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Gifts Ideas in August

8eef7f59865ea79635a97a69cb62f932I know it’s a little early to talk about Christmas gifts as summer is still around us, but it will be December before you know…ask any kid what one of their favorite parts about Christmas is and they will tell you the lights.

That holds true for most adults, too, so it is no surprise that the lighting fashion of the holiday season has become a popular staple at many other events, such as weddings, backyard parties, proms, and charity galas. Making the choice in which style and type of lights is key to a successfully designed space.

Many of these events find themselves outside where outdoor lighting is required. Weather and climate can turn a lovely evening under the lights into a tragic event if the correct type of lighting is not used, therefore always use lighting specified for outdoor use if this is where the event will be held.

Outdoor rope lights sport a long list of pros when put up against outdoor string lights. Rope lights have some complexities in their design that enable them to display different settings, such as rapid blinking, slow runners, alternating colors, etc. The key feature in rope lighting is the plastic casing that surrounds the lights.

Money Saving Secrets Of AdWords Bid Management

So, you’ve added all your keywords, written some fantastic ads and linked each to relevant landing pages that are guaranteed to sell your business. It’s now time to decide on your AdWords bid management strategy.

You’re on a tight budget (let’s face it who isn’t) and your profit margins are small. The minimum bid for most of your keywords is 10 cents so let’s start there and work up – right?

Wrong!

The Right AdWords Bid Management Strategy

A bid management strategy that starts with low bids on all your keywords will typically mean your ad position will also be low. This will translate into a low click-through-rate (CTR) for your ads and CTR is one of the most important factors in determining your Quality Score (QS). The lower your CTR, the lower your QS, the more you pay in bids.

When introducing a new keyword to your campaign, always start by bidding high to secure a top ad position on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Top ad positions typically get clicked on more often and this will help you too for building up a good keyword history.

Romaine-Apple salad with home made salad dressing

One of my favorite dishes to make is the salad. It’s a fairly simple concept consisting of a number of usually raw ingredients and a sauce. The greens by itself are pretty healthy, but if you want to go a little more overboard, you could put your daily dose of protein, iron, minerals, and vitamins in this kind of meal!

Even when summer is long over, I can still enjoy a good salad when I can. Because Wil and I had had a pretty hectic day yesterday, I didn’t feel like cooking, and so I decided to tumble a salad together instead, with my normal everyday ingredients when I figured that “Hey, apples would taste pretty darn good with a salad!”.

That’s how I ended up discarding my normal ingredients of choice, and went with something a little more unconventional instead.

The combination of the sweet and savory tastes in this salad is absolutely delicious (in my estimation), and I strongly suggest you try making the home-made dressing too, because it’ll blow your mind. Especially if your lactose-intolerant (like my husband), finding a salad dressing can be super difficult, and putting plain vegan mayonnaise isn’t really all that either.

Five Of The Best Ideas for Adventurous Family Holidays

If the thought of an over-sized dancing mouse fills you with fear and being asked to enter a poolside belly-dancing competition isn’t your idea of fun, then worry not intrepid traveler as below are five awesome ideas for adventurous family holidays which will leave you excited, rejuvenated and downright inspired.

CAMPING

Is there anything better than waking up to the sounds of birdsong and the smells of a freshly cooked breakfast?

Spending nights under canvas as a family will certainly bring you closer together and from the Peak District to the Egyptian desert, you’ll get to experience no end of memorable moments that will stay with you for a lifetime.

We all remember our first camping trip and like so many things, it’s often spending time with each other that stays with us the longest – that and Dad trying to put up the tent!

Yakezie Challenge

Just wanted to give a shout-out to the Yakezie challenge. I have no Alexa Rank whatsoever, but that shouldn’t be a surprise since the blog’s a day old. I’m looking forward to writing this blog and working with many of the wonderful members and challengers as we try to promote each other and build great teams.

DISAPPOINTMENT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THE FOCUS

 

I found myself watching an episode of BBQ Pitmasters on Netflix and it caused the oddest moment of reflection. One of the challenges was barbecuing shrimp and oysters. For me, that’s a no-brainer. Every year my family went camping at Lawson’s Landing at Dillon Beach.

It was the highlight of every year. Being on the California coast is always a neat experience, especially if you get away from the craziness of the city, but this was better than you’re imagining. Dillon Beach is a tiny neck of the woods that I would move to in a heartbeat (if I could ever afford to move back to California).

We would camp in these sand dunes and the water was just over one tall dune. Beautiful, tiny pastel flowers grew along the dune grass, and it wasn’t uncommon to wake up with the free range cows from the attached grazing area hanging out in your camp.

So you’ve found your dorm roommate. Now what?

So here is a story about finding a dorm roommate. Whether or not you chose a roommate or were assigned one, you’re now stuck living with somebody for the next few months of your life. Obviously, you want that to be as good of an experience as possible for the both of you.

It’s best to get a start on building a strong bond well before you guys start living together. No matter what, it will be awkward at first, but you can do your best to eliminate at least some of it beforehand. If you already know the person you’re going to be living with, a lot of this you won’t have to worry about, but for those of us who are starting fresh,  it’s best to have something to start with.

To begin, do you have any way to contact him or her? Did your school provide you with an e-mail address, a phone number, or a physical address? How about a name at least? If you don’t have any of these, then I hate to say it but you’re screwed.

Luckily I don’t know of any schools that don’t at least give you some information on the other person, so that’s good.

Creating a Brand Online-Lessons from Star Wars

Star Wars creator George Lucas would probably be the last one to disavow the power of the Force. TheForce.Net that is. The Website draws up to 50,000 fans a day, and boasts more than 9,000 pages compiled by 52 staffers across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. It regularly releases juicy tidbits, images, and audio clips of upcoming releases. It was the first, for example, to release sound files of the bungling, Bob Marley-talking alien Jar Jar Binks three months before he appeared in 1999’s The Phantom Menace.

So what could trouble Lucas and his privately held, San Rafael, Calif.-based Lucasfilm, about the TheForce.Net? How about this: The Website is run by unpaid volunteer fans. It is wholly independent of Lucasfilm, or any other Lucas corporate entity for that matter, and it rivals Lucasfilm’s official Star Wars site in both scope and sophistication.

Most corporations owning a brand like Star Wars would power up their Death Star against such blatant brand encroachment. Imagine McDonald’s sending over complimentary burgers and fries to the volunteer staff at a BigMac.Net. Not likely.

Making Magic Is Hard Work

Creating Christmas magic for my children is kicking my ass. It’s a LOT of work.

Just doing the tree took almost the whole day. It didn’t help that my oldest son is exactly like me (God help us all!). He is only 3 and he has such definite ideas of how he wants the tree to be and where he wants each ornament. I just gave up trying to convince him to do it my way and got out of the way.

Of course in the process of letting both of my sons help with the tree, we had moments when mommy lost her cool because several of her favorite ornaments fell and shattered. But in the end, the tree turned out pretty well and we all had a hand in making it happen, which was my goal.

Then came the Christmas cookie experiment. I’ve been really trying to show my children the fun and spirit of Christmas so I had to do the baking-Christmas-cookies-with-my-son thing (even though I don’t remember the last time I baked anything)!

Oh, it was so much fun making them from scratch with him. We got flour all over ourselves (and the floor) and we both did the mixing and cutting of the cookies. Unfortunately, because this was mommy’s first foray into Christmas cookie making, the cookies didn’t turn out so well.

Getting outside to exercise with a baby

We all know the life of a mom revolves around taking care of our children.  And finding time for yourself takes a backseat to our hectic schedules.  But it is important to take care of ourselves!  And exercise definitely is important, just getting out and about can make you feel better and improve your stress level.

Here are some simple workouts moms can do with the baby in tow to help get back to exercising.

Walking with Baby

Power walking is one of the easiest ways to lose weight, and safe to do right after having a baby just make sure to check with your doctor.  All you need is a stroller.  Most babies like a change of environment and the fresh air.  So take your little one and get outside.  If the weather isn’t cooperating check out your local mall.

Running with Baby

Immunization Guidelines For Children

Below are recommendations on vaccine schedules for children based on CDC guidelines.

Birth:  Hepatitis B

2 Months:  HIB, DTaP, pneumococcal, rotavirus, polio, hepatitis B

4 Months:  HiB, DTaP, pneumococcal, rotavirus, polio, hepatitis B

6 Months:  HiB, DTAP, pneumococcal, rotavirus, polio, hepatitis B

  • Every October Flu vaccine, if the child is over 6 months old

12 Months: MMR, chickenpox, hepatitis A, pneumococcal, HiB booster