Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Christmas Surprise

The Christmas Surprise

There is nothing grander than the sound of scampering feet running down the hallway, screaming with smiles as they appear around the corner. The reflection of the glimmering lights and wrapped up toys in their wide eyes as they rush over to inspect the many wonders under the tree and around the room. The rustling papers as they tear open the beautiful wrapped presents with bows and ribbons. The screams of enjoyment as they admire their gift, only to dive back under the tree to look for that next one with their name on it. The magic that fills the room as you hear over and over "Thank you Santa!" This is another one of many reasons why I look forward to that one month in the year called December.

Now it was almost Christmas and almost time for a few days off. We weren't going far this time. The plan was to head out and visit Ellie's family for a few days before Christmas and to complete some paperwork before the holidays. This I loved to do, for we would get points on our credit card which would pay for three nights at the Westin Hotel at the Bear Mountain Resort. I would sit in the hot tub with my computer plugged in, sitting on a chair and with a wireless keyboard, mouse I would do paperwork for five hours every morning while Ellie and the girls slept. I would order breakfast, coffee and spend my time finishing up work. Then in the afternoons, we would all go down town to the many wonderful Christmas theme landscapes. Ellie's family home was the one place we always loved and made sure that we would visit at least a few times a year for they were always happy to see how fast the girls were growing, and hear about our holidays and success. The kids would drink eggnog while the parents had a little something extra with there's for the cheer. We would feast on cookies, nuts, chocolates and any other good treat that was brought by while laughing about each others story's over the year.

The plan this year was started back in September when we were on holidays in Orlando. The one place that every kid has to go, is good old Disney World. While we were wondering around the stores, I stumbled across one Disney store that just sold Christmas decorations. The store was huge and sold just about everything imaginable for Christmas. The best part of it all was that everything was from a Disney character. There were Tinkerbelle tree ornaments, Bambi water globes, Dumbo teddy bears, Mickey and Goofy train sets... you name it, they had it. With no kids or wife near by, I decided it was time to do my shopping for the holidays. I picked a spot on the counter and just started loading up. It didn't take long before the workers realized what kind of shopper they had in their store, for within 5 minutes I had 2 girls there helping me out. I would walk around the store, saying I will take 10 of those, 5 of those, 10 of those, 1 train set with 8 boxes of tracks. I had spent just over $2000 on decorations, this leaving me with no spending money for the rest of the trip for myself, but well worth it. They boxed up everything, then mailed it all back to our address. This leaving me time to find my family and try to break the news to my wife that there will be some parcels waiting back at home for us.

Now that Christmas night was finally hear, it was time to start the magic that the kids will remember for the rest of their lives. I am usually up till 6am wrapping presents and decorating the room, but this time I had to make sure every present was wrapped and I needed Ellie more than ever to help throughout the night. We did our normal Christmas night with the kids, cookies for Santa, carrots for Rudolph, watch a Christmas movie, maybe play a game or tell a story then time for bed around 830 p.m. - 900p.m. We had the whole room and tree decorated weeks before like every year, but this time I had all my Disney World decorations in a box hiding in the garage that came in the mail a few months earlier. So when the kids went to bed we had to take down every decoration on the walls, tree and all over the living room. Normally the room is all decked out, so this took some time to take down and box away. By the time we were finished there was nothing left but an empty bare pine tree. Now it was time to bring out all the boxes and start decorating the room again for the Disney theme.

Not only were there all the decorations but we had all the presents wrapped in a Disney character wrapping paper. By the time we were finished not only was it 6:45am but the whole living room looked like a Disney World store. The tree was like something out of the center of Disneyland at Christmas time. There were 100 Christmas Disney character teddy bears around the room, we had fake snow all over the place and a Disney World train going around the living room with Mickey waving from every pass. Above the fireplace we had a green wreath placed on the mantle with 6 different snow globes neatly laid out. With all this completed it was time for one more thing to set up for my youngest daughter, Emily. This cost the least amount of money, however, was the hardest to find.

The one Christmas movie that was Emily's and my favorite was The Polar Express that we never missed watching every year, after it came out on DVD. So this year all she wanted was a bell from Santa's sled. That was it. She didn't ask for anything else, so I had my work cut out for me with this one. I needed a bell that was big enough to come from his sled. It couldn't just be a small bell, it had to be perfect so I went to every store on my time off looking. Nobody had a bell anywhere that was suitable for what I needed except for one store that had two of them. It took me a week of looking before I stumbled across a bell about the size of a grapefruit. It was perfect, so I built a small box out of wood, wrapped it with padding then covered it with a red velvet cloth to give it a nice square pillow look. Around the cloth, I achieved a gold rope tassel which I tied around the center of the box. Once this was completed, I then placed another matching gold tassel, but much smaller and looped that one through the bell.

Out of its hiding, I placed it on our glass coffee table, with the letter from Santa. The letter explained that Santa doesn't hand out his bells for he would have nothing left on his sled, but because she was always good and a special girl he was making this one exception for her, but she mustn't tell all the kids for he couldn't do it for everyone. I had a light also in the corner shining on the bell, so when she woke in the morning and came around the corner, she could even see the bright shine reflecting.

Ellie and I might have been dead to the world, but we still had 15 minutes before it was time to wake up the kids for Christmas morning. What do two adults do in this time, coffee, more coffee to stay awake. When my girls came out around the corner that morning, Rachael fell to the floor and Sharon screamed. They were both shocked at what the living room looked like now 11 hours after they left it. Emily didn't even care about her presents, she ran straight over to the bell and her laminated letter from Santa. That box and bell was the only thing that she kept safe and showed to everyone. Every adult that came into our home that holiday, I made sure that I pre-warned them about it and had them tell her that they couldn't hear the bell. This made her the only one who could hear it when she shook it.

Within the next couple of hours we finished our unwrapping, and it was time for the two of us to go to bed, while the kids played with their presents. Now being over 24 hours with no sleep, It was our turn. Out of all the Christmas's we had, that one was my favorite for our memories.

My name is Sean Snowdon and this is one story out of my memoir that I have written about spending many months of the year only trying to have that one night at Christmas. I dedicate myself to giving my kids as many surprises as I can, and Christmas is the time of year I treasure the most. I am always open to any story that anyone would love sharing about the same experiences that they may create.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Things to Know About Dietary Supplements

Things to Know About Dietary Supplements

Few topics in medicine are more controversial than the use of dietary supplements.

The results from large-scale clinical trials often remain inconclusive. These trials are usually designed on the basis of positive findings from epidemiological studies and laboratory evidence. A common view is that the negative findings from the clinical trials present a well established evidence that the specific supplement is irrelevant to disease and that the epidemiological studies are biased.

An alternative explanation is that some trials are designed to test the effectiveness of supplementation without screening for the participants' baseline levels of the nutrient. In other words, it's possible that some people don't respond because they consume sufficient amounts of the nutrient in question. In fact, some nutrients lack proper thresholds, i.e. the researchers don't know how much the body actually needs.

At present, it seems that food is the best source of the variety of nutrients our body needs. Current guidelines recommend at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. Unfortunately, our busy lifestyles often make it hard to follow these guidelines. So, if you have decided to supplement, there are some important tips to keep in mind.

First and foremost, do not over do it. It's a known paradox that dietary supplements enthusiasts are usually people who need supplements the least. This is because they often eat balanced diets and make healthy lifestyle choices. If you do use supplements, avoid taking more than the recommended dose of any nutrient through supplements unless specifically recommended by your doctor.

It is especially important to avoid taking too much of the vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Calcium (for men), and Iron.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for vision, skin health, and bone growth. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in fat tissues and liver, and are released to bloodstream as needed. Because these vitamins are stored for long periods, toxic levels can build up and potentially cause toxicity. To be on the safer side, look for supplements containing Vitamin A in the form of beta carotene rather than retinol or retinyl versions. Beta carotene is stored in fat tissue and converted to Vitamin A as the body physiologically demands it, therefore avoiding toxic levels. Also, try not to take more than the Recommended Dietary Allowance.


There is good evidence that high intake of calcium increases the risk of prostate cancer and may also increase heart attacks. A large epidemiologic study found that intake of more than 1,500 mg of calcium per day might increase the risk of aggressive and fatal prostate cancer. So men should avoid taking calcium supplements. (Harvard Health Publications; "Minerals and Vitamins").


Large doses of iron supplements can cause an iron overload, which can damage body tissues and increase the risk of infection, heart disease, liver cancer, and arthritis.

Moreover, taking high doses of vitamin C increases the body's' ability to absorb more iron, potentially causing iron overload.

Always store an iron containing supplement away from children to prevent acute poisoning that might be fatal.

General rules of thumb

Choose products that are verified by or bear the U.S. Pharmacopeia Dietary Supplement Verification Program (USP-DSVP) mark. These supplements would in fact contain the ingredients listed on the label and their actual strength. These products would dissolve within 30 to 45 minutes after ingestion so that the nutrients can reach the bloodstream, and not pass through the body intact. The verified supplements do not contain harmful levels of contaminants such as heavy metals (e.g. lead and mercury), bacteria, molds, toxins, or other contaminants. At certain levels these contaminants can pose serious risks to one's health.

A good supplemental option to consider is that of whole-food supplements. This is the type of supplementation that would most closely mimic the benefits of a balanced healthy diet. The nutrients in these supplements exist in their natural form which enables them to deliver the full spectrum of their beneficial effects.

Whichever choice you make, always consult your physician or pharmacist prior to taking dietary supplements.

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Proper Ways to Keep Your Floor Clean

Proper Ways to Keep Your Floor Clean

Your floor may lose its shine over time, and appear less attractive due to dirt, grit, and scratches. These can cause a severe impact on your workplace's overall aesthetics, making all the wrong impressions on customers who may visit your office. For these reasons, proper floor maintenance is important to keep your floor shining and looking its best.

Repair leaks and spills

Moisture, leaks, or spills may warp and cause damage to your surface's finish, especially if it is made of hardwood. Look for the sources of these problems and repair them immediately to avoid damaging your surface. Do not let the spills sit too long, as these may cause stubborn stains. Use a mop or a sponge to wipe your floor dry.

Sweep and Dust Regularly

Dirt and debris might start to accumulate and become too hard to remove if neglected. Use a fluffy brush, soft bristled broom, or a vacuum cleaner to clean up dust and other small particles. Sweep your office's floor at least twice every day to prevent dust from sticking and damaging the surface.

Use Floor Guards and Rugs

High foot traffic and furniture are among the main causes of scratches and damage on surfaces. Place rubber stoppers or floor guards beneath furnishings to make sure they do not scratch the floor. You can also place rugs on entrances and high traffic areas to minimize dirt on the surface. Better yet, cover the entire surface with a carpet to avoid scratches.

Use High Quality Cleaning Solutions

You cannot simply use water or any chemicals on your surface, as these might only contribute to damage. Look for special floor polish with natural and non-abrasive ingredients to prevent scratching and damaging the surface's finish. Do not use ammonia or bleach based cleaners, as these may discolor grout lines. You can also use a warm soap solution to clean stubborn stains--do not use hot water so the polish will not come off. Seek assistance from companies specializing in floor stripping and waxing if damage and stains are too severe.

Wax Your Floor

Wax protects the surface and keeps it smooth. It also preserves floor quality and gives it a more attractive sheen. Although wax can be helpful in floor maintenance, too much of the product can cause adverse effects on the surface. As such, make sure to apply the right amount of coat to prevent damage and wax buildup.

Repair Broken Tiles

Repairing broken tiles or hardwood is important to prevent further damage on the entire surface. Make sure the ply boards or tiles are not loose. You also need to caulk surfaces exposed to water so they will not peel and warp. Know what type of sealer to use for your surface to avoid any problem.

Final Thoughts

Maintaining the overall condition of your floor can do many wonders when it comes to aesthetics. Shiny and clean floors will give your office a well-appreciated value, making them great investments for the property.

Get recommendations from experts about floor stripping and waxing to keep your floor in good condition.

Ruth works in a commercial cleaning company and can recommend different products for tiles and hardwood flooring.

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Social Media and Small Business - How and Why It Works

Social Media and Small Business - How and Why It Works

Business and social media how does it work and why does it work for some and not for others. These questions are on the minds of many small business owners when people talk about using social media. The most important question for you as the owner is "Why should I get involved and how is it going to help my business?" The answer to the questions must first come from what is your mission and purpose for your business. Can you in a few words describe both of these concepts as they relate to your business?

Having done that, what are your 3 or 4 major objectives for your business? What are the 2 or 3 goals for each objective that are SMART goals (measurable and timeline for achievement)? How do you envision your business in 5 years and how to do the items discussed previously help you achieve that vision?

You are probably asking yourself why all the questions and what is the purpose I know my business. These questions help you clarify where you are and where you want to be and can be used to develop on how you can best get there. As you look at your strategic plan and marketing plan, ask yourself how and where am I planning on maintaining my present customer base and how do I plan on continuing to attract new customers. Who is the target audience or audiences that I am trying to attract or maintain as clients/customers? The answer to these questions for a large part helps in the development of you marketing plan, customer relations and maintenance plan. With the marketing plan the major purpose is to establish some kind of positive relationship with potential clients. You are attempting to resonate with them in a manner that they will ultimately buy from you.

Through the process you are branding your company and yourself as unique in you particularly industry and can deliver a differentiate product or service. Though the marketing process you are building a know-like-trust factor so potential clients/customers will want to come and buy from you. Social media becomes one of the tools available to you in your marketing plan that will enable you to build this type of relationship. It must be emphasized that it is not the end all in marketing and is only one phase. Social media has been found effective for small business to play with the big businesses without breaking a budget. It is a process that requires attention as much as the other parts of your marketing plan to be effective. Remember it is only one tool in your arsenal of tools to build your brand. It can be effective in building new clients/customers and helps to maintain present clients.

The use of social media in business is to build positive ongoing relationships with potential customers/clients and extend greater benefits to present customers/clients. Think of it as means of networking much as done when attending live events. It is a means of utilizing effective communication to provide a clear understanding of what you have to offer. We are establishing a relationship with people we meet and enter into discussions. Through social media we are doing the same type of thing. You are asking questions of the people and telling them about yourself and your business. You are building a relationship that takes time to build and is not done in just a few sessions.

Now that you have answered the questions about your business and your marketing plan and have a basic understanding of what social media is about, you are now ready to begin the journey of selecting the right types of social media and the right sites. Then selecting the right message and the right mediums to build the relationships with your target audience is now your next task.

Given the many sites available it is important that you select the ones that best fit you target audiences. The place to begin is to seek the answer to the questions that revolve around your target audience. The first thing to do is to do a search of sites that those individuals use for their social media. There are many different sites with many different characteristic and not all are best for all businesses. So it is important that you search for that target audience demographics. Decide what type of relationship you want to develop with them and why is it important to your business. What is the problem you are trying to solve for that demographic with your products or services? What makes your solution or solutions the best for them and how are you going to communicate that to the target audience? How effectively are you communicating it with your present use of media especially your website?

Once you have identified the answers you are ready to begin the journey into the world of social media and business. You are now prepared to select the right sites to use for your business, began developing the profiles and selecting the process you want to use to create the relationships. This becomes first steps in engaging the social media tools to assist you in enhancing your business opportunities.

In the first paragraph we proposed the question as to why to use social media and why are some successful and others are not. The first reason is that now social media is being used in many more ways and with the growing smart technologies it becomes even more important to have presences online in many different formats. Big business realizes the importance of using social media and uses it very effectively to promote their brands. It has become a way of communicating with people on different levels and to create social media as a part of customer care. Why it is not effective is that people do not use it correctly. It has to be done constantly and consistently. It has to be done with thought and with a way positive outlook. Social media has to be more than just asking people to come to an event. It has to be a process that establishes the know-like-trust factors. Therefore social media does not work if you do not work it.

Over the next few weeks we will explore together the many sites available, and the ones that are most used and the ones that need to be further explored. We will discuss how to develop a plan to evaluate the return on investment for using social media. We will examine ways of exploring how it is affecting your overall business presence. We will explore other the use of other online tools that can be used to assist in improving the overall business processes.

Look for the next phase as we began the exploration of sites.

1/31/2013 Lonnie G. Juarez, Jr. Ph.D. Visionary/CEO Social Business Media Connections and Social Business Media Managers

As the first in a series of articles on small business and social media it is important for you as business owners to review and revise your marketing plan to include some of the questions raised in this issue. You are the person responsible for your business, the greater success falls to you to ensure that you are on target and goals are being achieved. Contact marketing expert to help you if you are stuck or not sure.

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What Kind of Food Can a Guinea Pig Eat?

What Kind of Food Can a Guinea Pig Eat?

Guinea pigs are, of course, herbivores. They are little veggie eating machines. But if you are going to be a responsible owner, you need to know what they can eat, what they like to eat, and what cannot eat. First, remember that guinea pigs, like humans, do not make their own Vitamin C. If a pig does not get adequate Vitamin C in her diet, she will get sick and can even die. So when choosing a brand of pellets, make sure the bag says that it's for guinea pigs (not rabbits or gerbils) and make sure it states that it contains Vitamin C.

The mainstay of their diet is Timothy hay. I cannot state enough how important it is to provide an unlimited supply of Timothy hay. The hay aids in your pigs' digestive system and help them grind their teeth down. People often make the mistake of buying Alfalfa hay. This is a big no-no. The amount of calcium in Alfalfa hay is too much for guinea pigs and can cause bladder stones. So, give them Timothy hay and only Timothy hay. Make sure they get fresh hay every day as well. If hay has been sitting there for awhile, it dries out and they often will not eat it. Also, they often use the hay as a bathroom area, and once it gets soaked in urine, it is no longer appealing. Pigs can be picky that way.

They need daily vegetables. My piggies love romaine lettuce and carrots. But again, you should be conscious of giving them foods that is heavy in Vitamin C, because even though the pellets contain the vitamin, it is impossible to know how old the pellets are, and as Vitamin C break down over time, older pellets will lose their Vitamin C potency. So try to find some veggies rich in Vitamin C that they will eat. This may be a harder trick than it sounds, because I've found that once a guinea pig gets in her head what she will or will not eat, it's difficult to change her mind. Also, they might love something one day, and then the next day, won't touch it. They are like people in this capacity. We get tired of the same old thing too, you know. Vitamin C rich vegetables include kale, parsley, mustard leaves, spinach, all of which, none of my pigs will eat. This is not to say your pigs won't love these, but mine are a bit on the difficult side. They will, however, eat bell peppers, and this has a good amount of C.

If all of your efforts have been thwarted and you're concerned that your pet is not getting enough Vitamin C, look into giving them Vitamin C supplements. I do not recommend the drops that can be added to the water. First, this can make the water taste funny to the pigs and they won't drink it. Second, the light exposure will break down the Vitamin C, so it's really just pointless. My veterinarian recommended a chewable Vitamin C tablet, although for it to work, you have to first convince your pig to eat it. Of course, none of mine would touch it. But if all else fails and you are convinced your guinea pig is not getting adequate Vitamin C, you can give them the liquid drops via syringe.

To recap, your piggies must have pellets which state they are for guinea pigs and have Vitamin C. They also must have an unlimited supply of Timothy Hay and daily fresh vegetables. And don't forget they need fresh water too! Please note, I am an experienced and knowledgeable guinea pig owner, but I am not a medical professional. Always consult for veterinarian for any health concerns.

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5 Reasons Why Choosing The Right Laminate Panel Manufacturer Could Be Critical To Your Business

5 Reasons Why Choosing The Right Laminate Panel Manufacturer Could Be Critical To Your Business

1. It will help ensure consistency and continuity:

If your laminate fabricator buys direct from the mill, they liaise directly with the manufacturer. This means closer attention to production schedules, design development and knowing ahead of time the availability of certain products. You'll also have another major advantage - by holding stock of decorative paper at the mill, your chosen design can be produced at relatively short notice, which is vital for ongoing contracts. Imagine having to tell your customer that the laminate you supplied is no longer available or that there will be long delays - Not good

2. Getting exactly the right make and colour will never be a problem:

You've got a new enquiry - a large corporate customer who wants a reception desk, or perhaps an interior fit-out using their corporate colours. Sound familiar? Ever had that type of request? Can your laminate bonder supply and fabricate any leading make of laminate? Do they have access to every leading range in the UK? Can they supply the brand the corporate specifier demands? If you can't answer yes to all of these questions, it might be time to change your supplier.

3. You'll always have a wide choice of designs, including your own:

Can your supplier achieve any design, pattern or logo, or use your own digital images? The top laminate producing mills are able to manufacture an infinite design range of laminates - not just printed on the top surface where it can scratch, but on the decorative paper used in the manufacturing process. And they can supply it in as little as 5-6 weeks. You can even have your own registered design that only you and your laminate fabricator have access to - assuming of course that they deal directly with the mill.

4. You'll get guaranteed press time for each bonding order:

This is a big one and is often overlooked. Can your current supplier guarantee that at the same time each day, week or month that they will set aside press time for your bonding order? Not many can. But why is it so important? Well, imagine you've signed a contract to carry out a rolling refurbishment of a bank or restaurant. You only have site access on a particular day of the week. You need to have absolute certainty that your order will be ready by that day, without constantly having to chivvy your supplier, or worry that your order might be late. So ask your supplier whether they can guarantee this -you might get a shock. The best fabricators will be able to give you that peace of mind.

5. You know you're getting value for money:

Does being competitive mean being cheap? In a word, no. We've already established that in all walks of life the product or service that is cheapest often does not meet all our needs. Being truly competitive means offering value for money - combining both high quality and reasonable price. The only thing worse than receiving poor quality products is passing that poor quality on to your customers. Even if your workmanship is first class, using second rate materials will reflect badly on your business. So rather than ask yourself, 'Can I afford to pay that little bit extra?' the question should really be 'Can I afford not to?'.

I hope I have given you a better insight into choosing the right laminate supplier - and the potential pitfalls to avoid. At ELS Panels, there's a reason we've been one of the UK's leading high-pressure laminate suppliers for over 50 years. In fact, there are five - and you've just read them. There's really no need to settle for average when you can choose the best in the industry and still get great value for money.

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Is My Resume Outdated? Three Checkpoints

Is My Resume Outdated? Three Checkpoints

I have been writing resumes off and on for over 30 years. During that time, I have seen many changes. Today's professionally written resumes are job marketing documents that are highly crafted. They are written using principles of marketing and professional writing and include information that meets the needs of prospective employers. Have you wondered, "Is my resume outdated?"

If you have not updated your resume in more than 5, 10, 20, 30 years - trust me, it likely needs a radical overhaul. Every week, I see a resume that contains information that is irrelevant, outdated, or a total waste of valuable resume real estate space. This is part one of a four-part series that tackles the myths and faux pas of resume writing for today's technologically advanced job market.

Myth 1: The purpose of a resume is to get you a job.

This is clearly untrue. The purpose of a resume is to get you an INTERVIEW! Your resume must provide the information that prospective employers want to see because you only have 10 to 30 seconds to grab their attention. You must get this information across quickly and with dynamic phrasing that grabs their attention, and gives them the desire to read more and to call you to schedule an interview.

Myth 2: Always include all of your education the more you know the better.

This is "false". Everything that you put on a resume should be relevant to the specific job for which you want to apply. If you graduated from high school or college Magna Cum Laude 15+ years ago, no one cares. If you took a college level floral arranging course but are applying for an accounting job with a publishing company; that information is irrelevant. However, if you are applying for a position as an accountant in a floral business, it may be a good thing to include. That decision would depend on what other relevant information you have that could be incorporated into your resume.

Myth 3: Never put an objective statement on your resume.

The answer to this myth could be true and false, it all depends on what you mean by an "objective statement". All resumes should have an objective, a purpose or target tied to a specific job title such as; receptionist, sales manager or dental hygienist. This objective or target should be prominently positioned near the top of the resume where it is clearly visible and clearly states the job title you are applying for such as; Receptionist | Administrative Assistant.

However, if you are using one of the tired, old, self-centered objective statements that were popular in the eighties-it's got to GO! Phrases similar to the following example are what I referred to, above.

"I am seeking a position that will utilize my skills and experience in a position that will give me the opportunity to grow and develop within a stable company."

Prospective employers do not want to know what you want in a job; they want to know if what you have to offer will make their business better, make them more money or save them money.

To get the best result, a request for an interview, you need to have a focused resume with a clear job target right at the top of the resume. Remember, prospective employers are only interested in what you can do for them.

If your resume clearly communicates what you can do for them - you will get interviews. If you are struggling to write your resume, contact a professional resume writer who can help you to focus your resume information to the job/s for which you intend to apply.

Radiant Resume Services can write your resume and cover letter. We will help you shine brighter and reach your job search and career goals faster. Radiant Resume Services

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Green Tea: Nature's Insulin?

Green Tea: Nature's Insulin?

Is it possible that simply switching your breakfast beverage from coffee to green tea can have a drastic impact on your health? Researchers say yes.

This popular beverage has been in the news repeatedly in the past few years, touting bold claims of its antioxidants, and anti-cancer, anti-aging benefits. New research is pointing to another benefit; the moderation of blood sugar levels. 

A specific ingredient in the tea, epigallocatechin (EGCG), has been linked to reducing blood sugar spikes in mice. "The spike in blood glucose level is about 50 percent lower than the increase in the blood glucose level of mice that were not fed EGCG," said Joshua Lambert, a Penn State food scientist.

The science behind these results makes sense. A specific enzyme that helps the body turn starch into sugar, alpha-amylase, is inhibited by the compound EGCG by up to 34 percent. 

When starch is broken down in the body, it results in molecules of maltose and glucose. Glucose is absorbed directly into the blood steam as blood sugar, while maltose will be taken to the liver to be further broken down into glucose. EGCG's hindrance on this process maybe the direct cause of decrease blood sugar spikes.

"If what you are eating with your tea has starch in it then you might see that beneficial effect," Lambert said. "So, for example, if you have green tea with your bagel for breakfast, it may reduce the spike in blood glucose levels that you would normally get from that food." The research also noted that this benefit of the EGCG was not noted when it was consumed with glucose alone, as glucose does not have to go through the process that the EGCG inhibits. 

"That may mean that if you add sugar into your green tea, that might negate the effect that the green tea will have on limiting the rise in blood glucose level." Lambert also noted that the greatest benefit was seen when consuming the EGCG and the starchy food simultaneously.

The amount of EGCG that was given to the mice was a relatively low dose, the equivalent of about one and a half cups of green tea. "The relatively low effective dose of EGCG makes a compelling case for studies in human subjects," the researchers said.

Coffee, the traditional morning beverage in the U.S., also touts numerous health benefits. However, if you wouldn't mind sacrificing one of your morning pick-me-ups with a green tea while you fuel up with your cereal or toast, switching to a cup of green tea might be worth a shot.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What Is Anemia And How Is It Treated?

What Is Anemia And How Is It Treated?

Anemia is perhaps one of the most common blood disorders known today. It is characterized by symptoms like chronic fatigue and is generally caused by a lack of red blood cells being produced. 

There are more than 400 different kinds of anemia in the world today, each one caused by one of three common reasons. The treatment of this condition will depend on what is causing it, so anyone who finds themselves suffering from chronic fatigue is advised to see their doctor as soon as possible for a complete checkup. Only through blood tests and various monitoring tests will the anemia be detected.

Types Of Anemia

In addition to the most common form of anemia, there are more than 400 different types of anemia known to medicine today. To help keep it all straight, let's just say that the different types can easily be categorized into three separate categories depending upon their diagnoses.

• Caused by blood loss: This could be because of hemorrhoids, menstruation, cancer or long-term internal bleeding.

• Caused by decreased red blood cell production (most common): This could be brought on by deficiency in iron or vitamins or problems with the stem cells or bone marrow.

• Caused by the destruction of red blood cells: This is usually brought on by blood disorders, thalassemia, distended spleen, advanced kidney or liver disease or anything that stresses the immune system such as certain drugs, insect or snake venom and severe food allergies.


The exact treatment of your particular type of anemia will depend upon what other symptoms you might have, what might be the cause of the red blood cell depletion and whether there are significant missing vitamins or minerals such as iron or potassium that need to be a part of the treatment.

The total length of time that would be needed to undergo this type of therapy will also be dependent upon your exact condition. 

Your doctor will be able to tell you how long you will need to be on whatever medications or supplements you are prescribed and what may happen if you should go off of them. In the majority of cases, simple iron deficiency is the cause and can be made up for by adding iron supplements to your daily diet.

Extreme cases are usually rare but they do exist, so seeing your doctor is the most important part of treatment for any case of anemia today.

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

How to Untag Yourself in Someone's Photo on Facebook

How to Untag Yourself in Someone's Photo on Facebook
By Jacqui Lane, eHow Contributor

Your default Facebook privacy settings allow friends to tag you in pictures, which then appear in your Photos section and on your Timeline.

Because tagged images were uploaded by others, you can't delete them if they're unflattering. You can, however, untag yourself, a procedure which removes the photo from your profile.

You can also change your privacy settings to control how tags are handled in the future.


Untagging Photos

Sign in to your Facebook account from a Web browser and navigate to your profile page.

Click "Photos" and scroll down to the section labeled Photos and Videos of You. This section displays all of the photos in which you're tagged.

Click on the photo that you want to untag to open it in the the photo viewer.

Mouse over the photo in the photo viewer and click the "options" button that appears. Select "Report/Remove Tag."

Check "I want to remove the tag" and click "Continue." The tag is removed immediately and you're presented with the option to complete a survey about why you untagged the photo; click "No" if you don't want to participate.

Controlling Future Tags

Click the arrow in the upper right corner of your Facebook homepage and select "Privacy Settings."

Click "Edit Settings" in the Timeline and Tagging section.

Click "Off" next to the option that asks if you want to review tags before they're posted to your Timeline. In the window that appears, click the drop-down menu and select "Enabled." When friends tag you in a status update or photo, you'll be notified and have the option to decline being tagged.

Select whether you want all of your friends, just a few or none to be able to see posts in which you're tagged by clicking the drop-down menu next to the fourth option.

Choose whether you want to review tags that friends add to your own posts by clicking on the drop-down menu and selecting the option to enable Tag Review.

Click "Friends" next to the last option and select "No One" from the drop-down menu to disable your profile from appearing as a suggested tag.

Click "Done" to save all of your changes.

Tips & Warnings

Untagging a photo doesn't remove it from your friend's profile, and people with access to her Facebook profile can still view it on her page. If it's a truly unflattering or unprofessional picture of you, send a personal email to ask if she'll consider deleting it altogether.