Archive for Shopping

4 Tips for Planning a Baby Shower

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ID-10069146Mom and baby need a whole lot of stuff, and baby showers exist to ease some of that burden on the new parents. Plus, having a baby is a really exciting time in a woman’s life and it is a fun way to celebrate. They can be fun to attend, but to those who are tasked with planning them, the whole event may feel a bit stressful. But, the whole thing will only drive you crazy if you let it. Here are some helpful tips to put together a great shower while minimizing the stress of putting it all together.

Etiquette Basics

The ins and outs of baby shower etiquette could fill a whole post in and of itself, but for now, we will just touch on some of the basics. While in the olden days, it was seen as bad form for close family members to host a shower because it gave the appearance of them simply fishing for gifts, that is really not the case anymore. Let’s face it, we all know that is the point, no matter who hosts it and we are all fine with it. As for whom to invite, you want to consider whether you think it would be appropriate for this person to purchase a gift for the honoree since this is what is expected of anyone who is invited. Ideally, the guest list will be comprised of close family and friends, not every person the woman has ever known in her life. As for whether to include registry information, there is some debate among those ‘’in the know’’ about baby shower planning. If you are worried about how that may appear, make a note people can contact you about the information if they wish to.

Gifts

As far as the gifts are concerned, you may be wondering what is appropriate to spend. Typically, the family takes on the more expensive core items like cribs and strollers, while friends tend to purchase stuff that may be more personal or creative—you might want to create unique personalized baby bracelets, for example. So, if you are just a friend, and you are taking on the task of hosting the shower, don’t worry about getting some big, fancy gift for the mom.

Enlist the Help of Others

Unlike a bridal party where everyone is an official part of the festivity planning, a baby shower tends to have one, maybe two, people leading the charge. But, this is not to say you must take on the whole thing by yourself. If people offer to help, don’t turn it down. If you feel like you need help, don’t hesitate to ask people to take on smaller jobs, like picking up the flowers or helping make the favors.

Get an Early Jump on Planning

Start planning everything as soon as possible to ease your stresses. It will help you be better organized and keep everything under control. Don’t wait until the last possible minute to do everything, whether it be finding the caterer or buying the decorations. Scores of websites provide great baby-shower planning checklists—it would behoove you to get your hands on one. Decide on your budget so you can plan accordingly.

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February 18, 2014 |  by  |  Shopping  |  Comments Off

Tall Guy Fashion Tips

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Buying a wardrobe for tall men can prove to be a daunting endeavor. Most clothes are designed for averaged-sized individuals. If you can creatively use different colors, cuts and styles to complement your height you can dress yourself appropriately.

Balance out your long, lean frame by choosing the right accessories, the proper knitwear and appropriate shirts and leg wear. Put some thought into how certain clothes complement your height. A little bit of planning goes a long way in this department.

Choose the Proper Accessories

Using accessories can help you break pull attention to specific parts of your body while breaking up your linear structure. If you want to split your long, lean silhouette into two parts use belts. Plaited, webbing, or colored belts establish a point of interest at your center point. Using belts ceases eye line motion from head to toe. Socks, ties, pocket squares and scarves all move the attention to certain points on your body, effectively compartmentalizing your physique.

Select Knitwear to Complement Your Body

Break up your tall structure and bulk out by using knitwear. Use lightweight pieces of clothing to broaden your physique. Experiment with different knit products to avoid overheating. Leave roll necks and v-necks out of your wardrobe as each style of apparel lengthens your already long body type. Try Breton horizontal stripes instead of vertical cable knits to give off the illusion of width.

Pick the Right Shirts and Tops

Whether you are having a tough time finding a long enough shirt or choosing a top can be a chore for tall men. Never buy an oversized shirt. These poorly fitted sizes simply accentuate your height. Skip the boxy cuts and go instead of styled, long sleeved body range shirts to complement your body type. Buy a few elbow-length and short sleeve tops to add variety to your wardrobe and break up the length created by your arms.

Add width to your trunk by wearing scoop neck and wide crew top styles. These shirts accentuate chest and shoulder shape, taking the attention away from your height.

Choose Appropriate Leg Wear

Pick straight or slim leg wear for the ideal cut. Stay away from skinny cuts. This style makes your legs appear to be longer than they already are and bring wanted attention to your lower half.  Classic slim and straight cuts are always in style, keep your bottom and top halves in perfect proportion and do not accentuate the narrowness or width of your legs to a great extent. Try on any slim or straight leg wear because each brand tends to use different guidelines for these styles. Focus on getting your break right. If you want to go sockless or introduce a statement sock you can reduce your length and complement your physique. Never make the mistake of going accessory heavy in the foot area. This error only accentuates your leg length and height.

Wear knee length shorts to shorten your length. Anything longer makes your height more apparent. During spring or summer months consider white trousers or jeans to add bulk to your legs.

About the Author:Kelli Cooper blogs about all things fashion, for both men and women. If you are in the market for some hot footwear, consider getting a new pair of Jordans.

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January 15, 2014 |  by  |  Shopping  |  Comments Off

Boat-Buying Guide for the First-Timer: 3 Important Tips

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Owning a boat can be great fun, whether you envision yourself fishing on the lake or lounging in the sun with a cool drink in the middle of the ocean. Buying your first boat is exciting, but is not a purchase to be taken lightly or made rashly. Like any big-ticket item, you need to consider several important factors to ensure a smart purchase that meets your needs and budget. Here are a few helpful tips for buying your first boat.

Cost Considerations

Cost will likely be your primary factor. There are lots of elements to consider when it comes to the financial aspect of boat ownership that goes beyond the purchase price of the vessel, and failure to account for all of them could end up being a costly mistake. As for the boat itself, shop around to get a sense of what constitutes a ‘’good’’ price. Look online; visit several boat dealerships. If you are looking for a used boat, there are several sources you can consult to get an idea of their value, such as the NADA Marine Appraisal Guide and the Powerboat Guide. Don’t forget about financing costs if you plan on going this route, as well as insurance. Shop around for quotes before buying your boat.

There are also operation and maintenance costs, which will vary considerably depending on the type of boat you purchase. Educate yourself on the fuel efficiency of the different boats you are looking at to get an idea of how much money you may be spending on fuel, which is typically more expensive than gas for a car. Other operating costs include the purchase of a trailer, or marina and yard costs. As far as maintenance goes, you have to consider whether you will need to hire people to perform tasks such as repairs or hull servicing or if you are able to do it yourself. Some boats require very little maintenance other than washing, while others have higher maintenance features like teak, and naturally will cost more money to maintain.

If you do not have the luxury of just buying a boat without regard to all these costs, lucky you. But, if you are not so blessed, do some serious number-crunching before you look to get an idea of the type of money you have to spend.

Type of Boat

There are all sorts of things you can do with a boat, and there are lots of different boats to accommodate these activities. To buy the most appropriate one for your wants and needs, clarify exactly what it is you want to do with the boat. This will narrow down the choices and lay the foundation for an effective search. List the top three things you plan on doing, in order of preference. You also want to consider who will be using the boat—someone with small children will need to consider things that a solo adult wouldn’t. When it comes to features, make three lists—things you must have, things you would like but don’t need and things that you can live without.

New or Used?

Whether you should buy new or used will depend on many factors. If you are on a tight budget, used may be your only option. But, if you are not totally restrained by your finances, here are some important points to consider. You may be very enthusiastic about owning a boat now, but it is possible this passion will die down. Many people who buy a boat end up not really feeling it after awhile. For this reason, going used may be a smart option, especially if you plan on financing. Boats, like cars, depreciate quickly.  Used boats are not like used cars—they are not put through the same rigors and you can find many used boats that have very little engine time logged. If you do find you love boating, chances are you will look to upgrade in a few years time, making a used boat a good choice for your first. You can find used boats through dealerships and private sellers; you can even buy boats from charitable organizations that use the profits for their programs — this site lists a few.

 

About the Author:Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about a variety of recreational activities.

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December 30, 2013 |  by  |  Shopping  |  Comments Off

Halloween Safety: Tips for Choosing a Costume for Your Child

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When choosing a Halloween costume, it can be easy to get caught up in cuteness, glamour, colors and the like. The safety of the costume may not really come into play…after all, who thinks of clothing and accessories as being dangerous? While it is a safe bet that a Halloween costume will not bring harm upon your child, there are certain elements of a costume that could cause a problem and it is best to avoid this from the get go. Here are some tips for choosing a fun,yet safe, costume for your child.

Fire Risk

One of the most important safety elements to consider when choosing a Halloween costume for your child is whether the material is flame-resistant. While this may not wholly prevent the costume from catching on fire, the materials used in the costume will either not ignite easily or will self-extinguish. Be careful of costumes with lots of glitter sprayed on—the glue used to make it stick is highly flammable, according to the Good Housekeeping Research Institute. If you are buying a costume, look for labeling that specifically says it is flame resistant. If you are making your own costume, it is good to know which fabrics are more flammable than others; cotton, jute, linen and acetate will catch on fire more easily than synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester, which tend to just melt rather than catch on fire.

Masks

Masks can be great fun for Halloween and can be the perfect finishing touch to a costume, but they can pose safety hazards. Ideally, the masks should be used for pictures and any other time when your child is not walking. They may block your child’s vision and cause him to fall or walk into something, particularly if he is wearing it at night. When trying on a mask, make sure your child is able to breathe normally and that it fits snugly, but not too tightly around the neck. Large eye holes are also a must. You might also consider skipping the mask altogether and opting for face paint. Costumes that come all in one piece, such as a jumpsuit with hood, such as these animal planet costumes, for infants, are also a good choice since there is nothing obstructing the face at all.

Footwear Safety

Many of the shoes that come with Halloween costumes are really not designed for hoofing it around the neighborhood, collecting candy. While trick or treating, your child should be wearing sturdy shoes with good traction. If the costume comes with the type of footwear that is meant to be slipped on over regular shoes, ensure it fits properly and will not slide off and cause your child to trip.

Being Seen in the Dark

If your child will be out at night in her costume, it is important that she is easily visible. If the costume does not have any reflective material, place tape or sew such materials onto the costume. If you think she will be wearing a jacket at some point, do not forget to place it there either. You might also consider giving your child some sort of lantern or flashlight. Another consideration is steering your child towards a more brightly colored costume rather than one made of all dark colors.

About the Author: Kelli Cooper writes on party and entertainment topics for various sites.

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June 7, 2013 |  by  |  Shopping  |  Comments Off

Tips for Taking Care of Your Camera

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Cameras are a great way to bring your memories to life. With a picture, you can capture many wonderful moments and beautiful sights forever. As a frequent traveler, I have much love for my camera as it helps me preserve the best times of my life and gives me a way to remember all the amazing people, experiences and places I have encountered. Here are some tips for taking care of your camera so you can keep creating memories without having to keep replacing your camera because you did not take care of it properly.

Storage

Like many products, storing your camera in extremely hot or cold temperatures can do damage in numerous ways. Do not leave it in the hot car or in areas that are extremely cold. Keep your camera in a case anytime you are not using it. A properly fitting case is best to prevent the camera from being squeezed in too tight or moving around too much—both of which could cause problems like damaging the screen on a digital camera.

Batteries

If you will not be using the camera on a regular basis, take the batteries out. If left to sit in the camera without it being used, they will begin to corrode over time and can leak into the camera, ruining it. There are several things to consider for your camera batteries when it comes to properly caring for your camera. Do not mix chargeable and rechargeable batteries. Change all batteries at the same time. Do not mix different types of batteries together or use different grades and brands at the same time. Every once in awhile, clean the battery compartment with a clean pencil eraser. Before putting batteries in your camera, they should be at room temperature for optimal performance.

Cleaning Tips

A clean camera will be a properly functioning camera. It is best to clean the outside with a soft, dry cloth or camel hair brush. If you have an LCD screen, breathe on it softly to produce some moisture and wipe with a lint-free cloth or untreated lens tissue. If you have a camera with a lens, first remove any dust or dirt with a can of compressed air or a bulb brush. The lens should never be wiped dry—breathe on it to create some moisture or use lens cleanser meant specifically for camera lenses. Wipe with a lens tissue—again, one meant for camera lenses. Eyeglass cleansing solutions are not appropriate for camera lenses since they could scratch it.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who covers a range of topics. If you own a GoPro Hero HD camera, buy a Go Pro case for the best protection.

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September 19, 2012 |  by  |  Shopping  |  Comments Off