All Articles Tagged "How To"

MN Biz Must-Read: “Networking is Dead”! Long Live Networking!

December 6th, 2012 - By Andrea Williams
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By now you know the adage is true: “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” And regardless of your industry or title, having the right network of people around you can mean the difference between a failed entrepreneurial venture and startup success, or a languishing career trajectory and an office in the C-suite.

But the burning question remains, how do you navigate chamber of commerce meet-and-greets and LinkedIn groups to successfully build an overflowing Rolodex? And how do you ensure that those contacts are actually the right ones – people that can and will propel you forward in business and life?

These questions and more are answered in Networking is Dead: Making Connections That Matter (November 2012, BenBella Books), by Melissa G. Wilson and Larry Mohl.

Networking is Dead is written in fable form and tells the story of two colleagues (Meredith and Lance) who enlist the services of a “networking sensei” (Dan) to help whip their circles of contacts into proper shape.

As Meredith and Lance meet weekly with Dan, learning how to effectively build a bigger, better, stronger network, the reader is like a fly on the wall, privy to all of Dan’s insider tips for thoughtful and masterful connecting. Every question asked by Meredith or Lance is one that readers have probably wondered themselves, and each of Dan’s answers can be immediately plugged into the reader’s own playbook for future use.

Meanwhile, readers will likely identify more closely with one of the characters: Meredith is an outgoing social media pro who has tons of connections but feels that few are actually meaningful, while Lance is a shy accounting executive who just wants more connections, period.

The close of each chapter features a copy of Meredith and Lance’s weekly homework assignment, provided so the reader can follow the same path as the students. Tasks from week/chapter five, “Give First,” include: give wisely – not to receive, but to offer value – and get started by asking one of your partners what one thing he or she would like your help with.

In fact, much of the book focuses on the notion of a higher purpose for all of the constant “liking” and “following,” the idea being that in the process of climbing your own proverbial career ladder, you can – and should – pull up a couple folks with you. Read: Selfish pursuits must be checked at the door.

So does that mean you have to relegate yourself to a life of charitable lack, forgoing your own visions of success and prosperity? Hardly, say Wilson and Mohl. By focusing on authentically serving others, you will attract more opportunity than you could ever imagine.

Likewise, the authors suggest that readers examine their own connections, categorizing contacts into one of three groups: Exchanger, Giver, and Taker. The titles are self-explanatory, and though readers may feel inclined to fill their networks with as many givers as possible for their own personal gain, Wilson and Mohl urge professionals to seek out Exchangers, or those people who will be a constant resource for giving and receiving information and opportunities.

The authors also recommend that readers not rush the process: “Only by focusing on a few, high-quality connections – 10 or fewer at first – can you truly accelerate your goal achievement. It’s paradoxical, but starting small to grow a big network is the way to go.”

That said, if your sole purpose is to amass as many Facebook friends as possible, or your last Google search was “How to Get 5,000 Twitter Followers in 30 Days,” Networking Is Dead is probably not the book for you.

If, however, you want to grow your network organically and strategically, focusing on “connections that matter,” this is most certainly a must-read.

Andrea Williams is a journalist and writer based in Nashville, TN. For more, follow her @AndreaWillWrite.

How To Save Money On Your Home Energy Bills – “Home Savvy”

October 26th, 2012 - By Madame Noire
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In this episode we’ll show you how to efficiently save money on your home’s energy, heating and water bills.


How To Save Money On Your Home Energy Bills:

Great installation paired with a good sealant can save you up to 33% on your home energy bills.

Great Stuff Window And Door Insulating Foam Sealant- Seals, Feels & Insulates Cracks & Gaps up to 1 inch. Takes the shape of the crack or void to form an airtight water resistant seal.


Dap Dynaflex 230 Premium Indoor/Outdoor Sealant- Used for Door & Window Treatments.


Honeywell Wi-Fi Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat-  Has wifi compatibility, which allows you to control it from your smart phone, tablet or other mobile devices.


How To Save Money On Your Water Bill:

The average household can save up to 2,300 gallons of water a year, by ensuring they have the correct shower head installed.

WaterPik EcoFlow 5- Spray Hand Shower- Provides great water pressure and conserves water.

How To Cut Back On Appliance Bills:

Save up to $104.00 on lifetime operating expenses, by changing to an appliance model that is energy star qualified.


Using Energy Star Appliance brands such as GE, LG, Maytag & World Pool will provide you with optimal savings.







How To Install A Faucet – “Home Savvy” Season 2 Episode 2

September 21st, 2012 - By Madame Noire
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In this episode we’ll show you how simple it is to install a new faucet for your  bathroom vanity!

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Here’s how to do this project:

Before you start, make sure your water supply lines at the sink or at your home’s main supply are shut off, and disconnect the supply lines and the waste trap from the sink.

Apply bead of silicone on gasket


Position the faucet and gasket on the sink. Ensure to hand tighten the nuts.

Make connection to the water lines using a half inch IPS faucet supply line.

Now install the pop up connection. Be sure to install the pop up connection according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Now remove aerator and turn faucet handles all the way on.

Finish the assembly and tighten the connections.

When assembly is complete, turn on the hot and cold water supplies and flush water lines for one minute.






Feeling Paranoid? How To Know If He’s Cheating Or Not

September 18th, 2012 - By rjohnson
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From YourTango

There’s only one thing worse than finding out that your partner’s cheating: suspecting that your partner’s cheating. Unfortunately, it’s not always as simple as just asking your partner for the truth. One of the most common ways for unfaithful partners to deflect accusations of cheating is to dismiss their partners’ concerns as paranoia. Some even turn the tables and accuse their partners of pondering infidelity.

If you can’t catch your partner in the act, there are red flags to look for (suspicious errands, a sudden change in grooming or appearance, etc.), but what if you’re not 100 percent sure? Should you end your relationship without any hard evidence of infidelity, or wait passively for the truth to come out?

Read more at YourTango

More on Madame Noire!

How To Install A Bathroom Vanity – “Home Savvy” Season 2 Episode 1

September 14th, 2012 - By Liz Burr
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In this episode we’re learning how easy it is to install a bathroom vanity!

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Here’s how to do this project:

Before you start, make sure to shut off the water supply lines at the sink, or at your home’s main supply if necessary; Disconnect the supply lines and the waste trap from the sink; Disassemble the sink and existing vanity; Patch up and paint or tile the wall where the sink and old vanity once stood if necessary.

Put the vanity in place against the wall and trace its outline on the wall.


Use a stud finder to locate the  studs to which you will screw the vanity.


Then, with a level, draw lines along the studs from the  floor to the top of the vanity. These lines will help you spot where to place the screws later on.


If the vanity has a back, measure, mark, and drill holes through it for drain pipes and supply pipes.

Set a level on top of the vanity and shim at the floor until the vanity is level. Then hold the level against the edge of the unit and shim at the wall until it’s plumb.



From the inside, attach the unit to the wall by screwing 3-inch drywall screws through the mounting rail into the studs.


Check the level again before trimming the shims flush with a utility knife. If it’s not level, add shims.


If there are large gaps at the wall or floor, attach quarter-round moulding along the wall or floor edge with finishing nails.






Poor Baby: Learning How To Maintain Your Child’s Hair When It’s Nothing Like Your Own…

July 13th, 2012 - By Jouelzy
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This article is for you if you’ve thought or said the following things:

“I have a child with a head full of hair and I don’t know what to do with it!”

“Oh baby, my child’s hair looks nothing like mine, what do I do?”

“Oh baby, my child’s hair is so dry/fine/curly/kinky/thick, I’m just trying to figure out how to keep it healthy!”

Are you a parent who is struggling to figure out how to deal with your child’s hair because they don’t have a similar texture to your own? You’ve mastered the art of your hair and then your bundle of joy comes into the world with a beautiful head of hair that you just can’t figure out. Or maybe you always go to the salon to care for your hair and it’s not a good idea to try and convince your two-year-old to sit still to get their hair done at the salon too. It’s a common problem that plenty of parents face, but I’m here to ease the struggle.

A Woman’s Work: 10 Things Every Woman Should Know How To Do

May 26th, 2012 - By Brooke Dean
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I remember as a young girl watching my great grandmother do so many things around the house. She’d cook, clean, sew and iron. She always seemed busy doing what my Poppop called “women’s work.” I thought to myself, “There has to be more to being a woman than knowing how to do domestic things” – but have times changed that much from when I was a child? While traditionally there are some tasks that are gender specific, I can’t help but think women nowadays are forging their own traditions with a “roll-up-your-sleeves and get-the-job-done” type of attitude. Yes, you should be able to cook a great meal, keep your house clean enough to keep the vermin away and iron your clothes well enough to be presentable at work. That’s a given. But we can do better than that in 2012.

Here are 10 things I think all women should know how to do – we go to work!

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5 Things Everyone Should Know About Condoms

April 2nd, 2012 - By MN Editor
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From proper application to proper storage, some tips for ultimate condom mastery.

No matter what you call them—rubber raincoats, love gloves, etc.—condoms come in pretty handy. Scratch that, they come in incredibly handy. What other piece of latex do you know that helps prevent disease and pregnancy while simultaneously stimulating “for her pleasure”?

The “how to” for condoms seems pretty simple, but as with all sex-related necessities, some complications may arise. Luckily for all of you who didn’t get a complete rundown of “Captain Condom” in your high school health class, here are a few must-know facts about those little love gloves to keep your sexual sailing as smooth as possible.

Want to take in all the tips? Visit


More on Madame Noire!

Tips for the Messy Fashionista: Staying Fly Through All Life’s Little Spills

January 25th, 2012 - By Alexis Garrett Stodghill
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Tips for a Messy Fashionista

I love clothing and fashion — but am prone to be a little messy. You know how it goes. You put on that perfect white shirt, or your loveliest designer jeans just to dribble a little wine down your cheek at the most inopportune moment. And then your look is ruined! Style nightmare? Maybe… But not if you stay prepared for any high-fashion mishap involving trips and tumbles while eating and drinking. Didn’t you know? Food and drinks stains make up 72% of those happening while you jet about town, or enjoy night life. Here is how you can maintain your fits even if you have the nasty habit of making messes while partying up and chowing down.

Keep Club Soda Handy

If you know you are prone to spilling on your best designer duds, keeping a small bottle of club soda in your giant, fashionable handbag might not be a bad idea. It is perfect for blotting fresh stains, and keeping a stain wet while you are socializing — until you can get home and get that item soaking.

Stock up on Tide to Go

Tide to Go is an excellent product for removing food-related stains such as ketchup, coffee and wine. If used properly, Tide to Go can remove many stains right away — leaving you free for a fun night of frolicking. Let’s face it: you didn’t get all dolled up to just rush home. If you know you are an accident prone fashion queen, make Tide to Go your lady in waiting.

Scarves Are Your Friend

Many stains (and wet spots from applying Tide to Go and club soda) can be carefully hidden with a drape of a scarf — and no one will know the difference. You might even get complimented on your original signature style. Turn having slippery fingers into a secret style asset. You’d be amazed at where a creatively wrapped scarf can take your look.

And So Are Jackets & Sweaters

Of course, some stains can’t even be hidden with a scarf applied with gusto. In this case, keeping a cute sweater or jacket handy is a plus. The fall and winter weather is perfect for layering, so there will be no explanations needed for whipping another accent piece out of your carry-all. After applying Tide to Go to make sure the stain won’t permanently mar your favorite pieces, hide that social faux pas with the right topper. A classic sweater or jacket will go with almost anything.

You can be a beautiful woman and still have some unfortunate little habits. If messiness is one of them — as it certainly is for me — don’t let that stop you from dressing with aplomb. Put together your best looks with your most gorgeous finery, but have a back up plan at the ready for your little spills. Being a messy fashionista might make your life a little more complicated, but you can certainly stay fly all the time with these tips and helpful products like Tide to Go.

How to Keep Those Whites SUPER White!

January 17th, 2012 - By madamenoire
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Summer’s over, but white is still in season, sugar plum.  Real fashionistas are not boxed in by silly old clothing mandates that revolve around holidays. Plus, winter white is still….well, white. We want your whites to stay as pristine as you are, so we have a few tips for you in conjunction with our uber fabulous partner, Tide.

Check it out!

Throw out the plastic from the dry cleaners.
Your dry cleaner places all of your carefully pressed clothing on to hangers and dutifully protects your fresh clothes with a layer of plastic. How sweet. The problem is that those plastic coverings will eventually yellow your fav white button downs. Prevent that travesty by throwing out (or better yet re-purposing) that plastic as soon as you get your clothes back from the dry cleaners. What’s the use in having freshly pressed and yellowed clothes?

Use deodorant instead of antiperspirant.
This is when that periodic table you memorized in high school comes in handy. Antiperspirants typically contain aluminum based ingredients like aluminum chloride or clorohydrate and once that aluminum mixes with your body oils and sweat, it creates a yellow stain on your clothes that is tough to get out. How do you know if you’re buying antiperspirant or deodorant? It’ll say right there on the package, luv.

Tip: If you do get those awful yellow stains, try following these steps:

1) Using a PLASTIC bucket, create a soak solution by adding 1/2 use (approx. 25 mls) Tide® per gallon of warm water. Allow the garment to soak for up to 30 minutes, weighting the item with a WHITE towel to keep it totally submerged.
2) Wash in warmest water setting with 1 use of Tide. Try Tide® Bleach Alternative.

3) If stain remains, pretreat using Tide® Liquid. (pour Tide on to cover stain and let set for 20 minutes). Then, rewash in warm water with 1 use of Tide before drying. Before treating any garment, refer to the instructions on the care label. Always test solution on a hidden area first. If treating washable silk or wool, follow basic instructions, but hand wash.

Say buh-bye to coffee and tea stains.
You’re wearing the most stylish, figure-hugging dress for brunch and of course the coffee in your cup somehow misses your mouth and lands right on your otherwise perfect outfit. Have no fear Tide to Go is here! It’s an awesome (and adorable) little thing that you can toss in your purse. Excuse yourself to the ladies room and give that big bad stain a once-over with the Tide to Go pen. Watch as that stain shrinks away to nothing! It also works on wine and food stains.

Like mom said, keep those whites separate.
Your mama was telling the truth when she said to keep your whites separate. When you’re at the laundry mat, it’s so tempting to just plop everything into one machine and be done with it, but unless you like having light pink or light blue “whites,” you’d be wise to take out your whites and wash them separately. Much better to spend those few extra dollars on another cycle of the washer and dryer than to spend a whole lot more money replacing those whites you ruined.

Use the right detergent.
This sounds like a no-brainer, but in these tough economic times you might think to just grab whatever is on sale. All detergent is the same, right? Wrong. Using a value detergent may not get the job done and could cost you money in the long run. Using a high quality detergent like Tide could help keep your clothes looking newer longer by fighting stains, fading, and dinginess.

What tricks do you have for keeping your whites nice and bright?