Category: Stuff on our Minds

Dental Care in Africa Should be Given More Attention

dental-care-in-africa-should-be-given-more-attention

You might have heard a lot about how kids in Africa suffer from hunger and thirst. Due to the lack of resources as well as rampant corruption in the government, the services needed by the people don’t reach them. We barely hear anything about dental care though. The truth is that there are a lot of kids in the region suffering from dental problems. The reason why this is not given attention is because having sparkling teeth is the least of their concerns. They think about having anything to eat. They also think about other more serious illnesses.

Dental care is essential for a healthy and happy living. This is why even if it is not highlighted; non-government organizations and foreign aids must also be allocated for dental care. Being in Africa for 5 years, I have witnessed lots of children suffering because they have recurring toothache. Yes, there are also serious illnesses in the region, but teeth related problems affect people even more. It makes more children cry each day, and are unable to live their lives the way they should.

Quality of food

One of the reasons why there are a lot of dental issues in the region is because of the quality of food intake. Most of the times, they are not given the right kind of food to eat. They eat whatever is available, whether it is considered healthy or not. Our teeth are affected by what we eat. There are foods that leave stains causing cavities and discoloration over time. However, considering that most of the kids live in poverty and have barely anything to eat, they will take whatever is given to them.

More medical missions

The region definitely needs more medical missions. Dentists should be sent to different African countries to look after those kids who have dental issues. In fact, there should be doctors who actually stay in certain areas with available medical supplies and equipment to provide free dental care. You may also read about spacers for teeth and other dental procedures that kids in the region need. Some of these issues are universal of course, but there are people who are lucky enough that they can afford undergoing those procedures. Most kids living in poverty in Africa cannot.

See it for yourself

You might be overwhelmed by the idea that a lot of people are living in extreme poverty in Africa. You even try to ignore those issues anymore since you think there are a lot of people willing to help anyway. The truth is that there are more things that needed to be done. HIV/AIDS epidemic has somehow been controlled. Other serious problems like Ebola have also been addressed. If these major problems have been given the necessary attention, it would be great if there is also enough attention given to dental care. This is a recurring issue, but since it looks minor, there is no enough aid that goes into it.

Eco-Friendly Steam Mops are Now Getting More Popular

Eco-Friendly Steam Mops are Now Getting More PopularEach time you have to clean your floor, you need to wear gloves, put on a mask and prepare the equipment. This is mainly because of the chemicals you need to use to remove stains. Aside from placing your health at risk, they also pose threats to the environment. Take note that these chemicals will either evaporate or its liquid form will go back to the soil and also pose harm. Either way, it becomes damaging to the environment. If you can remember, there was a time when a lot of items at home contained CFC’s. This is banned now, but for a long time, we never knew how damaging it could be to our ozone layer.

The chemicals present in cleaning agents might seem fine for now. However, if constantly used over a longer period of time, there will be repercussions. It can be unprecedented since everyone uses these chemicals to clean up their house. You definitely don’t want to be a part of the problem. Therefore, you need to start by removing these chemicals and not using them as cleaning agents. If you ask how, then start by using eco-friendly steam mops.

Eco-friendly mops

Modern floor mops can now be used only by applying water on the floor. Even without chemicals used, the floor will still be sanitized. These mops also work in any type of floor surface. Whether it is hard or soft, smooth or rough, you can expect these mops to work perfectly fine. Since it involves steam, you can expect the bacteria and germs on the floor to also die during the process. The best part is that modern mops are very easy to use. In just a few minutes, you are done with your job.

Other features

Aside from eliminating the use of chemicals, other modern mops have great features too. For instance, you can now buy one with an adjustable height handle. Thus, if you let your kids practice cleaning the floor, then it can be adjusted to match their height. There are also water levels indicators so you will know when it is time to refill the water used for the steam. Cleaning heads may also be adjusted depending on your floor size. You can even get one that is wide enough that you can finish the job in half the time.

Buying the best steam mop

It might seem tricky if you are now going to buy a new mop. You are enticed given all these features. However, you also know that high quality and modern cleaning tools come with a price. The good thing is you can now cheap out the best steam mop online by reading online steam mop reviews. After going through your check list and determining what the best mop should be for your needs, go ahead and buy it. Rest assured, these modern eco-friendly mops are worth every penny you spend on it. After all, you can use it to ensure that your house is clean and you take part in protecting the environment.

Getting Over Chainsaw-phobia

ChainsawphobiaIt might sound exaggerated but when you can learn how to use a chainsaw, you can do just about anything in life. To begin with, not everyone can use a chainsaw. In fact, a lot of people have not even come close to a chainsaw. It is extremely scary. The thought of using it makes people afraid already. Add to that the movies depicting just how scary chainsaws are. This is why when you have the courage to come closer to a chainsaw and use it when everyone else can’t; you already are a survivor in your own rights.

Why not? These chainsaws are heavy. They produce scary sounds. They are also extremely dangerous. They can cause injuries. Most of all, they look like they were taken straight out of your nightmare. When you have the courage to try using it and you have survived the challenge, then you have to congratulate yourself for a job well done.

How to face the fear of using chainsaws

In order to prevent yourself from feeling scared, the first thing that you need to do is to just take a look at a chainsaw up close. Don’t turn it on just yet. You need to be familiar of the tool so you won’t be scared coming so close to it the next time. Next, you have to get the manual and learn how to use each button correctly. If you can’t find the manual, then you have nothing to worry. You can search for ideas online. There are also online tutorials available if you wish to learn how to do it with explanation.

When you are confident enough, you can try using it with simple objects. You don’t have to try with a big tree immediately. You can cut smaller logs first just to see if you have the hang of it. If you can’t do it right, then go back to your training manual. Eventually, you can go on bigger logs. When you have the courage already and you have followed all the instructions by heart, then you can take down bigger trees.

Use the proper gear

It is also important that you stay protected during the entire process. Get gloves, helmet, goggles, and wear boots. You need to have the right outfit for the job. This is not just one way to keep you protected, it is also a way of making you feel confident. When you know that you are totally protected, you won’t feel scared using it anymore.

For now, the best thing to do is to buy the best chainsaw online. There are a lot of them available. Go ahead and compare the best chainsaws first. When you have made your decision, you can start using it immediately. Next time, when there is a need to cut a tree or logs using a chainsaw, you don’t have to hire someone else to do it. Also, you can do other heavy tasks at home now that you have conquered a major challenge.

Wrist Watches are Must Haves as Accessories

Wrist Watches are Must Haves as AccessoriesHave you ever wondered why watches remain popular until today? More modern versions might have already been released, but they are still among the top accessories bought by many people. Well, this is something that you should not wonder about at all. Aside from the fact that they are useful accessories, they are also very fashionable. Your overall outfit will look even better when you throw a wrist watch as your accessory.

Completing the ensemble

You might have tried going out with the best outfit possible and realize that there is something missing in your outfit. Eventually, you find out that you have forgotten to wear a watch. It might just be a small part of your outfit, but it helps a lot. For instance, if you are heading to a formal event in a suit and tie, it will look even more elegant if you have a classic gold or silver watch with you. If not, it seems like the outfit lacks something really important. Even when you are just out there for a walk, you still need a watch. You want to wear something casual and fun. Yet, it becomes even more fun if you have a beautiful wrist watch with cute designs with you. If you are still undecided, you need to first check the best watch for your outfit.

Keeping it Simple

It is also important to not just throw anything just for the sake of wearing one. You need to make sure that you are getting the perfect match for your outfit and your personality as well. Try not to overdo things by using more accessories than needed. Take a step back in front of the mirror and find out if everything fits in the concept that you want to see. Otherwise, it is best to remove some of them. For instance, you can take the necklace off if the watch is too overpowering. You might also want to remove a part of your clothing if it covers the watch. It is just a matter of finding a way to fit things together and look amazing eventually.

The right choice

When you are now interested in looking for the best watch, you have to check what’s in and in trend. However, you have to understand that watch designs are usually meant to last for a long time. Thus, even if you spend a lot of money, it does not really matter as you can use it for a long time. Also, it helps if you check out the best watch brands this season. This will help you make the right decision.

Being fashionable is easy if you know how to mix and match things. With the right watch with you, it is easier for you to look amazing in the end. Also, it does not hurt to invest in different styles of watches if you have enough money to splurge. There should be one to match your chosen outfit and occasion. Most of all, it should match your personality. This is the most important factor to be considered.

How We Doubled Our Business In A Year

Recently, my sister and I started a new business venture as a bit of a side thing. It was an idea we have had for a few years and we decided to give it a try after much deliberation. We knew it would be a long term thing and not something that was going to be successful overnight by any means. It’s in an emerging market that we know in and out, so we were highly confident that we knew where the industry was heading and could capitalize on it and be successful by being a part of it.

Fast forward about a year and we were seeing some modest success, yet it still wasn’t doing what we felt it really had the potential to do. We knew a big aspect of what we were missing from the business was the web traffic that we knew was there, but we seemed to be having a hard time generating. To get an understanding of what we needed to improve on, we got in contact with Jared Lee, is a friend of ours and a internet marketing wiz of sorts. He runs Vibranium SEO and started out doing SEO in Springfield, MO, but has now expanded to doing business all over the world.

He was able to see a lot of holes we were missing. He suggested some simple changes that we could make to what we were doing to see some positive returns and see them fairly quickly. This included things like doing some better search engine optimization to the site and some other things that Jared was able to do. But the thing that really changed the business and what helped us double our business in a year was something I didn’t know was as powerful as it is. That thing was Facebook advertising.

I had heard of some people having success with it, but we had tried it a little before and never had much luck with it. Jared showed us some neat strategies and was able to basically help our business explode within a few months. The reason it’s so powerful is because Facebook ads allow you to advertise to highly targeted groups of people based on their interests. If you know the interests of the people that you want to target with your business, then you can really see some returns on it.

Not only does Facebook advertising work extremely well, but it’s extremely cost effective. There isn’t much out there that gives you a better return on your investment. To give you an idea of how well it works, here is a glimpse of how it helped our business. In the first few months, we spent about $200 on ads, but saw sales of around $5,000 directly from it. That’s an ROI of almost 2500%! You’re aren’t going to find many advertising platforms (if any) that give you that kind of return. We saw such a great return from the investment that we did a little profit sharing with Jared because we felt so bad that we had spent so little to get so much more success than we had.

Since then, we have continued to grow the business and it’s doing very well today. By utilizing Facebook ads, we were able to double our business in a little less than a year. I don’t have enough time to explain how best to use Facebook, but just know that there is great opportunity out there by using it. Either play around with it to see how well it works or reach out to someone like Jared who is an expert in how to use it and see how well it works for you.

Fitting Back Into Old Jeans With Spin Bikes

We absolutely love our readers’ feedback on our blog! You are the reason we keep writing, sometimes even if it’s only stream of consciousness rambles! We are so humbled by all the support and time it takes you guys to comment on our posts and suggest us new things we should try or write about.  If you’ve been following along, Alicia put out a call out to everyone asking them what their favorite way of getting trim. She’s tired of having to buy new fashionable clothing and she’s challenging herself to an 8-week (brand new) fitness routine to fit back into her old jeans.  She going to blog about it along the way.  I know that will be interesting because she’s definitely about to have some trials and tribulations, for sure!

After combing through an extensive list of your suggestions, one that kept coming up a lot was spin bike routines and spin bike classes.  We had no idea that our readers were so loyal to their great spinning bikes and classes and honestly it is something that neither one of us had ever tried before, but ya’ll seem so passionate! As of next week, Alicia will be touring the different gyms/spin bike facilities around our area (there are actually 6 the she found on BikeCompanion.com, who would have known?) to ask the questions that were suggested by our readers to know where the best place to train and practice is.  Once she gleans all her answers, her routine will most likely begin as well as her in-depth blogging diary – so be ready for that!

Our readers suggested 3 main things to ask at each facility before she signs up, so that she knows she is going to the best place possible:

  1. How long are the classes and do they involve any off-bike workouts? Readers suggested that a spin class should be no longer than an hour, to adequately work all the muscles, but not overwork them. Additionally, lots of readers raved over hybrid workouts of 40-45 minute spin, 15-20 minute weight training.
  2. What brand of spin bikes do you have available for use? The top three spin bikes our readers seem to love are Kinomi, LifeFit Spin and Cycle Climb X. Alicia is hoping one of the gyms have one of these brands.
  3. How many spin classes are offered per day? Our readers were very wise and stated that life happens and that in order for you to get your work out in everyday, your gym needs to be dedicated to spin classes. Although you should aspire for a certain time to be your time to work out, it doesn’t always pan out. Make sure wherever you sign up offers at least 5-6 different spin class times per day.

Now that Alicia has the right questions to ask, she’s about to get started on her research.  Keep checking back here to look at Alicia’s upcoming 8-week journey, as she forays into spin bike workouts.  See how her body and mind respond to this brand new exercise! And again, one last thank you to every single person who took the time to mention spin biking and write us a sincerely written reason as to why Alicia should try it!

Saving money by using a water softener

Recently I was talking to a friend of mine and she told me that my clothes didn’t look fresh at all. I was astonished because I only recently bought them. So how could this have happened? She told me it could have something to do with the fabric softener I used and that I certainly had to check the water hardness. She had a similar problem and in her case it was due to the high water hardness.

I had never heard of this before but I checked on the internet and it seems it’s a widespread problem. Many people are complaining about stiff and hard clothes when they come out of the washer. Luckily there is a solution for this inconvenience: a water softener.

This can be in the form of a product that you add to the water or as a machine. The product can be a dry water softener additive or a washing soda. Both will soften your water and will certainly help you with the stiffness of your clothes and towels.

However if you want a long-term solution you’re better off with a machine that softens the water. This device softens the water where it comes into the house and is thus much better for your household appliances, skin and even clothes because they all come in touch with this same water. So where the water softening product only helps for your washing machine, a water softener will help every appliance in your house. In the long run this is the best solution as every appliance will benefit from it and it will really save costs. It will save costs because you don’t need to use softening products over and over again and because all your appliances will not get broken that easily anymore.

So I decided to give this a try. I checked the water hardness at home and it seems it was certainly one of the culprits. I had 210 parts per million which means I had very hard water. It was clear that I would really benefit from purchasing a water softener. I searched for the best water softener for my water consumption. I picked the Aquasana water softener as it wasn’t expensive if you compare it with some other brands and models.

Installing it at my home was something I couldn’t do alone. Therfore I contacted a handyman to install the water softener I ordered online. He told me it would be certainly enough for my water consumption and that I made a good choice in buying this one. He placed it in my garage, connected the pipes and a half day later it was already up and running.

The results were fantastic. My freshly washed clothes looked brand new and felt very soft. I did use a fabric softener so I was curious and tried to wash my clothes without a fabric softener. So what was the result then? My clothes were still very soft.

I checked the water hardness to compare it with what it was before using a water softener. It was only 40 parts per million which is considered very soft water. So the water softener has really done its job as it was supposed to.

How to Choose the Best Zumba Shoes for You

I’ve decided that I needed to get fitter so I’ve started taking Zumba classes. I wasn’t too sure what I should be wearing on my feet for them so I did some research on the internet. I was planning to use my regular sneakers, but it seems that this is not a good idea as I quickly found out.

The problem with regular shoes is that they grip to the floor too well. When you’re doing Zumba you need to be able to pivot on the shoes from side to side. If you use regular sneakers that grip well, you could find your legs trying to move to the side but your feet not allowing it – not a good situation and certainly not great for the knees. Thus you need a special pair of sneakers. Was a bit annoyed to find this out but certainly better to know now before getting any kind of injury.

So I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking and here are the key things to consider when choosing the best Zumba shoes.

Lightness

Unless you need a lot of protection for your feet, it’s better to have a light pair of shoes, it will enable you to move more easily.

Shock absorbence

Zumba is quite tough on the feet so having a good sole can be a great help. Thus Zumba shoes often have a thicker sole than regular sneakers. It’ll mean you’ll have less feeling in your feet but generally it seems to be better than having a thin sole and damaging your feet in some way.

Breathability

You want to try and get a pair of shoes that are breathable because you’ll be sweating a lot – Zumba is very intensive and hard work.

Stability

Because there are a lot of jumps and slides in zumba it’s important to have a stable pair of shoes – wide-soled shoes are particularly useful.

Toe space

Check that you have plenty of toe space in your shoe – when your toes are stretched out like they would be when exercising, not when they are relaxed.

Heel Counter

The heel counter is the part of shoe that supports the heel. But you need to make sure that they have something on them called an achilles notch, otherwise the backs of the feet might rub and give you blisters. Experienced dancers will find that their feet get toughened up and they don’t need this, but for beginners like me it’s important.

Check the surface

It’s important to check out where you will be doing your Zumba because different surfaces suit different types of shoe. A shoe that would be good on carpet would be too slippery for a hard floor for instance.

Types of Zumba shoe

Solid shoe

Solid shoes are good for dancers who have high feet arches or for those with flat feet. They’re used by both beginner Zumba dancers and experienced dancers.

Split Shoe

These are only for experienced dancers or for people who have strong feet already from doing a lot of other sports. Or people who often walk barefoot. This is because they have no mid-sole on them and thus no arch support.

Mid shoe

These shoes are different in that they cover the whole of the ankle. This means that they offer lots of support but that they are not that flexible. They’re often used by people who are just starting out in Zumba and by people who might have problems with their feet.

Low shoes

These go below the ankle so offer less support and stability but much more flexibility.

Alternatives to Zumba shoes

An alternative idea to buying a new pair of Zumba shoes is to get some dance socks. These slip around a normal pair of shoes and turn them into dance shoes. Just make sure you get the right type, some are good for carpets and some are good for smooth floors.

Find out more about choosing the best shoes for you on this site

5 Growing Local Businesses for Entrepreneurs to Consider

If you are interested in operating a lucrative business that services your local area, you have many exciting options to consider. Look into the following:

Professional Organizer

This career choice is ideal for people who have an eye for detail and the ability to take charge of situations. You will need to know how to utilize space and the modern products to make it happen. Being a professional organizer requires extreme personal organization and the ability to transfer that knowledge to others in a way that they can understand. Being able to communicate with clients is essential.

You are likely to encounter hoarders along the way who may have difficulty parting with some of their belongings. A basic understanding of psychology could prove useful during these sessions. Alternatively, you could focus your organizational skills to help business clients.

Pest Control Company

Bugs, rodents and other pests are a problem in virtually every part of the country. Because of this, you may want to consider starting a pest control company. You may need to undergo some training regarding the best chemicals to use and other treatment protocol, but the requirements aren’t impossibly high. Check with your state and local government to see what type of licensing requirements are associated with this type of business. Of course you should also be okay with physical aspects of the job. For instance, you might need to climb into an attic to remove a bat.

You can choose between traditional and organic methods of pest control. Make sure that you advertise, including using the Internet, in order to maximize the number of potential clients you reach.

Carpet Cleaning

For a minimal equipment investment, you can start your own carpet cleaning company. Learn about the various types of fabrics and the best ways to handle all types of stains, particularly the ones more prevalent in your area. For instance, if your community has a great deal of clay, knowing how to effectively remove it from carpets is essential to operating a successful company.

You will need a work truck or van, and possibly one employee in the beginning. Consider offering specials for multiple rooms or contracts in order to entice new customers.

Catering Business

If you enjoy being in the kitchen, and others rave about your culinary skills, think about starting a catering business. These can be quite lucrative and will allow you to express your creativity in the kitchen. You can decide if you want to focus on pastries and desserts, or if you want a larger menu base.

Depending upon your experience in preparing meals for large crowds, you may want to focus your early work on a handful of dishes that you are more comfortable with making and serving. For instance, your main course choices could include one each of beef, fowl, fish and vegetarian. Consistently providing excellent dishes is how you will build the reputation of your company.

Personal Shopper

You may begin a career as a personal shopper, where someone pays you to do their shopping for them. Many wealthy people are disinterested in taking the time to go to stores, or even online, in order to buy many of the items they desire. These men and women happily pay a personal shopper to tend to these needs for them. You will need to listen well so that you learn exactly what each client needs.

Start your own business from home today, using one of these fantastic ideas.

6 Guerilla Marketing Ideas To Launch Your Product and Grow Sales

Hi there! So Lisa and I recently got into an argument about guerilla marketing techniques. If you haven’t heard, guerilla marketing is the same as marketing just with a small budget. So you essentially try to maximize every dollar you spend by being more creative and doing it yourself. Think: standing on the street in a funny costume yelling out your product name. That sort of thing. I’m the creative one so I quickly enjoy the thought of this tactic but Lisa thinks it is useless because there is no way to measure the upside. So instead of just sitting around arguing we started to brainstorm ideas and these were the 6 best, and the ones that we have confidence we can pull off. All for less than a few $100.

1) Reverse Graffiti With a Power Washer

We’ve recently seen tons of popular pressure washing photos make the rounds on Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit and Buzzfeed. By far the most popular ones are the reverse graffiti ones. Reverse graffiti is done with a small electric pressure cleaner and stencil. You place the stencil on the ground and use the pressure washer to clean the area of the stencil so that when you remove the stencil you have drawn something on the surface. It is called reverse graffiti because you have cleaned the surface instead of defaced it like you would have with spraypaint. So the idea is you promote your product by drawing your brand name and website on the concrete in a popular area. Then take a photo of it and share it online. That’s it.

2) Be Newsworthy By Creating Controversy

Controversy makes the news. But we’re not talking about bad press, we’re talking about having an unpopular opinion. An example for us in the world of fashion would be to take a current news topic like maybe something to do with politics or environmental pollution or green energy – something that the masses know about – and make a t-shirt that says something about it.

3) Throw an Event or Party at a Busy Park

We love this idea because you are associating your brand with an atmosphere everyone loves – the park. In our area at least there are parks that have barbeques that anyone can use anytime. So our idea was to head to the park with a bunch of hot dogs and hamburgers and set up a little booth that gives away free burgers and stuff during peak park hours. Set Up a bunch of signs of your brand and your brand’s Facebook and encourage people to share where they are on their Facebook to their friends. This is guaranteed to create some buzz around your Facebook page.

4) Go To a Busy Street and Sell The Old Fashioned Way

There’s this guy in New York that sits on the street corner every day and sells a peeler for $5. He makes $350 a day and has been for many many years. How does he do it? He is entertaining. Here is a video of him doing it. So for your product go and set up a booth and create a script that you can talk to while there. You’ll need to be entertaining. But for the most part just talk to people about your product and how it will make their life better and then ask them to buy.

5) Be Sure To Take Advantage of YouTube

Youtube is the third most visited website in the world behind Google and Facebook. Ignoring it would be a huge mistake. These days you can make videos on your phone so easily there is really no excuse. Just make a clever video and upload it then promote what you uploaded. Also take video of you doing the above marketing ideas and then upload that. Remember you want to make the news and the easiest way is to show the news that people are already interested in you. A video is probably the easy way to do that.

6) Collaborate With People That Are Already Internet Famous

Internet famous just means has a following. Talk to other bloggers in your area with some Twitter followers and a blog following. Then help them do stuff. Write a guest post for their blog. Create an infographic for their website. That sort of thing. Everyone loves to be helped. Do that and they will write about you and share it with their following.