Sand From the Beach – How to Clean & Keep the Sand Out of Your Home & Car From the Beach!

Sand belongs on the beach and not in your car or home. Everyone loves the beach, but unfortunately the sand loves to follow you when you leave. Though it is virtually impossible to keep every grain of sand on the beach and not in your car or home, a few basic steps can tremendously lower the amount.

1. Always wear sandals on the beach and not shoes that can trap sand.

2. Always carry toys, magazines, snacks, towels and other beach accessories in a mesh bag to allow the sand to fall out verse getting trapped in the bag to eventually end up in your car or home.

3. Place a tote in your trunk to place all beach bags, towels and chairs. The tote can be taken out of your car when you get home to wash off everything inside it.

4. Keep a small hose with attachment to wash feet off before entering your home.

5. Keep a bowl with water by the door and a towel on a hook. Clean your feet off before entering the house when coming home from the beach by sticking your feet in the bowl. Remember to put fresh water daily in the bowl to prevent bugs from attracting like mosquitoes.

6. Consider buying the Hoover Nomad Cordless Pressure Washer. Great to keep in your trunk to hose off feet, toys or chairs before getting into the car. This small unit holds 3.5 Gallons of water and is great at the beach, sporting events and anything imaginable outdoors. Long hose, 90 PSI and long battery life.

7. Keep your doormats by your home clean and new. Doormats do a tremendous job in attracting dirt when newer. Shake out regularly and spray down with a hose periodically. Keep your indoor mats clean daily and wash them weekly.

8. Consider an outdoor changing area to allow sandy bathing suits to stay outside and not inside a bedroom or bathroom. Rinse off the suit before bringing in a home.

9. Have a good stick vacuum near your entry areas to the home to capture the sand quickly. The three best stick vacuums are the Hoover Platinum Stick Vacuum, Oreck Rechargeable PR8000 and Karcher Sweeper.

10. The best vacuums indoor for capturing sand once inside the home are the Oreck XL 2000, Hoover C1404 and Koblenz Upright Vacuum.

The beach can be a very relaxing experience. Following these steps can make leaving the beach less stressful by bringing less of the beach sand home with you.

Graphic Design: Degree Or No Degree?

Through my design career I have come across many job adverts for a graphic designer 'with a degree'. It always made me feel a little frustrated – "If I do not have a degree do you automatically assume I will not be good enough to join your company?". Surely a designer's portfolio and / or experience should say more than a piece of paper with a qualification on it.

I studied for a higher national diploma in graphic design at college and when the course finished I had the chance of pursuing a degree in graphic design or go for an advanced diploma in art and design. One of my lecturers told me that the degree contained more theory work where the advanced diploma was more practical. I opted for the practical work … after all that's what graphic design is.

The advanced diploma was only a year of study but most of the work was project based even if the deadlines were a bit too generous at times. However, since leaving college (armed with my qualifications) I admit that I learn more during my first design role and by teaching myself. That kind of education never stops with the design world and technology continuously changing.

This led me to question the importance of a degree as a designer and I know that I'm not the only one to ask this. In my honest opinion a degree does not automatically make someone more creative and successful than a designer who is self taught or who has learnt on the job. Their portfolio should be the strongest reflection of their skills and abilities especially when it comes to finding employment. Do companies advertising for a designer 'with a degree' honestly think that they are going to employ a better designer or is it a status thing?

Now I know that things have changed since I was at college so I thought I had a look at what degree courses my local college offers and found that they offer a BA in Art and Design. Here are the modules:

Year 1: Visual arts; applied crafts; digital arts; site specific design; graphic design; performance related design; web design; animation; self-employment; video production; community art; textile design; teacher or lecturer.

Year 2 : Creative skills and concepts; integrated project; visual literacy; digital applications; specialist options: skills development; contextual studies; personal development planning.

Year 3: Creative practice; contextual practice; specialist options: skills application practice; research skills; critical and contextual studies; pathways and concepts; professional and studio practice; professional and contextual studies; creative futures.

I did not study most of this stuff and I've spent 9 years in design studios working on a wide variety of projects of all sizes and with good feedback. I'm now working full-time as a freelancer trying to grow my own business. I like to think that I turned out okay without a degree.

So I guess my question is … does a degree make a better designer or is it all down to natural creative flair, experience and keeping up-to-date with the latest trends?

My First Diet Program for Fast Weight Loss and Fat Burning to Lose Weight

My first diet program for fast weight loss and fat burning was copied from my sister. She lost a lot of weight, and I did not like the way I looked and thought I would feel better by shedding some extra fat.

Like any dieter, the only information I knew about was "calories." At the time, my sister was telling me that calories caused body fat to accumulate. Being young and naive, I set out to rid myself of calories. I stopped eating, save for an egg and one piece of toast for breakfast, nothing for lunch, and salad and chicken for dinner. I quickly lost 13 pounds.

I felt great when I could fit into clothes that were previously too snug, but became exhausted and just damn irritable and mean. The diet ceased being a diet when I broke down and obliterated myself with an unending stream of food: cookies, ice cream, cake, pizza, etc. – all in a period of six hours.

I felt so mad, discouraged, and upset after that. Instead of getting right back on the diet that was different, but still accomplishing what I wanted, I earned 15 pounds in a few weeks by eating relatively normal. Now, 2 pounds fatter than when I started my first diet, I began to strategize.

I needed a new diet – a better one. Everywhere I looked from the newspaper to magazines, to the library and book stores, I found plenty on the confusing topic of weight loss. I purchased all of it. I read everything. I reasoned I would absorb and digest every bit of info out there on dieting and become an authority!

Surely, if I read everything available relating to the subject of weight loss, I could figure out or find the best diets and disregard the bad ones. Well, in doing so, I became more confused, as I'm sure many of you are right now.

Discounted Cash Flow Modelling to Achieve Personal Financial Goals

A discounted cash flow or DCF model is a style of calculation linking streams of future money flows to lump sum amounts. Discounted cash flow models have a range of business-related applications, and are used extensively by economists, accountants, actuaries, engineers, business valuators, finance professionals, and others.

For example, a company may wish to finance a project if (and only if) the Internal Rate of Return exceeds 10% per year. The anticipated development costs for the project may be large for the initial year. On the other hand, significant revenues are anticipated for Year 2 onward. The company directors rely on a DCF model to help determine whether or not the project's Internal Rate of Return exceed their 10% threshold.

Discounted cash flow models also have important applications in everyday life that are often overlooked. For example, consider auto dealers who advertise low finance rates to prospective clients. From a car buyer's perspective, low finance rates are understood to be good, since they mean lower monthly payments. By using a DCF model, a buyer can determine the monetary value on the low finance rate offer.

Everyday use of a Discounted Cash Flow model would include (but would not be restricted to) the following:

  • Mortgage Refinancing: For homeowners with a fixed-rate mortgage, refinancing often debts paying a penalty. A DCF model can be used to calculate whether the interest savings exceeded the penalty cost
  • First-Time Home Ownership: First time home ownership involves many new costs, and can be intimidating to many of us. A DCF model can help by comparing long term home ownership costs against rental costs
  • Lease or Own Vehicle: A DCF model can help car shoppers in their decision whether to buy or lease a vehicle

Examples of these and other everyday applications can be viewed at the author's website.

Through the above (and other) practical applications, Discounted Cash Flow models can assist all of us in achieving our personal financial goals.