Release Your Inner Diva With Sexy Plus Size Lingerie


Every woman has a right to look and feel sexy. Just because you may be blessed with a beautiful plus size figure, does not mean you have to miss out when it comes to wearing sexy lingerie.

Today there are more choices than ever before when it comes to finding plus size lingerie. You do not have to settle for shapeless caftans and shifts. Even if you live in an area where options for shopping are limited.

Before starting your quest for the perfect plus size lingerie outfit, you need to know your measurements. Forget what size you wear. Each manufacturer makes their clothing differently. Do not worry about what size you end up buying, as long as it fits properly. Knowing your bust, waist, and hip measurements will be very helpful in determining what size of lingerie you need to buy.

To get the most accurate results have another person do the measuring. Ask a trusted friend or maybe your sister or mother if possible. Take a tape tailors tape and measure around the fullest part of the bust. Your bra size is not the same as your bust measurement. Your bra band size does not include the measurement around your bust which could add another 2-4 inches to your bust measurement. Then measure around your waist and the fullest part of your hips. These 3 measurements will help you determine what size of plus size lingerie will fit your body.

If you shop online for your plus size lingerie you will have significantly more options and better selection to choose from. There are stores online that specialize in only plus size lingerie and will have a large selection of baby dolls, chemises, gowns, teddies and corsets to choose from that will compliment many different body types.

Be sure to check the size chart and use your measurements to determine what size you will be. Also make sure you check the online store's return policy before making a purchase.

Do not be afraid to experiment and try new and sexy styles. Being plus size does not limit your options when it comes to finding sexy plus size lingerie. You just need to take the first step, buying your first plus size lingerie piece. Soon you will come to realize there's a whole new world out there and lots of sexy options for you. Finding your inner diva may just be as simple as slipping into your new sexy nightie.


Source by Janelle Jackson

On Loving an Addict


There are few things I hate in life. Hate is such a strong word loaded with negative emotions. But I hate Oxycontin. And I hate Heroin. In my unprofessional completely biased opinion – they are the same thing. If you are using and have not made this connection yet – you're fooling yourself. If someone you love is using and you think – at least they are not on dope – then wake up and see that it's just as bad and only a matter of time before they get there. Nobody wakes up one day and says, "I think I'll go shoot dope." They get there one desperate day when they can not afford the pills that they fooled themselves into believing for too long – were no big deal.
I've lost a young cousin to suicide because he could not get and stay clean, a boyfriend to an overdose after years of trying to get straight. I also have many friends, family and neighbors who walk around each day living a horrible existence because of addiction. Each of them started taking OC's and some have graduated to Heroin.

I use the term junkie quite often in this story. I'm sorry if that label offends you. But I could not write this piece without using it. Strong words carry strong meanings. This is one of them and where I use it – I use it to relay the strong feelings I feel about this horrible addiction. I do not use this term as a put down – in fact I have come a long way and really try not to judge anyone about where choices in their life have taken them. As they say – "there but for the grace of God go you or I." So when I say junkie – I say it with love. Because there are many junkies in my life that I have loved or still love. And my choice of words is to distinguish between the whole healthy person who existed before the drugs took control and the addict that they have become.
I do not hate them. Each and every one of them hate themselves enough. I do not think less of them. They've got that covered too. And if you have not lived through watching someone you love turn into someone else in front of your very eyes you should thank God every day for shielding you from the heartache, pain and uncertainty that living life loving an addict can bring. And the next time your path crosses the path of a junkie remember that the shell of a person before you – is someone's son or brother or friend. Instead of looking down on them or judging them – say a prayer for them and thank God that you were not given or did not choose this cross to bear in your lifetime. Easier said than done if you've been affected directly by their need for drugs. Especially hard to do if you've been robbed by, lied to or manipulated by an addict. If you have been, then I know it's hard to read this with an open mind. If you have been I am sorry. And they are too whether or not they can tell you directly. They live with what they have done every day. I know it does not take it away or make it better – but their hell is here on earth.
Do not judge those around you who are dealing with an addict in their life because until you are in a situation you never know how you yourself would handle it.

If your love and loyalty is not for the addict but for the person affected by them – then I know your frustration and anger first hand. I know how easy it is to see from the outside what you think the answer is or how you would handle it better maybe. But trust me when I say that it's not as clear cut as it seems from the outside looking in and there is no right or wrong way to do something when it comes to matters of the heart. We do the best we can with what we know at the time and the road that we have to walk is filled with life lessons that we can only learn ourselves. And the hardest ones to learn but the ones we grow the most from are the ones that knock us on our ass and shake us to the core. You may ask yourself how can anyone still love or care about a junkie. I ask you how could not we. My mother used to give me such a hard time each time I'd get back with my boyfriend. She wondered what was wrong with me that I would put up with the drama that came with our relationship. I even wondered sometimes what was wrong with me. Why could not I walk away? Why did not I just leave? The answer is both simple and complicated. The answer is because I loved him – end of story.

I did not go out one day and place a personal ad looking to meet a heroin addict. I was in love with someone who came to me one day and shared with me something that he was not proud of. Something he tried to battle and kick on his own. I asked my mother one day what she would have done if my dad came home one day and told her that he was an addict. My parents raised me to believe that you love someone no matter what. And I stood beside my boyfriend like my mom stood beside my dad when my dad battled cancer. It is well known that addiction is a disease. But we have such a hard time truly buying that. When someone has cancer or another life threatening illness people rally around the person who is sick and are there for the family for support. But addiction brings so many mixed emotions. There is shame and so many people do not even talk about what is going on in their homes, in their lives. And the ones who are strong enough to talk about are met with mixed responses from people who do not understand. For those of you who do understand – I wrote this for you but I also wrote this for me.

I wrote this after my cousin took his own life a few years ago. He had graduated to Heroin. But I think I hate Oc's even more because I do not think many of these kids would end up on Heroin if it had not been for the Oxys. I always wondered if he only knew that everyone who loved him would have put up with a million more chaotic days and nights, a lifetime of hope filled days followed by more heartache and failures if only we could have him back for one more day. Because one more day means one more chance to succeed.

I added to this after my boyfriend died of an overdose this year. Despite all the pain – I wish he could have seen just how much joy he brought to my life. I wish he could have known what a hole was left in the world the day he died. If the junkie could only see how much they are loved. If they could see themselves through our eyes – their lives might not be the daily hell they live through.

Ode to Heroin

I'm told it's a high like no other. One that makes you feel better than you could ever have imagined. Did not they ever tell you that if something is too good it's no good? And so you're off on the run – always chasing that feeling of your first high.

A viscious cycle of ups and downs, highs and lows, doped up and dope sick becomes your all consuming daily routine. It holds you in its grip and motivates you to lie, cheat and steal and it does not matter where you turn or how far you run. And every time you try to break free and fail- the future looks less and less attractive every day.

You've seen your mother cry one too many times and the pain and hopeless look in the eyes of your father. You know they adore you and are still proud to call you son – despite the bad turn your life has taken.

They would do anything to fix things for you or to take away your pain. They do not hate you or love you any less for the way your life has turned out or the way you have turned their lives upside down or the things you have done for the drug.

They know it's not you they are dealing with anymore – it's Heroin. They've tried to help you battle the demon. But it's bigger than them and stronger than them. But they'll never give up on you – because their hearts ache to see the boy they used to know and they would do anything to get him back.

But Heroin renders you powerless and defenseless. And after all the bad you do and pain you cause and shame you feel – before long you do not even remember the man you once were. You look in the mirror and see the junkie waste of life you think you have become and you hate yourself for it. And you wonder how these people can continue to care after all you've put them through. So you hate yourself even more but you still get high because eventually Heroin convinces you not to care about anything else but your next fix and you'll do anything to get it.
Day after day you'll choose Heroin over your parents, brothers, sisters, friends and girlfriend. You'll choose it over yourself.

You'll stop every once in awhile and wonder how you ever got to this point. You'll realize that your life has gone to hell. You'll see just how low you'll stoop to keep Heroin in your life. And some day you might even stoop so low or push your family too far or shock yourself with just what you'll do to keep up your habit. And the person you once were – the kind hearted caring and loving person who lies powerless within you just waiting and fighting to come back speaks up and says – ENOUGH.

And then you decide to say good bye to your old friend Heroin. You realize you miss the person you used to be and are willing to fight the monster to become that person again.
But there's a problem. Heroin does not let you walk away without a fight. It shows you that you need it. It shows you how weak you are without it. It beats you down and makes you shake and moan in pain. It plays tricks on your mind and despite your desire to end this relationship – it does everything in its power to get you to come crawling back. And just getting through the physical withdrawals does not mean the worst part is over. It's the day to day, minute to minute, second to second struggle to stay clean and deal with life without drugs that is the real battle.
Some line up at clinics each morning, made to feel like a second class citizen to get a dose of methadone that helps them lead a normal life. Others find the answer in AA or NA, and for some detox programs work. Suboxone has proved promising but so many are using it wrong as a way to still dabble when they want to. The hardest part is that there's no easy fix to get clean and it's even harder to stay clean and the statistics do not paint a pretty picture. So even the most determined and strong minded person quickly realizes that the life they dreamed of, a life without drugs is not the easy street that they had imagined. In fact it's harder to get through each day than keeping up a habit was.

And so many people do crawl back and Heroin makes you feel instantly better and takes you by the balls again. And it grows stronger because it has convinced the junkie that he can not do it.
Some people are more determined and keep walking away only to be pulled back in. Then they think it's useless to try. They do not think they can make it past the pain and can not see an end to the misery. So they stop trying to be the man they once were. They begin to resent him and all of the people who love him. Because they only remind him of the pain he has caused them. They make him want to get help and get better and he does not believe it to be possible.

So often he withdraws from his friends or they give up on him. But the friends that stay and the family that continues to hope and pray and help and suffer – he can not stand what he's putting them through. He lashes out at them. He steals from them. He lies to them and uses them to get what he needs. And they stay strong and are willing to fight to save him because there is no limit to their love. But he has only one love, one friend, one family – Heroin.

But they still hold on and hope. Maybe the next detox will work. Maybe God will answer their prayers for him. They tell him they know what he is going through – but he tells them they're wrong. They could never know what he is going through. He is angered by their claim that they can understand and feel his pain. He feels totally alone and helpless.

But they are right to say they know how he feels or can imagine his pain. Because they too have broken hearts and broken dreams. They have lost someone they love – he's close enough to touch but they know they might not ever get there.

But his addiction makes him arrogant and self centered to claim he is alone in his pain and nobody could understand what he is going through. He has Heroin. The people who love and care for him, the people who pray that he will get help and break free from the monster – they live and breathe his pain and suffering every day. They grieve for a loved one who walks, sleeps and breathes but in essence is dead already. But unlike him they only get to share his lows. They do not have the luxury of his euphoric highs that help him survive and escape reality.

Some can take only so much and can not bear to sit by helpless and witness him kill himself slowly and they cut ties. They still pray and worry and cry themselves to sleep feeling powerless. Others get angry and though the love they feel will never go away – they hate the monster and walk out of their lives because they have to in order to protect themselves. Because it is torture to watch the junkie take over and call the shots knowing that there is nothing they can do to stop and no way for them to reach the person they once knew.

Others enable them to continue because they can not stand to see the wrenching pain that comes form being dope sick. And they try to help them be comfortable until they find the strength and a way to win the battle.

Heroin takes over completely eventually and those of us who have had family, friends or loved ones who have seen the drug take over handle it in many different ways. We pretend it's not happening. We walk around in a state of denial or shock until we are forced to face it. Then we walk around in a state of anger, fear or helplessness. We feel shame and wonder how we could have let it get this far or happen at all for that matter.

We feel totally alone and live life walking on egg shells. We hope for the best but begin to dread the worst. We wait for the phone call telling us about an arrest, an overdose or a suicide.
And the addict prays for the strength to stop the pain and get well but feels like they're fighting a never ending battle that can not be won. Some addicts think that an overdose might be a blessing in disguise to those who love them. Some take their own lives thinking that is the answer.

Others continue to use and pretend not to care. But those of us who love them no matter what – our addiction to hope is stronger than their addiction to dope. And so we hold on and hope that they will find their way. And we accept that we have no control over their addiction to Heroin. Some of us realize this slowly – others over time – still some will never see this. If they could only see that we would live through this never ending nightmare forever if it meant we could have them back for just one more day. If they could only see into our hearts and source some strength from us. If only our love was enough. But it's not.

In the end they need to stand up to Heroin on their own and prove to themselves what each of us believe deep in our hearts – that they are somehow still stronger than the monster. They are more than the junkie they see in the mirror each morning. They are our son, our brother, our sister, our mother, our father, our boyfriend our girlfriend and our friends. And though they do not recognize the person they used to be – we still see that person. We still envision a future filled with brighter days. We still wait for the day that they walk back into our lives and this nightmare we live becomes nothing more than a distant memory.

Until then remember that you are loved, you are strong and you can beat this.


Source by Melanie Marsden

Trustee Fees: How Much is Enough and How Much is Too Much?


I am often amused by the ads and offers I see concerning
living trusts.

Almost always, one of the big sales pitches is how a living
trust will save th * usands of doll * rs in "nasty" probate fees.

This leads the consumer to believe that you pay for probate,
but living trusts are "fr * e." (That is, after you've paid the
promoter to set one up for you).

Not so.

Here's an email I received from one of my subscribers
(She has given me permission to discuss her question in this

Hi Phil,
My mom passed away recently and my sister is 1st trustee.
She claims she gets 10% of my mom's estate as 1st trustee.
Is this true? What is the normal fee for 1st trustee?

Great question. Often one of the biggest, if not the biggest,
areas of dispute between children or heirs after a death occurs.

What is a trustee fee? How is it calculated? Are there other

If you have a trust and do not know the answer to these questions,
I think the proper thought is "Uh-ohh!"

OK, let's have a quick review of trustee fees.

First let's make a distinction between the times a trustee may
be called upon to act.

Remember, one of the best uses of a trust is to manage the
assets of someone who is incapacitated. My best friend and
his sister have been managing their mother's affairs (as
trustees) for the last 10 years. Mom is 95, in decent physical
health, but has advanced Alzheimer's).

Let's save the discussion of trustees fees charged for
managing an incompetent's estate for a future article. Let's
get down to answering the above question.

Here it is again:

Hi Phil,
My mom passed away recently and my sister is 1st trustee.
She claims she gets 10% of my mom's estate as 1st trustee.
Is this true? What is the normal fee for 1st trustee?

Basically, the question is "How much can a trustee charge to
handle an estate after a death? "

How do we answer this?

First, we have to look at the trust instrument.

Most competently drawn trust instruments will have a section
that deals with trustee fees.

The better ones are fairly specific and make a distinction
between acting as trustee while the beneficiary is alive, but
incompetent, and acting as trustee after a death has occurred
(Similar actions to what an executor performs through a probate).

So, first, we look to the trust instrument. Often it will specify
a fee. Sometimes it will say .75% to 1.25% of the total value
of the assets being managed and transferred (since this is the
typical fee charged by the professional trust companies run by
many banks).

In fact, let's see what California law tells us about trustee fees
(Every state will have a statute, go to your county law library
and ask the law librarian to help you look it up).

In California, the law of living trusts is contained in the
Probate Code. Here is what Probate Code Sections 15680-82 tells us:

15680. (a) Subject to subdivision (b), if the trust instrument
provides for the trustee's compensation, the trustee is entitled
to be compensated in accordance with the trust instrument.

(B) Upon proper showing, the court may fix or allow greater
or lesser compensation than could be allowed under the terms of the
trust in any of the following circumstances:

(1) Where the duties of the trustee are substantially
different from those contemplated when the trust was created.

(2) Where the compensation in accordance with the terms
of the trust would be inequitable or unreasonably low or high.

(3) In extraordinary circumstances calling for equitable

(C) An order fixing or allowing greater or lesser compensation
under subdivision (b) applies only prospectively to actions taken in
administration of the trust after the order is made.

15681. If the trust instrument does not specify the trustee's
compensation, the trustee is entitled to reasonable compensation
under the circumstances.

So to answer the question, we have to find out what the trust
instrument says. If it is silent, then Section 15681 tells us the
compensation is to be "reasonable compensation under the
circumstances. "

What is reasonable under the circumstances? If it were me,
I would gather up the brochures of the various bank trust
departments in the area to determine their rates. Where I
live, the fee is .75% to 1.20%, depending on the size of the
trust and the type of assets. The minimum is $ 5,000.

So, it looks like the answer to the question is that if the
trust instrument says the 1st trustee is entitled to 10%
compensation, then she may be. However, if it does not then the
amount to be charged must be reasonable.

And, even if the trust instrument said 10%, I would seriously
consider asking a court to change the compensation per
15680 (b) (2) that allows the court to change compensation
"Where the compensation in accordance with the terms of the trust
would be inequitable or unreasonably low or high. "

This article needs to be continued since we have not even
touched on the big m * ney m * ker for trustees and attorneys,
"Extraordinary fees."

Good luck and until next time,

Phil Craig

PS Feel free to forward this on to any friends.

= – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – =

© Phil Craig, All Rights Reserved

= – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – = – =


Source by Phil Craig

Venus-Uranus Aspects – Birds of a Feather Flock Together


For lovers and friends, we tend to be drawn to those whose Venus aspects are like our own. They share a style of relating, similar ways of expressing affection or esteem, a sense of taste, and a consensus about what is socially acceptable and what is not. Observing people and their relationships through astrology, then, we confirm the old saying that birds of a feather flock together.

In the case of Venus-Uranus aspects, it's not just a feather but an entire feather boa. And it's not just a flock of any old bird, but of peacocks or brightly colored parrots. These aspects also run in families, so among the Venus-Uranus notables we will find Julio AND Enrique Iglesias, Princess Diana and Prince William, and Michael Jackson and his son Prince Michael Jackson. Michael's longtime friend, Liz Taylor also has the conjunction.

Uranus is the planet of friendship, while Venus is about love, and Venus-Uranus types are capable of intense but platonic relationships with all the qualities of love affairs but without overt sexual involvement. For instance, women with this aspect may have close and loving connections with gay men. An unforgettable pair of friends with Venus-Uranus aspects was Princess Diana and rock legend Elton John. They had an on-again-off-again friendship, a pattern not unheard-of with Venus-Uranus aspects, in that they were sometimes the best of friends, sometimes feuding.

In the end, Elton wrote a moving and unforgettable song to perform at Diana's funeral. It said, in part, "Your candle burned out long before your legend ever will." Elton has Venus in Aquarius trining Uranus in Gemini, with Uranus disposing of Venus. Diana's Venus in Taurus was part of a t-square with Uranus in Leo opposite her Aquarian Moon. Her Venus and his Moon were closely conjunct. Diana's older son, Prince William, is already idolized by the public in much the same way his mother was and also has a Venus-Uranus aspect. His Venus is at 25 ° Taurus, just a degree from Diana's own Venus, in an out-of-sign opposition to Uranus in Sagittarius. Dodie al Fayed, Diana's romantic interest who also died in the crash, had Venus trine Uranus.

What about ordinary folks with Venus-Uranus aspects? I admit I have the conjunction. It's in the 11th, so I'm not especially weird, you understand, but more than a few of my friends are. We may never have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but we're a Presence in our own circles, notorious or merely tolerated for shock value. People watch to see what we're going to do next, decry our behavior, then wait until the heat is off and copy us. When we get older, people tend to view our eccentricities with fondness than rather than disapproval, since we're now seen as harmless.

"THEY NEVER KNEW A STRANGER:" One effect of this planetary combination is the capacity for instant kinship with people of backgrounds different than their own. Typically, their friendships include a fascinating mélange of races, cultures, interests, and sexual persuasions. They collect bright, sophisticated, exotic, even quirky folks who are on the leading edge of things but too busy to get together often. Such friends bring excitement and sudden leaps in consciousness by exposing the native to avant-garde ideas. (One startling finding from the database was that there were 14 instances of UFO sightings among the conjunctions-taking cross-cultural contact to the max!)

Venus-Uranus is a Universal Brotherhood aspect, for in establishing loving ties with people of a variety of backgrounds, we learn that we humans are the same in vital respects. However, scattered among the examples in AstroDataBank were individuals who can only be described as hate mongers. Anti-feminist shock jock, Rush Limbaugh has a close quincunx; Howard Stern has the opposition, Nazi leader, Adolph Eichmann had a square; and singer Anita Bryant, who waged a heated anti-gay campaign, has the conjunction exact to the minute. It seems to be one extreme or the other with these folks, but they're never conventional or politically correct!

RUNAWAY BRIDES AND OTHER DISTANCERS: Many Venus-Uranus folks have a seemingly never-ending series of short-lived but exciting partnerships. In the introduction to this section of the book, we looked at the chart of Julia Roberts, who had the title role in the movie, Runaway Bride, and who has Venus conjunct Uranus and Pluto. The movie could have been written about her!

Many with Uranus in aspect to Venus have difficulty committing and so spend years chasing the fireworks of early courtship, leaving or otherwise creating breakups when relating to someone becomes more routine. The pattern of broken relationships can continue until they take responsibility for generating their own excitement-or meet a partner so Uranian that the fascination never stops! Many with this aspect fool themselves that they're yearning for commitment, yet repeatedly fall in love with unavailable people. This behavior is "crazy like a fox," since involvement with distancers lets them retain their independence and continue to pursue their own development.

"UNCONVENTIONAL RELATIONSHIPS:" One typical interpretation that astrologers give of people with Venus-Uranus contacts is that they're inclined to "unconventional relationships." Readers with this aspect, most likely what the astrologer is delicately trying to ask is whether you are gay. The androgynous beauty (musicians Michael Jackson and Prince) that can accompany this aspect fuels speculation. Ellen Degeneres, who has the aspect, lost her highly successful show years back after deciding that she could no longer hide her true self from world. After several years of career limbo-and a greater degree of public acceptance that her own actions played no small part in creating-she once again has a successful show and is beloved by her audience.

Venus-Uranus natives are a fascinating bunch. To dissect the aspect in greater depth and to give these unique and fascinating folks a deeper look would take a book in itself-but it would be far from a boring one! If you have the aspect and the picture does not fit you, do not take it to heart. You may not fit it all, but it's likely that more than a few of your lovers do. For more insight, ask a professional astrologer for an in-depth interpretation of your own Venus and what it says about your relationships.


Source by Donna Cunningham

The Six P's of Success


I learned the 6 P's of success from my mother. When I was 12 years old my mother started a non-profit youth entrepreneurial organization called Tomorrow's Entrepreneurs Today. Her main purpose was to keep me and my friends off the streets and out of gangs.

For 12 years she ran a nationally recognized organization that received awards from the city and county of Los Angeles, the state of California, and from Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton. She had the non profit of the year for the United States. There were thousands of kids who were impacted through her program.

The foundation of her non-profit were the 5 P's of success (I added one more P). Her P's are:

  1. Passion (I added this P)
  2. Prayer
  3. Patience
  4. Persistence
  5. Perseverance
  6. Productivity

I have been earning money as an entrepreneur since I was 9 years old. From watering grass to owning my own vending machine company. I have done catering, network marketing, and real estate. I discovered that passion is a key ingredient. Passion makes the sixth P. Some of these business paid for my prom, college, professional licenses, and exotic vacations. The 6 P's work.

Here are the 6 P's of success .

1.Passion: a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything

In my 20's I was all about the money. I went to school, got scholarships, investing in real estate, trade commodities, and was in management at UPS. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur but I was looking for the quick buck. I made the quick buck and lost even quicker.

I wanted the shortcut. I raised money for real estate projects that never came to fruition. I worked at a job I hated, and started companies in niches I had no business being in. It took me years to find my passion of writing and speaking.

When I worked for a event staffing agency at USC and UCLA football games I noticed the passion these young players had. Passion was evident in their coaches, parents, and their fans. For the players and the students this was a short term event in their lives. These players and students would graduate and move on. But for that moment they had passion.

Passion is a must your business. I see so many people start a business because they went to a seminar, a friend asked them, or they stayed up late and so an infomercial. I have made the same mistake many times. Do not follow the money follow your passion.

How enthusiastic are you about your job? How excited are you about your debts and living paycheck to paycheck? Do you have that same attitude about the business you are in? Are you working in a position that fits your skills, talents, and strengths? It took me until I was 35 before I started living my passion.

Passion is the fuel that keeps you going when the sales are slow, when you lose out on contracts, when the affiliate company shuts down, and the city will not approve your plans. Passion propels you to take your dreams and turn them into a reality.

Before someone joins my team I ask them what their passions are. I want to know that they have a passion for internet marketing. If they do not I do not need them on my team. Our passions have to align because when adversity arise I want them to stick it through.

Do not fret if you are not working in your passion. Find out what drives you and get into it ASAP! I missed out on years of enjoyment because I limited myself to making money and not working in my passion. Find your passion.

Choose a business and make sure you work in your skills, talents, and strengths. I never thought I could make money writing and speaking. There are a lot of people who achieve success and wonder, "Is that all there is?" Do not be that person.

2. Prayer: a devout petition to God or an object of worship.

The definition says a devout petition. Devine guidance will lead you to success. George Washington Carver prayed everyday about a little peanut. Numerous products came from his inventions of that peanut. Because of his devotion to prayer he created new industries from his discoveries.

This is not a discussion about which religion is right. I believe the Lord Jesus Christ is my savior and I will leave it at that. Do develop a relationship and spend quality time with your creator. Prayer has saved me from mistakes. Prayer has guided me and it is a key component in the 6 P's.

Prayer can lead you to breakthroughs with your business. This is where your hunches and ah-ha moments can come from. Quiet time and calmness brings clarity. Why not spend it with a higher power. Do not like the word "Prayer". Then find some meditation time. Call it whatever you want.

3. Patience: the quality of being patient , as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

"God I need patience and I want it now!" I have struggled with patience. I want things to happen now and fast. In our society of instant gratification, text messages, 24 hour news channels, and get rich quick schemes, people expect success NOW. You are bombarded about losing weight in 5 days, make $ 10k this week, and get it now with no payments until next year.

My mother preached TTTT. These Things Take Time. The law of seedtime and harvest is always in effect. It takes time to test marketing campaigns, for escrows to close, and to build a list of clients. It requires patience to build relationships. Have your 90 day goals stretched to six months?

Passion and prayer gives strength to your patience. Patience does not involve being passive. It takes fortitude to keep marketing when the funds are low. Patience helps you study the trends so you can capitalize on it. Patience is listening to mentors and people who have traveled the road you are on.

Developing a long term perspective is the key to patience. Delay instant gratification and keep your end result in mind. If doctors can spend years in school you can do the same mastering your business.

4. Persistence: the continuance of an effect after its cause is removed.

That pesky word that people hate. Persistence is the active part of patience. I can remember my mother persisting with her organization. Bringing in the funding, the sponsors, the events, and busing kids in from the local schools for entrepreneur expos.

Persistence was the key to me getting my real estate license, writing over 100 published articles, and posting 600 blogs. Persistence is planting the seeds and tilling the ground until you can reap a harvest. Persistence is asking for the sale, constant marketing, and communicating your vision of your company.

Here is a lesson on persistence:

· Mark Victor Hanson's book was turned down 300 times before he and his partner went on to sell 500 million books.

· Abraham Lincoln encountered lost elections, the death of his sweet heart, and failed businesses before he became the 13th president of the United states.

· John Elway lost 3 Super Bowls before he won back-to-back Super Bowls before he retired.

Persistence will serve you well. It is your best friend in life when you intentionally use it to become successful. Would you tell your child to quit trying to walk after they fell down? Look into your past and see where persistence has helped you conquer obstacles. How did you feel? Also look at where you should have persisted. Sometimes all it takes is one more try.

5. Perseverance: steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

In order to persist you must persevere. Remembered the failures I listed above. Those people persevered. John Elway had three of the worst losses as a Quarterback for a Super Bowl Team. He got crushed by the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXI.

He was out played be Doug Williams, in Super Bowl XXII where Doug Williams broke Super Bowl records and the Washington Redskins posted the biggest margin of victory in Super Bowl history. He was outplayed again in Super Bowl XXIV where he was outplayed again by Joe Montana's record breaking performance.

Three humiliating losses. Did John Elway quit? No! He continued to play and 8 years later he won his first Super Bowl and the next year his team won again. This is a great example of perseverance.

Roadblocks are on the road to achievement. Setbacks are a part of life and a process in your business. Logically setbacks make sense but emotionally we do not think they will happen.

Disasters are going to happen. Losing your biggest client, your downline deserts you, escrow did not close, no one showed up for your meeting, or your presentation was terrible. It's going to happen. The question is how will you respond? How quickly do you get back on your feet? Will you keep pushing forward? This is what perseverance is all about.

Recall the moments you persevered. It could be a project that took years to complete or that last rep in your workout. You have wins and these wins build your confidence.

6. Productivity: the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services.

Are you productive? Plain and simple you have to produce to succeed. You do not make money until you sell something. Your focal point is productivity and sales is your priority. Bottom line is you generate traffic, that produce leads, and those leads convert to sales.

Bring productivity to your sales teams and downlines. Busyness is not being productive. Focus on Income Producing Activities 70% of the time and your business will thrive. Put in systems to help you become more productive.

Even a one person empire needs systems in place. You, as the rainmaker need to practice Do It, Delegate It, Defer It, or Delete It. You can outsource, hire your kids, or use technology to make you more productive.

These are the 6 P's of success that I learned from my mother and practice today. She still uses them in her business at the age of 74. Implement and teach them to your family, friends, and team.


Source by Charles Fitzgerald Butler

The Banana Pudding: Writing Tips for Novice Writers


I combined an old southern dessert, the need for extra income, and some basic entrepreneurial concerns to complete a short story.

Readers do not always need a 500 page document in order to understand your thoughts and ideas. If you have lots to say, all is well. But if you feel the need to hit all the important points with a short story or essay and shut it down, it's still OK.

The Banana Pudding

Let's face it. The economy has not been nice to anyone lately and no matter how many up-to-the- minute reports we hear about jobs and current employment statistics, we are still trying to figure this thing out. Actually, the condition of the current economy has basically put everyone into a survival mode by any means necessary.

As financial responsibilities increase for all of us I am beginning to hear from friends who are using old school tactics to generate additional income for themselves and their families. It is still true that necessity is the mother of invention, especially during a financial famine that seems to have no end.

As you drive to your job or home from the supermarket, you are beginning to ask yourself:

• What can I do to increase my income or generate a cash flow?
• What can I create that people will want or need and come back for more?
• How do I decide on the price (s) for my service or product?
• Do I need a business partner or do I need to do this alone?
• What resources do I need?
• Who do I contact for advice?
• How do I jumpstart my idea?

Powered by vBulletin Help! I need to do something extra and different to make ends meet and where do I start?

Everyone has Gifts

This may seem a bit strange, but somewhere or sometime in your life, you have received compliments about something that you do very well. If it was something that you do easily without thinking, you probably just smiled, said thank you, and thought nothing of it. It is also true that others see talents or gifts in us that we sometimes ignore or dismiss. These talents could be the key to your future success.

It's time to put those compliments to work! Identify what you do well with little or no hesitation, it's easy, and you enjoy doing it. It could be one thing or several items. It's best to work with one thing. So, sit down, do some thinking, make a list of the items related to your talent, and think about viewing your gift as a small business.

Research Your Idea

Is my idea beneficial to a specific group or generic enough to attract a variety of customers?

• Is my idea beneficial to a specific group or generic enough to attract a variety of customers?
• Is my idea already available?
• If so, does the public need another version of the same service or product?
• Will my service or product be short-term or long-term?
• What are my startup costs?
• Do I need insurance, bonding, or an official business name?

All of these factors will need to be considered and researched before you put a plan into action. If not, you will face them as you proceed with your idea and the costs could be detrimental to your business initiative. Although all entrepreneurial ideas are a risk, an early exploration of the challenges will save you the grief of expensive lessons in realtime later.

Do you need a business partner?

If you choose a business partner, be aware that the person must have the same business mindset and mission that you project. For instance, if you are always on time and your potential business partner is outstanding with product development, but habitually late, it will cause some conflict. There will be missed deadlines and opportunities, customer complaints, and lost revenue. On the other hand, it would be wise to choose a partner with some technical or networking skills that you are lacking or still developing. You could communicate with this person by email, Skype, or phone when necessary and tardiness will not be an issue. Never ignore the talents of others, but be cautious as to how they will fit into your business endeavor. Food for thought: many great business projects have been undermined or sabotaged by an uncommitted business partner.

Talk to a small business owner in your family, community, or place of worship.

• How did they begin?
• What changes did they experience over time?
• What do they say about the good times versus the bad?
• How did they identify and contact resources?
• What situations did they avoid, accept or modify?
• How did they manage weeks or months without making a profit?
• When is it time to close shop or change my target goal?

Listen to their highs and lows of owning a business and the sacrifices involved, both financial and personal. Then, consider your current circumstances, level of patience and persistence, and make an informed decision. You do not need an MBA to own a successful business, but you do need every available ounce of information available about the venture you are about to undertake. For instance, an important reality for new business owners is being aware that the first few months or years may not yield a profit. Those challenging times must be considered as part of the planning process because many new business fail due to unrealistic goals and grandiose expectations.

Finally, I must stop here because I need to pick up a banana pudding for an afternoon meeting. Yes, I did say banana pudding. I have a friend who has developed a home based business from her mother's banana pudding recipe and if I do not get there within the next 30 minutes she will have sold out!

PS I forgot to add: she did not quit her day job. She's still employed at GM and she will be there until her home based business is able to show growth and stability. Smart cookie!

Did the reader get some valuable tips for starting a new business? I hope so. So, mix it up, combine some elements, and cook up a story.


Source by Lynda Mubarak

Components for Throwing a Great Baby Shower


Do you beam with excitement when you think about hosting a baby shower for an expectant friend or relative but then cringe at the thought of all the party planning details that are involved? Not everyone feels they are a natural hostess when it comes to throwing a baby shower party; however, if you put these basic components together, you will not fail and the mom-to-be will be sure to appreciate all your efforts!

There is no set way to throw a baby shower. With that in mind, if you account for these key components you will, without a doubt, have thrown a successful baby shower.

1) Location – This is not something to sweat about. Ask yourself what resources you have at your disposal. Do you belong to a local church? Are you a member of any organizations that have banquet rooms available to rent? Or, just consider hosting the party at your house or even the mom-to-be's house. Keep the distance within reason if you're not hosting the shower in the home so the expectant mother does not have to travel very far. Do not be afraid to ask the expectant mother how she would feel about having the shower in her home (if it's not a surprise shower, that is).

2) Decorations – Most every type of party includes decorations, whether general and colorful or tailored towards a specific theme. If the parents-to-be have chosen not to find out the gender of the baby then your shower decorations will most likely use varied pastels without sticking to mainly pink or blue as with known gender showers. Many stores and sites sell baby shower decorations so you'll never be at a loss as to how to transform your location into a decorated baby haven; However, every good by baby shower deserves a great centerpiece for the main food or gift table and a by baby diaper cake will make a great conversation piece and will serve color : as a gift for the expectant mom when the shower is over.

3) Food – Ah, the food . Again, this is not something to sweat about. If you're hosting the shower, I can only assume that you know the expectant mom well enough to know what some of her likes and dislikes are when it comes to food. You can go as simple as finger foods or as lavish as a hot meal. Keep in mind what would work best with the length of time you plan on having the shower. And of course, do not forget the baby shower cake! Whether you make a cake yourself or order one through a local bakery, every baby shower would not be complete without a cake.

4) Games – It seems to be a long standing tradition to play fun and silly games at a baby shower. There are a multitude of game ideas out there to choose from and some may fit your theme if your shower is centered around one. Keep the number of games limited for time sake and encourage everyone to participate, even the expectant mom. By the time you are done playing games, everyone will be in such a great mood, that the last component will help with winding down the baby shower before everyone goes home.

5) Gifts – Probably the most important component and main reason people throw a baby shower is to give the expectant mom gifts for the baby and even to her. Shopping for a unique and creative baby gift to give at a baby shower can be stressful for some people. Depending on how many baby showers you've attended before, you may have seen many people give a lot of similar gifts and you want to get a little more creative. Most moms-to-be will have created a baby registry at a local store or two so you can always check out her wish list and try to put a unique spin on some of the things she will need or would like to have for the baby . Great way to A do this is with a new by baby gift basket That showcases practical and fun items That mom and by baby can use together. I assure you that this type of newborn gift will be a hit at a baby shower.

Now that you know what you need to consider, I hope you enjoy the planning process for hosting a baby shower and more importantly, the baby shower when it occurs. Best of luck and remember, as long as you combine the components from above, no matter the cost, time, or effort involved in planning a baby shower, the reward is seeing how happy your expectant friend or relative will be knowing how much you care !


Source by Janet Vanson

Archetypal Rites of Passage in Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima


In Bless Me, Ultima Rudolfo Anaya tells a classic coming of age story by interweaving ancient world symbolism, particularly nature archetypes, with the ritualistic traditions of the Catholic Church in a New Mexico village near the end of World War II. These symbols connect to each other with such historic strength that together they give depth to a tale that becomes not only Antonio Marez's story of growing up in the Southwest in 1944 but also one that reaches back to the beginning of time and becomes universally an archetypal motif for humanity.

The Sun and the Moon

Although all of the characters contribute to the cohesiveness of the novel, the story belongs to Antonio, who is seven years old when the story opens, and Ultima, the curandera who was present at Antonio's birth and who has now come to live with his family in her remaining years. While Antonio, or Tony, has two older sisters at home, he also has three brothers who have been serving their country overseas in the war and return home. Tony's father is a Marez, a man whose traditions cling to the earth, the llano, the large grassy, ​​almost treeless plain where a man can ride his horse and enjoy the camaraderie of his wandering friends, seeking freedom in this open country. His wife is a Luna, a family of farmers who love the rich soil by the river, roots, and the tradition of living by the moon's cycles. The sun and the moon have come together, but is it a sacred marriage of heaven and earth?

Influence of the Feminine Principle

Tony's father wants him to take up the Marez ways, but his mother prays every day that Tony will become a farmer-priest and continue the path set by the Luna family. His mother, Maria Luna, embodies the feminine principle associated with her name, holding onto the power of cyclic time, and her source of strength comes from that lunar Queen of Heaven, the Virgin de Guadalupe, whose statue she kneels before every day. The Virgin is the Moon Goddess, the weaver and spinner of the thread of destiny, and it is she whom Maria implores for her son's destiny in the Catholic Church. It is no coincidence that Saint Anthony is the patron saint of poor people, for Maria Luna prays that her son Tony's destiny will also be worthy of sainthood, a priest beyond praise. The matriarchal influence that surrounds Tony grows even stronger when Ultima arrives.

Questioning the Matriarchal World

Antonio develops a bond with Ultima the moment she enters their house, addressing her by her first name rather than the respectful Grande, and his mother scolds him for this breach. But Ultima recognizes this connection between them and takes Tony with her every day to gather the plants and herbs she will use in her cures. He learns from her as she speaks gently to the plants she takes, explaining to them why she must take their roots from the earth. She teaches him that all of nature has a spiritual life, a presence. While Tony thrives in this matriarchal world of his mother, the Virgin de Guadalupe, and Ultima, he begins to question the spiritual beliefs of his mother as well as those of Ultima, torn between which one is the true belief, and then he discovers the spiritual presence of the golden carp from his friend Samuel.

The Golden Carp

It is bad luck to fish for the big carp that summer floods wash downstream. Like the big fish fighting their way back upstream to regain their abode and not be trapped, Tony struggles for his own evolution of the spirit. Samuel tells Tony the story of an ancient god who loved the people of the earth so much he turned them into carp instead of killing them for their sins. As the story evolves into a parallel of his own Catholicism, he learns that the god who loved the people turned himself into a fish, the golden carp, so he could take care of his people. Tony is confused about who is right-God, the Virgin, or the golden carp.

Ultima, Curandera

As Tony witnesses Ultima healing his family with her magic cures, he wonders if she is also stronger than the church and her saints. When Maria's brother Lucas suddenly becomes very ill, feared to have been cursed by one of Tenorio Trementina's daughters for stumbling onto her witchcraft, the family asks Ultima to use her power as a curandera to heal him. Medicine and the Catholic Church have not been successful. They accept Ultima's condition: When anybody tampers with fate, a chain of events is set into motion over which they will not have control. They must be willing to accept this reality. They do and the grandfather pays Ultima $ 40 in silver-silver typifying once more the lunar feminine principle, to cure his son Lucas.

Good Is Stronger Than Evil

Ultima's requests for supplies and quiet are met, but she also requires Tony's assistance because, he says, his first name is Juan-John as in Saint John and John the Baptist-whose name means graced by God. Tony watches her rituals, the bathing of his dying uncle, the burning of incense, the ingesting of the potion of herbs, and the long hours of waiting. He knows he is in the midst of evil but he is not afraid. Ultima calms his fears, "Good is always stronger than evil. The smallest bit of good can stand against all the powers of evil in the world and it will emerge triumphant." Tony will strengthen the good she can do because he is graced by God, a concept that is in alignment with his Catholicism.

Before Ultima forces the cure down Lucas's throat, she sculpts three dolls from her magic oils and fresh black clay. She dresses them and lets Lucas breathe on them, and then she dips three pins in oil and sticks them into the dolls. Tony does not fully understand what Ultima has done until later when two of the Trementina daughters die. He is confused by her power that seems to be one with and yet greater than God's.

Narciso, Dionysian Life and Death

Tony's friend Samuel tells Cico about the golden carp. When Samuel leaves to herd sheep with his father, Cico takes Tony to see the coming of the golden carp, but on their way, they stop at the house of Narciso, a Dionysian figure who gets drunk in the spring and plants at night in the moonlight. When he is away and the two boys slip into his hidden garden, Tony understands what Cico means when he says, "The garden is like Narciso-it is drunk." Tony is awestricken by the fruitfulness of this garden nurtured in moonlight, but in fear or perhaps superstition he will not partake of the bounty.

Narciso tries to warn Ultima of Tenorio's intention to kill her in retribution for the alleged curse she has put on his second daughter who is dying. Tony, returning home in the snow from rehearsing the school Christmas pageant, secretly follows him. When Tony's brother Andrew can not break away from Rosie's house of ill repute to help, the aging Narciso must go himself and Tony continues to follow him. Tenorio shoots Narciso, who lies dying under the juniper tree. Even though Tony is confused about his role in the Catholic Church, he makes the sign of the cross over Narciso and takes his confession, acting as the priest his family expects him to become. Succumbing to pneumonia, Tony dreams of the omnipresence of evil in his village as everything in it dies a violent death and is burned while the golden carp swallows all and glows as brilliant as a new sun.

Emptiness: Where Is God?

It is now time for Tony to study his catechism with the other boys at the church in preparation for his first communion, yet he still wonders if the golden carp is more powerful than the God of his Catholic Church. He wonders if the Virgin Mary or the golden carp rules in God's absence. On Easter Sunday as Tony takes the wafer for the first time, he prays for answers to his question: why is there evil and death and torture? He feels only emptiness. He thinks, "The God I so eagerly sought was not there," and he later confides to his teacher that growing up is not easy. He tells her, "Ultima says a man's destiny must unfold itself like a flower."

Again Tony is witness to Ultima's power to cure as she performs rituals to lift a curse from Tony's father's friend Tellez. That night Tony still has received no communication from God. He asks, what really is God's power? Cico tells him he must choose between the God of the church and the golden carp. As they watch the majesty of the God-like carp swimming in the creek, they decide that their friend Florence, one who could not take his first communion because he would not confess his nonexistent sins, has earned the right to witness the golden carp for himself. When they go to find him, however, they discover he has drowned in a swimming accident below the Blue Lake.

Tony dreams again, and in this dream everything he believes in dies-even Ultima and the golden carp. Distraught, he is sent to his uncles in Los Puerto to learn about farming. Before he goes, Ultima says, "Life is filled with sadness when a boy grows to be a man." Tony asks his father if a new religion could be made. Tony's father Gabriel Marez explains to his son that understanding does not come from God. It comes from experiencing life, and it takes a lifetime to acquire this understanding. He realizes Tony's confusion about religion and healing, in particular, and he tells him that Ultima has no fear because "she has sympathy for people, so complete that she can touch their souls and cure them." Tony grows stronger that summer from everything that has happened to him.

Ultima and the Owl: The Blessing of Antonio

But Tenorio's second daughter dies and in his insanity, he first tries to kill Tony, who escapes him, and then goes to Guadalupe to find and kill Ultima. Instead Tenorio shoots the owl and, as he points the rifle at Tony, Pedro, who is Tony's uncle, kills him with his pistol. Ultima, whose life is connected to the life of the owl, is dying. She whispers to Tony that she is like the owl, "winging its way to a new place, a new time." Before she dies, he asks for her blessing. "Her hand touched my forehead and her last words were, 'I bless you in the name of all that is good and strong and beautiful, Antonio. Love life, and if despair enters your heart, look for me in the evenings when the wind is gentle and the owls sing in the hills. I shall be with you- "

Tony buries the owl under the juniper tree in the moonlight, symbol of his mother's family. He covers the owl with the earth of the llano, the home and symbol of his father. Whether or not Tony has the maturity to comprehend the totality of the blessings as well as the evil accompanying his rites of passage, he nevertheless has been touched deeply by the feminine archetypes of the moon, the three fates, the river and the fish, the owl and the juniper, and the cyclic changes around him so that he will recall Ultima's advice with greater understanding and wisdom as he grows into a man: "Take life's experiences and build strength from them, not weakness."


Source by Susan O'Connor

A Do It Yourself Wedding in New York City For $ 10,000 Or Less, Is It Possible?


A do-it-yourself (DIY) wedding in New York City sounds like an oxymoron, but it can be done. There are various ways of complying with that statement above and all for under $ 10,000. Well, under $ 10,000. You can still have quite an extravagant wedding, even an over the top wedding for under $ 10,000 AND in New York. Let me show you how it can be done, including your honeymoon. Now I know you're thinking that is an impossibility. My husband and I did it and so can you.

It mostly depends on just what it is you want your fantasy day to say and whether or not one thing is the most important item or if you would prefer to have featured several things. For me I wanted the colors of our wedding to be featured, my dress and the water feature for my husband at the reception. At another time I will tell you about my excursions to and from the various locations to secure, just what I wanted for my wedding. Right now, I will give you the nitty-gritty about what I reaped from my excursions.

What if you only wanted one thing to be the major featured item? Of course, it does not have to be just one thing, it can be several, but just so you do not go crazy, I suggest you choose one to two items rather than a whole slew, but if you want more than that, do not do any more than five. Most brides start off believing they can do it all and realize within eight to six months of the wedding that they can not. A friend's help comes in quite handily, after all your really close friends will have asked you all along what they can do to help. At about ten to eight months out from the wedding is the best time to take them up on their offers. I did. More about me later, though. I have a friend who did a wedding with a potluck reception at a very famous church here in Manhattan and even though it was phenomenally delicious, to my idea that was not even the featured item in her wedding. I am getting ahead of myself though.

Her wedding had a committee of three women -the project managers- to help her stay within her budget which was WAY under $ 10,000. I believe she and her new husband paid no more than $ 6000 for their entire wedding, which included the reception space in that very same famous church. They did not pay for catering which can be quite pricey when it comes to weddings. In fact, the wedding couple paid nothing for the food at the reception, so plus the cost of the space, If they'd paid for catering it would have run close to the $ 6000 for their 150 guests. By having a potluck, she paid nothing other than the cost of the hall. The Riverside Church Chapel for me cost $ 800 (In a previous article, I said $ 1200, but in reality it was $ 800 for mine.) In 2005, but for another friend of mine last year, she paid $ 1500. I got the members' cost, but last year, there was no differential between members and nonmembers, so even though she is a member, she had to pay big bucks.

My friend's wedding costs are an approximation, because I did not pry that much, .. yet. She is out of the country now, so I can not ask her at all, but I am judging from her comments to me at the time. Forgetting about the cost of hers and her husband wearing apparel which I can tell you he had his own tux in his closet and her wedding dress was bought from a non-wedding wedding store on sale.

  • Since my friend is a singer too, she had friends who sang during her wedding, that were of course gratis or gifts. Basically that is a win-win situation all around. Since you tap your friends, you tap the voices you want singing your songs of choice. That's what I did and both she and her ex-husband sang at my and my husband's wedding.
  • Here's a big tip if you do not want to spend big time money on your dress, if it's to be one of the featured items, go to a non-wedding store in search of your gown. Personally I went to Filene's Basement bridal store, a year before my wedding and bought a dress for $ 536 with tax, so it is possible to pay for a dress under $ 3000. But my friend did not go the bridal store route. She went to Paramus Mall to Lord & Taylor. I do not remember exactly how much she paid, but I do know it was almost half as much as my dress.
  • She also did not go with a traditional veil, but went with a tiara alone. For mine, I had both, but did not pay a premium for either. I made up my own veil for less than $ 10 and found a tiara that did not look cheap at Claire's Accessories for less than $ 20. She wore a tiara as well. A gold tiara, which costs no more than a $ 100.
  • For her reception, she had no music, we'd had plenty during her wedding ceremony. In another article I've already told you about using your own Mp3 player and saving big bucks in that respect. If you do want to hire a DJ or reception host, I suggest you go with a friend of a friend who is just starting to spin, but that the friend can vouch for their abilities, if you have not experienced them for yourself. Remember, whatever you do, GET a contract. One that spells out exactly what you want and expect them to do at the party. That means the songs you expect and when. That way, the surprises will not have anything to do with dancing. That way both you and your guests can be happy without much annoyance on anyone's part. New DJ's can start as low as $ 75 an hour and go up from there. If you want an established DJ, it could be as much as $ 125 – $ 350 an hour. This again is if you want to stay within your budget of $ 10000. Just remember you will need your DJ for at least four hours, so do your multiplication from there.
  • Transportation: Ah, you can go the traditional route with the white limos, or you can go with black limos, too. Did you know that the color of the limo can determine the price. White limos are more expensive and if you mention wedding additional money is added for that special day. Just be glad that you are not going to prom, because that is the limousine's big day (s) for money making. Limousines can be anywhere from $ 500 for a two and half hour rental to, of course thousands. To really save money, if you are friends with a special car association you could rent or borrow the owners' cars. Or now with the Internet companies, Zip Car, Drive Mint or even Connect By Hertz you could rent a car of your dreams for a great rates. Each of these dot com hourly car rentals can save you a bundle. Think about it.
  • Did you guess already that the featured item for my friend's wedding was the dress? Well, if you did you would have been correct. The bride wore, what appeared to be gold. In actuality, the dress was a copper lace with a light pink undergarment that peeked through, which made the dress upon entrance and even as she continued to walk down the aisle appear to be molten liquid gold. She was drummed in. Of course, the bride is usually the center piece of most weddings, but as they say in the theater, people were humming the dress the rest of the evening, especially since she was able to match the dress with a cape, that was already in her closet.
  • Transportation – Getting to and sometimes from the wedding ceremony can be challenging when it comes to keeping costs down, but with these suggestions you can be home free.

Dress $ 536

Tux Rental $ 56

Cake $ 825

Limo / Catering $ 375 / $ 625 = $ 1000

Special added catering $ 0 Wedding gift from Mother-in-Law

Professional Photographer $ 400 for 5 hours – childhood friend of groom

Video $ 0 Best Man's gift

Ceremony / Minister $ 800 Christ Chapel Riverside Church

Flowers $ 375 from Flower wholesaler

Reception rental and 2 cases of champagne $ 1251

DJ $ 250 – 4.5 hours

Printer $ 68 printing wedding invitations & thank you notes

Papers Invitations, Envelopes, (Inner / Outer) Thank You Notes / Envelopes $ 82

Save-the-Date magnets $ 16

Miscellaneous Favors, candles, material, silk rose petals, disposable cameras, decorative Chinese boxes, & tissue paper $ 350

Honeymoon Cruise & extras $ 1391

Our total expenditures in 2005 Wedding / Honeymoon $ 7400

  1. For the Rental Car weekend: the Go Green with Http:// $ 160.33 / weekend day Whether it is for 6 hours or 24 hours. Go with the 24 since you can use it for those last minutes things that come up before the wedding. That is for a smart Fortwo, talk about making an entrance. Keep in mind with Hertz you can pick the car up at one location and drop it off somewhere else, as long as they have a lot. That could save you some time. For instance: pick up at a Hertz on the upper west side and drop it off at one of their hotel locations especially if you're not going away to your honeymoon right away ..
  2. Car rental for the 3-day weekend from Speedy-Rent-A-Car $ 205.00
  3. Rental from or are by the hour $ 11.00 from – $ 17.00 for the weekend depending on the car. Scion Xb or A smart 's Fortwo on the Low Shoes end hourly or a Mercedes on the high end at hourly
  4. Or offer relatives and friends a couple of dollars, depending on your budget, to chauffeur you and your wedding party around for a couple of hours.
  5. What if you want to have your wedding catered, it is still possible to do it economically in a big city, whether it is in New York City or Chicago, or even Boston, you just need a bit of ingenuity to stay within your budget. If you're a curious detailed oriented person like I am, then you'll decide this is the fun part, the chase or the journey to end that you really want. It is actually the magic part about the entire wedding, I think, because you are at the stage where you are shaping the outcome of the day. It will take patience and possibly legwork, to see just what you might be getting for the day of event, but the hunt (for the guys) is on and it can be a great deal of fun. Here are a few tips:
  6. Decide on the type of wedding and plan your food accordingly. Such as casual, spiffy-casual, or formal, (usually sit down) While casual and spiffy-casual may come very close to looking like the same thing, they really are quite different when it comes to food. I have seen casually catered events start as low as $ 12.95 per person or just under $ 1200 for 85 people. This is strict buffet style, no seating provided, but stand-up cocktail tables in various spots with food arrangements on them along with some passed appetizers, as well.
  7. My friend's wedding although it had a very high-church of various cultures feel to it had a casual reception, since all the guests were expected to bring something. With her committee of 'wedding corralling ladies', the guests with each acceptance of the invitation was then asked what were they bringing. By doing it that way my friend saved all sorts of money and even had leftovers. Wedding party paid nothing, zero, zip, for that feast. Their reception had everything from appetizers to desserts including rum balls, (YUM!). Some of us were getting high just smelling the rum balls, additionally there was even a fruit bowl.
  8. Another casual reception could be to have a stand around party with a huge sandwich or various pizzas or have your new mother-in-law make something for the crowd. You can probably strike up a deal with your favorite pizza store once you pass 10 pizzas. Figure at 3 slices per guest and you've got it made. For instance, a pizza usually has 12 slices and for 80 guests, you'd have to have 20 pies feeding each person 3 slices each. My neighborhood pizza store sells a large pie for $ 16 each, but if I ordered 20 pies for 85 guests, my budget for food would be at around $ 350. Even as much as $ 350, you must give your guests something to wash down the pizzas.
  9. For more organic less oil, use whole grain flat breads; American or Italian version with different toppings, as your starter rather than bread and cheese.
  10. Perhaps as I did you can get a combination price with another feature of the wedding. My limousine company managed a caterer and so I got a combination price. Plus, my new mother-in-law, made something special in large quantities for her son. We had 85 guests and our total with the 4-hour use of the limousine and caterer was $ 625. My new mother-in-law's food was gratis. Ours was a casual formal of sorts. It was buffet style with seating.
  11. The formal caterer or sit down with service is where you'll have to weigh your options on how much is too much. These types often run as low as $ 27 per person and up into the thousands. If you're trying to do a wedding for under $ 10,000, as I am advocating then you're probably priced out of this market unless you can strike a deal with one of your favorite restaurants. Perhaps Carmine's, in which the food is served family-style, but everyone is sitting. This could be a possibility. My friends took me there for graduation and we ordered one full meal and had left overs for two additional people.
  12. If using Carmine's works for you, I am betting that it can work for your budget as well. Think about it, a main dish for a meal is $ 21 – 25, which easily feeds 5 – 6 people. If you have 12 tables of 8 could still be pricey, but your guests will be full and have potential doggy bags to take home. Roughly your pricing could still be under $ 1000, even with the addition of salad, garlic bread and dessert. YUM! A pure feast to behold.
  13. Decorations is another item that can run into lots of pennies. In this instance, I am talking about the flowers for the bride and the wedding party and the extras for the reception to make it wedding theme oriented. The extras could include tulle and floating or almost infinite ideas as motifs or table decorations of some kind. Here are few of my favorites with pricing of the day:
  14. Check any of the websites that sell pre-made flowers and you're good to go. Flower arrangements start as low as $ 29.95 and go $ 79.95 for our purposes. Flowers can, of course go into the hundreds from these websites and upward if you use a florists.
  15. To cut cost further, the bride and matron / maid of honor could be the only people to carry flowers and then everything else could be decorated at the ceremony venue with tulle or aisle candles.
  16. At the reception venue, the theme could be carried further with floating candles on the tables as centerpieces instead of flowers. If, like we did, you have a water feature, add some floating candles, larger than the table candles, to it and call it a day. Candles at the reception venue could run you a whopping $ 100 to start unless you want or have a half an acre to decorate.
  17. Add some special candies or other cheery items for the table; M & M's or Jordan Almonds or Junior mints. We went with special made-to-order M & M's. I bought 3 bags and that was all I needed, at $ 11 per bag, it was a steal. And you get to choose your colors so they can coordinate with your wedding colors. Pretty cool, I think and inexpensive, too.
  18. Do not forget those disposable cameras, so your guests can snap some fun pictures as well. Check out various websites and you might be able to get 9 cameras all for $ 35, just like I did.

So, it can be done with a bit of ingenuity, verve, and flair. Dreamers can.


Source by CharLena M. Pearson

The Silent Communication in "The Duchess and the Jeweler" by Virginia Woolf


The Duchess and the Jeweler is the story of the world's greatest jeweler who had promised his mother to become the richest jeweler in the world in his childhood but now that his dream has materialized he does not feel satisfied. So trying to achieve satisfaction, knowingly he buys fake pearls from a Duchess in exchange for passing a whole weekend with her daughter whom he is in love with. The purpose of this essay is to show how Virginia Woolf has successfully presented the inner mind of the characters, their struggle and their communication through the least amount of verbal communication among them.

The silent communication created by Woolf's "The Duchess and the Jeweler" is firstly the communication between the reader and the story and secondly the communication between the characters in the text themselves. In better words this story firstly reveals the mind of the characters to the reader through the least amount of explicit expression of their states and secondly presents the interaction among the characters of the story through the fewest possible dialogues among them.

The first stance in the unvoiced communication between the reader and the story is the revelation of the childhood memories of Oliver Bacon that takes place without the author's giving voice to them. The very first acquaintance of the reader with Oliver's childhood takes place when he addresses himself: "you who began life in the filthy little alley" and then falls in to his childhood memories. This very short statement of Oliver to himself is very expressive of his childhood and also of his attitude towards this period of his life. Through the author's prior descriptions of the living place of Oliver, his servant and his habits it is revealed that Oliver Bacon is a very affluent man now while this short self-address reveals his childhood poverty. Also it is through his retrospections that the readers get aware that he has started with selling stolen dogs, continued with selling watches in a little counter, and finally has promoted to his present profession as a jeweler. So it is mostly through Oliver's silent remembrances that the reader gets familiar with his early days. Also this little talk of Oliver to himself shows the reader that he has a pre-occupation with his childhood and all the efforts he has gone through in order to save all his money. Though he never mentions this, his constant retrospections show the importance that his childhood has for him. As an example when Oliver is in his room just before the entrance of the Duchess, he starts thinking of his boyhood passed in misery and hard times. This shows how Virginia Woolf cunningly, without explicit mentioning of Oliver's pre-occupation with his childhood, interacts with the reader through the character's retrospections and gives the reader the chance to get involved with the text. Therefore the mind of Oliver and also his general history is disclosed to the reader through the least number of spoken words of the character.

Woolf has also took the advantage of using imagery in order to disclose to the reader this state of dissatisfaction of Oliver through her language of signs and images as an alternative to the words. She resembles Oliver to a camel that is entrapped in the zoo, and is not satisfied with its life, because it can see "the blue lake and the fringe of palm trees in front of it." In other words, Oliver wants more and more and in spite of all his gatherings he feels like a mere camel that is thirsty of the water it sees but is not able to reach it. Also the reader reads the Oliver's loneliness and his need of a soul mate, when Oliver remembers the days when "mademoiselle used to pick one (red rose) every morning and stick it in his button-hole." This picture gives the reader the understanding that Oliver is feeling the lack of an anima in his life; that there has been someone who probably Oliver had a sense of love for (image of red rose) and who has left Oliver due to his greed for money. This is confirmed later on by the text itself: "but mademoiselle had married Mr. Pedder of the local brewery- no one stuck roses in his buttonholes." This sentence again confirms his loneliness and his need of a wife, though this is not mentioned directly by Oliver himself.

The revelation of the dominance of Oliver's mother over his life and the fact that she has been dictating him all her life and is even now after her death dictating her, is understood through his constant remembrance of his mother in all his choice makings in his life though this is never mentioned directly in the story. He remembers his mother reprimanding him when he stole dogs as a child and when he buys the fake pearls from the duchess at the end of the story he asks the forgiveness of the old woman in the picture and again feels like a little boy. So these constant rememberings of his mother also imply to the reader his mother's dominance over him even after her death though this is just understood and never stated.

The reader also gets aware of Oliver's arrogance and pride, in his contacts with his workers though there hardly takes place a conversation with them; In the first contact of the workers with Oliver at his shop, there is no spoken communication; however through their "envying look" the reader understands their attitudes to Oliver and his indifference to them is revealed as the author says "it was only with one finger of the amber-colored glove, waggling that he acknowledged their presence." This unspoken interaction between them is to a large extent expressive of their attitude towards each other.

As mentioned earlier, this unspoken communication between the reader and the text takes place among the characters of the story as well. The very first silent communication among the characters occurs when Oliver as a youngster is passing through a group of jewelers discussing the price of gold and "one of them would lay a finger to the side of his nose and murmur, 'hum-mm,' as he passed. it was no more than a murmur; no more than a nudge on the shoulder, a finger on the nose, a buzz that ran through the cluster of the jewelers … but still Oliver felt it purring down his spine, the nudge, the murmur that meant, 'look at him- young Oliver, the young jeweler- there he goes. " As the text says the slightest gestures of the jewelers has meant a lot of encouraging words to Oliver and he is still remembering that murmur among the jewelers.

The next stance of the non-voiced interaction among the characters is the communication between Oliver and the Duchess. At the visit of the Duchess to Oliver's shop, the very colorful descriptions of the author of the Duchess, her dressing, her glittering jewels, her fragrance, her wave-like moving and her resemblance to a peacock in beauty and arrogance reveals much of her high status and the influence that she can have upon Oliver. However their communications is not restricted to a non-spoken conversation; a dialogue takes place between them, though this communication is through the least number of words. They speak but their use of words is very economical that makes their interaction the most efficient. An example of this brief interaction is fragmented words of the duchess when she wants to persuade Oliver to buy her fake pearls; she drops the pearls out of a bag: " 'From the Appleby cincture' she moaned. 'the last … the last of them all'". And she continuous justifying her desperateness: "Dear Mr. Bacon, a bit of bad luck …" and then she justifies her cause of coming as " 'that villain! That sharper'" that explains her objection to her husband. These brief, simple and seemingly fragmented conversations between the Duchess and the Jeweler depict very clearly their inner states and attitudes towards each other. We understand that both Oliver and the Duchess understand the meaning of this speechless communication. Also as soon as they shake hands they feel the enmity among them though they also sense the need they have to each other so they both take part in this game of deceiving and submitting to the deception. A clue of this is their play upon the phrase: "old friend '' when the Duchess tries to soften Oliver by calling him" old friend "two times and Oliver who understands this what she means, repeats her phrase two more times. Their speechless communication continues up to the point that Oliver buys the fake pearls from the Duchess without questioning the Duchess.

In "The Duchess and the Jeweler" Virginia Woolf skillfully depicts the greatest amount of communication that takes place between the characters in the text in spite of their lack of verbal communication and also the deep understanding that the readers can get of the characters within the text though their emotions and states of mind is not expressed explicitly. She replaces the lengthy dialogues and direct descriptions of the states of the characters with brief but meaningful dialogues and use of images and entrance in to the mind of the characters and giving the reader the chance to read much of their present state and enough of their past lives needed to accomplish her story.


Source by Farzaneh Bolourieh