New Year Gifts – Innovative and Different

What things come to your mind while thinking of the right New Year gift? It can be a show-piece, or any similar item. We can think of something different also – say a photo-book, a personalized mug, or a simple T-Shirt.

Create canvas print

A nice photo, printed on canvas and framed as per your choice, is the right option for a nice New Year Gift for the occasion. A gemstone will not be as precious as a canvas print of the favorite photograph. In case your friend stays far away then you can send a roled-out print. The rolled-out print has extra one-inch white space to use while framing. Someone close expect something personal and what's better than mounted and ready to hang – canvas-printed photograph. The frames are made out of high-quality wood which is best to hang and portray. It will definitely bring a sweet smile on the other person's face all year through.

Create nice photo-book

How about the memorable events of your life printed in a photo book. You may take lots of time to create one but the other person will really understand your feelings and efforts put together. A nice photobook is treasured till the time of death. It is indeed the most special New Year gift for the most loved person. Some photo-sharing sites help create memoirs out of your memories and photobook is one of them.

Personalized mugs

Get a nice photo printed on the mug and place the order as per your choice. The photo sharing site will print that photo and create a nice magic mug as New Year Gift to your kid.

Name Calendars

This is the most special New Year Gift. One can choose among the various photographs to be printed for different months on the calendar. Put the names to be printed on each page of the calendar. These names may be of different person or for the same. The income will be worth adoring and worth a million dollar gift for the closest person on earth. In fact, you can simply place the calendar on the work-desk of the person concerned-for a beautiful surprise.

These are some of those personalized New Year gifts which are meant to strengthen your relationship, friendship and whatever relation you are in.

Furniture Store Marketing – When Everyone Is Your Customer, No One is Your Customer!

One of the biggest challenges home furnishing owners must overcome, in order to be successful in this new economy, is the dreaded I-offer-everything-for-everyone syndrome. On the surface this looks like a sure-fire way to get more customers, but it is already proven time and time again that it is not always the most successful way to prosper in your store.

If you are an independent home furnishing retailers, then chances are you have a limited budget and limited space to work with. So, if your store offers several contemporary collections, several ultra-modern collections and some eclectic pieces as well as some early American collections scattered through you store, do you really think that you have enough of any of those styles to satisfy the type of customers who are looking for a specific style? However, style is only one way to target your customer.

In fact, the most successful furniture retailers in my area focus on a couple of things to attract a specific type of customer:

  • Complete living room packages for under $ 2,000 or furnish your entitlement home for under $ 5,000.
  • Long-term low or no interest financing
  • Fast delivery within 3 days or less
  • Lower prices for packages

So, by narrowing down their advertising, they attract a customer that wants to purchase multiple pieces, which in turn, drives the average ticket sale and profits up. They then offer attractive financing terms which attracts customers with good credit and income, while enticing them to spend more money because the customer has longer to pay for it.

Most importantly, they save the customer money by buying more and can get it in their homes in a couple of days. There is also another twist to these retailers. They reward their salespeople handsomely for NOT selling the financing, but getting customers to pay off their balances in less than 90 days.

There is a common slogan in marketing statute, "There are riches in niches." Simply put, this slogan means determine who your most profitable, enjoyable and easy to attract customer is, and then specialize in getting more of those customers to come into your store and buy. You do this by creating a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) that compels your most profitable customer to come back into your business again and again.

What if you reviewed your business over the last couple of years and discovered the following trends about your customers and prospects:

  • Wives initially visited the store without their husbands.
  • Recently married
  • Had three kids
  • Lived within five miles of your store
  • Spent between $ 800 – $ 1500 on sofa, loveseat and tables.
  • Paid by Visa, MasterCard or Discover

Once you have this information, you can redesign your store and business to cater to more of the same types of customers that are currently spending good money in your store.

However, you can only use this information to your advantage if you take the time to find out who your customer is, what is important to them and what they really want.

It may come as a surprise to you, but your customers want more than just a sofa. If you are just selling a sofa, you are missing out on a ton of business. Here are a few of the keys I have discovered over the years:

  • Do not sell mattresses, sell relief from back pain.
  • Do not sell home theater seats, sell the entertainment experience.
  • Do not sell sofas or loveseats, sell comfort and warmth.
  • Do not sell furniture, sell status and prestige.
  • Do not sell interior design, sell ENVY and the WOW factor!

Once you know what your customers really want then, you could use that information to create a USP that attracts more of the same type of customers. For example:

  • "Do not hire expensive interior designers, use our 23 point design checklist and give your home a million dollar look for FREE!"
  • "Discover how to give your home an extreme $ 20,000 makeover, on an $ 8,000 budget."
  • "Your family and friends will say" Oh my gosh! Your home is simply amazing! "In 27 seconds flat … we guarantee it!"

Choosing the Best Clothes Steamer For Your Garments

When it comes to choosing the best clothes steamer there are several things to take into consideration. One is the size of the unit you want. Do you need to be able to travel with it? Also consider the amount of clothing you may frequently steam and the price you want to spend on a unit.

A clothes steamer operates with plain tap water. A good one can remove wrinkles from your clothing faster than ironing. They work especially well on silk, cashmere, wool or cotton jersey and steam is very gentle on fabrics. They also work well to refresh clothing between dry cleaning, saving you money. A portable or hand held clothing steamer can be used to steam many things, such as drapes and upholstery.

Hand Held or Professional Garment Steamer

There are two sizes available. The full size unit and the hand held unit. The full size unit usually will have a few more functions than a hand held. There may be an automatic shut-off, the ability to control the amount of steam, and a place to hold the steam nozzle. The hand held steamer will be cheaper in price. The nozzle will be smaller, which may be good depending on the garment you are steaming. It is easier to store and it can be used in any room of the house, as it can easily move with you. The one drawback about the smaller units is that they need to be refilled more frequently.

Features of a Professional Garment Steamer

The average full size unit has a base with a boiler in it. A plastic tank sits on the boiler. You fill this tank with water and invert it. The more water the tank holds the longer the steamer operates without refills. A typical one gallon tank model will produce steam for ninety minutes straight.

Some of the full size fabric steaming models come with steam setting controls, much like an iron. The settings can be adjusted according to the fabric being steamed as some require more heat than others. The typical cost range is $120-$200 with a wattage from 1,200-2,000 watts. A press pad can be used as well. This will keep the garment in place and lessen the chance that you will scald your hand. Many come with garment hanging rods and accessories like crease tools, lint removers and or an upholstery brush.

Best Travel Clothes Steamer

The best clothes steamer if you travel may be a hand held model. They are easy to pack and some weigh as little as 1.5 pounds. This type of unit will have a one piece design. Most produce nonstop steam but some have a push button steamer. This will only allow the steam out only when the button is pushed. The steam time is much shorter than that of a full size unit, producing steam for no more than 15 minutes.

If you need to steam more than a few garments you will need to refill the water tank. These do come with a travel pouch and sometimes a fabric brush and lint pad. Usually the more watts the machine has the hotter the steam. This is not always the case as some of the models with lessor wattage were tested and found to give greater and hotter amounts of steam. The wattage can range from 200-1,000 watts at a cost of $30-$60.

Best Clothes Steamer for You

The best clothes steamer will have the hottest steam to make removing wrinkles easy in one pass. The full size will have a place to hang your clothing while steaming and a holder for the steam nozzle. The hand held unit should be light, compact and still pump out great amounts of steam to get the job done.

Fast Food, Slow Death?

The all too familiar story: no time to cook, kids are late for soccer practice and McDonald's is on the way. Since it will not take more than a few minutes to shoot through the drive through we'll do the fast food stop. Or all too familiar story number 2: lunch hour at work and I need to pick up my dry cleaning, fill a prescription, and take the car to get gas and find time to eat. Sure enough Taco Bell is on the way and they have a drive through as well. These real life situations play out for all of us, millions of us, everyday. Since time has become one of our most precious commodities the sacrifice we make is often in our diet.

And yet it does not need to be this way. By following a few healthy practices you can still go to your favorite fast food chain and, 30 years from now, live to tell about it. The key is knowing what to select from the menu and balancing that meal with the rest of the day's food intake.

Choose Your Menu Items With Care

Choose a main dish item that is low in fat. As an example, when faced with the choice of a bacon cheeseburger or a regular hamburger, the regular hamburger wins every time. In the battle of the regular hamburger or the grilled chicken breast sandwich the chicken wins hands down. Why? Here's an example:

Wendy's Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich has 360 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 0 trans fat. Compare that to the Wendy's Big Bacon Classic which has 580 calories, 29 grams of fat and 1.5 grams of trans fat. Put either choice with a medium fry and you have added another 440 calories and another 21 grams of fat. Choose, instead, the Baked Potato with Sour Cream and Chive and you add 320 calories and 4 grams of fat – a better choice indeed.

Choose side salads and salad bar vegetables as these provide extra vitamins and add dietary fiber. In addition they fill you up without adding lots of extra calories. Be sure to use low fat or non-fat dressing or better yet, a simple vinaigrette dressing. More dietary fiber can be found in the choice of whole wheat or whole grain buns and rolls.

If your sweet tooth kicks in have fresh fruit or frozen yogurt. Or go for the reduced fat ice cream versus the shake. Again an example, this time from McDonald's: 16 oz. Triple Thick Vanilla Shake has 550 calories and 13 grams of fat. The Vanilla Reduced Fat Ice Cream Cone has 150 calories and only 3.5 grams of fat. Granted the lower calories alternative is not as decadent but it also will not clog your arteries by increasing your cholesterol intake and it will satisfy the sugar craving.

Watch Your Portion Size

Portion control is also a key element to successful fast food dining. Although many restaurants have discontinued the super size trend, most portions are simply more than we need to consume. These large portions look like real value when viewed in the monetary sense but when measured by way of their contribution to weight gain and its complications they are simply not worth it.

Choose the smallest size possible especially if you are having hamburgers or fried foods.

Share large or high items with someone else.

Eat half your order and take the rest home. Yes, I know we are provided to clean our plates because there are children starving in China. At least that's what many mothers over the years have been heard to say. The fact is being a member of the Clean Plate Club will also get you entry into the Fat Club, the High Cholesterol Club, and if your really fortify the Heart Disease Club.

Remember These 3 Key Points

1. Reduce total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
2. Increase intake of whole grains
3. Eat more fruits and vegetables

Fast food is one of the great innovations of the 20th century. Here in the 21st century we need to manage how we take advantage of its limitless access. To do so will maintain a balance between food as satisfying fuel that keeps our human engine running and toxic waste that will eventually lead to shorten life spans.