Monday, December 5, 2011

Tips for Budget friendly chritmas decorations...

1. Branch Out

Go branch hunting outside. Spray-paint the branches in a silver or gold, pop them in a vase and voilĂ  ... elegant holiday decor. Take it a step further and dangle some ornaments on them or tie a few bows.

2. Show Your Cards

Glue leftover cards or those from previous years on matboard using Spray Mount, double sided tape or rubber cement and hang as holiday artwork, says Mary Ellen Turner, vice president of seasonal merchandise for Party City. The boards could be trimmed down to the size of a single card or left as a whole board with numerous cards attached to it lined up against a wall or on top of a coffee table.

3. Go Natural

Use natural elements, such as evergreen branches, pinecones or berries with candles. "But always make sure to place candles in separate holders, such as hurricane glasses, for safety," says Kimberly Kennedy, author of The Art and Craft of Entertaining and lifestyle consultant for the National Candle Association. Or, pile artificial snow on a silver platter, a tabletop, or mantel with vintage glass ornaments and votives in crystal holders to create a dramatic effect.

4. Add Some Swagger

Make a swag out of Christmas cards, say Jennifer and Kitty O'Neil, authors of Decorating with Funky Shui: How to Lighten Up, Loosen Up and Have Fun Decorating Your Home. Start with last year's cards and hang them over a long strand of twine, and tack two ends to front corners of your mantel, or down a long hallway.

5. Tie It Up

Take your throw pillows and tie them with holiday colored ribbons either once around the middle or like a Christmas gift. Add a rhinestone pin for an extra kick!

6. Find a Canny Solution

Don't have Christmas stockings? Santa won't care. Take soup, peanut, or coffee cans and create a new place for gift stuffing. About one inch down from the top of the can, drill a hole. Now paint the can whatever color you like and either add a label with the person's name on it or paint it right on the can. Glue things on (paper snowflakes work great), paint, etc. -- there are no rules! Then string a ribbon through the hole and hang it on the mantel.

7. Make a Bow

Take red, white or green bath towels and stack three different sizes with coordinating ribbon, thus creating a "gift wrapped package." Place on bath counters or tiered rack behind toilet bowl to dress up the guest bath, says Connie Bandstra, author of Tasty Temptations.

8. Brighten Up

Fill large tubular vases with red cranberries to add a beautiful splash of Christmas red to any room. If you don't have any vases, take 3 or more clear glass wine bottles or other household bottles and fill them with cranberries. You can even take it a step further and add flowers, twigs, or greenery with water. Another easy tip is to fill candle trays with cranberries or even pour them into the center of your dining table with candles here and there and voilĂ !

9. Frame It

Take some hanging picture frames and simply frame some pretty holiday paper as artwork. Sometimes you can even find a nice greeting card worthy of being framed and hung.

10. Spray It

Take household bottles (wine or juice, even beer bottles) and simply spray-paint them holiday colors. Green, red and blue work well. Even just taking a dozen bottles, spraying them with silver paint and popping candles, flowers, or twigs in them is the simple and perfect accent for a dining table, fireplace mantel, or a long console table. It will look stunning and no one will even guess how you did it so simply!

11. Get Abstract

Cut up red, green, silver and white construction paper or colored glossy paper, into 6- to 8-inch strips. You can even paint or spray-paint old magazine pages. Loop one end to the other and glue to a blank canvas. Do this with dozens of strips and fill the entire canvas. You're left with a cheap and easy piece of abstract holiday art that looks like you paid $300 for at an art boutique!

12. Just Add Water

Take clear vases or bottles, fill them with water, add holiday-colored food coloring -- a few drops will do -- and float candles in them or just line several up in a row to add a simple, cool holiday accent.

13. Turn the Lights Up

Take holiday-colored ribbon and pin or glue it around the bottom of your lamp shade. So simple and so stylish.

14. Decorate the Door

Make your own holiday wreaths. Go outside and cut almost any type of greenery that you see, bend it into a circle and tie with anything you have, whether it is fishing string, ribbon or rope. Hang it simple and fresh and add a few ribbons or ornaments. You can also use these on a table and lay them flat, then place a candle in the center. If you let it dry out, you can make it last a bit longer and even spray it a holiday color if you choose.

15. Splash on Color

Take a blank canvas and spray-paint it a solid holiday color. It's that simple. You could also stencil or stamp snowflakes, stars, etc. to add some holiday accent.

16. Go Modern

Take some small household, clear glass bottles and throw some holiday-colored drops of paint inside, shake it up and the paint will splatter inside to look like a modern piece of art. (You can also just spray the outsides a solid color.) Tie a ribbon around the top and can decorate a whole Christmas tree with them. Makes for great shelf ornaments, kitchen counter decorations or centerpieces!

Tips for new Bloggers

Before starting...lets know about HTML and XHTML ??

When inserting codes into the Blogger template, page element, or blog post, you may have seen error messages that the code could not be parsed, was not well-formed, was broken, or that the elements were not closed properly. These errors can be corrected if you understand the rules that must be adhered to in XHTML documents. Blogger templates use the XHTML 1.0 Strict Document Type. In this article, we shall explain some of the XHTML syntax or rules, so that you may troubleshoot and resolve the problems if these error messages should occur.


We shall keep this short. Just so as you understand what we said about document type, view the Page Source or Source of your Blogger blog. You should see this document type declaration at the very top:-

The terms – XML, HTML and XHTML - refer to the markup language used to write the web pages. Many of us would have heard of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), invented by Tim Berners-Lee, and used since the early days of internet. XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a meta-language, used to create other markup languages. The traditional HTML was later recast to use the rules of XML and that resulted in a new XML application, called XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language). Because XHTML rules are strict and unforgiving, not conforming to them when attempting to modify the template would result in error messages. So, what are these rules that Bloggers like us should take note of?

Basic Rules of XHTML

1. Codes to be in lowercase

Since XML is case sensitive, all the element keywords and attribute names used in XHTML should be in the lowercase. For example, the template code is not this:-

Tips for New Bloggers

but this:-

Tips for New Bloggers

If you have noticed, the elements and attribute names between the lesser than (<) and greater than (>) signs have to be in the lowercase. However, the value, which in this case is “Tips for New Bloggers”, can be in the uppercase, lowercase, or mixed case.

2. Attribute values to be in quotation marks

All the attribute values have to be enclosed either in single or double quotation marks. The following examples are not accepted by XHTML:-

Text Link

Instead, they should be written as such:-

Text Link

3. Container elements must have closing tags

This is not correct:-

A paragraph.

In XHTML, there must be a closing tag with a forward slash (/) at the end:-

A paragraph.

Examples of the many non-empty elements that have opening and corresponding closing tags are:-


  • ...

  • ...






    4. Standalone elements to be closed

    Some of the elements are empty or standalone. They do not have associated closing tags. Common examples are:-

    Nonetheless, in XHTML, these elements must be terminated or closed. There are two ways to do that. One way to terminate the element is to put a forward slash (/) at the end like this:-

    The second way is to add a corresponding closing tag like this:-



    5. Elements to be properly nested

    This means that elements must be closed in the reverse order. For example, this code is not accepted in XHTML:-


    It is improperly nested because the form was created first followed by the table. To close them in the proper order, the table must be closed before the form, like this:-


    6. Document to have only one root element

    In the XHTML document, you will see that except for the document type declaration, all the codes are nested between and . This is the root element and all other elements or sub elements are in between. The document structure will look like this:-

    ... ...

    7. Attribute minimization is not allowed

    In XHTML, all attributes should be in the form name="value". Even if the value is the same as the name, it cannot be minimized to one word. Hence, in our Add Text Box and Textarea article, the textarea code is not this:-

    but this:-

    XHTML Character Entities

    Quite a number of readers had asked why they were unable to display HTML codes in their blog posts or why their codes were not well-parsed when inserted into the template. If you have noticed by now, the codes are wrapped in the lesser than (<) and greater than (>) signs. The moment these are posted, they will be interpreted as codes and will trigger an action by the browser. Should you want to display these as part of the text, use their character entities instead.


    The next time you see an error message to the effect that the code is not well formed, not well parsed, not properly closed, etc., take a look at this guide, troubleshoot the problem and try out the possible solutions.

    Tips to use the best SEO tools of Google !

    Well....Its best known that Google is a webmasters best friend, heres more proof. Google has provided a number of tools for SEO and helping webmasters to provide better content by understanding how and what has more demand in the web world. Below are a list of tools that would help you do the same.

    Google Webmaster Tools: Google Webmaster Tools is a no-charge web service by Google for webmasters. It allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites.

    Google Analytics: Google Analytics (GA) is a free service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about the visitors to a website. Its main highlight is that the product is aimed at marketers as opposed to webmasters and technologists from which the industry of web analytics originally grew.

    Google Website Optimizer: You can try different versions of your site that will be randomly displayed to visitors, allowing to obtain sufficient data for us to make decisions about design changes.

    Google Zeitgeist: A Trends showing tool which shows what is Hot and what is Not on a year basis.

    Google Trends: Allows you know how much or little that is sought a sentence or word in Google, allowing to compare curves between them. There are only the most popular.

    Google Insights for Search: Allows you wanted to see what is a phrase or word, regardless of popularity.

    Google Traffic Estimator: Made for Adwords, allows us to draw conclusions about the views that a particular word generates.

    Google Keyword Tool: Also made for Adwords, we can help you choose the best words in our texts to attract more visitors.

    Google Search Tool Based Keyword: Another option that allows us to find keywords on specific websites.

    Google Ad Planner: For statistical profile of visitors to any website.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    Facebook Shortcut Keys For Firefox And Internet Explorer

    Just while using, use these Shortcut Keys For Facebook as shown in the table

    Shift+Alt+0 : facebook help center

    Shift+Alt+1 : facebook homepage

    Shift+Alt+2 : your facebook profile page

    Shift+Alt+3 : friend request

    Shift+Alt+4 : messages

    Shift+Alt+5 : notification

    Shift+Alt+6 : account page

    Shift+Alt+7 : privacy setting

    Shift+Alt+8 : facebook's page on facebook

    Shift+Alt+9 : facebook terms of use

    Shift+Alt+? : enable search

    Shift+Alt+m : compose a new message

    Some Greatly Usefull Websites !!!
    This site has answers to almost all the problems u can think of... from how to 'Moonwalk like MJ' to 'how to tie ur tie n laces'.
    Try it on!!!!
    Using This site,u can customize ur photos whatever way u like, create photoframes, custom backgrounds, or create custom templates
    A web presence is necessary for many bussinesses.Its like an identity.But thats not enough, You should have ideas to make your website stand unique... teaches u all the theoretical n practical aspects of an effective n interactive website....
    This site has a complete catalogue of the world's famous hoaxes n april fool..Read some, this kindoff stuff is listened to very intently in a group while chit chattin, try for urself

    On This website u can read and download all Indian Magazines for free...
    This site has answers to almost all ur website building queries..from how to build a website, to how to make it even more secure...
    This site brings all the strange question n answers at ur fingertips, like What does OK stand for??? What is a MOJO....
    A collection of resources for fonts, templates, clip art and more. Includes desktop publishing forums and application reviews. This site all u will need for desktop publishing..Alll the links to other sites are useful as well...
    This can proove a very entertainig website.I visit this site quite often. An internet guide to paranormal phenomena, with feature articles, website guides,n other links. Topics covered include automatic writing, cryptozoology, ghosts & spirits, human mysteries, and more.
    Go to this comprehensive yet concise site for explanations and examples of common false arguments. Navigate by category and follow links between connected fallacies. Includes a translation of Latin terms for fallacies into English. Learn the definition of a logical fallacy.
    This is a very useful website which directly calculates the coordinates and distance between most international cities. Displays a simple map of the results.
    This site will be useful at times when u have nothin to do, n thinking what to do.
    This is a good site with lots of online games, jigsaw puzzles,tic-tac-toe,sudoku and many others. Enter 'musicmania' to entertain you, n also teach you stuff like how to play music on your cell phone..A joke section, bad date stories,n much more, just go n see for urself!!!!
    Help your visitors share, save and subscribe to your content with AddToAny widgets
    So you wanna save some money??? Wanna some beauty tips??? Buy apartments??? Leanrn to pla mah-jongg??? Buy a laptop..?
    This site teachs you anything and everything they dont teach at school

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    Some Important Mobile Tricks...(Indian Version)

    Aircel Now Provides "Balance Transfer Facility"

    Aircel has introduced “Balance Transfer” facility for its prepaid subscribers, where in a valid Aircel prepaid subscriber can transfer a defined denomination to another valid Aircel subscriber when in need.

    With this new facility in place, the prepaid Aircel subscriber after opting the service will be charged with a nominal processing fee of Re.1 per transaction starting from denomination of Rs.5 respectively. However, the subscriber will be allowed only one such transaction per day and can transfer a maximum of Rs.100 to other Aircel mobile subscribers.

    Before transferring the desired denomination to another Aircel Mobile subscriber, Aircel subscriber has to follow simple steps on his mobile by calling *122*666# ( automated IVR)

    Processing Fees Details:- (For more details contact customer care)

    Amount to be Transferred --- Processing Charge
    5 1
    10 2
    25 2
    50 2
    75 2
    100 2



    *#06# SHOW IM OF PHONE

    *#9999# Show software version

    *#0001# Display RS232 serial communication parameter setup

    *#8999*228# Display battery capacity and temperature / voltage

    *#8999*523# Adjust display contrast

    *#8999*636# Display storage capacity

    *#8999*778# Display SIM card information

    *#8999*324# The network checkout (engineering model)

    *#8999*289# Ringtone test

    *#8999*364# Display Watchdog state

    *#8999*427# WATCHDOG signal route setup

    *#8999*842# Vibrate test

    *#8999*782# Show date and alarm clock

    *#8999*246# Show the memory capacity

    *#8999*786# The display during warning

    *#8999*837# Samsung hardware version

    *#8999*377# Software error LOG (wrong display of EEPROM)

    *#8999*638# Show network information

    *#8999*9266# Display received channel number and received intensity

    NOTE: this tricks will not work for all mobiles, it will work for latest mobile and some will work for some phones



    Activate Enhanced Full Rate Codec (EFR) - Your phone uses the best sound quality but talk time is reduced my approx. 5%

    #3370# Deactivate Enhanced Full Rate Codec (EFR)

    *#4720# Activate Half Rate Codec - Your phone uses a lower quality sound but you should gain approx 30% more Talk Time

    *#4720# Deactivate Half Rate Codec

    *#0000# Displays your phones software version, 1st Line : Software Version, 2nd Line : Software Release Date, 3rd Line : Compression Type

    *#9999# Phones software version if *#0000# does not work

    *#06# For checking the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI Number)

    #pw+1234567890+1# Provider Lock Status. (use the "*" button to obtain the "p,w" and "+" symbols)

    #pw+1234567890+2# Network Lock Status. (use the "*" button to obtain the "p,w" and "+" symbols)

    #pw+1234567890+3# Country Lock Status. (use the "*" button to obtain the "p,w" and "+" symbols)

    #pw+1234567890+4# SIM Card Lock Status. (use the "*" button to obtain the "p,w" and "+" symbols)

    *#147# (vodafone) this lets you know who called you last

    *#1471# Last call (Only vodofone)

    *#21# Allows you to check the number that "All Calls" are diverted to

    *#2640# Displays security code in use

    *#30# Lets you see the private number

    *#43# Allows you to check the "Call Waiting" status of your phone.

    *#61# Allows you to check the number that "On No Reply" calls are diverted to

    *#62# Allows you to check the number that "Divert If Unreachable (no service)" calls are diverted to

    *#67# Allows you to check the number that "On Busy Calls" are diverted to

    *#67705646# Removes operator logo on 3310 & 3330

    *#73# Reset phone timers and game scores

    *#746025625# Displays the SIM Clock status, if your phone supports this power saving feature "SIM Clock Stop Allowed", it means you will get the best standby time possible

    *#7760# Manufactures code

    *#7780# Restore factory settings

    *#8110# Software version for the nokia 8110

    *#92702689# Displays - 1.Serial Number, 2.Date Made, 3.Purchase Date, 4.Date of last repair (0000 for no repairs), 5.Transfer User Data. To exit this mode you need to switch your phone off then on again

    *#94870345123456789# Deactivate the PWM-Mem

    **21*number# Turn on "All Calls" diverting to the phone number entered

    **61*number# Turn on "No Reply" diverting to the phone number entered

    **67*number# Turn on "On Busy" diverting to the phone number entered

    12345 This is the default security code

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    Tips to improve your Memory

    Memory improvement can be achieved in two ways: 1) by improving the health of your brain, and 2) using memory skills. These are easier to do than you might think, but you have to make the effort. Here are few of the great memory improvement tips on this site:

    Stay Sharp with Brain Games. Keeping your memory sharp can be fun. There are over 75 free brain games on this site you can play anytime you want. These games help improve memory, attention, concentration, and more. Believe it or not, I've even added a free version of Dual N-Back, the only brain game proven to raise IQ!

    Maybe It's a Sleep Problem... It's amazing how poor sleep can hurt your memory. If you have trouble sleeping at night or simply are not getting enough hours of sleep, it could be causing your memory problems. Check out the Sleep and Memory page for great tips on getting more sleep and better sleep.

    Fish Oil - The New Memory Fix. Do you or someone you know have problems concentrating? An Omega-3 deficiency sometimes causes this problem, because modern diets often don't provide enough of this nutrient. In one study in Britain, school children with poor concentration and memory who received Fish Oil vitamins showed a big improvement in behavior and school performance. Read more about the many benefits of fish oil supplements.

    Grow New Brain Cells. Amazingly, it is possible to grow new brain cells (neurons) in the memory center of your brain. According to research, intense aerobic exercise (such as running, biking, etc.) stimulates the growth of cells in the brain's hippocampus.

    Memorize Like Never Before. The Memory Systems collection, a special group of memory techniques based on mental visualization and association, is the real miracle that most people have never heard of. Use these methods to memorize lists, definitions, reading material, phone numbers, people's names, mathematical formulas, or virtually any other type of information.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Great Tips to find Happiness in Life :-)

    If one of your New Year's resolutions include finding happiness, we've got 10 happiness-boosting tips for you.
    Happy Couple


    According to recent findings from the Framingham Heart Study, your happiness is largely dependent on the happiness of those around you. The study, recently published in the British Medical Journal, suggests that happiness is catching and that emotional states – such as happiness – can be transferred from one person to another – directly and indirectly. So not only is finding happiness going to be a healthy boon for you, it is also going to foster happiness in those to whom you are connected.


    Like happiness, being thankful and more positive in your everyday life can be contagious – just as being negative and always complaining can be quite catching. In her article Five ways to cultivate an attitude of gratitude, Susie Michelle Cortright says, “Help your friends develop more positive traits by living those positive traits yourself. Know what kind of friends will help you nurture your soul, and set out to find some.”


    According to Handan T. Satiroglu, author of Be Happy: Tips to banish bad moods, finding happiness is taking time to play and including laughter into your every day. She explains, “Laughter is a marvelous medicine with no side effects. It is the great tranquilizer of life. In all stages of laughter, the brain releases endorphins, those feel-good compounds that increase your sense of peace and serenity. Laughter even stops hyperventilation, regulates digestion, blood pressure, and boosts immunity function.”


    A study published in the British Medical Journal suggests money won’t buy you happiness. Research from Mexico, Ghana, Sweden, USA and the UK shows that despite vastly different levels of wealth, citizens of these countries report similar levels of satisfaction. And most advanced nations have seen almost no change to individuals' happiness levels over the last 50 years, despite a huge hike in income. Researchers suggest focusing on family and personal relationships as key to finding long-term happiness.


    A study out of Cornell University suggests that committed relationships increase happiness. Researchers found that married people are the happiest, followed by people who cohabit, those in steady relationships and then those in casual relationships. Unpartnered people report the lowest levels of well-being and happiness.


    It’s not enough to simply be in a relationship, you must also foster a strong emotional connection. A study in the journal Social Forces indicates that emotional engagement is the key to marital happiness. Research suggests that wives are far happier when they feel emotionally connected to their husbands. So instead of just searching for happiness, focus on ways to bring you and your significant closer.


    In the article Five ways to raise joyful kids, our health and wellness experts recommend finding what in life makes your own spirit sing and revel in it. Your kids learn about life from you – and by prioritizing self-care (aka doing things that make you happy), you are teaching them the importance of self-nurture, which is a key in finding happiness. Happiness is contagious – they will catch it from you and then give it to others, now and into adulthood.


    With the rat race of life, it is crucial for you to stop and savor something pleasurable or even indulgent – on a regular basis. In the article Seven secrets to happiness, author Meaghan Buchan recommends, “Splurge on a gourmet sandwich one day for lunch instead of brown bagging it. Surf the Web rather than returning that hundredth e-mail. Get the deluxe spa pedicure.” Giving into temptation every once in a while will reaffirm the hope that long-term happiness is possible.


    Though it is definitely easier said than done, reducing your stress levels can help you in finding happiness. Sarah Wassner Flynn, author of Easy ways to reduce stress and boost your happiness, recommends sweating your stress away. “All you need is about 20 minutes each day to completely clear your head of your worries – even if it is only temporarily. Load up your iPod with high-energy playlists and go for a power walk or a run,” Flynn adds. And if exercise doesn’t do it for you, be sure to check out our top tips to reduce stress for even more ideas to lessen your stress and up your happy factor.


    Your perception is reality. If you look around you and everything is wonderful but you remain unhappy and unfulfilled, then the problem lies within you, with how you think or perceive life. In the article Enjoy what is, our health and wellness experts suggest that you learn to accept what is, cultivate a grateful attitude toward everything and give yourself permission to feel good and enjoy your life. Sometimes simply giving yourself permission to be happy is all it takes to eliminate and move beyond your limiting beliefs. You have permission! Be happy.


    In my article The five secrets to happiness, John Izzo PhD, who is the author of The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die, says “It is not enough to know the secrets, we must live them. Someone once told me ‘If you want to live a happy life; ask someone who has lived one’.”

    Finding happiness is as easy as putting the secrets of happiness into daily practice – and just think, you’ll be discovering happiness for yourself and fostering it in those around you, too.

    Top 10 Tips for a Dynamic Restaurant

    Restaurant concepts are only limited by imagination and budget. There are so many possibilities, how do you know what kind of restaurant to run? Here's a guide to help you decide.

    1. Make Sure Your Concept is Different Enough
    If there're a lot of traditional red-sauce Italian restaurants in your area, for example, then maybe you shouldn't open another one, even if you think your mom's recipe for lasagna is out of this world. Make sure that your concept will be distinguishable by the average consumer. The restaurant business is competitive enough without you having to go head-to-head with established eateries. Remember, one of the keys to a restaurant's success is having a concept that stands out from the crowd.

    2. Don't Be Too Far Ahead of Your Time
    While you need to be different, don't be so different in your concept that customers won't "get it." If you're too weird or too different, you'll have to spend too much time educating your clientele. Opening a raw food eatery in Pocatello, Idaho, for instance, may not fly.
    Do your research and make sure friends easily understand your concept. Remember, the best concepts are variations on a theme -- not a totally new theme.

    3. Don't Price Yourself Out of the Market
    Be careful your concept will allow you to offer menu items at prices that the market will bear. You may have a great idea for a fine steak and seafood eatery, but if you're planning to open in an area where poor students and struggling artists mainly live, you better make sure that customers who can afford your prices will be banging down your door.
    Remember that the concept needs to be right and the prices need to be within reach of local patrons.

    4. Don't Design A Menu that Will Make Food Costs Skyrocket
    Grandiose menus with many exotic ingredients don't pay off unless you're a top restaurant charging over $100 a head. Smart menu design uses the same ingredients over and over again in clever ways, so that food buying can be done efficiently.
    A well-thought-out menu will have chicken breast in one dish, for example, chicken stock in another and gizzard stuffing as a side, so that the entire chicken can be used, saving money on buying just breasts.

    5. Make Sure Your Concept Will Be Profitable
    Some concepts look good on the drawing board, but in reality they can't make money. Either they take too long in the kitchen, require too much labor, or cause patrons to linger and slow turns.
    Make sure that your concept will make money with up to 50% less business and 50% more costs. With spreadsheet programs, it's easy to change your numbers. Don't rely on the best case scenario. Stuff happens. Make sure your concept is flexible enough so that you can make adustments.

    6. Good Concepts Are On-Trend
    Strong concepts take a current trend like healthy fast-food, the rise in popularity of tea, or the growing love of Latina food and run with them. They leverage the popularity of a growing trend, not a fad. They deliver solid execution, fair prices, good service and offer menu items in an atmosphere that is current and popular.
    Remember that you'll going against the current if you try to be too avant garde or too retro.

    7. Your Concept Has to be Easily Identifiable
    If people can't pronounce or spell the name of your restaurant it's not good. Don't think it's uber trendy. If the name is too foreign or the font you choose for your logo is so unusual that it's hard to read, you're shooting yourself in the foot.
    Spend some time to come up with a unique name that is easy to spell and preferably starts with one of the first letters in the alphabet. The name of our restaurant was "Beyond Measure."

    8. Take Inspiration from Other Sources
    It's ok to borrow from other eateries and museums that you've seen in your travels. Maybe a museum in Texas had a great exhibit that gave you an idea for the lighting in your restaurant. Maybe a restaurant in Chicago had a cocktail that was dynamite and inspired you to create a similar one in Florida. Recipes and unpatented ideas are in the public domain and are out there to inspire you.

    9. Make Sure Your Concept Fits the Location
    So you had this great idea for a burger joint, but you lucked out and got a seaside location. You now serve burgers and fries in a place that attracts lovebirds seeking a romantic seafood meal. Oops! Maybe you should re-think your concept. How 'bout dressing up the menu and dining area for dinner, offering fresh broiled fish and offering lobster burgers at lunch, removing the candles and flowers from the tables.

    10. Make Sure You Love the Concept
    Any successful restaurateur will tell you that they created their concept because it's the type of restaurant they love to eat at. If you create a restaurant because you think it'll be popular or because a silent partner convinced you to -- beware.
    With all the time, energy, and money you'll be putting into the place, make sure you love the idea and are passionate about the menu.

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    100 Tiny Tips for Teaching Your Baby

    You're probably well aware that learning starts before your baby is even born. But did you know that there are many things you can do to help nurse and nurture your baby's educational development? We've collected 100 things you can do to make your baby as smart as it can be.


    Teach your baby how to eat food with the help of these tips.

    1. Introduce a sippy cup: As soon as your baby can grasp objects with both hands, try using a sippy cup.
    2. Eat the food yourself: When your baby is exploring an unfamiliar food, take a bite of the food yourself and show how much you enjoy it.
    3. Start a handwashing ritual: Wash your hands, and your baby's along with them to start a healthy habit.
    4. Encourage imitation: Put a spoon or fork in your baby's hand and encourage him to copy you.
    5. Buy unbreakable items: Put your baby's food on a special plate that can be dropped and played with.
    6. Let your baby try solids as early as you think she's ready: Your child may be ready for solids earlier than 6 months.
    7. Use baby utensils: Give your child forks and spoons made especially for toddler hands.
    8. Keep feeding times short: Don't overwhelm your baby with lots of food on her plate.
    9. Let your child choose his own food: Place food pieces on his plate, and let him pick and choose.
    10. Be patient: Understand that finishing a meal will take longer when your child is feeding herself.
    11. Avoid pressure: Don't force feed food or you could create unhealthy attitudes about eating.
    12. Spear the food first: Help your child use a fork by spearing food for him first.
    13. Be ready for a mess: Your child will definitely be making a mess-stock up on plastic mats and large bibs.
    14. Don't be surprised by erratic feeding: Your baby may eat solids frequently, or skip them for a while.

    Reading & Language

    These tips will help you develop an early love of reading, language, and understanding.

    1. Read to your baby from birth: Pick out a picture book and talk about the pictures.
    2. Show that books are important: Make your child excited about books by reading to him frequently.
    3. Use flash cards: Flash words for about 30 seconds, and put them away several times each day.
    4. Move quickly: Show flash cards for a word about 15 times and then move on, but be sure to review.
    5. Start early: Start introducing words and letters as soon as your baby can interact with you.
    6. Speak in "parentese": Use a higher-pitched, friendly, and exaggerated tone of voice to make your words longer and clearer than normal adult speech.
    7. Use props and posters: Teach your child letters by repeatedly showing your child items with that letter.
    8. Describe your baby's senses: Talk about what your baby is looking at, touching, smelling, and listening to.
    9. Listen to music: Sing and dance along to music for fun and learning.
    10. Use many of the same words over and over: Help your baby in the "fast mapping" stage by using the same words frequently.
    11. Make your speech sow and distinct: Have talks with your little one, and emphasize important words by moving your mouth and tongue slowly and distinctly.
    12. Ask questions: Younger babies can answer questions by looking.
    13. Talk to your baby: Speak clearly and look at your baby while you speak, and tell him what you're doing as you are doing it.
    14. Repeat speech patterns back: When your baby vocalizes, repeat it back to them, even babbling, to show you heard what they said and understand.
    15. Praise their accomplishments: Smile and talk joyfully when your baby makes progress in speech.


    Use these tips to make playtime learning time.

    1. Make your child aware of toys: Make sure your baby can see a toy if you want him to play with it.
    2. Encourage independent play: Leave your child alone with some of her favorite toys for a short period of time, and peek in periodically to give a sense of security.
    3. Describe toys: Describe toys when you introduce your baby to them.
    4. Get creative with toys: Pot covers can be just as fun as store bought toys.
    5. Practice imitation: Show your baby how to play with yours, and encourage her to imitate what you're doing.
    6. Use a confined space: If you're baby can't sit on his own yet, line a laundry basket with a towel or blanket and put some toys in it.

    Motor Skills

    These tips will help you develop your baby's motor skills.

    1. Place your baby stomach down on the floor: Use tummy time to encourage head control development.
    2. Use puzzles: Get your baby started with jigsaw puzzles.
    3. : Put a mirror or large picture in front of your baby to get her to look up.

    4. Play hide and seek: Peek a boo and other hide and seek games can teach your baby motor skills and hand movements.
    5. Dangle eye-catching objects over your baby: Give your baby the opportunity to swipe at objects above him.
    6. Get baby-sized Lego blocks: Teach your baby to fit pieces together with the help of large Lego blocks.
    7. Use blocks: Play a game of blocks to learn about stacking, arranging, letters, spelling, and colors.
    8. Place toys within reach: Let your baby grasp at toys while laying on the floor.
    9. Play with peg and hole toys: These toys can teach shapes, hand/eye coordination, and motor skills.
    10. Hide and seek: Letting items disappear and reappear in your hand will show your baby that our of sight things can still exist.
    11. Give your baby lots of space: Encourage rolling over by giving your baby plenty of space to practice.
    12. Play ball: Sit on the floor and roll your ball back and forth between you.


    Teach your baby colors with the help of these tips.

    1. Play catch with different colored balls: As you roll or throw balls to your infant, call out the colors of the balls you're using.
    2. Stick to one color each week: Pick a color and introduce it to your baby for a whole week.
    3. Watch cars: Watch cars go by and say the color each time.
    4. Use cloths in different colors: Teach colors and words with plain color cloths.
    5. Call out colors in picture books: When you're reading picture books, say the color of the things you see.
    6. Gather objects of one color: Put items of all one color in a shoe box and show your baby those items.
    7. Say the color of grocery items: At the grocery store hold items in front of your baby and say the color.


    Take these tips, and encourage your baby to walk.

    1. Don't push your child to walk too early: Your baby's legs may not be ready to support her, so don't push your baby too early.
    2. Be sure the floor is not slippery: Your baby may find it difficult to balance on a slippery floor.
    3. Babyproof: Before teaching your baby to walk, check out your home for sharp corners, ledges, and stairs.
    4. Make sure there's furniture for support: Be sure that your child has furniture to hold onto for support.
    5. Line chairs against a wall: Put a toy at the end of a line of chairs to encourage your baby to hold onto chairs and reach a toy.
    6. Stay close: Your child will probably only walk one or two steps before looking for support, so be close.
    7. Pull your baby up into a standing position: When your baby starts crawling, pull her up to the next step of standing.
    8. Blow bubbles: Give your child something fun to chase by gently blowing bubbles.
    9. Hold hands: Hold your baby's hand as it learns balance.
    10. Avoid shoes inside: Have your child go barefoot to improve balance and coordination.
    11. Position elbows: Gently draw elbows towards your baby's body to encourage crawling.
    12. Give them support: When your child starts to stand on their own, give them support until they are ready to go on their own.
    13. Put new toys in slightly high places: Motivate a curious baby with toys in places that are out of reach unless standing.
    14. Stand or kneel with your hands out: Get in front of your child and encourage him to walk to wards you.
    15. Scoot down the stairs: Teach your baby to scoot down the stairs by showing her how to go feet first.
    16. Use a hula hoop: Hold a hula hook and guide your baby to step or crawl through it.
    17. Avoid using a walker: Walkers can be dangerous and cause injuries.
    18. Use toys that teach pushing and pulling: Give your child toys for pushing and pulling, which encourages walking.
    19. Encourage exercise: Help your baby develop coordination and balance with physical games and toys.
    20. Show your baby how to bend knees: Teach your baby how to bend its knees so your baby can sit down without toppling over.


    These tips help teach the all-important concept of sharing.

    1. Offer a bite of your meal: Give your child a bite of your meal and explain that you're sharing.
    2. Let your child hide his favorites: Before friends come over, allow your child to pick a few of his most favorite toys that he doesn't have to share.
    3. Explain sharing goes two ways: Tell your baby that sharing means you can play with other babies' toys too, if you share yours as well.
    4. Take unshared toys away: If your baby won't share a toy, take it away-no one will play with it.
    5. Let kids teach your child: Your baby's friends will let him know how unhappy they are that she's not sharing.
    6. Teach bartering: Start a trade process to exchange toys.
    7. Reinforce "proto-sharing": Even if your child just shows an object without letting go, praise this big step towards sharing.
    8. Thank your child for sharing: Encourage good behavior by thanking your child when he shares.
    9. Say thank you: When your child gives something to you, smile and say thank you, then give it back to her.
    10. Suggest handing toys over: Suggest to your child that he should pass his toy to a friend.

    Sign Language

    Explore sign language with your baby using these tips.

    1. Add new signs quickly: Add new signs, especially visible items.
    2. Use repetition: Use signs and the word together a few times in a row to reinforce it.
    3. Make use of picture books: Point out items in picture books while signing.
    4. Use flash cards: Make flash cards with a sign on one side and the word on the other side.
    5. Make sign language a part of play: Use playtime to "pretend" emotions and share their signs.
    6. Make a commitment: Make a firm commitment to stick with sign language so you don't stop if results don't happen immediately.
    7. Use every opportunity to model signs: When your baby wants to get our of the high chair, do the "out" sign, or use the "up" sign when your baby wants to be picked up.
    8. Believe in it: Believe in what you are doing, and don't give credit to naysayers.
    9. Help your baby model the signs: Take your baby's hands and guide them to do the sign.
    10. Start with essentials: Start out by teaching your baby essential signs like Mommy, Daddy, milk, and eat.
    11. Use signs in everyday life: Make signs a part of everyday interaction with your baby.


    You can teach your baby to swim using these ideas.

    1. Make sure your baby can grasp the wall: Give your baby the security of knowing the wall is there, and can be used for safety.
    2. Don't use floaties: Floaties provide a false sense of security and can encourage a counterproductive upright position in the water.
    3. Start slowly: Get started by just getting a little pool water on your baby.
    4. Show her how to kick her legs: Pull your baby through the water while moving her legs in a kicking motion and verbally telling her to kick.
    5. Keep lessons short: Control for the natural fatigue with short, frequent lessons.