Cookie Decorating and Cocktails: Themed Parties For the Holiday Season

The holidays are upon us, and one of the most timeless, beloved traditions is cookie decorating before Christmas time. Instead of setting aside an afternoon to bake batch after batch of Christmas cookies, why not plan a full-blown cookie decorating party to include friends and family?

How a Cookie Decorating Party Works

A cookie decorating party can work in one of two ways. You can ask all guests to bring their own favorite cookies, undecorated, to the party for a group decorating project. Or, you can ask guests to pitch in and make batches of cookies in your kitchen that you can all decorate together once they cool, fresh out of the oven.

For a smaller gathering with a few friends, baking cookies and decorating together will work well. For a larger party of five or more, it’s a better idea to ask guests to bring their own undecorated cookies so you don’t have to worry about squeezing a large group into a crowded, hot kitchen to bake cookies together.

To plan ahead, make sure that you have all of the necessary decorating supplies set up in advance in different stations throughout the room, including:

• Aprons or smocks
• Paper towels
• Tubes of icing in different colors
• Sprinkles and other assorted decorations
• Food coloring
• Small paintbrushes

From there, it’s time to get cracking! Guests can decorate plain cookies of their choice with different icings and assorted decorations, like sprinkles, chocolate chips, M&Ms, crushed peppermint, and more. You may also choose to splurge on fancy holiday cookie decorations like colored sugar, silver ball candies, and cinnamon hearts.

All of the decorations can be set up in individual bowls for use at each decorating station. Guests can also create their own colored icing with food coloring to paint different designs on each cookie using a small paintbrush.

Adult Beverages for Cookie Decorating

If this is an adults-only party, you have the perfect opportunity to pair holiday cookies with delicious seasonal cocktails to enjoy throughout the decorating process. Depending upon the type of cookies that you decorate, whether they’re plain sugar cookies, snickerdoodles, or even peanut butter cookies, you can pair your holiday drinks accordingly.

Decorated holiday sugar cookies will go well with a warm beverage like Irish Coffee or spiked cider. You can also make a large batch of alcoholic holiday punch with flavors of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, served chilled and topped with a splash of cranberry juice and sparkling wine.

For more flavorful cookies, like peanut butter or snickerdoodle, serve a refreshing holiday favorite like mulled wine, peppermint martinis, or rich yet satisfying alcoholic eggnog.

For an adult-themed cookie decorating holiday bash, make sure to provide guests with the convenience of arranging transportation to and from the venue with a limo rental or luxury town car. This will allow guests to ride safely to and from the party destination so that they can enjoy a few holiday cocktails without having to worry about driving home at the end of the evening. ‘Tis the season!

Riding, Running and Rebounding For Health and Fitness

What do horseback riding, cycling and running all have in common? Simple! They all require a strong, lifted core to execute and maximize the exercise. That means that rely on the use of the abdominal center, erectors of the back and spine, tuck of the butt and lift of the lower back to maneuver and they also require/benefit from open, lifted and proud shoulders.

It also should come as no surprise that the cross-training benefits of yoga and pilates, in building core strength, re-aligning musculature and developing mind-body connections are transferable to these exercise disciplines. What might surprise and delight is the use of a rebound exercise tool, the Kangoo Jumps, as a recommended resource for the devotee of riding, cycling and running to maximize cardiovascular training and effectiveness.

A young woman wrote to me recently, looking for a way and a recommendation as to how she could put less stress on her body (knees, joints, ankles, hips) while gaining aerobic and cardiovascular conditioning. A lover of Pilates and equestrian sports judge by profession, she wanted a way to maximize her fitness programming, increase her cardiovascular fitness training while preventing injury to her body. She didn’t want to run anymore because of the stress and strain it caused to her knees. I knew her connectedness to nature, the outdoors and the feeling of control through movement was tantamount to finding success for her training. While I don’t ride horses, I do understood the desire to avoid the body breakdown caused by of running. Torn, as she was, as I find it to have the closest connection one can duplicate to the experience of riding in the open, free space and having a connected feeling to the elements.

I understood the need to avoid the body breakdown as it was my personal pursuit a few month earlier. As an exceptionally active person, the older I got, the more pounding, I experienced on my knees, heels and hip joints and less and less I enjoyed running 3 miles, 2x week to keep my weight in check. As a result, last spring, I bought a pair of Kangoo Jumps and totally eliminated the pain (and recovery) in each and everyone one of my workouts. For that reason, I recommended the same option to her.

The shoes are based on rebound exercise and are a low impact rebound sport shoe designed to provide a safe platform for jogging and other exercises that are hard on the joints. The boots use a lightweight spring to absorb the shocks due to impact on the ground and create a rebound effect that reduces shock impact on ankles, knees, hips and lower back. They are Swiss designed for joggers, however, they also provide benefits for athletic strengthening and conditioning, rehabilitation and injury prevention and group aerobics. The unique “floating above the ground” sensation created by Kangoo Jumps has to be experienced to be understood.

Core balance and control are two other variables (and benefits) of using the shoes for training.

Quality vs Quantity

Kangoo Jumps deliver the benefit of 50-minutes exercise in only 20 minutes and the injury prevention potential has already caught the attention of several elite football teams. The boots can be used indoors or outdoors on paved roads, dirt paths and grass as well as at the beach or on snow. N.A.S.A. has found rebound exercise to be the best form of exercise for astronauts because it restores bone and muscle mass lost during time spent in outer space. Consequently Kangoo Jumps are recommended for people suffering osteoporosis, with the “slow-motion” steps and exercises of Kangoo Aerobics make it suitable for middle aged and senior people.

Other Cardiovascular Options

The other option I recommended, and one I personally use during the warm weather months, to avoid joint pain, is a road bike. A road bike and a trail can make a world of difference in clearing your head while building cardiovascular strength. Climbing hills with a bike will give anyone keen cardiovascular training.

As a Pilates and equestrian sports devotee, my friend already understood the reliance on core strength and easily made the connection that these two disciplines were good cross-training modalities to support the prevention and overuse of muscle and back pain; typical injuries and imbalances caused by cycling.

Tips To Get Approved For a Payday Loan

Payday loans are quite different from all other type of loans in financial market. The main difference is their approval process. The lender will not check your credit score or request your credit report from all 3 major credit reporting bureaus. They do not look into your outgoing and incoming bank payments or inspect your credit status. Although these loan companies definitely have lower requirements for approval that does not necessarily mean that they do not perform any other checks on their clients.

When trying to apply for a payday loan, lender will most likely check your work status, checking account standing and a bunch of other stuff. Growing consumer interests and demands for payday loans has created an opportunity for scammers to take advantage of. Every year hundreds of loan companies that scammed their clients have been exposed by local and even federal authorities. Loan companies that claim they do not perform any checks on their clients should be avoided at all costs. Make sure you do not pay company any startup fees before receiving your loan, as this is the most popular method among scam companies.

Before applying for a payday loan, you must fully understand what these loans are and what they should be used for. You should strictly use this money if an emergency financial situation arises and you need to tide yourself over until you receive a paycheck. Because of short repayment terms, you will be required to have a legit source of income and a valid SSN. A person is required to be over 18 years old in order to receive a short term loan. Make sure your checking account is in a good standing and do not try to sign up for multiple loans, even at different locations. Multiple loan requests are easily tracked and can result in a full denial for all your applications.

In order to get approved, you will need to have a legit job, where you have worked for at least 3 months. There is also a minimum salary requirement – usually it is around $800 per month after all taxes are paid. Your checking account must not have any overdrafts or hold a negative balance. When dealing with local payday loans, do not forget to take your banking information with you, especially your routing number, because it will be required to deposit money to you.

When you are applying for a loan, make sure all the information you fill in is correct. Being truthful with your lender is probably the most important factor to get approved for a loan. Even if your current situation has put you in a position when you cannot fully meet approval requirements, always tell your lender everything as it is. Do not worry about your private information, as payday loans are known for their confidentiality when it comes to their client’s information. Apply these basic tips and you will be surprised about how easy it is to get approved for a payday loan!

Age Appropriate and Attractive Ideas For Aging Gracefully

Maturity is a badge of honor to be respected with good taste. There simply comes a time when all the extra bling and fabulousness of fashion, hair and makeup is best toned down. When you were a younger Alluring, Innovative or Dramatic woman, those items of “look at me, I’m au currant” stood for something. Status, hipness, a woman in the moment who’s up on the trend. But wisdom carries with it a confidence and sophistication that allows you to do less and achieve more. A maturing face and figure carries a patina of wisdom. A statement in and of itself, it doesn’t require bright lips, over the top earrings or a crazy hip belt to bring it forward. It stands there, gently making its own beautiful statement. Less is simply more as we age. To accentuate your second act best:

o    Avoid drawing attention to your mouth with bright or dark lips.
o    Avoid drawing attention to aging eyelids with frosted shadow.
o    Avoid drawing attention to aging hands with bright nail polish and/or a multitude of attention-grabbing rings.
o    Draw the eye to your face with neckline interest and earrings.
o    When in doubt leave it out.

The Importance of Being Current 

Keeping current is undoubtedly a constant and not inexpensive challenge. With all the technology with which we are bombarded, however, we still have the old standby; the monthly magazine. Magazine subscriptions are one of the most effective ways of getting information you can absorb on your downtime. The whole experience of sitting down with and perusing a magazine that inspires is a ritual that endures. Magazines are the great equalizer. No matter where you live in the country you have the same access to fashion, fitness and beauty that the most upscale, in-the-know New York socialite has, because she gets her “W” magazine the same time you do. When “O” comes out, you’re right there with all of Oprah’s associates on the hottest, latest and most suitable fashion, food, fun and inspiration you need that month. You just go to your mailbox, Oprah is waiting for you, and it’s your turn to dream. 

What Were We Thinking?

We’ve all done it. Looked back at those embarrassing fashion photos and wondered, “What was I thinking?” I look back at my pinstriped jeans, permed hair and parachute pants and think “Hmmmm.” The more extreme trend, the more risk of later embarrassment. We may forgive the young. But it’s not so easy to forgive a second actor in a leather mini.

A woman in Act Two need never wear:

1.     A micro mini
2.     Combat boots with formal wear
3.     White hose
4.     Frosted eye shadow
5.     Chunky platforms
6.     Dark brown lipstick
7.     Butterfly barrettes
8.     Extreme low-rise jeans
9.     Visible underwear
10.   A spiral perm

What’s Age Appropriate Now?

In our Second Act it becomes difficult to find the balance between matronly and modern. Looking current and youthful should not translate into “mutton dressed as lamb.” I met a woman recently whose long, blonde, permed hair was pulled up on one side and suspended with a comb. For height she created gravity defying bangs with a curling iron and “Spritz Forte.” She wore a fitted navy knit tank, tight tapered pale denim jeans and a crocheted sparkly baby blue shawl tied around her hips. She was 48. 

I liked her and enjoyed hearing her tales of woe in raising teenagers. But as I listened I was continually distracted by her image. It just wasn’t working in her favor. The reason it didn’t work was because it was expressing only a part of this woman. I obviously knew who she had been, but as she talked, the more interesting experienced and attractive parts were hidden behind a façade of fear of aging. Yes, she was attractive and sexy but she was also a 48-year-old single mother of teenagers who had quite a bit of sun damage, an advancing derriere, tan lines across her back and thinning hair. The look did not make her look younger; it made her look vulnerable and insecure. Our image must reflect who we’ve become, not who we were. That is age appropriate. 

Things I Have Learnt About Prospecting and Cold Calling in Commercial Real Estate

In any real estate market and economy, the prospecting process remains fundamentally important to the success of the real estate agent and individual salesperson. Prospecting on a daily basis is the key to progress and success with both territory control and domination.

Here are some key facts that I have learned from prospecting and cold calling over the years:

  1. Most people working in the industry rank very poorly when it comes to prospecting on a regular basis. This is a significant opportunity for those that get their prospecting model under control.
  2. Face to face contact remains the ultimate conversion factor when it comes to prospecting. Everything you do should point towards a successful introductory meeting with the qualified parties.
  3. The telephone is a very powerful tool for creating meetings and contact with the right people. The cold calling process you use must be consistent and professional. Gone are the days of sleazy sales pitches.
  4. One of the more successful traditional methods of marketing that has been around for years is the signboard. The more signboards you get into your territory, the more momentum and ease you will have with building listing and sales opportunity. The signboard infers that you have market presence and domination. That is what the local community and property investors think, providing you have a good number of signboards placed on quality property throughout the area.
  5. E-mail marketing and database use is now critical to both the individual salesperson and the real estate agency office. It remains a tool of constant contact of relevant property information to qualified prospects. These are people that already know you and expect information and property updates from time to time. Growing and shaping the database each day from personal contact across the sales team is fundamental to progress and market share.
  6. Some less experienced salespeople tend to rely on E mail as the first and final point of contact. The process of Email is convenient and easy to use, however it has little benefit in prospecting and will not replace the benefit of one to one contact. If the prospect does not respond to the Email, a typical salesperson will usually discard and forget the prospect. The reality of the prospecting emails that you send is that most of them are deleted and discarded.

Prospecting for commercial real estate listing opportunity should be based around unique and personal contact. The more that local people know you personally as a professional and knowledgeable real estate expert, the more listings you will achieve. This image and mantle takes time to develop but it will occur through diligent personal contact.

Ways To Stop Smoking Permanently by sigarette elettroniche

A lot of smokers want to stop and you might be looking for information on how to stop smoking having made previous unsuccessful attempts sigaretta elettronica.

It is not uncommon to be in this position as stopping smoking cigarettes electroniques is not easy and you need to really make a very firm decision to do so. It may help to write down why you to want to quit to remind you when the going gets tough.

The difficulty with stopping smoking cigarette electronique is there are both physical and mental addictions to beat and beating the physical addition is the easy part (relatively).

People smoke because:

• It is a pleasurable experience and relaxes the smoker.

• Smokers have developed an unconscious link between certain activities and environments and smoking elektronisk cigaret.

• They have an addiction to nicotine.

As an alternative to quitting smoking you might think about using electronic cigarettes(elektroniske cigaretter). People have used these to stop smoking although they are not marketed for this purpose but they do make smoking cheaper, cleaner and harmless to others. You can also choose how much, if any, nicotine they supply.

Some of the possible approaches to stopping smoking are:

Cold Turkey

This is the simplest and cheapest method but not the most successful. You pick a date and from that point you no longer smoke. The initial period is very difficult so you need to be very strong minded to be successful. The success rate is estimated to be between 5% and 10%.

Alternative Sources Of Nicotine

Products such as nicotine patches or gum are used to replace that previously received from cigarettes. They deliver a controlled dose into the body to relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms. There is a lot of variation in the claimed success rates but for nicotine replacement used on its own they vary from 7% to 35%.

Stop Smoking Medication

Medications (such as Zyban) help relieve withdrawal symptoms without the use of nicotine but are intended for short-term use only. There are also homeopathic remedies (such as Smoke Deter) which do the same thing.

Various Therapies

You can learn how to modify your behavior to break habits that lead to smoking and how to stay motivated to quit smoking. In fact it is very difficult to stop smoking without help and support and any sort of counseling or organized program will help considerably.

Quit Smoking Hypnosis

When considering how to stop smoking, hypnosis should be taken seriously as it has success rates of up to 50%. Quit smoking hypnosis is based on reprogramming the subconscious mind to stop associating smoking with pleasure and relaxation and to substitute some other behavior. It can also be used to remove conditioned responses so the smoker loses the urge to smoke when in the environments that used to trigger it.

Hypnosis will not work for everyone, but it is well worth trying.

Best Option

Trying to stop smoking on your own is very difficult and likely to fail. Support of some sort will increase your chance of success considerably and it may be that taking something to help with the nicotine withdrawal, combined with hypnosis or behavioral therapy to address the psychological addiction, is likely to give you the best chance to stop smoking for good.

Laparoscopic Surgical Instruments

Pacing the Trocar in its correct spot is one of the most crucial procedures of laparoscopic surgery for your medical instrument. Many crucial problems have been reported as a result of incorrect placement of laparoscopic instruments. You need to make positively sure that you are placing the trocar correctly.

Their is so many different types of trocars on the marketplace, some of the most easiest to use are the trocars with the safety mechanisms with robust blades. While basic handling is the same for most trocars, it is important to understand the different functions of the different types.

Laparoscopy approach, When pressing to see if the space can be entered you should view the area through another trocar to be positive that the space can be entered safely. Make sure the patient is free from abdominal wall vessels, darkened the room and view the area under transmitted light. Hold the trocar perpendicular to the abdominal wall. Stretch your finger along the length of the trocar while using your other hand to provide support and prevent accidentally going in to deep. twist and trun the trocar, while maintaining even force until the tip passes through the wall. When using your medical equipment try not to press to hard. Hard pressure may shrink the internal space, increasing the risk of hitting an organ and causing damage. Once the tip is passed through adjust its direction so that it points to an area of open space and press it in further. Locking the safety mechanism will help decrease the risk. However some trocars do not have a lock mechanism safety. You need to be especially careful when inserting this sort of device. A malacar trocar is the best for this operation. It has a self-securing lock you can use during the procedure.

Nursing Entrepreneurship Creates New Opportunities For Nurses

While too many people in most industries are still struggling to find jobs, nursing continues to be one the most in-demand positions. This demand for nurses brings more than job security, it brings opportunities for nursing entrepreneurship to those nurses who are looking for more than just a job.

Taking the Leap to Self Employment

The first question potential nurse entrepreneurs need to answer is whether freelancing or business ownership really suits them. Most everyone can agree on the advantages: being one’s own boss, more flexibility with one’s schedule, able to focus on the work one enjoys most, and best of all, unlimited economic potential.

There are, however, serious challenges as well. People mistakenly believe that the greatest obstacle in starting a business is having the money to get started. This is false. There are a number of business opportunities that require very little start up capital. If some money is needed, entrepreneurs have a number of ways of accessing it.

Instead, the most common roadblock to entrepreneurship is in the mind. A freelancer or entrepreneur has to have the internal fortitude to put themselves into the marketplace and have the confidence to pursue their vision. Everyone’s confidence waivers from time to time, the larger issue is whether such mental blocks can be overcome.

Freelance or Open a Small Business

Deciding whether to freelance, that is work as an independent contractor, or open a small business that will grow to have additional employees, isn’t a decision that has to be made immediately. In fact, since the value nurses have to sell is expertise, it’s very easy to begin as a freelancer. As demand grows and the nurse entrepreneur becomes more comfortable with the business side of the work, then a freelancer can transition into a small business if one wants.

In either case, there are legal issues surrounding working as a freelancer and starting a business. A number of organizations that specialize in helping new entrepreneurs or nurse entrepreneurs specifically can offer some guidance on the potential legal issues that can arise. They will also likely be able to connect new entrepreneurs with lawyers who can help.

What Types of Nursing Businesses Exist

The best businesses are those that find a need in the marketplace that isn’t being met. Any nurse who’s worked through the system can list the situations where nurses, medical staff, patients, or anyone part of the health system has gotten frustrated by an issue. Exploring potential solutions for those types of situations can lead one to a good business idea.

However, it isn’t necessary to reinvent the wheel. There are a number of well-established nursing entrepreneurship ideas that others have already made successful. Just as the need for nurses grows as health becomes a larger national issue, so will the need for the types of nurse entrepreneur businesses that already exist. One should never think because the business already exists, the marketplace is full.

Experienced nurses can use their backgrounds to pursue any of these entrepreneur ideas:

– temporary staffing services

– home care service

– care case managers

– medical bill review

– personal coach in wellness, nutrition, or patient advocacy

– operational consultant for facilities

– trainer either for other medical professionals or to general public as part of a wellness clinic or program

– medical equipment or clothing supplier

Copyright (c) 2012 Nurse Entrepreneur Network

Fashion Shopping For Tall Ladies

Shopping for a tall lady, 5’9″ and up, is a difficult task. You have to consider the inseam on slacks and jeans, the length of sleeves and where the waistline falls. Being 5’10”, I am notorious for taking the hem out of pants.

Places NOT to shop:

When shopping for pants that cater to taller women, you want to stray away from Bebe, Victoria Secret, Metro Style, Macys,Dillards, and Banana Republic. Trust me. I have tried slacks from ALL of the stores above and none of them quite seem long enough. Every now and again Bebe, which caters to petites, will carry a pair of slacks with an inseam greater than 33 inches.

Where TO shop:

When shopping for slacks and you are tall. The internet is your friend. While the selection of tall slacks in stores such as Banana Republic and Ann Taylor may be limited, these stores offer longer inseams when shopping online. J Crew is another store that offers a great tall selection online. If you would like to walk into a store for slacks, The Gap, Express and New York and Company carry longer lengths in slacks.


When shopping for denim jeans for tall ladies, the same stores listed above will work. However, if you are into designer denim, you would want to learn which brands cater to tall ladies. Rock and Republic and Seven of all Mankind have longer inseams. When shopping for denim for someone 5’9″ or over, you would want to look for a 34 inch inseam. Designer denim brands like True Religion and Citizens of Humanity, cater to shorter ladies.

The Uses and Types of Industrial Gears

Gear, by a very basic definition is the machinery or device in a vehicle that regulates the power of its engine. However, the modern and sophisticated industrial gears have surpassed the conventional gears, both in application and scope. Today, the gears are used in a multitude of applications in numerous sectors. Some of the industries in which the contemporary gears are used include aviation, cement, defense, fertilizer, food-processing, medical, railway, steel, to name a few. Given below are some most prominent and useful types of industrial gears:

1) Bevel Gears: In these conical shaped gears the teeth perfectly mesh together. These gears are useful when there is a change required in the direction of the shaft’s rotation. These gears can be used in different number of teeth to increase or decrease the rotational speed. Although these gears are generally installed on shafts at a 90¡ angle, they can work well at other angles as well. These gears are also considered very beneficial as they allow adjustments during the assembly stage.

2) Differential Gears: This gear is very commonly used in the automobiles. It links two separate shafts with a covering and tune the total rotational angles of the shafts to that of the covering. These gears are designed in such a manner that when the differential side gear is meshed with the other gear then it produces a high torque, which is transmitted to the axle shaft. There is a set of coaxial gears present in the differential gears. This set includes pinions and turntable.

3) Girth Gears: These gears are used in numerous industrial applications. They are unique in the way that unlike other gears, they are made in multiple segments which can be of two, four, or eight equal sizes. Some benefits that one might get by choosing these gears are their low initial cost, ease of installation, simple operation, to name a few. Their most popular standards include AGMA 321.05, AGMA 6004 F88, and ISO 6336. These are also known as split ring gears.

4) Helical Gears: These are also one of the well-known types of industrial gears. The involute teeth of these gears mesh at an angle to create optimum thrust load. The name helical is due to their teeth, which are curved along a helical path or resemble a helix. Their advanced design enables a smooth operation of these gears. Not only this, they can comfortably carry heavy loads due to the enhanced surface contact with teeth.

5) Spur Gears: Although these gears are simple in operation, they are used in a multitude of industrial and non-industrial applications. They are often found in cylindrical or disk shapes. These gears are used for the purpose of making variations in the force and speed of rotating axles. They possess straight teeth and are usually installed on parallel shafts. They can be used either separately or in a combination of two or more spur gears, depending upon the scope and nature of the application.

Besides the types of gears mentioned above, there are a lot of other gears and gearing equipment available at present. If you are seeking comprehensive and reliable information on these advanced equipment, you should visit Gears Manufacturers Marketplace.