Just To Let You Know…

Just to let you know, you may see some new posts written by other authors from time to time in the future. Please know that these posts will continue to reflect the character of this site as well as bringing perspectives other than my own to this blog. I’m sure you’ll find them as informative and enjoyable as the ones I have written and will continue to write.

And again, thanks for reading! 🙂

Welcome All!

Columbia Gorge. Hi Everyone! Welcome to my site and blog! Here I’ll be talking about all kinds of things, many based on my own experiences.

Things such as, how I moved from one state to another and what I did to make it more successful, what I’ve gotten from the different jobs I’ve tried, what I’ve learned about selling items at flea markets, and tips about using some of the features on computers, such as Windows Live Photo Gallery, and other things as well.

If you like what you see here, stay informed of new posts by following this blog! There’s an e-mail address field and “Follow” button on the column to the right.  And let others know, too!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Me at Chanticleer Point and Vista House. 9/18/2015

7 Signs That You’re Ready to Take the Next Step in Business Growth

Who wouldn’t love to grow their business? It’s usually a sign that you’re achieving some level of success and it’s important to capitalize on every situation that you can in order to target new audiences, break into new markets, relocate your business and ultimately become more successful. However, most new entrepreneurs often have no idea if they’re standing on a pile of gold or trying to polish a rubbish idea.

Unless you have a mentor working with you and giving you advice, it’s difficult to determine if your business can grow in the future or if you should sell your company as soon as possible. To give you some advice, we’re going to list 7 important signs to look out for that will tell you that your business is ready to take the next step and grow.

Photo Credit: Pexels

  1. Your products are in heavy demand

This is perhaps the most obvious sign that your business is doing well. If your products are heavily sought-after and you’re always selling out, then you need to ramp up production to serve more customers.

  1. Your production can’t keep up

If your manufacturer can’t keep up with the demand or if you’re running out of materials to make your products, then it’s a good sign that your business isn’t able to keep up with the demand. In this case, you’ll want to start looking for more efficient ways to produce the products that your customers love and potentially prioritize the more popular ones.

  1. You have several product lines

It’s always important to have several product lines. As seen in this informative strategy from smallbusiness.chron.com/, diversification can be simple as long as you take the right approach. Customers love to see alternate options and other products you offer as long as they’re relevant to your business.

  1. You’re considering taking production into your own hands

Whether it’s getting a machine from bosslaser.com/ and cutting or engraving your products, or getting your own printing press to create your own clothing label, taking production into your own hands is a fantastic way to ultimately improve your presence in your industry and set yourself apart.

  1. You have a diverse audience

If you appeal to multiple audiences then it’s a good sign that you’re doing something right. You could be attracting different age groups, different interests or even different countries. Either way, the more diverse your audience, the more prepared you are to grow your company.

  1. You have multiple sources of income

If you make money from multiple sources then you’re likely ready to expand your business. Multiple sources of revenue usually mean that you have extra capital that can be used to expand various parts of your business without harming a source of income.

  1. You’ve built a strong network

Whether it’s a network of investors, contacts at other major companies or even a strong relationship with your customers, building a strong network is a fantastic way to grow your company and prepare your business for growth.

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How to Get Through the Toughest of Times

There are many tough times that we have to struggle through in life, but in the heat of the moment when things are going wrong and you’re dealing with difficulties, it can all seem impossible. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s always possible to move forward in a positive kind of direction, even when life seems to be making things as difficult as possible for you. Read on to learn about some of the positive ways in which you can move in the right direction and get through the bad times.

Talk to Those Around You

Talking to the people around you is a really important part of dealing with challenging times. If you’re able to open up and discuss the things that are troubling you, getting past them and moving on will be so much easier for you. Sure, it can be difficult to be open about things that are going wrong in your life, but it takes a lot of the weight off your shoulders when you do.

Find the Positives

Even in the worst situations, it’s possible to find positives that you can take forward and focus on. So make sure you do what you can to get in the habit of finding positives wherever and whenever you can find them. It’s not easy to do this when you’re dealing with tough situations, but having a positive mindset will also make you more likely to yield positive results.

Have an Outlet

Everyone needs to have some kind of outlet in life. This could be a simple hobby that you turn to when you need to relieve stress and take it out. Some people go running, other people play video games. It’s up to you to decide what your outlet is going to be, but make sure that you do have one. It’ll be more helpful than you think.

Find a Path Forward

It’s not always easy to see a path forward, but it’s vital to look for one nonetheless. The best example is when you experience a loss in the family. You need to grieve, but eventually, you need to move forward too. You can have momentum, such as cremation jewelry, photos and whatever else. But moving forward is not a betrayal and it’s certainly the healthy thing to do, so find your own path.

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Learn From Others

Learning from other people who have already been through what you’re going through right now is definitely a good idea. They can guide you and give you advice that will hopefully make your life a lot easier. There’s nothing wrong with turning to people and asking for help, so go for it.

Getting through life’s toughest times is a real struggle, and it’s something that we have to do many times over the course of a lifetime. It’s not enough to bury your head in the sand and wait for things to go away. You have to be forthright and positive so you can move your life forward in the right direction.

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Maximize The Likelihood Of Passing Your Driving Test

Nobody particularly enjoys the prospect of taking a driving test, but everyone has to do it if they are to drive on the public roads. However, what you can do is try to focus on what you can do to increase the likelihood of passing the test, and in this way make the whole situation much less concerning and worrying. As it happens, there are many things you can do to increase the likelihood of your driving test going as well as possible, and that’s what we are going to look at today. Try these approaches to have much more luck with your upcoming driving test.

Pic Credit

Deal With The Nerves

If there is anything that most people worry about a lot, it’s the nerves of taking the test itself. It can be hard to know how to deal with the nerves at first, but the better you deal with them the more likely it is that you will be able to fully succeed in your efforts to pass your test. If you are not sure how to actually deal with the nerves, the truth is that there are many things you can do. For a start, it’s a good idea to give yourself the chance to take a few deep breaths right before the test. You should also avoid anything that is going to worsen your anxiety, such as an excess of coffee. Make sure to also drink water beforehand, as this will help you keep calm too. Deal with the nerves, and you will be in a much better position when you start your driving test.

Prepare For The Test

The more you prepare, the more likely it is that you will succeed, so it’s good to know what you actually need to do to fully prepare for your driving test. There are many things you can do to feel more prepared for the test itself, and it is worth approaching this from as many angles as possible if you really want to succeed. A big part of this is ensuring that you book the test for the right day – in other words, only once you think you will genuinely be ready to take it. If you are curious to know how to actually know this, you can learn more about it here. Get this right, and you will be in a much better chance of success when you go to actually take your driving test, whenever it turns out you need to do it.

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Don’t Skimp On The Lessons

It is obvious that you need to take a fair few lessons in order to hopefully pass your test with flying colours. But it can be hard to make sure that you are taking the right number of lessons. In essence, you should take as many as you need to feel truly confident once the test day arrives – but you also need to think about the quality of the lessons. When you are looking for an instructor, try not to skimp and save. Instead, go for the best you can afford – and perhaps rely partially on local knowledge and advice to find them in the first place. The better the lessons, the fewer you will need, and the more likely you will pass your test on the first try without too much difficulty.


If you have never looked into the act of visualization before, you might not be aware of just how effective it can really be. As it happens, visualization is a great tool for achieving pretty much anything, and it is not the hocus-pocus that people tend to think it is. Actually, it is backed up by science, and it works simply because you tune your mind in to gain the thing you are trying to get. In this case, you should spend a few minutes every day visualizing the test itself – but obviously you need to visualize yourself succeeding in it masterfully. If you do this, you will actually make it more likely that this will happen – and this is therefore a hugely effective tool if you want to pull out all the stops for your driving test. With some strong and frequent visualization, you can really make a huge difference to your likelihood of succeeding on the first try.

Remember to take into account all of the above, and also to keep calm on the day. Ultimately, there is not much point in putting too much pressure on yourself, as it doesn’t really matter if you need to try to take the test a second, third or fourth time.

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Bickering In The Back? Curb This Before You Hit The Curb

A Holiday Extras family in their car.
Credit: Professional Images


While ensuring our children’s safety has to be the top of our priority list. When we are driving, it’s so important for every single one of us parents to ensure that we are securing their safety, not just by the usual means, such as making sure they are secure, or by purchasing a safer car, like an SUV. But we need to make sure that we are driving 110% focused on the road, and this can be very difficult when you have children screaming and bickering in the back! So, what are the best methods for everyone concerned?

Time Out

Regardless of whether they will miss football practice or not, it’s such an important lesson to teach them the impacts of what their bickering does to you. Your children fighting in the back is as distracting as texting or talking on the phone, or even not looking at the road! If this happens one too many times, pull over to the side of the road, when it’s safe to do so, and, if they’re old enough, you need to explain why it’s wrong for them to fight in the car.

Scare Tactics

Not that it’s right to scare your kids, but if they really aren’t getting the message, you might want to show them what happens. Now, this can be a particularly tricky thing to navigate. But it depends on the child, and if you have tried every other option, then it’s worth showing them what actually happens, not just in terms of injury, but the whole process that can impact the family, either in a financial sense, or the whole process that occurs after a car accident. You can direct them to see AchesonLaw.ca for more information on how common car accidents are due to children bickering in the back. Again, it’s a delicate subject to navigate. It certainly depends on the child, but if you’ve had more than your fair share of near misses because of your children, and they’re not getting the message, then it’s time to resort to more visceral tactics.

Various Entertainment Ideas

Distraction is always a good idea, especially if you want your children to stop bickering between them. There are many different options we can go for nowadays, from a tablet, to playing old-fashioned games like I Spy, or just keeping them quiet with a portable DVD player, but there are some ideas on BabyCenter.com to give you some inspiration too. Hunger is the other problem to curb, especially on long journeys. So keep a bag of healthy snacks available, should your child’s display symptoms of “hanger”!

Wait Patiently At The Side Of The Road

If your kids are desperate to get somewhere, this approach works wonders. Just pull over when it’s safe to do so, turn the engine off, and wait. If this means that they will be late for something, or they will miss out on an important event, this will teach him a valuable lesson on what is acceptable behavior in the car. They’ll think twice about doing this again, especially if it means they will be late for an important events.

It’s your priority to get everybody from A to B in one piece, and if your children are distracting you so much that you’ve had many near misses, this is completely unacceptable from them and from you. This is why you need to integrate appropriate methods.

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Incredible Products Travelers Don’t Know They Need

To the layman, traveling doesn’t look like hard work. All you have to do is book a bus or a flight and spend the day seeing the sights. Some people don’t even bother with the attractions and laze around on the beach for six months of the year. Yep, it must be really difficult to be a traveler! Okay, so the lifestyle is pretty good, but it isn’t a walk in the park because it can be expensive, uncomfortable, and overwhelming. After all, you’re alone in a foreign country and that is scary. Thankfully, travel products can help and here are the ones to invest in the next time you book a flight.

Image source

Neck Pillow

You see people with them on buses and airplanes and think “you look like a douche”. Maybe they do, but one thing’s for certain: they’re comfortable. Being on a plane or public transport for longer than ten hours is an occupational hazard of seeing the world. Still, it doesn’t get any comfier unless you bring a handful of accessories. A pair of sweats and hoodie combo to keep warm is essential, and so is a neck pillow. If you struggle to sleep, the extra support should help you catch up on your Z’s. It beats counting sheep.

Smart Earplugs

It’s worth mentioning that these are intelligent earplugs, too. Smart technology is taking over and it has gone into the music industry. Now, there is no need to sit next to a crying baby and think “I’m going to murder your child!” If people could read thoughts, they would think less of you for that one. Even better, there’s no reason to pretend you can’t hear two people in the room having a good time. Not only do the soothing sounds help you fall asleep, but they can wake you up also as they include an alarm.

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Budget App

Traveling is about having the experience of a lifetime without splashing the cash. The two seem incompatible yet millions of people do it every year, which is impressive. Maybe you already know how to budget, but you don’t have to do it alone. Thanks to this create pay stubs generator, keeping track of your expenses has never been easier. Those that prefer an app to do the hard work should consider the Mint Budgeting App. Because it syncs with your bank account, the software can create a personalized budget, and it can also show you where you are overspending.

Global Hotspot

Nowadays, travelers don’t need a cell phone with a working SIM thanks to WhatsApp and Facebook. But, you still have to have an internet connection and they aren’t always easy to find. Sure, the hostel or hotel is a solid base, but what about when you are out and about? Anyone that’s sick and tired of going to coffee shops to check their messages should buy a pay-as-you-go global hotspot. That way, you’ll always have a connection and will never be out of the loop.

Are there any essentials to add to the list?

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Your Guide to Choosing an SUV

An SUV is a solid type of vehicle that many feel is the best choice for them and their family. They tend to be safer than some other cars, and they have excellent capabilities for driving on different terrains and in different weather conditions too. If you’re thinking of getting an SUV or you’ve already decided you’re going to buy one, you need to think about a few different factors to choose the best one. Everyone has different needs when it comes to choosing a vehicle, so its important to consider what options you have and how they could meet your requirements.

Consider Your Reasons

Start by thinking about your reasons for getting an SUV. Do you really need one? If you live in a rural area or spend a lot of time going off-road (or on unpaved roads), an SUV is probably a good idea. It handles various terrains better and can offer you the control and safety you need. An SUV can also be good in adverse weather conditions, so they’re useful if you get a lot of rain or snow and ice. You might also consider an SUV if you’re looking for a safer car. Think about these factors so that you know your priorities when choosing a vehicle.


Set a Budget

You also need to know what your budget is so that you don’t get your hopes up looking at SUVs that are out of your price range. When you’re considering your budget, you need to think about monthly car payments, fuel costs, insurance and any other expenses a new car will incur initially and over the time you own it. A midsize SUV is around $25,000, while you can get a compact model from about $21,000 and larger models go for about $37-40,000. There are also luxury SUVs, which will cost you even more if you’re willing to put up the money for one.

Think About Fuel

Another important thing to consider is how your SUV will run. There are gas and diesel SUVs, of course, but you can also consider a hybrid or electric model. For example, the Volvo XC90 hybrid model gives you a great option. You can visit the West County Volvo Cars site for more to find out about it. Think about cost, convenience and your carbon footprint when you choose your SUV. How much will it cost to buy fuel, and how efficient is the vehicle? Is it easy for you to find places to charge an electric SUV? Is the environment an important factor in your decision?

Compare Safety and Reliability

One of the reasons you want to choose an SUV is likely down to reliability and safety. So, of course, you want to make sure you choose a car that is safe, and that won’t let you down. You can easily do this using comparison websites or take a look at the NHTSA ratings to see how they rate the safety of different models. Reading reviews is useful too, as this will give you a good idea of the experiences people have had.

Choosing an SUV shouldn’t be much different to choosing any other vehicle. However, you have to keep your reasons for purchasing in mind.

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The Questions We Ask When We Start On The Stock Market

More people than ever before are looking to passive income to make the bulk of their money. It makes sense in a world where many are turning away from the 9-5. Some individuals are starting businesses. Others are turning to less involved ways to make their money. Hence why the stock market is on the tips of many tongues it’s never touched before.

Once, us outsiders saw stock investment as exclusive to those on Wall Street. Us mere mortals had little chance of comprehending those fast-moving figures. But, thanks to changes in operations, and films like The Wolf of Wall Street, more of us are considering this as an option for making money. After all, Jordan Belfort started here from the ground up. Besides, we don’t want to become millionaires; we just want to make a little extra cash.

There’s nothing wrong with that, and it’s good that more people are investing in this field. It certainly takes power away from the people at the top. But, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before making any decisions. And, we’re going to look at three of the main ones.

Where should you invest?

The main thing you need to know is where to invest. Without this knowledge, you’ll find it near enough impossible to break through. The good news is, there are plenty of guides out there to help you. For the most part, making the right investment means considering how a business has done in the past compared with how they’re doing now. It’s also worth looking at projections for how they could do in the future. In short; there’s a lot of research. Let’s take botz etf stocks as an example here. These stocks are currently 50-60 percentile range compared to their historic medium. Plus, their current score is showing a higher than normal reading, which suggests reduced risks. In all, this would be a pretty good bet. Consider similar issues for all the stocks you look at, then compare them to find your best bet.

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How much do you need to start?

It’s also worth considering the amount you need to get started. The more you can invest, the more money you stand to make. But, that’s not to say you need a fortune behind you before you can make a move. In fact, less may be best in the early days. Bear in mind, though, that many stockbrokers won’t take tiny shares. You should expect to pay somewhere between $500-$1000 as a minimum.

For how long should you invest?

Ask yourself, too, how long you should invest for. In truth, this isn’t an easy question to answer. Once upon a time, it wasn’t unusual to invest for five years or more. But, the average holding time has reduced to around four months. In truth, longer-holdings stand to earn you more. But, you can keep things short and sweet if you want to see a fast return.

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