Holiday Homes and Apartments in Barcelona for a City Break

A great place to escape at any time of year is Barcelona. Just a hop and a skip away, there are tonnes of cheap flights landing there everyday. So what is it that makes this a choice destination for city breaks? Chosen by London-based magazine Monocle as one of the most liveable cities in the world, Barcelona is a hip and pumping city with a thriving nightlife and any number of options for things to do when you need to disconnect. It’s got the best of all worlds – city life, Mediterranean beaches and also great access to the countryside of Catalonia.Barcelona is an ideal place to get away from it all and has many options for swanky and original holiday homes and Barcelona apartments if you’re looking for a little touch of pizzazz. So, whether you’re there to soak up the Art Nouveau architecture, Roman and Medieval history, roam around the Gothic Quarter or La Ramblas, take in some alternative music (Sonar Festival and Primavera Sound Festival are a must), discover the spectacular creations of Antonio Gaudí and his unfinished Sagrada Familia, or looking for a romantic stroll around his famous Park Guell, here are some unique holiday homes for a spectacular city break in Barcelona.Holiday Home of the stars – A Breathtaking Apartment in Can FabregasIf you’d like to splash out on a holiday with some friends, this six-bedroom luxury apartment might be just the thing. Built in 1919, this breathtaking apartment in the Eixample district in the centre of Barcelona is one of the holiday homes of the stars: Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhard chose it when they last visited Barcelona. Tasteful, elegant and spacious, it’s ideal for wining and dining, and is just minutes away from Les Rambles.Art Nouveau Apartment in Barcelona – A Gothic-style Holiday HomeWhere you stay in a city can influence the entire experience and this stylish apartment is ideal if you want to step into another era and live Barcelona in style. Not only is it slap-bang in the centre of the Gothic Quarter, with its cafes, restaurants and hip boutiques, but this three-bedroom apartment in Barcelona is spacious, original and filled with antiques and works of art. One of the most attractive apartments in Barcelona.Modern Barcelona Apartment – A Holiday Home near the Sagrada FamiliaOn the more economic end of the spectrum, this spacious and modern Barcelona apartment has three bedrooms. With high ceilings and buckets of natural light, the apartment has been immaculately designed with exposed brick features. This is a holiday home that fully embraces the importance of location and is perfect if you’re a Gaudi fan looking to visit the Sagrada Familia, just a five-minute walk away.

CMM and Software Project Planning

Software project planning is a Key Process Area (KPA) that spans many of the knowledge areas from the PMBOK as it describes activities performed during the planning phase of a software project. The knowledge involved include: Integration Management, Scope Management, Time Management, Cost Management, Human Resource Management, Procurement Management, Risk Management, and Communications Management. The only area not touched is Quality Management. Many project managers also define a change management process that covers each area of the project and describe that process in a Change Management plan. This plan also supports the Software Project Planning KPA.CMM divides this KPA into goals, commitments, abilities, activities, measurements, and verifications. This article will attempt to relate each of these to its PMBOK component.Goals
CMM defines 3 goals for this KPA: software estimates are documented and used to plan and track the project, activities are documented and planned, and affected groups agree to their commitments. These goals are supported by the Time Management knowledge area with the exception of the agreement of “affected groups” to their commitments. Agreement of senior management and other stakeholders to the plan is accomplished by Gate Review meetings described in the Communications Management plan and agreement of other team members is described in the Human Resources Management plan.Commitment to Perform
The first commitment is that a project software manager is designated for managing the work. This would be you. The Project Charter is the document that speaks to this. The next commitment is that the project follows a written organizational policy for planning a software project. Unless your organization includes a PMO, or PMC, you won’t be able to meet this commitment to perform; your plans apply only to the current project and aren’t part of a standard applicable to all projects. Some of the specifics of this commitment can be supported by your plan, however. Some will be supported by your Project Management plan. This could be one document or a compilation of plans for each of the knowledge areas. The second commitment requires negotiation of the requirements with the project manager, software project manager, and other software managers. This process is described in your Scope Management area in the Requirements Gathering process. The process of negotiating the participation of the various software development groups on the project should be described in your Human Resources Management plan. This is described for you in the Acquire Project Team process. Keep in mind that while the PMBOK is referring to the entire team, CMM refers to only those groups engaged in software development.The second commitment also specifies that senior management reviews all software related commitments made to external stakeholders. This review should take place at a Gate, Phase Exit, or Business Decision Point review meeting which will be described in your Communications Management plan. Keep in mind that this meeting will review all project commitments, not just software related ones. These reviews are described in more detail for you in the Context and Integration Management areas of the PMBOK.Ability to Perform
CMM requires the work of the project to be described in a Statement of Work (SOW). Again, CMM only refers to that portion of the work related to software development. The PMBOK describes the SOW and its use in the Integration Management and Procurement Management knowledge areas. The description in the PMBOK will deliver an SOW that satisfies CMM criteria. Although the PMBOK specifies this artifact for work that is procured externally, an SOW must be produced for each project to satisfy the CMM criterion.The second ability requires responsibility for developing the project plan to be assigned. This is your work and responsibility should be defined in your Project Charter. The third ability speaks to the provision of adequate resources and funding. The Estimate Activity Resources and Activity Duration Estimating processes in Time Management describe how resource requirements are derived. Human resources are assigned to your project by the Acquire the Project Team process in the Human Resources Management area and any other resources, such as software testing tools, are acquired by the Procurement Management plan. Funding is addressed in the Cost Management area, but CMM refers specifically to the provision of the funding. This provision should be negotiated and committed to at the Gate Review meeting that happens between planning and implementation. Funding for planning activities will only be negotiated and committed to when your organization is performing the project for an external customer under contract.The fourth ability refers to your training in the area of software project planning. This criterion can easily be satisfied by a project manager who has been certified by the PMI as a Project Management Professional (PMP). PMI is the most recognized certification body in the area of project management and certification is relatively straightforward for those who meet PMI’s criteria. Certification requires eligible candidates to pass an exam testing their project management knowledge, including planning knowledge. There are numerous PMP courses or PMP exam preparation training products available to prepare you to pass the exam.The ability also calls for any other person involved in planning to be trained in software estimation and planning. This is a somewhat more difficult criterion to meet. Since you will rely on Subject Matter Experts on your team to provide accurate effort estimations for the various tasks in the WBS, you will need to identify the process you will use to do the estimating and provide any tools and training required to use the chosen process. The process of training those individuals will be described in your Human Resources Management plan (Develop the Project Team).Activities Performed
Activities called for by CMM include:The software engineering group participates on the project proposal team. The software engineering group will be engaged in the project as team members and SMEs as described in the Project Charter (critical or key resources) and the Project Staff Assignments produced by the Acquire the Team process. If your project entails drafting a proposal in response to an RFP (Request for Proposal), then these documents should assign key engineering group resources to this work. The documents should also assign responsibility for review of the work commitments to the engineering group.

Software planning is initiated in the early stages of, and in parallel with, the overall project planning. It is.

The software engineering group participates with other affected groups in the overall project planning throughout the project’s life. This participation will be defined by the Project Staff Assignments document, and other project plans which define roles and responsibilities. These SMEs should also be assigned responsibility for providing analysis and estimation for change requests in the Change Management plan.

Commitments made to external groups are reviewed with senior management according to a documented procedure. This procedure will be your Gate Review meetings as described previously.

A software life cycle with predefined stages of manageable size is identified or defined. The Software Development Lifecycle Method (SDLC) should be specified in your project charter as part of your approach to the project. Stages or iterations will be further defined in the WBS and schedule.

The project’s software development plan is developed according to a documented procedure. This documented procedure is called the Project Management Plan. This can be one document or many. This activity also specifies that the plan is negotiated with the software engineering group doing project work and other groups that are stakeholders, and that the plan is managed and controlled. Management and control activities are specified in the Project Management plan and Change Management plan.

The plan for the software project is documented. Documentation will be the Project Management plan, including the project schedule. This activity specifies software configuration management and this process should survive the project. If there is no software configuration management plan in place for your project to use because you are creating a new system, your project management plans should include creation of a configuration management plan.

Software work products that are needed to establish and maintain control of the software project are identified. This refers to the files that will be checked into the source library and managed by the configuration management plan. These files will be specified in Detail Design Documents (DDDs), the WBS, and the project schedule.

Estimation is done according to a documented procedure. This activity specifies that organizational experience in estimation be used to guide the current estimation and that historical information be consulted when available. This refers to the “Enterprise Environmental Factors” and “Organizational Process Assets” which are inputs to many PMBOK processes including the Activity Duration Estimation process. The activity further specifies that the estimates should be agreed to by the folks performing the work. Although this is not spelled out in the PMBOK it is always a good idea to have the resource agree to the work and deadline they are asked to commit to. This agreement and commitment needs to be documented somewhere in the Project Plans.

A documented procedure is used to estimate project effort and cost.These procedures should be documented in the Time Management plan and Cost Management plan. Agreement to effort estimations is described above and agreement to cost is achieved during Gate Review meetings described in the Communications Management plan

A documented procedure is used to estimate critical computer resources. This is a specific instance of the resource estimation produced by the Estimate Activity Resource and the Activity Duration Estimation processes and captured in the Time Management plan.

The project’s software schedule is derived according to a documented procedure. This is accomplished by the procedures described in the Time Management area, up to and including the Schedule Development procedure.

The risks are identified, assessed and documented. This is part of your Risk Management plan.

Plans for the project’s software engineering facilities and support tools are prepared. This is part of the Estimate Activity Resource procedure. Acquisition of non-human resources is managed by the WBS, or the Procurement Management plan where resources must be procured externally.

Software planning data are recorded. The estimates will be recorded in the schedule and estimation information, including assumptions, will be recorded in the WBS. In most cases the schedule and WBS will be one and the same document, your MS Project file.Measurement and Analysis
CMM requires you to track the progress of your planning activities. The Time Management processes culminate in the project schedule so we can’t say that this measurement is supported by Time Management. The initiation of the project will usually result in a preliminary schedule of planning events, milestones, and deliverables in your MS Project file. The planned and actual dates in this file are what you will use to track progress.Verifying Implementation
CMM calls for project planning activities to be reviewed with senior management periodically. These reviews will be described in your Communications Management plan. The senior management referred to may be the project business sponsor, the project IT sponsor, or a Steering Committee, or a combination of these. Your Gate Review meeting to move the project forward from the initiation phase to the planning phase is also verification. CMM also calls for a summary report from each of these meetings to be prepared and distributed. Status review meetings are also called for and a summary report is to be issued for these meetings.CMM requires a software quality assurance group to review/audit the project plans. This audit or review may be a service that your PMO or PMC provide, if your organization has one. This software quality assurance group could be an existing group in your organization or that role could be assumed by your PMO or PMC. If your organization has neither of these groups, it will have to create one in order to satisfy this point.PMP® and PMBOK® are registered marks of the Project Management Institute.

8 Tips On How To Start An Online Business

With improving technology, including excellent online tools and lower costs, there has never been an easier time to put your business online.1. Get to Know Online BusinessFirstly, you have to be honest with yourself and recognise your experience with the internet. It is nothing to worry about as it is easy to learn, no matter what your education, age, background or technical ability. Take time to becoming familiar with the culture of the internet by subscribing to newsletters or blogs that explain in simple terms the various aspects that your online business will need.2. Register Your DomainYour domain is your website address on the Internet. It is your piece of intellectual property, just like a patent or a trademark. There are numerous registrars (companies that register domains) online where you can purchase your domain.3. Find a Website HostA website host is the company that essentially will “rent” you space on their servers to host your website on the internet. These companies usually offer domain registration and it’s often easier to have both with the same company but do check the pricing options first.4. Build Your WebsiteThis isn’t as difficult as it sounds. The cost of setting up website when you start an online business can vary considerably. There are now many programmes available that make it much easier for new online business owners to create their own web pages. If you do not want to build your own website, you can get a web designer to do it for you. Remember keep the design clean and simple and make it easy for visitors to find your products and services. You should update your website’s content frequently and have a contact form so that people can get in touch with you.5. Find a Product to SellThe easiest way to start an online business is with affiliate marketing. This is where you promote a vendor’s products on the internet and, when somebody buys the product, you get paid a commission by the vendor. You do not have to worry about creating products, holding any stock, dealing with the fulfilment or any client issues. There are so many diverse products which are easily available to promote. You can find a huge choice at Clickbank, a well-known online marketplace6. Get An AutoresponderYour autoresponder is the ‘salesman’ who works tirelessly for your online business every day of the year. Your website should have an opt-in form on the home page where you offer something of value for free, such as a report or video. To receive this free item, a website visitors has to insert their name and email on the opt-in form. Once you have the email address, your autoresponder will automatically supply new information that you have pre-written about your products and services via email. Remember, statistically, a prospect needs to see or hear your marketing message at least seven times before they take action and buy from you.7. Build Website TrafficEven if your website has the most cutting edge design and amazing products or services to sell, your online business will not succeed if nobody knows that it is out there. When you start an online business getting both paid and free visitors to your website is a skill set that you need to understand and learn. Keep in mind that no visitors means no business.8. Continuous EducationAs you can see from points above, there are several steps on how to start an online business and you can become stuck with certain elements. Continuous education and training allows you to learn as you earn and draw on the experience of others while you build your online business. And, even after a few weeks, you will be in a position to start helping other new people who have recently entered the existing world of online business.

Artisan Jewelry and Fashion Trends For Fall-Winter 2008-09

Fall is arriving, one of the biggest signs is when the Canadian geese start to warm up their wings. You can see them flying around in circles and squawking. They are such a beautiful animal, but that’s for another article.As we transition from our summer wardrobe into fall, we start thinking about the new clothes and accessories such as jewelry required to be seen as fashionable.To help you stay current with fall and winter 2008/09 fashions, this season’s top trends are highlighted below. The most stylish people though are usually not a slave to the latest fashion trend but rather wear what they love. While it’s great to have a few trendy pieces, the best fashions stand the test of time.Actually for last season and this coming season many of the new “trends” are either somewhat of a continuation of previous season’s themes or are retro inspired. These retro trends make it perfect for shopping your closet.Go in deep to the back of the closet you still have something from seventies and/or 80s in there, unless of course you weren’t born yet, in this case raid your mother’s closet. Some of you (or your mom) may even have pieces that work beautifully for the 50s glam pin up look.This season basically every era is back and you’ll look right on trend wearing any retro decade piece – just be cautious not to over do it. One or two retro pieces, whether in apparel or artisan jewelry, paired with a more contemporary element works really well. Designers commonly use this technique as a way to make retro fashions look contemporary or trendy. They add a new twist to the retro style either in design, fabric or accessories.Dig out and recycle/reuse those beautiful retro pieces from the back of the closet and mix them up with fresh elements, you’ll be looking perfectly stylish.There are several trend themes listed below which apply to both apparel and artisan jewelry. Remember that your accessories especially artisan jewelry can really put the finishing details on the outfit. Don’t forget though to look at what you already have and add new pieces only where you need them, this will save you money and time shopping and is eco responsible.Here are a few of the Fall/Winter 2008/09 trends:Overarching Two overarching trends are:i. A mix of day for night. This does not mean wearing a ball gown to the office but rather mixing a wardrobe element which one would traditionally wear as evening wear with daywear. For example wearing a sequin tank say under a blazer for a little daytime sparkle.ii. Trends that run through both apparel and accessories Most of the trends are affecting all elements of the outfit which provide greater flexibility. You can choose how far to go with the trend by the elements and number of them you select. For example if you want to be a little more subtle you can just add a piece of artisan jewelry that reflects the trend rather than a whole outfit of the trend.Color TrendsApparel and artisan jewelry in purple, pink, deep red, green and blue are hot, as are metallic pieces (discussed in the Metallic trend theme below)I. Isn’t It RomanticTraditionally fall fashions conjure up ideas of woolly sweaters, this season there is a nice counter balance to bundling up. Fall romance with flowing fabrics and romantic accessories, a la Victorian style.Specific artisan jewelry pieces to achieve this romantic look would definitely include chandelier earrings.II. Mumbai MystiqueAsian fashion and East Indian fashion specifically, is becoming more and more popular. Designer Alexander McQueen’s fall runway show was a perfect example of this. No surprise he spent 6 months in India – makes sense the inspiration for the collection came from India.Mumbai Mystique applies to both apparel and accessories. Again using Alexander McQueen as an example, the fabric colours and finishes reflect an East India styles as do the beautiful chandelier earrings, bangles and necklaces.III. Bangle BazaarThere seems to be no end to bangle desire – hint this is a good investment to take you into spring/summer 2009. During NYC Fashion Week at the beginning of September there were plenty of big chunky bangles on the runway for Spring/Summer 09.IV. MetallicsGold, Brass, Silver and Pewter oh my! Metallic influences in clothing and in accessories. From leggings in metallic colors to brass medallion necklaces, metallics are a big element of fall/winter fashion trends.V. LeatherWhether you’re going for the rocker chic look or a more polished classic image, leather is hot this fall.Leather is showing up in clothing and accessories – from bomber and motorcycle style jackets to leather mini dresses to bags, scarves, gloves and necklaces.VI. Fringe and FeathersFringe dresses like flapper dresses from the 20s, fringes on boots and bags. Feather accents on apparel and accessories are also prevalent.VII. ArchitecturalApparel shapes are reflecting an architectural influence – interesting draping and cuts in the clothing. In this theme too artisan jewelry with architectural design are popular choices for completing a fall look.VIII. Decade Retro20s through to the 80s with a focus on 50s Pin Up , 70s Hippie and 80s Preppy, this is a big trend for this season. This is the trend where you can recycle and reuse pieces which have been hidden in the back you the closet for decades! Fashion is cyclical therefore if you save your pieces you can always find another season to wear them again.IX. Leg WearTights and knee socks rule again. Cable knit, solids, funky patterns, wet and metallic look to Gossip Girl argyle.X. ShoesShoes are an indispensable part of this season’s fashion trends. If you love shoes you couldn’t be happier with this trend.Here are a few shoe trends:o Ankle Boots Kick It – Lace Up Booties – especially Oxford Style, Booties with Cut Outs, Extra Fabric and Foldso Boots – Fringe, Riding Bootso Chunky Platform heels – new 70s anyone?XI. Long Term TrendsWhile above are the latest fall/winter 2008/09 trends, there are two trends that are real long-term trends, rather than fads. These two trends are ethnic fashion and social conscious buying such as fair trade jewelry and fashion. This is where society is heading.Our cities are becoming more and more multicultural and society is loving it! We’re loving the food and the fashion.In terms of social conscious buying everything from green fashion to fair trade jewelry and apparel are becoming more important. People are asking more questions and care about how and where our dollars are spent.When shopping for fall and winter 2008/09 apparel and accessories first check your closet and then add to your existing items with a few new pieces. This will not only give you a current look but one that reflects your own personality, no point in looking just like everyone else.

Home Improvement Loans – 7 Tips You Should Consider When Getting Home Improvement Loans

From time to time it becomes necessary to acquire home improvement loans to help you “upgrade” your house. Whether you are renting the house out to tenants or you live in the house yourself, home improvements always add value to the property.There are many home improvement loans you may decide to go after depending on your circumstances such as your credit score and the amount of down payment you may have. You also need to check on other requirements of the type of loan. Here are 7 practical steps you can take to get a home improvement loan approved.1. Know How Much Money You Need to Get from Lenders.Determine which areas of the house need improvements. Get contractors to give you an estimate of what needs to be done and how much it will cost to have them done. This will give you a rough idea of how much you need to borrow.2. Documentation.Put all the needed documents that lenders require together. These usually include tax returns, prove of employment, income in the form of bank statements and other data such as your debt-to-income ratio.3. Know Credit Rating.You are entitled to a free credit report from the credit reference agencies each year. So request a copy of your report. Go through carefully and if you see any mistakes, file a dispute with the appropriate agency to have the mistake removed. This would improve your credit score.4. Look for Appropriate LendersLook for reputable lenders to borrow from. Know the average interest rates and the rates at which you are being offered the loan. Stay away from lenders whose credibility you cannot establish. If their offer is too good to be true, they probably are. If you make your application online, protect yourself against identity theft.5. Home equity loan or home equity line of credit?Each of these are somewhat like a second mortgage. Which one you go for is entirely up to you. A home equity loan is a lump sum of money with a fixed interest rate. It is based on the equity of the home you want to make improvements to. On the other hand, a home equity line of credit has a variable interest rate based on the principal (i.e. loan amount). A home equity line of credit is similar to a credit card, where you pay interest on the amount of money you take from the line of credit, calculated every thirty days. Talk to your banker if you do not understand any of these fully.6. Understand Everything Before You Sign.Unfortunately, many people never read the fine print because it is time consuming and boring to read. However, the little time you spend reading the terms of service of the lender is nothing compared to the money you will have to pay if you did not understand something and signed anyway.7. Create a Budget.Getting a home improvement loan means you are getting a second mortgage on your house. If you default you stand to lose your home. So create a budget to ensure you make your payments on time without any defaults. It will let you know how much money you can afford to put towards making repayments.These are some of the best steps you need to consider when you are preparing to get a home loan meant to help yo improve you house.

Google Instant – How Does It Affect Your Company?

The new Google Instant Search is out and it’s live, as prescribed by the good folks at G Inc. I have given it some time to navigate and come to the conclusion that this not only changes the face of Search but distorts it. Much like a lawyer is reprimanded for leading the witness to elicit a wanted response Google has taken it upon themselves to move search in whatever direction their “guidance” system dictates, not only does their new algorithm suggest what to type with leading hollow letters and supply an actual scroll down suggestion (just in case you missed the first one) but now it shows various results as you type. In all fairness, staying on top is difficult and to keep the general public interested I’m sure is a full time job but to go changing their entire mode without warning is a bit drastic, a core function that has worked well for over ten years has been from what I can tell permanently adjusted without an external testing period that I know of. Since the new search function was forced rather than introduced let’s take a look at how this will affect you in navigation and marketing.Have you ever had a conversation with a friend or significant other who insists on finishing your sentences? Let’s be clear, communication is what separates us from apes, to communicate effectively and accurately is what saves time and brings us closer to our goals. For me words I use have very specific implications, if I think the word “dismal” and you finish my sentence with “dull” I instantly have a different mindset and in fact my whole train of thought can take a new direction. Though in some cases such a break in pattern may provoke a new way of looking at the problem, ultimately my mind has gone off on a mental safari close to but not quite on my original trail. You might correct the interruption but isn’t it always easier to just agree? Not only twice but three times Google attempts to “assist” us in our typing endeavors, where before one might have found the service of listing a finished query helpful we are now confronted with results in a changing environment that are close to but not the same as our original search. What’s more, these results are better suited towards Google’s agenda (sometimes unintentionally but it’s there), if I type in “business” and my target search is “business plan”, their new system suggests “business cards” which I might then think, “Well wait, I was thinking of buying some cards..”. Ecommerce click.Another aspect that may be exploited if not already is the use of first letters in a commercial fashion, let me explain. When you type in any letter of the alphabet you are instantly presented with a hollow result of what they “think” you mean, why than do I keep thinking of commercial sites? If I type in “A” the suggestion comes back with, “B” I get, “C” they return (which I’m sorry to say does sell post slots) and so on. What prevents Google Inc. from “partnering” with companies to exploit this, what term contains more searches with the new Google Instant than a single letter? We may have just made them a bundle by simply typing in a word starting with the most popular letter in the alphabet. Aside from the entire process turning a bit disorienting which they acknowledged when first launching as “Feelings of euphoria and weightlessness are normal. Do not be disturbed.”, the results before and after a click are different! As of this date (9/13/10) I type in the keyword “Desk” and up comes, upon clicking the enter key my search returns Should they choose to (and it would seem from the above they already have) Google can now further tinker with natural results, there may be two options for me now but how is a less experienced surfer to decipher that?Let’s face it, people are inherently lazy, the shorter the route to reach an intended goal the better be it in education, pursuing a career, acquiring wealth, completing a task or simply choosing between home and returning a Blockbuster movie. Just the name “Google Instant” is a testament to this:”If everyone uses Google Instant globally, we estimate this will save more than 3.5 billion seconds a day. That’s 11 hours saved every second.” With over a billion searches a day and over a billion users searching each week, that adds up to 350 million hours of user time saved a year. That’s 500+ human lifespans saved a year by this feature if everyone used it.” – Matt Cutts of Google Inc.Google claims our eyes move faster than we type and therefore will find results quicker thus saving time, I don’t know about you but I find the process disorienting and while that might change over time will it be for the best? My response to Matt Cutts would have to be, “If I am presented a higher number of irrelevant results and therefore higher chance of clicking one than how am I saving time?”. Also, with this new search feature a smaller basket of terms will become viable as instant results act as a bottleneck, long tail keywords will minimize as bidding for more generic terms will go up. Why type out five keywords when one will do? Whereas someone typing in “business plan” is typically presented with a result such as (US Small Business Administration), now that surfer will be shown right after Wikipedia halfway through their search and why shouldn’t they stop and click on it? It looks promising. While might be a great resource it is a predominately a directory for companies advertising their services and that most likely will not supply help my small business plan.What does this mean to me as an SEO? Search volumes will adjust, building for viable terms will become ever more aggressive and while I currently look to other forms of media for traffic my efforts to do so will now double. Any new client will need explicit research catering to Google Instant: What does the tool suggest, do results seem to be manipulated prior to click or are they static, would a completely different term yield the same results with less competition if misspelled or shorter? On top of that, I predict the consolidation of Adword campaigns as long tail suffers and bidding prices drive up(much to Google’s dismay I’m sure), on the other hand perhaps they will find long tail keywords gave advertisers more options that are no longer there and make Instant just an option. In the meantime, we must not forget the opportunity to advertise on keywords you aren’t done spelling. I’m sure Google didn’t.

Travel and Leisure Magazines

Where should I go on my next vacation? How much will a 7-day cruise cost? What are the latest vacation hot spots around the world? What place has the most beautiful beaches? The most delicious foods are found in what country? The most interesting culture can be seen in what part of the world? What is happening in the travel industry today? These and many more questions can be answered if you had magazine travel and leisure literature to browse.Magazine travel and leisure articles will put you in the know about hot travel destinations throughout the entire world. It would answer all the questions you may have about where to go on the next vacation, the cost of a 7-day cruise, or where the world’s top beaches are at. It essence, magazine travel and leisure information would enlighten and educate you about the travel and leisure industry as a whole. The magazine travel and leisure discounts offered are usually a tremendous savings opportunity that will have you traveling more each year, as you save money on all your trips. It doesn’t matter if you travel for business or pleasure, or whether you travel alone, with family or with groups, travel discounts make sense for the travel savvy. The better informed you are about the places you wish to travel to, the more likely it is that you will have a satisfying and rewarding experience when traveling.Valuable and informative cultural awareness can also be obtained from magazine travel and leisure articles. What are the dos and don’t of visiting certain countries? Is it acceptable to always shake hands when meeting someone in a foreign country? Or do some cultures frown upon the traditional western greeting of a handshake. Do you need to take off your shoes when entering someone’s house in Asian countries? How much of a tip is it appropriate to give when dining in a fancy restaurant in Paris? Knowledge about such issues can be found in magazine travel and leisure articles. You will be pleasantly surprised at the kinds of tidbits you can pick up in these types of articles.In magazine travel and leisure articles, you will visit far away exotic destinations, without ever leaving your own home. The newest travel trends will be at your fingertips. All the necessary information about the best hotel and resort deals, the most economical transportation options, and other important travel and leisure information will be within reach. Receive all the info you require from one source of information; magazine travel and leisure articles.An informed traveler is a happy traveler. With magazine travel and leisure information at your disposal, you will know what hotel or resort to stay at, what city spot is a must-see and which restaurants to eat at in the top cities in the world. You’ll be up to date on the latest travel and leisure trends in the travel industry. Don’t make those travel plans until you are fully informed with the latest data from every destination hot spot.

How Payday Loans Offer Hardworking Employed People a Real Way to Access Funds in an Emergency

Payday loans have been around for a while, and are still a popular option amongst millions of people who need to access emergency cash. If you spend time watching television, or browsing the internet, you will no doubt see many adverts from Payday loan companies, encouraging you to borrow from them. So, regardless of which company you choose to do business with, and whatever the press and media continue to say, there is little doubt that Payday loans are a significant and real financial credit option for many households today.According to recently published figures, more than 2 million working families turn to a short term payday loan when they are short of cash, or having a financial emergency.Most people are aware that Payday loans are not the best option if they have long term debt problems, or are struggling with extremely low income. In these extreme financial situations, Payday loans are not recommended. Certainly, good lenders will always advise borrowers to think carefully about their own financial situation, and to consider whether a short term loan is best for them.The majority of borrowers are hard-working, diligent people, who understand how Payday loans work, and appreciate the ability to access funds very quickly, and then repay the loan fully within the few weeks. It seems borrowers prefer this type of short term loan, as opposed to longer term loans which are around for much longer, and can cost just as much money, if not more.Not so long ago, the majority of people simply turned to their bank or building society for help when they needed it. This is something that is happening less. It seems that there has been a fundamental shift in how banks and building societies are regarded these days. Yes they are still used, and they remain a necessity of our everyday lives, but over the last few years, there is no doubt that the inherent trust in banks, and the big financial institutions as all but gone.In a recent survey, customers were asked what they think of banks, and the overwhelming feeling from respondents was that the big banks are there, and we need them, but they should not have a strangle-hold on our lives, or our money.Payday loans offer people a different choice, and another way to deal with things. Whether you choose to go to your bank, or to a Payday lender, there is no doubt, the message here is to consider all your options, and then, when you understand what is available to you, choose the credit option that suits, you, your family, and your own personal financial situation.When you decide to apply for a Payday loan, first calculate how much you can afford to repay. These are short term loans and will need to be repaid in full when you next receive your wage. It is best to use an online calculator to work out how much your loan will cost, and to establish whether you will have enough at your next payday to repay the loan. This is how to successfully use a payday loan, so that it can help you when you need it.It is an excellent way of accessing emergency cash quickly and simply, and then, in a few weeks you can clear the loan completely, and get back to normal. It is this quick and simple approach to borrowing that makes payday loans so popular amongst thousands of people.If you want more information about Payday loans, how they work, and whether this is an option for you, do some research and have a look at different lenders, and then make your decision based upon what you can afford to repay, and when you next receive your wage.

Build a Rain Garden

There’s a new garden in town. It is (mostly) easy to install, looks good year-round, requires almost no maintenance and has a terrifically upbeat impact on the environment. No wonder rain gardens are such a great new gardening trend!Storm water runoff can be a big problem in summer during heavy thunderstorms. As the water rushes across roofs and driveways, it picks up oil and other pollutants. Municipal storm water treatment plants often can’t handle the deluge of water, and in many locations the untreated water ends up in natural waterways. The EPA estimates as much as 70 percent of the pollution in our streams, rivers, and lakes is carried there by storm water! By taking responsibility for the rainwater that falls on your own roof and driveway, you’ll be helping to protect our rivers, streams and lakes from stormwater pollution.To reduce the excess water runoff, many towns are encouraging businesses and homeowners to install rain gardens in their yards. Rain gardens are specially constructed gardens located in low areas of a yard where storm water can collect. The idea is to have the water naturally funnel to this garden. The rain garden collects water runoff and stores and filters it until it can be slowly absorbed by the soil. Rather than rushing off into a storm sewer or a local waterway, the rainwater can collect in a garden where it will be naturally filtered by plants and soil.Installing a rain garden is easy.You simply dig a shallow depression in your yard and plant it with native grasses and wildflowers; things that are easy to grow and maintain in your area.What makes a garden a rain garden?First, the garden will be designed with a low spot in the middle to collect and absorb rain water and snow melt. This depression can range from a few inches in a small garden, to an excavated trough that’s several feet deep. Second, rain gardens are usually located where they’ll catch the runoff from impermeable surfaces like sidewalks and driveways, or from gutters and roof valleys. Third, rain gardens are usually planted with native wildflowers and grasses that will thrive in tough growing conditions. Finally, rain gardens are designed to channel heavy rains to another rain garden or to another part of the garden.Your rain garden should be located at least 10 feet from the house. The garden’s size and location depends on the yard. The ideal situation would be to locate the garden in a natural depression. You also can funnel water from downspouts on gutters into the garden. The soil should be well drained so the water doesn’t sit in the garden for more than two days. A special “rain garden” soil mix of 50 to 60 percent sand, 20 to 30 percent topsoil, and 20 to 30 percent compost is recommended. You can dig this mixture into the soil to depth of 2 feet before planting.Once you’ve identified the new garden’s location, remove the sod and dig a shallow depression approximately 6-inches deep. Slope the sides gradually from the outside edge to the deepest area. Use the soil that you remove to build up a slightly raised area on the lowest side of the garden. This berm will help contain the stormwater and allow it to percolate slowly through the rain garden.If your rain garden is no more than about 6-inches deep, stormwater will usually be absorbed within a one- to seven-day period. Because mosquitoes require seven to 10 days to lay and hatch their eggs, this will help you avoid mosquito problems.Your downspout or sump pump outlet should be directed toward your rain garden depression. This can be accomplished by a natural slope, by digging a shallow swale, or by piping the runoff directly to the garden through a buried 4″ diameter plastic drain tile.Plant Selection… The final touch.The most difficult part of building a rain garden (if it can even be called that) can be plant selection. Plants need to be tough enough to withstand periodic flooding, yet attractive enough to look good in the garden. Deep-rooted, low-care native plants, such as asters, and tough non-natives, such as daylilies, are best. If properly designed, the rain garden can consist of a blend of attractive shrubs, perennials, trees, and ground covers. Planting strips of grass around the garden and using mulch also can help filter the water.New plants should be watered every other day for the first two weeks or so. Once they are well established, your garden should thrive without additional watering. Fertilizers will not be necessary, and only minimal weeding will be needed after the first summer of growth.

An Inside Look at the Importance of a Smile in Sales

If you’re in sales, then you’ve probably heard all sorts of advice, from “don’t oversell” to “focus on solving problems.” However, one of the best pieces of advice that many forget is to smile! After all, your smile is one of the first features people notice about you, and it plays an essential role in the first impression you make. Keep reading to learn all about the importance of a smile in sales (as well as how cosmetic dentistry can help!).

Smile: Your Sale Depends on It!

Knowing your product and knowing your audience are key in sales. However, you don’t get far if your client doesn’t trust you or believe you. That’s why it’s so important to make a good first impression! Here are a few ways a smile can help:

• Smiling is more powerful than you might think – One study found that smiling has the same effect on our brain as $25,000 in cash!

• Smiling communicates your state of mind – Smiling is a non-verbal cue that you are happy to be where you are, that you are confident in your product, and that you are ready and willing to help.

• Smiling creates a ripple effect of positivity – Have you ever seen a friend yawn and done the same? Or seen someone take a sip of water and immediately realized you’re thirsty? Thanks to the mirroring neurons in our brains, we naturally mimic the behavior of those around us.

But What If You Don’t Like Your Smile?

If you don’t like your smile, don’t worry – that’s where cosmetic dentistry comes in. Whether you’re struggling with misaligned, misshapen, cracked, or otherwise imperfect teeth, your smile goals aren’t out of reach. The first step? Scheduling an appointment with a skilled cosmetic dentist. For both my father and myself, providing high-quality, personalized, and judgment-free dentistry is a passion. There’s truly nothing better than seeing someone walk out of our office with a dazzling, confident smile! So, don’t wait to make your dream smile a reality – it could make all of the difference when it comes to your personal and professional life!