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Choosing the Correct Toothbrush to Prevent Tooth Decay


The toothbrush is not aDTS_Photography_Movie2 new invention.
The Babylonians chewed aromatic tree sticks to clean their teeth.
The first real toothbrush with bristles did not have “Made in America” on it; it had “Made in China” circa 15th or 16th century.
Englishman William Addis created the first toothbrush that was mass produced in 1780. The traditional three-row bristle brush came along in 1844. Nylon bristles in 1930s.
Fast forward to the 1960s for the first electric toothbrush; a year later it came cordless with a rechargeable battery.
The ubiquitous toothbrush, which is a first-line defense against tooth decay, has been hailed as the one item people can’t live without. Certainly, your teeth would agree. Today, the choices are many and it can be quite confusing when you have to decide which brush to choose.
First, make sure the toothbrush can reach each of your teeth. A toothbrush half-inch wide and an inch tall usually is the best choice for adults. If it is too large, you may have problems brushing each tooth.
Today, you can manually brush your teeth or opt for very sophisticate electric toothbrushes. The bristles come in soft, medium and hard bristles. Most of us need to use soft bristles. My friend probably used hard bristles and over did the brushing which damaged her gums. Always look for the American Dental Association seal of approval.
I use soft bristles when I brush manually.I usually brush, however, my teeth with an electric brush. I figure it will do a better job than I will manually. Most experts say proper brushing technique trumps the toothbrush you use. Always brush at least two minutes, 10-15 brushes per tooth, and keep that brush at a 45-degree angle. An electric toothbrush that uses rotation oscillation technology, some believe, does a better job than other brushes.
When choosing a manual or electric toothbrush, cost certainly comes into the equation. Some electric toothbrushes can cost several hundred dollars.
Let’s take a look at different electric toothbrushes. Some models come with many different brushing features and sensors to make sure you are not brushing too hard. Timers are included to make sure you brush long enough. There are two major types: oscillating-rotating or sonic technology. They also can come with different types of brush heads.
I have had a Sonicare and Oral B electric brushes. A couple of years ago I bought a generic brand because it was cheaper. Not certain I can tell the difference between them. But I do know I need to buy a new brush head.
It is important to take care of your teeth and practice good oral health. The mainstays of good oral health are brushing, flossing, oral rinse and regular visits to the dentist. You can have good oral health with a manual brush or an electric brush.
Some experts actually believe that flossing is much more important than brushing. Others also say you can brush your teeth without toothpaste. Use water, they say.
Regardless of your approach or method, if you take care of you teeth and mouth now you won’t have problems as you get older.

Here are the Basics for Good Oral and Dental Health

4-gfgb12hfa-london-scoutThe basics for good oral and dental health is a toothbrush, toothpaste, oral rinse and floss.
When I was younger, you had few choices. You didn’t have electric toothbrushes. You certainly had fewer options for toothpaste. The same with oral rinses and flosses.
Let’s take a look at the buying options for toothpaste:
To fight cavities, try toothpaste with fluoride which will help you in your battle with cavities. I have a cousin who has campaigned against fluoride in our drinking water, and I assume in our toothpaste.
To whiten your teeth, you have many choices that claim to whiten your teeth. Many of the options will help polish your teeth and keep additional stains from occurring. Look for a brand that has “modified silicone abrasives.” This will help, but if your teeth still are stained after regular use, contact your dentist for an alternative.
To go holistic, you have herbal alternatives to traditional toothpastes. Look for one with the American Dental Association logo on the box. By going all natural, you will avoid fluoride, the abrasive ingredients in the whitening toothpastes and other chemicals used for tartar and bacterial control. Some people use baking soda and holistic brands. Technically, if you brush correctly and for at least two minutes, you could even use plain water (buy distilled water to avoid the fluoride).
To desensitize your sensitive teeth, you can purchase various brands that will help minimize the pain caused by cold, hot or sweets.
Most dental authorities recommend toothpaste with fluoride (1,000 parts per million) in it because that it will fight plaque buildup which causes tartar to occur. Once you have tartar, brushing will not get rid of it. It is tartar that helps cause gum disease and tooth decay. Your dentist with his pic is the only way to remove tartar buildup.
One important new guideline that I just learned is that rinsing after brushing is not necessarily what you should do. In fact, if you don’t rinse the ingredients in your toothpaste can be absorbed by your teeth and gums.
As I mentioned you could brush with water if you use the correct technique. Remember, at least two minutes with the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle. Also concentrate on each tooth 10-15 brush strokes. And don’t forget to floss, which some people say is even better than brushing. Keep the floss tight against your teeth to help it break up the plaque.
You still will have to go the dentist at least twice a year. By having regular checkups you are giving your dentist a chance to catch oral cancer at an early stage plus any trauma to your mouth. My dentist realized I was grinding my teeth — that is how I lost one tooth. My dentist gave me a dental guard custom-made for my mouth.
If you don’t take care of your teeth, you will leave yourself open to cavities and gum disease. If you don’t, you know how the witches look with teeth missing. You will fit in great during Halloween.

Here is How You Can Avoid Dental Procedures

IMG_1343I have no cavities. Technically.

I had my first cavity when I was 50. It was a small one. Eventually, I cracked that tooth — tooth pain is worse than back pain — and I had the tooth pulled and replaced with a simple dental procedure that everyone should undergo: a dental  implant. Just kidding.

So, I no longer have a cavity.

The lack of cavities is purely genetic. I mainlined cola soda when I was growing up. I ate cookies, cake and candy, which explains my blood sugar challenges, but that’s for another blog.

However, I always went to the dentist growing up.

As an adult, I adopted my mother’s dental habits. She went to the dentist for a cleaning every three or four months. So do I.

I still don’t have great dental habits. I have to force myself to floss daily, and I’ve never brushed before bed. I need to.

I need to really start flossing and brushing more than once a day. I already have some gum recession.

According to dental websites, brushing, flossing and rinsing are the cornerstones of good dental health, as well as regular visits to the dentist.

Since I never had an drilling in my mouth growing up, I never developed a fear or phobia of the dentist.

Apparently half the country skips regular dental visits. And I try to go three or four times a year. My regular visits will at least catch any potential problems early, such as cancer, gum disease, cavities, etc. Years ago I also switched from a old-fashioned soft toothbrush to an electric one.

Let’s take a look at the major steps you can take to keep your teeth and mouth healthy. Some of these steps also will make you healthier, as well.

First, I have given up sugar-added food for the most part. More than a year ago, I saw the documentary “Fed Up,” which is about how added sugar is the root of all evil. Really!

As such, I gave up buying any food with added sugar. The only exceptions was light Soy Milk (sugar-free Soy Milk just does not taste good) and pasta sauce (it only has about 3-4 grams of sugar per serving and it costs about $2-$3 per jar compared to $7-$8 for the no sugar-added variety).

Even today, I will have too much candy at the movies, but I limit it primarily to my visits to the theater. I do go a lot, however, so I do smuggle in healthy alternatives as often as possible.

Sugar-added soda is a major culprit for tooth decay, but it is also because of the phosphoric acid and citric acid that is bad for your teeth.

Right now, I almost always order water when I eat out, and I don’t buy soda for the house.

You also should push the candy, cookies and cake aside. The sugar creates bacteria and acid in your mouth, which is what helps cause plaque buildup. Try to brush and floss after every meal or snack.

One problem I never faced was the effects of smoking has on your teeth. We all know the yellowish color of smokers’ teeth. Also, who wants to kiss a smoker?

Where I fall down is holding my toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, although I do know you should use soft bristles. Don’t brush too hard or too long because you can damage your gums (I know a younger woman in her 40s who didn’t realize how much damage she was causing when brushing her teeth.).

Today, you have so many toothpaste choices. When I was growing up, we had Colgate, Crest, UltraBrite and a few others, but today you have dozens and dozens choices. You have toothpaste that offers total protection or those that whiten your teeth, To combat cavities, use toothpaste with fluoride in it. As you get older, if you have sensitive teeth to cold, try a brand that offers toothpaste with strontium chloride or potassium nitrate. You even can buy toothpaste to prevent tartar buildup which is the byproduct of plaque buildup.

There is a lot you can do to prevent problems with your teeth. Determine the correct toothbrush for your needs. I think the electric brushes are better, but that’s my opinion. Keep brushing and flossing after each meal. Use the right toothpaste for your needs. Check in with your dentist at least twice a year. Most dental insurance allows you two visits per year.

It is up to you. Your teeth right now are figuratively in your hands. You don’t want them to be literally there, as well.


Bathroom remodeling projects to consider

a9nu_keldm8-gabriel-garcia-marengoBuying a home is probably one of the biggest purchases you can make outside of buying a business, plane or boat.

As one of my business networking colleagues says, “You can’t return a home.”

So now that you have bought your new home, assuming that you didn’t build it from scratch, eventually you will need to plan home remodeling projects, such as updated bathrooms.

Whenever you decide on a home remodeling project, you should always keep in mind the value of your home. Unless cost is no object or you plan to live in the home for decades, adding a $40,000 bathroom remodeling makeover may not be the best financial decision you make.

Remember the old adage, “You don’t want to have the most expensive house on the block.”
But now that you have bought the house you should take out the your home inspection report along with your personal needs and prioritize your needs.

Do you need a new roof, new windows, updated kitchen, master bathroom makeover or a new AC unit. There are also dozens of smaller remodeling jobs you can do, such as painting the house and adding new carpeting or flooring.

Here are some of the best home projects to add value to your home:

  • Landscaping the front yard
  • Energy-efficient ac and heating system
  • Lighting
  • Attic insulation
  • New pipes
  • Remodeling the bathroom
  • Updating the kitchen

For those people who live in the kitchen, a new kitchen with all the accessories to make Julia Child proud is a must. But for me, I enjoy a good warm bath.

But bathroom remodeling projects can be very expensive. According to one website, bathroom remodeling projects can cost as much as $20,000. Most run between $5,616 to $12,880.

Since an extreme bathroom makeover is too expensive for me, I checked out remodeling ideas to consider. Some of these are no brainers, and can be done simply and inexpensively. Even when you have to hire a professional, these projects come in under a couple thousands of dollars.Here are some bathroom remodeling alternatives:

  • Repurpose an old nightstand
  • Add shelves
  • Use ceramic tiles for your floor
  • Refinish your bathtub and sink
  • Replace old faucets with new ones

I  like soaking in a bathtub and reading my murder mysteries. I like my bathtub to look good, and old tubs and sinks wear their age in plain sight. Nothing is more depressing than a dirty and grungy-looking bathroom.

That is why I chose to refinish my bathtub as my alternative bathroom remodeling project. The cost is going to be under $2,000, if not cheaper. The inconvenience and time involved compared to an extreme makeover is inconsequential.

After reading up on bathroom refinishing projects, I decided to hire a bathroom refinishing company. They can get the sink and tub looking like new in just a few days and it will cost a fraction of what a complete makeover would cost.

So, before you dive into a major bathroom makeover, check out bathroom remodeling alternatives. You may find you can get the same results — increased home value and personal contentment — and still have money to eat out.

Consider All Remodeling Alternatives When Flipping Homes

Home RemodelingIt seemed like everyone was flipping homes before the real estate crash in 2008.

Although I wasn’t flipping homes, I was always watching the home shows on HGTV. It seemed so simple.

All you had to do was find a home that was selling below market value and which needed some improvements. The flippers usually worked with a cadre of contractors for carpeting, kitchen cabinets, plumbers, painters and the like.

For people who want to flip homes, buying low, keeping renovation expenses down and completing all the work in the shortest amount of time are the essential ingredients to being successful. The latter ingredient is very important because every additional month you own the home is another mortgage payment, which can cut deep into your profits.

The most popular home remodeling projects that people make for their homes, regardless of whether they are flipping the home or planning to live in it, are kitchen and bathroom upgrades.

For the flipper, the kitchen needs to be up-to-date when compared to other like-homes in the area, and it has be in line with the selling price. You would not add a $50,000 kitchen into a home worth $150,000.

The same is true with bathroom remodeling projects.

Many bathroom remodeling jobs involve tearing out the bathtub and toilet, which is not only expensive, but can make your home unlivable for a week or two. There will be dust and quite a mess. If you only have one bathroom with a tub or shower, you might have to wash at the neighborhood Y.

A licensed plumber is probably essential to your success. You can see how the cost can skyrocket,and that assumes you don’t find any new problems, such as mold, when you tear up the walls and see the pipes, which may need to be rearranged.

And we haven’t even gotten to the cost of the bathtub and toilet.

But there are many bathroom remodeling alternatives you can choose to in order to save money. Alternatives to extreme bathroom remodeling projects include updating the vanity, adding shelves, towel warmers and heated floors. Simple updated bathroom accessories can make quite a difference. And the cost would be a fraction of replacing the bathtub.
If your bathtub, however, is old, dirty and grungy looking another bathroom remodeling alternative to consider is refinishing.
Bathroom refinishing is a remodeling alternative that can give you the look of a brand-new bathtub at a fraction of the cost and time it takes from start to finish.

Although there are do-it-yourself refinishing kits, this is one job you will want to hire a professional bathroom refinisher. You won’t want to deal with the chemicals used in the DIY kits.

Instead, a professional bathroom refinisher can come in and in a few days turn that old tub and sink that was devaluing your home into a major selling point. And some companies don’t even use toxic chemicals anymore.

So if you are flipping a home or buying for the long-term, consider all your home remodeling alternatives  which can really increase your ROI.

Second job at sedan service can fund your retirement

sedan-clearIn today’s economy, one salary may not cut it.

Second jobs, even third jobs, are often the norm.

Let’s take a look at how we can supplement our income to not just survive, but to thrive in today’s economy.

First, you need to budget yourself to live on your main income. If you are single and making $40,000 a year, you need to live on it. If you are having problems paying your bills, you need to take a deep look at your expenses and see where you can cut.

For example, if you are living in a two-bedroom apartment by yourself, consider renting out the second room. Take a look at your monthly entertainment bill. Are you paying for Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime? If you are, cut out one and save $8 a month, which may not sound like it is a lot of money, but if you find 12 $8 savings you can cut your monthly expenses by $96.

Where else can you save:

  • Auto insurance. I saved $40 a month when I switched from my longtime insurance carrier to another company.
  • Movies. Check out the morning movies which can be significantly cheaper than evening shows. Also, Regal has $6 Tuesdays along with value specials at the concession stand. If you go to a lot of movies, you can save $10-$20 a month. If you smuggle food in, you can really save and, eat healthy depending on what you bring in.
  • Consolidate all your credit card debt with a 0% balance transfer for 18 months.
  • Get out of credit card debt. This just sucks money every month. I have taken my credit cards out of my wallet and left them home. It’s amazing that I haven’t put purchases on them since I did this. Pay them down as quickly as possible.
  • Cut back on your cable bill. Pay for basic with internet service and watch everything else online.
  • Cut back on eating out.
  • Buy generic.

Now, that is where you can start to save money on expenses. You still may need to make extra money.

Here are some ways to make extra money, and, if you are living on your day job’s check, you will be able to bank this money for emergencies and retirement. Jobs, which offer extra income  and flexible hours, include:

  • Sedan service driver from companies like Blue Ribbon Transportation. Check out your local sedan service to see if they need drivers in the evenings and weekends.
  • Online business. Learn how to sell items on Ebay or open your own e-commerce store.
  • Use your skills to work for another company 16 hours a week.
  • Seasonal jobs at retail stores during the holiday shopping season or positions at tourist destinations during high season.
  • Turn your hobby into a business
  • Check out Fiverr, an online marketingplace where people sell things for $5 (but make more money with upsells). If you can learn how to create something people want and you can streamline the process to do it in bulk, you can make a good amount of money online.

These are just a few ideas on how to save money and add a second job. Just google online and you will find 100s of tips on how to thrive in today’s economy.

Celebrating 70th Wedding Anniversary in Style

Affectionate old couple with the wife holding on lovingly to the husband's face. Focus on the husband's eyes. Concept: Elderly love.

My aunt and uncle will be celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary in style. Many people don’t make it to 70, let along be married for seven decades.
But my uncle, my mother’s brother, will celebrate 25,567 days of married life with my aunt in 2016. He is 96 this year. She must be in her early 90s.

They got married right after World War II in 1946. My uncle served in the U.S. Army during the war along with my father.
When they returned home, they got on with their lives. My father married my mother. My uncle met and married my aunt.

How do you celebrate 70 years of marriage? First, you need to know that the 70th wedding anniversary is platinum although I found one site that said iron is the modern gift for 70 years of marriage. Smoky Quartz is the gemstone and a bouquet of flowers is also traditional,

The classical platinum gifts can be a platinum necklace or chair or anything made with platinum. The modern take is iron — rather unusual if you ask me — and possible gifts are more practical: cast iron cookware, iron mirror or iron wall art.
I think my uncle should go with platinum, and it doesn’t hurt to have a few diamonds included in the piece of jewelry.
But I am thinking we should plan a big celebration.
First, we should contact all the morning TV news shows if they want to feature them on air. I think 70th wedding anniversaries are much more rare than 100th birthdays. What do you think? Also, we can spread the word worldwide through social media. I expect they will be getting well wishers by the 1,000s.
But closer to home I expect their children and grandchildren will be coming down for a celebrating. Perhaps, we will have a big party at a local restaurant and invite all their friends and family to attend. We can hire a sedan service to pick them up in style just like when they were dating.
For the 70th, we should make it a weekend event. Dinner with the family Friday night. Party for everyone Saturday night. Brunch on Sunday. We will use all the social media platforms at our disposal. We can use periscope to live stream the party. We can post photos on Facebook and Instagram. And we can tweet all night long using the hastag, #70yearstogether.
As a 70th wedding gift, we are forgoing the platinum tradition and instead sending them on a cruise to Cuba, which is where they honeymooned 70 years ago. That was pre-Castro during the golden days of Havana. My parents also went to Cuba for their honeymoon. If my parents had lived, they would be celebrating more than 60 years of marriage.
This might sound like a lot. And lifetime celebrations are not inexpensive. But if you can’t celebrate life’s wonderful moments with your friends and family, if you can’t reaffirm your 70-year love affair, what is the purpose of life. There is so much darkness in the world today you need to celebrate life when you can.
Way to go, my uncle and aunt. See you in another 70 years as the drive away in a limo they rented for the day.

Broadway Songfest Comes to Sarasota

Some rights reserved by thesolaris5I grew up going to broadway shows.

Instead of having birthday parties, my parents took us to see Broadway shows, such as Fiddler on the  Roof, Cabaret and many more.

It is not surprising that I watched film versions of Broadway shows that I had not seen live.

That is why I am really looking forward to “Broadway! The Band Years” which is coming to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on April 4, 2016.

This musical cabaret will feature big band songs from musicals such as Gypsy, 42nd Street, Damn Yankees, Guys and Dolls, Annie Get Your Gun and West Side Story. The songs will include “The Lady is a Tramp,” “My Funny Valentine,” “Luck Be a Lady,” “I Got Rhythm” and “I Get a Kick Out of You.”

Let’s take a look at some these classic songs.

The Lady is a Tramp,” often associated with Frank Sinatra, originally appeared in the 1937 Rodgers and Hart musical, “Babes in Arms.”

She gets too hungry for dinner at eight
She likes the theatre and never comes late
She never bothers with people she hates
That’s why the lady is a tramp

Doesn’t like crap games with barons or earls
Won’t go to Harlem in ermine and pearls
Won’t dish the dirt with the rest of the girls
That’s why the lady is a tramp

She likes the free fresh wind in her hair,
Life without care
She’s broke and it’s ok
Hates California, it’s cold and it’s damp
That’s why the lady is a tramp

“This song is a spoof of New York high society and its strict etiquette (the first line of the verse is “I get too hungry for dinner at eight…”). It has become a popular standard,” according to Wikipedia.

“The lyrics portray a woman who has her own priorities in life and who is not interested to play with New York high society stereotypes. Hence she is dismissed as a tramp. The original lyrics are more explicit than subsequent versions and portray dated references to mid ’30s New York urban life and culture,” Wikipedia points out.

Some of the references in “The Lady is a Tramp” including the Ritz hotel; Sardi’s, a New York restaurant; and Fiorello La Guardia, former mayor of New York.

There have been many renditions of the song including a 2011 duet by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.

Luck Be a Lady”, written by Frank Loesser in 1950, was performed Robert Alda, Alan Alda’s father, when he starred in the musical “Guys and Dolls.”

They call you lady luck
But there is room for doubt
At times you have a very un-lady-like way
Of running out

You’re on this date with me
The pickin’s have been lush
And yet before the evening is over
You might give me the brush

You might forget your manners
You might refuse to stay
And so the best that I can do is pray

Luck be a lady tonight
Luck be a lady tonight
Luck if you’ve been a lady to begin with
Luck be a lady tonight

“The lyrics relate the point of view of a gambler, Sky Masterson, who hopes that he will win a bet, the outcome of which will decide whether or not he is able to save his relationship with the girl of his dreams,” according to it Wikipedia article.

In a bit of strange casting, Marlon Brando starred and sang the song in the film version of “Guys and Dolls.”

“Luck Be a Lady,” just like “The Lady is a Tramp” is a Frank Sinatra signature classic.

It has been parodied on the Simpsons as “Luke be a Jedi” in one of its episodes, and was featured in the Robin Williams movie, Mrs. Doubtfire when his “character is given a makeover to ‘become’ a woman.”

“Broadway! The Big Band Years” is coming to the Van Wezel on Monday, April 4, 2016. The songs that will be performed that night are worth the price of many tickets. There is a reason why they are called classics, and a big band is how they were supposed to be performed.

But if you are going to buy tickets for this show, why not go out in style by hiring a sedan service to pick you up and to take you to dinner, the show and back home such as Blue Ribbon Transportation. That’s how Old Blue Eyes would have done it — he would have included a nightcap on Main Street, as well.

Check out the Van Wezel’s website for more information.


Alternative Trends for Bathroom Remodeling

Some rights reserved by www.metaphoricalplatypus.comDreaming of the perfect bathroom?

Taking the long, luxurious bath or a 20 minute hot shower on a winter’s day.

Bathroom remodeling alternatives are one of the most popular renovation projects a homeowner can undertake. Yes, an updated kitchen is nice, but, if you are like me, you won’t use it.

Everyone, however, can enjoy an updated bathroom. Double vanities for couples.  The latest toilets. A large bathroom big enough for two.

Let’s take a look at 2015 bathroom ideas from Forbes:

  1. Feature floors which stand out. “They are stunning and provide a great design opportunity when working with challenging bathrooms that have no clear walls for a feature wall,” according to  interior designer Jasmine McClelland in the Forbes article
  2. Natural beauty: Forbes says “drawing design inspiration from nature is a great way to warm a typically very hard room of the house and infuse the space with a calming vibe.”
  3. Freestanding bathtubs: “Clients connect with the possibility of a bathroom that symbolizes their own space or downtime, and a freestanding bath inspires this feeling of self-indulgence in the midst of a busy life,” according to McClelland.
  4. Clever water control: Forbes sees homeowners turning their backs on “basic shower and basin faucets” and buying “smart, user-friendly fixtures (such as thermostatic mixers; mixers that control multiple water sources, like the one used in this shower; and touchscreen-operated showers) that give users more control over the flow, mix and temperature of water.”
  5. Bigger shower: According to designers Simona Castagna and Darren Genner of Minosa, going big is “certainly the current school of thought when it comes to the shower, and they believe the trend will become even more popular in 2015. They’re seeing more walk-in showers with oversize panes of glass or solid walls that completely enclose the space, rather than bathrooms with tiny cubicles.”

You can, of course, hire an interior designer and plumbing contractor to renovate your extreme bathroom makeover, but that’s going to costs thousands of dollars. For the handy homeowner, you could try to do it yourself.

Daltile offers its own 2015 bathroom remodeling trends with an emphasis, of course, on tiles:

  1. Designing with grout: For most of us, grout is white and comes out of a tube and that’s that. “Contrasting grout should be a deliberate design decision. On the other hand, matching grout can take a bunch of smaller tiles and make them feel more cohesive. Use matching grout if you want to hide seams or if you are going for the continuous look.”
  2. Lighting design: “A well lit room will never go out of style. Light can add to a design just as much as a color scheme can. Use bright lights for a clean, sleek feel, and soft lights for a more relaxing spa feel.”
  3. Geometric design: “Classic tile comes in square 12 x 12s or rectangular 3 x 6s. But you can get the geometric feel in your bathroom with larger format square or rectangular tiles. Use traditional tiles in a different format for a fresh look. Or you can embrace newer tile shapes like triangular, hexagon, or trapezoidal.”
  4. A living wall: “Invite nature into your bathroom with an accent wall decorated in plant life. Living walls are a trend that’s on the way up. These vertical gardens further increase the sentiment of health and well-being in the bathroom.”

Both Forbes and Daltile mention big showers and freestanding bathtubs.

Let’s say you are gung-ho to remodel your bathroom. You want the feature floor, You need the living wall. You know just the lighting fixtures you need. Go ahead. Do it. You deserve it.

But what about that freestanding bathtub and big walk-in shower?

If you don’t have them, just add these items to your budget. Your plumbing contractor and designer will be able to guide you to the best options.

If, however, you already have a big old crawfish bathtub or you inherited that big walk-in shower from the previous owner, but they both have seen better days, what should you do?

The first thing you need to know about old-style freestanding bathtubs is that they are heavy. Very heavy.

“It’s almost certain that neither a hired contractor nor you and your buddies will be able to haul an intact tub from a second-floor bathroom and hoist it into a truck. Even if the tub is on the first floor, maneuvering a tub through doorways could be a nightmare,” according to an article at at a Cleveland website.

If you want to get rid of that old bathtub, you have to demolish it piece by piece, and then your new tub  may need new fixtures, plumbing and tiles. It becomes a big mess and expensive since new tubs can run from as inexpensive as $200 to the thousands of dollars. The cost can go as high as about $3,000,  according to the site.

But there is an alternative.

You could try to refinish the old bathtub and reglaze it yourself, but Angie’s List recommends hiring a professional refinishing company. They will do a better job than most hand homeowners.

Refinishing professionals, according to, frown on the DIY kits because they usually use an epoxy product that is not durable compared to the reglazing techniques of professional companies. If you are not careful, you could create more trouble than you need.

Check out the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List or Yelp for a bathroom refinishing company.

You now have some great ideas for remodeling your bathrooms in 2015. Now, go take the long, hot bath in your tiny tub. That will motivate you to get going on the remodeling plans.


The backbone of America


They are the backbone of America. They are part of the fabric that has made America the greatest nation in the world.

Without entrepreneurs, we wouldn’t have the Apple IPad or anything Microsoft. Where would the auto industry be if not for Henry Ford’s Model T and his innovative assembly line production method? Other famous entrepreneurs? Ted Turner (CNN) Elon Musk (Tesla) and Sam Walton (WalMart). The list is endless.

These people changed the world.

But what skills and characteristics make up a successful entrepreneurs?

Jayson Demers, a contributor to Entrepreneur, starts off with five must-have skills for success: Communications, Branding, Sales, Strategy and Finance.

These skills make sense. You must be able to communicate clearly your ideas and goals, build awareness for your brand online, create a strategy that includes the present but looks to the future and understand your cash flow, funding and profit margins. As for sales, even if you have a sales team, you, the owner, are selling your brand daytime you network in the business community or meet with a potential client.

Forbes listed 8 skills in an article: Resiliency, focus, invest for the long-term, find and manage people, sell, learn, self-reflection and self-reliance.

Steve Tobak, a writer for Inc., analyzed 10 skills that the next great entrepreneur needs: Seeing the Big picture, hunger to achieve, courage, functional competence, prioritization and trade-offs, motivator of people, decision-making, adaptability, initiative and top-down management style.

Gregory Downing, a business coach in Florida and author of “Entrepreneur Unleashed,” in a recent blog emphasized a few essential skills to make a person a better entrepreneur:

  • Effective communication
  • Financial literacy
  • Ability to set realistic goals
  • Negotiation

“Don’t worry if you don’t possess them all now,” Downing wrote, “ they can be taught!’

Both Downing and Demers list communication, finance and strategy. You have read the details to understand they both are talking the same language but use different words. Demers calls it strategy. Downing says it is the ability to set realistic goals.” “Create a strategy to help keep you on track for reaching your ultimate goal,” he writes.

When you dig deeper into Tobak’s and Forbes’s list you also find overlap. The experts on entrepreneurship may use different terminology, some may have a few more characteristics in their list, but they all coalesce around similar themes. The overarching traits fall under communication and strategy.

But there also are personal characteristics that are often mentioned when talking about an entrepreneur. Quotes about the entrepreneurial spirit are not only good for motivation, but they do provide an insight into what makes an entrepreneur an entrepreneur.

As Yoda from Stars Wars said, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

Guy Kawaski, founder of AllTop, said: “Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.”

Entrepreneurs make things happen.

Albert Einstein said, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

Entrepreneurs are risk takers. Think about it! What would have happened if Henry Ford had made cars the same old way and didn’t use the assembly line? He tried something different and the world was never the same.

Success is also defined by failure.

In baseball, all stars hitters fail 65-70 percent of the time or hits just 40 homers every 600 at bats. In basketball, NBA great Michael Jordan understands resiliency.

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game’s winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that’s why I succeed.”

Jordan never lost his self-confidence. He was always ready to take the next big shot.

NHL great Wayne Gretsky put it this way: “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

Interestingly, many successful entrepreneurs today began with a modest success or even failed. Their big win was not their first undertaking. Sam Walton first started as a Butler Brothers franchisee. Richard Branson, founder of Virgin, started with Student Magazine. Ted Turner first founded Turner Outdoor Advertising.

They moved on, obviously, to greater successes.

Walt Disney said it quite bluntly: “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

The next entrepreneur to change the world is starting now. Are you?