Business Digest - January, 2013

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How to Decorate without Breaking the Lease   Green Living Tip  Theo & Sallie Jo

Unforgettable: Tips to Remember Names

"Hi, my name is . . ." Do you find it hard to remember anything past that? In any social or business situation, it is very important to be able to recall people's names. But many people say they have more trouble remembering names than any other type of information.

Why do we forget someone's name? For many people, it is as simple as telling ourselves we can't remember names well. Once we believe it, it becomes harder to get past this "mental block." For others, it is not a pertinent enough fact to store away in long term memory. For example, most people would not consider it pressing to remember the name of a store clerk or a telemarketer. We can't remember everything we encounter. We often have to pick and choose which information to store-and people's names often get left behind.

So what do you do when it truly is important? There are several ways to improve your chances of remembering someone's name. First, tell yourself that you can remember names if you try. Starting off with a positive attitude will go a long way towards helping you to remember.

Second, pay attention. When you are introduced to someone, repeat his or her name and say it several times to yourself. Be sure that you have heard the name clearly. If not, ask for the name again. If, after a few minutes, you find that you have forgotten already, talk to the person and ask for his or her name again. Use the name often in conversation, not only with the person, but with others.

Third, use techniques to help you remember. It never hurts to write down someone's name. Asking for the spelling of a name helps to keep that name in your memory because you are picturing it in your mind. Ask for a business card if you are in a professional situation. If you can't write down the name, try to associate it with something else in your mind. It can be a rhyming word, a physical characteristic, or a silly fact or word. For example, when you meet someone named Ted who has red hair, you can remember "Ted the Red." To remember the name of Trish, the owner of a housewares store, you might think of "Trish the Dish." To remember the name Stan Salazar, try to pick him standing at a bazaar ("Stand Bazaar" leads to "Stan Bazaar" which leads to "Stan Salazar"). This technique might be hard at first. After all, it seems as if you have to remember even more information than just a name. But these associative techniques, with practice, are the best way to remember anyone's name.

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How to Decorate without Breaking the Lease

Many apartments start out plain and boring. When you move in, it is natural to want to make the space your own. But you often run up against restrictions in your lease. While you may not be able to change the paint color, remodel the kitchen, or knock out a wall, you can still personalize your apartment in creative ways. Consider these simple tricks to make your apartment your home.

Change out the hardware
You can replace knobs, drawer pulls, and handles in the kitchen and bathroom. Be sure to measure carefully and find replacements that don't require you to drill new holes. Light fixtures can also be swapped out. Turn off the power at the circuit breaker box or consult an electrician for help with rewiring a light. With any change, be sure to carefully store the original fixtures to swap back when you move out.

Update your plumbing fixtures
You can replace shower heads and sink faucets to update the look of your bathroom or kitchen. Avoid any work that requires soldering. Consult with a plumber for help if you are unsure of doing the work yourself.

Paint your furniture
You may not be able to paint your walls, but you can paint your furniture. Adding color to chairs, chests, desks, tables, or dressers can add a pop of color without doing anything permanent to the room. If that is still not enough color for you, add some bright throw pillows to your beds and couch.

Brighten up your windows
Add some life to your room by putting up unique and beautiful window treatments, blinds, and interesting curtain rods. If you really want to change the look of a room, install long curtains that reach to the floor. This gives you the most bang for your buck.

Bring the outdoors in
Plants add color, life, and interest to any room. You can accent your décor with different sizes and types of plants. Use bright pots and containers. Remember that plants don't need to stay down low. Add some fresh plants to the tops of bookshelves or cabinets. In addition to looking lovely, they also will help clean the air in your home.

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Green Living Tip

Pipe insulation tubes will not only keep your pipes from freezing in the winter, they can also save you money. These tubes can hold a hot water pipe's heat for up to an hour after the tap is used. This means less heat loss to a cold pipe the next time you run hot water through it. Be sure to install the insulating tube correctly for maximum efficiency.

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Theo & Sallie Jo

How to Care for Your Pet During an Emergency

Just like any other member of your family, your pet can suffer from the effects of a disaster. You can help your pet survive and stay safe and healthy through a fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, or other emergency with some careful planning ahead.

 When faced with a disaster, you need to decide for yourself and your family whether you are going to stay put or evacuate. If you do decide to evacuate, you should not leave your pets behind. Your pets may have a hard time surviving without you. Even if they do survive, they may escape and be difficult to find when you return. Most emergency shelters do not allow animals inside. Consider pet-friendly hotels or friends or family that live outside of the evacuation area and would be able to host both you and your pets. You should research these options before you are faced with an immediate danger.

When you leave take pet food, bottled water, medication, veterinary records, food dishes, a leash or harness, a pet first aid kit, and other supplies you may need but not be able to find later. You should also place a current photo of your pet in the bag in case you get separated and need to begin a search for your pet. You can pack a bag with these essentials ahead of time. Then in the event of an emergency, you do not have to scramble to find everything. You can just take your pet's bag with you.

Whether you are evacuating or staying put, be sure that your pet has identifying tags attached to his or her collar. Check to make sure they are securely fastened. If you are evacuating, add a small tag on which you've written the contact information of your evacuation site.

If you are remaining in your home during a natural disaster, be sure to stock up on necessities for your pet too. Have plenty of food, including some canned food in the event of flooding. You should also have a good supply of bottled water and a pet first aid kit. Keep a leash or pet carrier handy in case your pet cannot be secured in your home due to damage.

After an emergency, keep your pets leashed when outdoors and have them stay close to you. Things might seem unfamiliar to your animals and if they get loose, they may not be able to find their way home. If your pet has sustained any injuries, see a veterinarian as soon as possible. Finally, don't be surprised by a change in behavior-normally calm animals may become agitated and normally friendly pets may be scared and reclusive. Give your pets lots of attention and reassurance, and they should be back to normal in no time.

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Last modified: January 07, 2013