May 26

Sometimes people go overboard in home design. They want something that is rich and elegant and so they choose heavy textures and colors and end up with a design that is so thick it practically suffocates anybody who sits in the room. What they need to remember is that simple is usually better. The rule that when getting dressed one should remove one accessory before leaving the house applies to everything from room accents to window treatments .

There are a lot of different ways to create a simple, yet stunning window treatment for a room. A basic shade can have a hand painted design added to it to catch the eye. Plain curtains can be accented with a colorful valance or elaborate cornices. Matching the color of the blinds or drapes to the neutral colors in the room design will make the windows blend into the room, which allows another part of the design to be the focal point, such as a fireplace or rug.

The strategic use of window blinds can also be effective in designing an eye catching room. Blinds no longer have to be simple white vinyl. They come in a variety of colors, textures, and even patterns that can suit any style of decorating without requiring elaborate dressing or accessories.

May 20

The old adage about watching the pennies so that the dollars take care of themselves has been proven by the recent economic recession. So many individuals made bad decisions about their personal finances with regard to credit and mortgages which were then compounded, or even encouraged by, financial institutions that it just snowballed its way upward until the entire country and then the world had to face the consequences.

Financial responsibility has to begin at the individual level. It is hypocritical to call lawmakers and corporations to task when individuals aren’t willing to act responsibly. A good place to start is by treating home ownership as a privilege rather than a right.

Purchasing a home is a major investment. Buyers should fully understand the terms of their mortgage and the consequences of failing to live up to their end of the agreement. They should make use of Mortgage Calculators to determine how much of a mortgage they can realistically afford instead of guestimating figures or worse, manipulating them to turn out the way they want. The idea that they can stretch their money in order to afford the house they want is what led to so many foreclosures in the recent housing crisis.

This idea of making a realistic housing budget and sticking to it can then be applied to other parts of life. Food, car, retirement, entertainment, schooling — people need to be cognizant of how much things really cost and how much money they really have. Then and only then will they be able to make responsible choices about what to buy.

May 13

You do not want to overlook the importance of purchasing travel insurance when you are getting ready for an international trip. Sure, it’s far more glamorous to plan what landmarks to visit and peruse luxury resorts, but you also need to figure out if you want to buy TATA AIG travel insurance or some other policy.

The wide range of travel insurance policies available can be confusing. The better companies are going to make your job easier by offering you the chance to search for only those policies that fit your needs. You just need to be aware of the basics of travel insurance before you start looking, otherwise you will waste a lot of time on policies that match your circumstances..

There are two basic components to travel insurance. The most important is health coverage. This will provide for medical treatment in foreign hospitals and clinics. Without it, you may have a very hard time obtaining treatment for a broken bone, dental emergency, or when you try to replace a lost prescription. The other part provides coverage for travel disasters and emergencies. This covers things like lost passports and luggage as well as travel delays and even insurance for terrorist acts.

Make a few notes about your own condition before you begin shopping. Are you traveling alone or with a spouse or even children? Is the trip for pleasure, work, school, or some other purpose? Will you be visiting one country or many? How long will your trip be? Each of these factors will affect what type of insurance you need and how much your policy will cost. Other factors to note include age of travelers and existing medical conditions.

Apr 27

There have always been comparisons between any city that might have even a flake of decadence to that of ancient Rome. And ever since gambling became legalized in Las Vegas, that connection has been on the tongues of observers. Perhaps it is a little justified, and perhaps a little bit overwrought, but it’s always interesting when considering the source. Today’s shows tend toward the family-friendly, and anything that can please a very large and discerning crowd. They’re discerning, that is, without being exacting, so that light entertainment tends to rule the day over anything that might be too complex for a Friday night crowd.

There is usually plenty of spectacle, and there are many viewers who would be sorely disappointed if they weren’t astounded in some significant way. Live animal acts have always been popular, and people who can perform enormous feats of strength and dexterity. These are probably much more in line with the Ancient Roman idea of spectacle, which may have finally entered into the pop culture mindset with recent films about gladiators. At the same time, there are plenty of significant performers who depend on their beautiful voices, or sometimes subtle jokes and story-telling, to bring in their audiences. It’s large enough, and old enough by now, to have a little bit of something for every taste, and a lot of something for those who are new Romans.

Apr 19

Real estate is all about location, which can make finding new offices a chore. Finding the perfect New York office space that meets all the needs of the company, including being in the right neighborhood and falling in the right price range, can be a massive undertaking.

A good way to start is to actually canvass the targeted neighborhood to see which buildings have space available. In many cases, being able to contact the owner of the space directly will lead to a better price than going through an agency. However, real estate agents are going to be able to draw from a much larger pool of listings and weed out those that don’t fit a company’s needs, saving them lots of time and effort.

Newspaper listings, online real estate listings, and even web classified ads are all good sources for seeing what’s available. Again, look for ads and listings that are placed by the landlord as they will be more open to negotiation since they aren’t paying commissions to an agent. A final option is to ask friends, family members, and professional colleagues for leads on rental office space. This is one of those ways in which good networking skills can pay off in unexpected ways.

Apr 2

You may think that buying expensive goodyear tires with a great performance rating is all you need to do to keep yourself and your passengers safe, but that’s not the case. There are two basic factors that play an important role in whether the tires on your car are safe or not. The first is tire pressure and the second it tire tread. Both as equally as important and should be checked regularly to reduce the risk of accidents.

Tire pressure is easily checked by appropriate use of a tire gauge. Each model and size of tires is going to have a different approved pressure . This figure is printed directly on the tires themselves and measured in terms of PSI (pounds per square inch). Tires should always be inflated to the proper PSI. This will ensure that the tires will perform properly and should also help the vehicle achieve better gas mileage.

When checking a car’s wheels and tires for pressure and damage, drivers should also do a quick check of the tread. When the tread falls below fifty percent, the tires begin to lose performance. Once the tread is completely worn off, driving on the tires extremely dangerous. It is recommended that tires be replaced before this happens. Some tires have a tread indicator to warn drivers when it’s time to buy new tires while others will need to have their tread measured to make sure it is within recommended depth, usually above 2/32 of an inch

Mar 24

When it is time to start looking for a house many people take a considerable amount of time choosing their real estate agent. They know that this individual will be entrusted with helping them find the right property and they may interview several different agents in order to find the right match. There are, however, several other individuals involved with the home buying process and, unfortunately, most people don’t take the same care in choosing them as with the search for a real estate agent .

The loan officer that handles the mortgage is just as important to a successful home purchase as the real estate agent. This individual will be responsible for guiding homeowners to the right mortgage product and helping them qualify for the best possible terms. Unfortunately, most people simply go with whatever mortgage broker their agent uses or the loan officer that is assigned to them by their lending institution. This usually works out okay for them, but the recent mortgage crisis was due in part to a number of loan officers and lenders pushing deals on clients that were at best unfair and at worst illegal.

Home buyers should at the very least verify the licensing status of any mortgage officer before working with them. Most states maintain a register of mortgage licenses and there is now a federal registry of the same. To obtain a license, officers are expected to pass background checks and complete Mortgage Loan Officer Training that includes a solid grounding in mortgage law as well as information on fair lending practices. Any officer who has a license in good standing with their state has met the minimum requirements and is much less likely to defraud or swindle the home buyer.

Mar 21

For anyone who’s either been on the road on two wheels, or spent time driving behind a biker for an extended period, the noise issue has at least crossed the mind. It goes into the arguments about horns as well as pipes. There are some bikers who swear that loud pipes are absolutely necessary for a safe ride, and there are others who say it doesn’t really matter. Whether or not horns are in the same category as pipes might be another debate altogether, but the common factor, of course, is noise.

It’s difficult to know for sure whether or not a loud horn will keep a rider out of the services of a motorcycle accident injury lawyer Fort Lauderdale can provide. There are too many subtle factors at play, and that’s true for any accident. This means that there are cases where gunning the pipes and laying on the horn didn’t stop the forces from colliding. There have also been plenty of cases when a loud horn has put the other driver on guard enough to prevent something bad from happening. Like anything involving motorcycles, there are some common sense things at play. It’s always good common sense to assume one is not visible, and it’s also good to assume the same about audibility, and to ride accordingly.

Nov 24

It’s a toss up whether virtual or mobile will be the word of the new decade. They are certainly the words of the year for 2010. Everyone is doing everything they can to “go virtual” or “be mobile” and that applies to companies as well as individuals and organizations. In fact, companies are combining the two by investing in cloud computing technologies.

The cloud — which may be a close runner up for the word of the year — is cyberspace itself and more and more companies are locating their computer storage, processing and software programs in the cloud. This frees them from having to buy costly servers and storage space. It also cuts back on the costs of installing and upgrading individual software applications to each computer. All this also means that they no longer need to maintain large server rooms and IT staffs to keep everything in working order. Instead they rely on cloud collaboration enterprises for the products, upgrades and maintenance of their computing needs.

With all their computing infrastructure located in virtual space , companies are able to offer unprecedented flexibility to their employees. Anyone with the proper logins and passwords can access company servers, databases, and software using a laptop, netbook or even smart phone — depending on the processing speeds and memory required. Employees can work from home or on the road without losing access to a single file, program, or piece of data that would be available to them in the office. Virtual computing makes mobile work so much easier.

Sep 2

My husband has always been one of those adventurous types that loves to get in the car and drive off in any direction just to explore some new area. We have taken more road trips than airplane flights and if we do happen to fly somewhere you can be sure that an extended road adventure has been at the other end of the flight. Last summer we were in a small town in Central Florida and were standing in line in a grocery store when suddenly John grabbed a map of Orlando off of the rack and I knew instantly where we were going.

As it turned out, we had two weeks left of our vacation time when we arrived at our accommodations. We decided to visit Sea World and had an amazing time. The Up Close tours with some of the marine animals was absolutely amazing and seeing the penguins and dolphins so close was a truly an experience. The next day we went to Universal Studios and spent a large part of the day in the Harry Potter Wizarding World. This was mostly John’s idea and I expected to find ourselves in the middle of a ton of children. As it turns out there were a large number of adults there and I had as much fun as John did. In fact, I think this trip introduced my husband into a new way of seeking adventure and making new discoveries. Tomorrow we’re headed to Disney World .

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