Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Influence of Sports in Fashion Through the Years

Nike air unlimited

Nike air unlimitedCombining the elements of sports with fashion is nothing new especially today; however, it wasn’t always the case. The said genre went through a lot to get to its current look and style. With the ever-changing trends in sports, there is sure to be changes in fashion as well.

Let’s take a look at the iconic moments in street wear over the years and how it has evolved into where it is now.

1980s

The 80s was a great time for fashion. While you might think that three decades ago, street wear was closely tied to the music industry—it was. Still, the three industries played a significant role in each of their successes.

It was during this time that MC Hammer got the best of everybody and convinced most of the people to be in baggy trainers with matching sweaters to boot and large blings. However, clearly, the emergence of aerobics and tae-bo pushed leg warmers and neon coloured clothing to become a fashion statement in this era.

1990s

The decade that will never cease to be relevant holds a special place in almost everyone’s hearts. Think, Space Jam, Wu-Tang Clan, Clueless and the Fresh Prince.

Now all these play a huge role in influencing street wear and fashion. The dominance of basketball flourished in this era. Thanks to Michael Jordan being part of Space Jam, kids found comfort in sports and thrived to become just like Mike.

In this sense, high-cut ankle shoes were all the rage. Having a pair of the a pair of the Nike Air Jordan 4 Retro’s predecessor, the NikeAirUnlimited, was sure to give you looks of envy.

2000s

A decade and a half ago will bring you memories of LIVESTRONG ballers, headbands, sweatpants, drawstring backpacks, old school sneakers and varsity jackets.

During this Millennial year, you will see just how strong sports’ influence on clothing was. Lance Armstrong founded LIVESTRONG and created a powerful movement, one that made a revolutionary movement against cancer with yellow ballers. Headbands broke out thanks to NBA players like Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo—soon everyone came out with one on their heads after watching a Celtics game.

The Nike Sneakers, by this time seemed like a trend that would never end. True enough, along with varsity jackets that symbolised athleticism, they still live on to this day.

Present

Modern day street wear now hugely depends on self-expression. It has come to a point where it does not have to be part of a subculture or interest, but merely your own.

What is street wear for you and what influences you?

Why Photography is the Second Most Important Wedding Decision

Lens

LensWhen couples plan their wedding, people usually say that the reception venue is the most important decision they have to make. However, a close second to that is their choice of photographer. Having the right person to take photos of your special day can mean the difference between a perfect occasion and years of regret.

Why is this one role so important? It might seem trivial when you compare it to catering, the guest list, and everything else a couple has to worry about, but photography plays a huge role in every wedding. This is because memories will eventually fade, and the photos will be the only lasting reminder of how happy the two of you were on that day.

Pictures of the bride walking down the aisle, happy faces of parents and guests, panoramic shots of the gorgeous venue, and the first kiss as a married couple – these are just a few of the photos you will have in your wedding album. No matter what happens, you’ll have a record of every wonderful moment.

The Search for the Right Photographer

How do you find someone who will truly capture the beauty and happiness of the event? Most wedding photographers like Clay Jar Photography have portfolios of their work up on their websites. This is what you should look at first; judge their style, and see how well they fit your preferences.

Recommendations will also help, so try asking your married friends. Who was the photographer on their wedding, and how happy are they with his or her work? This will tell you what to look for, and you’ll know what instructions to give your own photographer.

Take the time to find the perfect photographer who can really create the kind of shots that you want. Don’t settle; look until you find a portfolio that really speaks to you. Even if they charge a little more than the competition, you will thank yourself later on.

Ways to Protect Your Home Equity

home

homeFor many individuals, their home is their largest asset, and they strive to pay off their home as quickly as possible. This is despite times and attitudes changing about having debt on personal residences or homes.

Whether a homeowner has paid their home debt or not, the values of homes in America, in general, have experienced significant appreciation. This means that many homeowners have $50,000 or more in equity.

While it’s an ideal situation, most states like Utah don’t protect home equities. As a result, homes become an asset that’s at risk to creditors, not unless homeowners file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In that case, homeowners can use the homestead exemption to protect some home equity.

In general, there are certain methods you can use to protect your home equity. These can include:

1. Tenant by Entirety (TBE)

This refers to a method that enables a husband and wife to hold the title to a home, but neither can modify his or her interest without the consent of the other.

2. Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT)

This refers to a revocable trust, which is an estate-planning tool that individuals can use to avoid estate taxes.

3. Limited Liability Company (LLC) and Family Limited Partnership (FLP)

LLC refers to a private limited company that combines the pass-through taxation for partnerships or sole proprietorships, with the limited liability of corporations.

FLP, on the other hand, refers to a structure available for wealth preservation, via estate planning and asset protection in Utah, or even tax minimization.

4. Equity Stripping or Harvesting

This refers to a protection and financial planning tool where an individual takes out a loan against the home equity and puts the money in high-performing investments.

5. Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust

This refers to an estate-planning tool, wherein an individual can freeze assets as a shield against estate taxes. This, however, would not be helpful for income tax purposes.

With these options, you may find it difficult to choose which strategy would be best for you. Consulting with experienced asset protection attorneys will help you find the best way to protect your home equity.

Should You Hire A Realtor or Sell Your Own House?

Realtor

RealtorYou’ve moved from one house to another growing up. You’ve interacted with enough realtors to predict what they’ll suggest and what paperwork they’ll require from you. You know them to the point that you’re confident of selling your own house without their help.

Why It’s a Mistake

While DIY projects continue to be the craze, doing everything yourself proves to be more bothersome than fulfilling. The in-depth research, endless paperwork, and random phone calls generate stress that you lose sleep over and that realtors know how to handle well.

Apart from the stress, the realtors’ possess better understanding of the neighborhoods you’re eyeing. Seldom do they fall for false advertisement and encourage putting houses for sale simply to follow the trend. If they do so, however, they know it’s because a particular trend serves as the best guide.

Still not convinced?

1st Level of Inconvenience

Realizing you don’t have as much time as you initially thought hurts, especially when your marketing efforts start to affect your job. Do your best to allot your project three hours before and after work. Add an additional hour. Still, the pending tasks continue piling.

The preparations needed in order to put your house on the market supersede the effort your current circumstances permit you to give. Realtors practice the art of speed; they respond when needed and grab opportunities when they come. Unlike your efforts to compress this in the level of part-time job, realtors act any time of day to make the purchase of your house happen.

2nd Level of Inconvenience

Pricing your own house without the advice of a realtor might come off inaccurate to buyers. They’ll mull over your possible bias with location and recent renovations, and they’ll bargain with you until the price is too low for your liking.

Bargain prices do happen. The challenge lies in doing it right, so both parties win. Realtors have had enough practice to accomplish such feat.

3rd Level of Inconvenience

Accepting clients poses the greatest risk for independent sellers. Without due knowledge of proper client screening, including thorough review of their qualifications on and off legal documents, the room for error widens. You might entrust your home to the most cheerful clients among the bunch, only to realize their source of funds lack financial security.

Remember: watching the game from up close rarely qualifies a person to play the game well. Trust realtors. They know what they’re doing.

All About the Gross Living Area: In or Out?

Gross living area

Gross living areaWhether you are a first time home buyer or are planning to do some major home renovation, there is one thing that can seriously impact the value of your home, and that is GLA, or gross living area.

GLA is considered the liveable square footage of your home, and increasing it means boosting your property value.

The Areas not Included

As a homeowner planning to carry out some home extensions and additions for your house, knowing the projects that would increase your GLA could help you boost the value of your property.

According to Granny Flats WA, not every area of the house can be included in GLA measurements. Some portions that are not included are the following:

  • Basements and other areas of the house completely or partially below ground level. However, it doesn’t mean that basements have no impact whatsoever in your home’s value. In fact, basement could significantly boost a home’s resale value, especially if it is finished.
  • Enclosed patios, unless they essentially share similar qualities with other areas of the house. For instance, an enclosed patio that has lower quality compared to the other portions of the house is not counted in GLA measurement. On the other hand, an enclosed patio that has the same ‘feel’ as other parts of the house could be counted.
  • Two-storey foyers.
  • Garage areas, unless converted into a living space with the appropriate permits and approvals.
  • Attic areas, unless finished, heated, and have reached the minimum wall height requirement set by the state.
How GLA Computation Affects the Value of Your Home

Computations for habitable area in your home significantly impact your property’s resale value. For instance, the differences on how different valuers compute GLA could short-change property owners and cause them to lose serious amount of money.

Bank assessors measure GLA from the wall interior, whereas assessors from the Property Council of Victoria include the exterior walls in GLA measurement.

Knowing how to increase your home’s GLA could help you increase your home’s market value. Consult with the experts about the different renovation and extension projects you may undertake to increase the habitable area of your house.

Dental Practice Management Hacks: Three Things to Keep in Mind When It Comes to Insurance

Dental Insurance

Dental InsuranceJoining a PPO network can help you increase referrals, as the insurance provider would direct patients looking for dental services to practitioners in their network. You can always use apps to streamline the management of your dental practice, but there are things that you just have to take care of yourself – one of which is the insurance reimbursement process.

When it comes to insurance reimbursement, you’re likely to encounter certain issues. Some dentists even need to write off certain items because the reimbursement schedule from the provider doesn’t match the data sheet they use for their office.

Here are three things to keep in mind when you negotiate dental fees and deal with insurance providers:

1. You won’t lose anything by asking.

Many providers include a no-negotiations clause in their policies—you’d be surprised to know that some insurance companies are willing to work with you. Some companies also allow negotiations every two years.

Despite having a negotiating power, keep in mind that insurance companies are still running a business and profit is still their main agenda. Be realistic with the terms. Don’t make unreasonable demands or rile the other party, especially if you wish for your practice to remain in business.

2. Double-check the bills.

The claims process shouldn’t end with you handing the bill to your patient. Sometimes, Explanation of Benefits statements (EOBs) have inaccuracies, so you should compare the bill with the EOB. Check if the insurance company bundled charges accurately. If you find discrepancies, contact the insurance provider right away.

3. Get help from experts.

You might not have the time to do insurance market analysis, especially if you’re running a busy practice. You may research on your own to determine the best plans available. If you need tailored solutions, consult experts who can help you negotiate dental fees. Multiple insurance providers may send different offers, so you need to be thorough with the PPO plans.

The secret to a hassle-free reimbursement process is open communication. Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance when it comes to maximizing your insurance reimbursement.

Six Month Smiles: Your New Teeth Straightening Procedure

Perfect Smile

Perfect SmileA perfect smile could launch a thousand ships. People love to have a perfect set of teeth so their happiness can be seen outwardly and beautifully. Good thing there are tons of cosmetic dental procedures that can give you just that! One of those is the Six Month Smiles®. Read on to know the benefits of this treatment.

What is Six Month Smiles?

These are clear braces designed to make the teeth straighter in a shorter span of time and as subtly as possible. Unlike traditional metal braces, Six Month Smiles are clear or match your teeth’s colour. They also have very thin wires, so you can barely feel them.

Benefits of Six Month Smiles

Although the traditional method of using titanium or stainless steel braces can effectively straighten your teeth, there are many drawbacks to it. The good news is that you don’t have to feel self-conscious anymore when you have clear braces on. Here are some of the benefits of Six Month Smiles.

Made for You

These clear braces come with a custom-made patient tray kit. This makes every dentist appointment more concise, quick, and comfortable.

Quick and Easy

As the name suggests, this treatment only needs six months to take effect. That’s way less than the several years it takes for metal braces.

Unnoticeable

Forget all those awkward conversations and mean stares because nobody will even realise you’re wearing braces! With clear brackets and teeth-coloured thin wires, you’re always good to go.

Chew Normal

The clear braces system only works with the teeth that people see when you smile. This approach doesn’t change your bite significantly. That’s why it’s more comfortable than other teeth-straightening procedures. You won’t even find it hard to chew food and speak!

There’s no excuse anymore; it’s time to get that perfect set of teeth you’ve always wanted. Talk to your dentist today and ask if the clinic offers Six Month Smiles.

Reasons Many Drug Dependent Individuals Don’t Seek Treatment

drugs

drugsKnowing someone with a drug addiction is heartbreaking, especially if that person doesn’t want your help or doesn’t want to get treatment. There are many reasons those dependent on drugs choose not to get help. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • In Denial – Those addicted to drugs refuse to acknowledge the fact that they have a problem.
  • Fear – Getting treatment or going to a drug rehab center requires courage, motivation, and determination. People dependent on drugs are afraid of what will happen to them once they get off drugs and experience the withdrawal and detoxification symptoms. They’re also afraid that they won’t ever feel as good as they feel when they’re on a high.
  • Loss of Control – For those who see themselves as someone always in control—yes, even when they’re high—seeking treatment is an issue since they’ll be forced to relinquish control of their lives.
  • Social Stigma – Hidden beneath an addict’s refusal to get help may be the unfair stigma connected to “people who go into rehab.” For them, it doesn’t matter what your situation in life is because some people will unfortunately treat addicts with disdain.
  • Nobody Will Care either way – Because most drug dependent individuals unfortunately cut their ties with friends and family, most of them feel that seeking treatment won’t matter because no one will care if they live, die, or get treatment.
  • Going into Rehab Won’t Make a Difference – Some drug dependent people feel that drug rehab Utah treatment won’t help. Those with underlying mental health problems may feel even more hopeless.
  • Their Life isn’t Worth Living – Those who are in the dark stages of drug addiction often welcome death as they think that there is no other way for them. Though they won’t try to kill themselves intentionally, they’ll continue going on drug binges that will eventually kill them.

Sadly, most people criticize, judge, and fear what they can’t comprehend, but with an open mind, you can certainly try to understand and come to terms with why most drug dependent individuals feel the way they do. Just be there for him or her, ready to lend a helping hand once he or she realizes that treatment is the way to go.

Invoice Factoring: Your Way to Business Growth

document

documentEver heard of invoice factoring for small trucking companies? For the last few decades, this lending process has been helping start-up companies get a foothold of their finances.

As you may have experienced, every budding business can face a situation that calls for financial backup. This backup may come in form of invoice factoring as explained by CommonwealthMN.com.

Here’s how it generally works: when you factor your freight, a freight factoring company pays a portion of the money owed to you. Typically, it may be 90% or so. They will send a new invoice to the company or client that owes you the money and then change the payer from your company to theirs.

Why should you, as a small business owner, apply for freight factoring?

1. It eliminates the cash flow slow-down. Small companies can guard their business operations against slow paying customers by having extra cash resource on hand.

2. Factoring invoices facilitates competitive advantages. If your customer pays fast, it can create an instant competitive advantage against other trucking businesses since slow paying customers with extended terms need no longer affect your financial resources and operations.

3. Factoring freight bills frees up working capital. No business grows without access to working capital. If this capital is locked down via customer receivables, it cannot be utilized for operating expenses, in payroll or in covering fuel cost, which is important in freight businesses. Trucking companies factoring invoices will get direct access to the working capital that could be locked down for weeks or longer while waiting for their customers to pay.

4. Factoring invoices provides a trucking company with financial advantage. With working capital available, you can negotiate terms that are more favorable and work on your savings. This type of cost savings means improved profitability and balanced expenditure.

5. Factoring freight bills reduces operational costs. Saving money with vendors and suppliers is only one way factoring is being cost-effective for a trucking company. In addition, operational costs associated with bookkeeping for accounts receivables and any associated collections activities may be reduced or even eliminated altogether.

Every successful business starts small and makes small moves. Maximize all the available resources around you, like the freight factoring, and you will surely be on your way to growth and stability.

Pre-Lighting a Christmas Tree: Christmas Shopping Half a Year Early

Christmas Shopping

Christmas ShoppingTo say that start buying your Christmas needs on May absolutely sounds like poor advice. Besides, who does Christmas shopping when it is not even half of the year?

Come to think of it, though, there is no good than harm in surfing online for a new pre-lit Christmas tree and other decors months ahead.

At the risk seeming overexcited about the Yuletide season, here are 3 reasons prepping for your holiday festivities makes a lot of sense when done (way) in advance:

1. Avoid the Rush

Doing Christmas shopping when the 25th of December is nowhere near means zero hassle. You would hardly have any competition for the things you want to buy. The large number of holiday shoppers is a pain without a doubt—overcrowded shops, no parking space, bumper-to-bumper traffic jams. Take them out of the way, shopping is fun and trouble-free.

In addition, you have plenty of time on your hands. You would not be pressured to decide immediately if you cannot find anything that tickles your fancy. Even if Christmas items are typically available all year round, practically no one is expecting you to shop this early so you are most likely not to encounter pushy salespeople.

2. Leverage Off-Peak Prices

The demand for holiday products any time before the ‘ber’ months is barely non-existent, thus low pricing—that is basic economics. This is the period when all sorts of Christmas decorations are at their lowest, so you better take advantage. Moreover, special deals are still left and right if you know where to find online.

3. Get the New Designs First

No matter how absurd for most of the population to shop prematurely, you are not alone. The fact that you have thought about it, the idea has probably crossed the mind of a few other people. Manufacturers know that your relatively small market is out there, which is why they continue to launch new types of products in silence.

Shopping ahead of everybody is a mark of a clever buyer. Prepare for Christmas now, or prepare for it later with more headaches.