Headquarters.

The benefits of staying organized are well-founded in the principles of neatness, decluttering, and adopting an ‘out with the old, in with the new’ mentality. An organized office or home is a happy office or home. Or something like that. Staying organized can boost productivity, reduce stress, help you manage time. . .the list goes on. It’s a chance to lighten that work load and help you stress less.

‘Getting organized’ is a popular New Year’s resolution, but actually doing it might take a little planning. (If you’re the type that wants to create a draft or blueprint of the area beforehand, be sure to send in your application to the NAPO to become an *official* member of the club). Whether it’s the drawers in the study room, the kids’ play area, cleaning your listings in the hospitality jobs london, clearing your resume, or the avalanche waiting to happen in your closet, here’s what you can do to get started on your quest for organizational health:

Create a cleaning to-do list. There’s magic in them there words when they’re on paper, right in front of you. Checking off a to-do list as you whisk away that pile of laundry in the corner has tremendous benefits of instant gratification too.

Bring structure to your finances. Whether you’re a penny pincher or extravagant spender, it’s wise to track your bills, expenses, and income in one place. Set up an easy-to-use spreadsheet just for you; organizing your money in a tangible way can have a very positive effect on your spending habits.

Estimate your time. The best way to coordinate a cleaning frenzy in your house is to section of blocks of time for each area. Not only does this make it easier to tackle, you’ll really learn the value of 15 minutes needed to scrub that kitchen floor before you let the kids where shoes in the house again.

Make it fun. If you can get some friends or family members to join you for half a day, create a plan of attack for each project and delegate responsibilities for a group accomplishment.

Buy a bathroom organizer or closet space saver. Even though many of these come in those ‘As Seen on TV’ stamps, they really do work. Consider investing in a couple of space savers to rearrange some clutter, and avoid the missing sock fiasco every morning.

Organize your kitchen with expandable racks and additional shelves. Today’s fancy additions include hidden shelving in cabinets, hooks over doors, and clever ways to display cookware. Clear up that counter as much as possible.

Organize your bathroom and clean up that medicine cabinet. Throw away all the expired items, things you don’t use, or half-opened items. It’s time to start fresh!

Clean up your desktop or laptop. Create new files, delete old documents, empty the recycle bin, and run an antivirus program to cleanup your hard drive. Your computer will run faster, more efficiently, and help you be more productive.

Organize the office in one day. . .and create some new habits. Throw away all clutter, extra files, and paper. Section off one desk drawer to accommodate for desk toys, pens, knick-knacks, and your daytime snack. Make a new routine of cleaning up the desk before leaving so it’s fresh and new (or at least looks that way) when you arrive the next day.Since you want to manage your time better this year, these are just a few ways to follow in the footsteps of professionals. If you really can’t find time to join the fun this January, there’s still another option: hire a professional. Professional organizers can be found in local community pages, or online at the NAPO website. Good luck!

The changing landscape of photography

Call me a purist, but I am not one to use a smartphone and a photo filter.Still, I must admit, that I am very surprised but the quality of a lot of the things that I see coming out, specifically in the amateur stream. I’ll tell you, there are complete stock photography resources, beat them databases or web sites or groups of websites, anything along those lines, you know what every single photo is a stock photograph that has been taken with a mobile device or smartphone. Trust me, the first time I was looking at one of these, in particular, I had no idea. I thought that this was just a regular professional stock photography resource, nothing tipped me off to the fact that it wasn’t. Besides, the other thing was photography is that it’s perfect for all sorts of things. In these apps, yes they are based on Photo filters, but they’re full of all sorts of good art. I can literally go around and look at everything that so many different people are creating and posting. It’s an amazing thing. It’s so inspiring, as somebody who’s interested in photography, because there is just an endless source of new, quality work coming up, and very little of it is supported by ego. It is all amateur, on the verge of professional. Well, not all of this on the verge professional but that’s just how these things go. But, honestly, I could look at these photos for hours and never once what I think, what an amateur photo filter to put on or anything along those lines.

Is Drupal the Right CMS for You?

Drupal is what is known as an open-source content management system. You can use it for free, but it’s a powerful web development software that may be used for many purposes. Since it was introduced in 2001, Drupal has become one of the favorite CMS applications among web developers and has over 600,000 contributors and group users. Drupal is written in PHP and uses MySQL and PostgreSQL.

Drupal uses a database to compile and organize the website’s content. Then it combines the content with the template of a site to create web pages. It allows you to have total control over the website by simply logging in to the administrator page. You can create new pages, menu structures and modules. It also allows you to assign different levels of capabilities to different users. For instance, some of the users of the site can write content, but not publish it while others are allowed to edit and publish. This allows you to moderate and/or edit the content of your site through DNN .net CMS.

One of the most outstanding features of Drupal is you can restrict access to your website. You can create usernames and passwords for the people who have your permission to access your site’s pages and menus. This is useful for membership or employees-only websites. Also, you can easily e-mail the registered users of the site which makes it easy for you to keep in touch with your members or employees. You may disable the feature if you are not going to use it.

With Drupal, you can work with thousands of “modules”. The modules are from some software companies and individual programmers who contribute their expertise to make Drupal the versatile CMS application that it is.

Its versatility and the many capabilities it offers makes Drupal one of the best CMS applications available today. Incredibly, Drupal is free. However, be sure to read the fine print because some restrictions do apply. While a good number of these modules are free to download and use, some will need to be paid for. To see if Drupal is the right CMS for you, visit the Drupal website.

Coffee calms me down

I am a lover of coffee. I can down at least three cups a day. Well, I am a fanatic of every coffee and I think this makes me sane whenever I get into pressure at work. My boss recently told me to look for a nas server test which I couldn’t find in the internet. Luckliy, I found one two days before my deadline. As a relief of course, I treated myself with some coffee in the nearest coffee shop.

Most people take coffee to increase alertness and concentration, improve mental and physical performance, and counteract fatigue. I personally rely on coffee to perk me up in the morning, and at other times of the day when my energy level tends to dip. This energizing effect is due to a substance called caffeine, that is found naturally in plants such as coffee beans, kola nuts, tea leaves and cacao. Synthetic caffeine is also added to energy drinks and snacks and some prescription and over the counter medications such as cold tablets and diet pills. Notwithstanding these benefits, caffeine can also be harmful and, in extreme cases, even fatal. Among healthy adults, too much caffeine may result in unwanted symptoms such as irritability, palpitations, anxiety, nervousness, tremors, hyperacidity and inability to sleep.

Caffeine (by definition) is a drug that acts as a central nervous system stimulant. Like other drugs, it has both benefits and risks, and as such can be subject to abuse and addiction. Regular intake of caffeine may result in tolerance or a decreased responsiveness to its stimulant effects; it also leads to dependence, and its sudden removal can induce withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, nausea and drowsiness.