Easy Expert Home Business Tips For You

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Yes, it’s true; nobody really wants to think about starting a home business that may not prosper. And that is because it can involve thinking about it failing. Still, it’s important to know what you can do to prevent that and to help your business flourish. That’s what the tips below are for.

Just because your home-based business affords you the opportunity to work in your pajamas, it doesn’t mean that you should. While it may be tempting to go from bed to desk, you will be more productive if you shower, dress and act as if you need to be ready to meet with an important client at any time, while you are working.

Figure out what you will name your business and set up a website relevant to your business name. It’s easier than you may think to have your own website and you can get your own domain name for as low as $9. You can also expand your business with a website.

Create a mailing list that is specific to your home business. Make sure that your communications stay beneath the level of spam. Many companies use mailing lists so subscribers can learn about new products and any promotions. Other people utilize it to forward helpful information and articles to their customers, with an ad or coupon. Put a place on your site where people can sign up for your mailers.

Success is not a guarantee when you are opening your own business. That is why it is important that you don’t put everything on this one experience. If it doesn’t work out you should have a back-up plan ready to implement. These means you don’t want to completely cut off your old professional life.

If you already have a degree in business management that is great, but you should still continue to read as much as possible. If you don’t have a degree in this, don’t worry, you will still be able to catch yourself up through self-teaching and even hands on experience. Many of the best business professionals never finished college.

If you are working with a partner, do everything in your power to separate personal and professional lives. If it is a friend, or even worse spouse, things can quickly become complicated. If you draw and maintain these lines early it will be easier to handle difficult work situations in the future without hurting feelings.

Interested in starting a dog walking business? This can be a great idea if you love dogs, would like the daily exercise, and are comfortable handling dogs of different sizes. Recruit potential clients by putting up flyers at vets’ offices, at the local dog park, or at the grocery store.

Create and follow a clear and concise business plan. Keeping a business plan from the start can keep you on track in reaching your home business goals, no matter what niche you may be following. Your business plan should be clear and with a direct focus that is easy to see through your many objectives.

Interruptions and distractions from the normal, busy household should be a major concern if you run a company from home. Identify your distractions and then remove them so that you can remain productive.

Having a business license for your home business often allows you to purchase things wholesale. This is excellent news for people who make their product, since you can search on product search engines for bulk orders of raw materials. This minimizes trips to the store, and frees up your wallet for other expenditures.

Make sure to take advantage of social networking when building your business. Create business pages on facebook that customers can become fans up. Use this tool to keep people up to date on your products and offer discounts and contests to keep interest up. A company that isn’t using social networking is missing out on a lot of opportunities.

See, it wasn’t nearly as bad as you thought it would be; thinking about starting a home business that can help your future. Life can take a lot of unexpected turns and not having or losing customers has to be thought about. Do yourself a favor and follow these tips above to start your home business effectively.

Narduzzi, Panthers want more success in 2016

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It’s so important to find the right pieces when it comes to building anything. Granted, there are pieces that look good but are the pieces the right fit is the question?

Such is the story of the Pitt Panthers football team who have spent almost 6 years trying to find a Head Coach who would be the right fit for their football team. I honestly felt like they had the right fit with Dave Wannstedt, who still has the longest tenure of a Pitt Coach in the last 10 years. Wannstedt (2005-2010) coached the Panthers for 6 seasons with a record 42-31, including a 9-win season, a 10-win season and a share of the Big East Conference. Unfortunately, that wasn’t good enough for Panthers AD Steve Pederson as he relieved Wannstedt of his duties.

Enter Mike Haywood, who instantly made news as the first African-American Head Coach in the school’s history as he was hired as Wannstedt’s successor in December of 2010. But unfortunately he did not have a chance to show what he could do with the football team as he was terminated Dec 31st of that year due to off-the-field issues.

So then the Panthers then hired Todd Graham, who was known for building an excellent offense-no matter how weird and hyped up (High Octane) that it was. In 2011, he led Pitt to a 6-6 season, good enough to get them to a Bowl game. But alas, he didn’t coach it, because he was on his way to Arizona State after just one season.

So in 2012, the Panthers hired former Wisconsin assistant Paul Chryst, who was their last Head Coach of the Big East Football Era and their first as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Chryst did what he could with the talent that he had, and in 3 seasons was only able to lead Pitt to a 19-19 record and 3 Bowl appearances. (although he did have All-American DT Aaron Donald) It didn’t take Eisenstein to figure out that it was only a matter of time before his Alma matter called him for a Head Coaching position, and on Dec 7th, 2014, Chryst left Pitt to become the coach of Wisconsin.

So on December 23 2014, the Panthers then found former Michigan St. Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi, a native of Youngstown, Pa to become the Panthers 4th Head Coach in the last 6 years and in one season, he led the Panthers to their first Top 25 ranking and best record (8-5) since 2010, and their first legitimate bowl appearance (Armed Forces Bowl) since 2009. It was also their finest performance in the ACC (6-2, 2nd place in the Coastal Division) since they joined the conference in 2013. And remember, he did this without the services of All-American RB James Conner, who missed the rest of 2015 due to injury and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

So the question is, how did Narduzzi do what Chryst and Graham could not??

Here’s my take: Being that he was a pretty good defensive coach for a pretty good Michigan State team, you can pretty much bet that Narduzzi wasn’t hired for his looks-or the fact that he was from Youngstown. The man won several Assistant of the Year awards, including the Broyles Award-given to the nation’s best assistant coach. The Panthers desperately needed help with their defense, and they hired Narduzzi to fix it-and he worked wonders.

Narduzzi produced a defensive stud in All-American Freshman S Jordan Whitehead who was named the ACC’s Rookie of the Year and Defensive Rookie of the Year by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA) He was also an offensive weapon as he scored 2 touchdowns.

Narduzzi also got the best out of Senior DE Ejuan Price, who produced a career-high 11.5 sacks (including 5 vs. Louisville, one off the national record) and also got 5 sacks apiece from LBs Matt Galambos & Mike Caprara.

On offense, Narduzzi didn’t fix much-because it wasn’t broken. But he did make a few adjustments: After Conner was injured in the first game of the season, he sent RB Quadree Ollison into the game-and he ran for 207 yards and a TD-the most rushing yards in a season opener by a freshman in school history and the fifth most by a Pitt freshman overall. Ollison finished the season rushing for 1,121 yards and 11 TDs and won the ACC’s offensive Rookie of the Year. Narduzzi also was very bold at the QB position as he replaced starter Chad Voytik with Nate Peterman and the Redshirt Senior didn’t disappoint as he passed for 2,287 yards and 20 TDs.

Narduzzi’s popularity has also soared to the national level as he spent this past Monday at ESPN’s campus in Bristol, Conn., for the annual ACC Coaches “Car Wash” and made appearances on various ESPN platforms throughout the day.


So far, Narduzzi looks like the perfect fit for Pitt. Now what can he do for an encore?

In 2016, Pitt needs to make a stronger statement in the ACC, which means contending for the Coastal Division title-and a shot at the ACC Championship. At the ACC Media Day, the Panthers were projected to finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division this season. Defending Costal Division Champ North Carolina was picked to repeat and Miami was picked to finish second. There are other media outlets that project the Panthers to finish no lower than 4th place in the division.

One thing the Panthers have in their favor is this: They beat last year’s 6th place projection by finishing 2nd in the Coastal Division, so that can serve as motivation to beat those 3rd place projections this season. But as I’ve said about the Pittsburgh Pirates this season, the Panthers have work to do and here are what I think are Pitt’s benefits and their concerns entering the 2016 season.

Benefits-Narduzzi is bringing back returns 52 lettermen and 18 starters from last season’s team which basically means that the team is basically unchanged. On offense, Peterman returns at QB, although Ollison is there at RB, the Panthers will get a huge boost with the return of Conner. The Senior RB is fully healed and is labeled cancer-free. He and Ollison can produce a pretty dangerous 1-2 RB combo. Redshirt senior Adam Bisnowaty and senior Dorian Johnson leads a veteran offensive line that has successfully paved the way for Conner, Ollison and others. At TE, Sr Scott Orndorf was an impression with 5 TDs in 2015 and with the departure of JP Holtz, he has a chance to be The Man.

On defense, the entire unit is just about back as All-American Whitehead leads the way at safety. Jr Avante Maddox (3 Interception in 2015) also made an impression at CB, and Price will lead an aggressive pass rush that hopes to terrorize QB even more in 2016. P Ryan Winslow and K Chris Blewitt hope to keep it going after successful 2015 campaigns as well.

In addition to several players on Watch Award Lists, Pitt football seniors Price and OL Dorian Johnson were named to the 2016 All-ACC Preseason Football Team.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that they also added new uniforms with the Pitt ‘Script’ logo. That’ll add to the hype-and the expectations.


Concerns-To be honest, there’s only one that stands out for the Panthers, and that’s at the wide receiver position. All-American WR Tyler Boyd left after his junior season for the NFL Draft and was a 2nd Round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals. He finished his career at Pitt with 248 receptions, 3,308 yards          and 21 TDs. He was basically Pitt’s best WR not named Larry Fitzgerald. In 2015, Boyd caught 91 passes for 926 yards and 6 TDs. It’s an understatement that he will be missed. We wish Tyler the best, but who’s the Next Man Up at WR?

Junior Dontez Ford is the leading candidate as he truly stepped it up in 2015, catching 26 receptions for 505 yards and two touchdowns, good for 19.4 yards per catch. He started 9 games and was known for being the deep threat and #2 man behind Boyd. Can he make it as a #1 man? He’ll get every opportunity. After him? Well, that’s where it gets really concerning. Junior Zach Challingsworth (171 yards, TD in 2015) was the #3 man at WR. He had career highs with three catches for 57 yards and a 13-yard touchdown in Pitt’s 31-13 win at Duke. They also added another Clairton WR in freshman Aaron Mathews who stands 6-4, 195. He’ll also have every opportunity to make an impression during camp.

As I take a look at Pitt’s schedule, it is certainly one of their toughest that they’ve had in years. They open with home games vs. Villanova and Penn State-which is huge because it renews a rivalry that ended in 2000, after a non-conference game vs. Big 12 foe Oklahoma State, they open ACC Conference play at North Carolina, then after a non-conference game vs. Marshall, they host Virginia Tech, then travel to Clemson for only the 2nd time in school history and they finish at home vs. Duke and rival Syracuse.

With that being said, I feel that if Pitt can stay healthy and if Narduzzi can once again get the best out of their great offense and their improving defense, and if they don’t blow any games…. I predict that the Panthers will finish 2nd in the Coastal Division for the second straight season, with a 9-4 record. Which means that expectations will be even higher for 2017. But relax, we haven’t gotten that far yet.

Narduzzi left a mark in 2015, now it’s time to make a deeper one in 2016, which I think he will, which will prove that he’s the perfect fit.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

Stallings Welcomes Back Former Pitt Players Saturday


Panther Staff Embracing Past & Building for Future

PITTSBURGH – First-year head coach Kevin Stallings has quickly embraced the history of Pitt Basketball since taking over the reins of a program that has won 1,583 games and made 26 NCAA Tournament appearances in late March. In the months following the hire, Stallings has been active with the normal rigors of the coaching profession (building a team, recruiting, summer workouts, media responsibilities, etc.), while also working diligently to engage donors, alumni, corporate partners and former players.


“Any time you come to a new place, it is important to recognize and appreciate the work put in by those before you,” said Stallings. “Pitt basketball has a great history because there have been so many outstanding players and people that have been a part of the program. We want all of our former players and their families to know that they remain an important part of this team. We are excited to have so many players back in the first year of this and we look forward to building this event in the years to come.”


This weekend Stallings, his staff and the Panther Club have invited former players and their families back to Pittsburgh to spend a day inside the program. A guest list approaching 75 people will be back at the Petersen Events Center to watch a summer workout before sitting down for a cookout style luncheon. Guests will also join the current Pitt roster and coaching staff for a dinner reception Saturday evening in Oakland.


The list of returning players includes 1974 All-America Billy Knight as well as former standouts Curtis Aiken, Sam Clancy, Brian Generalovich, Jason Matthews, Ronald Ramon, Chris Taft, Tray Woodall and Cameron Wright to name a few.


Stallings has six of his top seven scorers returning from a team that finish 21-12 and reached the NCAA Tournament a year ago. Four seniors – Jamel Artis, Chris Jones, Sheldon Jeter and Michael Young – give Pitt one of the most experienced groups in the ACC, while Cameron Johnson and Ryan Luther emerged as solid contributors late last season.


The Panthers’ schedule features 17 games against teams that reached the postseason a year ago as well as matchups with Louisville (2) and SMU who self-imposed postseason bans despite spending much of the year ranked in the AP Top 25.

Plan For Seasonal Clearance Sales For The Best Deals

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You don’t have to be lost when it comes to fashion. Maybe you need a guiding hand, and there are plenty of resources available. Once you start to gain some solid information regarding fashion, you will be well on your way to expressing your individual interests when it comes to fashion in today’s society.

When choosing accessories, stick to one large, statement piece. Dangling earrings, a big necklace, and a chunky bracelet give the eyes nowhere to rest. If you want the focus to be on your necklace, wear studs in your ears. If you don eye-catching earrings, skip the necklace altogether to avoid looking too “busy.”

If you have to wear stockings, make sure that you wear some that fit you very well and are not too large or too small. Wearing the wrong size can make you very uncomfortable and it does not look good for you if you have to adjust them in public areas.

Flip-flops are a comfortable type of footwear for casual occasions, but do not wear them to work or in formal situations. Look for classy but comfortable shoes with a low heel to wear to work everyday. High heels should be reserved for formal occasions, especially if you will not need to stand or walk very much.

Buy clothes that do not lose their flair. It is nearly impossible to keep up with current trends unless you have an unlimited amount of money to work with. To ensure that you look great no matter what the trends are you should just focus on buying clothes that can weather any fashion storm.

Wear cropped pants in a more flattering way by choosing capris, pedal pushers, and bermuda shorts that do not fall at the widest part of your calf. Choose pants that end above the knee or closer to the ankle. You should also avoid flared styles to keep your look streamlined.

Skinny jeans are what is in style now. These kinds of jeans are snug around all areas of your body, from you waist and rear end, all the way down to your ankles. The best part of these jeans is that they look good with pretty much any pair of shoes!

Make sure whatever you wear; the clothes fit you well. This is especially important for people that are shorter in stature. Large clothes make a person look messy. They make an overweight person look larger and a short person look shorter. Make sure you buy clothes that fit you well or have them altered.

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Wear age appropriate clothing. It’s something some women don’t want to let go of, but there comes a time when a super-short skirt is no longer flattering. Pay attention to how your clothes set you off through all stages of your life, and it will serve you well. The good news is that there are some clothes that look great on older women that younger women can’t pull off, so there is always something fashionable to look forward to.

When purchasing sneakers, shop for ones that are comfortable and fit like a glove. You should also ensure that the arch in the shoe fully supports the arch in your foot. Another consideration to take into account when purchasing sneakers is to know the pronation of your foot; most salespeople can assess your foot and guide you to the proper shoe for your pronation.

Nowadays, many famous celebrities aim for extremely extravagant or unique looks featuring many layers, the truth is that sometimes, simple is better. Although there is nothing wrong with aiming for a big look, you can sometimes go over the top. A simple black or red dress can sometimes do wonders for your look.

When you get a haircut, keep your face shape in mind. Certain face shapes look better with certain hairstyles. Oval faces look great with nearly any hairstyle, while round faces do better with hairstyles that have height. Pear faces look better with round cuts and triangular faces look better with short cuts. Square faces look great with all kinds of cuts, except those that are flat on top.

When washing whites, use bleach to extend the longevity of your clothing. However, don’t use too much, or clothes will look yellowed.

A good fashion tip for wearing white clothing is to make sure that it is not see through in the sun. Many times, clothing might appear to be safe, but certain lighting conditions can cause them to become almost see through, leading to cause for possible embarrassment. Check yourself out in multiple lighting conditions, especially outdoors.

If you love the look of heels but hate the pain, try stacked heels or platforms. These shoes provide the same illusion of longer legs and a sleek silhouette without the uncomfortable balancing act. The wider heel will help you feel more stable, and it spreads the pressure on your foot more evenly.

Knowing what the purpose of certain footwear is a good way to avoid any fashion mix ups. For example, sandals were designed to be worn by people going to the beach or for people at the pool. Therefore, you should not wear your sandals all the time as it is unfashionable.

Wear accessories that match your outfit. Use the right type of necklace with the correct type of shirt or dress. Purses and scarves can round out a plain outfit. Belts and hats can add some flair to a dress. The right earrings can accentuate a particular long or short hairstyle.

Accessorize to draw attention to the things you want attention on. This works to take focus away from trouble areas, like a large bottom or shoulders. It also can be used to draw attention to certain things like your eyes or legs. Use accessories to make the most of your outfit.

Now that you’ve read this article, you should have a better idea as to how to properly approach fashion in today’s world. There are many different roads, and you have your own unique road to pave as well. Remember the advice you’ve read in this article as you continue to research fashion.

Learn What You Should Know About Becoming A Leader


Many people want to be good leaders. Some are born with the skills and some have to work harder. Many kinds of leadership exist, so the skills needed to become a good leader differs. If you would like to become a better leader, then continue reading to learn new ways to become a more effective leader.

Say thank you to your employees. Many studies have been done on the power of a thanks given from a manager to his or her employees. It increases productivity, often by a lot. Just a little graciousness really can help extend your power as a leader, so be active about it.

Learn your employee’s names. A great leader takes the time to learn the names of his or her most immediate staff, and even the names of the top performers under them. It shows them that you care enough about them to know them not just as a worker, but as a real person.

Know your competition just as well as you know your own company. Business isn’t just about what’s happening between the walls in your space. You need to make decisions based off competitive movement. If you can’t make decisions because you don’t know the competition, then expect your employees to see it as a weakness in leadership.

Converse with your employees in a way that makes them feel important. Everyone needs to be heard. It is always best to lead by example. Don’t yell at your employees, embarrass them in front of their co-workers or belittle their ideas. Opportunities for improvement can come from anywhere so be open to suggestions.


Do more listening than talking. Good leaders listen respectfully, consider ideas thoughtfully and have the ability to read the messages that lie between the lines. Hear your employees when they talk to you. Listen to complaints as well as accolades. You can learn something from anyone, no matter who they are. You may be surprised at what you can learn by just listening a little better.

A good leader is able to help develop strong leadership skills in others. If you try to micro-manage every detail of your business, you won’t have time to look at the bigger picture. Having trustworthy employees who can lead others will give you the chance to delegate responsibilities as your company continues to grow.

Excellent leaders listen to others and use feedback to improve conditions. They usually have lots of helpful ideas. Don’t be afraid of criticism and ask for opinions. Acknowledging these issues and seeking a resolution lets your employees know they can trust you.

If you are the leader of a business, you should never let your personal opinions get in the way of how you do business. For example, never pass somebody up for a promotion simply because you do not like them. If they deserve to advance, you should set your feelings aside and make it happen.

If you want others to trust and respect you as a leader, you need to keep promises. You should never say you are going to do something and then do the exact opposite. If for some reason you are unable to follow through on what you promised, honestly explain why the promise could not be kept.

When faced with a challenge, focus on leading others to arrive at a viable solution. While it is sometimes tempting to point fingers or misdirect blame, neither of these behaviors address the real problem. Focus not on coming up with an excuse as a means of meeting a deadline. Instead, use that time to determine what caused the issue and how you can prevent it from occurring in the future.

While a degree of assertiveness is useful in certain aspects of leadership, think twice before using aggressive humor. This particular type of humor tends to win laughs at the expense of others, which can create a hostile and unpleasant working environment. It also makes it difficult for members of your team to view you as a fair, respectful leader.

As you’ve just read, being a leader will require many different skills and qualities. Your personality may spark unique ways to command leading groups. If you apply what you’ve just learned, leadership will soon become second nature.

Pitt’s Johnson, Price Voted to All-ACC Preseason Team


Only Five ACC Teams, Including Pitt, Earned Multiple Selections


PITTSBURGH – Pitt football seniors Dorian Johnson and Ejuan Price were named to the 2016 All-ACC Preseason Football Team after media voting results from last week’s ACC Kickoff in Charlotte were announced by the conferenceon Wednesday morning.


Johnson, an offensive guard from Belle Vernon, Pa., enters his final collegiate season with a 27-game start streak dating back to his freshman year. Set to start the campaign at left guard for the Panthers, Johnson has been a constant force for the Pitt rushing attack over the previous two seasons, helping James Conner win ACC Player of the Year in 2014 and Qadree Ollison take ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year and All-ACC honors in 2015.


Price, a defensive end from Rankin, Pa., returned to full health last season to have a standout campaign under new defensive coordinator Josh Conklin’s aggressive style. The Woodland Hills product started every game in 2015 after missing the previous 20 contests due to injuries, compiling 48 tackles, 19.5 TFLs, 11.5 sacks, one fumble recovery, one forced fumble and one blocked kick. A first team All-ACC selection last season, Price was an unstoppable force in Pitt’s 45-34 victory over Louisville, collecting 10 tackles, six TFLs and five sacks to fall on sack shy of the national record for a single game.


Johnson led media voting for all ACC guards, gathering 107 votes, while Price finished second among league defensive ends with 102 total votes.


Pitt joined Clemson, Florida State, Louisville and North Carolina as the only programs in the conference with multiple members of the 2016 All-ACC Preseason Football Team.


Two other Panthers – senior offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty and sophomore safety Jordan Whitehead – nearly earned selection to this year’s All-ACC Preseason Football Team as well after both finished third in the voting for their respective positions.


Other Pitt football players receiving votes included sophomore running back Qadree Ollison, senior tight end Scott Orndoff, junior center Alex Officer, senior linebackers Matt Galambos and Mike Caprara, junior cornerback Avonte Maddox, senior placekicker Chris Blewitt and junior punter Ryan Winslow.


Pitt football training camp opens on Monday, August 8 as the Panthers set their sights on the season opener at Heinz Field on Saturday, September 3 against in-state opponent Villanova.


Dieting and or Weight Loss



The overeating season (summer cookouts) is almost over and people are slowly starting to practice the same daily routine as before summer. However, the summer season usually makes us a few pounds heavier, so it is no wonder why people start making plans to lose weight and analyze their dieting at this period of the year. This year, we still won’t be able to use some magic pills or some simple solution that will help us get into perfect shape, balance our weight and help our body get all the necessary nutrients. However, experts predict that there will be few dieting trends that will be followed by many men and women who care about their weight and health.

First of all, people will practice more detoxification and juicing diets. Detox or detoxification diets typically involve periods of fasting or strict dieting which includes eating only veggies, fruits, water and natural juices. There are many studies that have confirmed the efficiency of these detox diets for our body, but you need to be careful because there are dozens of online diets that claim to be useful even though they were not actually tested. Stick to well-known detox and juicing diets that have already helped other people.

Another trend that we can expect this year is following a diet that is rich in protein and low in carbohydrates. Instead of focusing on foods rich in carbs, you should replace some of them with foods rich in protein. Modern people definitely need to increase protein intake even though taking too much protein can be harmful. You need to find the right balance. In order to find out how much protein you need, you should multiple your weight (in pounds) by exactly 0.36. Instead of eating sandwiches packed with carbs, eat lettuce wraps. In addition, take more legumes with your meals. Use more chicken meat instead of pork.

While we are talking about dieting for summer, it is good to mention that many experts in this field agree that the trend known as paleo diet will continue in 2016. This diet is based on the eating that was practiced by our ancestors who lived during Paleolithic Age. If you want to follow this diet, you’ll need to avoid processed foods (no diary and no processed sugar). Fish, meat and large quantities of fruit and veggies are a must. There are hundreds of Paleo recipes on the internet, so we are sure that your menu will always be rich if you choose this type of dieting.

Probiotic foods will become even more popular because more and more people realize how important gut health is. It seems that the unhealthy lifestyle of modern people has a very bad influence on the gut health. On top of that, scientists have confirmed the direct link between gut and brain and gut and weight which makes gut health even more important. Probiotic foods like sauerkraut, kimchee and yogurt will be more popular than ever.

You don’t have to try all these trends, but the fact is that you must do something about the way you eat as soon as possible. Let this 2016 be the turning point in your life.

Get The Most Out Of Your Camping Expedition


If you’ve ever been camping before, then you know how hard it is to plan a camping trip. You have to find the right location for a camp site, choose what to bring, plan for bad weather, and more. Luckily for you, planning your next camping trip can be easier thanks to the following article.

Bring a large trash bag for dirtied laundry, and keep it in a central location, suitable for everyone in your party. Let them pack their clothing individually, as this makes it much easier to find than if you pile it all in a community storage box or bag. Toss in a dryer sheet to any bag you want smelling fresh.

When packing for your camping adventure, make sure you pack only what you need for mealtimes. If you are at the campground, your food will have to stay cold so it does not spoil. If you are on the trail, any additional or excess food can be a burden. If you pack just enough food for the time you are on the trail, you will not be weighed down by excess weight.

Pack and carry a survival kit on your person for the entire trip. You need to pack a flare gun, utility knife, matches and a first aid kit. Your survival kit can be the difference between you making it out of the woods on a stretcher or your own two feet. This kit should be carried with you and not left back at camp.

Make a list of things you need to take with you before you go camping. You may think you are great at packing, but little else is worse than being out in the middle of the woods and realizing you forgot your allergy medication. Sit down and create a comprehensive list of everything you might need during the week before your camping trip.

When you are heading out for that long awaited camping trip, don’t forget to take along your cell phone. You may be tempted to leave all the texting and calls behind, but your cell phone can be one of your most important safety lifelines in the event of an emergency. Make sure it is fully charged and keep it protected from the elements in a plastic bag or waterproof case.

When collecting wood for a campfire, focus on three different sizes: the finger-size wood, that will catch fire right away, the arm-size wood that will keep it going, and the leg-size wood that will allow you to keep the fire going for a long time. Getting different sizes of wood helps you to start the fire and keep it going.

It’s important to talk with you kids about the dangers of camping. It is easy to go online together and look at pictures of poison ivy and other hazardous plants so they will know what not to touch as they explore the great outdoors.

An indispensable item to pack for your camping trip is Ziploc bags. You can separate items in your gear like sunscreen and bug spray so if they puncture they do not get all over your gear. You can also use them to keep items like matches and cellphones dry if it rains.

If camping with children, place each set of their clothing in a zippered plastic bag or a tied plastic grocery bag. By sorting and packing their clothes in this manner, each morning your child can grab a package and have an entire outfit of clothing for the day. When it is time to go to bed at night, each child can stuff the soiled clothing back into the plastic bag and place it back into their suitcase and not soil unworn clothing.

Choose an appropriate sleeping bag for the conditions in which you will be camping. Bags that are light are good for warmer places and a sleeping bag that’s heavier works best when things are colder. The main goal with your sleeping bag is to conserve body heat, which means having a snug bag that hugs the body.

Do not leave your sleeping bag rolled up until right before it is time for you to get some sleep. Lay it out right away so that it can loft up and give you the highest level of insulation. Do the same for any sleeping pads you have brought along.

Bring along a survival kit and a first-aid kit. If you do this, you can easily take care of problems that may occur without having to cut your trip short. This is a great way to avoid a situation getting out of control.

Make sure you secure all sources of food at night when you go to sleep. There are many animals that can frequent campgrounds at night and scavenge your food, especially when left open and unattended for hours. You don’t want to wake up to your food scattered everywhere, and you left with a shortage.

Learn how to mark the trails that you are exploring. It can be quite easy to get lost in the woods. Marking the trails that you are walking will make it easy to find your way back to camp. It can also help others find you if you get lost.

Think folding chairs when packing for your camping trip. You will want folding chairs to sit in around the campfire. The best type of folding chairs are those that have a case with a strap. This type of chair makes it easy to tote when hiking or visiting other campers.

Try not to set up your tent near the bathroom for obvious reasons. They might feel that it’s convenient for them, but they’ll find out quickly it’s the opposite. Bathrooms get a lot of traffic, and they keep the lights on all night. As a result, camper privacy and enjoyment can be seriously impacted.

Hopefully after reading this article, you can have an easier time planning your camping trip. Camping is an experience that should be enjoyed by everyone, and it should be as easy as possible. Once you put the information presented here to good use, you’ll be camping with ease in no time.

Pirates take 2 of 3 from Phillies; Cubs acquire Chapman

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The Pittsburgh Pirates begin the new week in good spirits after beating the Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 to improve to 4-2 on their home stand. The Pirates began the PNC Park series taking 2 of 3 vs. the Milwaukee Brewers and will face the Seattle Mariners in a 2-game series beginning Tuesday.

In the Pirates 2 wins vs. the Phillies, they had to fight from behind, and they got in done in masterful fashion. After getting shut out 4-0 to the Phillies on Friday, the Pirates once again trailed 3-1 before erupting for 5 runs in the bottom of the 5th inning on route to a 7-4 victory. RF Gregory Polanco and 1B David Freese’s 2-run singles led the way as the Pirates played like they were determined to win this game.

Polanco’s hit put the Pirates ahead 4-3 and chased starter Aaron Nola. Freese’s hit off Severino Gonzalez pushed the lead to three runs, and Francisco Cervelli capped the inning with a sacrifice fly to help Pittsburgh win for the fourth time in six games.

Cervelli went 2 for 3 and was the only Pirates player with multiple hits – the Phillies outhit Pittsburgh 12-8. LF Starling Marte and SS Jordy Mercer also drove in runs.

The victory left the Pirates with concerns because top pitching prospect Tyler Glasnow was removed with shoulder discomfort early in the 4th inning. The rookie right-hander was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis earlier in the day and allowed two runs (one earned) and four hits in three-plus innings. The 6-foot-8 22-year-old is one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

There’s also concerns about Glasnow’s control as he hit two batters, including catcher Cameron Rupp, who left the game in the third inning after being struck in the left ear flap of his helmet. Rupp did not display any concussion symptoms but will be re-examined Sunday as part of Major League Baseball’s protocol for head injuries.

Former Pirates starter Juan Nicasio (8-6) allowed one run in two innings in relief of Glasnow. Nicasio tied left-handers Jeff Locke and Jon Niese for the team lead in wins, though all three are now pitching out of the bullpen after beginning the season in the starting rotation.

When Glasnow left, the score was tied 2-2 and the Phillies had runners on first and second with none out, but Nicasio escaped the jam unscathed. Closer Mark Melancon closed with a scoreless inning for his 29th save. For the Phillies, starter Aaron Nola (5-9) took the loss.

In Sunday’s Rubber Match, the Pirates once again found themselves trailing the Phillies, this time 4-2 in the bottom of the 6th inning. But once again the Pirates struck back when Marte lead off with a double to center and Matt Joyce sent a first-pitch fastball from Philadelphia starter Vince Velasquez 434 feet to deep center for a 2-run HR to tie the game at 4.

And then in the bottom of the 7th inning, infielder Adam Frazier sent an Edubray Ramos fastball into the right-field seats to give the Pirates a 5-4 lead. The 407-foot pinch-hit homer was not only his first HR in the majors since being called up June 24, it also was his first at any level since Sept. 5, when he was with Double-A Altoona. He hit just three total minor-league home runs in the Pirates organization since being drafted out of Mississippi State in 2013.

And after an hour and 32 minutes by a rain delay in the bottom of the eighth inning Melancon once again shut the door on the Phillies for his 30th save, the third most in the National League. He became the first Pirates pitcher to have three consecutive seasons with 30 or more. He led the big leagues with 51 saves in 2015, and his 114 saves since the start of 2014 are the most in the majors.

For the Phillies, Ramos took his first career loss to fall to 1-1. Frazier’s homer made a winner of Pirates’ reliever Neftali Feliz, who is 4-0.

As they prepare for Tuesday’s game vs. the Mariners (50-48), the 3rd place Pirates are now 51-47 and although they trail NL Central leader Chicago (59-38) by 8.5 games, they realize that their best bet at making the postseason for the 4th consecutive year is by clinching one of the 2 NL Wild Card spots as they only trail front runners LA (56-44) and Miami (53-45) by 2 games. But as we mentioned many times before, the Pirates got work to do, and like in years past, they will need some help to play baseball in October.

That ‘help’ will come from the August 1st (formerly July 31st) Non-Waiver Trade Deadline in which the contenders acquire top talent from the non-contenders in exchange for prospects for the stretch run. With the Pirates above or below .500 for the last month, it was hard to determine whether they would by ‘buyers’ or ‘sellers’ at the deadline. But since they’re so close to a Wild Card spot it’s looking like they will be ‘buyers’ after all.

With injures to Glasnow and concerns about rookie Jameson Tallion, Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano and after demoting starters Jon Niese and possible Jeff Locke, the Pirates desperately need a starting pitcher or two that can help them the rest of the season. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Pirates are looking at Tampa Bay Rays pitchers Matt Moore and Jake Odorizzi as possible trade targets.

Both Moore (6-7, 4.31 ERA) and Odorizzi (4-5, 4.10 ERA) don’t have impressive stats, but then again the Rays don’t have the Pirates offense and pitching coach Ray Searage has a way of pulling out the best in pitchers. Plus, last season, JA Happ was 4–6 record with a 4.64 ERA before being traded to the Pirates. After Searage worked with him, Happ’s record: 7–2 record, 1.85 ERA, and 69 strikeouts.

As for the offense, Marte (.316) leads the team in batting, and they have 6 batters (Andrew McCutchen 14, Polanco 12, Jung Ho Kang 11 and Sean Rodriguez, Freese and Joyce 10) in double figures in HRs. And despite McCutchen’s continued struggles (.244, 100 strikeouts) the Pirates have one of MLB’s best offenses. But they know that the key to their recent success-is starting pitching.

In other MLB news: Speaking of the Cubs, they’re truly doing all they can to win their first division title since 2008 and their first World Series title since 1908 as they acquired closer (and Pirates bully) Aroldis Chapman from the NY Yankees in exchange for four players. The Cubs needed a closer to help their struggling bullpen, and they ended up getting one of MLB’s best. For the Yankees, Chapman posted a 2.01 ERA and 20 saves and made the AL All-Star team.

In the NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell made news that he was facing a four-game suspension for a missed drug test. A day later, it was reported that Bell missed several drug tests. Bell will not only appeal, but the Steelers All-Pro posted on social media that he will ‘win the appeal and won’t miss any games.’

The NFL announced on Monday that Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon has been reinstated to the league, but with one catch: Gordon will be suspended for the first four games of the season. The wide receiver hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2014 due to being suspended the entire 2015 season due to failing drug tests.

Veteran WR Greg Jennings After 10 years and one Super Bowl win, Greg Jennings has decided to call it quits. The veteran wide receiver made the announcement during a YouTube video that he shared with the world on Monday. The 32-year-old started his career in Green Bay in 2006 after the Packers made him the 52nd overall pick in the NFL Draft. Over his seven seasons in Green Bay, Jennings caught passes from both Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, which allowed him to put up huge numbers. He earned a Super Bowl ring with the Packers in 2010 as his 2 TD catches helped defeat the Steelers 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV.

When Jennings left Green Bay after the 2012 season, he had racked up 425 catches for 6,537 yards and 53 touchdowns. Jennings’ touchdown total is the fifth-highest for a receiver in team history.

In the NBA: Charlotte Hornets owner and basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan has remained mostly apolitical. However, with the recent spate of police shootings and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, Jordan wrote an open letter for ESPN’s The Undefeated about his feelings surrounding the racial issues that are causing strife across the nation. Jordan also donated $1 million to the Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

In College Football:  The University of Pittsburgh football team was projected to finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division this season after voting from 191 media members at last week’s ACC Football Kickoff media days in Charlotte. Pitt received 14 first-place votes and 859 total voting points in the Coastal Division Preseason Poll, ranking behind only defending division champion North Carolina (1,238 voting points) and Miami (1,108) in the annual poll submitted at the conference’s media days.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

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Pitt Places Third in ACC Coastal Division Preseason Poll


Panthers receive 14 first-place votes from ACC Football Kickoff media


PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh football team was projected to finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division this season after voting from 191 media members at last week’s ACC Football Kickoff media days in Charlotte.

Pitt received 14 first-place votes and 859 total voting points in the Coastal Division Preseason Poll, ranking behind only defending division champion North Carolina (1,238 voting points) and Miami (1,108) in the annual poll submitted at the conference’s media days.

The full 2016 ACC Football Kickoff Preseason Poll is listed below:

ACC Coastal Division
(First-place votes in parenthesis) 
1. North Carolina (121) – 1,238
2. Miami (50) – 1,108
3. Pitt (14) – 859
4. Virginia Tech (3) – 697
5. Duke (2) – 597
6. Georgia Tech (1) – 588
7. Virginia – 261

ACC Atlantic Division
(First-place votes in parenthesis)
1. Clemson (148) – 1,293
2. Florida State (42) – 1,176
3. Louisville (1) – 961
4. NC State – 704
5. Boston College – 441
6. Syracuse – 426
7. Wake Forest – 347

Pitt returns 52 lettermen and 18 starters from last season’s team that finished 8-5 (6-2 ACC) to place second in the ACC Coastal Division – four spots above the Panthers’ sixth-place projection in last year’s media preseason poll.