Monday, January 18, 2016

The Top 10 Reasons Why Eloping is Better Than a Wedding

Beach Wedding 1
Being engaged means having a big wedding that costs thousands of dollars and takes months to plan, right? Not necessarily! More couples than ever are choosing to elope rather than have that traditional wedding experience, and here's why:

1. Money Savings

Eloping only costs around $200 while weddings can cost upwards of $30,000. For those who want to save, it's easy to see eloping is the affordable way to go.

2. No Planning

If you don't want to have a calendar that's packed full of tastings, fittings, color choices, and flower viewings for the next year, then eloping is definitely the way to go. The only thing you'll have to plan is when and where you'll go!

3. Less Stress

Booking vendors, stretching budgets, choosing details, and other decisions all place a lot of stress on the shoulders of both the bride and groom. Eloping doesn't present the same stresses, as there won't be any of those same details to figure out.

4. Quiet and Peaceful

Elopements are quick, quiet, and generally peaceful. If you don't want to make a spectacle out of yourself, it's a great way to go.

5. Many Destinations

Engaged couples can elope virtually anywhere they would like without having to plan out a destination wedding. They can even turn their elopement into a honeymoon celebration, which can make the trip much more special.

6. Better Honeymoon

When most couples have a traditional wedding they are limited with their honeymoon options because they've already spent so much on the actual wedding itself. Those who elope are able to go on much more lavish honeymoons without all the guilt.

7. No Pressure

Walking down the aisle, fitting in a dress, providing entertainment, etc., are all decisions that put a lot of pressure on the newlywed couple. When you elope, you don't even have to tell anyone that you're doing it!

8. Less Guilt

Those who elope spend far less time and money doing so, which means less guilt than those who have a traditional wedding.

9. Enjoying the Engagement

When you're not facing the pressure of planning a wedding, you'll be able to enjoy your engagement that much more.

10. Choosing Guests

With traditional weddings there is a lot of pressure of who to invite, but with elopements, that's not the case. You get to choose exactly who comes with, if you choose anyone at all.

About the Author: Gina is a guest contributor from Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls, a beautiful Hocking Hills bed and breakfast that offers elopement services. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Halloween in Healdsburg, CA

Halloween is almost here again, and there's going to be plenty to do in Healdsburg. Whether you're looking for activities for the kids or a party for the grown-ups, there's going to be something in the area that will suit your needs. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Air Duct Cleaning

What is air duct cleaning? Duct cleaning refers to the cleaning and maintenance of the heating and cooling ducts in your home. Most people forget that these even need to be cleaned, but most people are also more aware that in-home pollution is quickly becoming a hazardous situation waiting to happen if left unchecked. The most common build up materials in home ducts are dust, mold, pollen, and other debris. These materials are all known to cause allergic reactions in many people. So if ducts go a long time without cleaning, household members could suffer from unnecessary allergens and be uncomfortable.
What are some of the signs that your ducts need to be cleaned?

  •          If you notice build-up on the outside of your ducts (the air vents) like dust and debris, it would be time to at least consider getting your ducts cleaned.
  •         If a small animal or other obstruction has gotten into your ducts, you should have them cleaned.
  •       If you have pets (dogs, cats, etc.) you’re at a higher risk for debris.
  •        Consider having ducts cleaned once every two to seven years, depending on whether you and your household have severe allergies or lots of pets

When and if you hire someone to clean you air ducts, make sure that you do a background check on the company beforehand. You want to hire people who have been certified through the National Air Duct Cleaners Association. This ensures that the company has invested in appropriate equipment and training. A lot of carpet cleaning services offer air duct cleaning as an add-on service. I would recommend against that and find a company that dedicates it’s entire business to air duct cleaning. Typical sessions can cost anywhere from 300-600 dollars depending on the size of your home, so you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Terms To Know In The Print Industry

A few print terms you should know as they relate to color reproduction in the print process are:
  • Color Control Bars: Found on a press sheet, usually at the leading edge, this is a strip of solid, percentage and patterned blocks (CMYK) that are used by the press operator as a guide to measure and check ink densities, dot gain, contrast, trapping and registration.
  • Take-Off Bars:  Found on a press sheet, usually on the leading edge, this is a strips ink colors used to help balance the ink across the sheet to accommodate for varying amounts of ink coverage on the printed sheet. Helps the press and press operator to balance the ink across the sheet.
  • Densitometer:  Electronic instrument measuring the amount of light transmitted or reflected by placing the "mark" over the ink on the press sheet. There are standard densitometer reading targets for a pressman to achieve to obtain "pleasing color" or target color accuracy.
  • Wet and Dry Ink Densities:  Readings, as taken by a calibrated densitometer, that indicate the ink density (how much ink is on the sheet) when the ink is wet and when the ink has dried.  These readings should be recorded on the press sheet for future reference should the same project be run again in the future, and color matching be critical.
  • Gray Balance:  Gray balance is the perfect combination of cyan, magenta and yellow dots required to produce a neutral gray at a standard density.
These tips provided courtesy of Ritter's Printing.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Smallholdings - Another Kind Of Business

English: Site of demolished Smallholding Looki...

In my previous post I used a four letter word that I’m not too sure was a good use of the language – crap. 

However, I mention it again because I feel I’m up to my neck in it at home – literally!

My wife has a smallholding and keeps chickens and pigs. She has about 50 resident methane-producing chickens in her flock and sells the eggs. She even sells chickens to people who want to keep their own. For those who want to know more about what’s involved in maintaining their own egg and methane factory she also runs chicken-keeping courses.

The pigs are rare breeds and are kept to produce bacon and pork joints. She keeps the meat from one pig for us and sells the rest. As a final side-line, she also breeds guinea pigs and sells the young to passing trade and local pet shops.

She thoroughly enjoys the smallholding, but to keep it financially viable she has to make sales. (Selling makes the world go round, remember? It's like the ol' JLo Fiat Impatto ads...that's why I now own a Fiat.)The whole family now seems to have been roped in to making sales. We have people who knock at the door and ask for eggs, chickens and guinea pigs. That means whoever is at home has to deal with passing trade. Fortunately, we have 5 kids who can help. It also means that there always tends to be someone at home. Our 6 year-old and 13 year-old girls also do a weekly egg round, selling door to door in the neighborhood. What’s great is that they built the round up themselves and it does very well. You’re never too young to learn the art of selling. It’s all about communicating and our two youngest kids have become very adept in the art. Whatever they choose to do in life, their sales career to date will hold them in good stead.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

MBA in Finance – Is it Worth It?

Achieving an MBA in Finance at a great university is no easy feat, but it can yield great rewards. MBA professionals in the business world are hard to come by, and one that has personal experience in the field of finance can give great value to an organization that’s playing with million dollar budgets.

The Course Work

MBA programs that offer a finance concentration typically separate their students from the other MBA students for the majority of classes. Students will cover a range of materials including bank management, financial modeling, venture capital case studies, and other finance related topics.

The Time Frame

A full MBA program with a concentration in finance will run two full years, however there are many programs that run part time that last roughly 3-4 years. Balancing a work and life schedule is often the trickiest part of getting an MBA, and you always want to succeed at both. Plan out years in advance so you know when the best time will be to shoot for getting your MBA. Additionally, many employers help pay for student MBA programs, which can save you lots of money, and help your employer invest in your future.

The Dividends

No one said achieving an MBA was cheap, and it can often cut into the pockets of students at $20,000 - $30,000 a year. However, later down the road, a MBA graduate may be making anywhere from $20,000 - $100,000 more a year than a non-MBA grad for their accomplishments earlier in life. It’s a big personal investment that can easily pay off later down the road.

There are plenty of great MBA programs that offer finance concentrations out there, but we would recommend the MSU MBA in Finance Program if you’re looking for a program that is well respected nationally and has an excellent set of professors that you can network with for the rest of your lives.

Friday, December 21, 2012

So, Does This Mean I'm an Adult Now?

I just cancelled the trip I was supposed to take to Miami this weekend. The reason? Not because I didn't want to see my friends or see palm trees or get a tan or relax on the white sand beaches (well, white in comparison to long island beaches) next to the turquoise ocean... damn.

No, I cancelled in order to meet my obligations here in PA for my MBA and the CFA exam I'm registered for. I have a finite amount of time to prepare for the CFA and my workload for school is already piling up. I've already missed four classes, so I've got my work cut out for me.

Here's what's out of character for me: I'm actually not doing something fun in order to fulfill my responsibilities! OMG, what a concept.

Another accomplishment for me: not buying everything I want just because I want it. I got a Microcenter circular in the mail, and being the uber-nerd that I am, I wanted almost every item on its glossy pages. 8-outlet surge protector? I'll take two! $150 laser printer?! I'm there. $799 iBook? Finally, I can play for both teams! (Microsoft and Mac, duh).

But no. I have $9,000 in credit card debt that I've managed to rack up over the last year. When I was working, I paid my $1,500 bill in full each month, and I when I quit I still had some savings to burn through for when I went back to school. Well, I spent well in excess of my savings, so now I've got to clean up that mess. And I'm doing it. My grandmother is going to help me out with about $400 a month and my father still gives me at least $780 a month ($450 every two weeks). This seems like enough, but transportation alone is about $500 a month between car insurance ($220 a month), train tickets ($203 a month), gas ($80), car wash ($20), oil change ($15), etc. And that doesn't even count the seemingly endless list of things my girlfriend wants (sigh). She sent me this article yesterday about wanting to redecorate the outside of our house. I get that she wants to make it more homey, but I don't have the heart to tell her how little money I have at the moment...

Anyway, I'm going to buy only the essentials now and delay consumption of other goods and services until I pay off my debt. Spending < cash available. Interesting concept. So far, I'm doing well following that. I'm going to shoot for paying about $333 a month towards one card, and about $200 a month for the other. That should put a dent in it until I get a job this summer and then I'll probably be able to wipe out the balances completely.

This is a step in the right direction. I thought I didn't make enough at my old job, but the problem was that I spent too much money. I don't need $350 wallets, and $100 umbrellas or two Palm Pilots, two mp3 players, two DVD players, $250 detailing on my car twice a year, $75 shirts for work, more jackets than there are days of the week, $170 pairs of jeans, $10 on lunch every day, etc, etc. Or do I? Sure I like to shop, but it has to be within reason. I can look good with less.

Breaking this habit is hard to do, but I'm up for it. I know that as much as I like shopping, getting rid of this credit card debt and rebuilding my savings will give me what I'm really trying to "buy."