Shopping for Gift Baskets

Whether you run your own successful business or handle the marketing and management duties for a large company, corporate gifts are an important part of networking and maintaining morale around the office. Executive gifts are also great thank-you presents that you can send to new clients, customers or vendors. If you are looking to drum up new business with a company who may be considering signing a contract with your office, giving a corporate gift may be the perfect way to land the big deal. Here are some great corporate gift ideas for any occasion.

If you are looking to woo potential new clients and customers, executive gift baskets make a thoughtful and handsome presentation. Most executive gift baskets are filled with an assortment of candies, meats and wines wrapped in luxurious colors like: black, tan, gold and silver for added appeal. You can also customize executive gift baskets to include a unique sampling of your products, coupons for discounts on future purchases and branded merchandise.

Sending out branded merchandise is a great way to drum up new business. From t-shirts to calendars, posters, pencils and key chains, these types of promotional gifts are always well received by existing and potential clients, vendors and customers.

A favorite bottle of liquor or wine can do wonders for your business. While some businesses find this gift to be rather personal, many top-level executives appreciate receiving a great-quality bottle of liquor or wine as a promotional or thank-you gift.

If you are hosting a charity or outdoor event, you could garner a ton of new business by handing out reusable water bottles, t-shirts and tank tops or sunglasses imprinted with your business name and contact information. These items are very important to have during outdoor events. When you hand them out to unsuspecting attendees, who may have forgotten to bring water or sunglasses, you leave a positive mark that paints you as dependable, trustworthy and reliable from a business standpoint. Corporate and executive gifts are a great way to drum up new business, woo existing clients and show gratitude to employees and customers who have been with you for the long haul.

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DIY Beauty Care at the Comfort of your Home

These days, beauty-savvy consumers are all about getting salon-quality results at home. You can buy gel nail polish at the drugstore or microdermabrasion kits at the pharmacy and, really, it makes sense. Why bother with all the hassle of juggling appointments and driving back-and-forth when you could just pour a glass of wine at home, turn on Netflix and give yourself a quality facial or pedicure, all while saving money?

Given this trend, it’s not surprising that you can also purchase at-home laser hair removal kits. For a few hundred bucks, these portable gadgets promise you all the perks of professional laser hair removal, including permanent hair loss, smooth skin, plus the convenience of doing it whenever – and wherever – you want to.

So, this obviously begs the question: Is it worth it to outsource your laser hair removal to, well, yourself? Do these at-home tools really do the job? Are they safe? Are professional clinics really just a money grab?


If you’re thinking of skipping the professional treatments and going the DIY route, here are some things you should take into consideration before taking the plunge.


Comfort is key

It’s true that laser technology has come a long way in the past decade and one definite benefit of that is that it’s not nearly as painful as it was when it became a mainstream treatment option.


However, professional clinics have the resources to employ cooling measures before, during or after sessions, which can make a big difference in your comfort and healing. These typically take the form of gels, medical-grade Cyrogen spray or cold air, which can actually be attached directly to the laser itself so your entire treatment is much more comfortable.


At-home setups are not only higher on the “ouch” spectrum, but can be more time-consuming if you’re constantly taking breaks to give your skin – and pain receptors – a bit of a breather. A comfortable treatment chair and medical-grade skin soothers sound like great reasons to visit a professional!


Two hands make everything easier

Another benefit of getting laser hair removal at a certified clinic has to do with accuracy. Just like DIY waxing or self-tanning, it can be quite the undertaking to handle large or awkward parts of your body yourself. Laser in particular requires quite a bit of accuracy to target each follicle and if you’re treating hard-to-reach parts of your body like the back of your legs or your bikini line, it’s going to take quite a bit longer.


In the end, if you aren’t able to consistently laser each part of your skin equally, your DIY kit might not get you the results you’re looking for at all, which means you’re putting in a lot of work for nothing. A professional not only treats hard-to-reach locations on a regular basis, but he or she will have the luxury of two free hands, making your appointments faster, more comfortable and ultimately more effective. 


Not only that, but you don’t have to do anything at all during your treatment. Read a magazine, listen to your favorite podcast, or do whatever you need to distract yourself instead of trying to zap the hairs in a place you can’t even see.


There’s money to be saved … but you get what you pay for

One very obvious plus to the idea of a home-based laser kit is that it can cost less money upfront. The initial purchase price for a DIY version can be as low as a couple hundred dollars, while a full treatment cycle in a New York laser hair removal clinic – which can take up to a year – can be several times that.


If your main concern about hair removal has to do with pricing, and if you’re willing to put in the time it takes to do it on your own terms, well, that’s one thing. However, you also need to take into consideration how much value you’re placing on your time. Seeing a professional laser hair removal specialist is typically quicker, more effective and less painful, which leaves you more time to do the things you love.


After all, if you’re committed to handling it yourself, don’t forget that a full cycle takes several sessions, scheduled weeks or months apart. If you’re the kind of person who has a closet full of half-finished DIY projects (no judgement!) take that time investment into consideration.


Safety and effectiveness … are you willing to compromise?

Store-bought devices tend to use IPL technology, also called Intense Pulse Light. This is an earlier form of laser technology that many reputable clinics believe is on its way out, as its usefulness is quite limited. The problem with IPL is that it comes with a higher risk of tissue damage and is most effective on those with fair skin. If you have darker skin or tan easily, it’s unlikely to work its magic as well on you.


Most high-end clinics today opt to not use IPL, as there are many other forms of laser that are more effective and can be used on patients of any skin tone. A reputable clinic is likely to have a range of sophisticated devices that are significantly more versatile and safer for your skin. IPL can cause you to be even more susceptible to sun damage after a session.



The verdict? Sometimes you really do get what you pay for and laser hair removal tends to fall into that category. The DIY craze is great for some things, but when you’re dealing with something as delicate and precise as zapping individual hair follicles, you’re taking a big risk by handling it yourself. You might save a couple hundred dollars, but you’re putting your skin at risk, limiting your options and setting yourself up for a less effective treatment cycle. Some things are worth the bargain, but your skin? Definitely not something you should be jeopardizing. 

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Having Your Jewelry Appraised

Do you have some old jewelry that has been sitting in a drawer for a long time? Did you recently inherit some jewelry from a loved one? If this is the case, it would be in your best interests to have the jewelry professionally appraised. This will allow you to find out what it is worth. Knowing the exact value of these items will help you decide what you want to do with them. If you choose to sell them, it will be important to know their value so you can decide on a price that you will ask for them. So where can you take your jewelry to have it appraised? Here is some info that will help you to choose a professional jewelry appraiser.

1. Get in touch with friends or family members who have had their jewelry appraised in the past.

You will be able to gain a lot of knowledge by reaching out to some people you know who have already gone through the jewelry appraisal process. Ask these people what specific pieces of jewelry they had appraised. How much did the appraiser charge for his services? Why did they decide to choose that specific appraiser? Ask for the names of the various appraisers these people worked with before. You can then use this list later on when you are further into the selection process.

2. Contact the Better Business Bureau to find out which appraisers in your area that they can recommend.

The BBB has been trusted by millions of people to find businesses they can trust. This would be the perfect time to consult with them. Find out which jewelry appraisers in your area have received the highest ratings from the BBB. You can then have a good idea which appraisers are the most reputable. Heritage Appraisers, Inc. has an outstanding reputation.

3. Compare the prices charged by your local jewelry appraisers.

You should do some shopping around in order to determine which jewelry appraisers in your area are the most affordable. The prices charged by people in this profession can tend to vary widely.

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Helpful Hair Treatment

There’s no question about it. Healthy hair is beautiful hair. It really doesn’t matter if you have long hair if you have dead ends. Many women make the mistake of holding on to dead ends because they want to achieve long hair. It doesn’t matter if your hair is dry and brittle or thin and prone to breakage. Whatever your issue is, it’s important to stay on top of it so that you can achieve healthy hair. Consider these two treatments as you work toward developing the most beautiful head of hair.

1. Hot Oil Treatments
Gather a few carrier oils in a container with a lid and mix them together for a hot oil treatment. Typically, many women like to use oils like extra virgin olive oil, almond oil and castor oil. As you mix these oils together, it’s okay to add in a few drops of an essential oil. Great essential oils to consider include rosemary oil, peppermint oil and bergamot oil. In order to heat the oils up, boil 2 cups of water in a pan. Pour the hot water into a glass bowl. With the lid on, submerge the container with the oil mixture into the glass bowl with the hot water. Allow the hot water to heat up the oil. Once the oil is hot, pour it all over the strands. Put the hair in a plastic cap. Sit under a heated dryer for 30 minutes. Once the treatment is finished, rinse the oil away with cold water. If you have oily residue, it’s okay to use a sulfate-free shampoo afterward. Do this on a regular basis to help add extra moisture to dry hair.

2. Deep Conditioning Treatments
Deep conditioning treatments are also great for the upkeep of hair. Use botanical hair care products because they tend to have the most natural ingredients. In order to put the moisture back into your hair, it’s always wise to use heat. Use a heated bonnet or a hooded dryer. Once you add the deep conditioning treatment to squeaky-clean hair, put the hair in a plastic cap. Sit under the hooded dryer for 30 minutes to an hour. Once you’ve finished the treatment, rinse out the treatment with cold water. Then, style as your heart desires. If you have really dry hair, you’ll want to do a deep conditioning treatment every single time you shampoo.

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Choosing the Right Hair Extensions to Buy

Are you thinking about changing your look? Have you recently become unhappy with the way your hair looks? If this is the case, you might want to think about trying hair extensions. These are a very simple and cheap way to alter your appearance. There are a wide variety of hair extensions that you can select from. This means that you will be able to obtain whatever look you are interested in. You can also buy several types of hair extensions so you can change your look on a regular basis. You might not know how to go about shopping for the perfect hair extensions for the look you are trying to obtain. Here are some tips that will help you with this task.

1. Talk to some of your friends and family members who have been using hair extensions for a long period of time.

Hair extensions are very common. Therefore, you should not have any trouble finding people in your life who are already using them. Ask these people to show you the different types of hair extensions they are currently using. What company makes the hair extensions? Where do these people buy them? How much do they cost? Do they buy any of their hair extensions online to save some money? Why did they choose the particular hair extensions they are using? The answers these people provide to these questions will be very beneficial before you begin shopping.

2. Go to some hair salons in your area and talk to people who are professional stylists.

Getting the opinions of your friends and family is always a very wise decision. However, you also should seek out some professional advice before you start to spend money on hair extensions. It would be in your best interests to look for hair stylists who work in your area. Get their opinions regarding many different types of hair extensions. Which ones do they think would look the best on you? Which styles are the most popular with the customers who come to their salon? Are certain types of hair extensions easier to work with than others? Educate yourself as much as possible. This will allow you to know exactly what you should be looking for when you begin shopping for hair extensions.

3. Make sure the store you buy your hair extensions from has a good return policy.

You should be certain that you fully understand the terms and conditions of the return policy of any store or website where you purchase hair extensions. You might decide that you want a refund for some reason. Therefore, you should always be aware of how long you have to make a return.

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4 Tips for a More Productive Business

Everyone dreams of owning a productive and smoothly-operated business, but not everyone is willing to put in the legwork to make it happen. Are you one of the few? Here are just four ways to boost your profits, engage your employees and increase your general efficiency around the office.

1. Upgrade Your Software

It’s the 21st century. Does your software reflect that? It’s time to embrace everything that computers can do for you, especially if there are digital components to your ordering, processing or manufacturing. Things like jewelry appraisal software or computer-aided architectural design programs can make all of the difference with your brand.

2. Rearrange Your Furniture

It might sound crazy, but changing the placement of desks and chairs can really boost productivity around the office. For example, if you move them in front of windows, your workers might get more light that enables them to work with increased energy and focus. Even the simple change in atmosphere might refresh them and break them out of their usual ho-hum routines.

3. Set Goals

People tend to slack off when they don’t have measurable goals to work towards, so make sure that your employees never have this problem. There should always be some kind of quota, deadline or incentive to keep them working hard. Can you offer them a certain reward if they meet their sales goals? Will that motivate them to put more effort into their jobs?

4. Create a Suggestion Box

It’s an old-school idea, but it works. Your employees are often the first people to know when something isn’t working with, say, sales scripts or new customer databases, but unless they have an open line of communication with management, they won’t be able to relay this to the right people. A suggestion box is quick, convenient and anonymous, so their voices can always be heard.

These are just a few tips for increasing the efficiency of your workplace. These aren’t the only new ideas that you can implement, but they should be enough to get your imagination going. Have fun!

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3 Skin Care Tips

Until the fountain of youth is discovered, there are ways to keep your skin looking young. Depending on what you are hoping to achieve, skin solutions range from creams to surgery. Epidermal growth creams, or egf cream, for example, help with intracellular signaling. Known as a healing agent, it has made its way into anti-aging products.

To keep your skin looking young, here are three skin care tips to consider.


What you put into your body matters. Your skin will react to the fluids you consume and the foods you eat. If you are a smoker or use drugs, it will show on your skin, and over time, cause unnecessary damage. Your skin likes water. The more hydrated you keep it, the more it is likely to maintain a healthy glow. Eating fruits and vegetables helps deliver the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function optimally and keep your skin looking young. Adding a healthy dose of protein and carbs puts it all together.


In addition to nourishing your skin, it is also needs to be rested. While you are sleeping, your skin is replenishing itself. After a day of running errands, working at the office or watching your children, it needs time to itself away from the environmental elements, toxins and stress. Your skin also needs to be rested from stress. The more stress you place on your skin, the quicker you will cause it to age. Stress may be a part of your day to day activities, but if you would like to keep it looking its age or younger, do not let it get the best of you.


Different skin types require different skin treatments under different conditions. If you have just started to notice fine lines forming around your face, anti-aging creams and serums may help erase them. Scrubs, exfoliants and lifting products are also popular options. Once lines and spots have settled in, light therapies are the next step. Surgery is the most invasive option.

Diet, rest and treatments are three ways your skin can stay young.

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