Michigan Blog - Featuring Michigan Shopping, Travel, Business & PeopleMichigan Shopping, Deals and Coupons - People and community, Michigan Sports (as well as High School Sports), Traveling in the State of Michigan, Michigan Events and Michigan Business - all in one place.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Google Does it Again!
Panic throughout the Internet - not only in Michigan! PageRank is dropping randomly on websites. Big names like the Washington Post have been hit - as well as little guys like some of our clients.
Some big-name bloggers are arguing that since the PR drop is not generalized, it must be a slap from Google regarding practices that conflict with its guidelines.
Some have suggested that the sites that got penalized were either selling links or exchanging them inside large blog networks or link exchange circles.
Here is my take on what has been happening regarding PageRank and the recent drop on many websites. I have studied our client base (which is approx. 15,000) if you count all of the members in directory.
Google "don't like" bought links. This includes affiliate programs like LinkConnector and Blogs that charge for links. This even includes Press Distribution systems that charge for links. Google also doesn't like the link exchange programs.
Lot's of complaints are circling - but this is no different than what has been preached by Google for years and years. Don't try to artificially inflate your page rank. Period. Don't buy links. Buy advertising, if you have to - but don't try to trick Google.
Work hard for three years to build a business and you will be repaid. This is the same game in the offline world. No Get Rich Schemes exist anymore on the Internet.
The Blog world has had a free ride for a while and in some cases, many bloggers have created large incomes just linking back and forth to each other.
I am happy to see Google coming down on some of these sites.
With all the talk about holidays starting up - I wanted to warn you of a pet peeve I have (no pun intended)
When my neighbor, Anna, told me last December that she was picking up a puppy to surprise her niece and nephew with on Christmas morning, I tried to talk her out of it."The children need to be part of the pet selection process," I argued. "And most shelters and rescue leagues will insist that everyone in the household - including the person receiving the gift - come and meet the animal before an adoption."
Blog Tag: www.petazon.com/blog (Hey .. my first blog tag ... and this entry is so related to the Petazon Pet Supplies blog!)
Anna (who does not have kid's of her own) was wavering, so I pressed on. " A holiday is the worst time to bring a new pet home, for your sister, her kids and the pet. There's already so much activity and stress. A new pet needs just the opposite: quiet time, lots of attention, a set routine. And she'll have even more to worry about, just when she is swamped the most."
After being reminded of the chaos that rules her sister's house each Christmas, and both her own exhaustion and the exhaustion of her sister, Anna agreed. Instead of a puppy under the tree, she bought a Thermo-Bed Heated Dog Bed and pinned a card to it that read, "Dear Kids, After Christmas, we'll pick out a puppy together at the Shelter."
Anna had avoided a common pitfall: surprise gifts, however well-intentioned, don't always work out, and can end up being returned - not a big deal if the gift is a sweater, but a very big deal if a live animal is involved.
Each time a pet is adopted and returned, it becomes more confused and frightened, and more difficult to place in a permanent home. Even though parents usually end up being a pet's primary caretaker, compatibility between children and pets is an important ingredient in a long-lasting relationship.
Don't give pet's for Christmas - give an IOU!!
Christmas Wall Art
Labels: Pet Christmas Gifts
What is the craze for autographed sports memorabilia?
Enthusiastic baseball, football and basketball collectors and avid fans all over Michigan are seeking out pro sports memorabilia that is authentic and in many cases signed. Everything from autographed baseballs, to signed jerseys or helmets, pucks and more are hotly sought after.
Just last month, I attended an auction at a Detroit area private high school and a signed baseball bat went for close to $1000.00!
Many people consider pro sports memorabilia as good investment option because of its tendency to increase in value over time. The argument is that, not only does it make a sound investment, but it's also fun to collect. I highly doubt this. I really think that it is a great excuse for husbands (like mine) and sports fan to justify the high prices.
Coupons for Autographed Sports Memorabilia at Legends of the Field
This holiday season, consider purchasing pro sports memorabilia as a truly unique gift idea. For the sport enthusiast or young athlete, having a collectible item from their favorite team can make for a lasting and meaningful gift.
I browsed the Legend of the Fields website and found many great sports memorabilia items available. Considering that we recently refinished our basement into a game room, the great prices at Legends allows me to kill two birds with one stone. Buy a great gift for my hubby and start decorating the bland walls downstairs.
Smart sport memorabilia shoppers should stop by Legends not only because of the easy to use website but for the unbeatable selection and LOW prices.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Get Rid of Acne with Acnezine
People are talking about Acnezine and similar treatments for teenage and adult acne, these days. Well, to be more specific, many people are talking about herbal remedies in general. I am a believer, not a kook about it, but you can call me a believer.
I'll get into the herbal argument at another time - but here is my logic with respect to why a herbal acne medication with ingrediants similar to Acnezine will work. Nothing is a miracle drug, but sit back and read.
Acne occurs when the hair follicle pores become blocked which is a very simple concept. The oil called sebum builds up inside the pore and becomes infected with bacteria. Sebum in itself is good, but can be overabundant during adolescence.
When the infection remains under the skin surface, it develops into a whitehead. When the infection partly reaches the surface and changes color, it develops into a blackhead.
The redness around the pimple (blackhead) is caused by the body's inflammatory response. Inflammation is a sign that your immune system is working to fight an infection.
All herbal products like Acnezine work to take care of the skin - they DO NOT block the sebum, which would be unhealthy. They help control free radicals that cause skin damage, aging and wrinkling, and that can contribute to the bacteria and resulting infection.
Acnezine limits inflammation, helping take care of the ugly redness, and working to limit the inflammatory response that can cause scarring. And, Acnezine promotes healing.
Simple, I think so. Acnezine has many ingrediants that you can buy over-the-counter at your local drugstore. The only difference is that the dose is pre-measured and includes the correct combination.
I ordered Acnezine for my son, who is the only one of my teenagers to suffer from acne. No results in, but I will let you know after we try this for 3 months.
The Art of Motivating
The word motivation is derived from the Latin word "movere", which means to move. The methods to motivate groups or individuals have been highly controversial for many years. It is an area of the human psyche that is not fully understood.
I am going to add a footnote here and say that I am not an organizational behaviorist or a psychologist - just a successful business leader that has a thirst for knowledge in the area of individual and group motivation.
Barnes & Noble Coupons
Some of my curiousity regarding motivation stems from watching my children mature into adults and seeing each of their individual responses to motivational techniques. Educational motivation, sports performance motivation and spiritual motivation (the drive to help others and do good things in society). The number of articles and books are exploding on the subject.
Motivation is defined as an internal drive that activates behavior and gives it direction. The term "motivation theory" is concerned with the processes that describe why and how human behavior is activated and directed.
It is regarded as one of the most important areas of study in the field of organizational behavior.
Reward and Reinforcement Motivators
A reward is that which follows an occurrence of a specific behavior with the intention of acknowledging the behavior in a positive way. A reward often has the intent of encouraging the behavior to happen again.
Coercion Motivation Techniques
The most obvious form of motivation is coercion, where the avoidance of pain or other negative consequences has an immediate effect. Extreme use of coercion is considered slavery.
Self Control Driven Motivaton
The self-control of motivation is increasingly understodd as a subset of emotional intelligence.
All human beings have the same types of needs. What is important is that people experience these needs at different times and to different degrees.
I will be revisiting motivation in the business world and motivation in life - quite often on my blog - so share your comments to trigger my though processes on the next article in this series.
More Reading and Programs
Monday, October 29, 2007
What is Fathead and why does every male teen want a Fathead?
I heard about Fathead's about 2 months ago and they intrigued me. For those of you that have not heard about Fathead's - they are huge, life size vinyl wall images.
Not exactly a poster, Fathead's are stickable art of your favorite team or player. They have MSU Spartan Fat heads, U of M Fathead's, Piston's Fatheads, Lion's Fatheads and more.
They are a bit pricey, but I broke down and bought the Rip Hamilton Fathead for my son for his birthday last week - and he loved it. I have to add that it looked pretty cool in his bedroom. Can't complain because at least it covers most of the wall and limits the possibility of posters being hung and damaging walls.
The owner's of Fatheads aren't kidding when they stress the life like aspect of the new fad. Fathead's are really life like and life size.
They don't damage walls and are the perfect Christmas gift for the teenage boy on your list. (They are worth looking at for girls also - because of the popularity of the Fat Heads, they are coming out with Family Guy Fatheads, Simpson Fatheads and more.
Believe it or not, they have Star War's Fatheads now.
Fatheads - Football Fatheads
When you visit the Fathead website, check out the page on About Fatheads - they have a pretty neat story to tell.
Friday, October 26, 2007
I read this short article today and had to share. If you are not a hunter, the jaw-dropping amazement of this will escape you.
Horton man kills 24-point deer
A Horton man killed a 24-point deer with a bow late Wednesday in Summit Township.
He tracked it down by early today, then retrieved it with a friend by midday. It appears to be the largest buck killed in Jackson County this year.
The 24 points are three times the average number of tines on mature bucks. Whether it sets a record depends on an official scoring.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Michigan is among the top states in the nation in almost every hunting category with more than 800,000 licensed hunters contributing $2 billion annually to our economy.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) E-License system is designed to allow customers to purchase hunting and fishing licenses, special hunt applications and permits 24 hours a day, 7 days a week within applicable sales dates.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Well, I did it again. Between my last post and now - I have thrown out my back.
The basement refridgerator started making funny noises, and I decided to "take a look at it" myself. We have an Amana Easy Reach Fridge - and I didn't get very far before I was walking like a hunchback.
I did a bit of research to save the back next time. Here is unvaluable advice before you start working on your next appliance fix-it job.
Now this is a pretty interesting story for us "well endowed" woman that have loved Lane Bryant's selection over the last 5 years. Being a bit on the portly side, Lane Bryant has always been a favorite of mine.
Plus Size Clothing for Women
Let's see if I can put the path together succinctly: Redcats USA — the U.S. division of French conglomerate Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR) — is changing the name of the Lane Bryant catalog as a result of a trademark issue that dates back to 1982, when retailer The Limited acquired the Lane Bryant catalog but not the stores.
From what I can understand, three years later it The Limited ( owner's of Limited Too ) acquired the Lerner women's apparel catalog but not the stores. The Limited changed the name of the catalog division to Brylane, which retained the right to use the Lerner brand name for the catalog — and later the Website — until 2006 and the Lane Bryant brand name until October 2007.
PPR acquired Brylane in 1999 and renamed it Redcats USA in 2004. The division apparel and home goods catalogs include Roaman's , La Redoute, and BrylaneHome.
The bottom line is the Lane Bryant Catalog that we know and love is now Woman Within. We will soon see alot of publicity about Lane Bryant in the upcoming months - but it will be a DIFFERENT catalog.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
The Beatitudes - The Truth - The Answer
The beauty of a blog versus a website like The Michigan Business Directory ( http://www.michiganbusiness.us/ ), is that you are allowed to expose a bit of who you are. This is markedly different than a public website.
With that said, I cannot align my beliefs with a particular religion because I believe strongly that a religion - whether it be Jewish, Christian or Buddism only brings concrete realism to what we all know is true - that people are intrinsically good and only the Ego forces the conscious mind to react in ways that do not align with the intrinsic nature of humans.
A tongueful, I know. No matter what your religion, The Beatitudes reflect the core "goodness" of the human race.
The Latin word for blessed is beatus, from which we get the word beatitude.
The beatitudes are found at Matthew 5: 3-12
I am going to talk more about the Beatitudes in the morning -but sleep with a smile on your face - as these can only bring solace.
Beatitude is a possession of all things held to be good, from which nothing is absent that a good desire may want. Perhaps the meaning of beatitude may become clearer to us if it is compared with its opposite. Now the opposite of beatitude is misery.
Misery means being afflicted unwillingly with painful sufferings.
Use the search button on this link: Drugstore to get great deals on Hand Sanitizers at Drugstore.com
What do Lapeer, Hanover-Horton, West Bloomfield and Howell High school all have in common? Nope not great Volleyball teams (they do though), but I was thinking about the MRSA infections that have recently surfaced in these high schools.
Correction - the Bedford Staph case that was confirmed - was Bedford, Virginia.
A sophomore at Colon Junior/Senior High School was diagnosed this week with an antibiotic-resistant staph infection.
After a Lapeer student contracted the antibiotic-resistant staph infection that killed a Virginia teen last week, the Lapeer School District began a major disinfection effort of school buildings.
Two cases of staph infection confirmed Monday at Hanover-Horton High School are the latest in a string of unrelated cases at five area schools.
Oakridge Public Schools officials called in extra staff to clean the upper elementary school Tuesday night after they learned a student there had contracted MRSA
A case of the powerful drug-resistant form of staph infection known as MRSA was confirmed Tuesday in a student at Howell High School.
A student at Comstock Park's Pine Island Elementary has contracted the antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection known as MRSA.
The list continues.
West Bloomfield High School had one confirmed case MRSA. District spokesman Steve Wasco says administrators are following health department directives in cleaning the school.
Clawson High School students were sent home Friday morning after one case of MRSA was confirmed and complete cleaning of the school started.
MRSA is a strain of staph bacteria that does not respond to penicillin or related antibiotics, though it can be treated with other drugs. The infection can be spread by sharing items, such as a towel or a piece of sports equipment, that have been used by an infected person or through direct skin-to-skin contact with an open wound.
I like the idea that Ann Arbor High School has: Ann Arbor Public Schools have ordered a cleaner that kills MRSA, which will be sent to all buildings next week for use, said spokeswoman Liz Margolis. Special attention will be given to locker rooms and gym areas.
Safe Space Disinfectant Room Fogger and Hand Sanitizer
Comments are welcome .. what is your school doing to prevent the spread?
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Gift Giving ideas for the Spartan or Wolverine fan on your list this holiday season
MSU Sportswear Coupons
Every year, a few days before Christmas while I am shopping at Meijers for last minute food items, I walk by a Sparty t-shirt and inevitably, I throw it into the cart. My husband is an avid Michigan State fan and always appreciates any gifts with a green and white theme.
Likewise, my brother-in-law who isn't too easy to buy for, is an avid Michigan Wolverine fan and appreciates a maize and blue gift each year.
This year - I found a much nicer selection that the Meijer aisle and I wanted to share that with you. http://www.michiganbusiness.us/showcompany.php?id=14884
Click through to this link and use the coupon to save at eCampusColors.
I saw some pretty unique Wolverine items like Wolverine tailgate tent and the coolest Scoreboard clock for those basements and gamerooms. "Display your school spirit with this Michigan Wolverines Scoreboard Clock. Ideal for any family room, game room, office or bedroom"
I also loved the Michigan State Spartans Trashcan that can double up as a Hamper, Cooler or can catcher for those Sparty parties. It's collapsible for storing when the Spartans have the weekend off :)
Monday, October 22, 2007
Mother-In-Law's Day is always the 4th Sunday in October
I am going to be ready this year. As much as we love our Mom in Law's - I think they are sometimes difficult to buy for. Difficult, universally - whether you are male or female.
If you have children - I have a great idea for you. Check out Snap Totes.
Snaptotes has a variety of custom gifts that may be just the answer.
"SnapTotes is not just about memories; it's not just about what's in your heart... It's about carrying and sharing memories of those people and places that are important to you, your loved ones and friends."
Basically, Snap Totes allows you to create a handbag, purse or diaper bag with the picture of anything or anyone you want.
I think that this is pretty nifty. I think that Grandma would LOVE to go to the beach with a bag that has the image of thier beloved on it.
The bags come in many sizes, beach bags, purses, clutch bags and more. They even have an entire section devoted to getting your doggie's or kitty's picture on a bag.
A must see idea. They might be a bit pricy .. but not too bad.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Flip flops have become part of the fashion landscape as much as athletic shoes, jeans and t-shirts. Now, many kids wear flip flops all the time, replacing their athletic shoe trainers.
Volleyball players, basketball players and even boys and men wear flip flops or flip sandals.
Did you know that in the past flip flops were called thong sandals?
Finally a store that offers name brand sandals and shoes at great prices. Flip flops and flip sandals are the absolute craze amongst high school and college age girls (and boys too).
Crocs are out and Chacos are in - so if you are looking for a great holiday gift this year for a young athlete or a young at heart - check out the The Flip Flopper
The growth in flip flops has been part of a general change in fashion overall during the past twenty years, as it has become more casual overall for everyday events.
Customs such as casual Fridays and a loosening in what is considered appropriate office attire have made consumers more flexible about casual dressing.
The use of the word flip-flop for thong sandals is a modern term dating from the 1960’s that describes what is probably the oldest form of footwear still being worn (the term flip flap has been used in various echoic senses since 1529).
Flip flops have been around for at least six thousand years.
Friday, October 19, 2007
An article I wanted to share with you that my son's hockey coach gave us a few years back:
Psychology of Sports
The increased stress of competitions can cause athletes to react both physically and mentally in a manner that can negatively affect their performance abilities. They may become tense, their heart rates race, they break into a cold sweat, they worry about the outcome of the competition, they find it hard to concentrate on the task in hand.
The techniques of relaxation, centering and mental imagery can assist an athlete to achieve the 4C's.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Giving to our pets as we did to our kids
As I watch my daughter's mature, I see the next generation of "pleasers". Falling into the role of pleasing teachers, coaches and peers - I watch my daughters slip easily into a common female pattern.
I am far from a feminist. Very comfortable in my role as caretaker, wife and mother, I am a strong believer that we were given these hormones (to love and care) for a reason - to ensure the survival of the human race.
I read a review of "The Female Brain" today and thought to myself: "What a genius Louann is" to articulate the complex innuendo's of the female thought process.
I will continue the deep thought process in another post, the point of this post was: When the kid's leave the nest, "Mom's" are shifting their pampering to dogs, cats and other pets. The pet industry is expanding by leaps and bounds as the US population ages. Hypothetically, the need to nurture was fulfilled by grandchildren in past generations. Women are having children later and later and not settling geographically close to thier parents. This removes a woman's ability to continue nurturing as she enter's her golden years.
Enter, kitty or puppy. Our spoiled dog, Ante prefers these treats:
Dingo Ringo 3 pack Irresistible real chicken breast rolled in natural rawhide in a novel ring shape. Gives your dog a healthy & fun way to exercise and clean their teeth.
Ante is spoiled, yes - but fulfills a instict need.
Cat Supply Coupons: http://www.michiganbusiness.us/showcompany.php?id=10287
Labels: GregRobert Coupons
Trail Running - I am going to get started - soon!
As my kid's get older, I am starting to take more of an interest in thing's that I loved to do when I was younger. Running has always been on top of the that list. The last marathon that I ran, was in Ireland, in 1999. Since that race, (which I ran for the American Diabetes Association) I have NOT made enough time for running.
The years of pavement pounding has done it's toll on my knees, and I really don't think that I can run on pavement for long periods anymore - so I am contemplating trail running as my new hobby. The cost to get started trail running is minimal, basically a pair of trail running shoes from a sporting goods store, shorts and a t-shirt.
By the way, this Sunday is the Detroit Free Press / Flagstar Bank Marathon: http://www.detroitmarathon.com/
From what I have heard from my experienced trail runner friend, trail running is slower paced yet requires a higher level of awareness. It requires consistent focus on footing due to the many turns, hills and uneven trail surfaces.
75% Discount On Runners World Magazine
The ground is better for bad knees and there is little traffic to contend with, except for an occasional trail biker. Best of all, it is beautiful and you have a greater opportunity to see unusual birds and wildlife.
It's late in the year to start racing - but I found out about this race:
2nd Annual Highland "5.5" Mile Trail Run
4.8 Mile Trail Run / 2 Mile Hike
Sunday November 11th, 2007
Highland Recreation Area (Highland, MI)
I'm getting excited to start running again .. I just need a little kick in the behind to get outside and start running!
Champs Sporting Goods - Trail Running Footwear
Labels: Trail Running Gear
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Help! they are taxing more services! I am sure that you have heard that our lawmakers have agreed to raise the income tax from 3.9 percent to 4.35 percent as of last Monday and to expand the 6 percent sales tax to more services on Dec. 1.
Debate after debate doesn't change my mind on this. It is going to hurt small business and consumers - but we just don't know how much. Michigan is already hurting and people are fleeing. Do we want more to go?
I am looking forward to more clarification on what these general categories really mean.
Microsoft FrontPage Compatible Web Hosting
In Response to the questions that I received on yesterday's entry regarding Web Design, I wanted to clarify a few points.
A number of readers wanted to know how and why Meta Tags should be maintained externally. Here is a brief explanation using the PHP language as an example.
Take a look at a well established eCommerce website: Discount Aquarium & Fish Supplies and note that on each product page, the title of the product is in the title tag and is repeated through out the page content. This is not done manually. It is dynamically created and a non-technical website owner can easily manipulate the keyword density and SEO of a product page based on what he/she names the product. Does that make sense?
It is a well known advantage for a shopping cart or eCommerce Solution to use these techniques. Why wouldn't you use this successful technique on a B2B website or a small business website?
This is something that you cannot do with a static website, it can only be done with a scripting language like PHP or ASP. In addition, there is really no need to use a database, this type of optimization can run off of an Excel spreadsheet that is maintained by a non-technical person.
Hopefully that helps!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Static or Dynamic Website? HTML, PHP or ASP? What about CSS
"What language should be used to develop our website" is a common question that I hear from new or established clients. It is common amongst marketing managers that have no background in programming languages and do not understand the differences in programming options. This article is targeted to help you make a decision on whether you should use HTML or a language like PHP or ASP to develop your website.
Websites are classified in three broad categories, the static websites, dynamic websites and dynamic websites that run off of a database (like Shopping Carts).
Having a static website has its advantages. You do not have to be very technical these days to build a HTML website and beginners can successfully publish a website using HTML and an editor like Dreamweaver or Expression (previously called Frontpage). Server errors are rare in HTML websites. Whenever you want to add new content to your website, you would refer to the template page, add your content and your page is ready to be uploaded. If you needed to change a navigation element or other common element in your website, you would unfortunately have to change that element on every page.
Static websites typically work okay if your online presence is small. As mentioned above, maintaining the static pages for any small change like the style or navigation, which remains common across pages, becomes very difficult and time consuming. You would have to open each page, make the change and then upload the pages again to your web server. You are very limited in your ability to maintain the SEO (search engine optimization) aspects of your website also. The Meta tags are on each page and need to be manually changed.
Creating a dynamic website is more challenging but the result and maintainability you will achieve is well worth the effort.
Programming languages like PHP help you in creating dynamic web pages which enables you to maintain your web site content dynamically or at runtime. Developing a dynamic website opens up possibilities that are not available in static websites.
Once you decide that a dynamic web site is the right way to go, the next question is usually " what programming language should I use". The most common programming languages are ASP, PHP, CGI Perl, JSP and recently growing in popularity ASP.net. Each language has advantages and minor disadvantages.
PHP has a considerable learning curve, but it gives you access to a variety of open source applications that are free. PHP is supported on both Windows as well as Linux servers. Choosing a Linux environment with Apache server is the best option for PHP, but not the only option. Blog software is freely available, also.
ASP web sites have a much smaller learning curve - but they are restricted to IIS and the windows environment. Bill Gates doesn't give away anything free - so in his footsteps, most of the applications that are available for Microsoft technologies like ASP are paid applications. You would have to purchase licenses. For example it would be difficult to find blog software for ASP or an ASP.net website.
JSP has a huge learning curve - but provides all the features of Java. Java can provide you excellent features when it comes to server side programming. Java is much more expensive than PHP, also.
PHP would normally be used with a MySQL database. ASP and ASP.net work well with databases like MS SQL Server or MS Access. ASP, ASP.net, MS SQL Server, MS access are all Microsoft technologies.A server host will usually charge a bit less for Linux hosting, than a comparable Windows hosting package.
The cost to develop a dynamic website is usually triple the cost of a static website.
Please use the comments if you have any further questions and I will answer promptly!!
Monday, October 15, 2007
Traditionally, diamonds and other gemstones and jewelry are popular holiday gifts at Christmas. Many couples are engaged near the holidays also.
Each year, my wonderful husband purchases a piece of jewelry for me for Christmas. Some years, when finances are low .. it is a smaller, less expensive piece and a couple of years, he has lavished me with expensive jewelry pieces. (We have been married 25 years now). There were times when I actually recieved a piece of costume jewelry for Christmas.
The last couple of years, he has found my gift online and says that he absolutely loves to shop online for jewelry because he does not have to drag me to store to look at things and he can shop at his leisure. Returning pieces is rare also, because in most cases, I have told him that I like the piece before he purchased it.
Here are some Jewelry Coupon codes and discounts for you:
When you shop online, there is a large selection. Diamonds, pearls, and an exciting array of new and traditional gemstones are showing up on everything online from tennis bracelets and cufflinks to men’s watches and other fashion accessories.
It is important to remember that there are no hard and set rules for giving a gift of jewelry to your loved one!
Women - remember that men these days love to get a piece of fine jewelry also!
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Run all of your PC software applications on your MAC with Parallels
The fight between which operating system is better is resolved with this absolutely ingenius product - called Parallels.
Normally, I don't review software products - but this one caught my eye because my kids now want MACs for school homework .. and historically, we have always ran Windows in this household.
Here are the features of Parallels
In just a few simple steps, you can move your entire existing Windows system to your new Mac.
Want to save a few bucks on the product? Parallels Coupons
The Link Between Soy based Diets and Breast Cancer
Trying to research the health benefits of soy is driving me nuts and I don't mean soy nuts :) There is so much conflicting research and theories - that I don't know who to believe.
October is Breast Cancer month, and soy is theorized to lower the risk of developing breast cancer in women - so I did a bit of research:
Eating soy foods appears to have a protective effect against developing breast cancer at any age, according to some very limited studies. The protective effect may be strongest when soy is consumed during childhood and adolescence.
DrSoy Soy Snacks and Soy Nuts
This may be a major reason why Asian diets are linked to lower breast cancer death rates.
Observations have found that Asian women who follow a traditional Asian diet have a much lower breast cancer rate: in one estimate, one-fifth that of Western women.
On the flip side:
The American Institute for Cancer Research stresses that data on soy and breast cancer are not conclusive, and more work is needed to be done before any dietary recommendations can be made.
A note for post-menopausal women:
"Whether soy can help protect against breast cancer in post-menopausal women is unclear at this time. Some researchers believe that soy consumption may actually increase the risk for breast cancer in post-menopausal women because the chemical structure of plant estrogens (phytoestrogens) is very similar to estrogen."
Get your free soy research guide: Soy Free Research Guide
What is my opinion? At this point, I snack on soy nuts and have introduced some soy into my diet - but not an extreme amount.
Friday, October 12, 2007
It's Festive, It's Frankenmuth
Frankenmuth is known worldwide for its famous chicken dinners and the world's largest Christmas store. Friendly Bavarian hospitality, superb shopping, and a safe, clean environment have helped to put this small town at the top of Michigan's list of popular destinations.
Christmas Ornaments & Decor
Each year, I visit Frankenmuth to run in thier Volkslaufe race. Even if you are not an avid runner, the Volkslaufe is fun and festive. Volksläufe (volk - slõy - fay) is German for "The People's Race". If you are a serious runner (like I was at one time) - the Volksläufe excels as one of the Midwest's finest road races.
All Volksläufe events are held on a certified course, beginning and ending in Heritage Park. Split times are provided throughout the course and aid stations are located at approximately 3k intervals. The aid stations are run by Frankenmuth locals and are absolutely the friendliest aid stations I have ever experienced.
My favorite store in Frankenmuth, is the Cheese Haus. Below is a great in-store coupon if you are planning on visiting soon:
Last month I was up at Frankenmuth for a volleyball tournament and noticed that the Cheese Haus has some fantastic chocolate cheese - gotta check that out. I stayed at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott - and it was great, as well as inexpensive.
Travel Michigan - and stop first at Frankenmuth.
Christmas Gift Suggestion Series
As we get ready for the holidays, I'll be adding blog entries that hopefully will help you with your Christmas shopping. I know that I am starting early, but there are only about 69 days left to purchase gifts online and guarantee that they will get to your recipient in time for Christmas Day unwrapping.
A couple of days ago, I started the series.... so this is my 2nd blog entry for online Christmas gift shopping
A music box is a great gift for the hard to buy relative. Especially a daughter, aunt or elderly relative. They would also be great for teachers .. but they may be a bit expensive.
Music Box Coupons at Music Box Attic
There is something about a music box that appeals to people of all ages - in particular, women. Perhaps it is because they are enchanting, magical, whimsical, and have a tendency to bring back memories of days long past.
If you play a music box in a room full of people, it seems that everyone will stop to listen. Music boxes never fail to fascinate and captivate. Many people begin to collect music boxes out of sheer enjoyment and love of them.
Many online music box stores like: San Francisco Music Box Company allow you to listen to the tunes online! .. no surprises for you or the recipient.
Know of a great place to buy a music box? ... Drop us a comment .. you can post anonymously!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Endless Coupons for Aquatalia (and more)
Aquatalia by Marvin K. is a collection of women's footwear and boots created in Italy by Marvin Krasnow, otherwise known as Marvin K. Aquataliia has become so popular these days that even a style elephant like myself had to check them out.
Albeit beautiful shoe choices, Aquatalia seemed a bit pricy for me. What does everyone else think? Do they wear well?
Aquatalia footwear successfully combines the most advanced technology available today with a distinct urban sophistication - according to the corporate website.
The footwear is engineered to perform in a variety of conditions, at home, at play or while traveling around the world. The biggest question is: Can Aquatalia hold up to traveling back and forth from my kids schools? Or should I try something a bit less expensive: Footnotes Shoe Coupons
Aquatalia is run by Marvin and Jody Krasnow. Marvin handles design and production and Jody runs marketing and sales.
Aquatalia is based is Canada with production in Italy.
I want some input from the readers. What exactly is so special about Aquatalia?
I'm sure that all parents have heard it:
"I want a BLANK birthday party" (fill in the blank with the latest fad in your child's life). Throughout the years, the "BLANK" has been Thomas the Choo Choo parties, to High School Musical to the recent Hannah Montana Craze.
Yup ... the youngest daughter will be 10 in a couple of weeks and she wants a Hannah Montana Birthday party. I really don't spoil my kids, but I personally have a weak spot for themed birthday parties.
I searched and searched and found Celebrate Express Party Supplies which has every imaginable party theme. (use the link above to find valuable coupons for the store).
I bought the Hannah Montana Party Package which includes 8 dinner plates, cups, forks, spoons, activity placemats, 16 napkins, tablecover, centerpiece, mylar balloon, 18 assorted balloons, 50 yards of curling ribbon and 3 rolls of 81' crepe paper streamers in 3 colors, cake candles, confetti and thank-you notes for only $41.99 (add on the coupon from above link and I was really saving.)
I have bookmarked this page: Children Party Supply Coupons in my favorites. You can't beat the prices and you can't beat the selection.
They have Halloween costumes and Christmas decor also.
I am afraid that this post sounded like a plug .. but I really just wanted to share a good find.
Take care for now --
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I Need to Learn How To Invest In The Stock Market
I have avoided it for over 20 years, and it's about time.
I understand the basics of cutting my losses short (hey I do that in business all the time). Some words of advice from an investment pro:
"What you need to decide is how much of that initial investment you are willing to lose. When you reach that point, don't start thinking that you can make it back - most of the time you will lose a lot more money! Write down your risk amount in an excel file or just put in a stop order - just cut your losses short before you lose it all!"
I also understand the basics of diversification (hey I do that in business all the time). Some words of advice from an investment pro on Diversification:
"This is one of the most important lessons in investing and trading. You always need to diversify your portfolio. Don't put all of your eggs in one basket. You should own more than one stock at a time in your portfolio. Diversification also refers to investing in different sectors of the market."
Okay .. I got 2 basics thoroughly understood. Anyone out there have some more suggestions before I get started?
Hey .. which should I pick to get started?
The Wall Street Journal Online
USA TODAY - 20% off Newsstand
The Financial Times - Business Insight
Investors Business Daily Newspaper - IBD
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
It's time to start thinking about corporate gift giving.
Over the next month or so, I am going to put a bit of emphasis on corporate and personal gift giving. It's very hard to find the perfect gift for everyone as we near the holidays - and I know what a few good suggestions can do for someone's time.
Start looking for your larger gifts now (like Watches and Jewelry)
Personalized Swiss Watches are always a hit.
For some people gifts for the boss, clients and coworkers are the hardest.
Here's a pile of tips and suggestions.
Consider food gifts. About half of those surveyed in an American Express corporate gift-giving survey give food-related gifts to clients and subordinates.
But be creative about the Food Gifts if you can. If you're from Wisconsin, send some sausage and cheese from Hickory Farms. New England dwellers might want to send Live Lobsters to co-workers in the midwest or west coast.
If you're unsure of the gift-giving policy or etiquette, definitely ask around the office.
You don't want to be in a position where you set new trends unilaterally--and you equally don't want to come off like a grinch
Monday, October 8, 2007
Help - my computer has a virus!
Here is a quick primer .. .and here are Anti-virus software coupons
I NEED to know what solution you use and whether it has been successful. Please comment
Sunday, October 7, 2007
The Controversy of Flavonoids and Bioflavonoids - Can they Help?
I did some exhaustive research on the use of BioFlavonoids
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and the information in this blog is my
Bioflavonoids and Flavanoids (the terms are actually redundant) are reported to have numerous health benefits.
Flavnoids are the natural pigments in fruits and vegetables. Although there are
Foods that are high in bioflavonoids include apricots, blackberries, black currants, broccoli, cantaloupes, cherries, grapefruits, grapes, oranges and lemons.Here are some benefits (some are proven, some are not) that I found:
I learned so much on these nutrients that I am going to follow up on this Blog Post!
Saturday, October 6, 2007
The Job Market in Michigan needs a Jumpstart
We can all feel it when the automotive market takes a dive. This past February, my husband took a buyout from Ford .. so it hit home here also.
It's all around us .. but I have paid a bit more attention to it and here are some ideas for you if you are looking for a job:
Executive Search Online -Career Opportunities I like this because it caters to executives and entrepreneurs that may have recently lost their jobs.
Keep an eye on the Michigan Business Employment board - http://employment.michiganbusiness.us/ (it's absolutely free .. like everything else around here)
Get your chance to win a Career Do-over (now this is cool)
Jobs at Monster - Register to win a Career Do-over.
Remember - corporate employers don't want to hire someone who can merely perform the initial job duties satisfactorily. Rather, they prefer to hire academically prepared, highly motivated, and ambitious workers who offer them a good, long-term return on their investment (ROI). .. so brush up on your academics if your light in that area: Online Degree Programs & Career Training
Good luck to you (and me) and the rest of the Michigan job marketplace!
Friday, October 5, 2007
My threat came true - My suggestions for Menopausal Relief
Soy .. Soy .. Soy.
Did you know that Starbucks Coffee offers you the opportunity to use Soy Milk in all thier drinks? No kidding. Sippin' on a Caramel Latte made with Soy Milk right now. Not only is it better for a woman's bones and prevents bone thinning - it is lower in overall calories, from what I understand.
More importantly, the soy drinks taste better than the non-fat ones.
So, let's say that you are not a Starbucks fan, but you ARE in your late 40s or early 50s and starting to enter "the change".
Get your soy! It not only is vitally needed at this stage in your life ... it will relief symptoms that are uncomfortable like hot flashes.
Here is the absolute, bar-none, best deal for soy on the net: DrSoy Soy Products. Use the link and you will see any current coupons. They have a 10 item "variety pack" for around $18 that allows you to determine which products you like (soy nuts, soy bars, soy trail mixes) etc...
Here is another product I found: Changes For Women - Menopause Nutritional Supplement
Haven't tried it yet .. but if anyone has - let us know.
Continued later: Menopause Treatment
Thursday, October 4, 2007
More on looking younger and Anti-aging
(Watch out - because my next blog post is going to be on menopause .. just warning you)
Four years ago, Civant Skin Care embarked on a business plan to develop their most powerful skin lightening product. Not only was this formula meant to be effective, but also safe for normal use.
From what I can determine - they succeeded. About a month ago, I learned about Meladerm (probably from another blogger) and decided to try it. I wouldn't necessarily say that I have age spots - but I WAS suffering from a number of darkened areas on my face that just made me look a bit older.
After about 2 weeks, I was wonderfully pleased with the results.
Give it a try: Meladerm Skin Lightener at Civant Skincare
Hyperpigmentation is a common skin problem which can take on many different forms. Essentially, any dark colored area of the skin can be considered hyperpigmentation – age spots, acne scars, melasma, uneven skin tone, sun damage, etc. Meladerm can help with any of these types of hyperpigmentation.
The Meladerm formulation combines many of the most effective skin lightening ingredients into one cream. Some of the key actives include Kojic Acid, Alpha-Arbutin, licorice extract and lactic acid just to name a few.
That's enough of a sales job :) - it worked for me and they give you a money back guarantee of some sort. Be sure to read that.
Good luck and stay tuned for the menopause article !!
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Gotta Facebook Profile? If not .. MAKE ONE!
Microsoft Corp. is in talks with Facebook Inc. about making an investment in the social-networking startup that could value Facebook at $10 billion or more, according to people familiar with the matter.
And try my new facebook application: http://apps.facebook.com/couponsplus/
The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, is reporting that Facebook and Microsoft (MSFT) are in early talks about an investment that could value Facebook at upwards of $10 billion. Although the valuation is huge, the talks themselves shouldn’t come as a surprise, for Microsoft executives have long been enamored of the fast-growing social network based in Palo Alto, Calif.
Facebook has grown to 39 million members, up nearly 63 percent from 24 million in late May, and is quickly gaining ground on larger rival MySpace, which was taken over by News Corp (NWSa.N) in 2005.
Web 2.0 is the technology behind blogs, RSS, Digg, myspace, Technorati and Facebook - as well as dynamic news sites. MSN is playing catchup on Web 2.0. It is a catch-phrase for a new generation of Internet services that run on interactive software and typically rely on content generated by users to attract more visitors.
Microsoft also has an agreement with popular news site Digg.com.
It is time for you to start understanding and involving yourself in social networking.
If you own a company - start with www.michiganbusiness.us and Merchant Circle.
High levels of antioxidants and zinc significantly reduce the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and its associated vision loss.
You may or may not have heard the above claim if you are suffering from AMD. Lutein and Zinc seem to really help with declining vision as we get older. Don't accept blurred vision as part of growing old - but be careful.
Why careful? If you have EVER smoked habitually, be careful about what types of antioxidants you take. It has been shown that taking Beta Carotene in high doses (even after you have quit smoking) can increase your risk of lung cancer.
Recent studies have shown that smoking and taking Beta Carotene supplements do not go together. Beta Carotene is an antioxidant, which means that it inactivates free radicals in the body. In the process it oxidizes and can become a kind of pro-oxidant or form oxidized by-products.
If you are a smoker you should by no means try to avoid Beta Carotene in your diet - just DON'T TAKE SUPPLEMENTS!
That's my words of wisdom for today!
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Sportsmanship - Do we even know what it is?
I was reading something today that I believe is Gold:
In the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Germany's Luz Long, one of the world's best broad jumpers, was looking forward to competing against the great U.S. track and field star, Jesse Owens, the world-record holder. Owens, however, foot-faulted on his first two qualifying jumps and, down to one last chance to qualify, was in danger of missing the competition.
Seeing Owens pacing in agitation, Long suggested that Owens make a mark several inches before the takeoff board to avoid fouling again. It worked, Owens qualified by a centimeter, then kept right on going, beating out Long for the gold medal.This story illustrates the most noble dimension of a concept called sportsmanship, which some argue is a relic of a time gone by.
If you are a parent and Long was your son, would you be proud or appalled?
Sportsmanship is about the honorable pursuit of victory. Gamesmanship is just about victory, where winning by fooling the referee is just as good as winning by outperforming a competitor.
Are you teaching your children Gamesmanship or Sportsmanship? What about your child's coach?
Monday, October 1, 2007
Testimonials ... we all see & read them in some form or another, online as well as offline. What is a testimonial? In short it’s a tribute by an end user for a product or service. Testimonials have an uncanny knack of directly increasing sales & attract prospects rather than drive them away as it is one of the most effective advertising techniques used today.
The key is that the testimonial has to be done correctly.
Always use real testimonials instead of made-up ones. Even the most skilled copywriter can rarely make up a testimonial that can match the sincerity and credibility of genuine words of praise from a real customer or client.
To increase the believability for your testimonials, attribute each quotation. Include the person's name, city and state, and (if a business customer) their job title and company.
Your customers want to know if your company keeps its promises and offers products that deliver results. Use testimonials that clearly show those results -- in as specific a way as possible -- and your customers will show YOU sales.
Send out a customer testimonial in your next email newsletter and watch the sales soar!
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