Image Is Everything

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Today people are bombarded with more information than they can process. Simultaneously, websites, blogs and social media have the public trained to consume information in bullet points, sound bytes and tweets containing 140 characters or less.
No matter how you are trying to get your message across, whether through social media, a website or blog, an ad or even a presentation, the best way to pique someone’s interest is through compelling imagery. Photos must be engaging enough to get someone to focus on what you’ve got to say.
When choosing an image, it pays to be selective. Great images have the power to inform, inspire, confuse, shock, delight, empower, enrage and enlighten. Start by thinking about things like:
* Whom you want to reach?
* What message you want to communicate?
* What sort of tone you want to set?
* What kind of reaction you want?
While the image should relate to the overall topic, it doesn’t have to do so literally. This gives you the artistic freedom to have fun with your image search. It also will help you remain open to inspiration as you search.
As to effective image searches, sifting through millions of images on the Internet via a simple search engine query is highly ineffective. The chances of finding something the right size, shape, resolution and quality are low. Copyright and privacy issues also arise — particularly if the photos will be used commercially.
Fortunately, there are places to get inexpensive imagery that can be legitimately used for a whole host of purposes. Stock pictures can be purchased from places like www.photos.com for as little as a dollar or two.
For blog posts, budget-sensitive projects and nonprofits, Photos.com offers easy searching from numerous categories in several subject areas. You can buy a single image, packs of images at various resolution sizes or even annual subscriptions.
For images to be used for an extended time, as in a website, or a marketing brochure, more highly art-directed imagery can be found at www.iStockphoto.com. Both sites have powerful search engines that make short work of finding the perfect image.

Top 5 Must Haves for Girls Going Back to School

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – From a young girl’s perspective, half the fun of going back to school is shopping for new clothes and school supplies to start the year off right.
For this year’s back-to-school season, Sanrio is launching a new collection of cute Hello Kitty products at Walmart for young girls. The collection includes everything needed to head back to school — sportswear, t-shirts, socks, shoes, underwear, sleepwear, backpacks, stationery, school supplies and accessories. Girls will love the wide range of Hello Kitty products while moms and dads will love the value!
Here’s a list of the top 5 Back-to-School Hello Kitty must-have everyday essentials to take your little girl back to school in style and under budget:
Dresses. This too-cute style selection features polka dots, color blocking and an all-in-one shrug combined to put your little girl at the head of the class. Pair it with pink sequined, Mary Jane-style shoes and Hello Kitty jewelry for an A+ grade.
Graphic Tees. Graphics lead the way in a collection of t-shirts featuring Hello Kitty and bright pops of color to keep girls on-trend.
Backpacks. Hello Kitty backpacks are perfect for the young and young-at-heart. They feature big, easy-to-access pockets to hold everything a girl needs for class and padded straps for comfort.
Lunch Cases. Our favorite lunch case features big zipper closures for little hands and a zip bottom to store ice packs or extra snacks.
Notebooks. Every student needs a notebook, and Hello Kitty allows girls to feel as if they’re bringing their best friend back to school, too. Available in a range of sizes and colors, there’s something for every age and style.
Select Walmart stores nationwide are hosting a “Share a Smile with Hello Kitty” event for the back-to-school season. Those in attendance will receive Hello Kitty back-to-school checklists, fun surprises and a ‘Share a Smile’ free photo inviting fans to take a special Hello Kitty photo to keep, along with a second photo to ‘Share a Smile’ with family, friends or a favorite teacher! Visit http://instoresnow.walmart.com for dates and store participation information.
Since her introduction in the U.S. more than 35 years ago, Hello Kitty’s timeless appeal continues to thrive. As she becomes accessible to more people in new locations, she is making more friends and bringing happiness to girls everywhere.

New Ways to Save on Summer Travel

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Planning a summer getaway? Consumers can save time and money during the high-traffic summer travel months by harnessing the power of collective buying sites like Groupon.com to help plan budget-friendly trips that don’t sacrifice quality or fun.
Known for offering daily deals from top local businesses, these websites are also a great resource when it comes to travel. Experts recommend that consumers sign up for the daily emails for the city they plan to visit in the coming months. From here, begin receiving deals and start saving! Plotting out a vacation itinerary and cashing in on deep discounts for everything from unique local activities to dining options and even hotel stays is as easy as clicking “Buy.”
“Shoppers use Groupon.com as a travel guide that’s updated daily,” said Andrew Mason, founder and chief executive officer of Groupon, a shopping website that offers daily deals on the best local goods, services and cultural events in more than 500 markets around the world. “We offer a variety of deals at unbeatable prices every day. Our merchants are more ‘hidden gems’ than ‘tourist traps,’ so group buying is an ideal choice for the person who wants to vacation like a local this summer.”
Mason provides some top deal options to look out for when planning trips this season:
Lodging: From bed and breakfast boutiques to luxury hotel packages, shoppers can find local lodging for 50 percent off.
Outdoor Activities: Enjoying the beautiful summer weather is easy with Groupon. Shoppers should keep their eyes peeled for deals on Segway excursions, walking tours, zipline trips, kayak rides and other adventurous outdoor activities.
Dining: From five-star restaurants to best-kept secrets, and everything in between, collective buying sites help visitors save up to 90 percent on dining while traveling.
Relaxation: Every good vacation involves some pampering. Popular deals include couples massages and rejuvenating skin treatments.
Cultural: Checking out current local theater, festivals and museum exhibits is easy with daily deals that guide shoppers to the best options for their upcoming trip.
By consolidating the best local options in hundreds of cities nationwide, daily deal sites are quickly becoming the go-to travel guide for consumers planning trips this summer. Not a subscriber? Visit www.groupon.com to sign up for free and start receiving deals in your local city and upcoming vacation destination today.

Time Is Everything This Mother’s Day

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Moms everywhere seem to share the same problem: There’s not enough time in the day to get everything done. With endless work and family demands, finding a spare moment is nearly impossible.
Grand Slam tennis champion and mom Kim Clijsters is no exception. The 2005 US Open Championship winner returned to the game in 2009 following a two-year absence after the birth of her first daughter, Jada. Between diaper changes and feedings, Clijsters managed to become the first unranked wildcard to win a Grand Slam event in over 30 years.
Clijsters successfully defended her title and went on to win the 2010 US Open.
The secret to her success? Timing. Citizen Watch Company recently signed Clijsters as its newest Brand Ambassador for the Citizen Signature timepiece. For Clijsters, donning a Citizen Signature Ladies’ Diamond timepiece is more than a fashion statement. It’s the key to finding time to hit the courts or be home with Jada.
“I am very proud to be an Ambassador for the Citizen Watch Company,” said Clijsters. “Citizen has had a long affiliation with tennis as the Official Timekeeper of the US Open, so a partnership with Citizen is a natural choice for me. Passion has always been a critical part of my tennis game, just like the passion that Citizen has put into The Signature Collection.”
Make life for busy moms a little easier this Mother’s Day with the gift of time. All Citizen Eco-Drive watches are powered by light and permanently rechargeable, so Mom doesn’t have to worry about replacing a battery a few months down the road.
And with fashionable touches including mother-of-pearl dials and diamond-embellished cases, working around the clock has never been so stylish.
For more information, visit www.citizen-signature.com.

Make Your Next Million-Dollar Idea a Reality

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – How often do you have a great idea, only to leave it sitting on the back burner? Worse, how often do you see someone take an idea similar to yours, start a business and create their fortune? Well, the time has come for you to stop kicking yourself and to turn that million-dollar idea into a reality.

Most entrepreneurs follow similar paths to success. Sara Blakely, entrepreneur and founder of the multi-million dollar company Spanx, shared her keys to success in an interview with SUCCESS, a top magazine for budding entrepreneurs and established professionals. How can you turn your next idea into a million-dollar business? Follow Blakely’s advice:

Differentiate yourself from the crowd. “Whether it’s in the marketplace or in those first few seconds you meet somebody — whatever it is — if you don’t know how it has been done before, you’re almost guaranteed to do it differently,” says Blakely.

First impressions mean everything. “If you make someone laugh or smile in the first five to 10 seconds, you might get another 10 seconds,” she says.

Be persistent. Work hard to win over manufacturers and prospective buyers who may be unsure about your idea or product. If you display enthusiasm and desire for your idea, they will begin to believe, too.

Visualize your goals. “Take a mental snapshot of what success looks like for you,” she says. Keeping that vision of success in mind will help you through the tough times.

Pay attention to opportunities. “There are a million ways to improve everything around us,” says Blakely. Making just one improvement could result in your million-dollar idea.

Hire your weakness. Focus on your strengths, and hire well-qualified people to handle the rest.

For more on Blakely’s interview with SUCCESS magazine, pick up a copy at newsstands, or subscribe by visiting their Web site at www.SUCCESS.com.

Pre-Wedding Beauty Tips for the Bride

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – You want everything to be picture perfect for your wedding, including your smile. But like everything else about your big day, that perfect smile could require some work ahead of time. In fact, experts suggest starting your entire beauty regimen six months before the wedding.
Here’s a complete pre-wedding beauty checklist.
* Lips: Get soft, kissable lips by brushing away flakes of dry skin with an infant toothbrush soaked in baking soda and water. Apply healing ointment, and in no time, your lips will be ready for that “kiss the bride” kiss.
* Teeth: A cosmetic dentist can often correct an imperfect smile with veneers. But if spending painful hours in the dentist’s chair getting your teeth ground down sounds like it would put a damper on all the joyful planning, here’s good news: Lumineers (www.lumineers.com) are now used by thousands of dentists nationwide and can be applied in two short, pain-free appointments.
Unlike other veneer procedures, Lumineers are so strong and thin that they don’t require removal of sensitive tooth structure. The procedure is quick, painless and even reversible.
* Makeup: Women with warm skin tones look best in makeup with pink, coral, peach, amber, brown and red with yellow undertones. If you have a cool skin tone, choose pink, berry, lilac, mauve or red with blue undertones.
* Skin: Make your face glow with a good cleansing program. Use a cleanser that’s appropriate for your skin type in the morning, makeup remover and cleanser at night and a daily moisturizer. Use a gentle facial scrub once a week.
* Hair: If you’re planning to change your hairstyle or color, experiment several months before the wedding so you have time to correct any mistakes.
* Nails: If you’re a nail-biter, get weekly manicures to keep your nails healthy. Plan your last manicure a couple of days before the big day. Choose a pretty pale pink or splurge on a French manicure, not just because it looks great, but because the chips won’t show as much and are easy to fix. You’ll have beautiful hands for the rehearsal dinner and any other festivities.
Don’t forget, practice makes perfect. Schedule a trial run with your hair and makeup artists several days before your wedding, so there are no surprises the day of the ceremony.