Keeping Up With the Social Media Revolution

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Unless you have been living in a cave, you have heard of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But have you realized how strong the impact that these sites and others are having on the marketing, advertising, PR and communications functions of your small business?

Marketing has been turned upside down from one based on traditional methods to a reputation and consumer-driven perspective. Consumers are relying more and more on what others say about your brand rather than what you tell them. Purchase decisions are made based on perceptions from others who have a strong influence on the decision-maker. One unhappy customer’s story can spread like wild fire over the many available Internet communication channels. Because of this trend towards empowered consumers, companies are compelled to give special attention to their reputation and customer service.

Traditional marketing focused on getting your message out to the masses as often as possible relying on repetition as a key in influencing consumer decision making. While this is still important, it is superseded by a brand’s quality of engagement, perceived value and level of trust.

Perceived value is an extremely important part of this new age of social media influence. In social media marketing, freebies have become the norm. The onus of creating this perceived value is on the small business owner to give things or information away for free in an effort to build relationships, provide value, and prove that he or she is an expert in their specific field.

In addition, response time has taken on a whole new level of importance. Gone are the days of getting back to an unhappy customer when you have the chance. While you are tending to other pressing business matters, a disgruntled customer may be sharing a perceived negative experience with your company by sending out a tweet, posting a blog article or writing on a forum site. As a small business owner, you no longer have the luxury of waiting to respond to a complaint – you need to act quickly to manage your reputation and tend to any negative publicity you might be faced with in the world of social networking.

Even in light of the changes in the business world today, this is not to say that traditional marketing methods are no longer effective. What it does mean is that the power of social media, both the positive and the negative, is a force to be reckoned with and should not be ignored by any business owner. Knowing the influence your reputation, customer service and perceived value has will put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to marketing your small business. Capitalize on the positives and manage the negative effects of social media marketing to position your brand in the most favorable light.

Capitalize on the positives and manage the negative effects of social media marketing to position your brand in the most favorable light.

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Get TV Units That Suit Your Needs

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Whenever you buy a new TV you will probably be asked by the retailer if you want to buy the stand that goes with it which is often on display. In some instances you might agree and buy the stand, but sometimes you are looking for something different. If you want TV units that suit your needs there are certain points that you need to take into consideration, such as:

•What type of unit are you looking for? For instance you might want a small unit that will just be enough to contain your TV and DVD player. Or you might want a larger TV unit that you can use to store items in as well as your TV. With so many designs on the market you need to have an idea in mind before you start shopping otherwise you could find yourself spending time looking at units that are not suitable.

•How much does your TV weigh? This is another really important question that you need to ask yourself when you are buying TV units. This is because different units will be able to take different weights and as all TVs weigh different amounts you need to make sure that you are buying a unit that can accommodate your TV.

•What colour do you want your unit to be? As there are so many colours, styles and finishes of TV units you should think about the colour that you want. If you are going to have your unit in your living room you will probably want it to match your existing furniture. The most popular colours of units are black, white and brown with oak design TV units also proving to be best sellers.

•Do you want a unit that is a little out of the ordinary? Many people really want to make a statement when it comes to choosing furniture that reflects their personality. With this in mind there are many different designer and contemporary TV units that you can find that will help you to achieve this in your own home. Units that are made out of a mixture of different materials are very popular – for example those that have a metal frame and glass shelves and inserts. These types of units are really useful if you want to add more light to your room as they will not block out light from windows.

•How much do you want to pay for your unit? This is another important consideration when buying any item of furniture and if you want to be able to shop for TV units successfully you should set yourself a price limit before you start. If you do this you will not stop to look for units that too expensive and out of your price range. You may also find that shopping online will help you to stay within your budget and make significant savings on units that would be much more expensive if you decided to buy them in store.

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It’s Okay to Not Always Be Happy

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People are often told to smile or made to believe it’s unacceptable to experience uncomfortable emotions. For women, a bad day is maybe blamed on PMS, or menopause or some other mysterious female ailment. Thus many women bury their true feelings under a false cheerfulness. For men a bad day is maybe blamed on having an argument with their partner or a difficult day at work.

That’s not okay because it’s okay to not always be happy, otherwise it’s the only feeling we’d be equipped with. By embracing our own emotions and not feeling as if we are obligated to conform to society’s expectations of emotional expression, we can improve our emotional health.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

That song became an expression to fuel a generation encouraging casting worries aside to be forgotten and just smile. Although the song has valid points such as not allowing excessive worrying to dictate our life, it does give the impression that happiness is an expectation. That expressing other emotions is taboo and that we are somehow diminishing the joy of others by not projecting happiness-no matter what our true feelings may be.

As if we must walk around with an unnatural smile on our face and bury our hurts, disappointments, and fears. This could result in bottling up emotional baggage to bury and endure. When people ask us to smile even if we don’t feel like smiling, the action may be more uncomfortable than not. Or we may become resentful of the person who assumes we are angry or unhappy if we are not displaying happiness no matter what inner turmoil we may conceal.

Experience your Feelings-Not What You Think You “Should” Feel

Everyone doesn’t express emotions in the same manner-and that’s okay. This trait is part of what makes us unique individuals. Try to disregard those that disdainfully suggest we refrain from being a “Debbie Downer” or who complain if they assume we are being a “Positive Pollyanna.” The only person to be held responsible for our feelings is ourselves.

Everyone doesn’t cry at a funeral and some people cry at every commercial on television. What brings one person joy may not stimulate a smile from their closest friend. Emotional expectations vary from culture to culture as to what is deemed appropriate or rude in emotional expression. The environment in which we were raised and the manner in which our family expresses feelings, could influence emotional reactions.

Judging someone based solely on their emotional response is likely to produce an incorrect assumption. When unsure of the emotional well-being of a loved one, it’s okay to just ask rather than encourage them to smile away their troubles.

For a person we know well, a significant change in their usual demeanor may be obvious. Take the time to offer a chance to talk, or purge a bottled up emotion. If they aren’t ready to talk, let them know you’re available if they change their mind. Likewise, if they offer a willing ear, consider taking them up on the offer.

My wish for you today is for you to find joy in experiencing your emotions and uncover the genuine happiness you deserve.

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Is Your Soul Broken?

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What is a Broken Soul? Your soul is broken when who you are on the inside, doesn’t match who you are on the outside.

A broken soul is related to how you feel about yourself, your truest, deepest and most honest beliefs; your philosophy about life; your original ideas and sincerest thoughts, feelings, emotions and sense of what is right and wrong. Your soul is who you are when no one is looking; where no one else can see. Your outside persona includes your physical body, spoken and written words, habits, actions and behaviors.

How can a person break their soul?

Every time you lie to yourself, go against your own sense of fairness, compassion and integrity; fail to follow your dreams and utilize your gifts and talents, hurt someone you love consciously or unconsciously you detach the spiritual bond between your body and your soul. When you believe in one thing and you act and behave in an opposite manner, you become an empty vessel, a shell, a person without substance. Your physical body is alive, but it is hollow and vacant because it lacks integrity and meaning. Many of today’s young celebrities such as Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Brittany Spears, Nicole Richie and even the late Anna Nicole Smith may have broken souls. These young, wealthy, physically beautiful women have the outside appearance of prosperity, but their actions and behaviors do not exemplify inner peace.

We live in a culture that tells us that when ever something is ailing us; we can fix it with a psychotropic drug, weight loss or cosmetic surgery. The other portion of society tells us that we need to join organized religious communities. None of these suggestions are wrong depending on the individual’s personality and emotional needs; but it is essential and crucial that each person learn to take an honest look within them selves to determine if they are doing everything within their own power to their best of their ability to promote health, wealth, peace, love and happiness in their own lives.

The only way that you can re-attach your soul to your body is by aligning your thoughts, words and actions into one being.

Is a broken soul similar to a broken heart?

A broken heart can cause a broken soul when you continue to repeat the patterns that caused your heart to break. For example, continuing to pick the same type of guy without looking within yourself to analyze why you are attracted to certain types of men. However, a broken soul does not typically lead to broken heart because it is impossible to deeply care about others when you don’t truly know, love or care about yourself.

Examples of Broken Souls

Scenario A Fidelity

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions / feelings

You believe in fidelity. You want to be in a relationship with a person whom you can trust.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

You make a vow to be faithful. You tell your mate that you are faithful.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do

You cheat on your mate.

Scenario B Education

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions / feelings

You believe that education is important. You have always wanted to practice law.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

You tell everyone that you are going back to school to earn your degree.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do

You watch television and hang out with friends in the evenings. You picked up an application once, but never filled it out.

Scenario C Following your Dreams

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions / feelings

You feel happiest when you are singing, dancing or involved in any type of performance. You love music with every cell of your heart, mind and body. People tell you that you are talented and gifted as a singer.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

To impress your parents, teachers and naysayers, you tell everyone that you are going to college to be a doctor.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do

You are enrolled in a pre-med program. You try to ignore the pain in your stomach, your headaches and the deep misery that you feel inside. You rationalize your unhappiness by telling yourself that doctors make good money and your family will be so proud of you.

Scenario D Being true to yourself

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions / feelings

You love to write.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

You tell every one about the book you are going to write some day.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do

You never write because you are tired when you get home from work and exhausted from the daily demands of taking care of your family.

Scenario E Being true to yourself

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions / feelings

You want to lose weight to improve your health.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

You tell every one that you are on a diet.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do

You don’t exercise. You make unhealthy food choices.

Scenario F Having Faith

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions / feelings

In your heart and spirit, you believe in God, a Superior Being or a Higher Power bigger than yourself. You feel that your deepest dreams, desires, wants and needs will manifest in your life.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

You tell everyone about your amazing faith, trust and belief in God or a Higher Power. You tell other people to have faith and believe.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do

You cry yourself to sleep each night because you are worried about your bills being paid and how you are going to provide for your family. You haven’t looked for a new job, or started your own business because people say, “the economy is bad.”

If you do an honest assessment of what is really bothering you and all of the things that you can start doing at this very moment to change your life, you will begin to heal your soul. Guaranteed.

10 Signs of a Broken Soul

1. You have a drinking or substance abuse problem.

2. You have been depressed for more than 6 weeks

3. You feel no enjoyment for life.

4. You are in a sexually, physically or psychologically abusive relationship.

5. You are actively involved in criminal or illegal activity.

6. You have reoccurring suicidal thoughts

7. You have an eating disorder

8. You are abusing someone else physically, psychologically or sexually.

9. You are not doing anything productive with your time.

10. You constantly complain about hating yourself or your life.

Techniques to heal a Broken Soul

1. Validate yourself. Start exactly where you are. Call your self beautiful. Start your business. Do not seek external validation from any one.

2. Go on a journey of self-exploration. What is your favorite color, food, song, movie, day of the week, holiday. Everything that you love is a clue to the mystery of who you are. The things that you love are internal pieces that create the external picture of who you are.

3. Forgive everything and everybody. No exceptions.

4. Practice random acts of kindness. Put a dime in an expired parking meter. Pay for someone’s breakfast, dinner or lunch without revealing yourself. Put toilet paper in a public restroom for the next person. Shovel someone’s snow or rake their leaves without them knowing who did it. Leave a tip on some else’s table. Find unique ways to put a smile on other people’s faces. Their smiles will make you smile.

5. Ask for forgiveness–it doesn’t matter if they accept your apology. This gives them the opportunity to heal when they are ready.

Forgive yourself for past mistakes.

6. Write a letter of forgiveness to yourself. Read the self-forgiveness letter to yourself each night until you are able to let go. You can’t forgive yourself until you are emotionally ready to forgive yourself.

7. Give yourself 6 months to make one change. Don’t try to change too many things about yourself at one time; this is overwhelming. If you try to stop smoking, don’t include losing 50 lbs, and find a cure for cancer. Take it slow and steady.

8. Watch Shawshank Redemption, the Pursuit of Happyness or any other movie that gives you hope.

9. Find one thing that you absolutely love about yourself and think about it once a day, all day long.

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Bench Vice Report – Don’t Buy the Stanley MaxSteel 83-069 Multi-Angle Vise Until You Read This!

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The Stanley MaxSteel 83-069 Multi-Angle Vise is an amazing vice for those looking to work on a multitude of projects. It is specifically designed to fit snuggly on just about any work surface and has removeable jaw pads to protect surfaces from scratches.

With its swivel ball design, the Stanley MaxSteel 83-069 Multi-Angle Vise can be moved and locked in almost infinite positions, making it one of the most versatile vices on the market. Another cool feature of the Stanley MaxSteel 83-069 Multi-Angel Vice isit’s durable cast aluminium and steel construction, making it sturdy and durable enough for just about any job you can throw at it.

The Good:

  • Can be easily clamped to any table.
  • Table clamp surfaces are rubber coated for surface protection.
  • Can hold objects at any angle.
  • Clamp faces have removeable rubber pads.
  • Vice is small and portable.
  • Great customer service.
  • Well constructed.

The Bad:

  • Does not have teeth in the jaws.
  • Not designed for large heavy duty projects.
  • Hard to find at local retailers.

You should buy this vice because:

  1. Excellent space saving vice for the price.
  2. Is designed to clamp onto any surface.
  3. Will not harm surfaces due to removeable jaw pads.

This vice is perfect for:

  • People who do a lot of woodworking, such as wood carving, cane making, or furniture work.
  • People who do crafts involving small to medium sized objects that need to be held in place.
  • People who need a reliable portable vice to take with them on the go.

Let’s take a look at all of this vice’s features.

  • Infinite lockable positioning with swivel ball design.
  • Easily attaches to most surfaces with integral screw clamp.
  • Durable cast aluminum and steel construction.
  • Removeable jaw pads protect surfaces from damage.
  • 8 inch jaw opening.
  • Weighs 3.6 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 9 inches by 8 inches by 3.5 inches.

Overall, for the price, you won’t find a better deal on a vice grip that offers as much versatility when dealing with small jobs. Sure, there are better vice grips out there, but you’ll be paying a lot more for only a slight increase in performance.

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The Importance of Designer Leather Jackets

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Do your outfits lack excitement? Does your routine consist of that same mundane look? If so, then it’s high time for you to change your entire image. For a woman in this day and age, it is imperative to keep up with the latest trends and be impeccably stylish. You simply cannot continue to function in society today with the same sluggish look. Hence, its time to change appearances and one way of doing that is through purchasing fabulous designer leather jackets. One would wonder, as to how this particular clothing item can instantly change an appearance. Well, simply because a designer jacket has become a fashion staple, a must for all the ladies.

Do your outfits lack excitement? Does your routine consist of that same mundane look? If so, then it’s high time for you to change your entire image. For a woman in this day and age, it is imperative to keep up with the latest trends and be impeccably stylish. You simply cannot continue to function in society today with the same sluggish look. Hence, its time to change appearances and one way of doing that is through purchasing fabulous designer leather jackets. One would wonder, as to how this particular clothing item can instantly change an appearance. Well, simply because a designer jacket has become a fashion staple, a must for all the ladies.

Even though ladies designer leather jackets have only been a recent development in the fashion industry, they are regarded as tremendous attires for any possible occasion. Whether at work, or at a casual evening party, they are an outerwear that seems appropriate and also cannot go unnoticed. Most women have a tendency to change their minds frequently when it comes to the clothes they wear. One outfit might be perfect for a particular day, but might be less appealing the day after. However it is safe to say that designer leather jackets can never be unattractive to a woman. They are worn all year round, and for a woman they are perfect for every day of the week. There can not be a woman out there who wouldn’t consider investing in a designer jacket. They are an excellent example of exclusive outerwear.

A handful of female celebrities have also been spotted quite a few times wearing such jackets. Ladies designer leather jackets therefore are not only popular with the common population, but are also well-liked among those famous personalities that we adore and admire. A prime example would be of Sarah Jessica Parker who was just recently spotted with her three children, taking a casual stroll. She was dressed elegantly, in one of those tasteful designer leather jackets. Moreover, her three year old twin daughters were also dressed in tiny leather coats. Similarly, famous fashion diva Victoria Beckham has also been spotted countless time on the streets of London pulling off a designer jacket. Coordinated with the best accessories, this woman certainly knows how to wear a classy leather jacket. So if these divas can be seen around town, looking fabulous then you surely can as well. There is certainly no harm in bringing that celebrity out of you.

As well as them being the latest fashion trend and every celebrity’s choice these days, designer leather jackets are also a practical attire to have. Leather has always been a material that one can rely on due to their durability. Likewise, it is sensible to own such jackets because they are the sort that will never let you down. They are timeless and if well looked after, they can last you a lifetime. A designer jacket can also come in handy when trying to accessorize your outfit with a versatile item. They can be worn with all sorts of attires, for example if you are going for a casual, chic look then it can be worn over a classy, petite dress. On the contrary if you are striving for a more professional look then they can be worn over formal pants and blouses. Whatever the case ladies designer leather jackets are an outstanding investment.

For that reason, it is evident that there are so many reasons for a woman to spend money on a designer jacket. With so many different styles to choose from now, one can really be spoilt for choice. So give your wardrobe a makeover, make your everyday appearances exciting by investing in designer leather jackets.

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Sport in Our Life

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Sport has become an integral part of human life.The word ‘Sport’ had originated between 1910 and 1915. Sport connotes a physical activity governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively. Over the years Sport has undergone an amazing metamorphosis. Sport was initially developed for recreation of the human beings. It has grown monstrously in the modern days and become high-tech.

Sport, athletic games or tests of skill have been undertaken primarily for the diversion or recreation of the participants or spectators. Sport has great and varied manifestations. It has been restricted to any play, pastime, exercise, game or contest performed under the given rules.

It has been played either indoor or outdoor, on individual or team basis, with or without competition, but requiring skill and some form of physical exertion. Some Sports, such as hunting, fishing, running and swimming have evolved out of the primitive ways and lifestyle of human life. Some Sports, such as riding, shooting, throwing the javelin or archery have derived from early military practices and background. Sports like boxing, wrestling and jumping, had arisen from the spontaneous human outbursts and challenges and occasional hostilities that had accompanied human interaction.

The development of sport in the ancient, middle ages and in the modern days has been phenomenal. In the ancient days, the Greek and Roman had evinced a keen interest in developing sport. It was the Greek who organized the Olympics and interestingly people from all over the world participated and witnessed it. Thus modern Olympics had originated in Athens city of Greece. The feudal system of the middle ages had hampered the growth of sport that was revived only in the days of renaissance. In the modern days, especially in the 20th century, sport has witnessed an organized growth and development of games.Baseball in the US, cricket in England, hockey in countries like India and Pakistan are some of the games that developed rapidly in the 20 th century.Olympic games, Pan-American games, Commonwealth Games and Afro-Asian Games etc have been organized and held at periodic intervals, making the sport as an international event in the 20 th century.

In the 21 century, sport has turned ultra-modern and developed with high tech facilities.The games like cricket , football and hockey have increasingly become global.Frequent changes in the rules of the games have been further complicated by the umpiring controversies due to human errors.The building of ultramodern stadia, provision of adequate infrastructure facilities etc had further increased their problems manifold and put them under a heavy financial stake.On the other hand technology has facilitated live telecasting and viewing of the matches and games so easy, thereby easing the common mans’ burden to some extent.The Olympic events have been held under the auspices of International Olympic Association. Almost all countries of the world have become members of International Olympic Association and participate in Olympics, which is periodically held once in four years. Similarly cricket has a governing body called International Cricket Council to hold the premiere events like the world cup and the champions trophy etc with the object of spreading cricket throughout the world. Hockey has an International governing council known as International Hockey Federation, enrolling all hockey playing members in the world. Similarly soccer world cup has been held under the auspices of an international organization once in four years.The soccer playing member countries have to go through rigorous qualifying rounds before participating in the soccer world cup. Modern sport has also witnessed the evolution of multimillionaires like Sachin Tendulkar in cricket, Ronaldo in soccer, William sisters in Tennis, who have risen to prominence by dint of their hard work, skill and passion for their respective games.

The modern Sport has also witnessed the growth and development of sport and its allied industries. Media industry like Sports journalism, Sports education and online games etc have evolved and developed out of sports. Each country has a separate Sports ministry. For example India has a separate Sports Authority of India with sufficient funds to function separately and independently. Sports goods and apparels like tennis ball, rocket etc in tennis, bat, ball, flannels, Sport wears etc in cricket, hockey sticks, balls and synthetic astroturf etc in hockey have been the money spinning projects globally. Sponsorship has been a modern feature in popular games like cricket, soccer, tennis etc involving millions of dollars. Similarly popular players of cricket, soccer and tennis etc are engaged by the multinational companies to advertise their products, spending millions of dollars. Last but not least, Sport has been not only meant for recreation but also has the object of keeping the individual concerned in good health and stamina. We are all aware that a healthy person is a wealthy person and Sport has been the secret of ones’ health as well as wealth.

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Want to Become a Make-Up Artist? Know It’s Pros and Cons, Make Up Schools, and Courses

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Make up is used in various fields like television, magazines, theatres, photography, cosmetic industry and many more. The make-up artists change your appearance by applying cosmetics on your face. They make you look good and feel good. They change your over-all personality. They can make you look younger or older. They can cover up your flaws. And so, this profession is in high demand and is popular especially in the field of television.

If you have decided it to be your profession you must know its pros and cons, various make up courses and schools available.

Pros of being a make-up artist

• You do not have to undergo a 9 to 6 desk job.

• You can start your business or work in a team. You do not need to work under someone else.

• You meet different people daily and can develop your own network.

• It gives you an inner satisfaction of making people look good. You bring happiness to people.

• It allows you to experiment with your creative ideas.

• The results are quick

• You can meet celebrities and visit new places.

• This profession offers flexible hours of working.

Cons of being a make-up artist

• There is no schedule time for working

• Competition is very tough

• Many think that people who take up this profession are “good-for-nothing” kind of people

• It takes time to develop a career in this profession

• It takes time in creating your own network of clients.

How to Become a Make-up Artist?

A formal certification in make-up artistry is not essential. You can become a make-up artist by learning the techniques yourself or you can go to a make up school or can work in a cosmetic company. If you want to learn it on your own, a lot of constant research is required. You should be aware what kind of make-up is in fashion. You should read books on make-up artistry, understand different styles. To train yourself, you can experiment your make-up artistry on your friends. A make-up artist with certification will always be preferred over others. So, there are many make-up schools that provide the necessary certification. Here you will get a formal education and training on this profession which will be very beneficial in the long run. By working in a cosmetic company, you will be exposed to various make-up products and their uses. You will also get a chance to apply makeup on your customers.

Makeup Courses

There are various courses available like part time make-up; fashion and photographic; stage, media and special effects; fashion, theatre and media makeup diploma.

It is very easy to become a make-up artist but if you want to master this art, take up as many make up courses as you can. It will enhance your skills. This profession is very rewarding and is in high demand. Today everyone wants to look beautiful.

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How to Save Money – The 60-40 Rule

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I have been living on the 60/40 budgeting rule for more than three years now. I had read on this subject in a magazine article and in a conversation with a colleague, I found out a simple system in which my colleague has been using for years.

The Rule (60%)

The 60/40 rule simply says that 60% of your gross income should go to Committed or Fixed expenses. These expenses are your Overhead expenses, meaning the basic things you need to pay to survive. They include:

• Basic food and clothing needs.

• Rent or Mortgage

• Utilities (electricity, water, internet, cable subscription etc.)

• Insurance premiums.

• Charitable contributions.

• Taxes.

It looks simple enough but in my experience putting all committed expenses into 60% of my income was a tough thing to do. But don’t give up as it is very possible to achieve this.

The Rule (40%)

The other half of the equation is the 40% which is divided into four 10% categories.

• Retirement: Money set aside into your IRA or 401(k) plans.

• Long-term savings: Money set aside for car purchases, major home repairs, or to pay down debts such as credit cards, mortgages, etc.

• Irregular expenses: Vacations, car repairs, new appliances, etc.

• Fun money: The great part! Do anything you want with this money! Just be sure that this category applies to your whole family such as dining out, a day in the mall shopping, your hobbies etc. But also remember that having fun with your friends, children and family does not have to be costly!

What to Ask Yourself

• Are you renting a place or have a mortgage that you cannot afford? Is it worth it move to a smaller place or farther place to save up? How much money will you save if you do so?

• Are your car payments too high? How is the fuel consumption of your car?

• Do you have too many paid subscriptions that you don’t really use? (Satellite TV, club memberships etc.)

• What is your lifestyle like? How much do you spend in a week, eating out, going on trips etc?

• Do you wear designer clothes? Where do you shop?

• Can you afford to get your coffee or lunch at a cheaper place?

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Master Your Master Hormone – Insulin

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Insulin is truly the master of our metabolism – this master hormone is produced by the pancreas and used by the liver, muscle cells, and fat tissue to absorb glucose from the blood (from the food consumed) and is stored in the muscle & liver cells as glycogen. Therefore, insulin controls the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood by taking it up into the cells. Insulin our of control reeks havoc on every cell and every organ system in the body. Now you know why it has earned the name “the master hormone”.

Of course at the top of everyone’s list of concerns is weight management. When we eat carbohydrates (sugar) our bodies release insulin in order to take that sugar out of the blood and into the cells.

When there is no insulin in the blood – body uses fat as an energy source.

Most of us want to burn body fat. Therefore, don’t have insulin surging through our blood. Therefore, ditch the empty sugar, keep it complex – carbs that is.

Type I diabetes = the pancreas is unable to produce insulin

Type II diabetes = (aka insulin resistant) body does not respond effectively to insulin

This use to be called “adult onset” diabetes, however, with the obesity epidemic & horrible eating habits & yes “move” has become a four letter word- many kids are now dealing with diabetes.

Insulin allowed to flow wildly destroys the heart, kidneys, liver, cognitive ability, sexual performance, nervous system, high blood pressure, stroke, cholesterol, and can lead to certain cancers. Insulin resistance can reduce our bodies ability to absorb magnesium – a critical mineral – one of its many responsibilities is the relaxation phase of the heartbeat. Insulin resistance can also lead to osteoporosis & Alzheimer’s. Insulin controls all of our other vital hormones – ghrelin, leptin, thyroid, growth hormone, cortisol… you get the message. Therefore it is the master control behind much of our metabolic function.

OK – so hopefully we get it and we have to control our insulin levels.

Enter the Glycemic Index: We all owe tremendous thanks to Dr. David Jenkins, from right here in our beautiful Toronto. Not all carbs affect blood sugar levels. The genius of Dr. Jenkins – he came up with a ranking of how different carbohydrates manipulate the release of insulin into our bodies.

Low GI = below 55

Medium GI = 55-69

High GI – Above 70

Clearly, we want to aim for eating lower GI foods. FYI= white bread = 100GI. The Glycemic Index is the MOST logical way to choose the foods we eat. The GI not only helps us manage our weight, but helps protect us against disease of every system in the body. Hint: eat high fiber foods – that’s a really good start!

Lack of control of blood sugar and insulin surges are strongly associated with many of our chronic illnesses. Compounding this issue is the sedentary lives led by most. Getting control of blood sugar and being physically active are imperative leading a proactive, health centric lifestyle.

And yes, sugar is a villain in cancer as well. Living a life to prevent cancer is the healthiest lifestyle of all.

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