Military Families Get Relief in Roof for Troops

It’s a good thing no one joins the armed forces to get rich, because it turns out a higher percentage of military families are in debt than civilians.

And that has one New Jersey company ticked off enough to do something about it.

According to a report by the Financial Industry Regulation Authority’s Investor Education Foundation, 27 percent of military families surveyed admitted having more than $10,000 in credit card debt, compared to 16 percent of civilian adults. And while the foundation noted that “navigating the complexities of today’s economy can be challenging” for anyone, it singled out one issue — frequent moves and deployments — that “further complicate” military families’ finances.

Luther, Reformation Celebrate 500 Years in Germany

(NewsUSA) – One of the events which changed world history is now being commemorated in Germany. The Protestant Reformation, the movement to reform the practice of Christianity during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, is currently being celebrated during the "LutherDecade" (2008 – 2017). It is culminating in 2017 with the 500th anniversary celebration of the iconic Reformation leader Martin Luther nailing the 95 Theses to the Wittenberg church.A new website dedicated to North America — Visit-Luther.com — is explaining festivities to celebrate Luther’s life. "LutherCountry" refers to the two German states of Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia in which Luther spent much of his life. The region includes numerous rolling hills, quaint villages, medieval castles and palaces. Visit-Luther.com encompasses a wide range of fascinating churches and museums that are perfect for anyone interested in culture or history, as well as for members of the Protestant faith.It was on October 31, 1517, that Luther famously nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle church in Wittenberg, outlining his thoughts on how the Catholic Church in Europe should be reformed. Luther’s public display of his views is considered the beginning of the Reformation.The "LutherDecade" refers to the build-up to 2017 during which each of the nine years preceding has been given a special theme highlighting numerous activities and events in order to offer various angles on Luther’s life and the era he lived in. The year 2012, for instance, is focusing on "The Reformation and Music" by highlighting Luther’s love for music and prominent composers and musicians of the time by featuring many concerts and events for music lovers.Visit-Luther.com introduces the American public to the fascinating aspects of life back then, providing information on Luther’s life and the places he lived in "LutherCountry." Many photographs show how well the small towns and cities have preserved this precious heritage up to today. An event calendar features festivals on music, food, Renaissance costumes and historical remembrances.A special database also provides information on which American travel companies offer guided tours to "LutherCountry" and which other countries they include. To learn more about Martin Luther’s life, "LutherCountry" and how to get there, visit www.visit-luther.com.

Tips to Keep Fido From Feasting on Your Stuff

Pet owners love being greeted at the door by their furry companions – but coming home to see the sofa in chunks on the floor amid the smiling jowls of our pet isn’t the welcome we hope for.

“We all love spending time with our dogs, but we need to leave them at home alone sometimes,” says certified dog trainer Laura Roach from the nationally trusted pet care franchise Camp Bow Wow. “Nobody wants to come home to chewed-up shoes or ripped furniture. A tired dog is a good dog, so it’s important to get them out for exercise and socialization.”

Sweat Overload? Replenish Your Essential Minerals

Most adults know daily cardio is great for burning fat and reducing stress, but you may not know that a rise in sweat output can cause an increase in your loss of essential minerals, such as magnesium.*

People drink water after they exercise to rehydrate, but individuals need to replenish more than just H2O. Mineral loss through the excretion of sweat and urine is increased during prolonged exercise. Due to how much they sweat, it’s crucial for endurance athletes with low magnesium intakes to replenish their magnesium levels [www.slowmag.com].*

New Movement Picks Up Where Occupy Wall Street Trails Off

Occupy Wall Street’s most recent push, “May Day,” exemplifies the crux of the protest: it’s a great forum to express widespread discontent about financial issues, but less adept at affecting bona fide change between giant corporations and average consumers.

Critics of the movement tend to call it politically dangerous and radical, like pollster Doug Schoen in the Wall Street Journal. On the other hand, President Obama is embracing a 2012 platform crusading for the 99 percent against the presumptive GOP nominee.

Survive the Ups and Downs of Walking for Fitness

Let’s face it. Walking is a popular low-impact exercise. Now, new iPods are equipped with pedometers, half-marathons are packed with walkers and MapMyWalk.com and other apps can map and measure walking routes. But even with all of these new innovations, you’ll still want to pay attention to basics.

The national recommendation for regular physical activity to stay healthy is actually rather attainable. Adults are encouraged to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week or more. This means that walking the dog, hiking, biking or walking to the metro instead of hailing a cab all count as exercise.

3 Tools Every Small Business Should Use

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – With regards to technology, small businesses and entrepreneurs working out of a home office used to be at a competitive disadvantage. But the abundance of productivity tools and online resources for small businesses has changed all that. Being small doesn’t have to look small — now you can run your business from beaches and terraces of the world with just a cell phone or a tablet.
Now, smartphones are practically office computers in and of themselves, allowing you to stay connected 33,000 feet up in the air or stuck in gridlocked traffic. Not surprisingly, a Small Business Technology Poll taken by AT&T reports a steady increase in the use of tablets, 4G devices and mobile apps for business purposes. The next step for the 85 percent of small businesses using smartphones is utilizing the variety of tools available online.
Here are three inexpensive resources offered online that help small businesses and the one-person team working from home — and your business shouldn’t be without them.
1. Virtual phone system. This system allows companies of all sizes to have a business-class virtual phone system designed to help small and home-based business owners build the same strong, professional image as larger competitors. It comes with toll-free numbers, Internet fax, voice mailboxes and more.
2. Payroll software. Depending on the size of your business, it may not be pragmatic to have a full-time accountant, and outsourcing can be pricey. But payroll software can be optimized for all payment methods, and accuracy is based on a money-back guarantee. Software of this nature tends to be very user-friendly and extremely secure.
3. Email marketing software. Social media marketing is all the rage right now, but according to SmallBizTechnology.com, email marketing software remains more effective. An email marketing software tool will track who opens, reads and forwards your emails, design more targeted newsletters, increase referrals and get quicker results.
One last word of advice, which may be the most crucial of all: Type TestThis4Free.com into your browser and bookmark it. The website is a one-stop shop for online productivity tools, including virtual phone systems, payroll software, email marketing software and more. The best part? It offers free trials of various software and services to make sure users will use and benefit from a tool before buying it.
With these tools offered for free online, small businesses actually stand a chance against large companies and big budgets.

Getting Your Wiggle Back

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – When YouTube first made its Internet debut in 2005, no one could have predicted the global affect it would have for musicians or record labels.
Fast-forward to present day, and wannabe recording artists are exploiting the dot.com site to broadcast their music to the world and to get noticed by record companies.
One case in point is Euro dance artist Abie Flinstone, a 19-year-old wunderkind from Lommel, Belgium, who has been likened to an Asian female Eminem and has used YouTube to her advantage.
For her efforts and marketing acumen, Flinstone’s reward is that she has been signed by New York-based Big Jake Music, an indie record label and part of Seven Arts Music. Recently, parent company Seven Arts Entertainment announced that it will start marketing Flinstone’s single “Get Outta My Way,” featuring Kaliq Scott, a song she recorded in her bedroom. The song has reached no. 2 on Belgium’s dance charts and will be available later this month in the U.S.
Like Flinstone, another up-and-coming artist who has enjoyed virtual success via YouTube, is Natassia Zolot, or Kreayshawn as she’s known by her stage name — a 22-year-old white rapper from East Oakland, Calif.
Last year, Kreayshawn recorded her now-famous “Gucci Gucci,” a catchy ode to independence from designer labels, then used YouTube to premier her video. By Internet standards, it became an overnight sensation, garnering 11 million hits by August 2011. She has since pocketed a seven-figure record deal, and shows no signs of slowing down. Not bad for a girl who admits that she thought she was “still going to be struggling to pay rent.”
“I believe YouTube is changing everything for music artists,” said Jake Shapiro, founder of Big Jake Music.
“Because of YouTube, small, independent record labels are now able to choose from the best of the best,” he added.
With the backing of Big Jake Music, Flinstone finds herself in good company.
For more information, visit www.bigjakemusic.com or www.7artspictures.com.

TLC Tips for Lawn and Garden Maintenance

Whether you’re considering the resale value of your home or are simply resigned to doing maintenance projects to keep your house in good condition, your lawn and garden could certainly benefit from some TLC of the home improvement variety.

The exterior of your house commands most first impressions, and even mild winters inflict seasonal damage. If you don’t know where to start, a home improvement project checklist may help. Consider the following lawn and garden maintenance tips from home and garden experts at HGTV and MarthaStewart.com:

The Man’s Guide to Selecting a Wedding Band

Congratulations to all you soon-to-be grooms. Now that your wedding is only months away, your jewelry collection – just a watch, huh? – is about to increase by as much as 50 percent.

Meaning, it’s time to start thinking about what kind of wedding band you want for yourself.

Wedding bands have become the norm for men in recent years – 97 percent of grooms in The Knot Market Intelligence’s “2011 Engagement & Jewelry Study” opted for one – so even if you have any doubts, your bride will probably set you straight. That means your only real decision is what kind of band best suits you.