Author Archives: Anne Smart

About Anne Smart

Anne Smart is a resident Author of ArticleScholar. Before venturing into Social Media Optimization, Pro Blogging and Freelance Writing on the Web, she served as a Marketing Consultant for a Fortune 500 Company.

5 Natural Remedies For Insomnia

By Anne Smart, Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Insomnia Remedies 5 Natural Remedies For InsomniaSome people experience insomnia some time in their life. Insomnia tends to occur in all people especially those who have risk factors for a disrupted sleep. These may include anxiety, thinking of a lot of things, and those undergoing emotional and mental problems. Having a physical condition may also lead to insomnia. Some people are able to sleep better without any management, but some with chronic insomnia may require medications for sleep in order to achieve undisrupted and normal sleep patterns. However, these medications usually lead to various side effects that may add additional discomforts to patients. In addition, some of these medications may lead to tolerance and withdrawal symptoms.

In this regard, home remedies may be a better option for people experiencing insomnia. These are not only effective, but also do not lead to serious side effects. The following are the top 5 natural remedies for insomnia:

Running

Running is the most effective way of treating insomnia naturally. Running improves the circulation to the different parts of the body, especially in the brain; thereby enhancing the neurotransmitter release. Running also is a good form of exercise that helps people has adequate and sound sleep because at the end of the day, your body would require rest after your running activity. Consider running three to five times a week. Start slow and gradually increase your speed as well as the distance of your run. When you don’t have opportunity for outdoor running, you can use the treadmill instead.

Meditation

Meditation is another remedy to improve sleep. Up to 75% of cases have responded to meditation in improving the sleeping pattern. Meditation improves the sleeping pattern by relaxing the mind during meditation. Meditation allows the body and mind to connect. Once your mind is relaxed, your body also assumes a relaxed state, which is essential in normal sleep. Consider meditating daily for 30 minutes. Zen meditation and So Hum Mantra Meditation are the two most effective meditation techniques for insomnia.

Yoga

Aside from meditation, yoga is also one of the best measures to manage insomnia naturally. Yoga is even better than doing similar physical exercises because not only the body is relaxed, but the mind and spirit as well. The extending and stretching techniques in yoga helps release the tension and stress on the muscles deep in the body. It also relieves tension on the joints and other tissues ion the body. Aside from the physical benefits of yoga, it also allows the person to assume a generally peaceful state that aids in managing insomnia. Engage in yoga for at least 3 times a week to maximize its benefits.

Guided Imagery and Deep Breathing exercises

These two techniques are used hand in hand in reliving insomnia. While you are in your bed, try to focus your attention in peaceful and restful environment by listening to an audio recording that helps you imagine things that can lead you to a restful state. Also, while practicing guided imagery, practice deep breathing exercises to help you relax more.

Establish a sleeping pattern

Most people who have insomnia have not established sleeping pattern leading to difficulty in sleeping when they need to. A key to establishing sleeping pattern is to lie on the bed at the same time every night to allow the body to assume that time to be time for sleep. In addition, never use your bed for other purposes than sleeping. Those who study or do things on their bed usually eliminate the feeling of the body to sleep when in bed.

Dr. Amarendra writes for eDrugstore.MD where one can buy Levitra and Cialis online.

5 Tools Every Entrepreneur Should Be Using

By Anne Smart, Sunday, May 20, 2012

Business Planning Tools 389x258 5 Tools Every Entrepreneur Should Be UsingWhen you’re an entrepreneur, you need to have the right tools of the trade. While there isn’t any kind of official entrepreneur’s tool kit, some entrepreneur somewhere is probably working on something like that. If you want to grow your business in this day and age, there are some things that just aren’t optional anymore. The following are five of those things, if only because entrepreneurs rarely have more than one hand free at a time.

Reliable Web Browser

If your web browser doesn’t work well and keep track of downloads and apps easily, you need to junk it. There are simply too many options on the market right now to accept anything less than an awesome browser. You just don’t have the time to devote your day to messing with slow browsers that don’t give you plenty of time saving options and convenient apps to work with.

Online Faxing Tool

When you can fax documents online, you open up a lot of options that haven’t existed since the land line was a popular option. With a good online faxing utility, you can send and receive faxes immediately, without having to mess with opening potentially corrupted email attachments. A process that used to take half an hour can now take two minutes, and the other 28 are needed on another project, stat.

Smart Phone

While there are plenty of people who think smart phones detract from an entrepreneur’s mission, the counter argument is very compelling. These days, a smart phone is the personal assistant you can fit in your pocket. When you have thirty meetings on a fairly boring day, you need to keep things streamlined or you’re going to fall behind. A smart phone can always be set to not ping every time an unimportant message comes through, but it’s impossible to use what you aren’t carrying.

White Board

White boards are a pretty low tech tool, but they’re so useful it isn’t funny. When you have a big white board ready and waiting for you in the office and at home, you can plan a lot of things as the brain storm hits. Forget about trying to scratch down ideas on cocktail napkins. A very simple, fairly cheap white board will see so much use for your next great idea, if not the next thousand great ideas, that it will pay for itself more times than a great pair of walking shoes.

Online Backup Utility

The worst thing that can happen to your great ideas is having them be lost forever. With a good backup utility, this will never happen. Backing up things automatically is worth whatever you have to pay for it, because every idea is loaded with gold.

Entrepreneurs have a lot of stuff these days. But when all is said and done, there are only a few really precious tools. The above are many of those tools, and being without them is being unprepared.

About the Author: Marlin Blackham is a business consultant who often mentors young business owners. He always recmomends a good Smart Phone, an online fax service, and reliable database backups – no matter what the line of business.

Spice Up Any Party With A Sexy Outfit

By Anne Smart, Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sexy Outfit 250x250 Spice Up Any Party With A Sexy OutfitNo matter the reason why you and your friends are getting together for a night of partying, there is one way to make sure that your group has the most fun and that is by making it a costume party.

Let you and your friends unleash their flirtatious sides and celebrate looking sexy.

Any Occasion can be Sexy

Whether your party is for Christmas, Halloween, or just simply a celebration for someone you know, costumes can make it all the more interesting.  The right fancy dress can easily be found online and can make a woman feel her best.  This year unleash your devilish side and have some fun in a naughty nurse or dangerous gangster outfit and celebrate in a way you have never celebrated before.

Sexy uniforms are perfect for Halloween and Christmas parties.

Naughty uniforms can bring out your more adventurous side and range from police woman to Santa’s helper to cheerleaders.  It is not every day that a woman can dress up in an outfit, so why no take advantage of the holidays and make things a little more festive.

Even Birthdays can be Fun and Flirty

Celebrating a friends’ birthday is a great excuse to create a costume themed party.  Birthdays can sometimes be dull and hard to plan, but throwing a costume party and letting everybody there feel amazing can make the fun level go way up.  Bachelorette parties, girls’ night out, and Valentine’s Day bashes are perfect times to dress up with a sexy fancy dress. No matter what celebration you decide to spice up by wearing fancy dress, there are plenty of sexy party dresses to choose from.  Flirty animal costumes, superheroes, French maids, or belly dancer outfits can be perfect for absolutely any occasion that you need to dress for.

Not Just Once a Year

Fancy dress does not have to wait for Halloween, but instead can make other holidays and occasions more exciting.

This year plan a party for a friend or Christmas or just because you want to and have all your guests come wearing a costume.  No matter if it is a small gathering with your closest friends or a large party with hundreds of people, a costume party is a great way to break the ice for anyone and transform a dull and ordinary party into a wild and memorable time for all who attend.

Try Something out of the Ordinary

This year add a little excitement in your life and plan a few costume parties for your friends, but just remember one thing, be sure that your fancy dress is the best one at the party.

If you need some creative ideas, there are plenty of sites online that offer fabulous fancy dress in all sizes. No matter what size you are or how many curves you have, there is an outfit perfect for you.

Take on a new persona and wear a fancy dress costume that will wow everyone who sees you.

There are millions of looks to choose from, whether you choose to be just a little flirty, very enticing, or as naughty as you can be, there is a perfect fancy dress just waiting for you.

This article was provided by http://www.annsummers.com

So Much Music, So Many Formats For The Pop Fan To Enjoy

By Anne Smart, Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Many people feel that CD recordings and digital downloads are not as good as the old-fashioned ones that used to come on those vinyl platters you’d find in every music store around the world. Back in the day there were lots of record shops found in just about every city in the world, and they were a good place for music lovers to while away the hours as they shuffled through bins filled with recordings. Better still, used record shops were also quite popular in many cities, especially those that had high college and university student populations.

Much like another vanishing retail species, the bookshop, record stores often had a specialty that would attract a certain segment of the population. Fans of a particular style of music, be it opera, jazz, rock or country, knew where the hottest records shops were located, and they would often congregate there to buy records, or just socialize with others who like the same sort of music that they did.

The Rise Of Digital Music

With the rise of the digitally formatted sound recording, and then the Internet the days of the neighborhood record store were numbered. Once music was transformed into a digital format, and a means of transporting the music became ubiquitous – the Internet – it wasn’t long before engineers developed compression technologies that allowed the average user to compress an entire album’s worth of music and post it on a public server where other could download it, and have a free copy of just about any music on the planet.

Despite the digital revolution and its impact on the record industry, the demand for vinyl record albums is returning at an increasingly fast pace. Perhaps music lovers have finally gotten over their flirtation with digitally formatted music, and have concluded that music on vinyl sounds better than do CDs or digital downloads.

Used Recording Shops And Vinyl Albums

Vinyl Kills Music MP3 Format So Much Music, So Many Formats For The Pop Fan To EnjoyShops that specialize in used recording are once again stocking vinyl albums, but the vinyl recordings are oftentimes newly pressed versions of albums that had originally been released on vinyl years ago, were later released on CD, and perhaps made available on digital download, and are again making their appearance on the market as vinyl platters. If such an album was released at a certain time in music history you can also expect that the same record may have also been released on cassette or eight-track tape, as well.

Fans of certain musical acts might want to own recordings in all available formats, if  that singer or band happens to be a particular favorite. Perhaps you’ll want to own some Radiohead vinyl albums, and keep copies o the same titles on CD and in digital format for your MP3 music player, as well.

Whichever format you choose, you’ll likely still enjoy hearing your favorite music on vinyl – why not go and buy a turntable today?

High quality VPI 16.5 turntables as well as factory-sealed albums such as Bob Dylan vinyl are just some of the things Sound Stage Direct offers. You can find music in many genres – soul, rap & hip hop, jazz, rock, funk, and Latin. Well over thirty thousand albums!

Image by acidpix

Facts You Didn’t Know About Reptiles’ Eyesight

By Anne Smart, Sunday, May 6, 2012

Our cold-blooded friends have many impressive characteristics, from the Nile Crocodile being able to adapt to life in caves to the chameleon changing colour to match its surroundings. But as a whole, how impressive the vision capabilities of reptiles?

Reptiles’ activity during the day and their sleeping at night categorises them as diurnal animals. That said, their vision has evolved over thousands of years to be adapted to daylight conditions (as it’s this time of day they need their eyesight most).

Colour vision

The reptiles’ ability to see colour is far better than in amphibians and other common mammals. This is most likely due to their daytime activity and their changing surroundings.

Lizards: an impressive reptile

Lizards have incredibly deep colour perception, which is down to the importance for it to locate and catch prey and also for communication, particularly for chameleons. Many lizards rely a great deal on body language, and will often adopt particular positions to give off specific messages.

Anoles, a lizard with an extended dewlap (or beck area), also have patterns on their backs which are only visible under UV light, another impressive characteristic of their appearance.

Turtles, tortoises and terrapins

Reptile Eyesight Facts You Didnt Know About Reptiles’ Eyesight

When casually swimming in shallow waters, turtles submerge their whole body underwater – all except for their eyes and ears. Snapping turtles have eyes on the top of their heads which are closer together than those of other turtles. Sea turtles have tear ducts next to their eyes which can rid the body of excess salt that is taken in when they swim in the ocean.

Turtles have exceptional night vision which is due to the vast amount of rod cells that are housed in their retinas. Their colour vision is also impressive, and they can see anything from near UV to red.

Land turtles don’t have overly impressive ability to focus on moving prey, but this generally isn’t needed as they are slow moving animals. Sea turtles however have better movement pursuit abilities and can snap their beaks quickly to catch prey.

Snakes

Our slippery friends don’t have overly good vision, and often rely on heat sensing to catch their prey. In particular, pit vipers, boa constrictors and pythons have well developed heat sensitive pads next to their eyes. This allows the snake to completely engulf prey in complete darkness, just by sensing body heat.

Amy writes about eyesight and eye conditions for Direct Sight, a leading online provider of glasses and sunglasses including varifocals.

Useful Tips on How to Choose A Driving Or Riding Instructor

By Anne Smart, Saturday, May 5, 2012

If you want to learn how to drive, one of the most important decisions you need to face is finding the right driving or riding instructor, who can accompany you during your learning process. Although you may have thought of asking a friend or someone you are acquainted with who knows how to drive to educate you in order to save some bucks, hiring an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) can make a huge difference on the way you think about driving safety and how you would handle driving itself.

An ADI is a car driving trainer who has been qualified by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) to give out advise and provide the correct knowledge to learner drivers about the right driving procedures as well as practical test requirements. Accordingly, out of ten learner drivers nine managed to pass their practical test during their first try. These passers were taught and guided by an ADI instead of a friend or relative who just knows how to drive.

Proof of Qualification of ADIs and Trainees

You will be able to know if a driving instructor is a fully qualified ADI if he or she has a green badge on his or her car’s windscreen. Trainee driving instructors, on the other hand, are provided by the DSA with a trainee license (usually a pink badge) for them to get an experience before they have their qualifying test.

If your chosen driving instructor’s green or pink badge is not on display, it is vital that you ask him or her to show it to you, as this is an important proof that he or she is qualified to teach. If the person is unable to show such a badge, you need to report this to the DSA as it is likely that he or she is practicing an illegal driving instruction.

Finding An ADI

The DSA is the governing body that maintains the standards of all ADIs. If you want to make sure that you will hire the right person for the job, here are some of the most vital qualifications that you should look at based from DSA’s standard.

  • Is registered with the Driving Standard Agency
  • Has no criminal record
  • Had passed a complex theory test and practical driving test as well as a test that gauges his or her ability to provide instructions.
  • Has an authentic ADI identification certificate displayed on the tuition vehicle’s windscreen

You also have to take note that the DSA regularly checks all the ADIs standard of instruction, which are graded according to their performance.

  • 4 is an indication of a satisfactory standard of instruction
  • 5 indicates a good overall standard; and
  • 6 is the highest rate an ADI can receive

With these grades in mind, it would be wise to ask your instructor to show his or her last grade report from the DSA to know how well he or she has performed on the check test lesson. Knowing this will also ensure that your safety while taking your lessons.

Other than the standards mentioned above, an instructor should also have a good reputation, is punctual and reliable and has a training car that not only suits you, but is insured.

As with any other things, doing your own research before actually hiring a driving instructor is one of the best routes to find the right person who can impart to you all the knowledge you need to become a good driver. Spending money to hire an instructor you have not met nor spoke with is a recipe for disaster that will not only put your driving skills at risk, but your life as well.

Article was researched and written by Johnston Stewart who is a Driving Instructor in Falkirk in his spare time Johnston enjoys writing about driving test related subjects and driving subjects in general.

Five Deadly Sins Charities Regularly Commit on Twitter

By Anne Smart, Monday, April 30, 2012

It seems impossible for even the smallest charity to ignore social media. With news of George Osbourne’s cap on tax relief on charitable donations ringing in our ears, it’s more important than ever to engage with the public to garner  donations and volunteer support. However, whilst the big charities are able to afford social media strategists to mastermind promotional campaigns and to spearhead engagement across the web, for smaller, local charities it often falls to volunteers or already overstretched employees to man the Twitter account, front the Facebook page and turn out the Tumblr. Yes, the tools are relatively simple but it takes some time and dedication to get to know the particularities of each platform and how to use it effectively. I’ve collated a list  of the most common (and deadly) sins I see on Twitter.

Twitter and Facebook are the basic tools in any charity’s social media arsenal. But it’s surprising how poorly a lot of organisations use them. Take a gander at these classic Tweet-based errors:

  • MISTAKE 1: Using Twitter as a bulletin board.

This one is a heartbreaker. So many charities are missing out on the main purpose of  Twitter: conversation. It’s not enough to simply post updates on events. The novelist William Gibson once compared Twitter to the street and Facebook to the mall and this can be a very useful analogy to bear in mind when you’re tweeting. Think of yourself as manning a stall on the street – it’s not so much about giving out information, it’s about catching the individual’s eye, making idle conversation, establishing that crucial initial connection. Make full use of the @ and reply to your followers as much as possible. If you include them in your conversation, they’ll start to include your work in theirs.

  • Twitter Bird Five Deadly Sins Charities Regularly Commit on TwitterMISTAKE 2: Ignoring the Biography

It’s important to establish a human face as quickly as possible, whilst still making your organisation’s goals as clear as can be. The best way to do this is to spend a little time thinking about  the biography that sits atop your Twitter profile. Make it easy for interested people to find you by identifying key words and phrases that encapsulate what your work is about and make sure you include them. Think about the words you’d use to search for your organisation in a search engine – if you have a website, check Google Analytics and see what keywords brought visitors to your site; it may surprise you.

  • MISTAKE 3: Eating up space with URLS.

There are so many websites dedicated to saving you precious characters on Twitter. Enter your desired long form link into a site like bitly or TinyURL and they will shrink the address down into a much shorter version that will still direct the user to your intended destination. Bitly also has some nifty tools that allow you to track the number of click-throughs, enabling you to judge the effectiveness of your tweeting habits.

  • MISTAKE 4: Forgetting to personalise.

It’s not just about the avatar. Twitter offers each user their own page to customise. Whilst it’s important to offer a personalised response, nothing looks less professional than a generic user page. Use your organisation’s branding, colour scheme and artwork to give your page its own cohesive identity.

  • MISTAKE 5: Refusing to be a follower as well as a leader

Take the time to ferret out similar organisations and ‘follow’ them. This will not only help interested users find their way to you but it’s amazing the information you can glean and the contacts you can make. Make use of the strategic ‘retweet’  as a way of sharing and validating your supporters’ activities. Twitter is an excellent place to search for charity vacancies so don’t be afraid to ask for a ‘RT’ – it’s an easy way for your followers to support you and it’s amazing the breadth of reach a single click can have.

Hopefully you didn’t recognise too much of yourself in this list o’ social media sin, but even if you did, the beauty of Twitter is its transitory nature. It’s never too late to turn things around, try something new and experiment. Twitter is one of the most effective ways of consolidating a supporter base and getting the word out. So, go forth and tweet, toot and make it count!

Susan Greene is a technology and social media specialist who blogs on charity vacancies. She is also a total Twitter junkie.

How to Choose a Pediatrician You Can Trust

By Anne Smart, Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pediatrician Child Doctor How to Choose a Pediatrician You Can TrustAs a parent, you understand how difficult it can be to entrust your children’s care to anyone besides yourself – especially when it comes to their health and well being. For that reason, choosing a pediatrician can be a very challenging undertaking. Who is the best fit for your children? And, what’s more, who can you trust to provide the very best possible care for your children? Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to find the right doctor to meet all of your needs and assuage most of your concerns. Here are some great tips for how to choose a pediatrician you can trust:

Ask around. The best way to find a trustworthy pediatrician is to find one with a great reputation. People are quick to share information about doctors they love, and doctors they aren’t so fond of. Speak with your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, and anyone else with young children who can relate to you when it comes to your experience of finding a good pediatrician.

Interview pediatricians. It is important that you interview a number of pediatricians before settling on one. It is difficult to gain perspective on your chemistry with pediatrician candidates if you haven’t sat with them in person and had a discussion. Any reputable pediatrician should be willing to meet with you for at least a few minutes, as long as you make an appointment. Don’t choose a pediatrician until you’ve made certain you are comfortable with that person face to face.

Do your research. You can find a lot of information about doctors online with just a few simple searches. There are a number of websites that cater to people just like you, who are looking to make that tough decision, and these sites maintain databases of patient reviews and ratings to help you along the way.

Credentials. Ask about pediatrician credentials before you make your choice. Not only should your chosen pediatrician have relevant experience working with children, but she or he should also have all applicable professional affiliations and board associations. Look for a certification from the American Board of Pediatrics, membership with the AAP (designated by an “FAAP” after the doctor’s name), and certification with the American Board of Family Medicine.

Choosing a pediatrician you can trust is no small task. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to make the process go as smoothly as possible, and also to ensure that you make the best decision for both you and your children. Follow these tips to find a pediatrician that you know will provide the best possible care for your children.

About the Author: Marlin Kadar loves to research health and wellness – especially conditions that commonly afflict children and women. She frequently recommends yeastinfectiontreatment.org to women who want to learn more about candida and how it can impact daily life.

What is Tailgating and How Can You Combat It?

By Anne Smart,

Tailgating Message Sticker What is Tailgating and How Can You Combat It?Tailgating In Brief

Tailgating can be considered as dangerous practice that many drivers engage in while on the road. It involves following too closely to the vehicle ahead, and is used by some drivers to express their impatience toward another motorist, or a driving style practiced by those who have no clear understanding about road safety. By standard, a proper gap between vehicles must be two second long or a yard for every mph. Anything that is closer than about one second without showing any intent of overtaking can be considered as tailgating.

Common Causes

There are numerous reasons why drivers become tailgaters. To begin with, there are some drivers who appear to intentionally want to be tailgated. They are usually the ones who unnecessarily slow down on the road despite faster traffic behind them. Tailgating also occurs due to the ignorance of some motorists or those who are unaware of the safe gaps that are meant to be maintained while driving.

Aggressive drivers may also cause for tailgating to arise. These drivers are often impatient and they tend to direct their aggression toward the vehicle in front them, especially if they think that it is moving slowly. Another reason why tailgating happens can be attributed to heavy goods vehicles (HGV), whose drivers typically try to run at higher speed in the hope of reducing travel time and early delivery of the goods. Although drivers of HGVs do not intend to close in on the vehicle in front, their desire to maintain their speed diminishes safe gap, especially when the speed of traffic is restored.

Advanced drivers can also become tailgaters. Since they are adept to driving faster compared to other motorists, they usually tackle the “overtaking position.” The problem occurs, however, when the vehicle they are trying to overtake is also running at a high speed.

Dealing with tailgating

To avoid becoming a tailgater:

  • Do not let your emotions interfere with your driving. Even if you are in a hurry or are encountering some personal troubles, tailgating is not the right channel for you to vent your frustrations. Bear in mind that your driving behavior may encourage you to speed up unknowingly, which in turn may result for you to tailgate the vehicle ahead.
  • Follow the two-second space rule. Leaving the right amount of gap between your car and the vehicle in front will let you to safely stop in the event that the other vehicle suddenly halts. The recommended following distance is two seconds. However, it is wise to leave more than the standard two-second distance if you are driving in bad weather, are following larger or smaller vehicles, or if your car is carrying a heavy load.

To avoid becoming a victim of a tailgater:

  • Beware of your driving habits. Avoid driving below the speed limit, especially if you are in a fast moving lane.
  • Maintain a safe distance. At the least, you should be able to view the headlights of the vehicle behind yours in your rear-view mirror.
  • Give way. If you are being tailgated, consider making it easier for the tailgater to get around your car. You can slow down so that he or she can overtake, or you can choose to completely pull off the side. Do not forget to use a courteous signal for him or her to get the message.
  • Forget pride. Trying to let your emotions get to your head and doing unnecessary actions such as teaching the other driver a lesson by intentionally slowing and then accelerating or by making it hard for him or her to overtake are the quickest means to provoke hostility. As such, if you do not want to get involved in a conflict with a tailgater, it is your best bet to be considerate

Tailgating is not acceptable in public roads, as it stirs hostility among motorists. Sadly, not all drivers understand its associated dangers. If you are a motorist yourself, it is your responsibility to drive sensibly. It is only by doing so that you can avoid becoming a tailgater or becoming a victim of a bumper-rider.

Sean Burns who runs a driving instructors in edinburgh company called Capital Driver Training wrote this article. He offers driving lessons to pupils in Edinburgh and throughout central Scotland.

5 Things You Can Do to Customize Any WordPress Theme

By Anne Smart, Thursday, April 26, 2012

Logo Wordpress Black 389x366 5 Things You Can Do to Customize Any WordPress ThemeYour WordPress theme says a lot about both you and your business. If yours is a slovenly website with broken links aplenty and colors that make people squint or click away, something is not right in your state of Denmark. Fortunately, you can customize just about everything. Here are a few great places to start.

Letting it Update Automatically

Automatic updates are one of the greatest gifts of the modern world. Without automatic updating, some people would lose everything they’ve worked on for weeks every time the power went off. If a newer and better version of your theme exists, sometimes it’s best to let it update. Often the designer has come up with something way better, both in appearance and in functionality. If all else fails, it’s fairly easy to change back to the old version.

Changing the Header Graphic

Your header graphic is probably going to be the first thing anyone sees regarding your company. If it isn’t up to snuff, a lot of folks won’t get much further. Change the header graphic to something that puts your company in the best possible light, and you’ll be far more successful. You may even want to resize the graphic so that it doesn’t dominate the screen as much, or so it presents your company more boldly.

Redoing the Font Colors and Sizes

While a simple Arial or Times New Roman font in black will work for most businesses, sometimes it’s great to mix things up a little bit. If yours is a creative company, a more creative font will fit right in. If your background is black or another color, using a pastel or lightened version of its opposite color can be very striking. Just beware of making your page painful to look or garish.

Changing Your 404 Pages

While errors are terrible things to have, it’s even worse if yours are generic. Sometimes problems creep in, and a custom 404 page will let your visitors know that you’re dealing with it. It’ll also let them know that you’ve anticipated problems happening, if only in the sense of dealing with them as they come. Sometimes you can distract your visitors from the error by pointing to something else.

Adding in Subscription Forms

Subscribers may or may not be the bread and butter of your organization. Whether they’re a big deal to you or not, courting them is still a wise idea. Adding in a subscription form takes little time, but it can pay huge dividends down the line.

Customizing your WordPress theme can help you in a variety of ways. You can increase your browser appeal, make your company stand out in a good way and get subscribers you can speak to whenever you have something awesome to report. The possibilities are limited more by your imagination than by WordPress itself.

About the Author: Nolan Dembitzer loves modifying WordPress themes. He also enjoys creating new plug-ins, jquery slider tools, and more!

5 Awesome Activities for Celebrating Grandparents Day with the Kids

By Anne Smart, Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Elderly Old Couple Grandparents 389x258 5 Awesome Activities for Celebrating Grandparents Day with the KidsNational Grandparents Day is just what it sounds like: a special holiday reserved for the celebration of our parents’ parents. Established in 1978, Granparent’s Day is a great way to show respect and honor for those elderly mentors who sacrificed so much in their lives to make our lives better. It is important to teach our children how to venerate those who came before us, and the best way of doing that is to involve them in Grandparents Day activities that they will someday be cherished memories. Want to give your children a gift that will last a lifetime? Here are five awesome activities for celebrating Grandparents Day with the kids:

Picnic in the park. Involve the children in choosing and preparing a special Grandparents Day spread, and then pack everything into a picnic basket and head to the park. Your kids will love planning a meal for and serving their grandparents, and your parents will love watching the children play.

Story time. Sit the children around their grandparents and have the grandparents take turns telling stories about their youth. If possible, find pictures of the grandparents when they were children and use them as visual aids.

“Then and Now” game. This is sure to be fun for the entire family, and is also a great lesson in history. Create a two-columned chart – one column titled “Then” and another column titled “Now.” Then create rows entitled with points of interest like music, food, fun, school, travel, housing, and whatever else you can think of that will stretch your children’s imaginations. Have the children and the grandparents take turns filling in their columns.

Scrapbook. Bring both generations together in the creation of a special keepsake by having the children and grandparents make a scrapbook together. Be sure to include pages dedicated to each separate person, as well as the family as a whole. Not ready to create an entire scrapbook? Throw some family images together and have them printed on a t-shirt instead. This will prove to be one of those cherished grandma gifts your grandparents can’t stop enjoying!

The family tree. Not only is this a valuable learning experience for the children -who will get to see exactly how their family (and they) came to be – but it is also an excellent opportunity for the grandparents to tell their life stories. What’s more is that when you have completed the project, you will all have a keepsake that you can treasure for countless years to come.

Remember that Grandparents Day is the first Sunday after Labor Day, which means that it will be here in no time. Create a special occasion that is sure to be remembered by incorporating these awesome activities into the day’s events.

The Perfect Baby Shower

By Anne Smart, Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What better way to treat yourself during pregnancy than to have a baby shower? Although traditionally these parties are more of an American tradition, they are becoming much more popular around the world, and personally I think all pregnant women deserve a party thrown in their honour! Baby showers are usually organised by a friend or relative of the mother-to-be, so either ask someone to organise one for you or do it yourself!

Decoration

Fill your venue with balloons, if you know the sex of your baby you could use pastel pink for a girl and baby blue for a boy, or neutral colours like yellow and green if the sex of your baby is a surprise. You could ask guests to draw pictures on the balloons of what they think the baby will look like, based on what you and your partner look like, guests will have fun comparing their portraits and getting creative!

Ask your guests to bring pictures of themselves as babies and use a piece of ribbon to peg these up around the room. Everyone will enjoy trying to guess who is who!

Food

Buffet style food works best at baby showers. Make sure there’s plenty of food to go around. You could go for themed food, such as children’s party food, with jelly, cheese and pineapple sticks, party rings etc, or an English tea party, with scones complete with jam and cream, teacakes, and cucumber sandwiches. Fill some baby bottles with sweets and place these around the room for guests to snack on.

Welcome Baby Girl Shower Cake The Perfect Baby Shower

A party isn’t a party without cake, so get creative and decorate your cupcakes with baby themes. Write ‘Baby girl’ or ‘Baby boy’ in icing, or your baby’s due date, or if you’ve already chosen a name, practice writing your baby’s name on your cupcakes!

Drinks

Serving your guests a glass of champagne is a great way to get your party started, and to celebrate your baby’s imminent arrival. To cut down on costs though, ask your guests to bring a bottle of wine if they intend to drink, and make a non-alcoholic cocktail for yourself and any non-drinkers.

Games

Games at a baby shower might seem a bit cheesy, but playing fun, silly games will help keep everyone entertained and will ensure lots of laughs. Give small gifts such as chocolates as prizes.

Have everyone place bets on the baby’s sex, weight and birth date. Once the baby arrives the winner is awarded the money (you’ll probably be too busy with your new baby to do this yourself, so allocate this job to a friend!)

Keep your guests entertained and get some healthy competition going by making up a baby related quiz. Have different categories such as celebrity babies, questions on the imminent mother and father couple, and a ‘finish the nursery rhyme’ category.

Another game that goes down well is the baby taste test! Get some jars of baby food and blindfold each guest in turn. Get them to taste the baby food and guess what it is (make sure you have a drink nearby to wash the taste away!)

At a baby shower I went to recently the host handed everyone a blank white babygro. She then handed out fabric pens for everyone to decorate the babygro, and write funny messages on to the baby. This went down really well with everyone, and you could take it further by providing buttons, ribbons, and iron on patches for your guests to show off their clothes making skills! The mother-to-be will also get some fab, customised outfits for the little to wear when they arrive!

5699731789 30129804e7 n The Perfect Baby Shower

If you’re planning the baby shower for a friend, ask guests to come up with a funny piece of advice relating to babies.

Presents

People love buying presents for babies and opening them (or watching the mother-to-be open them) is a really fun part of a baby shower! If you’re planning it for yourself, and would like to request specific gifts, you can register a gift list at most department stores. Don’t feel cheeky about this, your guests will want to buy you and your baby a gift!

Baby book

Buy a book and ask all the guests to write a message of support for the mum-to-be, along with a photo of the guest and the mum-to-be together. This will be something she’ll treasure forever and enjoy showing the baby when he/she is older. If you’re planning the baby shower for yourself, ask your guests to sign the book when they leave.

This article has been written by Alice who loves finding out different ideas of parties and baby showers. She enjoys playing games guessing baby names and other things about the new baby!