Why Professional Dog Grooming Services Are on a Rise

It’s just a fact of life; dogs are born with nails and fur. Unfortunately, they don’t also have the opposable thumbs needed to trim their own nails and brush and clean their fur. This leaves the task of grooming to their owners or to a costly professional pet groomer. Do you have a natural affinity for dogs and experience with grooming them? If so, then your knowledge is in demand! You can teach classes to show people how to, properly and safely, groom their dogs. You could charge about $10 or more per person and have a class limit of 10-20.

If you are a pet owner, you know how difficult it can be to trim a dog’s nails, let alone the struggle and fighting necessary to get them into a bathtub. Most people give up and resort to taking their precious canine to the vet and end up paying huge fees for each visit. Depending on the breed and pedigree of the dog, professional groomers can charge between $25 and $100 for their services. Some owners just let their poor pets suffer bad hygiene because the trip to the vet and the prospect of doing it themselves are both options that are not going to work for them.

dog groomingAs part of your student’s education on grooming, they will need to know how to decide on the pair of shears appropriate for grooming the breed of dog, or dogs, that they own. Shears come in three shapes – straight, curved, and thinning. Straight shears are the most basic kind used by most groomers and they come in a variety of sizes, ranging from four and a half inches to upwards of twelve inches. The most commonly used size is eight and a half inches. (The breed of dogs they will be grooming will determine the sizes needed by your students.) The smaller shears are usually best for trimming small dogs and getting inside the legs of larger breeds. Larger dogs such as English Sheepdogs and full-size poodles would benefit from the larger size shears. In addition, as is true of most products, the more expensively crafted shears are generally the most durable and long-lasting.

By purchasing dog-grooming tools ahead of time at wholesale prices, you can offer the basic tools needed to groom a dog in the form of a handy kit. Offer these kits to each of your students for an additional fee and thereby increase your profit margin. You can also have someone record your class while being taught and create your own educational DVD. Do not forget to also sell copies of dog grooming books to give people an even more extensive education at the conclusion of the class.

You will likely want to advertise your services by; running a visible advertisement in a local phone directory, list your business with an online business directory, and by printing up flyers and posting them in places where people with pets are likely to visit. Among these places should be elementary schools and day care centers. Be sure to include popular lunch places, coffee shops, and pet stores! Most post offices and grocery stores also have bulletin boards that they will allow you to place an advertisement on. Be sure to take advantage of any public bulletin boards in your immediate area to find the people who are looking for you and your services. In no time at all, you will have built up a large clientele base as word of mouth spreads, because your students will tell others about the wonderful, informative classes you are teaching!…

LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Review – What Can You Do With A Mindstorms Set?

What is the LEGO Mindstorms NXT?

The LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 is a robotics kit that allows you to envision, build and program your own robot. But that’s not all.

With the same kit, you can go on to build more advanced models, and program your robots to be more and more sophisticated. You probably won’t go on to build the next Terminator or Robocop, but the endless programming possibilities can keep you enraptured for a lifetime.

It’s a hefty price tag for a Christmas toy, but as a lifetime investment, the LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 is definitely worth your attention. Let me explain.

The price tag is justified by a special unique benefit.

If you get this for your child, it won’t be just another Christmas toy that they grow out of. Sure, as with anything you buy there’ll be times when the Mindflex set is cast aside during exams or other phases of their lives.

But it will always be ready to be picked off their shelf to be used in different, more advanced ways – whether your child has gone into their twenties, thirties, forties or older.

There’s no upper age limit, and there’s no getting bored.

Who Is The Mindstorms Set For?

Mindstorms NXT caters for all users above the age of 10. The instructions for building and programming your first few robots are really quite easy to follow.

Sure, the word ‘programming’ sounds complicated, but it can be as easy as just a few mouse-clicks on your computer.

Younger children can find lots of fun things to do with their little robots, whereas the die-hard robotics fan can indulge himself in complex programs that can play noughts and crosses and even solve a Rubik’s cube.

LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Rubik’s Cube Robot

What’s Inside The Box?

The LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 comes with a total of 619 pieces. These include an assortment of rods, beams, sensors, connectors, and wheels.

The Basic Building Block

You’ll notice that the basic Mindstorms unit is a beam rather than the classic LEGO block, giving it a Meccano feel. But unlike Meccano, you can simply snap the pieces together without having to use any tools.

Owing to a large number of similar-looking pieces, you’ll probably be rummaging around at lot at first looking for the right unit. But after a little experience, you’ll almost intuitively know what you’re looking for.

Three Servo Motors

These servo motors will be responsible for making your robot move.

Four Sensors

The sensors will allow your robot to receive information about its surroundings. The Mindstorms NXT 2.0 comes with…

1. A light sensor, which measures levels of light and can even distinguish between different colors, giving your robot the ability to react according to any colors that you might present to it or it may chance upon during its movements around the house.

2. A touch sensor, so you can command your robot to change direction for example when it touches another object.

3. A sound sensor, which allows the robot to respond to different volumes of sound, although you can’t get it to obey exact voice commands.

4. An ultrasonic sensor, which uses sound-beams to determine how far away your robot is a solid object – so it doesn’t have to bump into the wall before it turns away.

The NXT Intelligent Brick

This is your robot’s brain, a mini computer that processes information from the four different sensors and according to your programming, directs the servo motors to respond by carrying out a movement, whether it be by walking, driving, changing direction, sorting balls, attacking an intruder… the list goes on.

Instruction Manual

The instruction manual is great to get you started, with step-by-step instructions to build a shooter bot, robogator, color sorter and alpha rex.

Beyond that, you’re left to use your own imagination to create whatever you want. You can also purchase separate guides (yes, whole guides written just on the LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0) that show you how to build more complex robots with far superior programming.

The frustration in building your own designs is you’ll probably run out of parts to use. If you have this problem, you can always extend the Mindstorms set with pieces from the Lego Technique range, which uses the same basic unit.

What Are The Possibilities? What Can I Do With It?

The sky’s the limit. Experienced programmers have created some phenomenal robots using only what’s provided in one box of the LEGO  Mindstorms NXT.  What are some examples?

Robots that can feed pets, deal cards, write on eggs, play noughts and crosses and even solve a Rubik’s cube!

Your Mindstorms robot also comes fully equipped with Bluetooth support, so you can get it to respond to commands from your phone or Bluetooth remote.  If you want to take things further, you can add extra sensors, which include an accelerometer, compass, clock and a high-tech temperature sensor.

Where Can I Get It Cheapest?

Nobody’s doing any huge discounts, simply because the Mindstorms kit is selling fast as it is and Lego aren’t able to keep up with the demands. I expect they’ll run out very soon and the price will increase toward Christmas. 

Keep checking back at this site, as I’ll be letting you know if any of the stores decide to drop the price.

The KidKraft Pink Retro Kitchen and Refrigerator

The KidKraft Pink Retro Kitchen and Refrigerator is suitable for Girls between the ages of 3 and 5 who just love to play in the kitchen and would be delighted to have their own miniature kitchen.

Customer reviews indicate girls as young as 2 and as old as 8, and even boys are enjoying playing with this kitchen set.

Why You May Or May Not Want This Miniature Kitchen

If you’re looking for a large and sophisticated miniature kitchen for your child, then the KidKraft Pink Retro Kitchen and Refrigerator is probably not what you’re looking for. This kitchen set is praised for being simple, so it doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb, but blends in with the rest of the room and looks good in the house.

 

A Quick Video Of The KidKraft Pink Retro Kitchen & Refrigerator

It’s also small, so it doesn’t take up too much space in what might be an already overcrowded house. 

But it’s large enough mind you, for your child to have access to all the essentials in a real kitchen, and large enough for multiple children to play at once. It’s also remarkably realistic, with knobs on doors and clicking knobs on the cooker.

Unlike many other toy kitchens, the KidKraft pink retro kitchen comes with a host of accessories, including a blender, mixer, baking set and wooden spoons, so your little girl can get started right away with serving her favorite dish.

Despite its compact size there’s plenty of storage space in the cabinets and refrigerator, enough to accommodate plenty of extra utensils including silver pots and pans, tea sets and play food.

How Does This Set Compare To The Pottery Barn Pink Retro Kitchen?

Many people start by looking at the Pottery Barn Pink Retro Kitchen, but end up settling with the KidKraft’s Pink Retro Kitchen. But why?

While Pottery Barn does a remarkable job at creating some charming miniature furniture for kids with solid sturdy designs, it also comes with a very high price point. 


The Pottery Barn model does have slightly more detailed and professional craftsmanship, but most people tend to decide that it’s not worth the extra money.The KidKraft Pink Retro Kitchen looks very similar to the Pottery Barn model, but is far more affordable, at a quarter of the price. It is also of a very sturdy design, but it much smaller than the Pottery Barn kitchen, so it takes up less space in the house.

Can My Child Cook Real Food With The KidKraft Pink Retro Kitchen?

The simple answer is no. Because cooking involves heat, and the presence of cooking elements is potentially dangerous, and it wouldn’t be safe for your child to play alone in her kitchen.

Summary

The reason this particular kitchen set is so popular is because it was made with the user in mind. Most miniature kitchens look great in print but are impractical when you buy them, with fragile parts, poorly opening doors, and little storage space.

The KidKraft Pink Retro Kitchen and Refrigerator has a very sturdy design and satisfies both parent and child, as demonstrated by excellent customer reviews. Unlike most other wooden kitchens, it has an affordable price and unlike the plastic models, this Kidkraft Retro Kitchen will look great in your house.

Who’s Selling This For The Best Price?

If you’re thinking about buying the KidKraft Pink Retro Kitchen for your child this Christmas, I advise you get your hands on one as soon as you can.  Miniature kitchens have really taken off in the last couple of years, and this being one of the more popular models, will be off the shelves fast.

5 Best Student Planner Apps

Android phones have gone a long way from making our daily life productive to entertained, and there are numerous apps you can choose for just about what you want to do. However, it also annoyed us for finding the best option. We have recommended several excellent apps for different common use or specified, such as shopping apps for a shopaholic, finances apps for personal business, medical apps for your 2013 healthy goal, etc. If you’re a student and looking for an effective tool to improve your school tasks, there are five school planner apps you should have a try.

[Free] Homework

Homework is a fully-featured class application for Android phones. It comes with five main screens and allows you to define your own classes or information for each subject. In addition, if you have unfinished your tasks, the app would represent them with its special indications. Not only does the app fit for students to manage their homework, but the teachers can use them to make the class plan.

[Free] School Assistant

As its name suggests, this app is a dumb but effective assistance for your school planner. The app provides a really clean way to take and save your notes as well as create todo lists. The app will remind you when you forget what to study for the exam and even represent your progress throughout the year. I strongly recommended this to those students who need something to keep the school timetable.

[Free] myHomework Student Planner

MyHomework is a great app that lets you take and manage your school planner with the assistance of the calendar. What attract me to the app most is that it allows me to sync homework across diverse platforms with a myHomeworkapp.com account. In addition, the app has a gorgeous and easy-to-use interface that making it easy to anyone to use.

[Free] School Timetable Deluxe

The last one is School Timetable Deluxe, which is specially designed for pupils who keen to have their entire school life or tasks under control. In the app, you can use different colors for subjects freely and create several class planners due to your subject. And the best part? It’s free!

School Timetable Deluxe For Android

[$1.99] Class Buddy

If you’re hankering one schedule management helper for your busy school life. Class Buddy is a digital planner and notebook will store your homework in a clean interface. The feature of Import and Export is useful when you need to import events from CSV file, or Google Docs. Of course, the app also provides a customizable home screen widget you can fire up the app quickly.…

Cashbook – Expense Tracker Easily Track Your Expenses

I’ve been hankering for a solid expense tracker app on the Android Market, though – something that offers at least packaged features to make me stay on top of my personal finances for everyday life. Of course, there are numerous expense tracking apps out there, but none seemed to have the capabilities of Cashbook – a simple money tracker app that’s on hand whenever I need it- and that’s really the best kind of expense tracker you can have.

Overview

Cashbook – Expense Tracker is a comprehensive Android expense tracker app. As individuals, it can track expenses, income, mileage, and taxes. While for business, you would benefit from keeping track your business more carefully with tracking reimbursement, bookkeeping purposes, and receipts. It works with devices running Android v1.6 or above, weighing at the size of 1.5M, looks good on my Samsung Galaxy with gingerbread 2.3.5 and is available for $5.99 in the Play Store.

Features

When you first open Cashbook, you’re taken straight to the feature list. Except for several common features like Money Lover provides, such as add transaction, view statistics of your spending and organize your expenses with different categories, some unique features are also compelling and useful, it allows you track real-time mileage with accurate distance and time, snapshot your expense and create duplicate accounts.

Manage Accounts

To track your business, the app enables you to view all of your accounts’ balance on one single screen to easily manage your personal and small business finances that allows many customizations. A transfer feature between accounts is supported and works very nicely on my phone.

Transactions and Account Charts

You can log expenses via an “Add Transaction” option on its main menu. Once you select the option, a form with a variety of data is represented on the screen, including a category, whether it’s an expense or income. You can pick an appropriate category from the list.
Cashbook can represent your spending data more vividly with a graph where you can view a list of past expenses on weekly and monthly expense reports. Unfortunately, you can’t use the filtering functions to view the graphic of your spending that MoneyWise offers.

expense-Tracking

Cashbook Mileage Tracking

Unique Features

Cashbook bestows you the ability to accurately track accurate distance and time with using real-time GPS, then records that information along with starting and stopping address.
You have the option to export your data in either .csv or HTML format. It’s convenient to enter expenses in the same simple format that the Android phone has from your laptop without having to upload to a sister program like Quicken or quick books.

Conclusion

I have used the app since I bought my Nexus 7. It was definitely worth the money. Although a lot of thought has been given to the app but compared with other expense tracking apps, such as MoneyWise, Money Lover, and Expense Manager, it’s not the perfect. For example, the filtering function is unsubstantial, you can’t sort based on expense type when you want to view the specified category. It would be nice to see a bit of refinement in the interface and better-packaged features. It’s a must-have for anyone who tracks their spending.…