Traveling Tips for Severe Weather

There is a lot of forethought that goes into a trip. You think about packing, plane tickets, travel time, what to do when you arrive. However, sometimes Mother Nature can spoil even the best travel plans. Thankfully, you can take steps to prevent her spoiling the vacation you worked so hard for. Weather can impact you on every level. From what you bring, to what you buy, to what you do after you arrive, to even arriving or leaving on time. It can also affect the vehicle you rent or take around. The following are a few helpful tips you can utilize to help ensure that the elements have very little negative affect on your trip.

First and foremost, try going during the most temperate time of the year. If you plan on traveling north, try to go in the summer, or spring. If you are traveling south, fall or even winter are pretty safe bets. You can also familiarize yourself with the weather patterns of the area you are going to. If you are going to Arizona or New Mexico, check to see if its monsoon season or if there is a drought currently taking place. If you are going to a place like New York or Chicago during the winter, check the snow patterns. Some places have consistent snowfall throughout the entire winter, starting either before you expect or ending long after.

You can also pack to prepare, just in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. Normally you can buy whatever you need at your destination but a little forethought will help you avoid those unnecessary costs. Packing a heavy coat for winter states or a couple umbrellas for rainy states will go a long way in making sure you stay happy and you can spend your money on something you want rather than something you’ll end up needing.

Something else to consider is where you are staying. Make sure the hotel you are staying at is up to date and centrally located to the places you’d like to go. There are few things worse on a trip than having to spend it cooped up in four walls because a hurricane or blizzard suddenly hit. You can also rent a certain type of vehicle to help with your destination and needs. An SUV will come in handy if you are going somewhere that might have conditions that affect the road.

Finally, try and reach out to any local people in the area. They can sometimes be much more helpful than any website or television forecast. Your rental car company or hotel concierge should be able to provide you with a first-hand account of what you can expect weather-wise for your vacation. So, remember: research the area you are traveling to. Pack a light jacket, sensible shoes or a couple of ponchos. Look into your hotel location and accommodations and make sure your mode of transportation can handle most inclement weather. If you follow these simple tips, you should be ready for anything!

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.

Recruitment Video is an Important Part of an Employment Branding Strategy

Video is the # 1 form of Internet communication and can be one of the most effective medium organization uses to build its employment brand. Recruitment videos posted on an organization's career site, distributed via podcasts and posted on YouTube and social networking sites can create excitation for the organization by allowing potential candidates to experience an organization's corporate culture, values, see multiple employees' passion for the organization and see what it's like to live and work in the organization. Google's recruitment video "An inside look at Google" as been viewed over a half million times on the Internet. Other organizations such as Yahoo, Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, JP Morgan, TiVo, the US Army and Home Depot have found great success using recruitment video. I recently read that studies have shown an effective recruitment video can increase passive candidate flow by up to 30%.

An organization's recruitment video is not a commercial and should not be scripted. The goal of the video is to give an inside look at the company and employees doing real work. A recruitment video should show real employees telling real stories about the organization. The video should also include a message from the CEO or an executive in the area of ​​the organization the video is targeted. The more real the video is the more effective it will be. An effective recruitment video should be 2 to 4 minutes in length. Remember you want a potential candidate to take action so make the video compelling and fun. When you create your recruitment video give potential candidates an avenue to respond by including a link to the organization's career site and if possible an e-mail address for candidates to forward their resume.

Recruitment video is a great way to increase employee referrals. Encourage employees to include a link to recruitment videos in their e-mail auto-signatures and individual FaceBook, LinkedIn, Ning, MySpace and other social networking site pages. We've discussed using viral marketing techniques to build employment branding. Ensure that those writing about the organization include a link to the organization's recruitment video.

Remember that your recruitment video is only as good as the employment site it directs potential candidates to. Potential candidates will visit an organization's employment site to confirm if what they hear about the organization is true, read detailed information about the organization, and submit their resume. The career site should clearly identify the organization's culture, values, vision, current job openings and benefit programs. The site should reflect an organization's brand and strengthen a candidate's desire to consider employment opportunities with the organization. Included on the site should be testimonials from employees that reinvigorate what potential candidates viewed in the video.

Furniture Store Marketing – Generate Tons of Customers by Partnering With Other Furniture Stores

Partnering with other home furnishing stores is a joint venture strategy that most home furnishing store owners have probably never even considered. It is probably because this joint venture strategy will require you to be really confident and comfortable in your own business.

Otherwise it would seem like you are risking losing your customers to another furniture store, but that is not true. The key to this strategy is partnering with other furniture store companies that do not sell the same types of products that you sell. Now, just to be clear about this strategy; you will not be switching lists with other home furnishing stores, you will be creating a in store coupon or referral program to use this strategy.

Partnering with other home furnishing stores allows you to gain access to customers who you certainly know are in the market for home furnishings. For example, if there is a store in your area which sells picture frames, fake plants and other various home supplies, ask them to allow you to have a podium stand or counter display stand filled with coupons as a bonus for shopping at their store.

In return you could have the normal mailing to your customers or also allow them to have a floor display on your showroom floor. There are many ways to manage these types of joint ventures, so be flexible and ask your potential partners about their specific needs and wants.

Examples can include stores that sell:

Washers & Dryers

Television & Electronics

Windows

Custom Closets