Wednesday, June 8, 2016

4 Day Work Week on the Rise in Many States

Does a four day work week sound appealing to you? That is what many lawmakers are trying to decide in several states across the nation. Utah has already passed this mandatory work schedule for all of its state employees.

One reason for this change was Utah’s inability to give raises to state employees so this was considered a little bonus. Another reason was that the state was facing a huge budget deficit and had to take action.

The figures were presented and the state of Utah realized that they could save state dollars on electricity, gasoline and other energy expenses. This change has affected approximately 17,000 state employees, who are now going to work four days a week and staying for 10 hours a day.

Counties in Florida, New York, and South Carolina have already implemented this type of workweek and some are doing this on a voluntary basis for their employees. Other states are watching the results that Utah is reporting and are taking notes for their own state budgets.

Experts agree that this plan is environmentally friendly as people will only be commuting to work four days a week. This will lower the greenhouse gas emissions in the state.

An area that would see a direct change in how it is managed is the public transportation systems. Employees would be leaving earlier in the mornings and staying later in the afternoon. Bus, rail and taxi modes of transportation would need to adjust their schedules.

From a transportation view, this plan would only be environmentally friendly if employees stay at home on that extra day off from work. If employees are out running errands or shopping they are still driving their cars and polluting the air.

This type of work schedule will certainly affect parents and their time with their children in the evenings. Parents will be arriving home much later than usual so childcare could be an issue.

This was a great idea to many when this was implemented during the summer months with increased daylight hours. But, during the winter months employees are finding that they are leaving their home before day light and getting back home an hour after dark.

Taxpayers will need to adjust their way of thinking in terms of offices being closed on Fridays but having later hours Monday through Thursday.

We must also look beyond the energy and financial reasoning and take into account that the four-day work week is a quality-of-life issue for many. This schedule is very popular among younger employees and this is a positive component for Utah such as the ability for employers to be able to lure in talent from other states. Many agree that an improved balance between work and life could result from a short work week. So, we ask the question, who isn’t looking for a little balance in their life.

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4 Critical Habits You Need to Get the Most Out of Your Workout

I had spent many years spinning my wheels getting slow or partial results regardless of the fact that I busted my behind in the gym. I thought that just because I was working out I was well on my way to attaining the health & wellness that had eluded me for half of my life. Eventually, I got tired of putting in so much effort while inching towards my fitness goals. So I got educated in the areas of both health & wellness and fitness & exercise. This article will save you a lot of wasted time and effort and get you where you want to be: fit, strong, and healthy.

1. Eat enough to fuel your workout . One of the biggest mistakes I’d made for years was repeated by many of my clients over the years: the mistake of coming to the gym on an empty stomach. So many people think that if they starve or embark on some sort of whacky restrictive diet that this will automatically yield a fat loss and help them reach their fitness & exercise goals. It will actually do the opposite. Not only will you be void of the energy necessary to get you through the intense workouts essential to promote muscle strengthening and fat loss, but it will cause your metabolism to slow even more. It will also make you sick and prone to injury.

2. Get enough sleep. As with inadequate nutrition, if you aren’t well-rested you will not be able to hit it hard in the gym. Again, you will only get half the results because you’ve only been able to expend half the energy you could have had you slept enough. There are only 24 hours in a day and our time spent at rest in no less important than our time spent working out in the gym. If you don’t do one enough, the other will be adversely affected. Conversely, if you get a good work-out in chances are increased that you will sleep better at night.

3. Breathe. Improper breathing, either holding your breath during rigorous physical effort or not breathing properly will not give your body the proper oxygen to utilize the energy in your bloodstream. Your body needs oxygen to burn those calories. If you don’t breathe properly, again you are only going half-steam. Half effort = half result.

4. Use proper form. Make sure that whether you choose to spend your work-out doing yoga, weight-lifting, using a stair-climber, doing aquatics or walking/running on the treadmill, you are using proper form. If you ignore this caveat you will eventually injure yourself.

You will find these simple but commonly overlooked tips invaluable as you continue along your path to reach your health & wellness, fitness & exercise goals. Not only have I seen this to be true with every single client I trained but I have lived it for 13 years myself .

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4 Corners Restuarant in Hopkinton, Iowa: A Review

Hungry for a good meal. Want to go to a place that will suit the whole family? Then 4 Corners Restaurant and Lounge in Hopkinton, Iowa is for you. Hopkinton is a small town located halfway between Dubuque, Iowa and Cedar Rapids Iowa.

4 Corners Restaurant and Lounge has it all. Want to start off with an appetizer while you wait? The mozzarella sticks are wonderful. A basket of seven huge sticks come with ranch dressing if requested and cost a mere $3.50. Or try the cheddar cheese balls, mini tacos, broccoli cheese bites, breaded mushrooms, onion rings. All terrific choices.

4 Corners serves a variety of salads as well for those who are not very hungry. Enjoy a side salad with your choice of dressing, a chef salad, or a taco salad with an edible bowl if you choose.

Sandwich choices are hard to decide from. Choices include the hamburger, cheeseburger, mushroom and swiss burger, a fireball burger, a homemade tenderloin, a cod fish sandwich, a pizza burger that is to die for, Philly steak and cheese sandwich, a patty melt. The list goes on and on. Add an order of French fries for just $1.25.

I enjoy the dinners at 4 Corners. Each dinner is served with choice of potato (French Fries, baked potato, hash browns, or roasted) and comes with the salad bar on Friday and Saturday nights. Choose from either a quarter or half chicken, prime rib, whiskey steak, garlic butter steak, pork chop, Philly dinner, 6 or 12 ounce cod (broiled or fried your choice), shrimp, sirloin dinner, surf and turf, and so much more.

4 Corners serves Coke and Pepsi products. Mixed Drinks and beer can be bought as well, and they serve iced tea , coffee,and lemonade with free refills
On Friday nights, 4 Corners offers an all you can eat buffet featuring cod, Alaskan Walleye, shrimp, and roasted chicken for $9.95. Included on the buffet are potato choices (baked, French Fries, mashed potatoes with gravy, and roasted potatoes), rolls, homemade salads, soup, and dessert.

My favorite thing to order is the fish supper. The cod has a wonderful flavor to it, it is not fishy at all. It is nice and white and flaky.

4 Corners is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m. There is a great family atmosphere here and is the perfect place for get togethers, family reunions, birthday parties, bachelorette and bachelor parties, and rehearsal suppers. Catering is also available.

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4 Common Myths of Giving Birth in a Hospital

Having a baby is an exciting, yet stressful life event. There are many decisions to be made. One important one is where to give birth. Giving birth in a hospital has many advantages, yet some women are fearful. They have heard stories of medical interventions, and mom and baby not being able to bond right away. Below are 4 common myths about giving birth in a hospital so a woman can make an informed decision and choose what is best for her and her baby.

A woman will not be allowed to walk around during labor. This is usually not the case in most hospitals. In fact women are encouraged to walk around to speed labor up. It is true many facilities will want to check the baby’s heart rate by hooking mom up to a fetal monitor. However this is usually done intermittently. If a patient chooses an epidural they would most likely not have enough feeling in their legs to walk safely. Some hospitals do offer a walking epidural that allows more feeling and the ability to walk around. This may be an option. Women who do not have any type of epidural are usually free to walk around, use a birthing ball, and use a tub if available.

A woman will be pressured to receive pain medication such as an epidural. It is true a woman giving birth in a hospital will be offered pain medication but will not be pressured to accept any. A woman decides for herself what level of pain she can tolerate without getting pain medications. If she wants to go through the entire labor and delivery without any pain medication the hospital will certainly not stop her. However many moms to be decide they do want an epidural after feeling how severe the pain can be. The good news is when giving birth in a hospital pain medication is available if a woman does have a change of heart.

A woman will give up all control when giving birth in a hospital. Many hospitals have a pregnant woman write a birth plan in advance that is brought to the hospital at the time of labor or sent early as part of a pre-admission packet. A birth plan can address pain medication a woman wants or does not want, who she would like in the room with her at delivery, birthing positions and other concerns. Hospitals will try their best to accommodate a woman. It is important to remember patients have rights. A patient can refuse a procedure. A woman still has a great deal of control over her labor and delivery. Occasionally unexpected things happen during labor that make following a birth plan not possible. Changes take place to ensure the health and safety of mom and baby.

A new mom will be separated from her baby after giving birth. With a vaginal delivery some hospitals immediately place baby on mom. Other hospitals may do so quickly but than assess the baby, which includes weighing and measuring length, making sure the baby is warm and dry, and making sure the baby is breathing well. Once the baby is quickly accessed if everything is fine the baby is given back to mom. Many hospitals have the baby stay in the same room as mom for the entire hospital stay. The baby may be taken to the nursery for brief periods of time for assessments. Mom and dad can accompany the baby if they wish and ask this be limited.

Hospitals vary, as do their polices. When a woman is deciding if she should give birth in a hospital she should research her options and learn the facts. Things have changed in the medical community. Hospitals have a strong focus on patient rights and satisfaction. The most important thing to remember is hospitals and women want the same outcome, which is a safe delivery for mom and a healthy baby.

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4 Cheap Multi-Purpose Cleaners for Your Home

Are you tired of buying a cleaner for every different thing that you have to clean? If so, then use this handy multi-purpose cleaner guide to cut down on the money you spend on cleaning products. You can use these 4 cleaners in multiple ways to help clean your home:

Baking soda. Baking Soda is cheap and works well as a refrigerator freshener. Wait, it works well in other ways, too. When you replace the old box of Baking Soda in the refrigerator with a new one, then dump the old contents into your kitchen sink and use it to scrub off the greasy film that so easily accumulates with regular sink use. Plus, when you wash the Baking Soda down the sink, it acts as a drain freshener. This means that you used 1 box of Baking Soda to perform 3 functions, and you cleaned all this for under a $1. What a cost-effective multi-purpose cleaner.

Dawn. Don’t waste your money trying to find a cleaner tough enough for mechanical grease. Use Dawn dish detergent to bust out stubborn grease stains. Dawn dish detergent is cheap, costing about $1 per bottle, and the squirt action makes application easy, without filling your house up with harmful spray fumes. (Be sure to buy the blue-colored Dawn, though. The other colors of Dawn work differently, for some reason.) This dish detergent works well for cooking grease splatters, too. Don’t leave the solution on clothing overnight because this multi-purpose cleaner could take out some of the coloring.

Alcohol. Alcohol is a cheap and handy item to keep in your medicine cabinet for skin scrapes and cuts, but it works in other ways than just for medicinal purposes. Use it to clean your mirrors, sink faucets, and windows for a streak-free shine. It works well as a disinfectant, too. Just pour some multi-purpose alcohol on a cleaning cloth and wipe the germs off your toilet seats and door knobs. Alcohol kills germs on contact.

Vinegar. This food product serves as an environmentally-friendly disinfectant, and it’s cheap, costing just under a $1 per bottle. After putting the food away and finishing up your dishes, spray down your counter with a vinegar and water solution and wipe the counters free of any germs that are present. You can sterilize the breathing air in your home, as well. Just pour some vinegar into some water and boil it on the stove, letting it circulate throughout your home. Place this multi-purpose product back in your cabinet to store until you need it again.

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4 Different Ways for Your Child to Display Their Summer Seashell Collection

Summer has come to an end and your child’s collection of seashells have spilled out of their bag onto the top of your child’s dresser. Your child spent hours combing the beach collecting the most beautiful seashells, starfish, and sand dollars, and proudly shows them to all visitors who enter their room. A seashells arrangement on top of a dresser is a great way to display your child’s collection, but there are better, more colorful and useful ways for your child to show off their seashells. Here are Four projects your child can create to display their prized seashells.

NOTE: For all projects, make sure the seashells are free of debris by cleaning them with a soft toothbrush, warm water and mild soap. Also, if wanting shiny seashells, apply one to two coats of Mod Podge.

Shadow box

For this project, you will need a shadow box, coarse sandpaper, craft glue, and seashells. Cut the sandpaper to fit the inside back of the shadow box and glue it to the backboard. Have your child arrange their seashells on the sandpaper and then glue them in place. Their collection is now ready to be displayed on a wall, shelf or tabletop.

Coat rack

Purchase a ready-made wall-mounting wooden coat rack. I recommend one with three hooks and enough space above the hooks to glue the seashells. With a pencil, write your child’s name above the hooks. Do not worry about neatness, as the pencil marks will be covered over. Have your child sort the seashells by size into piles, and then glue them to the coat rack over their written name. Try to have them keep like sized seashells together for better uniformity. Once the seashells have dried, you can hang the coat rack in your child’s room.

Glass jar

For this project, seashells should be coated with several layers of Mod Podge (gloss finish) so they shine through the glass. If you want, dust the seashells with a little glitter before the last coat of Mod Podge dries. Find a jar, with a lid, that will hold all of your child’s seashells. All the seashells should fit tightly in the jar, to prevent them from being able to move around when the jar is picked up. The more the seashells are tightly packed, the less breakage there will be.

Picture frame with a twist

For this project, you will need a wide-framed wooden picture frame, coarse sandpaper and craft glue. Remove the back and glass from the frame and cover the frame with the sandpaper, folding it to the back. Fold sandpaper edges under and glue in place. Have your child glue seashells in the upper left or right corner, starting with a large seashell or starfish and then going halfway across the top and down the side with smaller shells. Insert a beach picture of your child taken over the summer and hang on the wall in their room.

Other articles from this contributor:

How to Make a Themed Bookmark Using Seed Beads

How to Make Your Own Cell Phone Charms

Recycle Materials to Make a Halloween Spider Decoration

Source: Personal Experience

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4 Great Locally Owned Restaurants in Kansas City

Kansas City boasts some of the best restaurants in the Midwest, and is nationally recognized as having some of the best barbeque in the United States. If your looking for something a little different, whether you’re a tourist or a Kansas City native, then try one the many great locally owned restaurants here in Kansas City. Literally hundreds of smaller sized, family or locally owned restaurants dot the city, providing a wide range of flavors and price range for every budget.

Blanc Burgers and Bottles is a newer restaurant in the Westport area of South Kansas City. Opened in 2008, this burger joint is dressed up a bit and offers a unique burger menu. A little on the small side, you may have to wait for a table, however, the au poivre burger makes up for that wait. Blanc Burgers and Bottles is open for lunch or dinner, accepts major credit cards and does not take reservations. The menu features several different types of burgers, including a vegetarian burger and a bison burger. Local owners Jennifer Price and Ernesto Peralta welcome you!

A serious Kansas City favorite is Oklahoma Joes Barbecue. The restaurant itself is one of the more unique around town. It once was an old filling station, and while converted into the restaurant it is today, it still retains the old filling station look. Oklahoma Joes Barbecue is melt in your mouth delicious with huge portions cooked to perfection! Local owner Jeff Stehney opened the place in 1996 and has been serving lunch and dinner every day but Sunday ever since. They accept all major credit cards and do not take reservations. Try the ribs, or for lunch, the pulled pork sandwich cannot be beat. Many argue this is Kansas City’s best barbecue!

Pot Pie is also a relatively new addition to the Kansas City restaurant scene. Home cooked food never tasted this good! Located in the Westport area, this is a casual neighborhood eatery that features a beef and mushroom pot pie and cobblers for dessert. Pastas, chicken dinners and more are offered every day but Monday and Sunday for lunch or dinner. Pot Pie does take reservations and all major credit cards are accepted. Local owner Sarah Williams and Chef John Williams will make you feel like your back at Mom’s place!

The Peanut looks like any corner tavern, and it is, except it’s practically a landmark and another Kansas City favorite. The Peanut fills every afternoon with happy hour folks from construction workers to business executives. A chaotic mix of dusty items fills every nook of this bar and restaurant, the parking is minimal, and the place is loud and crowded due to its small size, but this is all part of its charm. The Peanut is THE place to go in Kansas City for chicken wings! Serving up huge plates of spicy double wings for years, The Peanut also does a brunch and has a good sandwich menu. The chili cheese fries and a cold beer while the game is on makes for a perfect Sunday afternoon at The Peanut! Major credit cards are accepted and they do not take reservations. Local owner Melinda Kelly has got the corner tavern down to perfection!

www.kcpotpie.com
www.blancburgers.com
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The Peanut-816-753-9499

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4 Date Ideas Under $40 Where You Still Have Fun

We all have those dates where we spend over at least $50 on just trying to have a good time. However, we wish it could be easier, cheaper, and still manage to be fun. I personally know I hate the thought of spending over $70 for going out for a few hours. In today’s society, couples rarely feel the need to get out and spend time together simply because of minor setbacks like schedules, work, and the worst of all: finances.

However, there still is hope! I’m here to tell you a few ideas that could get you started on planning a monthly, weekly, or even daily dates!

1. Go Shopping.
And by shopping, I don’t necessarily mean buying anything. Some people generally enjoy just being around their other, no matter what. Well try a store. When shopping together, you feel the need to share little facts here and there. Whether she shares how that dress would look great with a pair of her heels or he states how he wants the big screen TV in the back of the department store, these little facts and spoken words do mean something. During a date you spend time getting to know each other and just having fun talking. In the store you talk and learn some facts about your partner and things they enjoy. It could also mean ideas for a future birthday gift!

2. Try the Pizza! It’s delicious!
Another tip is pizza. Sure pizza IS fattening and greasy, but what better date with your partner than a slice of good cheese pizza on the couch together? During this time is where you relax, forget diets, the boss’s assignment for you, and the problems with the car. Instead, take the time to enjoy being together. Maybe throw on a movie or if you love gaming, play a match of a game together. Laugh, compete, eat, and simply enjoy your time.

3. It’s Go Time Baby!
Plug in the old Sega or the Xbox and get ready for a battle. Grab the wine (or for the teens, the soda) and get your game face on! Playing a game together is not only cheap, since you own the console, but fun. A little friendly competition amongst each other isn’t meant to be bad, but good. Some competitive spirit leads to laughter as well as a good time. Communication doesn’t always have to be sweet and lovey. A little competitive communication never hurt anyone and in times can bring out more spark and light the fire once again. And sometimes that fire can lead to more than just a good match of Call of Duty and instead into a game in the bedroom.

4. It’s time to cook!
Cooking is a great thing to do as a date. Not only are you spending time together, but you have the positive of having dinner together as well. Cooking together can be from making an easy pot of spaghetti to something as complex as chicken in a wine sauce over brown rice and vegetables. This dinner date idea eliminates high costs, focuses on what you have at home, and also helps raise skill levels in the kitchen, even if it is only boiling water. Communication, food, and a little flirtation can lead to not only a fun night, but a romantic one as well. And hey as they say, “The quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”!

So now that you know some date ideas, go out, have fun and make the best of what you have! Enjoy the time with your partner and enjoy the cash staying in your wallet tonight!

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4 Fall Car Care Tips for the Busy Mom on the Go

Between ballet, soccer and Halloween costume shopping, fall car care is probably not at the top of your to-do list. Skimp on the setup of a seasonal car maintenance schedule, and you may just find yourself with the kids at the local mechanic’s shop paying dearly for the oversight. Embrace these car care tips, and your ride will hopefully make the transition from summer to winter without a hitch.

  1. Engine tune-up. Head to your trusted mechanic for a full engine tune-up. Make an appointment, and the professional can squeeze you in between the ballet lesson and the soccer practice. Since cold weather makes engine problems only worse, now is the time to figure out why it is difficult to start the car, why the idle seems too rough, and why there are times when acceleration seems to take forever.
  2. Cooling system flush and oil change. Did you know that the folks who change your oil frequently also offer to do a cooling system flush? It does not hurt to drive into fall with new engine oil and a new filter. Having the cooling system flushed and the mix of anti-freeze and water inspected and topped off is a good idea as well. Make this the first item on your to-do list to keep the engine from taking too long to cool down.
  3. Tire inspection. How did the tires fare this summer? If you took the grocery getter on an extended trip through rough terrain, add this inspection to your car maintenance schedule. If you live in a climate where rain or snow marks the approach of winter, you cannot afford to have bald spots. Get the tires rotated or replaced. By the way, if you do decide to get a set of new tires, go to a shop that also does front-end alignments. After all, you do not want to start wearing the tires unevenly as soon as you leave the shop. Do not forget to include the spare tire in your car maintenance checklist.
  4. Emergency kit. You do have a first aid kit, right? How about an emergency kit? Since your kids have grown and probably discovered new needs since you last checked, it is time to update the kit. Include warm clothes and blankets, switch out the water and emergency food rations, and replace any items you have taken from the first aid kit. If your youngest ones are still in diapers, be sure to have some on hand that are the right size. This is also the time to add tire chains, boots, gloves and a collapsible snow shovel to your emergency kit.

Fall car care is no guarantee that your car will make it through the winter without a problem. It is, however, the best way to hedge your bets. While we are discussing car care tips, consider adding a car seat or booster seat checkup to your car maintenance checklist. If your youngster has outgrown the last seat, now is a good time to see if the child is ready for the next size up or should be put in a booster.

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4 Exercises that People Think Burn Fat that Don’t

If you want to burn a lot of fat and lose weight, there are popular exercises that you should avoid, even though it’s a myth that these exercises are the best for weight loss. I’m a certified personal trainer.

The list of exercises that don’t burn as much fat as you think, that people only think burn tons of fat, will shock you. Any activity burns fat, technically, but the following list (no particular order) is of exercises that don’t burn nearly as much fat as they’ve been touted:

Jogging. Calorie charts always show a huge number for jogging. But alas, it’s also for one HOUR’s worth! Overweight people jog and jog and jog and stay overweight. Jogging fails to produce an afterburn (accelerated metabolism during rest). Replace with high intensity interval training.

Stool stepping while pressing dumbbells overhead. Though many overweight people struggle with this exercise, this kind of struggling does not translate to a high calorie expenditure. It’s a struggle to juggle three tennis balls, too, but does that mean it scorches a lot of calories?

To the poorly conditioned overweight trainee, so much balance and knee integrity are involved in this combo drill, that it deceives them into thinking this will bust bodyfat. Due to the difficulty, it’s impossible to use heavy weights and move briskly up and down the stool.

The result is a slow, loppy movement with only light dumbbells — not enough to ignite major fat burning. Replace with barbell squats. Never mind the lack of upper body pressing. Intense barbell squats will smoke out the bodyfat.

Belly dancing. Belly dance instructors have been known to advertise that their classes will burn stomach fat, shrink the stomach, trim the waistline, or words to that effect.

Many belly dance participants have trim midsections, but I’d also imagine that women with plump midsections aren’t exactly drawn to a class in which baring the midsection is the norm. Belly dancing, like jogging, is a form of steady state cardio, which is highly over-rated as a fat burner. Replace with a “boot camp” class.

Crunches. This means floor, bench and machine versions. I’m always seeing plump people lying on the floor doing tons of repetitions (usually with both feet on the floor, though there are variations for leg/foot position).

Crunches work only one tiny muscle group. How is this going to burn off the fat? To burn more fat, work a large muscle group. To burn the most fat, work several large muscle groups at once.

Which muscles are worked doesn’t matter as far as burning belly fat, because when the body’s energy needs are raised, fat cells everywhere will shrink, and this includes in the stomach.

Replace with the deadlift. This exercise will blast fat without mercy when done intensely/heavily (master form first!), because it hits just about every muscle in the body (including the core).

There are many more popular exercises that people think burn a lot of fat, that in fact, are at the bottom of the heap in terms of calorie expenditure effectiveness. Make the changes suggested in this article, however, and you will start seeing some big results.

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4 Essential Smartphone Apps for Web Designers

Whether you have an Android phone, an iPhone, a Windows phone, or any other type of smartphone, there are a multitude of apps you can use to help aid you with web design. From image editing, to cloud storage, to note keeping, and everything in between, there are tons of helpful apps to choose from.

In this article, I will list the four most handy smartphone apps for a web designer.

Dropbox (Android, iOS, Blackberry OS)
Easily one of the handiest apps for a web designer to have, Dropbox allows you to quickly and easily store files using their cloud storage and then access them again on a multitude of devices.

For example, this would allow you to do a mockup in Photoshop on your PC or Mac, save the image in Dropbox, and then access it later on an iPad or Android tablet to show your client how the website would look.

You can also link people directly to files in your Dropbox while still keeping the other files private, which is helpful when dealing with multiple people that need access to different files.

It should be noted that while the Android, iOS, and Blackberry versions are officially supported, there are apps for Windows Phone that connect and make use of the Dropbox service (such as ‘Boxfiles’) but they are not officially supported and should be used at your own risk.

Adobe Ideas (iOS)
Adobe Ideas allows you to quickly create, edit, and save vector images using an iOS device. If you have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, you can also save your vector images to the Creative Cloud and access them later.

Adobe Ideas is perfect if you want to sketch a few quick vectors for a website and then access them later on your PC or Mac to refine them more in Adobe Illustrator or similar.

Adobe Edge Inspect CC (Android, iOS)
Formally known as ‘Adobe Shadow’, Adobe Edge Inspect CC is a must-have for web designers and developers alike. With Adobe Edge Inspect CC you can sync your smartphone or mobile device to Adobe Edge Inspect for Windows and OS X, and while you’re editing a webpage using HTML/CSS/JavaScript on your PC or Mac, you can see how it would look on your mobile device as well.

This is incredibly useful if you regularly create mobile-compliant websites. Adobe Edge Inspect CC lets you seamlessly see how the website will look on both a desktop computer and a smartphone at the same time.

Evernote (Android, iOS, Blackberry OS, Windows Phone)
The essential note-taking app, Evernote is a must-have if you find yourself frequently taking notes or saving code snippets for later.

Not only is Evernote an excellent app for taking notes, but it syncs across multiple devices, allowing you to save your notes on one device, and access it later on another.

You can also easily share your notes with other Evernote users, which can come in handy when communicating with your co-workers or clients.

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4 Earth Day Activities for Children

Children can develop an understanding of protecting our environment with the help of adults who make them aware of the fact that we are all interdependent. We can be guardians of the plants and animals in our surroundings. As parents, we can show our children how some things taken from nature can be returned to help it thrive. Below are several activities to help develop awareness for Earth Day and every day.

Take a litter walk together

Put some excitement into a clean-up litter walk by also making it a scavenger hunt. Together, make a list of various types of things that when thrown away becomes litter, such as soda cans, newspaper, paper cups, plastic or glass bottles, and so on. Children can become aware that certain items, although good in themselves, can become litter when discarded — and litter dirties up our Earth.

When walking, take a brown bag and the list. When the child finds an item on the list, check it off. See how long it takes to cross off each item. Of course, dump the litter in appropriate containers — some may be recycled.

Grow-it-again foods

A great way to save the Earth is to repopulate things that we eat. Many fruits and vegetables can be grown again by planting the seeds or stalks. Here are a few examples.

  • Pineapple: Cut off the top and trim three rows of the bottom leaves. Let this dry for a few days and then plant the pineapple top into the soil, with the top above ground. Keep it moist and in a sunny place. Pineapples will repopulate into new plants that will eventually bear fruit.
  • Onion: Find an onion that has already sprouted. Plant it in the soil and watch it regrow into a new onion.
  • Carrot: Cut off the top and trim off any leaves. Place in a layer of pebbles in a low dish container. Keep it well watered and when the carrots sprout roots, plant in the ground.
  • Avocado: Place three toothpicks into an avocado seed. Set this inside the mouth of a jar filled with water. Place this in partial sunlight. When the roots sprout about four to five inches, plant this in soil outdoors.

Learn to compost

If you garden with your children, you may want to start a compost pile. Composting takes time to break down, but becomes great fertilizer for a garden. Children can also see how some waste materials can be recycled. A compost pile uses vegetable scraps such as potato peels, carrot scrapings, cornhusks, lettuce, cabbage, and onion peels. It can also use coffee grounds, plant clippings and grass.

To make a compost pile, surround a small area with chicken wire. Place another small circle of chicken wire in the center to help circulate the air. Layer the vegetable scraps with fresh soil. Keep it moist and add some lime and fertilizer. Continue the layers, always covering with soil. You will have good rich mulch for a garden within a few months.

Recycle together as a family

Introduce your children to the recycle emblem on many products. Talk about why we recycle. Discuss the differences in packaging of goods — paper, plastic, and glass. Ask the kids, which would be better to use and why? Together, make a game of sorting product containers using paper, plastic, cans, and glass (do not sort glass with very young children). This is a good activity that teaches classifying as a math skill. Have a recycle center at your home and ask the children to use it daily.

After these discussions, brainstorm together ways that will help our Earth — like use cloth towels instead of paper towels in the kitchen, don’t let the water run needlessly, turn out the lights when you leave a room, and use both sides of the paper when drawing or coloring. Better yet, use junk mail for extra drawing paper on the clean side.

Source: Personal experience

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Tags:4 Earth Day Activities for Children

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