specializing in achieving and maintaining healthy hair

Providing treatment and services to those suffering from
Scalp Issues, Hair Damage, Hair Breakage or Hair Loss.


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Grocery Shopping List Power – Step 1 In Saving Grocery Money

A grocery shopping list can be the front line tool you use in saving money on your grocery budget each month.

There are several more sophisticated ways to save grocery money, but none is easier or faster to implement than the lowly grocery shopping list.

Interestingly, this is a tool that almost everyone knows about, yet very few people actually use it in a systematic and reliable way.

For those folks who are not convinced of a grocery list's potential power in household management, here's what happens when you DON'T use one.

--You lose money. Without a grocery shopping list, a shopper is at the mercy of "what looks good" in a grocery store.

Believe me, if you shop this way, you WILL find something that looks irresistible. And costs more than you might have spent with a list.

Why? Simple. It is the grocery stores' job to entice you to spend money in their stores. That's how they stay in business. There's no problem with that. But it's YOUR business to get the best value for your money...unless you don't care how much you spend on your groceries each month.  
In which case you probably wouldn't be reading an article like this one.

--You lose time. Using a grocery shopping list means you can enter your favorite grocery store, fly up and down the aisles one time, and be ready to check out in the fraction of time of another shopper who uses the 'browse' method of grocery shopping.

And if you're under the mistaken impression that you'll need to spend lots of upfront time figuring out what to put on your grocery list, well, you don't.

Hang your grocery list in a prominent place in your kitchen and train your family to use it. Then your list will be ready to go shopping when you are.

-- You lose nutrition. Using a grocery shopping list means you get EXACTLY what you want at the store; and that includes the nutrition you want for your family. You call the shots on how much fat, salt and sugar your family consumes. You can decide to emphasize whole grains and whether raw vegetables, frozen or canned will grace your family's dinner table.

In short, with a grocery list, you are in control.

--You lose efficiency. Ever stand in your grocery store and think to yourself, "well, I know I need some frozen veggies (or broth, or canned fruits, or favorite mixes, etc.) to keep on hand for that easy throw-together recipe my family likes. But I can't remember what I already have at home. I'll just get a couple of bags of SOMETHING to keep on hand."

Fast forward to the night you want to actually COOK that wonderful food for your family. You discover you've got two bags of frozen broccoli and three bags of frozen stir-fry veggies, but what you NEED is a bag of frozen corn.

A grocery shopping list could have helped you bring home the corn. Without the extra stir-fry. Using a grocery list means you have what you actually need in your pantry when you need it. Plus, you'll end up with less throw-away food, too, since you're purchasing what you know your family will eat within a given period of time.

Bottom line, if you're serious about saving money at the grocery store, the first thing you'll want to use is a grocery shopping list. It's easy and you can start using one today. (For a free printable grocery shopping list, see the author's resource box at the end of this article.)
Whether you're a college student learning how to grocery shop for the first time, a newly married couple establishing a budget, or a mom whose family has grown and the grocery budget has developed a mind of its own, the place to start to regain control is the lowly grocery shopping list.

Colleen Langenfeld http://www.articlecity.com/articles/family/article_2733.shtml

Texas Bean Dip (Diabetic)

1 (15 1/2 oz.) can black beans, drained
1 (15 1/2 oz,) can red beans, drained
1 tsp. canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. diced tomato
1/2 C. mild picante sauce
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 T. diced jalapeño pepper
1/4 C. low−fat Monterey Jack cheese,
coarsely grated
1 T. fresh lime juice
Low−fat tortilla chips

Place beans in a bowl; partially mash with a potato masher or wooden spoon until chunky.  Heat oil in a frying pan. Add onion and garlic; sauté for 4 minutes over medium heat. Add beans, tomato, picante sauce, cumin, chili powder and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese and lime juice. Stir until well blended and cheese has melted. Serve warm with tortilla chips. Makes 40 (1−tablespoon) servings. Nutrition information per tablespoon: 19 calories; 0.2g fat (0g saturated fat; 8% of calories from fat); 0mg cholesterol; 107mg sodium; 3.6g carbohydrate; 1.2g fiber; 1.1g protein Exchange value per tablespoon: 1/4 starch

06/2008 - Article Source: freecookingrecipes.net

Six Foolproof Steps to Finding and Choosing a Professional Hair Braider

So, you've decided to have your hair braided. Wonderful! A foundation in African culture, braids are a stylish way to create a new look, and a great alternative when you want to give your stressed tresses a rest.

Now that you've decided to embark on the braid journey, finding someone qualified to bring your desired look to life can be challenging. There are a plethora of braiders to choose from, each conducting business on different levels.

Many braiders work in salons. They rent booth space and provide braiding services during salon hours. Some salons are exclusive to hair braiding. Other braiders freelance and do business from their home or yours. With so many options, how do you find a braider that is right for you?

In my own recent journey to finding a braider as I transition from a chemical relaxer to natural hair, I was faced with the very same question. After much braider drama over the years - from braiders in pajamas, braiders who braid too tight and braiders who stop to run errands and cook meals - I decided to be more selective in my search for a professional braider who met all of my criteria (more on that later).

Based on my new strategy, I've put together the following six steps to help you find and choose a professional braider that is right for you:

1. Make the Decision - You already know you want your hair braided. Now you must decide if you prefer the foundation of the salon environment, or if you prefer the more relaxed one-on-one setting you'll find with a freelance braider. You know your style and your comfort zone. Go with what makes sense for you.

2. Shop Around - Ask for referrals from family, friends, co-workers or your regular hair stylist. Look through the Yellow Pages under "Beauty Salons & Services" to find listings for braiders in your area. Check out Craigslist.com for your area as well. A lot of salons and freelance braiders take advantage of this free form of advertising to generate business. Do a search for "braids" in the "services" section of Craigslist. And remember while shopping, many states do not require braiders to have a cosmetology license for their services. For more on this subject and to see your state's requirements (if listed), click here: http://cornrowsandco.com/politicsSub.cfm?politicsID=2.

3. See the Work - While in the shopping stage, you definitely only want to consider braiders whose work you can actually see. If they were a referral you've probably seen the work firsthand on someone. If you found them in the Yellow Pages or on Craigslist, ask if they have a website or online photo album that you can view if it isn't already listed in their advertisement.

4. Choose Three - Take your time to really study the braiders on your list. Consider prices, creativity of style and location convenience. Look for a slight edge that makes them stand out (more on that in a bit). Make sure they know how to create the style you're looking for. Factor in all of these elements and choose your top three.

5. Visit - Contact your top three choices and arrange a time to meet face-to-face. Each visit should last no more than 15 minutes. That is more than enough time to survey your surroundings and get a feel for the person performing the services. I can't put enough value on the importance of meeting potential braiders face-to-face. Know what you're walking into before you walk into it.

Be up front and let them know that you are interviewing braiders and would like to come by to meet them personally. If they object, take them off your list. Otherwise, plan your visits within two to three days of each other so each experience is fresh in your mind and you can make a sound decision. If you're choosing to have your hair braided in a salon, you can usually walk in during normal business hours without an appointment. I still recommend making the arrangements ahead of time as a courtesy.

Quick Safety Tip: Always let someone know when you'll be visiting a new braider and give them all the contact information. You can never be too careful!

Once in front of each braider, ask the same set of standard questions so that you can compare the responses. Take notes and share your past experiences. Make sure your expectations are crystal clear.

Pay attention to the vibe you're feeling while you're with each braider, it makes a difference. And remember, the objective of the visit is to evaluate the overall level of professionalism. This is the time to tie in what you already know with what you will learn in the face-to-face visit to see if they match.

Here are the criteria you should look for from start to finish in a professional braider:

* Prompt - Answers your initial phone call or e-mail request for more information (such as price for a certain style) within 24-hours.

* Reliable - Someone who is dependable, punctual, and who will contact you immediately if their schedule changes.

* Appearance - They don't have to be dressed to strut down a runway, but they should at least be dressed!

* Focused - While braiding, the focus should be on the task at hand, not anything that will be a distraction from completing the job. In a salon or in a home, this is a business and it should be treated as such. Bathroom and lunch breaks within reason are of course acceptable.

* Clean - Surroundings should be clean and well kept. You want to feel comfortable and not have the creepy crawlies the entire time you're there. If getting extension hair and the braider provides the hair in their price, the hair should be new and in an unopened package. Never accept partially used hair.

* Friendly - While you may not become best friends with your braider, you do want to feel comfortable with the person who will be "in your head". Especially if this is someone you are considering going back to in the future.

* Hair Health Conscious - As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of braiders out there. Unfortunately, not enough of them are really tuned into the needs of hair. Braiding is a wonderful method to use to give the hair a rest so that it can grow to optimal potential. However, if done incorrectly, braids can cause severe damage and breakage. The hair braider you choose should be gentle, doesn't use a lot of tension while braiding, doesn't put too much extension hair on each braid that weighs down your natural hair, and should provide hair maintainence tips before, during and in-between each set of braids.

* Affordable - The person you choose should be someone whose work you like and their price fits within your budget. As a rule of thumb, freelancers should charge less than salon braiders. Don't forget to ask ahead of time what forms of payment are acceptable.

*Experience - Years of experience as well as experience with all types of ethnicities, hair textures and hair conditions are equally important. Someone with five years of experience may work with several clients who have balding and thinning issues, while someone with 15 years of experience may have limited exposure in this area. Think of your own needs and consider what works best for you.

* Slight Edge - Look for golden nuggets that make braiders stand out: websites; online photo albums; work guarantee (will correct mistakes free of charge or money back); location convenience; braiders who will accompany you to the beauty supply store to select the right type of hair; and freelance braiders who travel to you. These and other above average traits are all pluses that rank higher in the selection process.

6. Choose and Follow Up - Remember, this is a business transaction. You should not only expect professionalism, but you should also demonstrate professionalism in the process. Once you've made your choice, reconnect with each braider either by phone or e-mail to let them know your decision. Start with the braiders who didn't make the cut. Thank them for their time, let them know you chose to go with someone else and wish them continued success. Period. No explanation needed.

Next, contact the braider of your choice, thank them for their time and book your appointment!

In the end, I chose the mid-priced braider. She is very concerned about hair health, which is also of great importance to me. And while my appointment isn't until next month, I feel confident about my selection and the steps I took to make my decision.

Use these same steps to finding and selecting a professional braider and you will be well on your way to a great new look and an overall pleasant experience from start to finish. Happy braiding!

Author: Kitara R. Wilson Article Source: http://www.approvedarticles.com/Article/Six-Foolproof-Steps-to-Finding-and-Choosing-a-Professional-Hair-Braider/374

How to Start a Conversation Effortlessly

Who You Spend Time With Determines How Your Feel By: Debi Silber, Ms, Rd, Whc
Tell me who you spend your time with and I'll tell you how you feel. Sounds impossible? It's really not. You see, we often take on the feelings, behaviors and attitudes of those we spend time with. For example, let's say you have a friend or coworker who's always complaining. She's speaks negatively about her body, her job, her relationships and her life. She looks forward to spending time with you because it gives her an opportunity to vent and find relief. Once she's through, she feels lighter, freer and ready to go on with her day. She enjoys speaking to you because you're a great listener, enabling her to be heard and valued. That works for her but how do you feel? Chances are you feel drained, deflated and uninspired. Although your intention was to be a good friend, once you became involved emotionally in your friends negativity, you were brought right down with her.
Now on the other hand, let's say you have plans to see a friend who is lighthearted, enthusiastic and embraces life with eagerness and zest. Just thinking about this friend brings a smile to your face because you know you'll be having fun and enjoying each other's company. After your time together, you're excited about the rest of your day. You want to capture every moment and see all the beauty that's around you. Your friend may not have intentionally tried to alter your thinking but her positive approach and attitude was infectious.
Which person is better for your health? Studies show that positive thinkers have a 55% lower risk of death from all causes and 23% lower risk of death from heart failure. That's not to say that the more positive person doesn't experience anything unpleasant. In fact, the positive, optimistic person may have experienced more unfortunate situations than the negative, pessimistic person. The result of these experiences however leaves the positive thinker with a greater appreciation, perspective and sense of gratitude. They are grateful for what they see and have because they may have something less pleasant to compare it with. When they encounter a stressful situation, they look for ways to improve it versus letting it consume them. When a problem arises, they use it as an opportunity to find the most appropriate solution, rather than dwelling or magnifying all that's gone wrong.
The negative person works much differently. They expect negative results and when it happens, it only confirms what they'd originally predicted. They're more comfortable judging, gossiping or criticizing because putting others down offers them some relief from their pain. The negative person maintains the role of "victim" in a script she's written for herself. She feels other's are responsible for her "lot in life" and often uses it as an excuse to stay exactly where she is.
Within each of us is a broad range of emotions. An optimist doesn't only experience joy and the pessimist doesn't only experience negativity. It's just that the optimist chooses to expect happiness, success and pleasure and as a result, that's what they find. The pessimist chooses to replay negative thoughts which lead to negative results. It's a choice. We choose how we want to think, feel and act. Although we may be conditioned to think or react a certain way, if we don't like the results it is our choice to change. That's why if we're working towards changing the way we think, feel and react, it's important to be careful about the people you're spending your time with. Look for like minded people who support, encourage and inspire you. Limit your time with people who drain, upset and frustrate you.
This is your life. You are the driver of your car on the road to fulfillment, greater purpose and happiness. While there may be many detours, you have the power to steer yourself in whichever direction you choose to go. If you want to feel good, steer yourself towards an optimistic perspective and let your relationships support your cause. If you choose pessimism, misery loves company and you'll find many people welcoming you into their negative club. Life is a journey and we don't travel alone. Who are you bringing on your ride?
Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Personal Trainer, Whole Health Coach and President of Lifestyle Fitness, Inc. Debi is a Lifestyle Expert who has worked exclusively with moms for nearly 20 years, inspiring and empowering them to become physically fit and emotionally strong through lasting, lifestyle changes. For more on the Lifestyle Fitness Program, please visit http://www.lifestylefitnessinc.com
Article Source: http://www.ArticleBiz.com
If you are one of the millions who have difficulty in starting and participating in conversations, you should realize that life's successes and failures are closely related to the quality of your communication skills.
The ability to converse effortlessly with those you encounter is a critical component of all your personal and business relationships.

Good communication skills promote an image of self-confidence and intelligence. This is not to say that those people who find it hard to strike up a conversation are less intelligent.

They simply need to develop the appropriate skills. If you need to improve upon your communication skills, here are a few tips to help you get started down the right path.

You can learn how to start a conversation and converse with anybody, anytime.

1. In order to make interesting conversation, you must be interesting to others. Keeping yourself informed on current events, staying involved in activities, and keeping a mental list of good topics of discussion are excellent ways to break the ice. And a great tool to help you learn how to start a conversation with almost anybody.

2. Instead of focusing on how uncomfortable you feel, prepare yourself by thinking of the issues that interest you most and what you would like to discuss about a particular subject.

A little preparation will go a long way in enabling you to easily converse with others. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

In general, people like to talk about themselves and will respond favorably when asked simple, friendly questions. Learning how to start a conversation is not quite as difficult if you prepare in advance.

3. Make an effort to be a good listener when starting a conversation. After you make the initial effort, listen closely to the other person's response.

Often you'll find an invitation to continue the conversation if you listen carefully and respond accordingly. Balance is the key in any conversation.

Alternate between talking and listening to what the other person is saying and make additional comments as appropriate.

Learning how to start a conversation is really just using good manners and showing a genuine interest in others.

4. Even if you find it extremely difficult, always greet those you encounter with a smile and look them directly in the eye.

It may be hard at first, but self-confidence is a learned skill and by acting confidently, you will gain new self-confidence.

Soon enough you will notice that it is not as hard to maintain eye contact and carry on a conversation. Act confidently and you will eventually become confident.

Developing self-confidence is an important part of learning how to start a conversation.

5. Try to remember small details about co-workers and acquaintances. Asking about a weekend plan or a relative is an excellent way to start a conversation and show genuine interest in those around you.

If you are interesting, attentive, and act with confidence you will appear to be the kind of person people like to have as a friend.

By practicing these new skills until they become second nature, you will increase your own self-esteem and learn how to start a conversation easily.

Learning how to start a conversation is really just a process of practicing your social skills until they become a habit.

Repetition and determination are the most important factors in building your level of confidence and conversing effortlessly in any situation.

Author: Peter Murphy Article Source: http://www.articlecity.com/articles/self_improvement_and_motivation/article_2080.shtml

Proverbs 18:20