If You Can’t Afford a First Home

Do you know someone who is living in a small apartment, but can’t afford to get out. Maybe you are in the situation yourself and know that you are throwing away extra money every month by paying rent. If you are in this situation, you don’t have to be. There are several ways to begin investing in a first home without having to invest a lot up front.

There are hundreds of people that are living in apartments instead of investing because of the money that is needed up front, as well as the changes that are needed for income level. At the same time, there are programs that recognize this and are available to help those in need to find a first home. If you have a stable income, you also have the ability to move out of throwing away your money.

One area that you can look in for a first home is the grant programs that are available. Each locality will have different programs, most which are easy to qualify for. The programs will vary according to your living situation and what you need. For example, several grant programs will give you money simply to be in a first house, while others will give grants to special situations, such as beginning your own business. Looking into things such as ‘neighborhood goal’ can help you find something that won’t take your money with no return every month.

If you aren’t certain what program will work for you, simply ask your real estate agent. Most of the time, they will be familiar with the programs and should be able to help you with what is available. By the time you move into your first home, you will either have everything in the initial investments paid for you, will receive money back, or will have some financial support to help you get started.

Making investments in your first home does not necessarily mean saving up thousands in order to get in the door. It simply means finding the programs that are willing to help you pack and move and taking advantage of what is available in your area. With a little bit of research and a little help, you can stop paying rent and move into an investment.

College Scholarship: Guide to Parents on Getting Financial Aid for their Children

Many believe that being a parent is the happiest moment in the life of a human being. Probably you still remember the excitement that you felt when your wife gave birth to your first child. There are times that you will not sleep because you want to take care of your child even in the midst of the evening. You want to ensure that he/she will sleep soundly through the night.

It is true that happiness comes with children in the family. However, such happiness could be achieved if you are responsible enough with your children. You need to provide all of their needs, starting from their infancy until the time that they are studying. Although it will really cost you a lot, you have the responsibility to your children, especially in giving them the education that they need.

If you have children who are now going to college, you have to think of their financial needs. Probably you still remember your own collegiate years and you are aware of the financial needs of an ordinary college student. However, the difference is that you are now the parent—you will now be the one to think of the different payments that you need to settle for your children’s college education, such as college application, scholastic assessment test expenditures, transcript of records, and others. Add to it the lodging and food allowance of your children if the college or university is far away from your own residence.

Thinking all of these college-related expenses could be overwhelming and bothering as well, especially if your salary is not enough to support such expenses and your family’s financial needs at the same time. But if you know how to get a college financial aid for your children, you will find out that everything will work out smoothly.

How you will start your search for the college financial aid for your children? Here are some tips that you can start with:

• When your children are still on their high school years, you should start searching for potential universities that offer college scholarships for deserving freshman students as well as financial aid programs funded by different organizations. You may start your search on the Internet to look for possible college financial aid options for your children.
• Once you find a prospective university, visit their main office and inquire for any college scholarship or financial aid offers.
• Always ask for the cut-off dates of filing and submission of college financial aid application forms.
• Tell your children about the importance of a scholarship to their college education. Make them aware that they have plenty of options to consider as long as they have good high school scholastic records. In this way, you will be able to motivate them to study harder and make good grades, thus increasing your chances of a good financial aid.
• You may also consider filing an application for financial aid programs funded by the Federal government. State-owned colleges and universities offer this kind of financial assistance to qualified and deserving students who want to pursue their college studies despite of financial difficulties. You may submit the FAFSA (Free Application Form Student Aid) personally.
• Make certain that you have completed all the FAFSA requirements (such as present statement of bank accounts, monthly income records, present mortgage information, and others) and understand the rights or specialadvantages before accepting the financial aid for your children. You may also check if the financial aid is renewable.

With different financial aid programs such as college scholarships and federal grants, you are assured of a bright future for your children despite of the financial difficulties that you are currently experiencing.

Books about Dale Chihuly

Books about art sell well in art auctions. I have found many publications that feature my favorite artist, Dale Chihuly. There are books, catalogs and even magazines routinely up for auction.

Chihuly Gardens and Glass is currently for sale in several art auctions. This book is beautifully illustrated and shows installations at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. The book has an essay by Barbara Rose addressing Dale Chihuly’s place in art history. There is another essay by the Garfield Conservatory director that provides a history of garden conservatories

Chihuly at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew features more than one hundred photographs that captured this event. An art auction for this book sold for fifty dollars. The exhibit at the Royal Botanical Gardens was Dale Chihuly’s first botanical garden exhibition outside of the United States.

Chihuly Seaforms has an excellent value at an art auction. It depicts forty four color photographs of his most ethereal series to date. The pieces he created for this series have been called not only “reflections of skill, passion, teamwork and sheer genius” but also “tributes” to the sea. He is truly a master.

Chihuly Form Fire was published in 1993 and it only occasionally shows up in art auctions. The book is hardcover and 144 pages long with over 75 color reproductions of his splendid work. There is a very informative commentary in the book about Chihuly’s career.

Chihuly has been exhibited all over the world and the accompanying catalogs sell for a lot at an art auction. The catalogs have a value to people that cannot possibly afford to ever own an actual piece of his art. I bought a catalog at an art auction that depicted his installations from the years 1964-1992. I have spent a lot of time looking at the photographs and have determined that Chihuly is pure genius.

I really want to find a copy of Chihuly Jerusalem 2000 at an art auction. The book sells new for fifty dollars. I think that the story of this journey and exhibit is extraordinary and I want to own a copy of this book. This book contains 117 full-color reproductions and from what I’ve seen they are all extraordinary.

I was surprised that even the book of Chihuly’s drawings has tremendous resale value at an art auction. He is able to convey such beauty and energy with his work and these drawings actually do the same thing. These drawings are what his ideas start out as before they are fully realized in glass.

There is one inexpensive Chihuly book that I rarely seen in art auctions. It only contains 17 color reproductions. It does cover the installations that had 20,000 pounds of ice. These were called the neon-and-ice installations and they had a powerful effect on the people that viewed them. This book is soft cover and it is better to buy it new from a website than from a previous owner at an art auction.

I’ve lost countless art auctions for the book that contains photos of his exhibit at the Marlborough Gallery in New York City. I just never bid enough. At some point, I will probably just have to bid more to win it from an art auction. I know that the 51 images are dramatic, but the book is a soft cover and I just don’t think I should pay $25 for it.

My mother won a Chihuly book for me at an art auction last year. It chronicled the installation in Japan at the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art in 1990. I loved each and every one of the 54 images contained in this book. I have been asked several times to loan it to friends, but I have refused. This is one book that I refuse to lose.

In 1986, Chihuly was only the fourth American to get a solo exhibition at the Louvre in Paris. There was a soft cover book published with 33 photos in it that chronicles the exhibit. Also in the book is an introduction written by the chief curator and director of the Centre du Verre. This is the next book I hope to own and I’ve been watching art auctions hoping to see it pop up.



Ten Hottest Careers For Travel Writers

One of the most exciting jobs for a journalist is getting paid to travel into different places. Also, your company will pay your hotel accommodations, meals and, at times, for a splendid cruise. For travel writers and those aspiring to be one, check out our list of the top ten hottest careers for travel writers.

1. Self-published Travel Writer. Well, if you have the means (that is time and money) you can actually fund your own travel writing. After your escapade, you can choose a publisher to produce your journals or pay one if you have the bucks. The main advantage of self publication is the monetary reward that is better than the standard book royalty contract, and you have the direct control in the editing and publication process.

2. Freelance Travel Writer. You can write anything that you see during your travel. Describe people, food, churches, parks, temples. Venture into the nightlife and share your unique experience in a different style. You can sell these articles to travel magazines for a modest price if the quality is really nice.

3. Magazine Travel Writer. You can apply with travel or scientific magazines such as National Geographic. You can cover a story in Amazon or research the situation of the Kangaroos in Australia or have a chance to dive with sperm whales.

4. Guidebook Author. If you have vast knowledge about a country, a city or a region, write a guidebook about it. You can write anything in your mind and submit your manuscript into a publishing house that produces travel and guide books. Another good method of writing a guidebook is to look for an existing one and try to update it with your recent knowledge.

5. Newspaper Travel Journalist. You can be hired by an established magazine and be assigned in its Europe Bureau. It will be a very exciting experience. A travel journalist usually has the rare opportunity in meeting new people every day while at work. You can also have the chance of learning new things about new places and see your articles printed on page.

6. Freelance Editor. Some companies hire freelance editors and pay them to be in a place to make sure things are accurately written in a book or an article. If you have a great passion in looking for details, have the sense of researching methods and your command of the language is very outstanding, try this career.

7. Travel Author. Write your memories when you have visited a beautiful province in India. Describe your perils while crossing the Amazon, or simply share your journey in Hawaii. Start publishing memoirs and rake your own bucks while enjoying at work.

8. Freelance Travel Journalist. If you have the special knowledge in arts or culture, on rivers and canyons, of exotic places or food or wide basins or dangerous forests, why not sell your adventure? You can search for magazine, newspapers and book publishers that offer a modest price for very interesting pieces of travel articles.

9. Freelance Magazine Journalist. Most freelance magazine journalist offer their talents in writing for different travel magazines. There are numerous travel magazines in the market and they are also offering allowances and remuneration for serious travel writers.

10. Travel TV Host. This is your chance to be on cam! You will be paid while visiting numerous sites, just share to us what you feel, what you know and what you want while on that place through the power of a video camera.

Home Rating is Beneficial

Everyone wants his life full of joy and comfort and home is the place where love and happiness prosper. It is heaven on earth. One would not like to sacrifice this love, happiness and peace just at the cost of rising electricity price and energy consumption demand. It is also note worthy that, when there is a necessity of home, home energy appliances come in mind, as both are complementary to each other. Your aspiration must be to make sure that everything in your home is energy efficient.

Markets are full of many renowned home energy appliance brands. While purchasing energy appliances, buyer must consider that the product should be energy efficient and effective. In this era of cut throat competition customer wants quality product at reasonable price. Energy appliances should be energy efficient that should minimize electricity bills and contribute to your savings.

In past, there were no instruments to measure the consumption of energy, so they could not be able to control energy utilization. It results in high amount of electricity bills. It is worth mentioning here that resident must know how much energy he is consuming a day. Today, home energy rating systems are available that cater the need to measure energy consumption. This technology will help you to measure how much amount of energy your home appliances consume. It can be compared with the car meter that tells you speed and millage.

There are energy specialists who inspect your home. They look at every appliance. They are trained energy professionals and have complete knowledge about energy use. They will give you tips and suggestions about how to increase your home energy efficiency. Moreover, inspector will check out your home and proposes you the ways of cutting down electricity bills. They also suggest you what are necessary energy equipments should be in your home, and where you need to replace a new more energy efficient furniture that will ultimately helps you to minimize your bills.

However, inspectors visit every home for checking energy flow and consumption and energy rating. After getting data from homes, inspectors put it into file and compare the houses’ energy consumption. They conclude which home is more energy efficient and which is not. They give suggestions to low energy consumption homes that how can they increase their energy consumption at optimal price. It is necessary listen to piece of their advice carefully for future benefits.

Rating seems to not beneficial for you. It is not true. Many people do not know that the rating of the energy used by your homes determined what amount of advance the resident will pay, because electricity bill is the fixed expense that home owner should have to pay.

Many people are also unaware of the fact that energy consumption determines the market value of your home. So every time you want to buy new home, purchase the one which is more energy efficient, that’s what real estate agent do. So, it is suggested not interfere in energy inspectors’ work and should listen and act upon his/her advises carefully. It will not only help you to minimize cost of energy consumption but also will give your home higher market value.

Battles against Media’s idea of “The Perfect Woman”

The never ending battle against the Media and it`s bogus idea of the “PERFECT WOMAN”. *sigh*

Lately I have been studying the media, reading articles, watching news, and looking for anything that I can find to make me feel that there is still hope for our world. If you have read any of my past blogs, then you will already know where my concerns lie.

For those of you that are just reading me for the first time, my concerns are strong regarding women of today and their search for the true identity of themselves.

Women today have fierce competition. I have spoken to many men also and they have strongly let me know that they would not trade their gender for any amount of money. They actually feel sorry for the women of today. A few of them even shared with me that they hate the fact that everywhere they look, the media’s idea of, “The Perfect Women” is stuck in their faces. Sure its nice to see, any human being will appreciate a nice looking picture. What happens at that very minute though is that they (the men) are put in a situation of feeling that they are betraying their partner by not knowing exactly how to react. I know, I know, some of you are thinking that it is the women’s fault that the men think that way. I will agree in some cases, but these men that I have spoken to were being quite genuine in the fact that they themselves did not appreciate it.

I will be the first one to say yes to prostitution. Why? Because it keeps some of the damn rapists of the streets from attacking the unwilling women. I say yes to pornography; it keeps the men that are afraid to approach real women relieved of a very needed natural release. I also say yes to alcohol and to chocolate with ice cream, but my dear readers, before you frown on me for what I just said, hear me say this. “I do not condone the force and uncontrolled manor with which the media shoves all this down our throats. I thought this was a free country. When did we lose the right to choose whether we want to have the media’s idea of, “The Perfect Woman”, shoved down our throats every time we turn on the television, walk into a bar, just drive down the road (billboards), open a magazine, listen to a song, or even simply look in our teenagers room.”

I was reading an article that was advertising the new television line ups for this falls season. I was horrified when I read about the graphic violence being used against women. Episodes showing a woman thrashing in a cage, with duct tape across her eyes, while a man’s hands are shown grabbing her bloodied fingers through the bars of the cage and ripping off her fingernails. Another is chained up like a dog in a basement by her so called loving husband. It gets worse; there is also one with a woman paralyzed by venomous spider bites and is being raped by a masked figure. These are what society is allowing for after dinner viewing. I am embarrassed to even say that this is my world seeing this. They made more noise when Janet Jackson slipped a peak of her nipple at a damn football game. In a word…SAD!! The media has definitely figured out how to make money at every woman’s expense.

On a much happier note, in my searching the worlds media I did find a very refreshing commercial put out by DOVE. It can be viewed at their website:

http://www.campaignforrealbeauty.com . “Cheers Dove” is all I can say. Dove is pushing hard and continuing an uphill climb to bring back what was put on this earth as, The Real Women.

I also ran into an article trying to cut this refreshing change down. The magazine people that pride themselves on using air-brushed models with unrealistic looks, called the Dove girls in this commercial, “civilians”. Ha! Now that is a very obvious show of defeat. They’re even trying to say that women of today will not want to buy from ads that do not promise you unrealistic beauty. Ladies, the media is in fact calling you stupid as far as I read. I take that as an out right insult.

It’s about time that someone stood up and gave the media’s negative actions a run for their money. Money made at real women’s expense, as I said already once. They also mention something as silly as women worry if they looked fat in their pants, as being an old age insecurity. DUH! No one ever said it was new, jeesh. I am also curious just how far women today are willing to let the media’s idea of “The Perfect Woman” go. We are already the butt-end of the cosmetic surgery joke. I feel that the only reason any woman would be turned off by Dove’s real women, is because they have been so brain washed into thinking that the media’s idea of “The Perfect Women” is what is real. I feel sorry for them. Ladies of today, we must stand up and fight back. Do not let them turn, what is suppose to be real, into barbie dolls.

So many women are confused about what is, and what is not. Why do you think so many women suffer from low self-esteem, with cosmetic surgery at every street corner and so many unrealistic expectations coming to us from the media on how a women is suppose to look? Blah, blah. It’s no wonder women are so confused.

Well I know that there is strength in numbers and I do know that there are more women today that are sick of all of the media’s ideas. Ladies with low-self esteem, stand up, go to the store, and support DOVE. So what? They make money and yes, maybe there is a bit of truth that they too are using us as a way to profit. But at least we have a place to start to turn things around. We will never be able to turn them back, but we can make them work for us, not against us. Oh if anyone thinks that Dove has asked me, or payed me to speak of them in my blog, NO and NO. I am speaking on behalf of every women out there has been damaged by all the garbage that the media is trying to run our world with. Womens Selfesteem.com is happy to say that Dove is doing a very good thing, on the “real women” of today’s behalf.

“Don’t back down just to keep the peace,

Standing up for your beliefs builds self-confidence and self-esteem.”

-Oprah Winfrey

Dorothy Lafrinere


Website- http://www.womensselfesteem.com

Weblog- http://www.justblogme.com/Dorothy

Forum- http://womenselfesteem.proboards29.com

email- dorothy@womensselfesteem.com

Handling The Emotions Of A Break Up

The longer you’re attached to somebody, the harder it is to go through a break up. Even if the break was the best thing to do at this point, it’s still hard. And even if you haven’t been together all that long, many of the same emotions can surface, and with the same intensity. If you can successfully navigate these feelings, you will have a better chance of making up if that’s what you’d like to do. Whether that’s your goal or not, there’s no doubt that being more emotionally stable will help you live a happier life.

Do you feel like it’s your fault that you broke up? Is it? Regardless, you need to let go of the feelings of guilt. Come to understand that this is the way things are now, and you can’t change the past. However, if you have done something that requires an apology, let the situation calm down for a while, then apologize to help clear your conscience.

One emotion that may shock you a bit is that of relief. Sure, you’re sad, feeling bummed out, but why do you feel a sense of comfort? Rest assured, it’s a common feeling, and perfectly normal. Almost every couple argues, and it tends to get worse just prior to a break up. Another problem that adds to the tension is not knowing what’s going on, and splitting up gives you the answer.

Being angry needs to be kept in check. If at any point you feel like expressing your anger in a destructive way, seek help. Forgive anybody who needs to be forgiven, including you. This will go a long way towards not being mad. Anger can make you do funny things and clouds your judgment. It certainly won’t garner the respect of those around you. Do whatever it takes to work through your anger, otherwise you could grow to be old and bitter; and that’s not a good combination.

The one emotion that nearly everybody has after breaking up is sadness. Crying and some sadness is normal, but watch out for clinical depression. Seek professional help immediately if you feel like harming yourself. Other than that, if you don’t feel like getting out of bed, can’t let go of feeling down, or want to stay isolated then find a trusted friend (or counselor) to talk things over with.

To be honest, there is no simple way to deal with all of the emotions that go along with breaking up. Being able to get through them in a healthy way will increase your chances of making up in the future. Or, it will help you move on to the next relationship with no hard feelings. Either way, you are sure to be happier and live a better life because of it.

Caribbean Sailing Charters Not Just For The Experienced Sailor

Caribbean sailing charters are not all designed for those with sailing experience. If you want to charter the sailboat or yacht on your own, you will need to provide proof that you can handle the boat. You don’t necessarily need to have a license, because many companies regard years of experience in sailing as better than having a certificate. You can book a sailing charter just for the relaxation of sailing. There are also Caribbean sailing charters that will teach you everything you need to know about sailing.

When you decide to take sailing lessons through one of the Caribbean sailboat charters, you will have an experience captain as your instructor. These lessons are designed for the whole family so that the next time you want to enjoy Caribbean sailing charters you can take the sailboat on your own. When you use this opportunity to learn about sailing, it will take you only one week to complete the basic course. If you wish to charter a sailboat in the Caribbean for sailing lessons you have to do on a single hulled sailboat. These lessons are not available here for catamarans.

When you book one of the Caribbean sailing charters you will want to know what is and what is not included with your booking. All of the bed linens, towels and kitchen equipment is standard fare on the bareboat sailboats. You will also have a VHF, boat phone, a cruising guide of the Caribbean and all the charts you need for sailing these waters. The basic navigation equipment, such as binoculars, safety equipment and first aid kit, is also included in Caribbean sailboat charters. You will get a full tank of fuel and water and you are expected to return the sailboat with the tanks refilled.

Some of the Caribbean sailing charters include snorkelling and diving gear with the charter. Others require you to rent this equipment if you need it. You should check out the different sailboat charter companies that offer charters to the Caribbean to see which one has all the equipment that you need for your vacation. If you choose a bareboat charter, you will have to supply your own food and if you want a captain, you also have to supply the captain’s meals. On the luxury Caribbean sailboat charters, all the food and drink is included in the price as well as the cost of hiring the crew.

Caribbean sailing charters offer you the opportunity to see the Caribbean at your own pace. You set the itinerary and spend as long as you like in one place. Go ashore to shop at the markets and take in the unique culture of each of the Caribbean islands. Once you book one Caribbean sailing charter, you will be so enchanted that you will dream of the day when you can take another.

Bad Credit Installment Loans- Easy Loans Despite Poor Credit Profile

If your past credit record is attached with imperfect credit tags such as Defaults, Arrears, Foreclosures, Insolvency, Deferred payments, Skipped payments etc, then you can’t apply for a normal loan scheme. Generally banks, co-operative houses and traditional lenders tend to avoid bad credit borrowers only due to their dubious credit history. But now, these people can easily draw loans as the lenders in the US have started a new loan for bad creditors called Bad credit installment loans.

As a matter of fact, bad credit installment loans are unique loans particularly fabricated for the people with poor credit records. These loans are free from the complicated hassles like credit verification and collateral pledging against the borrowing loan amount. There is therefore, these loans carry high interest rates. You are suggested to pay the loan off on appointed time to keep yourself away from any kind of penalty. The key feature of these loans is that you can repay the loan amount in small & easy installments. You can use the loan amount to fulfill various needs such as home improvement, credit card payments, debit consolidation, grocery bills, electricity bills, phone bills, small weeding expenses, broken car repairing, sudden medical treatment bills, accidental trip etc.

The process to avail bad credit installment loans is quick, easy and simple. In fact, these loans are available on internet. To have these loans instantly, you must choose an online lender that meets your needs in the best way. To select a right online lender, you can compare the terms and conditions of different online lenders carefully. You are required to fill an online application form with some fundamental information such as your name, age, address, bank account number, required loan amount, Email id; job details etc and submit it on monthly loans for bad credit. No faxing of documents or complicated paperwork is required. Once the loan is approved by the lender, the loan amount is immediately credited into your active checking account.

In this way, this article says that bad credit installment loans are swift, hassle free and simple loan for bad creditors that can easily be acquired with the help of internet. By making timely repayment, they can remove their bar credit scores for good.

Steps to Consider When Choosing The Contractor For Office Fit Out

Whenever one is looking or conceptualizing the idea of updating the working area or an office floor, it is important that the appropriate designer company be chosen for the purpose. This article will help in reconsidering the factors that will decide the company to hire. The first step to this entire process is to compile a list of companies that fit the desired profile. The websites offering the names of this business organization serves the purpose and their testimonials will be enough to judge their work. Once the potential incumbents have been shortlisted, meetings and appointments can be arranged to discuss the needs and the other project details. It is important to coordinate with the project managers along with the sales team, as they will be actively participating in the procedure. When deciding the suitable enterprise for the job, one can consider the following factors:

Overall Experience in interior designing

It is essential that the appropriate organization have accurate records of accomplishment and enough expertise on the matter. Most superior quality enterprises have their specific credentials that support their previous experience. However, it is also essential to keep in mind that these organizations should be able to have the correct expertise for the design that is similar to the requirements of the client.

Credentials from appropriate organizations

These companies will be dealing with the interiors of an office and altering it considerably. This sometimes include building of walls and other times breaking them for other benefits. Whatever the requirement, these people should be professionally acclaimed and well tutored in their niches. They should also have the proper documentations to support their claims. These documentations should be verified to avoid unnecessary problems.

Expertise in Turnkey solutions

When looking for a complete overhaul, we sometimes prefer a single company to handle all the different requirements of the project. These organizations have thorough experience in various turnkey solutions, which means that they will support from the inception of the design to its completion. Every aspect of the company is taken care of, from consultancy, refurbishments, advice and storage, space planning, risk assessments, lighting and decorations, etc. These companies have the necessary experienced professionals who are trained to handle all these matters related to office fitout. Insurance, Health and Safety It is important that the company is insured. There are basically three kinds of insurance that one should be looking for. Firstly, the public liability insurance that will covers the client and customers entering the area while it is being redecorated. It will also take care of any damages to the people or property if caused by the contractors. Second is the contractor’s insurance that would cover all the damages to the contractor and his tools or machinery. Lastly, the professional indemnity insurance, which will protect the contractor from any illegal claims made by the third party. Other than the insurance, when office reconfiguration is underway, it is best to consider the health and safety of the workers. In these redecorations, there should not be some accidents. It is important to have clear interaction with the contractor, because they will be changing the office floor, braking office walls, and refurbishing the entire area to suit the desired requirements.