Create Beautiful Gifts on a Dime

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – A beautifully wrapped gift can make any present look like a million bucks. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a gift-wrap expert to make your gifts shine. Follow these simple, inexpensive tips for giving the perfect present every time.
Be prepared. Stock up on wrapping paper, tissue paper, bows and gift bags at discount stores like Dollar General. Pre-and post-holiday sales provide great opportunities to stock up on the essentials. Pick some neutral designs, and you’ll be ready for birthdays and other celebrations as well as the holidays. And don’t forget necessities such as tape, scissors and pens.
Keep it simple. Wrapping doesn’t have to be elaborate to be beautiful. Combine a solid wrapping paper with a patterned bow. Or, go for a funky look by mixing polka dot paper with plaid ribbon. Use pre-made bows to ensure the perfect bow. No time to shop for gift wrap? Use the comics section from the Sunday paper for fun and colorful gift wrap.
Box it up. Wrap your gifts easily with boxes, tins or bags that need no adornment or accessorizing. Stock up on solid color gift bags that can be used year-round by simply placing your gift in the bag with a few sheets of tissue paper. Take advantage of the festive, fun and inexpensive boxes and tins at discount stores. They make baked goods and small gifts look special with little effort.
Use scrapbook trim. Put your scrapbooking expertise to work when wrapping gifts. Stickers and embellishments typically used for scrapbooking are great for putting special touches on presents. With the variety of tools and accessories available, it’s easy and inexpensive to personalize your gift.
Accessorize with style. Adorn your package with something other than a bow. Does the recipient have a sweet tooth? Top things off with a candy cane or wrapped cookie. Add a personal touch with a keepsake ornament or small picture frame with the photo of a grandchild or favorite pet. Unique accessories will impress friends and family before they even open the present.

Tips to Get Your Move On

<b>Tips to Get Your Move On</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – You’re excited to start living in your new home, but before you start decorating, entertaining or relaxing with coffee in your new breakfast nook, you have to move your possessions from point A to point B. But with a little planning, you can make your move without shattering your great grandmother’s vase or slipping a disc while carrying kitchen appliances.

PakMail (www.pakmail.com), a company that specializes in packing, custom crating and shipping, offers the following tips to help you get your move on:

* Give yourself more time than you think you need. It doesn’t seem like you have that much stuff — until it’s time to neatly organize everything into cardboard boxes and load them into moving vans. You will probably need at least a month to pack. Start by going through your rooms and taking a quick inventory — figure out what you need to pack, and what you’d rather freecycle.

* Make sure you have plenty of packing materials. You will need more boxes than you expect. Make sure that you have 10 new boxes for last-minute additions. Other useful items include thick markers, bubble wrap, packing tape and foam wrap. PakMail sells a full line of shipping supplies, including boxes, bubble wrap, foam wrap, tape, labels, kits, packing peanuts and sealing tubes. PakMail also offers custom packaging for oddly shaped items.

* Choose the right box for your item. Heavy objects, like books, should always go in smaller boxes. Certain items, such as mattresses or mirrors, may require special packaging. It’s always best to ask an expert. Try to keep boxes under 30 pounds.

* Organize your packing. As you’re packing, assign each box a number. Create a list where you record everything that was put in each box. Also, decide where the boxes should go. For example, if boxes one through three contain DVDs, books and video games, make sure they end up in your new living room.

* Don’t forget your suitcase! Make sure you have enough clothes and toiletries to last three days in your suitcase, so you don’t have to buy new clothes if you can’t unpack your wardrobe immediately. Never pack important personal documents, medications or valuables — keeping them with you will provide easy access, not to mention help prevent theft or loss.

For more information, visit www.pakmail.com.

Body Wraps Encourage Inch Loss And Better Health

<b>Body Wraps Encourage Inch Loss And Better Health</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – If you’re struggling to pull on pants despite your morning jog, you might want to consider your body’s toxin load. Poor eating habits, smoking, drinking alcohol and caffeine, and consuming sugar and salt all load the body with toxins, where they are attracted to tissue and dehydrated fat cells.

Not ready to give up cappuccinos and cupcakes forever? Don’t worry — you don’t need to seal yourself in a cave and fast for 12 months to enjoy better health and look svelte. Body wraps have been used for centuries to draw impurities from the body, stimulate circulation and smooth the skin.

It’s important to remember that not all wraps are created equal. Mud, clay and seaweed wraps can actually smother pores, causing dehydration and water loss. A mineral wrap, however, will help draw toxins away from fat cells and rid the body of impurities.

And while going to a spa for a body wrap can set you back $80 to $300 per wrap, home body wrap kits provide the benefits of a body wrap without sending you into debt. At-home body wraps can help you lose inches and tighten skin at a fraction of the price of spa treatments.

For example, Slimmer Silhouette Body Wraps (www.slimmersilhouette.com) come in a kit containing 12 full body wraps or 24 partial wraps, coming to an average price of $21 per full body wrap. Slimmer Silhouette Body Wraps contain a proprietary special mineral formula that helps extract impurities and rehydrates cells.

The number of inches lost depends on the person — the greater the amount of soft, fatty tissue, the more dramatic the loss. Some users report loss up to three to four full dress sizes over the course of 12 wraps! The body wraps also tighten skin, helping increase muscle definition. Once your optimal goals are reached, maintenance wraps can be used once a month to help sustain your loss.

Using body wraps in addition to a diet and exercise plan can help you stay motivated — you’ll see faster results, helping to keep you encouraged and dedicated to better health.

For more information, visit www.slimmersilhouette.com.

Enjoy Spa Treatments Without Spa Prices

<b>Enjoy Spa Treatments Without Spa Prices</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – As the recession strains pocket books, little luxuries are falling by the wayside. Americans are brewing coffee at home, learning to cook, making do with last season’s jeans and foregoing days at the spa.

But Americans don’t have to give up small self-indulgences or the stress-relief that they provide. Many high-end spa treatments can be done at home for a fraction of the regular price.

Take body wraps. A staple of the day spa experience, body wraps involve exfoliating the skin, applying a specific blend of ingredients, like herbs, clay or minerals, and then wrapping the body in cloth to seal in body heat. Spa-goers may opt for either full-body wraps or partial wraps, which target specific areas.

Healthy diet and exercise play an important role in a holistic approach to weight and inch loss, and although this may not be the total cure-all, it can play a significant part in the process. Wraps draw out toxins trapped within the body and fat cells, detoxifying the body. Benefits may include lost inches, the reduced appearance of cellulite, smoother and tighter skin and improved body contours and curve definition. And it is by far a safer alternative to surgery or liposuction!

Sounds great, right? It does -; until it’s time to pay. A 45-minute wrap at the spa costs anywhere from $100 to $150, while a 60-minute session may run as high as $250-$300.

But some companies have created do-it-yourself body wrap kits that offer the same benefits of spa treatments without spa prices. For example, Slimmer Silhouette offers a kit with enough mineral blend and reusable bandages for either 12 full wraps or 24 partial wraps — at the much more reasonable price of $250. That breaks down to $21 per wrap.

The kit also includes an instructional DVD, an instruction manual, a body diagram chart, measuring tape and a rehydration bottle. The mineral blend provided contains all-natural ingredients that promote healing. Using the wraps also results in lost inches, not from dehydration, but through the loss of impurities.

“I couldn’t believe how quick and easy it was to use right in my own home,” writes one customer, Brittany, from British Columbia, Canada. “I also felt completely refreshed and rejuvenated the next day.” She adds that she lost 12 inches the first time she used the wrap.

Those on a particularly tight budget might want to order the kit with a friend. In fact, at-home wrapping parties with close friends are becoming popular and prove to be a relaxing, slimming and inexpensive alternative to a day at the spa.

For more information, visit www.slimmersilhouette.com.

Jazz Up Your Gifts On a Dime

<b>Jazz Up Your Gifts On a Dime</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Half the gift is in the packaging. Few things do more to set the atmosphere than shiny, bow-wrapped presents spilling from beneath a sparkling tree. But tight budgets leave little room for professional gift-wrapping, and not all of us can wrap gifts like Martha Stewart.

Luckily, it doesn’t take a fine arts degree to produce packages that win oohs and aahs.

– Plan Ahead. Stock up on gift wrap and other accessories. Check out discount stores, such as Dollar General, for everyday value on wrapping paper, tissue paper, bows and gift bags. Always be on the lookout for sales on these items. Post-holiday sales provide great opportunities to stock up on wrapping essentials. Pick neutral colors, and you’ll be ready for birthdays and other events as well as the winter holidays.

– Get Crafty. Make your own gift wrap from old newspapers or brown wrapping paper, and dress the gift up with colorful ribbon and bows.

– Gift Baskets. Gift baskets or care packages allow you to put an extra special touch on your gift. Ideas for creative gift packages include candy, food, free samples you’ve collected throughout the year or a gift card assortment for favorite restaurants or shops. Arrange your items in a basket, bowl or another type of container, and adorn with ribbon, ornaments or candy to create a festive gift.

– Scrapbooking. Use your knack for scrapbooking to wrap a gift, or give a scrapbook as a gift. Easily adorn a photo with scrapbooking photo corners, and paste the picture onto the package. This will create a personalized gift the recipient will always treasure.

– Theme Gifts. Create a theme for your gift. For example, give a movie lover a popcorn bucket filled with a bag of microwavable popcorn, a DVD and some candy for an easy gift under $20. Or, for the baker in the family, fill a mixing bowl with a bag of brownie mix, a can of frosting and a spatula, and you have a delicious gift for under $10.

Tips to Safely Ship Large Items

<b>Tips to Safely Ship Large Items</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Transporting large, valuable items often creates anxiety. Will you open the box only to find an antique vase in shards? Will the package even reach its destination?

To ensure that items arrive safely, you have to pack them correctly. Make sure that you have a variety of packing materials on hand, including boxes, bubble wrap, loose fill and packing tape.

Bulky or irregularly shaped items, like furniture, exercise equipment, paintings and sculptures, require special consideration. The experts at Pak Mail, a shipping company with 500 plus stores in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Venezuela, Panama and Japan, offer the following tips:

– Wrap it. Before packing an item, you’ll need to protect it from scratching or breaking. Wrap items in bubble wrap, tissue or plastic. If shipping several items in the same box, wrap each item individually. Use non-acidic paper to protect artwork.

– Pack it. Use foam or rubber as a second layer of packaging -; this will help absorb shock and vibration during shipping. Make sure that items are packed securely in their boxes. Most damage occurs when items have room to move or shake.

– Make it secure. Choose a hard, puncture-resistant surface, like plywood, for the outer layer of your package.

– Hire a professional. For items that prove especially cumbersome, consider hiring a shipping company that specializes in custom packaging and large items. For example, Pak Mail builds custom crates for unusually awkward or large items. You don’t even need to bring the items to a Pak Mail location -; the company will pick up your item, pack it safely and then ship it. There are no size, weight or piece limits. The company has successfully shipped everything from precious art works to dinosaur fossils.

– Get a guarantee. Declare and cover the value of your items. Make sure that you have each item’s tracking numbers so you can watch their progress.

For more information or to find Pak Mail locations, call (800) 778-6665 or visit www.pakmail.com.

Packing Ideas for a Smooth Move

<b>Packing Ideas for a Smooth Move</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – The big day approaches, but the house still looks helter-skelter with piles and pieces waiting to be packed. Sound familiar? A hectic moving day doesn’t have to be the norm. With a little planning, you can move from your old digs to your new home without incurring a headache.

Here are some tips for people looking to make their next move a smooth one:

– Plan ahead. Packing and unpacking usually develop into bigger jobs than originally expected. Ideally, you should begin packing six months before the date of your big move. Pack the items that are of least importance first so that your necessities are more easily accessible when unpacking.

– Pack clothes in suitcases and other luggage containers. Boxes often look the same. It is easier to identify which package holds your casual clothes or towels if they are packed in a different-style container. Pack luggage with items that you will want to use soon after your move, like towels and toiletries.

– Develop a color-code. Assign each room in your new home a color, then label boxes meant for that room in the same color. For example, if you label all of the boxes meant for your kitchen in blue, you won’t have to worry about the movers putting your dining set in an upstairs bedroom.

– Keep personal items with you. Never trust valuables, medications or important paperwork to the movers. Pack them in your own vehicle to avoid possible theft and to gain easier access to them later.

– Get more boxes than you think you will need. You will undoubtedly find some items to pack at the last minute. To avoid any last-minute headaches, make sure that you have at least 10 extra boxes set aside for moving day. Buy new boxes – they’re the sturdiest.

– Make sure that you have plenty of packing materials, including bubble or foam wrap and protective tape. Pak Mail, a company that specializes in packing, custom crating and shipping, sells a full line of moving materials, including boxes, bubble wrap, moving kits, foam wrap, labels, packing peanuts, sealing tape and moving tubes. Pak Mail also creates custom crates for customers shipping oddly shaped or sized items.

For more information or to locate a Pak Mail center near you, visit www.pakmail.com.