Christmas Crafts for Kids

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With the holiday season soon upon us, it’s time to think about some fun crafts you can do with your children in preparation of Christmas. My kids love doing holiday crafts, and I’m sure yours will too! It has always been challenging to find age-appropriate crafts that all of the children will enjoy making. My children each have a few years between them, so we have amassed quite a collection of crafts and craft ideas. Here are a few suggestions you can use. Consider it an early Christmas gift from me to you!

Bead garlands are one of my all-time favorite crafts. They are fun to make, extremely colorful, and great for children of all ages. You will need some string or plastic cord, a whole lot of beads, some scissors, and some glue. Cut the string or cord to the desired length, and thread it through the first bead. Tie a knot around that bead, and add some glue to keep it secure. Now add the rest of your beads. When you reach the end, tie the string off on the last bead and add some more glue. Now that was fun, wasn’t it?

Pine cone ornaments have also become classics in our Christmas craft repertoire. They are appropriate for children of any age, and keep very well in storage. You will need to spend some time collecting the pine cones. We collect them when we are out walking the dog. We simply paint them with silver or gold paint, and cover them with glitter. Let them dry somewhere safe, and tie them to your tree with a piece of ribbon. Are you getting in the holiday spirit, yet?

Bell ornaments are also a lot of fun to make, and they will last for years to come. We feel that small terra cotta pots are the best to use. Have the children paint the pot green, and allow it to dry. Once the pot is completely dry, attach fake jewels or beads to it with glitter glue. Then thread a small bell with some ribbon, and pull the ribbon up through the hole in the pot. Tie a knot in the ribbon so the bell stays secure, and add any other final touches you might like. I am sure your kids will love these crafts as much as mine do! Have a wonderful holiday, all!

Take a look at the Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes for your little one.

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Cloth Diaper Tutorial

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Cloth diapers are not what they used to be. I found that they were really no more trouble than disposable. There were a few extra steps involved but it wasn’t the tedious chore that some make it out to be. For those interested in trying them out, here is an overview.

There are four basic types of cloth diapers.

There are prefolds, which are just the flat, “old-time” diapers (not to be confused with “flats” which you have to fold a few times in order to create the thickness). You either pin them or use a plastic Snappi to hold it on. Or, some diaper covers are made so that they will hold the diaper in place without having to use a separate pinning mechanism. In the summer, my babies just wear a pre-fold without a cover.

The pros are that they are cheaper and a lot less trouble to maintain. You don’t have to worry about stuffing them (like with the pocket diapers). You can just wash them, dry them and throw them in a pile until you need them.

The cons are that they can be bulky (although if you are having a girl it isn’t as much of an issue because she can wear dresses and you don’t have to worry about fitting pants over them).

Then there are fitted diapers, which are like disposable diapers in their shape and in the way you put them on. They have elastic around the legs and either close with Velcro or snaps. You have to use a cover with these as well.

The Pros are that you don’t have to worry about pinning them and you just put them on like a disposable.

The cons are that they are more expensive, you still have to use a cover and they can take a long time to dry. They do come with inserts though. The inserts looks like cloth maxi pads and you snap them to the inside. This is nice if you have a heavy wetter. Some of the extra padding already sewn into them and that is what makes them take forever to dry.

Next are the all-in-one diapers(AIO’s). These look like the fitted diapers and have elastic around the legs and also close with either Velcro or snaps. The only difference is that you don’t have to use a cover. They have a layer of waterproof PUL already sewn over them or as a layer inside of them.

The pros are that these are probably the most convenient as you literally use them just like disposables. You don’t have to worry about stuffing them (as with the pocket diapers), you don’t have to worry about a cover, you don’t have to worry about pinning.

The cons are that they can be bulky and that if you have a heavy wetter they can leak. They are also pretty expensive. Depending upon how many layers are sewn into the diaper, they can take a long time to dry.

Last are the Pocket Diapers. They are “All-in-ones” in that they have the waterproof cover already sewn on. The difference is that you stuff these with ‘inserts’ (which can be anything from a pre-made insert to a folded up flat diaper).

The pros are that you can stuff them with as little or as much “stuffing” as your child needs (or as the situation calls for, stuff it heavier for long car rides, lighter for around the house). They also, for some reason, tend to be more trim and not as bulky as some of the others.

The cons are that you have to take the stuffing out before you put them into the hamper and then after you wash them, you have to stuff all of the inserts back in them.

The Pocket Diapers were my favorite with my now four year old. But I got so that I literally dreaded getting them out of the dryer and having to stuff them all. That’s why I switched to the pre-folds….they were so much easier. I am also concerned with using synthetic fabrics…I much prefer natural fibers. With Zoe I use unbleached prefolds with wool covers.

I also had times when I used the cloth at home and disposables at night and when we went out. Every little bit helps with finances and with the environment. It doesn’t have to be “all or none”.

Within the four basic style of diapers you will find different features and different materials. It can get pretty overwhelming. You just have to break it down in your mind. Categorize it into one of the categories and then go from there.

One of the variations is that some of the fitted diapers and AIO diapers are what they call “one size”. These are made with tons of snaps so that you are supposed to be able to fold them down and snap them so that they will fit a newborn and then unsnap them as the kid gets bigger and use them all the way up to toddler years. I’ve never had much use for these as I never could get a good fit with them.

With all types, you will find a few “store made” brands and then tons of WAHM (work-at-home-mom) brands.

Then there are the covers. That opens a whole new Pandora’s Box. The basic two, though, are wool versus synthetic waterproof materials.

I much prefer wool. Wool can store moisture up to 35 per cent of its own dry weight yet it remains dry to touch and speeds up the body’s own cooling system. Wool is breathable, it doesn’t hold in the heat like plastics would. It allows for the circulation of air. This helps to prevent diaper rash. Wool contains natural lanolin which creates a natural waterproof barrier. Wool is also an anti-bacterial. It does not have to be washed between every diaper change. Once every few weeks should be sufficient. Just let dry between uses.

You could also use a cover made with PUL. Some people find these to be less intimidating than wool…although, once you get the hang of wool, it really is quite simple.

There are many places online where you can buy and/or trade for new and used cloth diapers. Unfortunately, ebay has prohibited the selling of used cloth diapers at this time. There is a petition circulating to try to get this rule amended but in the meantime you will have to look elsewhere.

For more information, check out my blog and Go Back to Basics by Living Green!

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iPhone Spy Apps – How iPhone Spy Apps Can Catch A Cheating Spouse

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There are many tell tales signs that a spouse may be cheating but confirming it can be difficult. The good news is that if your spouse has an iPhone, you can get your hands on an iPhone spy app which could help confirm or dispel your suspicions.

There is no doubt the Apple iPhone is the most popular cellphone, and chances are your trendy, up to the minute spouse is carrying one with them at all times. However, if your partner is not being totally faithful to their relationship that iPhone could be their weak link. Coupling the iPhone with and one of the many iPhone spy apps, can give you a valuable look at where your partner is in real-time and also has other features that can be useful when suspecting cheating.

iPhone spy apps enable you to secretly track your spouse by using the GPS locations of the phone to pinpoint where the cellphone is in real time. The locations are sent to a remote server which is accessed by the user through a web based interface. The website uses popular mapping software (Google Maps) to locate the iPhone on a map and provides time and date stamps too. This type of iPhone tracking application allows the user to know where the iPhone is at all times. So if your spouse is working late (again) or has changed their behavioral patterns recently, knowing where their iPhone is located might just be a good thing.

Spy apps for iPhone also allow the user to track calls, SMS messages and other key data on the selected iPhone. This information can all help build a picture of your partners behavior and can confirm your worst fears or allay your suspicions. One of the best advantages of using an iPhone spy apps is that it runs in total stealth mode, this means the iPhone user isn’t even aware the spy and tracking application is running and that the iPhone’s location is being logged.

In most relationships there will be times when we suspect our partner may be seeing someone else, that is normal, and an unfortunate feature of modern living. If our suspicions become too real we can become obsessed with the “possibility” of cheating, an iPhone spy applications can help us overcome that obsession by providing some evidence or cheating or not.

If your iPhone spy & tracking application is showing your spouse at the local bar, when he/she is supposed to be at work then it is time to confront the issue. If the application also provides evidence of SMS texts to the same cellphone number, particularly, at unsocial hours, then the evidence of cheating is becoming too much to ignore. However, a word of caution if the iPhone spy software is showing the same location every night and it is the local florist or jeweler shop then maybe you should relax a little and wait for the surprise that is undoubtedly coming your way soon. If that surprise doesn’t arrive then its time to suspect again and iPhone spy apps are probably one of the most cost effective and efficient ways to end the uncertainty.


If you’re looking for an absolutely fool-proof way to discover if your spouse is cheating check out the #1 iPhone spy software & iPhone spy gadget review site. Here, you’ll get access to all the latest tools to see if your partner is being faithful.


For more information on iPhone spy apps, check out the following resources:



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Access Tutorial

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If you have used the Microsoft Office suite of programs you may be familiar with Word and Outlook for example. Two other components are Excel and Access. Both of these have the greatest learning curve and it takes a while to become competent. Many become familiar with the workings of Excel, but Access brings a new set of challenges.

In the early versions of Access a number of big glossy manuals were supplied with the package. These proved to be a valuable resource when looking for an Access tutorial. The manuals are no longer supplied and the user is expected to go online or use the build in help system. This is not always the best way to learn. What is needed is a step by step approach to designing and creating a database.

What should one look for in an Access tutorial? To begin with it is important to understand exactly what a database is. We can summarise that a database is used for storing and retrieving large amounts of information. All that information gets stored in what are known as tables. To create a table you would go into the table designer and create columns. For instance if you were creating a table of names and addresses you would have columns called first name, surname, address 1, town, city and postcode. Once the table is saved the data can then be entered. A table should represent a fact and should hold information relating to that fact. Another example of a table fact is invoice. Here you would have columns for invoice number, invoice date, invoice amount etc.

A better more user friendly way to enter data is by using a form. To create a form you would go into the form designer and select your data source. For example an invoice entry form could have the invoice table as the data source. You would then drag onto the form the fields or columns from the table. These provide the data entry boxes used to enter the data. Any data entered into an Access form is automatically saved to the table.

You might be thinking, I have the data in the table, but what if I want to get the data out. This is easily done in MS Access. You may have a situation where you want to know how many cars were sold in France in July. To do this you would use what is known as a query. A query is designed in the query designer and the first thing you do is select the table you wish to query from. You then drag the required table columns to the query grid and then run the query. Queries can get complex if you wish to join tables and create grouping or sum data.

It is important to know why you should and how to relate tables together. One reason is to eliminate duplicate data from the tables. You really want to store information about each fact only once. Relational database theory is worth learning in order to create robust Access databases. It would be very dangerous for instance to put customer and invoice information in the same table. A good Access tutorial will spend some time teaching the correct way to design your system.

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Why Mobile Phones Should Use Micro Sd

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Phones are these days no longer just phones in the traditional sense of the word. While they are used for making and receiving calls to an extent, they are also portable computing devices used for running ‘apps’ that provide them with a range of other services from being able to see where the nearest restaurant is to being able to let you type in Word and make power point presentations. These abilities are what make phones of today ‘smart phones’ and so much more impressive than our old phones The truly smart phones however also allow the use of a memory card, and this drastically opens up their abilities to the user. Famously thee iPhone has no SD card support and this limits drastically what your phone can do.

The thing with something like a 64GB compact flash card is that it can be inserted or removed from your computer freely, and that it can be used with your computer in order to add or remove files. Almost all computers now use SD cards and this means that you can use your 64GB compact flash with any computer with no set up. This means you don’t need to carry wires with you and you don’t need to ‘sync’ your files. This is useful as if you want to share pictures with a friend with some form of flash memory, you would need to install your phone on their computer and then sync them together. This then means that they get all your files or you get all theirs. It also has uses for home use with it just simply being much quicker and easier to drag and drop files in and out of folders rather than having to sync the two systems. Using an iPhone that doesn’t have any expansion slots for a 64GB compact flash card you have to sync the entire play list with iTunes just to add or remove one track which can take a long time and use up a lot of memory. It’s simply clumsy.

Another use of an SD card in a phone is that it turns the phone into a portable storage device. You always have your phone on you, and that means that if you copy over your important documents you can then transfer these to any computer wherever you are with ease. It also means that your phone can communicate with other gadgets and technology. For example you can take photos on your phone and then insert the card into a printer to print them out quickly, or a photo kiosk to have them printed on glossy paper. This way your phone becomes part of a network of your devices which hugely expands its usefulness and gives you far more options in regards to how you use it.

An SD card also has other benefits too. For instance it provides great backup and is useful in that it is external from the phone. This then means that if your phone gets damaged you can still rescue any important files from the SD card. At the same time it means that the card can actually be used as a tool in repairing the phone.

64GB Compact Flash can help you get a lot more out of your phone. For this or a 32GB Micro SDHC, follow the links.

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Trading Options Tutorials – 3 Rules to Follow For Successful Options Trading

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Trading Options Tutorials

No one walks into trading options casually. The truth is, it takes tons of education and knowledge as well as a deep commitment to forecasting and profiting from the markets. Whether it’s having the discipline to trade options regularly without losing sight of profit goals or making sure you constantly educate yourself with material to make your option trades better, you won’t get there overnight. For our beginners, here’s a basic overview of what options are and why you should trade options to strengthen your portfolio: Trading Options Tutorials

Options are a reserve on a price. You can reserve the right to buy an asset, referred to as a call option, or reserve the right to sell that asset, a put option. Call options are a long strategy, meaning that they benefit when the stock rises in price because now you have the right to buy it at a lower reserved price, whereas put options are a short option because you benefit when the asset lowers in price. The great part is, you realize the same profit buying a call option when the stock rises as does someone who purchased the stock, only with a fraction of the initial investment.

So one of the advantages with options is additional leverage. Rather than being forced to work with equities that force you to throw down thousands of dollars to make money from a stock rally, you can simply buy the option and do the same thing. They’re an essential tool for forecasting price action.

In addition, trading options offers more versatility than trading stock. When trading stock, there are only three strategies: buy, sell, and hold. With options, the playbook is huge and can offer numerous different tactics for making money when the market goes up, down or sideways. From the most conservative option trades like the covered call and the calendar spread to more complex tactics such as back ratios, butterflies and iron condors, there are strategies out there for every market and every option trader. Trading Options Tutorials

There are three essential rules to remember when you first start trading options that will help keep you out of trouble:

1. Never trade more than you can afford to lose. This is called risk capital. If you risk more than 2-5 percent of your account in a single trade or risk more than you might make in a single paycheck at your day job, you are putting yourself on the fast track to failure by not defending yourself from risk well enough. Insulate yourself with capital and you will stay out of trouble.

2. Avoid positions with unlimited risk. If you sell a call, hedge against potential losses by buying another call or the stock itself to cover your position rather than risking infinite loss should the stock rally.

3. Continuously educate yourself! No one gets to be a millionaire with one or two secret systems or a single box set of DVD’s and a few extra hours of work per week. It takes hard work and persistence, so be prepared to keep a student mentality when moving forward into the options arena, and someday you can enjoy independence and wealth without having to keep a 9 to 5 like many retail traders do. Trading Options Tutorials

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WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or Custom Website

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New clients usually contact me and ask me, “Should I have WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or a custom website for my business?” Even though the answer to this question includes many factors, I walk them through ten major disadvantages of using the Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal, so that they can make a right decision. Because of its importance and our expertise in custom application developments, I am inspired to write this article. For the sake of simplicity, I refer to WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal as CMS in the rest of this article:

I. Bugs And Errors

It is common to experience bugs and errors due to two reasons:

1. The CMS software engine updates at a higher frequency relative to other CMS plug-ins and libraries which causes website glitches.

2. Sometimes a new version of one CMS plug-in does not work properly with another plug-in or library which results in the website malfunctioning.

II. Pain Of Maintenances

As I had mentioned, you need to watch for all of the software patches or updates, and check them against all of the plug-ins or libraries used in your website. The CMS ideas were meant for dynamic contents, like bloggers or news companies, rather than basic static websites with static contents. As a result, it is not a cost-effective choice for static-based websites.

III. Differentiation Matters

Company branding and identity development starts from a company website and/or a mobile App. No matter what marketing budgets you have, customers associate your website with your products or services and, of course, your brand. It takes five-ten seconds after the first visit to a website to understand the company image and identity. The essence of differentiation is to stand your website out from the competitors while creating a sense of uniqueness for what they get. Indeed, it is only when your special organic contents are accompanied by a professional custom-made website that you gain competitive advantage over the other competitors.

IV. Security Is Missing

I personally do not regard CMS developers as programmers, since a high school student can publish a website in a few hours after watching a few tutorial videos. Unfortunately, the majority of the websites developed via CMS are done by people who have a little (if any) background in programming. The websites built by CMS do not come with pre-built security protection options, nor do novice developers can protect your CMS website against the common spammer, “Spider,” and/or hacker attacks. I have seen many CMS websites and login systems with no password encryptions for their users. It means that if someone accesses their database, all of the user accounts will be compromised. In fact, recent studies have shown that people have a tendency to use one username and password for all of their online accounts.

V. Poor E-Commerce Support

Due to a lack of customizations and poor securities, it is not advisable to utilize CMS for your e-commerce and business transactions. Also, all of the e-commerce built-in plug-ins come with lots of unnecessary tools and poor database designs, both of which can impede your business productivity down the road.

VI. High Switching Costs

Most of the business owners do not know what is going to happen if one day they decided to migrate from a CMS website to a new one. Here are four things you will experience:

1. High cost of expert staffs for moving CMS contents to the new sites.

2. Website disorientations especially for the dynamic CMS pages.

3. SEO disorientations since most of the CMS-based indexed pages will no longer be available in search results.

4. Database nightmare as CMS databases are not normalized for scalability.

VII. Lack of Control

Building your website through CMS is to live at the mercy of lots of plug-ins and libraries in which you have no control. There are three consequences behind this:

1. As always, you get what you paid for, as though some paid CMS themes or plug-ins providers would poorly (up to three weeks) respond to your support requests without any liability for your business losses.

2. To keep your website up and running, you need to follow other third-parties developers even for minor patches or updates which can be very labor-intensive.

3. Sometimes one library depends on other sub-plug-ins or external sources to perform properly which is simply a nightmare for maintenance teams.


I have hard time understanding why a basic five page website for an accountant or an attorney needs to be done in CMS using PHP rather than the lovely HTML programming language. An HTML website has four advantages over a PHP one:

1. Ease of maintenances

2. Low cost of maintenances relative to PHP.

3. Ease of migration from one server to another

4. Faster server response times and better customer experiences.

IX. Mobile App Are Coming

Not only do most CMS developers not have experience in mobile App developments, but also do they barely know how to integrate a website with a mobile. Since the CMS is just catching up for patches for web-mobile integrations, it is better to consider this factor too.

You might wonder why the CMS is very popular and more websites adopt it on a daily basis in spite of all of the mentioned disadvantages. It stems from three reasons:

1. They are followers and follow what the others are doing without any foresights

2. They usually have tight budgets, like entrepreneurs or start-ups

3. They are not aware of discussed disadvantages.

No matter what has driven your business to a CMS-based website, it is never late to mend your online business model and strategy to streamline both website viewers and Smartphone holder experiences. I hope these discussed factors will shed enough lights on the main cons of CMS and guide you through a right decision.

Matt Zand

President of DC Web Makers,

Tel: 240-200-6131

Website: []

Mobile App: []

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