Henna Tattoo – A Prehistoric Pattern of Decorating Women

Henna, also called hina, a tropical flowered plant, a tall bush or tiny tree, its name originating off the Arabic word Lawsonia Inermis, normally grows in Africa, Northern Australia and Southern Asia. Its leaves yield red orange dye applied in tinting the human hair besides hands and feet.

Fresh leaves of the henna plant are dried and crushed to a fine powder. Mehendi, the multicultural art of henna body decoration has become an alternative to the everlasting traditional tattoo. Henna is a challenging medium for the artist. If you would like to learn more about applying henna, browse over to the makers of Mehendi Information page since the skin is the largest organ of the body and it is important that we are kind to it. Henna has been used for coloring the hair. Henna hair colors are herbal and hence safe to use. Moreover, they keep your hair cool.

Tattoo off henna is an old Indian Body Art called Mehendi, which employs henna plant to ink or tinting to complex patterns, otherwise referred to as modern day and alien patterns conventionally utilized on different parts of our body particularly the ladies’ hands and feet to mark any special celebrations.

Since the early Bronze Age of the Eastern Mediterranean and ancient context of Ugaritic Legend of Anath and Baal, mehendi is applied for wedding and fertility festivities with women found marking themselves as preparation to meet their spouses. Between 1500 -500 BCE, statuettes and pictures of young women with their hands, nails and feet with markings and old designs were discovered. Henna tattoo or mehendi is worn as a mark of love and happiness and Hindus, Jews, Zoroastrians and Christians feted the marriages by adorning the brides besides he grooms with henna as a pre-marital besides other festive rituals to shower happiness and bright fortunes to the couples. Beliefs and traditions indicate henna makings on women’s bodies pull healing, love, happiness and protection.

Of late, men too find henna as an alternate option to permanent tattoo as it is painless besides being temporary due to its lasting property extending to maximum 4 weeks. Besides the constant change in designs enable its easy removal.

History of the Wedding Dress Part 2

Prior to new medicine, a long and healthy life was not really that easy to attain, but other people attempted to make sure that they had outstanding chance for success by following superstition. Many superstitions grew over the years around weddings, to bring about the brides happiness in her new house and of course to guarantee her fertility. The colour of the wedding gown was believed fashionably to bring luck to the couple.

White, or a form of white, was, after all always the favourite and symbolised a woman’s virginity and virtue in the face of her imminent change of circumstances. White, though, was not always the favourite choice and was considered not practical for most purposes. Blue (worn by a bride in 1870, whose wedding dress is displayed in the London Museum), with its connection to the Virgin Mary, represented a robust image of purity, which, by tradition symbolised faithfulness and never-ending love (this gave rise to the reason that sapphires were used in engagement earrings). Brides, who wore blue at their wedding, believed that their husbands would be faithful to them, so even when the wedding dress was not blue, they would ensure that they wore something blue on their wedding day. This is where the tradition that has survived to present day, came from.

Another popular colour was pink; this was considered very appropriate for a May wedding. Pink flatters most complexions and is associated with the bride’s girlhood, but a few superstitions said it to be unlucky, as the quote state “Marry in pink and your fortunes will sink”! Mrs Joseph Nollekens was very much considered fashionable in 1772 in her saque gown made from brocaded white silk embellished with delicate crimson flowers. She also wore shoes made from the similar material, which had heels of three and a half inches (approx. 8cm). Deeper shades of red were unquestionably taboo by the Victorian era, with the reference to scarlet ladies and hussies.

One of the most unpopular shades was green. This was thought to be the colour of the fairies, and it was considered bad luck to call the attention of the little people to oneself through a time of change. Green was also linked with the lushness of verdant foliage and it was believed that it could cause rain to spoil the wedding day.

Reminiscent of the days of homemade clothing, any natural hue of brown or beige was once considered very bucolic. And the saying is “Marry in brown you will live out of town” and implied that you are going to be country bumpkin and that you would never be able to do well in the city.

The intense shades of yellow have varied in popularity. During the eighteenth century it was considered THE fashionable colour for a short time and many would wear it for their wedding day, like a bride of around 1774 whose wedding dress is in the Gallery of English Costume in Manchester. However prior to this time yellow had been related to heathens and non Christians and would not be worn in church as it was considered an unholy colour!

A very common colour wedding dress, for brides from lower class families, was grey, mainly because it was a very useful colour that could easily be re-used as Sunday best, being considered extremely well thought-of. Mary Brownfield chose grey twilled silk as suitable, as a maiden woman of 32 years at the time of her marriage in 1842. Grey was associated with women in domestic services during Victorian times, and they would frequently be supplied with a brand new gray dress once every 12 months by their employer. The deeper shade of gray or black was banned, as it was linked with mourning and of course death. As a matter of fact it was once seen as such a loathsome harbinger of bad luck, that in a few places even the wedding guests were not allowed to wear it. A recent widow would adjust her mourning dress for a red gown for the wedding day, to protect the bride. At the same time this deepened the aversion towards red, which was once considered as bridal mourning.

For the brides who were compelled by personal economics into wearing a dress which would soon become their every day wear, would embellish it for their wedding day with temporary decorations. In fact up until the nineteenth century, ribbons were tied into bows or “love knots” and loosely affixed to the wedding dress. “Bride Laces” as they were called would be pulled off by the wedding guests during the wedding reception, and would be kept as wedding ceremony favours, or souvenirs. This practice steadily died out and was replaced with flowers instead. Guests could be given floral button-holes to put on, and the bride may wear flowers in her hair either as a corsage or garlanded around her Wedding Dress, otherwise she can carry them as a bouquet. Myrtle and Rosemary were two of the early favourites. Orange blossom became fashionable in the 1830s. This practice has, in fact, remains to present day – Regardless of how simply dressed; many brides will have included a flower or two somewhere within their outfit! Charlotte Pennell married George Hill in 1910, when she was nearing 40 and never had any intention of wearing a “once only” dress. However she did embellish her fashionable attire with a posy of flowers in her hat and had a matching bouquet.

The “conventional” wedding attire as we now know it now first appeared in the latter part of the eighteenth century. With the beginning of mechanically made fabrics and inexpensive muslins being imported from India and with styles inspired by the classical world, by eighteen hundred a white wedding gown with a veil was fashionable choice. As was usual with fashion, it started in London and soon extended to other cities and eventually to the country villages. This new fashion was given the royal approval when Princess Charlotte wore this style of attire at her marriage to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg in 1816. Queen Victoria in 1840 selected Honiton lace and white silk for her wedding which made it the fashionable rule. Also setting new fashion, the Queen was to be one of the first royal brides to have had bridesmaids carry her train.

Even a bride in the nineteenth century, who decided to wear a white wedding dress, would have expected to wear her dress again. For the season of “bride visits” she would visit close family and friends and as a newly married woman, she would wear her wedding dress, with the decorative flowers and train removed. A more affluent bride might then modify the bodice of the outfit (frequently made independently) and re-trim it for evening attire or for any other occasion. Queen Victoria herself took off the lace overskirt from her dress and regularly used it again, she was to wear it over a black silk gown for her Diamond Jubilee festivities over 50 years later.

Up until the Nineteen Twenties wedding gowns were always in fashion, just more elaborately embellished than standard and maybe slightly more modest than the most daring fashion. During the 20’s however, there was a complete revolution in all women’s clothing, where skirt hemlines rose from just above the shoe to well above the knee. To begin with wedding dress styles followed and brides would show their ankles; however as skirts grew ever more shortened, it seemed that some felt that it was not suitable for services in church and most brides gave preference to full-length wedding dresses. This choice of either following the seasonal fashion or reverting to a full length wedding dress and train led to the devolvement of completely separate style during the twentieth century which would sometimes echo but more often diverge from mainstream fashion (like the Vionnet couture design of 1926).

This change was magnified by the interruption caused by the Second World War due to clothing being rationed, uniforms were everywhere, and light-heartedness was looked down on. At the end of the war, fashion returned and brides were evermore keen to wear long wedding dresses made from sumptuous fabrics for their wedding day. This trend took place irrespective of the growing popularity of casual wear, easy wear apparel and trousers for women. As fashion has developed into a more at ease and sporty attire, wedding fashions have deviated further, so much so, that although each decade’s brides can be easily distinguished through the fashion then in vogue, it is not because of the fact that that the fashion’s resemblance to typical fashion.

How to Find a Unique Black Wedding Dress

A Black wedding dress can be so stunning. Imagine a hand beaded full bodice black wedding gown with a corset styled back. This bridal gown would have lots of Swarovki crystals all over the black skirt.

This is what I call a very memorable moment of exotic beauty. Many women, perhaps have never given any consideration about the beauty of a black wedding dress.

Now if you’re looking for some gowns there are some awesome bridal gown stores in the United Kingdom that carry black wedding dresses.   You can do a search for these by using the word gothic wedding dresses.

A lot of the shops in the United Kingdom can also ship to other countries so make sure that you call and ask about shipping. Now if after all the searching you still don’t see what you are looking for you can always have someone make you a unique black wedding dress.

When you hire someone to make you a wedding gown, your gown will now become unique and you can have it designed your way.

Make sure you are planning ahead if this is your decision to design your gown. You will want to shop around for the fabric to make sure you are finding what you are looking for in black fabric.

There are some designers like the Alfred Angelo dress gallery who can order a dress from his gallery in black. Imagine if you decided to go with an awesome black wedding dress. The colors that go with the color black, often seem to look more beautiful and vivid in contrast to the color black. For instance, if your wedding is going to be around Christmas time, you can have a black and gold wedding.

Everyone in your wedding party would be wearing black with gold accents. This is a wonderful holiday look. Now if you decide to get married around Valentine’s Day your colors could be black and red. The colors black and red together are very bold and rich looking.

Take a minute and imagine yourself carrying some beautiful red roses as you walk down the aisle in that beautiful black wedding dress. Always remember this is the day that you express your ideas with your love ones.

How Would You Like to Compete With a Royal Wedding?

Spring brides all over Britain have been thrown for a loop by the announcement of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Once the April 29, 2011 date was set, ordinary women who had already been planning their weddings for the last weekend of April suddenly realized that their wedding would definitely be playing second fiddle to the grand event. What’s an ordinary bride to do when she comes to find out that a royal wedding will be upstaging her big day?

While there is something kind of neat about sharing a wedding anniversary with a royal couple, there are also a lot of headaches associated with it. Brides who had previously selected the April 2011 wedding date which was chosen by Prince William and Kate Middleton are facing an uphill battle to keep their wedding in the forefront of anyone’s mind for that special date. After all, the royal wedding will be a national holiday in England – how many of other women can say that about their wedding dates? The reality is that many of the wedding guests may be wishing that they were watching the royal wedding, when they are attending the one to which they were invited. For that matter, the bride herself may be interested in seeing the royal wedding on television!

So what is an ordinary bride to do when she realizes that her wedding will be in competition with the wedding of the year? One option is to change the wedding date. That is not as crazy as it sounds, especially for brides who were planning to get married anywhere remotely near Westminster Abbey or on any of the streets in the vicinity. Remember the legions of fans who lined the route which Lady Diana Spencer’s carriage traveled to take her to her wedding to Prince Charles? Surely that kind of scene will be repeated when Kate Middleton makes her approach to her wedding site in her custom bridal gown and royal jewelry, with all of the accompanying security and traffic snarls which you would expect. The ordinary bride who is getting married on April 29, 2011 may well find that just getting to her own wedding is a major struggle.

Of course, not every bride will be able to switch her wedding date, especially if deposits have already been made on the venue and vendors, so there will be plenty of women who share the royal wedding date. In that case, there are essentially two options: to either ignore the fact that there is another, more famous, wedding taking place at the same time, or to really embrace the royal wedding and to celebrate Kate and Prince William’s marriage along with your own. Show a film of Kate and Prince William’s vows at your wedding reception. Name the reception tables after famous places in the royal couple’s life (St. Andrews, Kenya, Westminster Abbey, etc.). Rather than trying to ignore the elephant in the room, embrace it.

Brides who wish to keep the focus on their own weddings despite the shared date with the royal wedding would do well to plan an event in a very different style. Competing with any royal wedding head to head in terms of style is an impossibility for most regular folks, so don’t even try! No matter how fabulous your wedding gown and custom bridal jewelry, they will not be instantly copied around the globe. No matter how happy the bride and groom are, their radiant faces will not be put on commemorate plates or postage stamps. So instead of attempting to put together a celebration with a grand style, go a different direction. Host an ultra-modern cocktail wedding in an art gallery or throw a picnic reception on a lawn out in the country. And of course, take heart that despite all the excitement of the royal wedding taking place on the same day as your own wedding, your family and friends will still be just as happy for you.

Super Sexy Tattoos For Women

If you are like most, trying to find a sexy tattoo for women can be a daunting task. You can be like everyone else and go to the tattoo parlor and try to find something that suites your needs and wants but first, who has time for that and second, do you really want a tattoo that has been on thousands of women already?

Before you can find a sexy tattoo for women you first need to decide where you put the tattoo. Where you place the ink on your body will determine the style and size you can go for. Listed below are some recommendations of where to put a tattoo and the largest recommended size you should do so you can still pull of the sexiness of the tattoo.

Lower Back: This is a great place for a sexy tattoo as it can be seen with a sexy shirt of bathing suite. If you place a tattoo here you would not want anything larger than about 5″ by 5″ unless you are doing a wider tattoo such as a vine or script. In these cases, you can spread the width of your back but it still should not be more than about 4-5 inches high.

Wrist: Wrist tattoos are super hot but I would suggest really sleeping on this one. Depending on the job you have it may be frowned upon having a visible tattoo on your body. Wrist tattoos should be no large than the size of post-it note and I would stay away from dark colors just in case you need some skin cream to cover it up for social events such as galas, church and weddings.

Ankle Tattoos: Ankle tattoos are crazy sexy and you would want to follow the same rules as the wrist tattoo. At the ankle however, you can go a bit bigger if you choose. The most common type of tattoo for the ankle is one that wraps the entire area such as a band.

Now where do you find these sexy tattoos?

Now that you decided on a location the best place to find a tattoo is online. But wont your search bring up unoriginal designs? In most cases yes. That is why if you want to find a unique, clear tattoo you can print out online I would recommend joining a tattoo membership site. These sites do have a onetime low cost but it is good for life. Each day new tattoos are added and if you do not find something you like you can post a message in the private forum they provide you.

Wedding Photographers – Market to the Bride But Don't Forget the Groom

There are few absolute rules in the world and the following is by now means universal, but when it comes to weddings, the bride usually chooses and values the wedding photographer. Despite this fact, don’t forget the groom for he also plays a role.

What does this mean for your marketing plan? Your pictures should appeal to the bride. Men and women often find different stories appealing. This fact is evidenced by the numerous movies that are marketed primarily to women and those marketed primarily to men. If the industry thought the movie would appeal to swaths of both genders, in its own self-interest it would have marketed to both. A wedding photographer needs to follow the example of the movie industry and produce contact information that strongly appeal to the bride.

What is an example of how this can be implemented? Find out what is the age range in which most women in your area get married and get feedback on your pictures from those women on which of your pictures are the most compelling. Create a web gallery of the 20 pictures YOU find the most compelling. Send out a link to the gallery to friends or family who are in that age range and ask them to pick the two pictures which most strike a cord in them. You will begin to see a pattern arise of which pictures get most highly ranked. Put those pictures on your website and other promotional material. A comment on the type of pictures that will likely win out in this selection process: Brides want to see pictures that make the bride look beautiful. Usually the bride looking beautiful is important to the groom as well. How good the man looks, while important to a bride, is not as important as how the man is interacting with the bride. He should be looking deeply into her eyes or admiring her from a far. A chemistry between the two should be readily apparent. These types of pictures, from my experience, most often appeal to the bride.

When meeting with couples sell your work to the bride but don’t forget the groom. After all, with any luck, a significant chunk of change from their assets are going to be paid to you for your service. Help him to see the value he will be receiving by investing in photography. Help him to see that the wedding photos is (at least for this particular couple) a once in a lifetime experience – one that can never be replicated. It is important that he see the value in your work. More than one groom has vetoed the bride’s choice of photographers because he didn’t see the value in the service. Helping him come on board with the bride’s choice is one way to prevent a potential conflict between the couple and capturing marital harmony is after all what the service of wedding photographers is all about!

Henna Tattoo – An Ancient Practice to Adorn Women

Henna is a tropical flowering plant that comes from the Arabic word for Lawsonia Inermis pronounced as hina. It is a tall shrub or small tree that usually grows in Africa, Southern Asia and Northern Australia. The leaves of henna produce red-orange dye used in coloring the hair and tinting the parts of the body such as the hands and the feet.

Henna tattoo is an ancient Indian Body Art also known as Mehendi or Mehndi. It is an art that uses henna plant as an ink or color to intricate ethnic or contemporary design and exotic patterns traditionally applied on various parts of the body specifically the hands and feet of women in preparations for special ceremonies.

Since the late Bronze Age in the Eastern Mediterranean, Mehndi is practice to adorn young women’s bodies as part of holiday and social celebrations. Early context shows that according to Ugaritic Legend of Baal and Anath, henna is used for marriage and fertility celebrations. The women are seen marking themselves with henna to prepare in meeting their husbands. Between 1500 and 500 BCE, paintings and statuettes of young women have been discovered. Their hands, nails, palms, and soles have markings and ancient patterns. Jews, Hindus, Zoroastrians and Christians celebrated marriages with henna to adorn the bride and often the groom as well. Traditionally, henna tattoo or Mehndi is used as a symbol of love and joy. It is a pre-wedding ritual to bring good fortune and happiness to the couple. It is said that the women will used as much henna to put different patterns like flowers and the names of their husbands. According to beliefs and traditions, marking the women’s bodies with henna attracts prosperity, love, healing and protection.

Nowadays, although henna tattoo is popular and more often used for women, men seem to find it a nice alternative to permanent tattoo. It is a painless and temporary process of tattooing. Mehndi or henna tattoo only lasts within one to four weeks. It is not a lifetime commitment. The design you have chosen today might be out for the next. Henna tattoo can be removed and be changed if a person has it wants another cool and unique design.

Guide To Meeting Women – Top 50 Places To Find Your Next Girlfriend

A common question I get asked is “Tony, I want to start working on this stuff but I don’t know where the heck to start meeting women.” I totally understand. There isn’t exactly a Google Maps showing where all the hot women in your city congregate. One thing you have to understand is you can meet women anywhere. If you walk down the street or go to the grocery store, there are always opportunities presenting themselves. However, I’ve compiled a massive list of places to meet women. After going through this list, you will have ZERO excuses not to go out and start meeting women.

Before I get into the list, here are a few caveats:

Don’t Be a Creep – Meeting women should be a secondary benefit of going to the places listed on this list. Go to these places for the sake of trying something new, not to hunt for women. For example, go to an art walk with a couple of your friends because it’s cool new thing to do. Don’t be the creepy guy that’s going only to hit on women. That’s weirdo behavior.

Bring a Group of Friends – Always try and gather a group of people to go with. When you meet women, it’s like she’s joining the fun party that’s already going on. However don’t let this stop you if you can’t find anyone to go with. Nothing is wrong with going to the places alone.

Type of Location = Type of Woman – Where you find a woman will directly correlate to the type of women she is. For example, women at hardcore punk rock dive bars will probably be much different from women you’ll meet at a local church. Therefore, have an idea of the type of women you want to date, then go the places they normally frequent. If you don’t know, the be open to trying out everything on the list.

No Order of Importance – There isn’t a particular order of importance of places on this list. Some will pop out more than other to you, but be open to try everything out. There is no one place that is better to meet women than others. You can meet and attract women ANYWHERE if you’re a cool guy.

You Can Meet Women Anywhere – Guys think they have to constantly go to bars or clubs to meet women. In actuality, you don’t have to deviate too far from your existing routine. If you walk down the street or go to the grocery there are always opportunities to meet new women.

1. Social Media Sites (Facebook) – I know many guys who’ve seen ENORMOUS success meeting women through social media sites like Facebook. There’s definitely an art and a science going this route so do your research on how to go about messaging girls without coming off as a creep. However when you have it down, sky’s the limit to the amount of women you can meet.

2. Coffee Shops – Women are ALWAYS at places like Starbucks or Caribou Coffee either grabbing a quick drink, with another cutie friend of theirs or just getting some work done. These are very low-key place to strike up conversation.

3. Local Colleges – If you live by a college, this can be a GOLD mine for young, single and hot women. My recommendation is to go during summer school. There aren’t too many people on campus so girls are ALWAYS looking for new people to hang out with.

4. Book Stores – If a girl is browsing through a book section you know a little bit about, it’s very easy to walk up and start talking about the subject. Tip: Weekend afternoons and weekday evenings is when you’ll find the most women at book stores. Book stores are often times empty otherwise.

5. The Gym – Women who regularly go the gym are definitely the type you want to be hanging around. They take care of their bodies, are self-motivated and often times are extroverted… All GREAT qualities in a girlfriend.

6. Museums & Galleries – I’m not going to lie, museums & galleries won’t be the most target rich places during the weekdays. However, on the weekends these places can be PACKED with women to strike up a conversation about whatever gallery you happen to be in.

7. Laundry Mats – Women are bored out of their minds at laundry mats and because of this, are more willing to talk when a guy such as yourself approaches. This is a golden opportunity because you’ll often have up to 2 hours of time to hang out while you both wait for your clothes to be ready.

8. Local Swimming Pools – Women in bikinis… Hmm, need I say more?!?

9. Beaches – Again, a no-brainer.

10. Pet Shops – Many women who have dogs and cats will go to pet shops regularly to get supplies or food. This is the perfect opportunity to ask a situational opener like “Hey, have you tried this type of dog food? I’m taking care of my buddy’s dog and I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve officially assigned you to help me…”

11. Hardware Stores – Although you may think hardware stores are testosterone driven, many women will frequent these stores for garden supplies and random knick-knacks for the home.

12. Ikea – Not only is this a great place to meet new women, this is one of my favorite places to bring girls out on dates. You can goof around and pretend you are newlyweds shopping for furniture. When meeting women, just go up to them and ask “Hey, I’m looking to get new furniture for my room and I need a woman’s opinion. Can you help me out?”

13. Restaurants – Restaurants are a FILLED with women to meet. Here’s the caveat: Don’t approach women when they’re eating. It’s just rude interrupting someone while their enjoying their meal so approach before she gets her meal or after she’s done eating. Usually there’s a bar in the restaurant you can transition things to.

14. Churches – I’ll be honest with you. Some places (i.e. Night Clubs) are where you’ll tend to find certain type of women to hook up with. Other places (i.e. Churches) are where you’ll find quality women you can settle down for the long-term. Church often times hold social events filled with many quality women to meet.

15. Supermarket – Some guys complain that they never have enough time to meet women. If you go grocery shopping then you have no excuses. I guarantee you’ll find a handful of women to approach at your local grocery store (especially if you live in a big city). Tip: Weekday nights and weekends are the best time to go. Anytime else you’ll find moms or old people.

16. Social Circle – This is the ultra traditional route the majority of guys rely on. Meeting women through a mutual friend is the number one way guys find their girlfriend. You just can’t beat this because a woman thinks so positively of you after a solid introduction from a friend.

17. On The Street – If you live in a city, there are a plethora of women rushing through the streets during the daytime. I lived in Chicago and in the summer, I’d always find more and hotter women walking down the street than I’d see in most night clubs.

18. Fitness Classes – If you’re currently working out alone, start going to fitness classes asap. It’s like killing two birds with one stone. You’re going to work out anyway, so might as well do it alongside a group of women at a spinning or kickboxing class.

19. Dance Classes – If you’ve rarely been physical with a woman, I’d suggest going to dance classes. With styles such as Tango, you’re forced to be up close and personal with your dance partner. It will also teach you first hand how to physically lead women, albeit on the dance floor. My personal favorite is Salsa. There’s usually a lack of guys at Salsa classes, so you’ll have your way with all the women taking turns to dance with you.

20. Tanning Salons – If you’re pale, you need to start tanning. I’m not saying you need to look like the newest member of Jersey Shore, but giving your skin a little color makes you look livelier. Oh and by the way, there are an INORDINATE amount of women at these places.

21. Hair Salons – Like tanning salons, the woman to man ratio in hair salons is staggering. If you have the money, getting your hair styled is definitely worth it. Actual professionals work at these places who can style your hair better than you’ve eve imagined.

22. Makeup Stores – You might think going to a makeup store is the equivalent of getting your balls sawed off, but most makeup stores holds stuff for men such as cologne. This is the golden opportunity to ask women them their opinion of different colognes.

23. Malls (clothing stores) – Malls are another place filled with cuties. Again, another perfect opportunity to approach women for their opinion on a particular clothing style your thinking about going with. There are lots of teenagers scattered in malls so make sure the women you are talking to are actually… well… of age!

24. In The Building of Your Work – I know lots of guys who’ve met a lot of women just by walking up and down the different floors of their office building. If you happen to work in a big building, chances are there are many women just as bored as you are dying to meet new people. Tip: Go on your lunch break. This is often when you’ll see the most traffic inside the building.

25. Parties – Parties are my absolute favorite on this list. It’s THE perfect atmosphere to meet new women. You’re having fun with your friends, she’s having fun with her friends and the atmosphere pumps her state up with all the music and drinks. Everyone is talking everyone so going up to her is almost expected.

26. Yoga Classes – Go to a Yoga class even if you’re not looking to meet women. There are so many benefits. You’ll improve your strength, flexibility, posture, breathing and generally become a more centered person. Like dance classes, yoga has a disproportionate amount of women to men. Plus, yoga classes teach women to contort themselves in all sorts of different err… Yoga positions.:-)

27. Book Signings/ Discussion Groups – Women tend to gravitate towards certain authors. For example, Chelsea Handler has an ENORMOUS female readership of ages around 18 – 35. If you manage to find a book signing or a discussion group of readership for these type of authors, you’ll feel like a kid on Christmas morning.

28. Modeling Events – Modeling agencies often have social mixers for those in the industry. Find out where they are and find a way to get in. I’ve personally been to a few myself and of all my years, I’ve never seen so many hot women in one room so damn open to meet new people.

29. Acting Classes – Acting classes are something you should be going to regardless of meeting new women. It will develop your voice, help you think better on you feet (especially Improv classes) and generally improve your self-confidence. There are of course many women that attend these classes.

30. Bars – I HATE when people say women don’t want to meet men at bars. Yes it’s true, women dream of meeting their “Prince Charming” serendipitously like in all the romantic comedies they’ve been brain washed by. However, in the real world cool guys are hard to find and women are ALWAYS open to talking to one. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a bar, a grocery store or at a freakin’ funeral.

31. Clubs – Lots of pros and cons with clubs. Pros: they hold the highest concentration of hot women in one room. Cons: dark, way too loud, intimidating and most women’s “I’m better than you” meter are off the charts. Bottom Line: since there are so many women that won’t remember who the hell you are, it’s the best place to work on game.

32. Lounges – Lounges have the best aspects of both the bar and club world. They’ll have the attractive women clubs tend to hold, while keeping the mellow atmosphere of bars.

33. Strip Clubs – You probably won’t find the future mother of your children at a strip club, but it’s a GOLDEN opportunity to interact with women who are VERY attractive and probably have tighter game than you. Being able to transition the strippers focus off your wallet will teach you many conversational skills you couldn’t develop otherwise.

34. Online Dating Services – I’ve heard mixed reviews from sites like Match and eHarmony. My take is guys who don’t see results with these sites tend to dabble. They’ll try it out for a few months, won’t put much effort it, then cancel their account soon after. Like anything, you’ve got to put the work in and stick it out in order to see results.

35. Singles Mixer Events – If you live in a bigger city, they’ll usually hold mixers for singles. When I lived in Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art held an event where thousands of twenty and thirty somethings came each month to meet new people.

36. Yelp.com or Metromix. Events – These sites are the absolute best resource you have at your disposal to find places to meet women. From restaurants, to bars, to various events, these sites are on top everything and anything social in your city. Tip: One day out of the month, set aside time and browse through these sites. Calendar in a cool new thing to do each day of the upcoming month.

37. Dog Parks – Dog parks are littered with women and their dogs. Striking up a conversation is too easy if both your dogs are playing with each other. Also, you can tell a lot about a woman by the type of dog she own. Believe me, a woman who owns a Poodle and a woman who owns a German Shepard are two completely different people.

38. Speed Dating – Speed dating can be a powerful way to not only meet women, but to improve your conversation repertoire. In less than 2 hours, you could potentially have chatted with 15 different women. It’s like going to the basketball gym to work on your jump shot. If you mess up or meet a girl you’re uninterested in, there’s always a new girl around the corner.

39. Amusement Parks or Local Fairs – These are a preferred destination for couples, but there are still many single women hanging out at amusements parks or local fairs. What’s great about these places is the opportunity for an insta-date. Approach, converse, then once she’s attracted transition things by going on one of the rides with her.

40. Co-Ed Sporting Leagues – These are fun not only to meet women, but to just have a freakin’ good time with friends. The type of women that gravitate towards activities like co-ed softball or volleyball leagues tend to be athletic, low-maintenance, and overall fun women who are into sports… pretty much all the qualities guys look for in girlfriends. 🙂

41. Weddings – I don’t know what it is about weddings, but they always seem to hold single women. When you factor in the open bar, the music and the fact that another one of the woman’s friends got married leaving her feeling VERY single, it’s like hook-up city.

42. Cooking Classes – I’ve heard mixed reviews with cooking classes. A few of my buddies went expecting to find women like those hot chefs you see on The Food Network. They were pretty disappointed when they realized they were the only ones under 50 in the room. 🙁

43. Concerts – Here’s a tip: Most women in concerts are so focused on the stage it doesn’t make sense to approach then. In actuality, the best time to meet women is when you’re in line to buy food and drinks. Lines are painfully long and women are often times by themselves. These are THE best conditions to strike up a conversation.

44. Sporting Events – Use the same tip I’ve laid out for concerts. More than likely you’re rooting for the same team so starting a conversation about something relevant to the game is a golden opportunity. What’s great with sporting events is there’s usually tons of bars surrounding the stadium. If things are going well, continue the action by bringing her to one of these bars.

45. Art Classes – Women love art and more than likely there are art classes held somewhere in your city. The guy to girl ratio at the classes are ALWAYS favoring so take advantage of this.

46. Art Walks – Cities will often hold outdoor exhibitions where local artists display their work for the public. Many times there’s bands playing, local pubs serving drinks and most importantly all sorts of women perusing through the booths. Again, a perfect opportunity for an insta-date.

47. Community Service – You shouldn’t be doing community service just to pick up chicks. That’s just downright sleazy. However, if there is a organization you want to get involved in, often times a side benefit of this is meeting the kind, warm-hearted, compassionate women who are also involved.

48. Organized Trips – Organized trips are a great way to meet women because right off the bat you both have a solid common interest. These can range from scuba diving, bird watching, bus tours, hiking and mountain climbing. Also, these types of environments are very low-key so you can really get to know the woman you meet.

49. Meetup.com Groups – There are an endless amount of special interest groups where members meet up regularly. Many of these groups are FILLED with women. Go to Meetup.com and search the groups in your city. What’s great about this is you can see photos of the groups and find which are filled with women before even going to a meeting.

50. Wine Tasting Events – GREAT place to meet elegant, classy women. Believe me, after going to countless dive bars attempting to talk with drunken girls belching the night away, it’s reassuring to meet a more sophisticated type at wine tasting events.

Finding a Good Tattoo For Women is a Lot More Difficult Than You Think

I wish you good luck on finding a good, quality tattoo for women, because you will probably need all the luck in the world. Without help, the average surfer is going to see nothing but the same generic junk over and over again. Now, this is easily reversible if do two simple things. Finding a good tattoo for women shouldn’t be so difficult and I’m going to help you make sure it isn’t.

If this isn’t making a whole lot of sense right now, don’t worry, because it’ll be crystal clear in a couple moments. The fact is that an overwhelming portion of the public (around ninety percent) is not finding even “one” gallery that has fresh, quality tattoos. It’s almost mind boggling how much this happens. This is until you find out “why” it is happening. The number one reason is because everyone relies way too heavily on search engines to find a tattoo for women.

Men do this to, as it is the entire population as a whole. Search engines just don’t work when looking for quality art. It’s that simple. Instead of getting a nice list of top notch galleries, you get this awful, random list of galleries that have nothing but the same generic junk as the next site. These are the same cookie cutter designs that have been aimlessly floating proud the web for what seems like nine years.

None of these places are taking the time to update their inventory, so that their visitors get to pick from quality stuff. All they care about is stuffing their site with as much content as possible, no matter how generic the tattoos are. Now, if this is the type of tattoo for women you want, you can continue looking for them this way, because it works. If you truly want to see the world of quality tattoos out there, you need to take a step back and use another searching method.

The good news is that there is something that can be done, which is just as easy as using a basic search engines. I am talking about forums, which can be sensational tools in finding amazing tattoos and the artwork for them. To find a good tattoo for women, all you have to do is spend a little time inside of some of the bigger forums. They are always going to have tons and tons of past (and present) topics revolving around tattoos. This is where you can get an inside peek at where people all over the world are finding quality artwork for their tattoos. People share link after link to the hidden galleries they uncover, which are usually the ones that take pride in having the best artwork possible. It’s that simple.

Looking for a good tattoo for women can be somewhat of a dirty chore sometimes, but it doesn’t have to make you go insane trying to wed through 1000’s of generic designs.

Choosing Your Ideal Wedding Flowers

As well as everything else to be planned for your big day, you need to choose your wedding flowers, which for many brides is one of the most enjoyable selections they get to make while arranging their wedding. While some women prefer to have a very personalized bridal bouquet, others see their wedding flowers as a chance to keep their overall wedding theme running through every aspect of the ceremony.

A wedding bouquet is the finishing touch to your bridal dress, and a well designed one will enhance your ensemble, bring out your best features and coloring and complement your bridesmaid dresses as well. Wedding flowers are also one of the most prominent features in photographs, so make sure you are happy with them as they will be in your memory for a long time.

There are whole galleries online of wedding flower ideas to help inspire you, and some places allow you to buy bridal bouquets online directly for delivery on the day, which can be very convenient and cost-effective. There are plenty of forums and florists on the Internet which can give you starting points for flower arrangements and color ideas, and you can also look at photos of other weddings, bridal magazines and even in the window of your local florist to get your imagination going.

If you have a wedding theme idea, think how to integrate that into your bridal bouquet and other flowers. For example, you could add some shells to a beach wedding theme, or some sprigs of holly for a Christmas wedding theme. For colors, it is a good idea to have a swatch of your bridesmaid dresses to make sure you can get matching or complementing colors for both the blooms themselves and any wraps or ribbons.

You might want to pick one or two types of special flowers which you would like to feature; perhaps they have a special meaning for you or are associated with memories of yourself and your groom, or others in your family. However it is still a good idea to work within the seasons depending on when you are having your wedding party. Although popular choices like roses and lilies are usually available all year, many other flowers are seasonal so prices will fluctuate. If you want an out of season flower in your bridal bouquet you could have it imported but this can be very expensive so it is best to stick to locally sourced blooms if you can.

What Is Your Fashion Jewelry Style Personality?

We all have a certain personality that reflects our fashion style. It speaks volumes about us to people we don’t know. Read this to find out what is your fashion jewelry style personality

Classic

Tradition is an important part of your life. You are mostly around the age of 40. Your jewelry box has a few timeless classic pieces like a strand of pearls or a vintage brooch. You avoid prints and prefer solid colors like black, red and white. You wear your timeless classic style and not the other way round. You know when a drop of pearl earrings or a diamond bracelet is enough to reflect your personality. You prefer expensive items in your jewelry box that will last long and don’t throw them away till they are worn out. You are always confident that you will look good whatever the occasion even though you will not be the center of the crowd, something that you always avoid. That is the reason you like playing it safe with these timeless classic fashion jewelry pieces.

Romantic

Femininity oozes from your style. You are hopeless romantic who is in love with the past. You wish you were born in the Victorian era and fallen in love in that time period. Your jewelry box is full of girlie, pretty and delicate pieces. Floral motifs, butterflies, symbols of love like the heart are your favorite designs. You love wearing, looking at and surrounding yourself with pretty things. Romantic fashion jewelry personalities love pastels to create a soft and dreamy look.

Trendy

You are the Queen Bee of the social circle, the party princess and the darling of all. Your fashion style is dictated by the latest trends in fashion magazines and celebrity styles. You cannot be seen wearing the same outfit among the same crowd twice; in short you are a true fashionista. You are willing to break your budget to get your hands on the latest trend in fashion jewelry. You are most likely to be under 40 and love to buy all things designer to flaunt “what’s in” among your subjects, because you are the princess.

Free Spirit

You march to the beat of your own drum. You find beauty in unique things and follow your heart to express your style. You create a trend which nobody else can wear except you. You have a penchant for all things natural which makes you feel close to nature. Bohemian style reflects your personality. You look gorgeous with just one unique jewelry piece. Your laid back style comes effortlessly to you. Floral designs and symbols like birds depict free spirit are your favorites in your in jewelry box. When you buy fashion jewelry it is important to you that the jewelry piece is unique and speaks to your heart. Often your jewelry pieces are not expensive but they reflect your free spirit personality.

Flooring Services Available

Flooring services in Austin cater to different industries which include the hospitality industry, custom homes, health care industry, commercial and retail buildings, and schools. They offer hardwood flooring, vinyl flooring, cork flooring, bamboo flooring, and laminate flooring. Now you can easily hire a professional to install the flooring of your choice whenever and wherever you want.

Not only installation, but subsequent sealing, cleaning, and refinishing services are also provided by these companies in Austin. The following are some of the services that they offer:

Hardwood floors installation and refinishing: If you are not adequately skilled to install hardwood planks at your home you can seek professional help. This helps you to save a lot of money, because if you go wrong with the installation process you might have to redo it all over again. A professional will know how to fix the planks to the subfloor. Also, if an old floor requires refinishing it is always recommended to get it done by a professional. Many a times it happens that the old one does not actually require refinishing; only a top coat finish might be enough. A professional can best advice you on the maintenance of the floors.

Cork Floors Installation: These are growing in importance these days. Their installation is not an easy process. It must be made sure that the subfloor are absolutely dirt and moisture free. It is also important to make them smooth and leveled, or else the installation might not take place properly. Finally sealing and cleaning of these types of floors are very important. To make them water resistant, optimum amount of the sealant should be evenly spread. It is better to hire a professional and remain on the safe side with the installation process.

Vinyl or Laminate Floors Installation: These types of floors are usually glued to the subfloor. Hence it is very important to trim the edges of these properly. It might get difficult to trim the vinyl sheets around fixtures like, a sink, that can’t be removed. So for perfect measurements it is best to get it done by some company providing professional services. Another point here is that these sheets must be glued properly, such that the surface does not remain uneven. Only a professional can guarantee such an error free result.

Hence, it is better to hire professional services when it is available at hand. This ensures that you don’t have to waste unnecessary money in redoing your floors if anything goes wrong.

Day Care – How to Boost Your Earnings

Day care is becoming a booming business avenue with passage of time. As more moms are working out and no one at home to take care of the children so day care facility is the only choice. These centers offer care for children of different ages like newborn, infant, toddler, preschool or older children. As an extension, you can also find on-site day care for businesses or schools, after school day care programs, over night care, part time care, occasional care etc. It means you can find children care facility according to your needs.

Care centers keep your children busy in different activities. Children not only enjoy but also learn a lot of things at day care centers. Theses centers provide you solution for children’s sleep issues, biting tendencies, potty training, teething etc. If you want to start a day care business then you must have the qualities that parents look for while selecting a day care facility. These qualities are:

  • A licensed day care facility
  • Trained, helpful and pleasing staff members
  • Special attention to each and every child
  • Attractive play equipment
  • Adequate different areas for different activities
  • All the area must be hygienic
  • Prepare balanced meals
  • First aid facility
  • Ability and equipment to handle emergencies

A good day care center should have a proper schedule for different activities of the children. It may include physical games, learning, coloring, meals like breakfast, lunch, snack time etc., story telling, sleep time, cleaning up mess, prepare to go home etc. Apart from making schedule for the children, you would be looking after many other tasks like meeting parents, explaining them your facilities, arranging the record of your customers, matching number of children admitted and staff members available and a lot of other things. So, your actual focus i.e. caring children is somewhat compromised.

There is a solution that can help you in automating your official processes. It will help you in lessening your tedious work, making you efficient, building up your reputation and boosting your earnings. This is a facility that will be installed on your website. Your would-be customers will get all the needed information through this facility and afterwards they will enroll their children there automatically. Due to automation of your processes, you would have a lot of time saved for your actual job. The benefits of this facility are:

  • Your interaction with customers will be minimal
  • Customers can access the facility from internet anytime from everywhere
  • You will provide all the information once and iteration will be done by the system
  • It will keep all the records about your customers, your staff, your receipts and payments etc.
  • You can generate different needed reports easily and print out them as well
  • You can handle many centers situated in different localities from this facility easily
  • You can maintain different access levels for customers and staff
  • All your information would be secure
  • You can process payments electronically

This is only a short list of benefits you would enjoy by installing this facility. It is an “Online Scheduling System” which enables you to automate all your processes and boost your earnings.

Laptop Bags Provide You With Both Convenience and Fashion Style

A portable laptop needs a quality protective case to make sure that people can carry it wherever they go. Usually, when people are buying a laptop, they will also purchase such a laptop accessory as a must-have item which can provide convenience and protection against scratches or other potential damages to their new gadget. In the market, you can always find many different types of laptop bags, thus it is necessary for you to be informed of how to buy the best one.

In terms of the style, the most common style goes to messenger style, which resembles the style of classic messenger bags. This kind of bags can be carried either in hand or on shoulder. On the other hand, except for laptops, you can also put some documents or files in a messenger laptop bag, which, in this way, can be employed as a professional accessory. Backpacks are another popular type that favored by many people. You can simply use them as the backpacks to carry books or files. This type of laptop bags is designed with an included laptop sleeve which can increase the security and safety of the laptop. The sufficient storage space and the adjustable shoulder straps can provide an easy and secure way to carry your laptop. For professional businessmen, they usually prefer to choose briefcase style laptop bags. To choose such a bag, sufficient storage space, adjustable shoulder straps and plenty organized inner compartments are the basic elements you need to consider. Besides, the weight of the bag is also an important factor that matters a lot for businessmen who travel frequently.

Apart from the style, you should also take the size, material and color into consideration. Usually, the size should agree with the size of your laptop. As to the material, leather, of course, is your best choice. The color you are going to choose should keep in line with your skin color tone. In a word, the laptop bags are useful not only in a way of providing practical functions but also expressing your fashion statement.

How Drug Abusers Think – Help Get Addicts to Rehab Faster by Understanding Why They Avoid Rehab

Does drug abuse exist primarily in the mind of the abuser or is drug abuse society’s problem? Somewhat of a philosophical question, agreed. Let’s get right down into the reality of the matter and skip the pretense.

Drug Abusers Think Society Should Change To Fit Into Their Realities

To understand the boldness of this statement I will enlighten you on what is happening inside a drug abusers head. This may not be pretty, sorry if I use real life examples. But if you found your way to this article, you’re ready for it.

How Drug Abusers See The World

They see the same trees, the same cars and the same family members who are upset or distressed by their addiction. But they also ‘see’ other things.

To continue this analogy of seeing things that aren’t seen by everyone else, let’s consider the mind as a collection of full picture and sound files in one’s personal computer. This personal computer is ones’ mind. The mind has millions of memories or files stored of past experience or conclusions or imaginations. All these files are stored in your mental computer.

What happens when drug abusers experience things they don’t want to?

Here’s the problem: Drugs dull perceptions. Drugs are essentially pain killers. Drugs kill mental, emotional and / or physical pain. That means something that is distressing a person can appear to reduce. The stress seems to go away a bit by the drugs dulling or hiding the experience from the person. They can’t see or experience the discomfort as readily. Sometimes these discomforts come from the past. Remember the mind is made up of past experiences or memory pictures.

Drug abusers have been solving their problems by dulling out their abilities to see these problems. At times the problems right in front of them are unseen by a drug abuser. Other times issues from their past are blocked out.

Let’s take a look at one way drug abusers dull their perception of the past with drugs and with other mental ‘tricks’.

Drug abuse, including marijuana abuse, pharmaceutical abuse and alcohol abuse have one thing in common: Justification

As a drug rehab consultant, I hear more justification for drug abuse and use than most. Here are some rather common and even infamous justifications I’ve heard over the years.

Mental Justifications:

  • They don’t understand
  • I just need one more hit, then it’ll be OK
  • What’s the big deal, it’s just one time
  • This will fix things and I’ll make it through for a while longer

Drug Abusers Are Running Away From Something, Aren’t They?

Most people avoid pain. When the truth contains pain, the truth will be avoided.

Pain is also stored in the minds’ memory pictures. When painful experience is re-triggered by life, the painful part also returns. Drug abusers instinctively avoid this pain. That’s when justification is put to use by the abuser of drugs. Justification is a method of being right and avoiding the discomfort and pain of unpleasant memory.

The mind must be right. This is the minds’ senior command – always be right. Not necessarily truthful, just right. A drug abuser is trying to create a world where they are right in avoiding reality, even if it kills them. That’s why they continue to abuse drugs.

Fashion Styles for Women

Many women dream of themselves dressed in a white wedding dress and in other very elegant and catchy outfit. Of course, women need to be approved of, they need to get noticed and fashion is the simplest way for them to be successful. Fashion leaves a first impression about everyone, which means that a nice and neat outfit can solve all your problems in terms of self-confidence and so on.

If you dream of yourself dressed up in a wedding dress, you don’t necessarily have to wait until you get married and consider that this is your only chance to prove that you are pure and innocent. White is a very fashionable color, more and more women opting for it and more and more models wearing it on the catwalk. Whether you opt for a vaporous dress or for a classical one, you can look beautiful and get all men turn their head behind you.

There are a lot of scarves, dresses and skirts with floral prints, a lot of African accessories which are very fashionable, a lot of comfortable fabrics and a lot of elegant ones, everything you have to do being to choose your own style. You can wear silk, you can wear velvet, it is up to you because you have numerous choices either way.

Women represent the beautiful gender for a reason and they deserve this title all the way. A special color or a special fabric can change every woman and allows the others to see her like they never have before.

Desirable Home Furniture

Making do with desirable home furniture

The people that buy a piece of the timeless versions of oak dressers that have graced homes in all styles will find that they also have something that is durable. The durability of this type of furniture is one of its most compelling selling points and it is the reason that the public is enamored with it. We are constantly looking for things that can last us a very long time. When we decide to buy this item we know that it can meet this need. You can expect staying power with a piece of the timeless versions of oak dressers that have graced homes in all styles. Of course some people live transient lives that need change.

There are homes where the changing of furniture is just a matter of course. They will not hesitate to dump the items that they consider to be dull. If a piece of the timeless versions of oak dressers that have graced homes in all styles seems to fit the bill then they will get rid of it. This is just one of the ways that people manage their homes. We are in no position to criticize unless we are responsible for managing their budgets. The work that goes into the items is limited. You will be set up when you buy a piece of the timeless versions of oak dressers that have graced homes in all styles. They just quietly do their job and you do not have to replace them.

It is also one of the styles that are very versatile. You can have both the modern and ancient versions of your home using a piece of the timeless versions of oak dressers that have graced homes in all styles. The furniture is able to fit in with most of the decorative decisions that you make. In fact even the most eccentric homes will find that they are able to enjoy the benefits of this type of thing. You do not have to change the decor in your home before you introduce a piece of the timeless versions of oak dressers that have graced homes in all styles. It will just fit in to whatever scheme that you have prepared.

One has to think about the connotations that come with the purchase of a piece of the timeless versions of oak dressers that have graced homes in all styles. This is something that signifies timeless elegance and therefore the other furniture in the room has to be up to scratch. That is why we take the time to examine the different merits of new furniture so that we do not cause a contrast in styles within our home. The purchase of a piece of the timeless versions of oak dressers that have graced homes in all styles will achieve this aim. People with taste can experiment with different types of things but if you have a plain taste then you need to go for the standard fare that is not going to raise eyebrows.

Home Loans to Get the Best of Your Property

At least once in life everyone thinks about moving. Either to a bigger home if the family is growing; or to a smaller one, if the kids are leaving and the actual home is going to be too big for you. Whatever your reason may be, selling a house is always an opportunity.

Home loans, if well used may help you to make a good deal from your property’s sell. There are many suitable options, depending on your situation and what you are looking for. Even with bad credit, and also if you are still repaying your home mortgage.

Types Of Home Loans

There are many options to be evaluated within home loans, you should start evaluating first what is that you want to do. If you want to switch to a bigger home, to a smaller one, and how would you like to invest the extra benefit obtained from the selling, if any.

There are two important home loan categories that you should look at when thinking about moving. Those are, home purchasing loans and home improvement loans.

Home improvement loans point to, as their name says, improve your current home. Either if there are any reparations to be done, or if you would like to make your home look better before selling it, these kinds of loans may be a good help. If you do the right modifications, your home value could be increased by the time you find a buyer. Financial companies will also approve loans for landscape improvements, such as constructing a swimming pool, if that is favorable to increase the property’s value.

Home purchasing loans, in the other hand, are meant to help you on your new home’s purchasing.

Different Options

You will find a wide range of loans within both, home improvement and home purchasing loans.

Home purchasing loans will vary according to what do you intend to do. In example, if you had purchased your actual home whit a home loan which you are still repaying, and the home you are willing to move to will also need extra finance, you could get a home conversion loan. These kinds of loans, place your actual loan into the new home, including the extra amount you need. If you do not have any previous home loan, you can have a mortgage loan or a home equity loan, just over the extra amount you need to buy your new home.

You will also find many options on home improvement loans, the most common are unsecured personal loans for home improvements, home mortgage refinancing, first mortgage loans and second loans.

Unsecured personal loans may be a little more expensive than secured loans since they represent more risk for the lender, but you will not need to have equity in your property or any other collateral to apply. Credit score may be a limitation for the borrowed amount, but you are still eligible even if you have bad credit.

Home mortgage refinancing and first mortgage loans, are good options to evaluate if you have purchased your home with a mortgage loan. First mortgage loans are offered by your current lender, to finance your home improvements over your existent mortgage. With home mortgage refinancing your actual mortgage loan will be refinanced. You will not be borrowing more money, but refinancing will lower your home mortgage monthly payments leaving you extra money to invest on improving your home.

Second loans are suitable if you have an equity in your property to justify the loan.

All these options, if well used may help you to obtain the best of your property’s sell. Try to search and compare as many lenders as you can before you decide to apply for any loan.

Why Travel Solo?

The wonderful thing about travel: it provides you with experiences that will remain locked forever in the scar tissue of your mind – Dave Barry.

Solo travel can be a daunting experience but well-worth the effort. When women travel alone, an entire world of new opportunities opens it’s doors! Unaccompanied women travelers have the gift of being able to focus on their travel needs instead of focusing on everyone else.

And solo travel also offers you the unique opportunity to strike up interesting conversations with people wherever your journeys may take you. Locals and fellow travelers will be impressed by and curious about your brave independence, which can lead to a great conversation and possibly a life-long friendship. So if you are without friends, spouse, family members or a co-worker to share in your travel experience, don’t fret — solo travel offers the opportunity for you to enjoy a trip on your own terms. And the hardest part just may be coming back home!

Women who take the plunge and travel the world alone can truly enjoy tasting the fruits of exotic places, shop for to-die-for fashions in the thick of the world’s most sophisticated cities and really take in ancient sites. The ability to visit the sites that interest you and only you, when and how you want to, allows you to find what truly satisfies you, mind, body and soul.

But how do you know about that out-of-the-way boutique with haute couture at wholesale prices, or how do you find that tasty trattoria in Florence when it’s off the beaten path? A travel agent, of course! A travel agent can not only direct a woman traveling alone to the best and the brightest travel spots to suit her needs, but the travel professional can also offer expert tips, advice and safety precautions. Your travel agent will help you determine the package that will be tailored to fit your needs, guaranteeing your happiness and safety.

A knowledgeable travel agent provides an added sense of security that will be necessary to help your trip run as smoothly as possible. Many women are skeptical of traveling alone due to safety concerns and a lack of time or savvy to plan the trip. A travel agent can schedule unique ways to fill your free time, develop a personalized itinerary, and, if necessary, organize a group tour at your destination. Whatever your travel needs, your agent will be a vital part of ensuring your enjoyment. Your travel agent will also help you understand your surroundings by providing trusted tour guides and helping you to navigate your destination to make sure you avoid potentially dangerous areas.

Safety is an essential part of any travel experience, and when women travel solo, it becomes even more important. Discuss your safety needs with your travel agent and she can offer pointers and tips that only a seasoned traveler would know, keeping you safe and sound as you explore the world. Your agent will offer advice on how to dress and observe cultural norms, helping you to blend in once you arrive at your destination, preventing you from being targeted for crimes or harassment.

A travel agent can also help you stay connected with your loved ones. In today’s high-tech world, your contacts are only a phone call, text message, or email away. Your travel agent can provide a list of cybercafés, phone services and other communications access points that will help you stay in touch with your family and friends back home, putting your mind and theirs at ease.

If you work closely with your travel agent and use good judgment, you will be equipped with the necessary tools to travel solo and enjoy yourself immensely. The new sights, sounds, locales, museums, restaurants and the possibility of new friends will combine to produce the most memorable experience of your lifetime. The wonders of the world await. So stop waiting for a companion to tag along. Contact your travel agent to create a travel package that you will remember forever!

ENTREPRENEURIAL CHALLENGES – The Case of Royal Bank Zimbabwe Ltd

Industry Shake-up

In December 2003 Mzwimbi went on a well deserved family vacation to the United States, satisfied with the progress and confident that his sprawling empire was on a solid footing. However a call from a business magnate in January 2004 alerted him to what was termed a looming shake- up in the financial services sector. It appears that the incoming governor had confided in a few close colleagues and acquaintances about his plans. This confirmed to Mzwimbi the fears that were arising as RBZ refused to accommodate banks which had liquidity challenges.

The last two months of 2003 saw interest rates soar close to 900% p.a., with the RBZ watching helplessly. The RBZ had the tools and capacity to control these rates but nothing was done to ease the situation. This hiking of interest rates wiped out nearly all the bank’s income made within the year. Bankers normally rely on treasury bills (TBs) since they are easily tradable. Their yield had been good until the interest rates skyrocketed. Consequently bankers were now borrowing at higher interest rates than the treasury bills could cover. Bankers were put in the uncomfortable position of borrowing expensive money and on-lending it cheaply. An example at Royal Bank was an entrepreneur who borrowed $120 million in December 2003, which by March 2004 had ballooned to $500 million due to the excessive rates. Although the cost of funds was now at 900% p.a., Royal Bank had just increased its interest rates to only 400% p.a, meaning that it was funding the client’s shortfall. However this client could not pay it and just returned the $120 million and demonstrated that he had no capacity to pay back the $400 million interest charge. Most bankers accepted this anomaly because they thought it was a temporary dysfunction perpetuated by the inability of an acting governor to make bold decisions. Bankers believed that once a substantive governor was sworn in he would control the interest rates. Much to their dismay, on assuming the governorship Dr. Gono left the rates untamed and hence the situation worsened. This scenario continued up to August 2004, causing considerable strain on entrepreneurial bankers.

On reflection, some bankers feel that the central bank deliberately hiked the interest rates, as this would allow it to restructure the financial services sector. They argue that during the cash crisis of the last half of 2003, bank CEOs would meet often with the RBZ in an effort to find solutions to the crisis. Retrospectively they claim that there is evidence indicating that the current governor though not appointed yet was already in control of the RBZ operations during that time period and was thus responsible for the untenable interest rate regime.

In January 2004, after his vacation, Mzwimbi was informed by the RBZ that Royal had been accommodated for $2 billion on the 28th of December 2003. The Central Bank wanted to know whether this accommodation should be formalized and placed into the newly created Troubled Bank Fund. However, this was expensive money both in terms of the interest rates and also in terms of the conditions and terms of the loan. At Trust Bank, access to this facility had already given the Central Bank the right to force out the top executives, restructure the Board and virtually take over the management of the bank.

Royal Bank turned down the offer and used deposits to pay off the money. However the interest rates did not come down.

During the first quarter of 2004 Trust Bank, Barbican bank and Inter-market Bank were identified as distressed and put under severe corrective orders by the Central Bank.

Royal Assault

Royal Bank remained stable until March 2004. People who had their funds locked up in Inter-market Bank withdrew huge sums of funds from Royal Bank while others were moving to foreign owned banks as the perception created by Central Bank was read by the market to mean that entrepreneurial bankers were fraudsters.

Others withdrew their money on the basis that if financial behemoths like Intermarket can sink, then it could happen to any other indigenous controlled bank. Royal Bank had an advantage that in the smaller towns it was the only bank, so people had no choice. However even in this scenario there were no stable deposits as people kept their funds moving to avoid being caught unawares. For example in one week Royal Bank had withdrawals of over $40 billion but weathered the storm without recourse to Central Bank accommodation.

At this time, newspaper reports indicating some leakage of confidential information started appearing. When confronted, one public paper reporter confided that the information was being supplied to them by the Central Bank. These reports were aimed at causing panic withdrawals and hence exposing banks to depositor flight.

Statutory Reserves

In March 2004, at the point of significant vulnerability, Royal Bank received a letter from RBZ cancelling the exemption from statutory reserve requirements. Statutory reserves are funds, (making up a certain percentage of their total deposits), banks are required to deposit with the Central Bank, at no interest.

When Royal Bank began operations, Mzwimbi applied to the Central Bank – then under Dr Tsumba, for foreign currency to pay for supplies, software and technology infrastructure. No foreign currency could be availed but instead Royal Bank was exempted from paying statutory reserves for one year, thus releasing funds which Royal could use to acquire foreign currency and purchase the needed resources. This was a normal procedure and practice of the Central Bank, which had been made available to other banking institutions as well. This would also enhance the bank’s liquidity position.

Even investors are sometimes offered tax exemptions to encourage and promote investments in any industry. This exemption was delayed due to bungling in the Banking Supervision and Surveillance Department of the RBZ and was thus only implemented a year later, consequently it would run from May 2003 until May 2004. The premature cancellation of this exemption caught Royal Bank by surprise as its cash flow projections had been based on these commencing in May 2004.

When the RBZ insisted, Royal Bank calculated the statutory reserves and noted that, due to a decline in its deposits, it was not eligible for the payment of statutory reserves at that time. When the bank submitted its returns with zero statutory reserves, the Central Bank claimed that the bank was now due for the whole statutory reserve since inception. In effect this was not being treated as a statutory reserve exemption but more as a penalty for evading statutory reserves. Royal Bank appealed. There were conflicting opinions between the Bank Supervision and Capital Markets divisions on the issue as Bank Supervision conceded to the validity of Royal’s position. However Capital Markets insisted that it had instructions from the top to recall the full amount of $23 billion. This was forced onto Royal Bank and transferred without consent to the Troubled Banks Fund at exorbitant rates of 450% p. a.

FML Saga

When FML was demutualising, the executives were concerned about the possibility of being swallowed by its huge strategic partner, Trust Holdings. FML approached Royal Bank and other banks to act as buffers. The agreement was that FML would fund the deal by placing funds with Royal Bank so that Royal would not fund it from its balance sheet.

Consequently FML would leave the deposits with Royal Bank for the tenor of the loan. The deal was consummated through Regal Asset Managers and was to mature in December 2004, at which time it was anticipated that the share price of First Mutual would have blossomed, allowing Royal Bank to harvest its investment and exit profitably. The deal resulted in Regal Asset Managers owning 57 million FML shares. Royal Bank gave FML some securities in the form of treasury bills as collateral for the deposit.

The Reserve Bank and the curator wrote off this investment because at that time FML was suspended at the ZSE. However the fact that it was suspended did not invalidate its value. Recent events have shown that this investment has generated huge capital value for Regal Asset Managers as the ZSE rebounded. Yet the curator valued this investment negatively. Around March 2004 there had been a contagion effect at FML due to the challenges at Trust Bank. This resulted in the forced departure of the FML CEO and chairman. FML was suspended from the local bourse as investigations into the financing structure of Capital Alliance’s acquisition were carried out. Because of the pressure brought to bear on FML, it wanted to withdraw the deposits held by Royal Bank, contrary to the agreement. FML could not locate and return the treasury bills that had been provided as collateral by Royal. Royal Bank suspected that these had been placed with ENG, another asset management company which collapsed in December 2003. A public row broke out. Royal Bank executives sought counsel from Renaissance Merchant Bank, which had brokered the deal, and the Chairman of the ZSE, who both agreed with Royal that the deal was legitimate and FML had to honour the agreement. At this stage FML sought court intervention in an attempt to force Royal Bank into liquidation. Even the curator contested the FML position resulting in his taking it for arbitration. Royal’s position remained that if FML fails to return the securities then it will not get the funds.

Royal bank directors claimed political interference on the issue. The Royal Bank executives believe that the governor, against his better judgment, decided to act against Royal Bank under the pretext of the political pressure. In retrospect, the political support for cracking the whip at Royal gave credence to the rumour that the governor had an underlying agenda in taking Royal and merging it into ZABG because of its strong branch network.

Royal Bank had been warned by friendly RBZ insiders that if it ever accessed the Troubled Bank Fund it would be in trouble, so it sought to avoid this at all costs.

However on 4th August 2004, Royal was served with papers that effectively placed it under the curator. Interestingly, the curator’s contract was signed two days earlier. Until this time no depositor had ever failed to withdraw his deposits from Royal Bank.

The lack of credibility of the Reserve Bank in handling this case is exposed when one considers that some banks were given more than eight months to stabilize under curators, e.g. Intermarket and CFX Banks, and were able to recover. But Royal and Trust Bank were under the curator for less than two months before being amalgamated. The press raised concerns about the curators assuming the role of undertaker rather than nurse, and hence burying these banks.This seemed to confirm the possibility of a hidden agenda on the part of the Central Bank.

Victor Chando

Chando was an excellent financial engineer who set up Victory Financial Services after a stint with MBCA. He had been the brains behind the setting up of the predecessor of Century Discount House which he later sold to Century Holdings. Royal Bank initially had an interest in discount houses and so at inception had included Victor as a significant shareholder. He later acquired Barnfords Securities which Royal intended to bring in-house.

Victory Financial Services was involved in foreign currency dealings, using offshore companies that bought free funds from Zimbabweans abroad and purchased raw materials for Zimbabwean corporations. One such deal with National Foods went sour and the MD reported it to the Central Bank. On investigations the deal was found to be clean but the RBZ went ahead to publish that he was involved in illegal foreign currency transactions and linked this to Royal Bank. However this was a transaction done by a shareholder as an account holder, in which the bank had no interest. What confused matters, was that Victory Financial Services was housed in the same building as Royal Bank.

After failing to nail Chando to any criminal charges, the Central Bank issued an order for Royal Bank to force him out as a shareholder and board member. It is ridiculous that the Central Bank would vet who is a shareholder or not in banks – particularly when the people had no criminal records.

Negotiations with OPEC were underway for it to take over Chando’s shareholding. The Reserve Bank was aware of these developments. OPEC would then help in the recapitalization as well as open up lines of credit for the bank.

The Arrest

In September 2004 the executive directors of Royal Bank, Mzwimbi and Durajadi, were arrested on five allegations of fraudulently prejudicing the bank. One of the charges was that they fraudulently used depositors’ funds to recapitalize the bank.

Three of the charges after police investigations were dropped, as they were not true. The two remaining charges were:

a) a conflict of interest on loans that were made available to the directors. The RBZ alleges that they did not disclose their interests when companies controlled by them accessed loans at concessionary rates from the bank. However the enterprising bankers dispute these charges, as they claim the Board minutes prove that this interest was disclosed. Even the annual financial statements of the bank acknowledge that they accessed loans as part of their employment contract with the bank.

b) money was owed to Finsreal Asset Management. However Mzwimbi argues that Finsreal actually owes them money and not the other way round. Royal Bank shareholders needed to inject money for recapitalization of the bank and were requested to deposit their funds with Finsreal Asset Management. Since some had not paid their portion of the recapitalization by the due date, Royal Financial Holdings, which had an account with Finsreal, paid the money on behalf of the shareholders – who were then indebted to Royal Financial Holdings. Somehow the RBZ confused this transaction as the bank’s funds and therefore accused the

shareholders of using depositors’ funds to recapitalize.

By retrospectively analyzing the court case wherein the Royal Bank executive directors are accused of defrauding the bank it appears that the RBZ created a falsehood in order to frustrate the bankers. The curator who initially refused to take a stand before the RBZ appointed Independent Appeal, has in court clearly testified that no monies were stolen from the bank by the directors and that the curator did not (contrary to RBZ assertions) recommend charges against the bankers. In January 2007 the former executive directors of Royal Bank were acquitted by the High Court on the remaining criminal charges after the prosecution failed to present a convincing argument.

Royal Bank assets were sold by the curator to ZABG barely two months after being placed under the curator, without any audited financial statements. The speed at which an agreement of sale was reached is astonishing. The owners of Royal Bank went to court and, after a protracted legal struggle, the court ruled that the assets were sold illegally and hence the sale was “illegal and of no force or effect and therefore null and void”. The court then directed that the owners should appeal to the Central Bank for a determination of the actions of the curators. The Central Bank begrudgingly set up an “independent panel” to adjudicate the case. Strangely ZABG continued to trade on the illegal assets.

The panel advised that the appeal by Royal bank be rejected as it would be difficult to disentangle it from ZABG. They also cited the fact that ZABG had some contractual obligations with third parties who may not want to do business with Royal bank. This strange ruling fails to explain why these considerations were not made when the amalgamation was done. The ruling also redefined the agreements between the curator of Royal bank and ZABG as not being an “agreement of sale” even though the parties which entered into the agreement clearly intended it to be viewed as such. This was a way of circumventing the Supreme Court ruling that the agreement of sale was null and void.

But the panel did not explain how this disposal of the assets should be considered if it was not a sale.

Consequently the major shareholders of Royal appealed to the Minister of Finance who upheld the RBZ decision. Mzwimbi and his colleagues have therefore appealed to the courts. In the meanwhile there was a failed attempt to sell the disputed assets by ZABG despite the outstanding legal challenge. Just ice delayed is justice denied.

Mzwimbi and his team have been denied access to all bank records and yet are expected to defend themselves. As he characteristically puts it, “We are going into this fight blind folded and our hands bound, while fighting someone who has armour and a sword.”