Donate Food to Charity at No Cost

As much as we would all like to have unlimited funds to donate to worthy charities, it is not always possible to write large checks every week. However, it is possible to donate food to charity every week, at no cost, and without much effort when you know how to use grocery coupons. If you are already an avid grocery coupon shopper, then you will really enjoy helping others with your couponing skills! And best of all, with the free Coupon Mom system, it will take you only a few minutes a week, not hours of your time.

With coupons, it is easy to turn $ 1 or $ 2 into $ 10 or more of food and personal care items shelters and food pantries need desperately. Every week I shop for my own groceries with coupons. As I make my grocery list, it is easy to add a couple of good charity items. I put them in a box in my garage and when it is full I take the box to a local food pantry. My children enjoy helping deliver the food.

Last week I paid $ 1.78 for nearly $ 10 of food by matching coupons with sales. I donated it to help feed people going through desperate situations. And it made me feel like a million bucks. I saved $ 62 on my own groceries at the same time.

You can do this, too. Find out what your local charity needs and look for coupons for those items. When the item goes on sale, use the coupon and it will cost only pennies. Sometimes it will be completely free!

You don't have to drive to the food pantry every single week if isn't around the corner. Just save your charity deals in a box in your house or garage. When it gets full, deliver them to the food pantry. Food pantries always need soups and stews, canned beans and tomatoes, canned fruits and vegetables, dried beans, cereals, oatmeal, peanut butter and tuna. Coincidentally, all of these items have coupons available on a regular basis.

Food pantries are not difficult to locate. Your church or place of worship may have a food pantry if they don't, ask them if they have a food drive and where they take their donations.

Many schools have a food drives. Call yours and ask where they donate their food. Your grocery store probably donates their day old bread to a local food pantry. If so, they can tell you more about that organization. Go to http://www.secondharvest.org to find the closest food bank in your area. They can give you information about food pantries in your area.

If you really want to help your food pantry in a big way, you can get something started in your community with very little effort. Just ask the grocery store manager if their store would be willing to place a year-round food collection bin in their store. Other shoppers are more likely to donate food …

Mechanical Bull Rodeo Style Safety Concept – Seat Sensor Shut Off Innovation

In retirement I've traveled to every single city in the United States with over a 10,000 population. Now, don't get me wrong I did not avoid the little cities, I went to so many I can't even count them, although I did not get to all of them, it took me seven years traveling by motorhome just to ensure that I got to every town of over 10,000 or more people. Two areas I really enjoyed were West Texas and South Texas. The people are very nice there, and cowboy-ism is alive and well. Perhaps the most fun place to visit is a Texas two-step bar and grill establishment, and there are quite a few.

That's where all the fun and action is, and as long as you are not trying to pretend to be something you aren't, or shooting your mouth off, you can have a lot of fun even as an outsider. One of the coolest things are the mechanical bull rides, and you might think they are safer than a regular bull, and maybe they are, but they aren't as safe, at least not all of them as you think they might be. Most of them have automatic shutoffs once the rider is dejected. But in some of the older bars, they have the older style mechanical bull rodeo style set up without the automatic shut off.

If you get thrown off of one of these you hope you get thrown off a decent distance because if you try to stand back up the thing is liable to come back and kick you in the butt, and knock you on your rear end. Not only is it embarrassing, but let me tell you; it hurts. Just because some of the locals can ride the mechanical bull on the higher setting, does not mean you'll be able too, and it might be fun for a few seconds, but often it ends with a hard landing even on the mats, and you had better get out of the way quick.

It seems that those with the automatic shut off are based on weight, and when there is no more weight on the mechanical bull the spring pops up and shuts it off. Still, on some it takes a little while for it to wind down and therefore perhaps these systems need a seat sensor shut off using a fiber-optic wire under the saddle. Immediately shutting off the power and completely stopping the system. This might add cost to the mechanical bull, but it might also help the bar and grill with their insurance policy, even though every rider signs a waiver to ride the bull at their own risk. Please consider all this and think on it.

Source Article

Which Engagement Model Is Best For Your Software Project? A Cheat Sheet

The chase towards a cost-efficient approach to software development that could benefit one’s business through the prism of cost and time rationally comes as a challenge to companies seeking to launch the desired product. Which software engagement model will make the right cut is the most concerned question businesses are facing today.

The company’s bet on choosing engagement model has multiple legs: a best fit pricing model, all goals aligned rationally, and a project that gets completed in a timely fashion which further depends on the hindsight of various factors such as company’s experience with other clients, same type of domains covered by them, the amount of time taken for project completion etc.

While these factors certainly depend on the technological aspects, complexities involved, and type of commitments with the client, the company must precisely regard these points as well. On the behalf of the type of engagement models manifested for businesses are- Time and Material, Fixed Price, and Dedicated Team Model. Here’s a detailed study of it:

1. Time and Material (T&M) Engagement Model – The T&M model works best for businesses whose requirements are unclear or are subject to be changed quite often. Here T&M model also plays a greater role when the business demands flexible and agile project execution. Well suited for medium to large projects in this model the business itself carries the related risks of scope, quality of deliverables and project management.

Here the software development company assigns a dedicated team to the customer and the actual time spent in the project development is charged. Generally the service providers are paid on account of the number of developer’s hours engaged in the project or writing the code.

Pros of Choosing Time and Material Model:

• Well adapted to changes driven project;

• Full control on what buyer wants to get done.

2. Fixed Price Model – The fixed price model is ideal for businesses whose requirements are well defined, plans are well set, and there are almost little chances of changes. The fixed price model also works wonder when buyers require quick turnaround time to project completion. Unlike time and material model, here the service provider and the customer both carry some scope-related risk. But as stated in the agreement changes to the project are subject to change in price.

Pros of Choosing Fixed Price Model:

• A defined scope and fixed budget;

• No potential disagreements;

• No inflated expenses report at the end.

3. Dedicated Team Model – Dedicated team model is a virtual extension of client’s in-house development team where the client and outsource provider mutually agree on the workload and project requirements for the specified time period and the service provider or the outsource company provides IT professionals that befit clients demands and fully focus on projects for one company at a time.

This model is well suited for long-term projects, where requirements are unclear and scope of the project keeps changing frequently.

Pros of Choosing Dedicated Team Model:

• Complete …

9 Most Common Engraving Mistakes and Misconceptions About Engraving

Misspelled Name – Always confirm the spelling of names. Don’t rely on your memory. So many names have different spellings. Example: Terry or Teri or Terrie and on and on it goes.

Wrong Date – This is the same as the number 1 mistake. Always get it in writing before we engrave it. Remember, engraving cannot be erased.

Engraving is like Printing – Wrong! Engraving, we are using diamonds to plow the surface, like a farmer plows his fields. Or we use lasers to burn off a layer of the surface of the engraving material. None of these engraving processes are we adding ink to the surface. Note: There are other engraving processes, but diamond drag and laser are the most common.

All metal surfaces can be engraved – The answer is no. A ruff metal surface is almost impossible to see the engraving. The roughness is competing with the engraving. Also, many metal surfaces, especially gifts, are plated. Most of the time plated surfaces will engrave OK. Once in a while they have bad plating. The bad plating is only uncovered when it is engraved. The bad spot, the plating peels up. This only happens about 5% of the time.

Assuming what you have cannot be engraved – We have all taken gifts to an award stores only for them to say, “It can not be engraved.” They are implying that nobody can engrave it. In reality – They can’t engrave it. Many times it can be engraved by another company. One great example is watches. The manufacture loves to put all sorts of markings on the back leaving almost no room for engraving. We get around this by engraving on an arc, many times around the edge.

Engraving is too expensive – Yes, it is too expensive – if you take it to a jewelry store. Most jewelry stores don’t engrave. They send it out. The jewelry store and the engraver both need to make a profit. It is best to go to an engraver first. Save some money. Besides, all your concerns can be given directly to the engraver, not passed on through notes from the jeweler.

Lack of engraving choices – Most small awards and engraving places have limited capabilities. Do your research. Ask what the engraving choices are for your engraving job. Ask for testimonials from the engraver’s customers. If they don’t have any, continue your search for an engraver.

It takes forever to get something engraved – Yes, if you take it to a jewelry store. They have to send it out and the time goes by. Taking your engraving job directly to an engraver cuts out the shipping time between the jeweler and the engraver (both ways). Deal direct!

It can be buffed out and re-engraved – The answer is (yes and no). Solid metals like gold or silver can be buffed out and re-engraved. But most jewelry and gift items are plated. When it is buffed out, the plated surface is removed exposing the …

Training and Course Options for a Career As a Beauty Professional

Entering the field of beauty can require that you first obtain an education, which can be done through enrollment in accredited school or college. You have the opportunity to train in a number of specialized areas in order to prepare for the career you dream of. Certificate and degrees can be earned by completing all required coursework and training that is needed in the area you choose. You can begin the path to an exciting career by researching the training and course options for a career as a beauty professional.

*Training Options

When looking to pursue a career as a beauty professional there are different training options to choose from. You can earn an accredited certificate, or associate, or bachelor degree. Training for a certificate can take anywhere from several months to one year of training. You can earn an accredited associate degree with two years of study and a bachelor degree program can require four years to complete. Schools and colleges are available to provide you with the career preparation that you need to enter into a successful career in the beauty industry. You can look forward to pursuing the career of your dreams by enrolling in an accredited educational training program.

*Career Possibilities

There are a number of different career options available once you have received the accredited training that is needed to enter into the workforce. Enrollment in a beauty school will help you to prepare for the career of your choice. You can look forward to working as a professional:

  • Cosmetologist
  • Manicurist
  • Esthetician
  • Nail Technician
  • Barber
  • Pedicurist

…and other related careers. Once you receive the skills and knowledge that you desire you can seek employment in a variety of areas including salons, spas, hospitals, department stores, and other related businesses. Once you decide on the career you wish to obtain you can expect to study a variety of courses.

*Coursework

When looking to enter into a beauty related profession you will need to gain skills and knowledge in certain areas. Coursework that may be covered will help you to receive the training that meets the level of education you have chosen to obtain as well as the career you wish to enter into. You can expect to learn management, hair design, manicure procedures, spa treatments, and much more. Once you have decided on the level of training and career you wish to enter you can learn more about the topics of study that will be involved. You will also be able to study aromatherapy, facial treatments, nail conditions, hair cutting, and more. Begin training by enrolling in an accredited program today.

Accredited beauty professional degree programs are designed to help you obtain the best quality education available to you. There are numerous accrediting agencies that are approved to fully accredit the educational training programs that meet all requirements. The National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences ( http://www.naccas.org/ ) is one of the agencies that is able to accredited schools and colleges that offer you …

Essential Renovation Strategies for Retail Shopping Centres

Renovating a shopping centre is a frequent and planned event to keep the tenants happy, the customers coming back, and the property looking good. This underpins the rental so that the property can compete with other properties in the local area. Failure to renovate or refurbish puts you on the path to poor property performance and rents; this can happen all too quickly. Tenants and rent are a critical part of property strategy.

Renovation plans should incorporate your major tenants, specialty tenant mix, landlord investment plans, and the community needs. It is a fine balance. Give due regard to the terms of all leases in the property before you start, as some may have clauses that will impact the project planning or staging. Local property legislation relative to retail property could also have allowances and procedures for property renovation and or demolition.

Renovation therefore becomes part of retail property business plan and you must know what you are doing before you start; the lead time can be months if not years. Minor renovation is something that happens in one form or other each 5 years or so in a retail property, and with a larger renovations happening on average every 8 to 10 years.

Property renovation is a strategy that needs careful planning when it comes to shopping centres. The property should not be renovated at the peak shopping times of the year, and the renovation should be kept to a strict time schedule and outcomes. The builder or developer you use for the project is the first critical decision that you will make; they should give evidence of other renovation projects in similar high impact retail properties. They should be able to tell you exactly how they managed critical daily issues at the property such as noise, dust, storage, lighting, foot traffic, and tenant relationships; they should show how they completed other similar complex retail projects on time and within budget.

Make your property renovation a community event and build excitement around it. Make big statements about the renovation before and during the process so that the community knows what is going on and has an air of expectation with the outcome.

Get the community involved in the future of the property by undertaking surveys about needs and concerns. The survey outcomes can be built into the project if they are warranted and will build better community interaction with the final property release.

Informative signage should be placed on all the safety barriers and renovation hoardings around the property clearly telling the community what is going on. The more they know about what you are doing, the more likely they will come back when the works are finished. Shopper tolerance is what you need from the outset.

Always keep the tenants abreast of stages and progress in the renovation. It is their income and business that is affected. They want your renovation to be successful so that their business will be successful. The communication links in a shopping centre …

Your Wedding Ceremony – 5 Tips – Rededicate Your Wedding Rings For Wedding Ceremony Or Vow Renewal

Your wedding rings are the symbols of the promises you and your beloved make. They are the outward manifestation of the love and commitment you have to one another and to your marriage.

When I was an exchange student in Sweden, I saw a different engagement process. Instead of the diamond for the woman, when you became engaged, you exchanged gold bands. When you married, if you married, you added another gold band. I always liked the sense that both partners engaged in the engagement.

Now, I’m seeing a bit of that over here. (And in the 40 years, American engagement rings are gaining ground in Sweden.) But most often, couples will get engaged and start to wear their engagement bands. They then want to exchange those rings at the ceremony. How, they wonder, do they celebrate the wearing of something that has been part of their lives for a long time? This question also comes to me from my couples who are renewing their vows.

Here are some thoughts.

  1. If you don’t want to take off your wedding ring, buy a small band to add to the existing band.
  2. Agree upon a date anywhere from a week to a month before the wedding ceremony/vow renewal and remove your wedding rings. (A week is often too short, if it’s the last week before the wedding. Then you really don’t focus on the lack of your ring because you’re focused on wedding details. And if you focus it’s to panic because you’re sure you left your ring in some restroom somewhere!)
  3. Clean the rings. If there are stones, make sure they don’t need to be repointed. Some people clean them ritually with salt or earth. But fluff up the rings so that they look as beautiful as they did when you put them on your hand the first time — except now they have some patina from use to make them more beautiful.
  4. Put them together in a special place. Create a small altar for them with a picture and a flower, a candle if you want. There are fabulous little cloth bags to hold them, or put them in a small bowl or box.
  5. Then at the wedding ceremony, put them on again with pride, and during the wedding ceremony celebrate all that they have meant in the time before and all they will mean in the time to come.

Symbols are important. The more symbolic attention we pay to our marriage, the more likely we are to be careful and tender with the marriage. Marriage thrives on constant attention. Let your care for your ring be a reflection of your care for your beloved. Renewing your rings, which are symbols of your wedding vows, is going to be part of the work you do to keep your marriage happy and healthy.

Source Article

Private Labeling – Textile Service Providing Customized Clothing

What is Private Labeling?

Private label products are manufactured by one company to be sold in the market under other company's brand. In garments business, they are clothing with a label exclusive to a store or a chain of stores. These clothing can be designed by retailer's in-house designers or by outside manufacturers. There are many textile services available these days. One of such service is that of private labeling. The firms engaged in providing private labels, help the retailers in customizing their clothing lines for their specific groups of consumers. The stores know their target market and its requirements through constant research. In fact, many of them have their own product evaluation centers that talk to shoppers about their present and future needs.

How are customers benefited?

Consumers get to select quality clothing at much lower prices as compared to manufacturers' established brands and that too without waiting for any discounts or promotional pricing. To eliminate all doubts about quality, some stores keep others brands too with their private labeled clothing. When the customers compare the two and see that they can save significantly and also get equivalent and sometimes better quality, they prefer to buy the private labeled clothing. Moreover, the retailer's name or symbol assures that the product meets the retailer's quality standards and specifications. Although the concept of private labeling was more prevalent in food products and other health & beauty products and it's comparatively new to the clothing business, yet it's making big in this sector, growing day by day. More and more store brand clothing lines are expected in this year 2009.

Source Article

The Meaning of Gift Baskets

For many years, gifts have been in use as offerings, as a way of expressing appreciation and, of course, as a way to pay tribute to a person or persons during a special occasion. The gift may come in different concepts and styles and shapes and sizes. Through the years, giving gifts has become an ordinary trend and their value just may not be truly appreciated. But what are the means to make a simple thing worth remembering? How much time and effort should you put in when coming up with a present? What are the new trends in adding meaning to gift-giving?

Gift baskets are the answer. Just like retro fashion, they may be old but never outdated. Gift baskets by tradition were just something that came out merely by putting items together and offering them to churches or charities. Traditionally, this basket will contain fruits or wine. However, because of the changes we have been experiencing, it is human instinct to invent new things and be innovative. Now, people make use of gift baskets as presents for anyone on any occasion. Decorating the baskets with additional accents and choosing the right basket designs are to be considered when trying to make a meaningful gift. Many people now do this and it is never to late too follow in their footsteps.

What are contained in a typical gift basket? Fruits were the usual contents but today, anything can be put in from canned food to non-edibles. The most basic goal of giving a gift basket is to give someone something that will be a delight to the person. The basket as a present may not be a surprise anymore but the design and the usefulness of the contents usually make it special.

The design also comes in different concepts depending on certain occasions or even on non-occasions. Sometimes, we just want to give gift baskets because it feels nice to do so. Traditional ones are given during Valentine’s day, Christmas and New Year. They can also be given during sacramental celebrations such as weddings, baptisms and even house blessings.

The essence of gift giving will forever remain and the meaning behind each celebration or each simple day in anyone’s life can be made more special with a gift basket that is given from the heart. Some people give gift baskets just to say hi or to tell someone that they’ll always be around. Hence, the warmest thing about gift baskets is not felt only by the receiver but also by the giver.

Source Article

Slimming Fashion Tips For Plus Size Women

We all want to look our best, whether we're short and slim or tall and heavier. Here are a few tips I've collected for plus size women that will help us look our best.

Pants

Choose pants that are long enough for you. If your pants are too short, it visually cuts the length of your legs. The longer your legs look, the slimmer they'll appear.

Also choose pants that fit you well, not too tight or clingy. Fabrics that are too thin tend to cling to your legs and reveal bumps we'd rather keep out of sight.

Choose pants that are either boot cut, wider legged or flared at the bottom. The boot cut is slimming, while the wider cuts also add a slimming effect by keeping a visual straight line from our hips to our ankles. The worst choice would be a tight, tapered pant leg bottom as this enhances the width of your hips and thighs.

Capri pants are very slimming as well if they're the right length. Choose a style where the bottom of the pant ends a few inches above your ankles but below the widest part of your calves.

Skirts

Choose skirts that rest just above your knees. A mid-calf skirt cuts the length of your legs and draws eyes to the thickest part of your lower legs.

Again, proper fit is key here. Something too tight will visually enhance and draw attention to bulges that we'd rather not publicize. Also look for skirts that fit below the waistline if you have a thick waist.

Bras

A well fitted bra is a must for every woman. Not only to give support and comfort, but a too tight bra can pop out those back rolls like nobody's business!

If your cup size is not too large, consider trying a sports bra for a comfier fit that has adequate support. No wires here ladies!

Colors

Choose darker colors for areas you don't want the eyes to focus on and brighter colors for places you want to accentuate. Darker colors such as black and navy are very slimming and should be in every woman's closet.

Dressing from head to toe in one color is also very slimming as it makes a person look taller. Matching your pantyhose to the color of your shoes and skirts helps achieve this look.

Patterns

Stay away from large patterns and look for vertical stripes – thin is best. Thin stripes help give the illusion of length. Adding length helps give the illusion of a longer body, which helps you look thinner. Small, delicate prints can also be very flattering.

Fit

If your clothing is too tight, it accentuates and magnifies all flaws. If our clothing is too loose and baggy, we think we're hiding our size but the opposite actually happens: we magnify our size.

So many tips to keep in mind when shopping for new clothes! But the key points to remember are proper fit and visually lengthening fashions. We …