9 Reasons Why You Should Choose Independent Birth Education

So you’re pregnant, want the very best birth for you and your baby and want to get your hands on as much information as possible! Here’s 9 great reasons why independent childbirth education is going to help give you the best chance possible at the most positive experience. So, why should you choose independent childbirth education? Because…

1. Independent Educators Are Specialists In What They Do

When you choose an independent educator, they are trained specifically in birth education. Some are also skilled in other areas including midwifery, birth attendants (doulas), natural therapists and more. Birth education is a major component of an independent educator’s work, compared to a hospital which may or may not have specialised educators. Many hospitals rotate midwives and/or physiotherapists into the job of running birth education classes, so you never know who you’ll get, what their philosophies and attitudes towards birth are and let’s face it – they may not even like presenting birth education. It may be a part of their job they are required to do. Either way, educators as passionate about education.

Independent educators know the right way to encourage both yourself and your partner to feel comfortable and engaged. You don’t want a presenter to start a session with something like this (said in a smug fashion), “You all probably want a natural birth right now, but around 40% of you are going to end up with caesareans anyway.” This is what one of my clients told me happened in their classes. Nice positive way to start the session! Sure it might be true (some of our hospitals have caesarean rates even higher than this) but negativity is catching and it’s all in how you present it. The class apparently went downhill from there so my clients walked out soon after. They went on to have one on one independent education and loved it.

Even if you’ve had a bad experience before, great birth education is so important, so don’t give up – find something better! Don’t settle for maccas when you can have a lamb roast with all the trimmings! There’s lots more you can learn from independent education that you’ve not heard in hospital based classes.

2. Information is Not Hospital Policy Biased

Hospitals all have varying maternity policies (and know that policy is not law, so you don’t have to legally do anything they tell you) so whoever makes the decisions can influence what you hear and what you can and can’t do.

Policies can be/are based on reducing potential legislation, making birth progress to their own time preferences so there are beds available, making things easier or ‘safe’ for staff – even if it’s not in the mother’s best interest. Yes that sounds strange, but in a leading Melbourne private hospital, I have seen midwives refuse to let women birth on the floor (on a mat/squatting etc) because of occupational health and safety apparently (the midwife also said she didn’t want to stand on her head to ‘deliver’ her baby). She then went on to repeatedly tell the mother to lie on her back and get off her hands and knees to make it easier. Luckily dad firmly said no.

If you’ve had hospital education (or believe what you see on t.v.!), you might think that’s just how you’re supposed to do it – “Ahhhh, I need to get on the bed and lie down my back!” which in labour becomes, “Gees it’s really painful in this position and I don’t know if I can cope anymore.” I had my two children in a private hospital and thinking about this bed issue later I found it curious that I had unconsciously gravitated towards the bed when I arrived. I guess it happened because the bed is in the centre of an empty room and I felt clueless and unsure of what to do, with no tools or decent knowledge under my belt. Lucky I know better since my births.

Most hospitals like you to be compliant and on the bed most of the time, when it’s the last place you want to be for a good labour. However, if you’ve had independent education, you would know that pushing while on your back is not only more painful, but much less effective – in fact it’s THE least productive position to push in. Why? Because your uterus which normally contracts away (or upwards if you’re lying down) from your body, which means it will be working against gravity if you are lying down. Women in labour naturally want to lean forward – something your pelvis does when it contracts, so it makes sense to work with it. Your pelvis is also least open when on your back, whereas squatting gives you up to 30% more pelvic space. Thats something pretty neat I learnt after I had given birth – but not what you’ll hear in hospital classes. And if you end up in a private hospital like the one I mentioned, you might not even be able to do that, further reason why they do not have their hospital built with the premise of helping you have the best/easiest birth possible.

Remember a hospital is a business and has business issues to consider firstly and foremostly. They don’t open with the premise to give women the best experience possible, but to have a functioning maternity unit and to succeed as a business.

3. You’ll See Birth DVDs Designed To Inspire Not Frighten

Believe it or not, there is actually a birth DVD that’s been in circulation for years in some hospitals where the labouring woman is yelling something like, ‘Get me a gun so I can shoot myself.’ This and many other DVDs have result in couples walking out of their classes feeling like they cannot cope with a vaginal birth, serving to further convince them that they actually do need drugs for the birth – just like all their friends have told them. There are many factors that result in how a woman copes in labour and this is a big blow from the start. The DVD I saw when I was having my daughter was a mother in a hospital bed, screaming in pain, who then asked for an epidural and then she was really happy. What sort of message do you think this sends out to a first time, nervous expectant mother and father?

The DVDs some hospitals show are definitely not productive nor appropriate, whereas DVD’s you see in independent classes are very inspiring, uplifting and show you the potential of your own body.

4. You’ll Gain Many More Tools For Natural Pain Relief

Both yourself and your partner will have more confidence on how to cope with the tougher parts to labour if you are given more options and tools for natural pain relief. That one thing that ends up being your lifesaver, helping you get through without pain relief, may be so simple. If you happen to be in a class which skims this part of the education or omits it altogether in preference of pharmaceutical pain relief, then that’s the path you are most likely to take – because you don’t know any other options and you just cannot think about it and what you want in labour (apart from wanting to get the baby out – NOW!). You are also being given an important insight into the philosophy of the hospital when they teach pain relief in the form of drugs. I remember one client telling me that her hospital (a large Melbourne private hospital) had birth classes which was very detailed about pain relief – there was lots of information about epidurals and other drugs. I ended up asking a midwife during her labour why this was so, her reply, ‘Well most women walk in here wanting epidurals, so we just teach them what they want to know about.’ Too bad for the woman that would like to labour without one.

5. You Will Find Out ALL Your Options

Again, independent birth educators do not operate based on policy, but what is possible for you – what options and rights you have as a labouring couple. There will be no ‘we do this’ or ‘we do that’ only, ‘you could choose to do this’ or ‘you could choose to do that’ – with the pros and cons both ways. It is a much more balanced view of what’s possible, with the view that your body is extremely capable – and not just what everyone else is like.

6. You Do Pay For What You Get

Birth educators educate for a living, their livelihood depends on presenting great classes which couples enjoy. Great word of mouth feedback comes from their clients who leave the classes feeling great about birth – informed, empowered and educated.

So it’s in their best interest to make sure the class is worth it to you, since it’s their own business and not someone else’s. Some hospitals offer their classes for free, some don’t – either way your money is best invested in independent education. I was shocked at how much I wasn’t told in a hospital class, after attending independent classes during my training as a birth attendant. I even felt angry for some time – the care factor is so much more evident during independent classes. The educators genuinely want you to have a great experience and have great philosophies about birth.

7. You Know Who You Are Getting

Independent birth educators often operate individually or in a small team, so you will know who you are getting. You will be able to find out what their testimonials and feedback are like before you go, so you know you are getting a great service. They are also happy to take your calls and questions before and after the classes and trying to locate them isn’t as difficult as in a big establishment!

8. Helps Partners Get More Involved

Because more time is spent on tools you can use, and the classes are more in depth in general, fathers-to-be learn much more and feel more comfortable getting involved – which is good for dads-to-be and good for mum-to-be. It’s so important that a partner learns and understands what’s going on during labour, as a support person who panics or is unsettled in labour will have the same effect on the mum – she needs someone solid as a rock to get her through. Pain relief is often used by mothers to help escape that horrible feeling of not being supported, or when she feels frightened or anxious.

If a partner only knows that if there is pain, the only way he can help is to offer pain relief, then that’s likely where the birth will go. Men tend to be ‘fixers’, they like to fix, and there is nothing wrong with that, but this puts them very much outside their comfort zone in birth, where there is nothing he can do to take it all away. Labour is not a time for saving or fixing, but encouraging and reassuring!

9. It Will Help Better Form Your Birth Preferences (aka Plan)

If you are more aware of your options and choices, then you will be able to have a more in-depth discussion with your partner and your support people about the choices in your birth plan. You will have more control over what you want, rather than feeling you have to ‘leave it to the experts.’ You don’t need to be an expert to have a great, empowered birth, but you do need to inform yourself and your support people and make choices based on what you have learnt. And the best, unbiased place to learn about your REAL options and gain more knowledge and tools for your birth is through independent childbirth education.

Where Can I Find An Independent Educator?

In Australia, NACE are the National Association of Childbirth Educators, and can help you locate a member in your area. Some educators I recommend in Melbourne, Victoria (but are not limited to) include:

* About Birth
* Birthing Wisdom (Rhea Dempsey) workshops
* Birth by Di Diddle
* Wonderful Birth by Lina Clerke

For the Men

A great book I recommend to all men is Men At Birth by David Vernon. It’s a great book written by Australian men, for men.

Important to Note

While there are some brilliant birth educators out there, it’s really important that every birthing couple realises that it’s not birth classes alone that will get them across the line. Yes, they are a great start and will likely have you thinking about lots of things you hadn’t already thought about, but all your choices as a whole will shape your birth, not just education. The carer you choose, the hospital (or not!) you birth in, your support people and the philosophy of all of those things and the books you read can impact on what sort of birth you end up having.

For example, if you really want a natural birth and have chosen an Obstetrician and private hospital – then you have chosen the statistically worst option for avoiding interventions including pain relief, caesarean sections, assisted delivery – there are plenty of pieces that make up a puzzle. Check out our article, Natural Birth – Giving Yourself The Best Chance for more information.

Writing Your Business Plan (Traditional or Online Business)

In my previous article, I talked about how you can plan your business startup. I defined a business plan as a written description of the future of your business. This is a document that indicates what you intend to do and how you intend to do it. I further explained that if all you have is a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you have written a plan, or at least the beginning of a plan. I also said that a business plan consists of a narrative and several financial worksheets.

I mentioned that the ‘writing of a business plan’ as one of the pivotal steps involved in setting up a successful business. By now you should understand the need for writing a business plan. Writing a business plan, for a traditional brick and mortar business, will probably take a lot of time. It may take up to 100 hours or even more. For obvious reasons, a new business needs to carry out a lot of research before a business plan can even be developed.

For an online business, a detailed and in depth business plan is usually not necessary unless you are trying to combine your online business with a traditional business. For most online business startups, the detail involved with planning a traditional business is not required. However, it would still be beneficial to you if most of the topics were still covered, even if only briefly. Having a written plan in front of you will help you to focus on important aspects of the business.

You may not have thought much about your competition or outsourcing some of your work, but things like that will impact your ability to make a profit. And you will find this especially so in the beginning phases of your business. Even you are just opening a lemonade stand in the front yard, you will still need to know what Susie is selling her lemonade for on the next street over!

So, although a detailed business plan may not be required for an online business, I am going to include it here so you can at least look at and consider each section and determine yourself if it applies to your business.

Here I shall be discussing the basic steps involved in writing a business plan:

1. Executive Summary: The first step involved in writing a business plan is the executive summary. Here, include everything that you would cover in a five minute interview.

Explain the fundamentals of the proposed business: What will your product be? Who will your customers be? Who are the owners? What do you think the future holds for your business and your industry?

Make it enthusiastic, professional, complete, and concise.

If you are applying for a loan, state clearly how much you need and be precise in how you are going to use it. Also include detail about how the money will make your business more profitable, thereby ensuring repayment of the loan.

2. Business Description: After the executive summary, you need to write a short description of the business you are going into. You need to give a general description of the industry your business belongs to. You will write about your company’s mission statement, goals and objectives, business philosophy, as well as its legal form of ownership (sole proprietor, corporation, LLC, etc.).

Describe your most important company strengths and core competencies. What factors will make the company succeed? What do you think your major competitive strengths will be? What background, experience, skills, and strengths do you personally bring to this new venture?

3. Marketing Analysis/Strategy: The next thing to write (after the general description) should be your marketing strategy. For new or existing businesses, market analysis is an important basis for the marketing plan and will help justify the sales forecast. Existing businesses will rely heavily on past performance as an indicator of the future. New businesses have a greater challenge – they will rely more on market research using libraries, trade associations, government statistics, surveys, competitor observations, etc. In all cases, make sure your market analysis is relevant to establishing the viability of your new business and the reasonableness of the sales forecast.

4. Location: Writing down the location of your business is very important. Locations with greater customer traffic usually cost more to buy or rent, but they require less spending for advertising to attract customers. This is especially true of retail businesses where traffic count and accessibility are critical.

If an online business, you need to go into detail how you will attract customers to your website. General statements like “I will use Face Book ads and email marketing” will contribute almost nothing to helping your cause unless you have detailed statistical analysis of tests you have conducted or of another similar business you have been associated with. If you do not have any data upon which you reference your estimates, it could show lack of proper thought to the remainder of your business plan.

5. Competitive Analysis: Business by nature is competitive, and few businesses are completely new. If there are no competitors, be careful; there may be no market for your products. Expand your concept of competition. If you plan to open the first roller skating rink in town, your competition will include movie theaters, malls, bowling alleys, etc.

6. Management and Operations: Because management problems are the leading cause of business failures, it is important to discuss management qualifications and structure. Resumes of the Principals should be included in supporting data. If your business will have few employees and rely heavily on outside professionals, list these key people and their qualifications. If you are seeking financing, include personal financial statements for all of the principals in the supporting data section.

7. Personnel: The success of any company depends on their ability to recruit, train and retain quality employees. The amount of emphasis in your plan for this section will depend on the number and type of employees required.

8. Projected Financial Statements: These statements are usually helpful, but not necessary. You will develop and describe your strategies for the business throughout your Business Plan. In the financial section, you will need to estimate the financial impact of those strategies by developing projected Income Statements, Balance Sheets, and Cash Flow Statements.

It is usually recommended that these projected statements be on a monthly basis for at least the first twelve months or until the business is projected to be profitable and stable. Activity displayed beyond the monthly detail may be in summary form (such as quarterly or annually). The forecast period for most business plans is two to four years.

9. Summary Section: This section is where you will be able to attach or explain any detail not applicable to the previous sections. This section should be used to provide the financial statements of the Principle’s involved in the business and any other data you think an investor would be interested in seeing.

The main thing to remember in this section is not to provide new data, but to explain in detail data that has already been provided and to provide the support for that data.

When you sit down to compile all of the elements of your business plan, make sure you have each section able to stand on its own merits. This means you should not reference other sections sending the reader (your potential investor) back and forth between sections.

Do not try to write your business plan in one sitting. As I mentioned in the beginning, for a traditional brick and mortar business, it could take in excess of 100 hours to compile all of the information needed into a comprehensive but yet understandable document. For online businesses, probably not that long. But your final product should be well thought out, well documented and easily understandable.

Are You Stuck in the Day-To-Day Operations of Your Business?

Business Operations is the compilation of all the activities carried out inside a company that keep it running and generating revenue.

In standard business plans, the operations section is dedicated to helping business owners understand what systems, tools, people, and processes will be needed for the company business model to function.

A few examples of business operations:

  • Creating and maintaining key systems needed to run a business, including customer service, billing, communications, marketing, deliver, and backup
  • Creation of processes, tools, and players for key systems within the business
  • Management of systems that control access and login information
  • Establishing decision-making guidelines for team members
  • Creation and maintenance of your Standard Operating & Procedures (SOP) guide
  • Setting up effective backup systems to control company information
  • Creation and management of systems that process payments
  • Implementation of business tools and software to manage multiple systems
  • Managing the process of delivering products and services to customers

The operations area is a constant segment of your business and requires daily attention.And this where most women business owners get stuck!

In the beginning stages of your business, it was just you. Just you making all the daily decisions and executing the many tasks that must be performed each day to accomplish goals and strengthen your business model.

As your business model proved successful, the endless task list began to increase exponentially. Business decisions and responsibilities increased. Quiet, creative, and productive time to focus on growing the business was more and more limited and many times downright non-existent.

As women in business, we must stay focused on those areas of business that ONLY we can do – everything else must be delegated to a team!

The Visionary and CEO role in the business at this level needs to stay focused on very high-level leverage tasks that will grow your business, such as:

  • Big Picture Vision
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Delivery of Services
  • Content Creation
  • Creating New Products
  • Partnerships
  • New Sources of Traffic

Everything else you need to get off your plate – much of this lies in the day-to-day operations of your business.If your business has reached six figures, hold on to your seat belt because your company has taken on a life of its own.

And this is the point where you are most likely feeling that you’ve hit a ceiling and are even feeling a bit burned out. You may not see how you will be able to grow past the current challenges.

Bad news… good news…

You won’t be able to break that ceiling when you are the only one in charge of everything. The good news is that it does not have to stay that way.

A seasoned online business manager is the perfect second-in-command to pull you out of the day-to-day operations and marketing management of the business. You’ll have the time, energy, and focus you need to work on those high-level leverage tasks that will grow the business.

You can’t possibly expect to grow if you don’t position someone else in your business to be your “Mini-Me” – to take the day-to-day operations and management of business off your plate with the support of a team. Your business is now bigger than you are, and in order for it to continue to grow, you must have your operations running smoothly and cost effectively.

Isn’t it time that you are LIFTED out of the day-to-day activities so you can work ON your business instead of IN it?


Brenda Violette is Founder and CEO of Violette Business Services, a business management company that partners with entrepreneurial woman who have built a multiple six-figure online business and are stuck in their ability to create new revenue with them being the only one in charge of everything! They struggle and lose traction as they are buried in the “DOING” of the business.

Being a seasoned woman business owner herself, Brenda understands the struggles of other women trying to build a viable online business, balance work and a personal life, and contribute to the world through the business.

US Auto Insurance Quotes

This is not only frustrating, but can cause a lot of headaches and stresses to add to the normal stress you already have to deal with. There are certain companies and agencies that do not provide coverage willingly. Therefore when you call up different insurance brokers and get different US auto insurance quotes you can do a little background information on the insurance companies to see how much of a headache it will be to get the cash you need.

Many sites on the Internet are devoted to listing and providing US auto insurance quotes all over the nation. There are websites that will be solely devoted to one state and others that give US auto insurance quotes no matter what state you live in. The state you live in does have a bearing on how much your US auto insurance quotes are going to be. Some states have higher auto insurance rates than other states; others are lower when compared to other states. However, auto insurance rates are always changing. If you are looking to find auto insurance for your car, you will have to find out what the going rates are.

Some people think that US auto insurance quotes are determined and set by state regulations and their policies. Statements such as that are not truthful and as such each state sets their own regulations and policies vary from state to state and will affect the overall price of auto insurance in each state, the US auto insurance quotes you receive are by no means set. If you call up different insurance brokers, you will receive different quotes. The range will vary from broker to broker. Choosing the cheapest quote will not necessarily give you the best deal on coverage. If you find a very cheap US auto insurance quote, it may not mean that you will receive quality coverage. The cheap price you are quoted may simply be because when you are in need of that money a lot of red tape will make getting that money a great hassle or near impossible. Don’t settle on a company’s US auto insurance quotes just because it is the cheapest. It is important to do some background checks to find a reliable insurance broker.

There are reliable sites online that can help you find reliable insurance brokers. Your state should have its Website, which will detail rules and policies of your state as well as offer the numbers of reliable insurance brokers. Call up these insurance brokers and get yourself US auto insurance quotes from these different dealers. By signing with a reliable company, you will be able to get, good coverage and can drive your car with confidence. It is important to be protected with auto insurance. In fact, you are not allowed to drive without auto insurance. Therefore, do your work to find cheap as well as reliable auto insurance.

Make sure that when you are looking for US auto insurance quotes, look for your particular state’s policies and regulations as this will dictate what type of quote you could receive.

Technology Transfer Case Study – Pathfinders for Independent Living, Inc.

Pathfinders for Independent Living, Inc., a nonprofit organization, was founded after the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA.) Pathfinders provides information and assistance to elderly and disabled individuals and their caregivers on how to live as independently as possible. Its core value is to Promote Self-Reliance. The culture within Pathfinders is one of friendly support. Pathfinders’ IT leadership proposed a project to design and build a network infrastructure that would provide security for sensitive data, data storage, Internet access, email access, updated applications and hardware, and user training. Changing the environment would affect the organizational structure and culture of Pathfinders. This paper discusses the organizational changes that occurred due a change in technology.

Technology Transfer

Technology transfer describes activities that have the aim of establishing measurable process improvement through the adoption of new practices. Assistive technology reduces the gap experienced by disabled and elderly individuals in accomplishing daily activities. Some of these technologies are text telephones, Braille computer monitors, infrared pointing devices, artificial limbs, and assistive software. Introducing and encouraging the use of these technologies and many others to Pathfinders’ consumers, is a responsibility of the independent living specialists.

The independent living specialists assist the consumers in identifying the assistive technologies needed, applying for funding to purchase the technologies, and educating the public on the various technologies available. However to provide its services to its consumers, Pathfinders had to adapt to current information technologies.

A Strategy for Technology Transfer

Recognizing the relationship between technology transfer and process improvement is fundamental to Pathfinders’ approach to change. Technology cannot be changed without some impact on the process or personnel that use the technology, be it an increase in productivity, a reduction in cost, or a fundamental change in method. A number of key issues had to be addressed for the technology to be successfully transferred. These are divided into several categories; technology issues, process changes, and changes in culture.

Technology Issues

Pathfinders would join the Information Age by installing, new computers, file servers, network printers, a local area network (LAN), and Internet access. The installation process required preparing the PCs before delivering them to Pathfinders, then a visit to the office site to build the network and deploy the equipment. The PCs were standardized on Microsoft applications. Following the installation of the network, etc., training on the use of the software was provided. With the installation of the infrastructure complete, each independent living specialist and the executive director had a personal computer, email, and Internet access.

Designing and building a training center provided the opportunity for anyone to come in and learn more about computers and office application software. Pathfinders provided some basic training courses. Additionally, computer books were available for use with the computers to learn how to use the programs. Access to the Internet was provided. Funding was allocated through federal funds to support the changes in technology.

Process Changes

Before the technology changes, there were only two stand-alone PCs available for use by the staff, these PCs were very old, running DOS applications. Employees were forced to share the PCs or use typewriters to complete correspondence. Data was maintained on floppy disks and hardcopy. Access to the Internet for research was accomplished by going to the local library, which consumed valuable resources of time and personnel. Deploying the new infrastructure significantly changed the way the employees worked. The changes in infrastructure gave real-time access to the Internet, consumer data, and improved data security.

Changes in Culture

Prior to the deployment of technology, the employees were equal in their knowledge of using the available tools at Pathfinders. With the delivery of their network, a fundamental change occurred within the employee dynamics. An atmosphere of resentment developed due to an imbalance of knowledge and workload. Some of the employees went out of their way to grasp the advancement in technology thereby, improving themselves and their work processes. They pursued the educational opportunities offered to them by Pathfinders and enhanced their knowledge of computer applications. Productivity for these individuals increased, causing an increase in satisfaction by Pathfinders’ consumers.

Conversely, there was a minority of employees, who took a stance in not excepting these changes. These individuals spent much of their time complaining that they could not do the work using the tools provided, or repeatedly requested help from the employees that understood the technology. Defense mechanisms were employed to justify their reactions to the new technology. These employees viewed the technology change as a threat and wanted nothing to do with improving their computing skills or their work environment. However, as training and practice in using the improvements to the technology progressed, acceptance began to increase and resistance began to decrease. Change is difficult in all organizations but to stay in business Pathfinders was forced to change with the times.

Pathfinders operations depend heavily on federal grant money. Each year Pathfinders must forecast how that money will be spent and report that the goals of the previous year have been met. The Federal reporting system began as a hardcopy report that evolved to an online reporting system. Without the changes in technology, Pathfinders would find it difficult to apply for Federal grant money or report its disbursement.


Careful consideration was employed to determine if a change in IT infrastructure was warranted within the Pathfinders organization. Potential obstacles were identified and anticipated. One of those obstacles was the affect that a change in technology would have on the organizational culture of Pathfinders verses the improvement in customer service. Pathfinders identified that resistance to change and fear played a role in the effectiveness of the change. Additionally, Pathfinders identified that as the staff moved along the learning curve, acceptance of the technology increased and fear of the technology decreased.

Stacy A. Marple is an IT management professional with 27 years of varied industry experience. She is a doctoral candidate with the University of Phoenix and maintains certifications in project management and IT best practices. Ms. Marple teaches project management professional (PMP) and MS Project courses for MircoTrain Technologies.

Wedding Day Accessories Shopping Timeline

For women who haven’t sat down to think about this yet, there is definitely a timeline for wedding accessories shopping. Although most of you know what the dress timeline is, you may not be aware of the accessories timeline. Yes, the dress should be done at least 6 months before the wedding, if not more or you will pay a rush fee to get it tailored and delivered. But, what about the accessories? What about the wedding hair accessories and everything else? What is the timeline and when do you have to make sure you have them by? Well, here is a guide to when you need to purchase your items by:

Wedding Hair Accessories: The clips and combs for your hair will need to be purchase 2 months before the wedding. This is mostly because you will want to take those things with you to your hair trial appointment so that you can figure out the best way to wear them. Also, since you will need to have some idea of what you want to do with your hair before purchasing them, you can opt for 2 hair trials, so you can buy the accessory in between, but this is sometimes pretty stressful. Therefore, I recommend buying it beforehand and then seeing how it can work with your hair. Or, buy more than 1 and sell the one you don’t use on eBay.

Undergarments: Although you may not think this is important, what you wear underneath will help you feel good about yourself all day. Just think – if you are wearing granny panties, will you feel sexy? Or, if you are wearing a turquoise blue lacy underwear set, how will you feel then? The underwear is fun because it is for you. The bra on the otherhand is most important to match with the dress. Ideal timing for finishing purchasing these is 3 months before during dress alterations for your bra and 1 month before for your underwear. This gives you enough time to find the right items.

Wedding shoes: If you are shopping for your wedding high heels then give yourself at least 2 months. Also, you will need the shoes for the alterations which means you will need them at least 3 months before. Finally, consider buying wedding flip flops to switch into and make sure you have those at least 2 weeks before.

2009 Wedding Updos – Choosing Your Hairstyle

The 2009 wedding season is here full of fresh ideas for wedding locations, dresses, cakes and hairstyles. Most brides look to create a wedding that follows a cohesive theme. That means the dress, the hair and the accessories all work together to create the most memorable of elements for the wedding – you!

Below is some advice for choosing the best wedding hairstyle this year.

There are many options for wedding hairstyles. The first step in creating a beautiful look is finding a hairstylist that you trust to do wonderful work. If you have a stylist in mind, talk to them about wedding hairstyles you have seen and liked. Your hairstylist will be able to explain what may or may not work best for you as well as let you in on some of the best 2009 wedding updos.

Make sure to work practice hairstyle sessions in as you lead up to your wedding day. This way you will have a chance to see a couple of updo and other options. You will also be able to test the hairstyle with your veil and be able to wear it for a day to make sure it will last through the ceremony and reception.

The best 2009 wedding updos are easy to find this time of year. Flip through a few of the latest hairstyle and bridal magazines. The latest runway and fashion show photographs will also give a little insight on what’s hot for 2009. The hairstyle you choose doesn’t have to be a traditional wedding updo if that is not what you are going for. It should reflect your taste and the style of the wedding.

Right now, 2009 wedding updos are utilizing beautiful hair accessories to add dimension and artistry to the hairstyle. 2009 trends are marked with intricate yet delicate hair accessories which combine metalwork, embroidery, and crystals shaped into flowers, hearts, as well as more modern designs. Take a look at Karl Lagerfeld’s last runway show to see how these are being used with fabulous results.

For those brides with long hair, updos can be twisted around the head, with a slight messiness much like typical Grecian hairstyles. This is both sexy and romantic. Most 2009 wedding hair trends are foregoing the tighter, put together styles for more feminine and whimsical designs Think ‘soft’,’pretty’,’romantic’,’tousled’,and ‘feminine’ as you look for a wedding hairstyle this year.

If you have short hair, don’t worry about paying for extensions for your wedding. Maintain a real look and go for adding a hair accessory, tiara or a beautiful veil to make your hair look different for your wedding without being over the top.

Have long hair, but don’t want to wear it in an updo? The hottest 2009 wedding hairstyles for the long-tressed are big volume, large barrel curls that have a very natural look. This can be done by a stylist with heated rollers or a large barrel curling iron. A good stylist will know what to put on the hair to ensure it maintains the curls and volume throughout the day.

The hair is a big part of the bride on their wedding day. Take some time to think about the style you want, that will look best on you and will make you feel like the beautiful woman you are.

Environmental Technology

During this century, technology has its top place since people always try to seek for better technology support for their lives. Technology has been used to make the life of people become simpler and easier. Time, money and efforts have been devoted to invent new and higher level of technology. This technology enables people to do lots of outstanding achievement such as flying to the moon and discovering new star on the sky. However, there are two different opinions about technology. One side says that technology is the best tool to create simpler and easier lives while another side says that technology is harmful for the environment. In fact, those two different opinions are just to be true. Technology can be helpful but harmful at the other side.

As an answer of these two different opinions, there is a huge need of green technology or environmental technology. Green technology here means technology which is able to conserve natural environment and resources. Green technology makes people’s lives simpler and easier without providing harmful effect to the people and their surrounding environment. Green technology helps to reduce the effect of prior technology that has made the environment damaged or destructed. This technology repairs the damaged part of nature. Green technology also helps people to maintain and preserve the environment such as purifying water needed in rural areas. Moreover, green technology is also meaningful to absorb the chemical toxic in the air which results in better air for people.

Knowing the facts that green technology is very helpful for people’s life, individuals and companies have sought many ways to use this technology wisely. The problem about energy which is limited has always become the problem of every person in every year. Therefore, people now think that green technology [http://www.letmegreen.com/category/green-office] will help people reducing the consumption of energy itself so that they can be economical on energy consumption. Most companies seek for this kind of technology in order to minimize the budget spent for technology and also to provide better working environment for the workers. This will help the company a lot to be sustainable in this global financial crisis. That is why the companies and individuals try to find best application that can reduce the energy consumption. The use of green technology is believed as the best and only way to overcome energy crisis lately. It is also provides simpler application. Now, it is your own choice whether you want to take the complex and difficult technology or green technology which is proven to be less energy consumption.

Hot Tips for Low Cost Auto Insurance

Do you want low cost insurance?

If you are paying more than $5,000 per year for auto insurance, here are some things you need to consider. Low cost auto insurance companies have been known to charge this amount and higher car insurance. What can you do to acquire low cost auto insurance? You may be able to lower your cost by a considerable amount of money with some helpful hints.

The first method to getting low auto insurance cost is to get rate quotes from several different insurance carriers. There are many types of insurers out there, so you should consider the type of company as well. There are low cost auto insurance companies that sell online exclusively. There are those that sell only through outside agents. There are low cost insurance companies that sell only their own products.

Shop and compare each type of low cost auto insurance carrier to ensure you are getting the low cost auto insurance you deserve. Remember, you can always call your state’s insurance department, who maintains information on major low cost insurance companies. Utilizing all of the resources available to you will help you obtain low cost auto insurance.

Another way of procuring low cost auto insurance is to know the cost of the insurance of you next car. Car insurance cost is based, among other things, on what your car is worth and what the repair costs will add up to. Low cost auto insurance companies maintain a list of the most frequently stolen cars. If your prospective car appears on this list, be ready to pay higher premiums. Investigate which cars have the best safety ratings and the lowest repair costs. Lower car repair costs often equal low cost auto insurance.

Higher deductibles are another way of getting low cost auto insurance. When you increase your deductibles, you lower your premiums by as much as 15 to 30 percent. Call your low cost insurance agent or check online to see what kind of impact changing your deductible will have on low cost auto insurance. For example, if your existing deductible is four hundred dollars, see what would happen if you raise it to six hundred dollars, or even eight hundred dollars.

Low cost auto insurance method four is to know the value of your car. You can call your auto loan provider for this information, or you can look your car up in the Kelly Blue Book. If your car is older, consider reducing the coverage. You may not need collision if your car’s replacement value is less than the insurance premium.

Low auto insurance method five is to buy all of your insurance from the same company. In other words, get your home insurance, auto insurance, flood, and fire from your low cost auto insurance carrier.

There are even some insurers that give low cost auto insurance discounts to customers that have been with them for quite a few years.with in a timely manner.

5 Easy Steps to Retaining Women to Trades, Science and Technology Classrooms

Step One: Bridge the Technology Divide

The reality is that overall women tend to have less experience with technology than their male counterparts, whether we are talking about computer technology or auto technology. Instructors who are successful in retaining female students recognize that they need to start with the basics during the beginning of the semester so that the less experienced students get the basic building blocks needed to be successful (this is helpful to male students missing those basics too). So that might mean an introduction to tool identification and use or the basics of navigating the Internet. Instructors should also provide open lab time for students in need of additional hands-on experience. If possible, staff the lab with a senior female student, women are often more comfortable asking questions of other women in a male-dominated field. For some best practice case study examples that illustrate these concepts look at the Cisco Gender Initiative’s Best Practice Case Studies developed by the Institute for Women in Trades, Technology and Science (IWITTS) (1).

Step Two: Collaborative Learning in the Technology Classroom

Many female students lack confidence in the classroom and this negatively impacts their learning ability. There are several reasons for this: first, overall, male students have more experience with technology, especially hands-on labs; second, male students tend to boast of their accomplishments while females tend to think that they are doing poorly even when they are doing well; third, male students tend to dominate in classroom discussions and lab activities.

Technology instructors can overcome these factors by using collaborative group methods in the classroom designed to increase student learning, interaction and support of each other. Some examples of these group methods are: 1) grade students in teams as well as individually; 2) put female students in positions of leadership in the classroom; 3) assign students to teams or pairs rather than leaving it up to them to pick their partners; 4) have female students work together in labs during the beginning of the semester; 5) enlist the help of whiz kids with the teaching of their fellow students, providing them with a constructive outlet for their talents.

Step Three: Contextual Learning

The recent adage that women are from Mars and men are from Venus is alive and well in the technology classroom — women and men have different learning styles when it comes to technology. Most men are excited by the technology itself — how fast it is, the number of gigabytes, the size of the engine. Most women are engaged by how the technology will be used — how quickly the network will run, how much information can be stored, how far the vehicle can go without refueling. These Mars and Venus differences have implications for the class curriculum: female students will better understand technical concepts in the classroom when they understand the context for them. Don’t front load your computer programming classes with writing computer code with no context for this if you want to retain most of your female students. For more information on this subject including off-the-shelf curriculums for teaching contextual technology read IWITTS’s Making Math and Technology Courses User Friendly to Women and Minorities: An Annotated Bibliography (2).

Step Four: The Math Factor

Most technology courses require an understanding of applied math. Many women and girls are fearful of math and have had negative experiences in the math classroom. This phenomenon is so common that courses and curriculum on math anxiety for women are in place around the country. The key to success in teaching most females math is — like technology — contextual and group learning. Fortunately many off-the-shelf curriculums exist for teaching math contextually, see IWITTS’s bibliography linked above. Many technology courses at the two-year college level have math prerequisites that are unrelated to the technology coursework and omit the applied math that will be needed. Technology courses should only require math that is relevant to their courses and/or develop contextual math modules to add to their curriculum.

Step Five: Connect the Women in Your Classes with Other Women

A female mentor or peer support network can help your students stay the course when they are feeling discouraged and can provide helpful tips for succeeding in a predominantly male environment. There are many on-line and real-time associations for women in technology, connect your female students to them. See the Career Links on WomenTechWorld.org for a list of some of these networks. Also, WomenTechTalk on WomenTechWorld.org — a free listserv for women in technology and students — provides a combination of support and expert career panels to it’s over 200 members from across the U.S.

Donna Milgram is founder and Executive Director of the National Institute for Women in Trades, Technology & Science (IWITTS). She is currently the Principal Investigator of the CalWomenTech Project, a $2 million National Science Foundation grant awarded in April 2006. She was also the Principal Investigator of the WomenTech Project, funded by the National Science Foundation, which had a goal of increasing the number of women enrolled and retained in technology education in three national community college demonstration sites. She led IWITTS’s partnership with the Cisco Learning Institute (CLI)/Cisco Gender Initiative. Ms. Milgram produced the interactive teacher training video “School-to-Work: Preparing Young Women for High Skill, High Wage Careers.” Ms. Milgram’s recent conference presentations include: the NSF ATE Conference “Recruiting Women to Science, Technology, Engineering & Math” (2004) and California Educating for Careers Conference in 2003.