5 Great Home Improvement Franchises!

Do you enjoy working with your hands and wish you could own your own business? Does the idea of remodeling or improving a home make you feel good? If so, consider investing in your own home improvement franchise. There are many great businesses to choose from, depending on what type of work you desire to specialize in. Here are 5 great businesses to consider.

1. My Handyman- If “Extreme Makeover, Home Improvement” is your favorite TV show, and you love being able to make old run down spaces look new again, then check out a Mr. Handyman franchise. Even if you are not handy around the house, Mr. Handyman can show you how to run an efficient business and hire others to do the work. This family-friendly business has been given a “world-class” rating and provides great training and support.

2. Budget Blinds- If you enjoy interior decorating and helping people to brighten up their homes, then you should definitely consider Budget Blinds. They have a well deserved reputation among their customers and are highly recommended by Entrepreneur Magazine. Known for their convenient and friendly service as well as great support, Budget Blinds has become one of the fastest growing franchises in the industry. If you want to see a smile on your customers faces, become a Budget Blinds Owner.

3. Certa-Pro- Painters Do you enjoy take a bare wall and changing it to create a warm welcoming environment in a home? Consider becoming an owner of a Certa-Pro Painters franchise. Certa-Pro has been in business for over 15 years and has built a great reputation in the industry. The best part is they support you the entire way. Certa-Pro prides itself on maintaining a closer relationship with its franchise owners than any other franchise company.

4. Carpet Creations of America- Quickly becoming the #1 flooring franchise in the country, Carpet Creations of America is a great business. For those entrepreneurs who would like to start their own carpet and flooring company, Carpet Creations offers an outstanding training program and follow-up support. They specialize in providing flooring at a fraction of the cost of other flooring companies and the franchise fees are equally affordable. Creation Carpets of America began over 10 years ago as the idea of flooring experts Robert and Cathy Morse, and has grown to over 40 Independent dealers nationwide and still growing.

5. ShelfGenie- Providing designer cabinets and shelves is strongly becoming the way of the future as homeowners are no longer satisfied with cookie-cutter style cabinetry. ShelfGenie has become a leader in cabinet design and offers a fantastic opportunity in home improvement franchises. ShelfGenie is always looking for people who would like to succeed in their own business. This is definitely a business to check out.

Beware of Oversimplifications – Health And Wellness

In their desire to make sense out of health information, people often oversimplify the truth. For example, potato chips have long been reputed as a junk food. Actually the quick cooking process of potato chips preserves its nutrients better than mashed, boiled, or baked potatoes. Ounce per ounce, potato chips provide more nutrients than other forms of potatoes. However, because potato chips are cooked in oil, they are high in fat and calories and are not recommended for people trying to lose weight. By being aware that the truth is not simple for most health issues, the tendency to oversimplify and over generalize health information can be thwarted.

Health Discoveries Take Time

Health discoveries often mean media headlines, but a cardinal rule of science is that findings must be replicable. Health information based on a dramatic discovery is not usually valid unless it is confirmed in several follow-up studies or experiments.

Criteria of Valid Reliable Health Information

Health information should be valid and reliable and based on scientifically controlled studies. In health research, validity means truthfulness. If a study is designed and conducted properly, its findings are likely to be valid. For example, it was found that adding vitamin E to human cells in the laboratory stimulated cell division and growth. This was used to support the erroneous conclusion that vitamin E would delay the aging process. This was not a proper generalization because a simple laboratory experiment is not a valid procedure for demonstrating something as complex as aging.

Reliability is another key criterion for evaluating health information and refers to the extent that health claims can be consistently verified. If a claim is reliable, it can be demonstrated to occur consistently in study after study. Researchers speak of findings as statistically significant when they are considered reliable. Statistical significance means that the probability that a study’s findings are due to chance alone is less than 5%. That is, 95 out of 100 times similarly designed studies would yield similar results. Because thousands of studies are performed, however, some studies that yield statistically significant results eventually prove to be wrong. Consequently it takes hundreds of studies, many of them conflicting, to create a consensus on a particular health issue. Any health claim worth considering should be based on numerous studies or experiments conducted over many years.

Health information must also pass scientifically controlled, double-blind studies. The classic study includes at least two groups in which one is an experimental group and receives some form of experimental treatment and the other is a control group and receives no treatment. The double-blind feature of a study means that neither the researcher nor the subjects know who is receiving an experimental treatment. If a researcher wanted to prove, for example, that a particular brand of soap prevents athlete’s foot, two groups would be needed. One would use the experimental soap, and the other would use a placebo or soap substitute. Researchers administering the soap treatment would not know which soap they were using, nor would the subjects in the experimental and control groups. Therefore if the experimental group has significantly fewer cases of athlete’s foot, the results can be attributed to the treatment.

The experimental-control, double-blind requirement of scientific research is a difficult standard to pass. When evaluating new health claims, consumers should inquire about the nature and design of the study behind the claims.

A final consideration of a scientifically controlled study is characteristics of the study population. Scientific studies require random sampling of subjects that represent the racial, religious, gender, and cultural characteristics of the population at large. Medical breakthroughs should not be based on a small number of homogenous, or similar, subjects. Broadly designed human clinical trials that are randomized, placebo controlled, and double blind offer the strongest proof of reliable information. Remember, true breakthroughs in medical research are the exception rather than the rule. Be skeptical of headlines to the contrary.

Inexpensive Romantic Gifts – Elegant, Romantic Gifts That Will Be Sure to Impress

Finding a great romantic gift doesn’t mean you that you have to spend thousands or even hundreds of dollars. With a little bit of effort, you can find lots of gifts that are not only inexpensive ($50 or less), but are elegant, classy, and most importantly, romantic. Here are just a few ideas that usually cost less than 50 dollars.

1. Engraved Wine /Toasting Glasses: Engraving a gift is always a great idea because it adds a special and elegant touch. A person’s name is very powerful, so combining this with a beautiful and refined gift like wine glasses will surely be appreciated by your loved one.

2. Chocolate Covered Strawberries: Most people love good food…it can be sensual, romantic, and luxurious. Even more so if it’s chocolate! Sharing a few delicious, hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries can make for a very romantic night in. Combine this with a good bottle of wine or champagne and you’ll surely have an unforgettable romantic night.

3. Elegant Engraved Clocks: Any gift that you personalize always makes a gift more meaningful and special. Engraving an elegant clock takes this to another level. Clocks are symbolic of the eternal love you two will share together. It is a gift that adds beauty to your home and is something that your loved one will look at every day.

4. Massage Sets: Here is a gift that will surely surprise and delight the both of you! Using this gift is where the real excitement is. Imagine how much your loved one would feel after a sensual, romantic massage? You could even pick up a book or video about massage for the both of you to explore.

5. I Love You Stones: Most of you have probably never see this item before, but it’s a very elegant gift. These are stones that have “I Love You’ written on one side, and a reason on the other. This can also be used a part of another gift. You could use these stones to leave a trail for your loved one to follow, or you could place these stones in places where your partner will find them. Each time they find one, they’ll get a little “I Love You” message to show how much you care about them.

All of these gifts could also be combined with another gift made by you. You could cook a romantic dinner and then use the chocolate covered strawberries for dessert. Or maybe you could buy a nice bottle of wine and the give your partner a massage set… followed by a sensual massage. Putting a little thought into your gift will guarantee that your loved one will remember it forever.