Friday, December 31, 2010

Kitchen Design Trends: What's Hot for Your Kitchen?

Kitchen Design Trends: What's Hot for Your Kitchen?

So, you have just made the decision to remodel the kitchen! No decision about your home environment is more important because of the key activities that take place in the kitchen. Now is the time to do a little personal research and find out what your options are.

Exploring Space in Your Kitchen

The larger the space, the easier it is to outfit your kitchen for a modern multi-tasking family. But, not all kitchens are large enough to blend task areas. A qualified and experienced kitchen planning specialist may be able to help you "find" additional square footage you didn't realize you have by removing a wall, opening a closet or raising the ceiling.

Add critical space to your kitchen by carefully planning your cabinets to include features that store the kinds of items you have. Many and varied special cabinets or cabinet inserts are available for every imaginable storage need.

Universal Kitchen Design

The emphasis on ease-of-use in public buildings prompted by the Americans with Disabilities Act is prompting a growing trend in the housing market, too. Whether you have a disabled person in your family or not, everyone can benefit by keeping Universal Design principles in mind when planning a new kitchen. Innovations like those in KraftMaid's Passport Cabinetry make it simple to be sure all functions in the kitchen can be easily performed by any family member regardless of stature or physical capabilities.

Five Tips for Universal Design in Your Kitchen

1. Universal Design means planning the spaces that everyone finds easy to use

2. One of the most basic principles of kitchen design is offering a variety of work top heights

3. Beauty does not need to be sacrificed for functionality. Both are important and can work together to create an ambient environment

4. Place kitchen appliances where they can be easily reached and allow use by a seated person

5. Be sure kitchen cabinet doors and pull-outs increase access rather than impede it, if there is a wheelchair user in your family

For more kitchen design articles and kitchen planning tips, visit

About The Author offers practical, time-tested kitchen remodeling ideas that guide you in kitchen design. Before you remodel your kitchen, visit for kitchen design tips and ideas.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gazebos - To Build or not to Build, that is the Question

So you've made the decision that you would really like a Gazebo. You've researched all the pros and cons of owning one. You've researched the different kinds that are out there, from wood to metal. You've even nailed down the size you want and where to locate it in your yard. Now, the question is, should I build it myself or hire somebody with experience? Good question.

Let's see if we can point out if building is for you. There are several things to think about before starting to build a gazebo. First of all, you will need some basic tools. This can range from a miter saw to a screw driver. If you already have the tools, then you are already a step ahead. If you do not, then you need to start thinking about cost and how much you would need to spend to either buy the necessary tools or to rent them.

Next question to ask yourself is, are you naturally handy? If you have the tools already, my guess would be yes, you are a handy man around the house. There are plenty of gazebo plans available free in libraries and online. You can also get really detailed plans that range from 8 dollars to 200 dollars, depending on the type of gazebo you want to build. The main thing to remember is that you will need to be able to follow plans and instructions which is easier said than done.

The main thing to remember when deciding if you should build your own gazebo really comes down to money. How much would it cost to hire somebody to do it and do it correctly? If money is not a factor, this is the best route to go. When you hire somebody to do the job, there are many benefits you will get from this. First, it will get done, and get done probably quicker than if you did it. When you hire someone, they come in and get the job done when you tell them to. Next, you may even benefit from warranty packages. If for some reason the gazebo has a problem, the contractor may be liable to come back and fix it at no charge over a period of time.

On the other hand, if you're a hands on person, get great satisfaction of building and doing things yourself, then of course, you will want to tackle this project and own it. You will definitely save a few bucks and just think, when you're done building your gazebo, you can sit inside it and just enjoy the great outdoors and bask in the glory that you created this masterpiece.

About The Author
Dion Semeniuk is a proud owner of a beautiful backyard and has helped with others in their landscaping needs and gazebo choices. To learn more about what Gazebo is right for you, visit

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Why You Should Use Bath Rugs In Your Bathroom

Your bathroom is not only a functional room, it's also a place where we spend a great deal of time creating a relaxing in an atmosphere we've create why we soak in the bubbles or have a long relaxing shower to unwind from our busy day. Candles, decor, and flooring all play an important role in creating the atmosphere. Here's why you should use bath rugs in your bathroom.

Change the color

If you are tired of the look of your bathroom and you want to give it a make over you can use bath rugs to help. If your walls are a neutral color your job is easy. Choose bath rugs that fit your new color scheme, buy some complimenting towels and accessories and in under $150.00 your bathroom will have an entire new look. You can even find full sets in your local department stores that come with everything to complete your whole bathroom.

Make your bathroom cozy

Most bathrooms have either linoleum or a tile floor which can look very good but is can be cold to the feet. A bit of a shock after crawling out of the tub or shower. Bath rugs can be strategically placed in front of the tub or shower and compliment the existing flooring while providing a warm and soft place for your feet.

Change the look

Modernize your bathroom or turn it into an antique haven. You can do a total character change. Choose rugs that a fun and funky or traditional Victorian for your room. Make a few other small changes to your decor and for under a $180.00 your bathroom can have a total makeover. Excluding the purchasing of a claw foot tub or jet spray tub.

Make a safer floor

Bathroom floors can be slippery when they get wet. Bath rugs can give you a level of safety when stepping out of the tub or shower while at the same time playing an important role in your room decor.

A Spa At Home

Calgon take me away. We've all seen those commercials where a woman is relaxing in her spa tub while the worries of the day disappear. Why not transform your bathroom into a luxurious spa where you can get away from it all. Imagine that deep plush pile bath rug in a rich jewel color, scented candles burning, lights dimmed, soft music playing while you soak away your days worries in your favorite scent. Under $75.00 and your room will be made over.

Fun for the kids

Is getting the kids to brush their teeth, wash up, or have a bath a chore. Are they constantly fighting you because there are other things they'd rather do? Then make your kid' bathroom a fun place to visit. Decorate with bath rugs from their favorite characters, add a matching shower curtain, some toothbrushes, and cups. You can even buy soaps that follow the theme. The only fight you'll have on your hands now is who gets the bathroom first. Under $75.00 and you'll have a kid friendly bathroom.

The most important thing to remember when choosing a bath rug is that your bathroom deserves the same attention you would give to any other room in your home. Start by deciding what you want to accomplish in your bathroom, then choose colors and go shopping for the right bath rug.

Think outside the box, try not to choose those traditional bathroom rugs everyone sell. Rather try something different like a braided rug, a Sisal rug, or an oriental rug.

Of course there are few things that are important to keeping bath rugs sanitized and looking fresh and new. Be sure to wash them regularly and don't choose rugs are susceptible to mold or mildew because of the high moisture content in a bathroom. Make sure the rug you choose has dyes that are firmly set. A rubber backing is great to prevent rotting and slippage. But remember a rubber backing will be ruined by the dryer so you'll need to hang to dry. If the rug does not have a rubber backing you can easily attach a piece and the benefit is it can be removed when you wash it.

Bath rugs are an affordable method of giving your entire bathroom a face lift. Just add some accessories and everyone will think you've been working really hard!

About The Author
John Murray makes it easy to go through the carpet buying process and provides tips to keep your carpet lasting long. To learn more and receive your free mini-course visit:

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Don't Miss Out On Warren Kimble Rugs

Warren Kimble is loved by American and has become the best loved contemporary folk artist. He combined his skills with his love of American folklore and antiques to create a line of whimsical folk art. From paintings, to ornaments, to carpets. His work is sought after and the popularity of Warren Kimble Rugs is growing quickly. Don't miss out on Warren Kimble Rugs.

In fact Warren Kimble has become America's most successful home furnishings designer generating over $100 million in sales every year. Warren continues to create new image and his rug choices also continue to grow.

A The Warren Kimble rugs collection has plenty to offer. Each style is available in a variety of sizes and there are three styles to choose from. Accent rugs, floor carpets, and comfort floor mats. These truly are a work of art!

Warren Kimble Checkers Wool Hook Rug

Checkers anyone? This 4' Warren Kimble checkers wool hook rug is perfect for a family room, rec room, or games room. Board with checkers. Not to worry it also depicts a backgammon game.

Warren Kimble Parcheesi Wool Hook Rug

Are you up for a game of Parcheesi? This wool hook rug is a perfect choice for your recreation room, or games room. This 4' fun rug will give you years of enjoyment and add a little character to your room.

Warren Kimble Chinese Checkers Wool Hook Rug

Here's another perfect choice for your rec room, family room, or games room. It's even a great choice for a child's room. 4' wool hook rug is a nice size for a room accent.

American as Apple Pie Wool Hook Rug

This delicious Warren Kimble hook rug measures 27" x 40" and would be the perfect decor for a country kitchen. Nice size gives you ample room coverage. Don't miss this one!

Horseshoe Inn Wool Hook Rug

This very folksy rug has a horse design with the Horseshoe Inn. Hook floor rug measures 27" x 40." Plenty of options for this rug! Office, den, family room, entrance, or even a country living room. It's one of those folk art scenes that only Warren Kimble seems to capture.

Cat Nap Inn Wool Hook Rug

How about a visit to the Cat Nap Inn. Add the finishing touches to you're your room with this 27" x 40" hook floor rug. Add a little touch to your home decor.

Drake Lodge Wool Hook Accent Rug

No one else can create a folk art duck like Warren Kimble featuring the Drake Lodge. Measures 27" x 40" so it's certain to get noticed. This hook rug will give you years of enjoyment!

Warren Kimble Wool Hook Rug Holiday Elephant

Did you say pink elephants? Well Warren Kimble did with his elephant wool hook rug that's a perfect addition to a room during the festive seasons.

Warren Kimble Nautical Wool Hook Area Rug

If your heart is on the water then you just have to have this nautical wool hook area rug. It measures 2.5' x 2.5' and it will bring a little bit of nautical into your home. Perfect for a den or office. It would even look great in a nautical themed living room. Don't miss this one!

Warren Kimble Home Sweet Home Wool Hook Rug

This wool hook rug features the Warren Kimble home sweet home design and is available in various sizes. Traditional design remains popular and makes an excellent entrance rug.

Warren Kimble Cat & Mouse Wool Hook Rug

This wool hook rug features one of the Warren Kimble famous cats along with mouse. Available in 3' x 4' size. This is a fun mat that would be perfect for a child's room family room, or anywhere you want to add a little fun.

Warren Kimble Apple Tree Wool Hook Rug

This wonderful apple tree design is a wool hook rug that measures 2' x 3'. It's a perfect rug for a kitchen or front door entrance. Cozy and refreshing!

Warren Kimble is a household word and for good reason. After you check out the Warren Kimble rugs be sure to check out the rest of his home decor. Why not give your room an affordable makeover?

About The Author
John Murray makes it easy to go through the carpet buying process and provides tips to keep your carpet lasting long. To learn more and receive your free mini-course visit:

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Finishing Your Basement Can be Very Rewarding

Transforming your home's basement into a finished space can prove to be very rewarding. Frequently the additional living space is used for a variety of entertainment functions including: Recreation Rooms, Bars, Gyms, Billiard Rooms, Home Theatres and Family Rooms. In addition, Bedrooms and Bathrooms are also incorporated into the floor space. Typically the square foot cost of finishing a basement is significantly lower than other floors within the home.

Planning is critical before starting a Finished Basement project. From a financial standpoint, first determine how big your budget is and how you will finance the project. Will a mortgage be required or can you refinance or obtain a home equity loan?

From the project standpoint, carefully consider what you want to use the space for. As part of this consideration, consider ceiling heights, existing pipes, Oil Tanks, and Heating and Water systems. Also consider lighting. To make a Finished Basement cozy, warm and comfortable, the number and kinds of lights to install is key. In addition, consider natural lighting. Can additional windows be installed and will they be appropriate for the finished space?

Installing a Bathroom in a basement can be a challenge, particularly if a pump-up system is required. It is important you meet with a plumber before you start any work, as they will have many questions and requirements for your bathroom. Potentially the most onerous aspect of installing a Bathroom may be the removal of some of the cement flooring. This is a very dusty and messy job!

Also consider heating. Does your existing furnace have the capacity to support the additional space? If not, you will need to consider putting in a bigger system or creating a secondary heating system.

Finally, and probably the most important aspect to consider, is dealing with moisture. A finished basement will quickly loose its charm if water problems create mold and mildew. Basement floors and walls should be sealed and insulated to reduce moisture content in the basement. Even with these precautions, a dehumidifier may be required.

About The Author
Over the past 20+ years Mark Donovan has been involved with building homes and additions to homes. His projects have included: building a vacation home, building additions and garages on to existing homes, and finishing unfinished homes. For more home improvement information visit and

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Getting An Appraisal On Your Home Or Property

Getting an appraisal done on your home or property is one of the first things you want to take care of when you decide to sell. Just because you think you have some idea of what your home or property is worth, the dollar amount that you come up with is most likely drastically different from the dollar amount that a professional appraiser would come up with.

An appraisal on your home is basically a professional opinion of the worth of your home or property from someone who is trained to analyze such things. Small factors such as a sun room, porch or deck, number of bathrooms and whether they are whole or half bathrooms are all factors that play into the net worth of your home. Good appraisals also take neighborhood characteristics into consideration, such as proximity to local schools, hospitals, and grocery stores. Especially when families are concerned, convenience is something that people are willing to pay for, and the closer a property is to these things, and the better quality of the schools, markets, etc, the more value added to your home in that respect.

An appraisal is a professional opinion and is to be respected, but keep in mind that it is just that--an opinion. Opinions are not set in stone, no matter who they come from whether it be your disapproving mother, a circuit court judge, or a professional appraiser. If an appraisal is too high or low, a bank or mortgage company may reject the estimate, there by causing problems and delays for your prospective home buyers, yourself, and any body else that is involved in your real estate transaction.

Depending on the nature of the property, a professional appraiser may take one of several approaches to determining the value of your home. The cost or replacement approach is, in essence, a determination of what the home would cost to rebuild should it burn to the ground. This includes everything; your windows, porch, pool, and even any money you have invested into your landscaping, yard or garden are all taken into consideration. The comparison approach to the appraisal takes into consideration all of the houses that are similar to yours that have sold in your particular area in a given set of time, usually the last six months.

From there, the appraiser adds value and takes away value in accordance with the specifics to your home. If you have a basement and most of the other homes similar to yours that sold in the past few months didn't have basements, the appraiser would be able to estimate the value that having the basement adds to the property. If everyone on the block with homes similar to yours had basements, but theirs are finished and yours is not finished, or partially finished, then the appraiser should have some approximation of how much value to take away from the house in accordance with that. The last approach is the income appraisal approach, and it is used more commonly when commercial properties are in question.

About The Author
Richard Rigor sells residential real estate in Birmingham, Alabama. As a REALTOR and mortgage consultant, he can help you in the buying and selling process.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

How To Clean Your Throw Rugs

Throw rugs are a handy way to cover wear, spruce up a room, or add warmth and comfort to hardwood floors. They are affordable and easy to find and you can choose from all types of patterns, designs, colors, and materials. Here's how to clean your throw rugs and keep them looking fresh and new.

Throw rugs are very easy to care for. They require no special treatment or attention, unless of course you've purchased wool rugs or the manufacturers instructions give you specific directions for cleaning.

1. Vacuum

The single easiest way to keep your rugs looking fresh and new and extend their life is to vacuum them on a regular basis. Vacuuming pulls dirt away so it cannot get pushed deep into the fiber and wear the rug.

2. Check Tag

Read the tag for any special washing instructions. If you find none you can assume that our instructions will work.

3. Pretreat

If your throw rug has any stains pretreat it with any of the laundry stain removers or pretreatments available. Apply as you would with any other item. Then let soak for a few hours so that it can penetrate deep into the fiber.

4. Wash

Toss it in the washing machine in cold water. Use a mild laundry detergent and be sure it does not have any bleaching agents. These could fade the color of your rug. Even the bleach free ones can be harsh on some fabrics and are not recommended for your throw rugs if you want to keep the new looking. If your rug is too large for your washer locate a laundry mat that has the commercial size washers then take it there to wash.

5. Hang to Dry

Never throw your throw rug in the dryer. Always hang to dry. Hanging over the shower door works great as any water left in the material will drip into the shower. You can also hang over any other style of door, or lay flat to dry. If you lay flat to dry be sure to flip and move regularly otherwise the water will be wicked into the surface and it will take forever to dry.

6. Brush

Not only do you have to brush your pets, now you have to brush your rugs. Once your throw rug is dry take a comb or brush and gently work it through the rug brushing against it's natural grain so it becomes full again.

A quick search online will reveal there are thousands of throw rug choices out there. You can also buy throw rugs at local carpet dealers. Stores like Walmart or Target offer some great prices on these style of rugs so be sure to check them out too!

Throw rugs are the perfect way to add to your home decor. As you can see from how to clean your throw rugs process they are not difficult to maintain. There also great because normally they are of a small to medium size so you can mix it up every now and then and rearrange them in your home.

About The Author
John Murray makes it easy to go through the carpet buying process and provides tips to keep your carpet lasting long. To learn more and receive your free mini-course visit:

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Key To Successful Commercial Carpet Cleaning Is Knowing Your Carpet

Commercial carpets don't seem to get the same attention as our home carpets do. More often we consider commercial carpet cleaning about as important as visiting your worst enemy. They are treated as a burden not worthy of ones time or care. It's too bad because a little knowledge and your commercial carpets would stay looking like new for a long time. The key to successful commercial carpet cleaning is knowing your carpet.

By the time you are finished reading this article you'll know how to get to know your commercial carpets better. Once you get to know your commercial carpets your commercial carpet cleaning will be effective and keep your carpets looking new.

Many commercial carpet cleaning processes use water. There are both benefits and disadvantages to using water to clean your commercial carpet. By knowing the type of carpets you have you can choose the appropriate cleaning process for them.

First you need to know what kind of backing the carpet has and how the carpet is attached to the floor. Next you need to know the type of yarn and what the carpet fibers are made of. Once you know this you can extend the life of your carpet by using the correct amount of water solution.

Most commercial carpet cleaning contractors will agree that the more water you use during the cleaning the better the cleaning results will be. Because the more water you flush through the more dirt that is carried away. And this is absolutely true. When you use water is becomes the medium and the dirt gets suspended in the water, however the more water you put into the carpet the more water that is left in the carpet and that can create plenty of problems.

Water left in the carpet can cause mold, stretching, damage to the sub floor, and damage to the adhesive to name just a few of the problems. By knowing the type of carpet you have you can determine the correct amount of water and solution to use so you don't encounter any of the problems from too much water.

The carpet backing is the layer between the carpet fibers and the sub floor. There are many different types of backing but the two main categories are permeable and impermeable.

A permeable back allows water to travel through the backing to the floors surface. In commercial applications this is generally concrete and the carpet is glued directly to the floor. Over wetting the carpet allows the water to reach concrete which can result in very long drying periods, and staining from wicking which is caused by the wet carpet soaking up minerals from the concrete. Another big problem is that most of the adhesives are water soluble so you know what the water does to the adhesive. It dissolves it.

An impermeable backing doesn't allow the water to reach the floor surface so the water never affects the adhesive or causes wicking. An impermeable back means your carpet will dry a lot faster.

There are also two main types of face yarn used in commercial carpets. They are loop pile and cut pile. Loop pile has carpet fibers that create a closed loop that is more tightly woven and provides less places for the dirt to get lodged or the water to soak in. Cut pile has open face yarn with individual threads. Because the fibers are looser there is an unlimited number of places for the dirt to take up residence and the water to hold.

So if you have a cut pile carpet with a permeable back on a concrete floor what do you think will be the result. Well you'll almost have a swimming pool if you don't use a minimal amount of water. Too much water and you'll be waiting for days for the carpet to dry and the glue will let go in the process.

There are also two types of carpet fiber. Nylon and Olefin are both common in commercial carpets. Neither absorb water so you can use a good dose of water without worrying about soaked carpets. However you need to watch the chemicals because some of the harsher ones can lift the dye out of the nylon.

Wool is a natural fiber and it holds water which means you need to watch the amount of water you use with wool. You also need to be careful when using harsh chemicals which can react with the wool.

So to sum it up a nylon carpet with an impermeable back is the easiest to clean and maintain. You can use lots of water and you won't have to worry about the glue lifting or it taking days to dry. Regardless of what carpet combo you have the key to successful commercial carpet cleaning is knowing your carpet.

About The Author
John Murray makes it easy to go through the carpet buying process and provides tips to keep your carpet lasting long. To learn more and receive your free mini-course visit:

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Choosing The Right Garage Door

A garage is home to your personal automobiles and usually a large selection of sporting goods and tools. Therefore in order to keep these possessions safe the right choice of garage door is vital.

A garage door is one of the most important components of your garage. It not only provides security but also can be a design statement for the rest of your property.

Before you build a garage or decide to give your existing one a facelift, it is essential for you to determine the style, shape and size of your garage doors. This will give you a fair idea on how much drive through width you require and also so you don't end up compromising on a stilted garage entry.

There are basically 5 types of garage doors. All manufacturers follow these 5 basic types in garage door manufacturing. The types are: retractable doors, canopy door, sectional door and side hinge door. These entire doors are different and unique in their performance and services.

Retractable Doors: This type of garage door, that when opened, a large portion of the door swings outwards. After that it retracts back into the ceiling of your garage. The pivot points of the doors are located at the top the door and this makes you unable to park your vehicle close to the door so you should ensure enough room is available on your driveway. The installation of these doors is easy. These types of doors are the easiest ones to be automated with a suitable electric opener.

These doors provide good security to your vehicles as they are fitted with four latches. These retractable doors are available in timber, GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic), steel and ABS. One point to note though is that this door provides you with a reduced drive through width, due to side spring assemblies.

Canopy Doors: When a canopy door opens it swings outwards and then slides upwards into the garage ceiling. It leaves one third of the door outside the garage. The security of the door is enhanced as the pivot points are located down the door. These doors are easy to install as no tracks are required inside the garage and the entire door mounts to the door frame. Canopy Doors are available in timber, steel ABS and GRP. This garage door provides a good drive through width.

Sectional Doors: Sectional doors are made up of numerous separate panels, which are hinged horizontally. They fit to the rear surface of your garage brickwork. The door rises upwards vertically and then backwards into the space of ceiling. Sectional Doors provide better security and protection against weather. The doors are provided with insulation. These are typically manufactured in steel. These doors can be assembled in 4 hours as they come in the form of a kit.

Roller Doors: Roller Doors roll up into the garage ceiling as a single curtain. They are fitted to the garage's rear surface of the front brick work. The roller doors as the name suggest rolls vertically upwards. These doors provide good security and protection levels. These doors are primarily manufactured in aluminum and steel. The installation of these doors is quite easy.

Side Hinge Doors: Side Hinge Doors are manufactured in steel, timber and GRP. These doors open outwards and look very traditional. These doors need appropriate clearance while being opened. The security of these doors is good if bolts are used at the top and bottom of the door.

Garage doors are an essential part of your garage. So while buying a garage door you should check for the quality, security and durability of the door.

About The Author
Joshu Crossman writes articles on a number of different topics. For more information on Garage Doors please visit and for additional Garage related articles please visit the following article page

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Searching for the Holy-Grail of Work - Life Balance

Just coming off a vacation gives me a good chance to think about work-life balance.

As leaders and achievers it is a topic often discussed in workshops and in casual conversations. People are so busy and feel pulled in so many directions that they find this idea of work-life balance elusive.

Let's start with three truths about this topic, then share some strategies to help you move toward the work-life balance you desire.

Three Truths

Judgment gets in the way. One work-life balance challenge is that most people deal with guilt and judgment. Many live in a land of "should" - you should do that next report, make one more call, read that new book. And, at the same time, you should be home; you should spend time with your spouse, friends, kids, etc. And the judgment doesn't stop there - it extends, real or imagined, to other in your life. Colleagues wonder when you will get something done, while people in the rest of your life wonder when you will be home. All these judgments, internal and external, real and imagined, get in the way of finding the balance you seek.

Work-life balance isn't static. One mistake is thinking you can find work-life balance like it's a "thing" or a "place". You find a book or a new couch. You reach a destination. Work-life balance isn't that tangible or permanent, which means it's variable. Like balancing a scale, your time and focus will necessarily shift more heavily one way, then the other, based on situations and circumstances. To assume you can reach a balanced spot for more than a short time is folly.

There is no perfect. Your balance isn't static, and it isn't perfect. When you consider work-life balance to be a journey, you will have a healthy approach to it. While judgment gets in the way, so does comparison. People often look at others who appear to have the ?ideal' balance and try to emulate them. This is also a mistake because your balance must be based on your values (more on this in a second) and your needs. You won't reach your perfect by emulating someone else.

Four Tips

Focus on values. The best place to start finding your work-life balance is with your values. Your balance will be defined by your values. The things you value most should, over time, occupy the most of your time, thought and energy. Once you are clear on your values you can map your activities and time to them. When you do that your ability to understand your perfect balance will be clearer and therefore easier to achieve.

Be present. Balance isn't about raw number of hours. It's about being present where you are at all times. When you are home, are you on your laptop or are you communicating with and interacting with those you care about? When you are at work are you focused on your work or checking your eBay listings? A big part of balance is being present, in real time, in each situation. Not only will this help you be more balanced, it will allow you to be more satisfied with the moments of your life.

Eliminate unnecessary activities. One practical way to find more balance is to take things out of your calendar that aren't important or necessary. As you get more ruthless with your calendar, you get more time back that can be devoted to any portion of your life you wish. Look closely at your calendar and eliminate what you can to give more time to your most important things.

Get feedback. One way to stay on the journey is to ask people in your life how they think you are doing on your work-life balance. Their perspective, especially the most important people in your life, will be valuable to help you from getting too far off track one direction or another.

Work-life balance is a topic worthy of your ongoing consideration and thinking.

This article won't solve all of your balance problems, but hopefully gives you ideas and food for thought as you continue on your personal path to your perfect balance.

About The Author
Kevin is a bestselling author, speaker, trainer, consultant and the Chief Potential Officer of the Kevin Eikenberry Group
The best leaders know they must find balance. That?s one reason why many leaders from around the world have made the Remarkable Leadership Learning System their choice as a one skill at a time, one month at a time approach to becoming a more confident and successful leader. This system allows you to learn without travel and access your learning materials whenever it works best for you. Get more than $748.25 worth of leadership development materials including two complimentary months of that unique system as part of Kevin's Most Remarkable Free Leadership Gift Ever today at

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

To Act or Not to Act - That is the Question

"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do."

-Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

I was recently asked to write about, "Why do you think people don't act?" It is a question I think about often since one of my genres is self development. It blows me away how we all know WHAT to do but implementing change into our lives is an entirely different story.

Regardless of what it is you want to change or have in your life will only happen if you actually do something about it. You can talk about it all you want and dream about it but, until you take some kind of action or do something that you aren't currently doing you will never experience your desired result.

For example, do you think there is a person on this planet that doesn't KNOW HOW to lose weight? Not to mention how many people would seemingly give anything to be thinner, (give anything except the effort) yet they're still overweight.

So what stops a person from doing with it takes to get the results they want? Immediate gratification comes to mind. In a world filled with external pressures and internal stresses we all want to feel better instead of adding more stress into the mix. So we reach for what gives us comfort in the short term even though we may hurt ourselves in the long run.

Another reason people don't take action towards their desires is because of their core beliefs about whatever it is they want. People may say they want to experience certain things or to live a certain way but deep down they don't really believe it's possible. Impossibility thinking at its finest!

The excuses run the gamut from it's too hard to lose weight and I don't have time to work out. Or, I'm too old, too young, not experienced enough, too in debt, too tired, it's too late and on and on. People can and will rationalize any and all behaviors.

And then there are these underlying reasons, i.e. fear of failure, fear of success, too difficult to change, too much work, believing you don't really deserve it, and not enough time. But, it ultimately boils down to whether or not the pain to stay the same outweighs the pain to change.

Why do you think so many New Year resolutions end up in the trash? So, if it's so difficult to change, why even attempt to? Because unless you can find a way to live with the condition or circumstances that you have and be happy about it you will live each day being miserable about it instead. And that misery taints all that you say and do.

Accept your life and all you are and all you have and learn to enjoy it or decide that you are going to change. Decide that you will do what it takes and don't look back. Take baby steps towards your goal. If you fall off the wagon, who cares? Just get back on it somewhere along the way so you can reach your goal.

Don't let a bump in the road deter you from experiencing what you want. Don't let that old internal dialogue sabotage living your desires. Talk yourself out of the old way of thinking into the new and improved you.

People don't act because they think it's too hard to change but what's harder than living your life and being miserable? Living and wishing and wanting but never experiencing. Is that how you want to live?

The old adage, "Actions speak louder than words" is so true. People don't act because they've decided it's easier to stay the same than to change. The key word here is "decided." Basically it all boils down to you deciding whether it's worth it and then decide to do something about it.

About The Author
To find out more about how to stop wasting your time and begin living your best life now, go to: Susan's work has inspired people from all over the world to take back their power! Learn the secrets in Susan's new book: "The 7 Keys to Unlock the Power Within You."

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

How To Set Healthy Boundaries That Contribute To A Healthy, Happy Lifestyle

Have you ever wondered why you work hard in some areas of your life but just don't seem to move forward the way you think you should? Does it sometimes feel to you that your energy is going out - but nothing is coming back. It might very well be that you need to assess your personal boundaries in these areas. It's often necessary to negotiate some difficulties when this happens and this article helps you to face the issues and work through them, step-by-step. The liberation and sense of self-worth you can achieve by doing this is well worth the effort.

Firstly, it's very likely that you may well not always recognise the difference between appropriate and non-appropriate behaviour from others. You may get respect in some areas and not in other areas. you may be willing to tolerate rudeness, pain, abuse of your rights and bad behaviour because that's been the norm for you. It may take a while for you to sift through to your true feelings to start to create a picture of what is good for YOU. You may need time to recognise when something hurts you - or damages your self-esteem: your finances: your family: or your physical self, and that's absolutely fine. The main thing to do, is to start the process and treat it as an on-going effort.

But where do you start? I suggest that you highlight just one area in your life in which you are currently unhappy, angry, exhausted or sad? and don't over face yourself by tackling the biggest one to start with unless you are ready for a big change . You need to honestly examine the following factors: -

What is it EXACTLY about the situation that you don't like? (e.g. the way you feel: the consequences of it: the effects on others.)

What is making you feel angry, sad, threatened, suffocated or victimized?

What is it that you get from acting the way you do now? (e.g. avoiding confrontation: maintaining peace: feeling safe: etc.)

What could you say or do differently to change the situation ? without losing your self-esteem? (e.g. speak up for yourself: respond differently: say "no": say "yes", ask for help)

How could you speak up for yourself in a way that feels safe and respectful.

How could you act in a way that supports you and your needs?

What would you do if you were not scared or tired, and how would you do it in such a way that you do not harm yourself or anyone else (and by harm I do not mean you cannot be angry: By this I mean you need to recognise natural feelings of resentment or spite and avoid using them to manipulate, hurt or deceive in order to set your new boundary).

I suggest you do this at a time when you are not 'triggered' by the situation. Choose a time when you feel calm and have some space to think things through. Writing down your answers, just jotting a few key words even ? can be very revealing and helpful.

It's also a great idea to find people and groups who you perceive as having the kind of attitudes and behaviours that you would like to have, and to ask for support and ideas. I have found that by sharing some of my "stories" with others I learn a lot. Healthy networks and friends can teach and support you in so many ways, if you are willing to share your issues.

About The Author
Debs de Vries is the U.K.'s leading provider of relaxation and guided imagery downloadable recordings and CDs. Her work in the field of wellness and wellbeing includes coaching, and a membership site to show people how to create wellbeing and wellness in their daily lives, with minimal fuss and maximum benefit. Go to: now to sign up for free newsletters AND http;// for samples of recordings.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

How to Be Flexible and Stay Positive when Changing Your Career

Many years ago, a supervisor of mine once told me, "There is no such thing as a problem. There are only challenges that can be overcome." This is the way I have approached life ever since hearing those words.

Although a "problem" can be viewed as solvable, the word itself just sounds negative in comparison to the word "challenge." A problem is more like a matter of fact. When you think to yourself that you have a problem, there are many negative feelings that can accompany those thoughts. It's as if the problem makes a statement such as "This is the way things are."

But the word "challenge" is much different. Instead of making a blanket statement, it presents more of a question, which is "Are you up to this?" When presented with a question such as this, it requires you to think. Unlike a problem, where you tend to get wrapped up in the emotions of it, a challenge provokes you to take some sort of action. There's that word again! I sure don't like dealing with problems, but I'm always up for a challenge!

Approaching life's problematic issues as challenges that can be solved can do wonders for your frame of mind. Challenges are something that test your abilities. In order to overcome them, you have to take a proactive approach and call on your skills and creativity to work through them and resolve them. They are like little puzzles that you have to figure out. There is really no need to spend time feeling down about them, as challenges are temporary. As soon as you figure out the puzzle, you're done and you can move on.

When following your career plan, it is very important to remain flexible and to stay as positive as you possibly can. If you are a bit of a perfectionist, this may be hard to do at times, as you may judge your progress based on how well you adhere to your original plan. If this is you, then keep in mind that you created your plan. It didn't even exist until you wrote it out. So as the creator of your plan, you have the ability to change it about any way you need to adapt to changes in your situation. Change is actually a very positive thing. It challenges you to think and work through various issues. So look at change as your ability to be flexible and make things better.

Try not to judge your progress based on how well you adhere to your original plan. Instead, judge your progress on how many of your goals you achieve. The process of achieving them is not what's most important. It's the accomplishment of your goals that counts. Your plan should be viewed as only a guide on how to get from where you are now to where you want to be. But just like a roadmap, there are many alternative roads and avenues you can take to get there. So if you run into an unexpected roadblock along the way, be flexible and stay positive.

There's nothing wrong with taking a detour, as long as it gets you to your final destination. It could very well be that detour that makes the journey all the more interesting.

About The Author
Copyright (c) 2010 Catherine Trebble. All Rights Reserved.
Changing careers can be just the boost you're looking for. It can also be a scary proposition, especially when you are a woman. The pressures and obligations we are under can make this a difficult challenge. Don't let these obstacles stop you from finding the job you love. Discover everything you need to know about changing careers at

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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Drop Your Great Expectations And Live Lightly

Life is complicated, so as they say. But let me tell you something; it only becomes so when you got some great expectations. It's just a tiny thing to change: stop expecting. I know it takes practice to do so. If you can see things as they are without having great expectations, then life will be easier.

Expectations can only leave us frustrated, disappointed, or resentful if we don't get what we expect. Actually, it's only our expectations which makes us judge something (or some people) as good or bad.

When others (your friends, colleagues, lover, family member) disappoint you because you expect something of them and they don't live up to your expectations, it's no longer their fault, but your expectation's.

They're just being who they are. Who were they to know that you're expecting them to your own preferences?

You can still live lightly, by taking small baby steps.

* Be aware and especially when you notice yourself having great expectations, take a deep breath and remind yourself, "Good day or bad day, no expectations." Repeat this to yourself till it becomes ingrained in your mind.

* See things or people as they are, sans forming your own assumptions or judgments. Why do you think certain people act like the way they do? Get curious and empathize and put yourself in their shoes. Would you act the same way if that happened to you? That saleslady was rude to you maybe because her boss berated her or is down with sickness. Try to be more understanding.

* Be more accepting. Don't try to overreact just because something didn't happen as you wanted. You have no control of other people, their lives, or their attitude--but your reaction, you can always control it.

Life can be more beautiful and exciting with some of its cosmic twists and surprises here and there, they may not be always in our favor, but they can always teach us some valuable lessons along the way.

About The Author
The author of this article, Amy Twain, is a Self Improvement Coach who has been successfully coaching and guiding clients for many years. Amy recently published a home study course on how to have an improved self esteem . Alternatively click here for Amazon's Kindle Edition.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

God Helps Those Who Help Themselves - Spiritual Life Coaching

God helps those who help themselves. You ever heard that before?

I notice with some of my clients are visioning, visualizing, writing out their goals and affirmations, but they're not taking any action. They aren't getting the results that they want.

Now, I notice that also there's another truth here. Some of my clients do no visioning, do no goals, do no dreaming, and I'd like to propose that the visioning, the goals, the affirmations, the dreaming- those are modern day ways of connecting to God.

The clients that don't do any of that accomplish things, but they accomplish with great struggle. Everything is a struggle. Everything is hard.

Then I have other clients who are doing all the visioning, all the affirmations. They are writing the goals. They're dreaming. They're doing the inner work, all of that, but they're taking no action. And they are experiencing some happiness, but they're also experiencing a lot of doubt and uncertainty. They're fighting against the fact that things aren't happening the way that they want, and the mistake is that God helps those who help themselves.

You can't just do the visioning. You gotta do the action as well. And you can't just do the action. You gotta do the visioning as well. You gotta do the inner work and the outer work. When you do both, everything begins to work very, very rapidly, and your life starts to happen quickly and in an easy, effortless, and enjoyable way.

About The Author
That's where a life coach comes in. My specialty as a life coach is to help you make those decisions, and I would be honored to help you if that's appropriate.Matthew Ferry a Life Coach, The Life Coaching Company Matthew Ferry International offers life coaching, Life Coach Training, law of attraction and dozens of training products and seminars relating to the law of attraction to help you find your passion and love your life.

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Monday, December 06, 2010

Coaching Business Success Comes Faster with a Mentor

I have been working with several clients who came to me without the skills necessary to market their business. This is a very common problem because marketing skills are not something that coaching schools teach in depth nor is it their job to do so. Coaching schools have made a commitment to certify that coaches are competent in their skills as a coach. They are not there to teach you how to run a coaching business or market a coaching business.

Lack of Skills Coaching schools are chartered with the duty of teaching coaches to coach and ensuring that they reach the level of core competency required by the certifying organization. The schools usually touch on marketing but spend very little time and give only general information.

Most coaches come out of coaching school without the skills to start or market their business successfully. This is an obvious road block to success. My first suggestion is that every coach gets some education on marketing a coaching business. There are very specific skills related to marketing a service business especially one that is often as little understood as coaching. The time and money spent on this type of education will pay off many times over and will save you tons of time and money in the long run.

Find One Person and Follow Them

There are a lot of people out there teaching marketing and each of them will have a different approach because there is always more than one way to do things. It is important to find one teacher or mentor that you can relate to and follow them. If you jump from one teacher to another you will end up confused and you progress much more slowly.

Setting Up Your Business

Setting up a coaching business is the first step and you will want to get help on deciding how to structure your business legally. It is also important to create the business you want attracting the clients you want to work with. Many coaches forget to consider the environment they want to work in and how many hours they want to dedicate per week to their business.

Client Attraction

Every coach needs a system for attracting clients. There are many ways to approach client attraction and you should learn as many as possible then choose the methods that are most comfortable and effective for you. The tools include workshops, teleseminars, webinars, online marketing of all types.

You will have a far more successful business and you will reach that level of success far faster if you have a mentor or teacher who can help you. You will save time, frustration and money when you have the help of someone who has been there before you.

About The Author
Learn more about how to market your business online and offline with "No Sales Required Client Attraction". You can also sign up for my free monthly teleclasses and get my free eCourse at

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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Achieve Your Goals - Now

First and foremost, do you have goals? And second of all, do you have those essential reasons behind your goals that make you more driven and say to yourself that you do the very things that inch you toward them? In short, do you have reasons to be serious enough in aspiring and ultimately, reach those objectives? A favorite saying of someone I know is (and I have heard over the past few years), "the solutions or answers are often apparent once you get the questions right." Anyway, here are a few questions worth considering that may help you accomplish your desired purposes perhaps even sooner than you think.

1.) Am I even inspired to reach my goals? 2.) Is what am I doing at this moment moving me toward my goals? 3.) Am I truly serious about accomplishing my goals or are these goals just something that will be nice to have? 4.) Does my action or behavior moves me closer or much farther from my objectives? 5.) Of all the things I can be doing at this moment with my time, is this truly the best and effective thing I could do right now to move me closer to my dreams? Or maybe am I only rationalizing that this is moving me closer to my dreams because I'm unable or not willing to do what I know really needs to be done? A friendly bit of advice: Do those things that bring you much closer to your desired purposes, and stop doing those things that do not bring you toward your objectives.

Okay, some people might react, "well, you think it's that simple, it's not that simple!" alright-are you sure about that? Because it is possibly and really not that complicated as you think. These days, most of the things you should do should move you closer to your dreams. We actually encourage you to ponder on the question, "What will happen if most of what I did or said moved me closer and closer toward my aspirations?" See, no one is suggesting you to be perfect.

If you feel you aren't moving as fast as you would like closer to your goals, chances are that there is a very huge gap between your most-of-the-time attitude and your current attitude that the objectives need to reach for them. Grab the opportunity and take advantage of the fact that in your hands lays your ability to change all that.

So...what are you waiting for--just change it now! The more reasons you have for attaining your desired purpose, the more likely you are to accomplish things that your dreams require in achieving them. Your dreams are your tangible what-and your values are the emotional why behind your dreams. To be perfect is actually not a necessary requirement.

Simply get on with the "Program" so you could attain these goals for the reasons that are significant in your life's happiness. Go ahead, enjoy the results and don't forget to have fun along the way.

About The Author
The author of this article, Amy Twain, is a Self Improvement Coach who has been successfully coaching and guiding clients for many years. Amy recently published a new home study course on how to boost your Self Esteem. Click here to get more info about her Quick-Action Plan for A More Confident You.

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

The future of road safety : Will there be roads without speed-breakers ?

One of the most troublesome things that all of us have experienced on the roads are the jerks that are caused by the frequent road-bumbs or speed breakers, that are laid on the roads in accident-prone areas. While these speed breakers are good for controlling the speeding drivers and calming the traffic, at the same time they also come with the problems caused by the jerks that even the slow drivers are sure to go through. This may be okay for most of the people most of the time, but would be very annoying for others. The most probable victims of these jerks are small kids / infants, pregnant ladies, senior citizens, sick and disabled people and injured persons.

The question here is, can one imagine having roads without these bumpy speed breakers ? What we are talking about here is, not to have roads without speed breakers but an alternative way of controlling the speeding traffic. In other words, an advanced technology that slows down the traffic, but does so without having the jerks as it's side effects. If you are going the right speed, then you don't have to go through the troble of jerks. We can go through some of the most innovative ideas that can serve this purpose.

One of the ways to do it, is to have fake pained speed bumps on road. This is detailed here, but as it's mentioned in the article itself, it does not help for a long term. It just has it's effect until the people find out.

Another idea could be this. All the speed breaker be replaced with mechanical automatically operated speed breakers, that stay flat on the road level normally. But if they sense a speeding vehicle approaching, they instanteniously pop out from under the ground, getting converted into the regular shaped speed bumps that we have today. This method will be very costly, but can possibly help.

Another possibility, is that all the roads have radar sensors that the police do have setup at many places. However, this cannot be implemented practially in all the places at all the times. It also does not guarantee that a speeding driver will follow the limits, if they know that the traffic police is not around.

Yet another possibility could be, to have a mandatory system inbuilt into all the vehicles. This system, which could be a tiny device fitted inside the vehicle could monitor the speed at all times. Second, there could be another set of controlling devices laid out all over the roads, under the ground or maybe inside the sidewalks or dividers or inside the road lights. These controlling devices and the monitoring devices could follow a common communication protocol and keep each other synchronized as long as the vehicle is on the road. Then, the monitoring device could get instructions from the controling device about the maximum speed limit. If the speed limit is crossed at any time, the monitoring device could alarm the driver, as well as inform the controlling device, which could track down the vehicle from the monitoring device's ID. This sounds like a complicated idea, but it could be very economic and very effective if implemented the right way.

Finally, one possible idea could be, to have all the traffic monitored via satellite at all times. This means also, to have a system located centrally, that tracks down each an every vehicle on all the roads for the speed and location and alerts the traffic authorities if it finds a speeding vehicle. This seems more like a possibility, looking at the way GPS navigation has evolved today.

All in all, when one comes to think of it, there are countless possible ways to control the traffic without having the need for speed bumps that we have today. What is needed is just an innovative approach and a serious implementation done in this direction. But one thing is for sure, some day in the future we shall drive the roads without speed bumps. The traffic will be more regulated than it is today, and we will experience safer and smoother driving than we do today. Sometime, we can say goodbye to the annoying jerks. Ouch!! Sorry, it was a bump.

About the Author
Cool Ideas

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Hurt Knee Syndrome - Benefits of Spirituality on Health

I completed my first marathon back in 1999 and I remember calling my mom and saying to her, "Oh my gosh! I completed my first marathon! It's such a victory! It's so amazing!" And she's like, "It is! It's huge! It's so amazing, congratulations!" And I said, "Yes, especially since my knee has been hurt ever since I was a young kid." And she's like, "Really? Your knee was hurt? How was your knee hurt?" And I'm like, "Mom, my knee, remember? I hurt it, and then I had to go to the hospital and then I couldn't do PE anymore, remember all of that?" And she said, "I don't think so." And I was like, "My knee didn't get hurt when I was little?" And she said, "No, your knee was not hurt when you were little."

I literally had been living like I had hurt knee since I was, I don't know, as long as I could possibly remember. I wonder what limitations you're holding onto about yourself and about your life that aren't even the truth. What if you begin to question everything, push the boundaries, and start to say to yourself, "Hmm. Maybe that isn't true."

I'll give you another one. When I was 12 years old, I had a operation done in my right ear, and the man who completed the operation said, "You need to wear an earplug when you go in the water so you don't hurt this ear that we just fixed." And so I wore an earplug. Well, I wore an earplug until I was 36 years old. At 36 years old, I went back and I had some ear problems and I had the ear doctor check it out again and I said, "You know, I really would love to go do scuba diving, but I'm afraid. I have this earplug, would that work?" He looked at my ear and he literally said, "You don't need to wear an earplug." And I was like, "What? But I thought I needed to wear earplugs, I had the operation," he just said, "Maybe you needed to wear an earplug for six months while it was healing, but that's about it." I wore an earplug from age 12 to age 36 because of this misinterpretation, this belief that isn't truth. How about you? What have you been holding onto?

Matthew Ferry a Life Coach, The Life Coaching Company Matthew Ferry International offers life coaching, law of attraction and dozens of training products and seminars relating to the law of attraction to help you find your passion and love your life.Visit our sites

About The Author
That's where a life coach comes in. My specialty as a life coach is to help you make those decisions, and I would be honored to help you if that's appropriate.Matthew Ferry a Life Coach, The Life Coaching Company Matthew Ferry International offers life coaching, Life Coach Training, law of attraction and dozens of training products and seminars relating to the law of attraction to help you find your passion and love your life.