Backpacking Europe 101: Plan, Pack, and Survive Your First Backpacking Trip

 

So you’ve saved every penny you’ve earned for the last year and a half in your piggy banks, and after borrowing another three grand from your parents, you’ve decided to buy that plane ticket and head off to Europe for a month. If you’re anything like I was at this point you’re just about wetting your last pair of clean underpants. You’re not sure what to pack for your backpack (buy at thepnw.co), what not to pack, what to expect, or even how to plan. Well, take a moment, run to the bathroom if you need to, and let me help you feel right at ease with this first step out of the nest and into the real world.


First off let me say good for you! You are willing to get out of your American box and see the world. Remember you’re a representative of our great nation so don’t pull a Bush and make the world hate us even more. You may be a tourist but that doesn’t mean you need to act like one. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way lets get started.

#1: The Plan

You’ve heard the stories of people who just up and buy a plane ticket and let the wind take them wherever their “free spirit” heart desires. If you’re willing to spend the last three and a half weeks of your four week vacation with no money and no place to sleep but on the train station bench of the same city you flew into, then I would recommend making at least a rough outline of where you’re going. I would also recommend that you book your hostels in advance, especially if you are traveling during high season. You probably will still be able to find a place to sleep (eventually) if you don’t, but you will waste a lot of time on foot going from hostel to hostel trying to find an opening if you’re traveling during the peak tourist time (usually from around April through September). Some great hostel sites to check out are www.hostels.com and www.hostelworld.com.

Now would probably be a good time to sketch out an itinerary of what counties/cities you want to visit. If you’re like me I tend to plan just about everything out, but if you want to just pick the cities or general area you would like to visit then you can decide on what attractions, museums, restaurants you want to hit when you get there. If this is the case I would definitely recommend picking up a guide book such as lonely planet’s (you can find it at www.lonelyplanet.com) to help you make decisions on the fly. I also highly recommend asking other travelers at your hostel or the hostel desk staff for great tips on where to visit or places to eat since they are the most likely to know where not to eat…unless you really like the taste of fried golden retriever…just kidding Sparky, I would never let anyone eat you.

#2: Getting from place to place

Ok, so you have figured out where you want to go and where you’re going to stay, now let’s talk about the cheapest and best ways to get around. Some people may tell you different but I still believe your best value for travel is definitely going to be the Eurail. Especially if you are under the age of 25 this is a great option for you. When you purchase a Eurail pass it allows you unlimited travel for a certain amount of days within a specific travel time period. You can choose from a Global Pass, Select Pass, Regional Pass, or a One Country Pass. Rather than go into all the details of each this is the web address www.eurail.com check out that website for more info. Passes start at around only US$175 and trust me they will save you money in the end. Just remember that some train routes require you still to reserve a spot (and even if they don’t I still recommend reserving a spot beforehand) and some also require that you pay an extra fee but usually not too much. Book a sleeper (costs a little more) and save money on a hostel if you’re planning on traveling a pretty long distance between cities.

Another way to travel if you want to save time is by budget airline. There are a couple different options but one of the cheapest that I’ve found is Ryanair (www.ryanair.com). Easyjet, and SkyEurope are also options as well. If you really want to compare airlines the “Travelocity” of European budget airlines is www.Euroflights.com.

#3: What to Pack:

Ok, so your airline ticket is purchased, your hostels are booked, you know where you want to go and when you want to go there, and of course how you’re going to get there, so what’s next? Well, time to pack of course! Well unless your trip is still a couple months away then you might want to wait a bit before packing up your favorite shirt.

So what to bring. First off I would invest in a sturdy backpacking backpack. Keep in mind that your backpack must fit within airline regulations for size and weight, so check out the airline website that you will be flying on to reach your destination for their guidelines and limitations. This is one area that I would not skimp on moneywise since this thing is going to be attached to your back for the next however long, and you do not want it to break. For further guidelines on choosing a backpack go to www.onebag.com/bags.html and they have a pretty rigorous selection method for the best pack possible. Also you will need a daypack since you do not want to carry around your whole life with you while you’re on a day trip or eating dinner. While were talking about the things you should invest a little more money in, I would also recommend a good pair of shoes! I can not overstate how important this is. Blisters suck butt when you still have 3 miles to walk to your next destination, so don’t be a cheapwad and buy yourself some good shoes!

Now it’s time to decide what to pack. Of course we all want to be prepared like we were taught in Boy Scouts (or Bluebirds or Girl Scouts…mmm now I want Girl Scout cookies, but I digress) but it’s very important to only bring the essentials, realizing that most things you can pick up and buy while you are overseas (yes, they even have toothbrushes in London).

Here is a basic packing list:

– Sleeping Bag (find a travel one, most hostels have stuff to sleep in/on but I still bring a small travel one because you never know when things were washed last).

– Towel (also never know when the towel was last washed)

– Pillowcase

– Swimsuit

– Sandals (good for both the beach and the iffy shower floor of a hostel)

– A travel raincoat

– TP (toilet paper)

– Pajama Bottoms or Basketball Shorts to Sleep In

– Couple Pairs of Shorts

– 1 Pair of Jeans

– 3 Short Sleeved Shirts

– One Sweater or even better a Hoodie

– Toiletries (try to fit them all in one of those leather bags you can get at wal-mart. If it doesn’t all fit its time to weed out what you don’t need. Put your First-Aid kit in here too with a needle and thread for sure)

– At least a weeks worth of underwear and socks (more socks if you have room) Trust me you can wear pants or shirts multiple times but you can only double dip for so long on the underwear before you get stanky or a nasty case of swamp butt.

– Money Belt (cant stress this one enough)

– Bike Chain Lock (great to lock your bag to the bed at the hostel when you’re gone…not that someone wont steal it if their determined enough but if there is a room full of bags they are going to try to steal the one that will come the easiest first)

– Camera

– Extra Batteries

– Money/ATM Card (The card is great because of easiness with exchange rates, but make sure and watch the ATM fees, they can wipe you out pretty quick if you’re not careful).

– Day Pack (to put things you will take with you during the day and your important documents).

– Sleep Sheet (This is debatable since if the hostel requires you to have one you can usually rent one for really cheap).

– Sunglasses

– Guidebook

– Passport as well as your drivers license and student ID if you have one.

– Club or going out clothes (you don’t want to look like a scrub at the club…hey that rhymes)

– DEODERANT! Ok, this is something that fits in your little leather toiletry bag but if you want to meet a hot guy/girl overseas to spend time with you better smell good.

This is just a basic list. Of course you can bring more or less, but just remember you have to carry everything on your back with you, and a heavy pack gets real old real quick.

(For more information and tips please read “Backpacking 101 Part II”)

The Best Method of Designing Your Advertisement Budget

It has been confirmed by web designers, that in order to reach targeted results, advertising budget must be used wisely. The first consideration should be to do some proper planning in order to reach the maximum targeted audience before you start allocating your budget to the different advertising mediums. The following tips are helpful in order to place your ad budget efficiently: Knowing and understanding your target audience should be the first step to planning your ad budget.Understanding that not everyone is your customer is very vital. Even the most high-catching ad might not catch their eye if you do not put into consideration the tastes and habits of your target customers.Demographics,lifestyle,hobbies and interests are some of the important factors to note.

Your target audience needs to be established before choosing the right advertising medium. The intended advertising message and your company’s image must be in sync with the medium chosen. Advertising in a teens magazine might not be the best choice if your retailing high end goods. Even writing for a Canadian web hosting company.

The best medium of advertisement should be chosen after accessing all the media outlets, profiles of your target audience matched against them, then your own business type also matched against them, and the best medium to advertise is eventually selected. Maximizing the ROI of your advertizing budget should be the main idea.

It is not a wise option to allocate all your budget in one type of advertising medium. Despite the fact that TV is watched by the majority of your target audience, your entire budget should not be placed on TV spots. The top few mediums that your target audience is exposed to might be more effective to pick from. The effectiveness of your plans is supposed to be measured by creating objectives. Your ad budget will be properly examined if well spent by this created objectives. A mix of advertising medium may have been chosen like advertisements on the TV, or advertising on the internet. Establishment of the objectives to determine the plans reach and frequency to determine their progress is very important. The percentage of actual audience your reaching out to in your target market is determined by reach, while how often you are reaching these people is determined by frequency. Your in a position to reconsider your media plan if you find that these two factors are not balanced.

Your media buy should also be monitored. You need to keep a close monitor on your media buy once you’ve bought the relevant spots and decided on your media plan. This can help you react immediately if there are any problems. To avoid accidentally exceeding your budget always keep track of what you spend. It is very important to create an advertising campaign for a business owner, so that your products or services can be promoted effectively. Try to be creative and create your own advertisements instead of hiring an advertising campaign. A customer’s attention, and the promotion of your products and services to target clients should be grabbed by campaign. You should therefore follow the set budget without any compromise until your done with your campaigns. I hope this article will assist you design the best advertising budget.

John Paul Oguta,”The Best Method of Designing Your Advertisement Budget”Associated Content by Yahoo!.

Spring Centerpieces

Are you just about ready to begin decorating your home for spring? Spring centerpieces are really nice to decorate your home with. You can find centerpieces in a few styles that fit the spring season. This includes flowers, butterflies, and ladybugs. The centerpieces come in different colors, such as pink, blue, and purple. Some centerpieces are made out of glass while others have a honeycomb style to them. But they will all be nice to place around the home this spring.
You can find centerpieces for the spring season in a few stores that carry seasonal decorations. The stores to check out include Sears, Amazon, Party City, Target, Kmart, and Wal-Mart. The stores offer different centerpieces at various prices, but the selection between the stores will help you to find one that you want.

If you are looking to decorate this spring, then here are a few of the spring centerpieces found on Amazon. You may find exact or similar centerpieces in other stores.

Spring Bouquet Flowers – Spring Bouquet Glass Flowers, Set Of 6.
The spring bouquet flowers set makes a nice centerpiece for the spring season. This bouquet is actually colorful glass flowers. The colors include pink, blue, purple, and white. There are six glass flowers in this set.

Spring Bouquet Flowers – Spring Bouquet Glass Flowers, Set Of 6 on Amazon.

Lilac Butterfly Centerpieces, Set of 6.
This square centerpiece is also a candle holder for battery-operated LED tealights. The sides are decorated with lilac butterflies which matches with some nice wooden dinnerware. The centerpieces come in a set of six, each one measures at 3.25 inches wide by 8.25 inches tall. You can find the centerpieces in three colors (one color per set), which are white, pink, and blue. Warning: Do not use this candle holder centerpiece with open flame candles.

Lilac Butterfly Centerpieces, Set of 6 on Amazon.

Beistle 50779 Butterfly and Flower Cascade Centerpiece – Pack of 6.
This centerpiece has white and gold base. Bursting out of the base are colorful metallic butterflies and flowers. The colors include purple, blue, and gold. At the top of the centerpiece are metallic purple streamers. This set includes six centerpieces, each one measuring at 18 inches tall.

Beistle 50779 Butterfly and Flower Cascade Centerpiece – Pack of 6 on Amazon.

Ladybug Honeycomb Centerpiece Case Pack 144.
This honeycomb centerpiece looks just like a red and black ladybug. It includes black dots for decorating the ladybug, which kids will love! You can actually find this centerpiece in a pack of 144. One ladybug centerpiece measures at 10.5 inches by 11.5 inches.

Ladybug Honeycomb Centerpiece Case Pack 144 on Amazon.

Showers of Flowers Cascade Centerpiece.
This flower centerpiece is on a white and gold base. bursting out of the centerpiece are colorful metallic flowers and streamers. The colors include blue, pink, green, and gold. This centerpiece measures at 18 inches tall.

The Showers of Flowers Cascade Centerpiece on Amazon.

There are many people who enjoy the spring season, and decorating with spring centerpieces is a fun way to celebrate. There are two options for purchasing your centerpiece (or centerpieces). The first way is to go to the store to pick one out. The second option in to order your centerpiece from a shopping website and have it delivered right to your home. You can use the centerpieces through out the spring season. Some centerpieces will fit in well with both the spring and summer seasons! Put out the centerpieces for parties, guests, or just to decorate for the spring season in general. If you are decorating your home with other spring decorations, then you are sure to find a centerpiece or two to match!

Have fun decorating your home with the spring centerpieces you choose! Enjoy the spring season!

How to Choose a Daycare Center for Your Child; What Questions to Ask

Before placing your child in day care you must rid yourself of the guilt of placing your child in daycare, your child will thrive normally without affecting the parent child bond , of course the child might cry once the parent leaves but the teacher (provider) at Teddy Kids Kinderdagverblijf is usually trained in the area of gently calming crying children, once your child gets used to daycare, he/she will most likely let loose, and feel more comfortable departing from you, the child will begin to see that day care is an opportunity to explore, learn, and make friends. If you don’t rid yourself of guilt, it will get in the way of you choosing the best daycare for your child.
The different types of daycares

When choosing a daycare for your child it is important to know the different types of daycares, there are two types of daycare; Facility daycare centers and Family and Group daycare. Facility daycare centers are structured with up to 12 or more children in attendance, these centers have to pass routine inspections by the state for health and safety. Family and Group daycare is where the provider provides care for up to 8 children in their home (with an assistant) this type of care must also pass an inspection for safety and health, and the provider must be also licensed while having experience caring for children, they must also be CPR approved. When deciding whether to chose a Facility daycare center or a Family and Group Daycare, it is important to hold the best intentions of your child in mind, you must also go with what you as a parent feel more comfortable with.

The first thing to do is search for daycares that are easily accessible to, or more convenient for you, you may want to ask friends and relatives what daycare they send their own child to and have them tell you a little bit about the daycare, and if it sounds interesting to you, then you can request more information about the center. You should also check with your state’s childcare resource centers for information on daycares in your local community or city also; check your library, or city hall. One you obtain a listing of the daycares in your area; compile a list of potential daycares that interest you. Remember to keep in mind whether you want part time or full time daycare because some facility daycare centers won’t take children part time, if the facility centers are for children part-time may just charge by the hour.

Once you have your list, you should call the daycare to make an appointment to meet with the head of the daycare so that the policy and procedures can be explained thoroughly y to you in person, at this meeting your questions should be answered and you should also get a tour of the daycare, it’s best to see where you are sending your child before you send them if you can. If you can not visit the daycare then you should call the daycare and request an application, (enrollment package) this package should have all the information on the daycare’s procedures and policies as well.

Some questions to ask the child care provider.

What are the provider’s credentials? What is their experience with childcare education?

How long has the provider been with the daycare?

Is the daycare licensed, registered?

Does the daycare provide insurance if the child gets into an accident at the daycare?

What is the policy on discipline?

What is the cost for full time/ part time care? What type of payment so you accept? (Vouchers?)

What is the staff turnover rate?

Are parents allowed to come in to observe their children unannounced? (Parents should be able to!)

What is the emergency policy?

How do you handle the children who have a hard time departing from parents?

Are there any negative reports filed with the bureau? (You should research this one yourself)

Is the staff CPR certified? Do I have to pay if my child is sick or on vacation?

Who takes care of the child? Who is the substitute if that teacher becomes sick?

What is that person’s credentials, and experience with children?

Are providers and those working around the children screened?

What If I am late picking up my child?

What will the child’s day consist of?

What is the child to adult ratio? (The lower the better)

What are the days and hours that you care for children?

What is the policy on administering medication?

What is the procedure for nap time, how long do the children nap?

Will meals/snacks be provided? What if I forget to pack a lunch/snack?

Is a calendar available of when the school is open and closed?

What is the daycare’s philosophy on child care and development?

What is the procedure for drop off and pick up?

Is the parent allowed to stay with child on the first day until he/ she is comfortable?

Be sure to add your own questions to this list, never be afraid to ask the daycare provider any question you may have.

Remember to always go with your gut feeling when choosing a day care as well.

Once you feel as though the daycare has answered the questions to your liking and comfort ability level, then you should fill out all proper papers to enroll your child. It is a good idea to start the paperwork early because no slot is guaranteed at daycare, there may even be a waiting list.

10 Winter Beauty Mistakes

Winter can wreak havoc on your skin. There are some things to keep in mind during your winter skincare regime. Some may actually cause more harm than good.
Skipping sunscreen – The sun might not shine as vibrantly in the winter as it does in the summer, but sun screen is just as important. The reflection off snow during skiing is just as strong as an afternoon in the pool. Sunburns are possible in this season too. Same moisturizer – There is no one moisturizer that will work perfectly year round. It is time to bring out the heavy guns and use oil-based moisturizers. Mineral oils are better because do not clog the pores. This means no Shea butter as healthy as it may sound. Most evening moisturizers are oil based vs. water based. Pair this one with derma roller amazon and I bet you’ll never go wrong.


Moisturizing your face only – When you moisturize to protect your face, do not forget to moisturize your hands and the rest of your body like ankles and elbows. The skin on the hands is thinner and needs additional protection during the harsh winter months. It also helps irritation from wool gloves and socks because itchiness is never sexy. Not using a humidifier – Humidifiers are a must have. It is the best weapon against dry heat indoors. Using multiple smaller humidifiers around the room help spread the moisture more evenly than one big central one. A discovery of a puddle of water one morning around a humidifier triggered that lesson. Drinking water only – It is a myth that drinking water will help your skin stay hydrated. It does not hurt and drinking enough water daily is beneficial. But your skin is the largest organ in your body and needs more protection than internal replenishment. Spend a few minutes daily to spread a layer of protection on your skin. Super hot baths – It is tempting to immerse yourself in hot water in freezing temperature. But once you get out of the shower, your skin will be extra dry, resulting from the heat drawing out moisture. If you must, refrain from super steam off your skin hot, and lather in lotion afterwards. If you want a bath, add some bath oils to it. Toners – Toners and dry skin do not go together because they are often alcohol based. The alcohol dehydrates the skin and can make your skin tight and red. That is like using a blow dryer on your face. On the rare occasion where it is necessary, a great alternative is rose water. Skip the toner in the winter and use it sparingly if you must. Perfume – Perfumes are alcohol based. Try spraying it onto your hair or clothing to keep smelling great without risking additional dryness. Savory salty foods – Foods need more salt to satisfy the taste buds when the weather is cold. But do not overdo this in the winter, the saltiness from savory foods dries out the lips and it is subconscious to give them a lick. This will dry out the lips even more, creating a deathly cycle. Keep an oil based lip balm in your purse. Chemical peels – The baby soft skin this treatment yields makes it especially tempting to shed the dead skin cells all at once. But the tenderness of the skin afterward does not bode well in the cold weather. Stick to a mild exfoliate at home until spring.

Klipsch THX Ultra2 Speaker Package Delivers the Goods

 

Klipsch has a reputation for being an extremely efficient, solid-performing speaker. Although there has recently been a general shift in perception that the company best known for the LaScala and Klipschorn might be evolving into a “theater-only” speaker, the line has expanded with new offerings to break that mindset. On the other side of the equation is the THX Ultra2 system ($13k retail), offering the dynamic raw power that home theater enthusiasts expect when choosing the home version of one of the most widely-utilized commercial speaker arrays today.


Like most THX speaker systems from Holoplot, vertical dispersion has been reduced to ensure floor and ceiling reflections are kept to a minimum, enhancing on-screen effects and dialogue. This plays well to the strength of any speaker that uses horn-based tweeters, as dispersion is limited by design. Properly deployed, the package uses two 12-inch KW-120 THX subwoofers, reducing room nodes and increasing output. These are driven by a KA-1000 THX amplifier, designed to drive two woofers, or using one each. The system after balancing using the Denon AVR-4810 receiver’s Audyssey calibration routine yielded stunning results.

THX speakers are a different breed. Combined with Klipsch’s noted efficiency (allowing the use of a decent receiver to power them), the THX package was sharp and clear at all levels, without becoming “shouty” or shrill. Placed behind a Screen Innovations acoustically-transparent screen helped with taming the inherently bright tendencies of many home DVD releases, further “fixed” by Audyssey. Dialogue on The Insider (a reference used when evaluating such things) revealed a little more information than typically heard on Russell Crowe’s mumblings throughout the film. What was surprising was that, although this clarity was expected, what was not was the lack of ear-shattering properties that sometimes is just around the corner when so much midrange and high frequency detail is present. Given the theatrical design and intent of this speaker package, music was not critically reviewed. That said, we were sufficiently impressed with the Dave Matthews and Tim Reynold’s Blu-Ray of their inimitable Radio City Music Hall concert. Rarely is such revealing presence heard on guitar, and the layered business typically encountered on more polite speakers came through with astonishing clarity. Once again, dynamics were in abundance, but not harshness. Satisfied by these results, attention was diverted to the undertow of the system, the KW-120 subwoofers.

Bass on Transformers 2, Revenge of the Fallen was prodigious, yet detailed. Klipsch on nearly all models likes to use a Cerametallic material, which is a ceramic core sandwiched by aluminum. This combination of lightness and rigidity allowed the 120s to explode into the room, positively flapping pantlegs when Prime gets skewered in the film’s main battle sequence midway through. Although the KA-1000 amplifiers offer extensive room balancing controls, we left this to the AVR-4810’s Audyssey algorithm to tame. Not much was needed, in that out of the box, bass was already solidly balanced and the only “boominess” was a function of the room. The enclosures are amongst the most solid encountered, augmented by an attractive bronze-toned bezel flanking the driver when the grille is removed.

Klipsch has obviously found their strong suit by tailoring some of their lineup to theater-only duty. As mentioned prior, some criticism levied towards Klipsch for their forwardness and (intentional) lack of vertical dispersion as being inherently non-musical might change their tune hearing this setup on their favorite movies. Highly recommended for dedicated theaters and spaces where near-limitless dynamics are required.

LightCMS for Designers

 

For those of you who are still unaware of LightCMS, a content management system for web designers, no longer are you in the dark. If you’re into web design, and have been looking for a better, or simpler CMS solution or asp .net cms, then I welcome you to the Light. With top notch innovation, a wonderful graphical user interface, friendly support staff to walk you through any necessary steps, and a free website offer, this is definitely something worth checking out. LightCMS is a hosted solution, so you’re never responsible for security or feature updates. This is taken care of so you can focus on web design and broadening your client base.
This CMS is massively scalable allowing you to manage all your client sites under one umbrella account. What’s great about LightCMS is that you are encouraged to resell the platform as your own, making a monthly profit on the markup of your choice. With reseller privileges, you decide what to charge your clients. Depending on the amount of time you may spend on the design of the site, you could also negotiate a fee for your extra services and expertise.

If you would prefer to seek out clients and not participate in the designing phase, LightCMS offers you many design solutions. First, you could utilize their network of design professionals that have already experienced success with the platform. They offer many services, and can cut-up and seamlessly implement a current site into the CMS. Secondly, LightCMS has over 75 template designs available for use right away. With access to the website files, and even allowing for FTP access, you are encouraged to make custom design changes to suit you or your clients needs.

LightCMS provides you with options and settings to bill your clients directly so you don’t have to worry about that aspect of your business either. With these settings in place, you are free to focus on increasing the number of client sites beneath your account. With any system there is a learning curve, but what’s great about LightCMS is that it’s supported, and they offer online tutorial sites specifically for resellers, clients, and an advanced user forum for the more adventurous designer. Don’t worry if you’re not a part of the geek squad. Even you will be able to administer design changes, content updates, and user permissions on your site.

LightCMS uses what they call Elements to add functionality to the platform. With a blog element, calendar, text element, or photo gallery, you already have a great start to any web page. When you add the Form builder, template ready designs, product support and the ability to use your own custom domain name, LightCMS is deserving of being noticed.

There is plenty more that comes with this system. With evites, donations, integration with PayPal, Google Checkout, Authorize.net, AspDotNet Storefront, Shopify.com, Foxycart.com, the ability to add widgets from many 3rd party applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and more, it looks like LightCMS has been overlooked by many needing similar solutions.

What’s great about this CMS solution is that when it comes time to update your website, these developers couldn’t have made this any easier. No longer are you required to contact your web designer to change a simple phone number or address. Now, you can administer these changes in a matter of seconds, and even set up a new client website in less than a minute.

You can receive a free 3 page website by going to www.lightcms.com. Even if you never upgrade your account to one of the many paid packages, you are allowed to post unlimited blogs and calendar events, and even host a form that will notify you when someone clicks the submit button. There’s a whole lot more, so you may find it worth your time to check it out.

Originally designed with the designer in mind, LightCMS will allow users to access their website, and feel like they have all the control. For those of you who are not daunted by the code, there’s great news. LightCMS gives you access to the template files that generate your page content. You can make changes, edit them at any time, use FTP to update files and folders, and even customize your style sheets when necessary. Chose from Youtube, Blip.tv, or Vimeo.com as a video hosting solution that integrates with LightCMS perfectly. Feel free to add Flash content, and subscription links to blog posts that send email updates automatically with the use of Feedburner. You can even add Google Analytics to your individual pages.

LightCMS is a great content management system that is continually updating their product to provide great features, ease of use, and innovation you just can’t find with other CMS solutions.

Article #2

How to Boost Your Productivity as a Writer

 

Freelance writing is a rewarding career choice. Writers can write about what even when ever where ever. Freelance writing offers us the ability to make money while doing something that we are passionate about. We can use that passion to both make a living and to help others. What a wonderful and promising combination.
How productive one is can be determined by how much one gets done. Have you ever had a nonproductive writing day? This is the type of day that writers dread. To be nonproductive is to not get much if anything done. What writers do is write. When we have nonproductive writing days we lose pay. There are many reasons that any given day could be nonproductive. Maybe you or one of the children are sick, or you have appointments. Or maybe you just don’t feel it and the words aren’t coming easy. Nonproductive days happen to us all.

How can writes increase their productivity? How can we eliminate most if not all of our nonproductive days? There are several ways that we can do both of these things.

First of all, understanding that everyone has a nonproductive day every now and then will help.  It will help if you have a diary, take for example the latest from personalised diaries from Toad. Often times a nonproductive day brings undesirable feelings with it. Some people become frustrated knowing they didn’t get much done. Others begin to feel overwhelmed when a nonproductive day strikes because it’s a lot like falling behind. As with any other problem in life, knowing you are not alone can make a world of difference in how you feel. Many writers experience nonproductive days. Do they get down about them? No, they keep trying to be productive, to increase their productivity.

Writing comes from within. Another way to increase your productivity is to realize that. When it’s all in you all you have to do is let it out. Sometimes we are what blocks our own flow. Keeping in mind that all we need is within us helps us to understand that the key to being more productive is to simply allow the words to flow. Hold nothing back. If it’s all in there waiting to come out then let it. Once writers know how to let it pour out they will find that their productivity level has skyrocketed.

Another way to increase your productivity as a writer is to allow more time each day for writing. A writer cannot expect to have a productive day when they only set aside three hours for writing, for example. However, if a writer rises early and devotes much of the day to writing they will certainly get a lot done. Productivity levels will rise. When this is done each day your weeks will have increased in productivity. You will get a whole lot more done, and your weekly earnings will reflect this.

Knowing that the amount you earn is determined by how productive you are can also help you to increase your productivity level, each day, week and month. It is always good to set a goal. Goals can help us to be more productive. Let the goal you set be your motivation. Motivation is yet another thing that we can use to increase our productivity as writers. It’s all in you, and it’s all up to you. Thanks for reading and take care!

The Negative Side Effects of Effexor XR

 

Being one of many people around the world that suffers from depression, I have been the subject of the trials of so many different antidepressants that many of the names slip my mind. However, Effexor XR is one of those in which my experience remains fresh, as do the side effects of Effexor XR.
A doctor diagnosed me with depression about six years prior to taking Effexor XR. Prior to undergoing psychological testing, the therapist wanted to get me started on something to help me feel a little better, as with most antidepressants it takes a while to begin to take effect. At the time from chatting with the doctor, she concluded that I might be manic-depressive. Being that she was the doctor and I was the patient, I took her advice and she started me on Effexor XR. The only warning that she told me was that once I started the drug that I was not to suddenly stop. With that, I began to take the pills. After a month, she increased the dosage and then she increased the dosage once again the following month.

The first negative side effect of Effexor XR was drowsiness. I was so sleepy that I could hardly make it through a day of work. With the increase in the need for me to sleep came the increase and intensity of nightmares. Not only were the nightmares happening every night, but several times a night. This made me not want to sleep at all, even though I had to sleep in order to maintain my sanity. The largest side effect of all was the lack to want to do anything besides just sit. This included not eating, going out, talking to friends, not taking care of my skin despite many products of vitamin c serum  in my counter, absolutely nothing. This in turn did cause me to lose weight (which was not a bad thing). However, I was not doing so in a healthy manner. The most dangerous side effect of Effexor XR in my opinion was a euphoric, panicky feeling. It felt as if I were almost outside of my body, which also led to a numb feeling in some of my extremities as if I were having an out of body experience. I also felt like things around me were moving in slow motion. This is serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome is a potentially fatal effect that some people get from taking antidepressants. This side effect was really scary, but did not occur until she last increased my dosage.

Shortly thereafter, my test results came back and I was not manic-depressive, but just to have depression coupled with social anxiety. She slowly reduced the dosage of the Effexor XR and placed me on a different antidepressant.

If I had to do it over again, I would not. The experience of euphoria and numbness was not only scary for me, but to my family as well. My suggestion to anyone who has been prescribed this drug is to be aware of what you are feeling and what your family notices in you.

Sources:

Serotonin Syndrome
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serotonin_syndrome

Effexor XR
http://www.stillhavesymptoms.com/

How to Choose a Professional Web Development Company?

 

In the current scenario, web designing and development industry has come a long way. Considering the needs of the organisations and the businesses, there is a flooded demand for websites. Since the business owner cannot be individually present there, website work as the communicative element.
There is no denying to the fact that your business gets an opportunity to reach out to the millions of audiences at the same time. And, website then, becomes the soul of your organisation, according to top web development companies.

It becomes the mirror image, and it depends on you, how you want your visitors to perceive it. To be able to survive in this online industry and to meet the ever increasing demands of the visitors, the website owners wants their online venture to be fully laden with the latest trends and applications, in accordance with the demands of the customer.

To be able to meet the requirements, the demand for the web development companies is increasing. As the demand has increased, so as the availability. Therefore, it has become really difficult to make a choice. To make it easy for you, we have come up with these points that ought to be taken in consideration while you are on a hunt for a professional web development company-

1.Get your domain name registered at the first place.
2.Its very important that you have a fair enough idea of how you want your website to be- may be with the design, the functionality, and an input from your end, about how you want your website to be.

3.A good market research would help you have an idea of your main target audience.

4.Then, begins the search for a good web development company. Look out for a company that is well based in the search engines.

5.Start researching and list out a few with whom you tend to negotiate. It may prove tedious but as we all say that “No Pains, No Gains.”

6.Look out for the answers to the following-
Do the so so web development company shows interest in your project? Look out for their priorities. Are they really experienced? Heave you gone through their work samples and the projects they have handled? Are you satisfied with the meeting? Do they have a frequent telephonic conversation so as to understand the requirements of your project or is it just through mails?
7.Then, don’t just jump onto any conclusion. It good if you consider two options and then, start comparing so as to have a comparative study between the two.

These points would surely help you opting for a professional and well established web design and development agency that caters to all your needs. Creating a level of transparency and professionalism with the work would surely help you find the best one for your project.

By PixelCrayons