Monthly Archives: July 2015

Some good health news

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betterhealthThere is some good news on the health front for Americans. After years of headlines about obesity and other problems, it seems Americans are finally becoming healthier, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Reuters has the full story, which you can read about here.


Posters vs. Printed Canvas

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There are numerous ways to decorate your home, and among the most popular are putting up paintings or posters. A large poster that is framed can actually be quite impressive and a nice work of art. You can place such pictures anywhere: in the living room, bedroom, and even bathroom. On the whole, a framed poster is much cheaper than a painting, and oftentimes looks better as well.

A more recent option for decorating your home are canvas prints. You may or may not be familiar with what canvas prints are. They are quite simply an image that is printed onto a canvas. For this reason, they have a different texture than the typical poster. The canvas also gives the piece more heft, and in many cases, you don’t have to frame it for it to look good.

There are quite a few companies online that allow you to purchase canvas prints. You can either select a photo from a library of images, or upload your own image. Canvas prints come in all sizes, from small pictures you can put on your desk to large, poster-sized pieces.

While costing more than a poster, canvas prints are still quite affordable. I personally like to buy mine at a company called Canvas People, as they offer low prices, good service, and many other great features (such as gallery wrapping).  I also found that you can use Canvas People coupons from sites like Hotprintingdeals and get special discounts to further increase your savings.

So if you want to try something new and unique for decorating your home, I certainly think you should give Canvas Prints a try. I see them more and more and they seem to be quite popular, for good reason as it’s one of the best printed gifts you can buy.

Some commonly overlooked tax deductions

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itemized tax deductionsDo you itemize your deductions? Millions of Americans do, and if you use a CPA or tax preparation service, chances are good that your tax professional will make sure you claim all the deductions you are eligible for. But for many people who do their own taxes by using software such as Turbotax, overlooked deductions are a fact of life that can unfortunately cost you hundreds of dollars a year. Let’s take a look at some deductions you may be forgetting to claim on your tax returns.

1. Medicare deduction for self-employed individuals
Part B and Part D of Medicare can be deducted if you are self-employed. The good thing about this deduction is that you can take it regardless of whether or not you itemize.

2. Job hunting costs
Keep track of the money you spend to look for a job. If it isn’t your fist job, you will be able to deduct any cost that exceeds 2% of your AGI. Fortunately, those who are out of work will have a deflated AGI, and there is a good chance a decent chunk of your job hunting expenses will be deductible.

3. State income taxes
This can end up being a rather big deduction for you if you live in a state like California that has a high state income tax. On the other hand, if you live in a state like Nevada with no income tax, you won’t benefit from this deduction but you can deduce sales tax (see below).

4. State sales taxes
For people who live in states with an income tax, taking that deduction will usually be the better choice. But if your state does not have an income tax, you should opt for the state sales tax deduction. The IRS provides tables that show you how much you can deduct, depending on the state.

If you prepare your own taxes, make sure you use a reputable tax preparation software program like Turbotax. You can get a Turbotax free trial by going to the following link: Turbotax offer.

Are disposable ecigs worth trying?

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A lot of people ask me if they should be buying disposable ecigs, since they seem to be more convenient. Similar to disposable contacts, you simply use them and when they are no longer good, you dispose them. Things couldn’t be simpler. With that said, I do not believe it’s a good idea to use disposable e-cigarettes on a regular basis.

vapingMy reason for saying this boils down to price. Yes, it is a bit more of a hassle to use rechargeable batteries and have to replace cartridges, but really, these things take so little time, maybe just seconds a day to do. As long as you have 2 or more batteries, you also should never find yourself in a situation where you have no battery to use. Simply make a rule that while you use one battery, you recharge the other battery.

Even if you are busy and on the go all the time, recharging e-cigarette batteries is still quite simple, since there are plenty of portable rechargers you can purchase.

So how much can you save using real e-cigarettes instead of disposable ones? Let’s use the e-cig company, White Cloud, as an example. Disposable ecigs, called Flings, at White Cloud cost around $5 each. With each disposable, you will get the equivalent vaping of one cartridge. A single cartridge, on the other hand, cost around $2.40 each. So right off the bat, you are paying about half price. It’s true you do need to invest in batteries and rechargers, but you shouldn’t spend more than $100 a year on those, so in my opinion, you come out way ahead by using regular e-cigarettes instead of disposables. Keep in mind, any time you shop at White Cloud or any other e-cigarette company, you should be using e-cigarette coupons to make sure you are getting the lowest price possible.

Then there is the question of selection. You are far more limited in the flavors you can try when you use disposables. In addition, you will not be able to customize your vaping setup the way you can when you use regular e-cigarettes.

Disposables have one great use, however. If you are not sure if you want to vape, it costs a lot to invest in all the equipment for something you are not certain about. In these cases, buying disposables is a terrific way to find out what it’s like to vape, without having to spend a lot of money upfront.

To obtain the latest White Cloud Coupons, head over to

Using free trials to check out dating sites

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Online daters have plenty of choices these days. For free sites, you could sign up for popular sites like and Okcupid. These sites have tens of millions of users and are a great place to start if you don’t want to spend any money. However, in my experience, paid dating sites such as offer better results. Therefore, you might want to upgrade to a paid dating at some point if you do not get good results using Plentyoffish or Okcupid. membership

However, that doesn’t mean that you should immediately sign up for sites like Eharmony. A much better option is to sign up for free and take a look around the site. Most dating sites let you create an account and browse profiles of other members without having to pay. Once you decide you want to become a member, there are usually Eharmony free membership from sites like that allow you to get all the member benefits for a limited time, such as 3 days.

If you do get an Eharmony free trial, make sure you make the most of the free trial period by trying out different features and contacting all the members who catch your interest. The reason this is important is that you need to interact with other members on a dating site to get a true sense of how well you jibe with them. Ultimately, this could be the factor that helps you decide whether or not you want to become a paid member.

To get an eharmony free trial, go to