4 Important Vapor Accessories
Posted by Betty Abernathy on January 25, 2016
Advancements in vaporizer technology have made it more accessible than ever. People who smoke tobacco are opting for vapor at a significant rate. Some choose vapor for convenience, others for texture and flavor, and others still because of the possibility that vapor can save lives.
Whatever your reason to choose vaporization as an inhalation method, there can be a learning curve. Not all vaporizers are created equally, and there are some accessories available that cannot only make your experience simpler but also more cost-effective over the long run.
1. Stainless Steel Cartridges
For many people, one of the most alluring aspects of e-cigs is the cost savings. You can purchase bottles of tobacco juice in bulk and then vaporize as needed. Nevertheless, there can be some hidden costs to this process, and one of them is the cartridge that holds the heating coil. These cartridges heat up quickly and intensely, which results in a great deal of wear and tear. Stainless steel cartridges cost more up front, but they last longer than the alternatives and make it much easier to remove and clean the coils.
2. Larger Batteries and a Charger
Other accessories you may want to invest in are bigger batteries and a sophisticated charger. If you enjoy vapor regularly, then chances are that the battery that comes with your initial vaporizer purchase won’t big enough to suit your tastes. You’ll want something with a little more oomph, and you’ll want at least two of them in order to quick swap in the event that one dies while you’re enjoying a smoke. A good charger serves two purposes: it lets you charge your batteries fast, but more importantly, it does so in a safe and consistent matter, which extends battery life and lowers your battery costs overall.
3. Rebuildable Atomizer
If you’re a novice, you may not need to buy a rebuildable right away. After all, there are different types of atomizers, and you’ll need some time to determine what resistance you prefer. Once you know what you like, however, a rebuildable is a must-have vapor accessory. The atomizer is a consumable part and costs will add up if you have to keep buying new ones. With a rebuildable, you can clean it and maintain it, and when it does fail, parts are inexpensive relative to purchasing a new unit.
4. Stainless Steel Pick Tools
Cleaning your vaporizer can be a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. One of the most challenging aspects of cleaning a vaporizer is removing the gunk from heating coils and other parts of the unit. This is where a good pick comes in and makes the job a lot easier. Stainless steel is an important characteristic because you don’t want anything that can leave behind its own residue. You can usually purchase a single pick for a few dollars, but if you’re willing to spend a little more, than you get a complete set that comes with a selection of pick shapes.
6 Low Cost Ways to Furnish a New Home
Posted by Betty Abernathy on January 23, 2016
There are a lot of things that go into making a house feel like a home, but one of the most important elements of a home is the furnishings. Furniture and decorations bring rooms and open spaces to life. Unfortunately, these things can be expensive! Fortunately, there are many easy ways to furnish your home without spending too much money.
1. Craigslist.com and Garage Sales
Like-new used items can be an excellent value when you are short on cash but need to decorate your home. Decide what you need, then search at garage sales. Or, Craigslist.com is like an online garage sale! You can search in your local area by item type (if you know you need a specific piece), or by price (if you know you need something to fill that odd corner, but you’re not sure what). Users list their items for a set price, but most prices are negotiable. There are sometimes amazing deals on nearly-new or unused items. Just make sure to check that the item is clean and in good condition before you bring it home.
Although Ikea products may get a bad reputation for being cheap, many of their products are of very high quality with stylish appeal, and at much lower prices than their competitors. Look for solid wood or metal furniture, textiles, rugs, baskets, storage solutions and lighting fixtures, and be sure to check the as-is section for extra discounted items that may fit your needs.
3. Online Shopping
Because online stores don’t have the costs of a brick-and-mortar store, they may be able to offer better pricing on certain objects. Consider Amazon.com or Overstock.com for smaller items like pillows or lamps or picture frames. Watch for seasonal sales or use an online coupon to get the best price, and make sure to get free shipping.
4. Dollar stores
Dollar stores sell lots of smaller items that can help to furnish your home. Picture frames, wall decals, contact paper, vases, and candles can all be found at these types of stores for a much better price than you will find anywhere else.
5. Thrift stores
Like garage sales or craigslist, thrift stores are an excellent option for finding furniture or other furnishings that are gently used. Look for well-built items that fit the style of your home. It may take several trips to find all the furniture pieces that you need, but this will simply ensure that your home feels naturally collected and designed once it is finished.
Finally, if you can’t find the right piece for your space in any of the other suggested locations, or you find yourself in love with an item for your home that is hopelessly out of your budget, try making it yourself. Pinterest.com has thousands of ideas for do-it-yourself home decorating projects, and there are several good websites such as Ana-white.com that show you how to make furniture pieces. At the very least, consider making over used furniture that isn’t quite right by painting it or changing the cushion. You will feel proud of yourself for the work that you have done, and your home will be furnished with pieces that bear your personal touch.
5 Reasons your Startup Shouldn’t Take on Accounting Solo
Posted by Betty Abernathy on January 20, 2016
You can take easy steps to eliminate some of the stress and anxiety of launching a startup with small adjustments such as by hiring an outside accountant, which is recommended by Forbes. These are five reasons your startup should not do your accounting in house.
Many entrepreneurs believe they can take on the accounting or to assign it to another founder or team member. This is one area that often overwhelms people because they do not anticipate that small business accounting will be so dramatically different from personal accounting. Also, when you hire an accountant are only paying for the time they actually work; therefore, you will save money. This allows your team, including yourself, to focus on other imperative areas of business.
Your reputation is of the utmost importance during your early days. You do not want to have the reputation of being a business that does not pay bills on time. This is an issue for many startups who simply do not have enough time for everything that needs to be done. Often times, accounting is overlooked. If bills are paid late, you will tarnish relationships with your preferred suppliers and potentially close your doors before they were ever really open.
Personal versus Professional
You must separate your personal banking from your company banking. You might think it to be easier to keep all the money in one place seeing as you will be paying yourself a salary, however this will cause more problems than you can imagine. If you hire a professional to do your taxes, it will help to minimize the temptation to pay yourself and others money that should remain in the business account until the appropriate time.Entrepreneur.com has compiled a list of resources that will help you understand your accountant and their decisions more easily.
One of the best ways accounts help is that they will manage all of your transactions and records for you. When entrepreneurs try to maintain their books early on they rarely keep track of every transaction including money withdrawals at cash points and coffee for the break room. When you do not manage your accounts meticulously, you have no idea which bills you can and cannot pay at the end of the month. An accountant eliminates this guesswork.
Entrepreneurs are typically not experts in accounting practices nor accounting laws. If you do not follow accounting and tax laws properly, you could put your business in jeopardy at anytime throughout the year. You also must ensure you are making legal write-offs and that you are spending the appropriate amount of money at the end of the year to maximize your returns.
It may be tempting to try to complete your accounting in house during the startup phase, however it will most likely cost you more money in time, effort and errors than if you paid someone a few hours a week to manage your books. You will save money, time and stress which is all priceless as you work to create a sustainable business that will be profitable.
5 Ways to Lower New Wardrobe Costs
Posted by Betty Abernathy on January 17, 2016
Maybe you have lost weight over the past few years, or maybe you got a new job that requires you to dress up on the daily. Whatever the reason, it’s time to invest in a new wardrobe. While shopping for clothes can be fun, it can also make a major dent in your budget. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to purchase a new wardrobe without breaking the bank. Before hitting the mall, try these five tips.
1. Shop the Clearance Racks
Buying clothing out of season can save you big bucks, according to Lifehacker.org. While it can be tough to get in the mindset of purchasing sweaters and boots when you are dreaming of a weekend at the beach, the fact is that buying clothes off season offers the best deals. When you are packing away your summer or winter clothes, take an inventory of what you’ll need for next year, then haunt the clearance racks of your favorite stores.
2. Look for Quality
Spending more money on quality clothing when you’re trying to save money might seem counter intuitive, but the goal here is longevity. Rather than buying cheap pieces that will only last a season, search for well made staples from trusted brands that you truly love. According to U.S. News and World Report, timeless classics never go out of style. Then, for a fresh look, supplement these key pieces with inexpensive, trendier items each season.
3. Know What Suits You
Avoid buying items of clothing that you don’t completely love, or that don’t quite fit right. You’ll find that they get pushed to the back of your closet while you wear the outfits you truly love, making them a waste of both money and space. Be honest with yourself about the cuts, colors, and styles that flatter you, and stick with them. The exception to the fit rule is clothes that just need a small nip or tuck to look amazing on you; for those items, get to know a good tailor.
4. Avoid the Outlets
Think you are saving big at the outlets? Think again. Rather than real deals, retail outlets generally consist of lower quality items that were manufactured specifically to be sold at a discount, making the advertised savings misleading. You’ll also find pieces that didn’t sell well at the regular store and those with imperfections.
5. Shop Consignment
The advent of the Internet makes it easy to find good quality used clothing in excellent condition from designer brands without spending all day sorting through the racks. Sites like thredup.com are meticulous about the brands and condition they accept, and allow you to easily search by item, size, and manufacturer. These online retailers can often save you up to 75 percent on great pieces.
Five Benefits of Taking A Private Tour of Italy
Posted by Betty Abernathy on January 15, 2016
Italy is a destination that knows how to inspire. Because of its amazing historic sites and delectable cuisine, Italy is a place to explore with your eyes and taste buds. Instead of booking a group tour or attempting to navigate the country on your own, consider reserving a private tour. The five main benefits of a private tour include:
• Insight from a local
• The ability to set your own travel pace
• Personalized daytrips
• Authentic accommodations
• The option to customize
A local guide will know the ins and outs of the places that you want to see. They can guide you to the best restaurants since they’ve most likely eaten there. If you see a trendy outdoor café, a private guide will be willing to stop to take a break. He or she will speak the language, so you’ll avoid the unpleasant occurrence of ordering a food item that you don’t like.
The Travel Pace is in Your Hands
During a private tour, the travel pace is up to you. If you want every day filled with activities, then your guide will help you plan them. He or she will work with you to schedule cooking classes, gallery tours and sightseeing expeditions. A personal guide can even arrange to get tickets to shows or sporting events. You also have the option of ensuring that each day features plenty of downtime.
Regardless of the base city that you select in Italy, you’ll surely want to tour more of the country. If you choose Rome as your base city, then your personal guide can take you on daytrips to the Vatican, the Roman catacombs and the beach. You’ll even be close enough to take a daytrip to Florence. Private tours let you learn more about a site. For instance, if you take a private Roman catacomb tour, you’ll hear about the site’s little-known ghoulish past.
Your local guide can make accommodations for you in the country’s most authentic inns. To interact with residents and experience more of Italy’s culture, ask your guide to book your room in a traditional bed and breakfast. In Italy, the owners typically live onsite, and they tend to interact with their guests. You’ll also get the chance to enjoy breakfasts featuring food options like pastries, cheese and fruit.
A Trip Tailored for You
A personal tour will be tailored to your interests. If history enthralls you, then your guide will take you to Pompeii to see the remarkably preserved ancient city. The Colosseum is another popular site that is sure to be on the historical section of your travel itinerary. If art is more your preference, then make sure that your tour includes a trip to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and the Vatican Museums.
See More with Your Own Guide
A private tour of Italy will give you the opportunity to see the sites that most intrigue you. The travel option will let you overschedule yourself with activities or relax while soaking in the sites. By touring the country with an expert, you’ll receive an inside look at a country steeped in history and culture.
How to Make a Proper Offer on a Home: Guidelines to Follow
Posted by Betty Abernathy on January 12, 2016
The decision to buy a new house is a significant one, and you can spend a lot of time and energy trying to find the right home to purchase. After you have found your dream home, however, the last thing you may want is to have your offer denied by the seller. With this in mind, you may be wondering what it takes to structure a reasonable offer that the seller will accept. There are a few steps to follow that can help you to accomplish your goal of getting an offer accepted.
If you plan to use a home loan to pay for a portion of the property, an offer to purchase a property is stronger if it is accompanied by a pre-qualification letter. You can get pre-qualified for a mortgage through a lender, and the process typically only takes a few minutes to complete. Once you have a letter in your possession, you can hand it to your real estate agent to affix to the offer that he or she prepares on your behalf. Keep in mind that the sales contract will state whether you plan to pay with cash or if you are applying for a mortgage.
Decide On a Reasonable Asking Price
The next step is to work with your real estate agent to decide on a reasonable price. You may only have a limited budget that you are working with, and you may be inclined to submit a lower offer simply because you cannot afford to make a higher offer. While this strategy may be successful if the seller is getting desperate to sell the property, some sellers will immediately turn down a low ball offer. They likely know how much their property is worth, and they may be inclined to wait for a reasonable offer that is close to the asking price. In some cases, the comparable sales data may indicate that the asking price is too high. If this is the case, submitting an offer with comps to support it is reasonable.
Be Reasonable About Contingencies
All sales contracts have contingencies, such as those for the closing, the property inspection and more. For example, it is reasonable to allow ten days after the acceptance of the sales contract for the property inspection to be completed and 30 days for closing. This will vary by market, and some sellers may be more wary of accepting an offer with very long contingencies. On the other hand, some may not be ready to move out of the house for six or eight weeks, so a longer contingency may be preferred by some.
If you are structuring a sales offer, a smart idea is for your real estate agent to reach out to the seller’s real estate agent. This can provide you with additional information about what the seller is looking for in an offer. Through your efforts and with the help of your real estate agent, you may be able to structure a great deal that the seller will accept.
4 Instant Benefits of Asset Management
Posted by Betty Abernathy on January 9, 2016
Just because you have a lot of assets doesn’t mean that you are the best at managing them. A trained professional may understand why it is better to hold them in a trust, why it may be better to sell a portion of an asset at a loss or why it may be best to hold on to an asset even if it has greatly appreciated in value. What are some other benefits that you gain from proper asset management?
Keep Your Portfolio Properly Diversified
You never want to invest in just one asset class. Even within a certain market sector, it may be best to have a variety of investments in different classes of that sector. For instance, if you are invested in real estate, you will want to own both residential property and commercial property. Proper diversification lowers your risk while increasing your overall returns from your portfolio.
Never Stray From Your Goals
If your portfolio strays away from what you want it to accomplish, it can be rebalanced for you. This means that when a certain stock or mutual fund loses too much of its value or becomes an outsized portion of your portfolio as it grows in value, a professional will be able to help you calibrate and get back to what you want to do with your money.
Gain the Benefit of Someone Else’s Experience
When you decide to have someone else manage your assets, you automatically gain that person’s wisdom and expertise. It makes it a lot easier to accomplish your goals when you have someone who can compliment your passion and ideas with the knowledge to see them through. If you ever have a question about executing and idea that you have, you will have an expert to talk to and determine whether your idea is feasible before you potentially lose money trying it out.
Acquire More Assets With Help Than You Could on Your Own
Allowing someone else to manage some or all of your assets means that there is less work for you to do. This means that you can go ahead and acquire new assets without worrying about how you will keep track of them all. When you have a larger portfolio, you have more chances to make money and let your gains compound over time. This benefits you today as well as in the future when you are ready to sell or transfer those assets to future generations who may oversee them.
With a professional asset manager, you will have someone who has the expertise and experience managing portfolios both large and small. Instead of spending time making decisions as to whether to buy or sell stocks or other assets every time they go up or down, you can spend your time enjoying your money and living life the way that you want to.
5 Innovative Ways 3D Scanning Can Change your Business
Posted by Betty Abernathy on December 28, 2015
3D scanning is revolutionizing how businesses design, develop, test and manufacture products. In actual fact, 3D scanning technology can be used during any stage of the manufacturing process to save time, materials and most important, money. 3D scanning directly results in better quality and fitting parts that cost less to manufacture. Industry experts note that typical manufacturing costs can be reduced by 50 to 70 percent through using 3D scanning technology.
The Design Process
Normally, the design process begins when a prototype is created to conceptualize the product idea. This normally involves an industrial technician who creates a foam or clay lead prototype. Similar to 3D printing, 3D scanning allows the project’s team to digitize and experiment with different objects. This is a great way to start the project out right, because all key members of the design team will be able to translate and adjust their product vision with only a few mouse clicks. This is a very efficient and effective way to explore different product conceptualizations.
The Manufacturing Process
After 3D scanning creates a basic approved CAD model, the design team will be able to add details and incorporate other objects into the existing design. For example, a simple piece of equipment will need multiple CAD models to be accurately incorporated into the master design. Being able to digitally perform reverse engineer will ensure that the actual parts fit better on a consistent basis. Thus, these CAD designs will optimize the engineering process.
The Prototype Process
3D scanning can be utilized during the prototype stage in many ways. For example, the best benefit of 3D designing is actually reducing the total amounts most common is actually to reduce the number of prototype design cycles necessary. Therefore, instead of an expensive and time consuming process, a the prototype is actually a single 3D scan data that results in precise measurements that will be used to create a perfect prototype.
The Production Process
When parts are actually being made, 3D scanning can be used to digitally capture changes. This may involve an experienced professional hand crafting, or tooling, the part to make minor adjustments. Through 3D scanning, modifications and optimizations performed by hand can be easily transferred from tool to tool to ensure that all parts are identically manufactured. Furthermore, 3D scanning can also be used to analyze tool wear during the production process.
3D scanning integrates well into quality control programs. For example, regular quality control involves a manufacturing expert who inspects the shape and size of all parts to detect any issues, such as parts that are warped. However, 3D scanning can easily be used in conjunction with a visual inspection, which will result in a highly accurate report created through statistical analysis software. Overall, quality control during the initial design stage will drastically increase the cost effectiveness of the project.
In the end, 3D scanning can be used during every phase of the manufacturing process to improve quality and efficiency, as well as reduce wasted time and money.
3 Major Differences Between Whey and Soy Protein
Posted by Betty Abernathy on December 26, 2015
Supplementing your diet with a healthful source of protein has been shown to be beneficial to skeletal and muscular health, especially after exercising. During an intense workout, the body excretes electrolytes and burns the most readily available protein to use as energy. Supplementing with a soy or whey based protein drink is a popular method of consuming more protein. There are major differences between these 2 protein sources of which consumers should be mindful.
Possible Hormonal Influences of Soy
Unlike whey, which is derived from cow’s milk, soy protein is derived directly from the humble soybean. However, soy has been shown to contain substances, called isoflavones, that may mimic the hormonal action of estrogen. It is thought that isoflavones may lower testosterone levels. Increases in estrogen levels may cause:
- Thyroid issues
- Low energy
- Digestive troubles
- Fertility issues
However, there are many studies that oppose this viewpoint, claiming that the influence of soy upon human estrogen levels is rather innocuous. Therefore, most people can consume soy products without any trouble, but this is one issue of which consumers should be aware.
The Issue of Lactose
Whey is the watery portion of milk that separates from curds during the process of cheese making. Whey is a complete protein and an excellent source of amino acids. Due to its chemical makeup, it has a high degree of bio-availability. This means that the human body can quickly digest and absorb the nutrient profile of whey, making it a great choice after an intense workout for quick refueling.
However, since whey is a dairy product, it is not suitable for people who suffer from a dairy allergy or who are lactose intolerant. People who are vegan also would want to avoid this source of protein, but they can count on soy to provide a complete protein profile. While it may not be as readily digested by the body, soy is still a good protein choice for individuals who need to avoid dairy in their diet.
Weight Loss & Muscle Building
Although soy is a complete source of protein, a 2013 government study found that people who supplement with whey protein build more lean muscle mass and lose weight more effectively than those who choose soy. Although the mechanism by which whey works differently from soy is as of yet unknown, the results draw a clear conclusion that whey is a superior source of fitness nutrition.
Although whey may yield more weight loss benefits, soy is still a healthful and effective fuel for the human body. Despite their differences, both soy and whey can be part of a healthful lifestyle.
8 Creative Pottery Painting Ideas
Posted by Betty Abernathy on December 24, 2015
There are several styles to use when decorating your pottery, both before firing and afterwards, and it can be a little confusing choosing the right style. Decorating pottery doesn’t have to be difficult; in fact, painting pottery is so easy people have been doing it since prehistoric times. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Stencils: This method will add life to a plain pot. Place a stencil on a pot and paint around it, or even try using a cookie cutter and paint inside of it.
Make it metal: Choose a metallic craft paint or spray paint in a shiny hue. Nail polish is an option for added sheen. Leave it shiny or dab green or black on the edges of the pot for a natural-looking patina.
Ombre: Place water in a pot that’s larger than the one you want to paint. Mix in water color paint. Completely submerge the smaller pot, then very slowly pull it out, allowing the paint to soak deeper though the part you want to be darker.
Chevron: Chevron is a popular pattern that adds a pop of color to anything drab. Choose two colors, or choose one color that will complement the natural color of the pot. Paint the lighter of the two colors over the whole pot, and when it dries, place painter’s tape over the pot in zig zags, creating the Chevron pattern. Paint the open areas with the second color. Remove the painter’s tape, and voila! You’ll have a pot fit for Charlie Brown.
Sponge Paint: To jazz up your décor, dip an old sponge in brightly colored craft paint, then dab onto the pot. Go gently for light dots, or make it rough to the touch with a heavy hand.
Stamps: Using stamps and stamp ink or paint, create a pretty picture on a plain clay pot by rolling it firmly onto the desired surface. For added flair, paint in the details with colorful craft paint or outline your favorite parts with a shiny permanent marker.
Drip Paint: Using thin or watered-down paint, drip tiny dots around the top rim of the pot. Alternate colors for a festive look. Or, flip the pot over to create movement from the bottom.
Finger Paint: Be a kid and get your hands dirty. Dip your fingers in pools of paint and smear it all over the surface of the pot. While it’s messy, the shape and texture of your finger will add an interesting look to your masterpiece.
With all painting, make sure you leave every piece time to properly dry; happy painting.