The Best Creative Ways to Propose

Marriage proposals made over a romantic dinner at an elegant restaurant can be very romantic but they are not necessarily creative. Many women dream about the day that the man of their dreams proposes to them and hope that the day will be absolutely perfect in every way imaginable. In a recent study the majority of married women reported that they believe that their spouse spent a significant amount of money on their wedding proposal but that the lack of originality in the proposal had left the women feeling disappointed.

One creative way to propose for a couple involved in a long distance relationship is to plan a surprise visit and set up a scavenger hunt. You could have a friend pick you up from the airport so that your girlfriend doesn't know that you are coming to visit and have the friend give your girlfriend instructions for the scavenger hunt. You could hide a number of small surprises such as candy, flowers and a CD as the first few stops on the scavenger hunt and then hide at the final location poised to propose when your girlfriend completes the game.

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An outdoor enthusiast might appreciate a creative proposal during a camping trip. It's a good idea to plan a quiet trip for just you and your girlfriend at a picturesque location. You could hide the ring in your sleeping bag to use in a surprise proposal. When it's time to go to sleep after a long day of hiking and fishing, you could complain that there must be a rock or something underneath you and then pull out the ring and make your proposal. This creative proposal also contains the element of surprise as a camping trip is not a usual proposal location.

Another creative proposal idea is to place an ad in a local newspaper. You could place an outrageous ad in a newspaper asking anyone who was willing to get married to give you a call and include a fictitious phone number. Then when you and your girlfriend are reading the paper together, you could point out the ad as a joke and while she is reading the ad, seize the opportunity to pull out the engagement ring and let her know that you would love to marry her.

Proposing at a sporting event is a creative way to propose to a sports fan. For this proposal idea you could either arrange to have your proposal broadcast over the public address system or displayed on the large screen. If you are really adventurous, you could also contact the team's public relations department and try to make arrangements to make your proposal on the field at halftime. They might be willing to help you stage a scenario where you are either chosen to win a prize or participate in a contest and while you are on the field, they would hand over the microphone to allow you to make your proposal.

Another creative marriage proposal idea is to purchase a book of poems and leave the first few pages intact and carve a heart into the remaining pages and sew the engagement ring to the back of the book. You could suggest taking turns reading the poems on each page and plan to have your girlfriend turn the final complete page to reveal the heart and ring that were hidden inside. This proposal idea is not only creative but also incredibly romantic.

Having the DJ of your girlfriend's favorite radio program ask her if she will marry you is another creative proposal idea. You will want to make sure that you are aware of the exact time that the DJ will be sending your message so that you are able to ensure that you and your girlfriend are listening together when he makes the announcement. You could also arrange to have the DJ play a song that has a special meaning for you as a couple so that you can enjoy a dance together after she accepts your creative proposal.

Another creative way to propose is to include all of your family and friends in the event by inviting them all to a surprise party for your girlfriend. To make this proposal work, you would either convince your girlfriend that you want to have a quiet dinner at home or at a restaurant with just the two of you. Once you arrive at the destination all of the guests will reveal themselves and while all eyes are on the two of you, you could take the opportunity to profess your love and propose.

Still another creative way to propose is to hide the ring in an unexpected location. For example you could pretend to have a clogged sink and while you are working to fix the clog, you could reach into the sink and pull out the engagement ring. When your girlfriend is nearby, you could seize the opportunity to pull out the ring you had hidden earlier and say something to the effect of, "No wonder the sink is clogged, I'll have to find another place to store this ring, how about your finger?" This whimsical proposal is both light-hearted and creative.

A variation on the traditional proposal at an elegant restaurant could be to have the waiter bring out the ring with the bill. You could have a little good natured fun with your girlfriend by going out of your way to drop hints that you would be proposing over dinner. If you keep up the act, she will be expecting your proposal with each course. After dessert you could tell her that you have something very important to ask and as she eagerly awaits your proposal, you could ask an inconsequential question about something completely irrelevant to your relationship. She will probably be furious at this point but her anger won't last as the waiter arrives with the bill and the engagement ring and you let her know how much she means to you.

Finally a creative proposal idea is for the woman to ask the man to marry her, instead of waiting for him to propose. Many women anxiously await the day that the man in their life will propose but why not add your own creative twist by proposing to him instead. The woman is free to propose in any way that she finds truly romantic and can ensure that the proposal is both creative and romantic and that it's a moment that they both will remember for the rest of their lives.

A great marriage proposal doesn't have to be expensive or extravagant. Many women are more likely to cherish the memories of a proposal that was inexpensive but truly creative. The creativity is what makes the proposal so memorable and what makes it a great story to tell their friends.

The Best Creative Ways to Propose


Masni Rizal Mansor is the publisher for My Wedding Dresses [http://www.mywedding-dresses.com]. Get the best discount wedding dresses [http://www.mywedding-dresses.com] and cheap wedding invitation card

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How to Write Lyrics For a Song

There are many ways to write good lyrics to a song (or a poem). This article will present some different ideas, hopefully to help you consider some new avenues for your songwriting that you may not have thought of before.

When you look at successful song lyrics, in order to sound original, they tend to avoid trite phrases and often embrace tension, dissonance, or unexpected directions. The following are some strategies to consider for writing your own song lyrics:

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Wordplay.

Some songs are distinct because they contain plays on words. For example:

  • "You are my greatest mistake." (Sheryl Crow)

  • "The only thing that looks good on me is you." (Bryan Adams)

Mysterious.

Some songs seem compelling because of ambiguity (what does the singer actually mean?) or what the songs leave out. It leaves a person guessing. For example:

  • "I would do anything for love, but I won't do that..." (Meatloaf)

  • "Because the night"

  • "Don't call me daughter, not fair to me." (Pearl Jam)


Unexpected phrasing.

Surprising people with a phrase that is totally unexpected can deliver a big effect. For example:

  • "I may not always love you..." in God Only Knows


Story.

Some songs tell a story or a tale of some interesting experience or encounter.


  • "A long, long time ago..." in Don McLean's American Pie

  • "The Story of my Life" by Deana Carter


Question.

Many songs pose questions, some of which may not have answers. For example,

  • "Why do birds suddenly appear?" by the Carpenters

  • "What's my name?", "Who wants to know?", "Who am I?"


Repetition.

Many songs use a repeated word or phrase. For instance, count the number of repeated words in the following songs:

  • "I Believe" by Blessid Union of Souls

  • "Every Breath You Take" by the Police

Cinematic.

Some songs have lurid, descriptive words that paint a scene:

  • "The screen door slams; Mary's dress waves...'

  • "I see Maryanne walking away..."


Avoid cliches.. Unless you can add a new twist!

You should steer clear of the following cliches, unless you can add an unexpected, refreshing twist to them:

  • heartbeat like a drum

  • all night long

  • you are my fire.. desire

  • stood in the rain.. pain.. insane

  • cold as ice

  • fire in your eyes

  • catch me when I fall


Other Ideas.

There are endless other ways to write a good song lyric. Some approaches that have worked for others:

  • Geography (e.g. songs like California Dreamin, Kansas City, Living in America, Carolina on my Mind)

  • Names (e.g. "Amanda", "Eileen", "Mandy", "Virginia", and countless others)
  • Telephone numbers and letters
  • (e.g. songs like "Jenny", "I Just Called to Say I Love You")
  • Memories and time (songs centered around past, present, or future, e.g. "In my Life", "Summer Holiday", "Rock Around the Clock", "Monday Monday", etc.)


What's Important to You?

Another idea is to consider the themes that are important in your own life (what you have passion about, whether it's the environment, religion, politics, a hobby) and to write songs related to those themes. Sometimes a heartfelt song can be the best ones.

Remember to have fun!

How to Write Lyrics For a Song


A funny site, Funny-Stories.net contains other creative ideas and funny stories.

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How to Make a Really Creative Shoebox Diorama

A shoebox diorama can be much more than just a miniature scene. It can be a creative display that people are really amazed by. Here are some creative tips and hints on how to make your shoebox diorama really special.

Select A Unique Housing for your Diorama

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When making a shoebox diorama the very first thing you should do is think outside the box! I mean this literally in that you really don't have to use a shoebox to make your shoebox diorama. You can use any number of interesting containers to make a really unique diorama housing. But I recommend you take this thinking to a second step and use something that adds a level of meaning to your diorama.

For example, if you are going to make a diorama about coffee plantations you might want to use a big coffee can as the actual diorama housing. This adds a level of uniqueness that also adds meaning to your diorama. It gives people something to talk about. Think about what your diorama is going to be about and then look around for housing ideas. Another good example of this would be an ocean diorama. This is a very popular theme for a diorama and I made a diorama by hollowing out a Styrofoam lobster trap buoy. It looks really nice and gives the whole diorama a very nautical feeling. Of course if you are going to make a diorama of a shoe store or a shoe factory then a shoebox is perfect!

Tell A Story or Capture a Moment in Time

One of the best things about a diorama is that they can not only show a scene but they can tell a story by capturing a single moment in time. A good example of this is if you want to build a medieval diorama with a castle you could put a dragon and a knight in battle. If you are making an ocean diorama you could capture the moment just before a big fish is about to gobble up a little fish. This tells a story. There is an event frozen in time and it gives your audience something to think about and questions to ask. What is happening in this diorama? What is going to happen next?

Explain something with the structure of the diorama

This is a little bit harder to do but can be the most rewarding aspect of diorama making. Think about how the structure or materials of the diorama can be used to explain the story or point you are trying to make. A good example of this would be a rainforest diorama. The rainforest has five layers from the over canopy to the ground layer. You could build your diorama in five different layers. This way the actual structure of the diorama helps to make the point of how the actual rainforest is.

A shoebox diorama can be a beautiful little facsimile of the real world and there are lots of ways to make it creative and special. All you have to do is think outside the shoebox!

How to Make a Really Creative Shoebox Diorama


For More interesting diorama project visit the authors website at: Have Fun Making Creative Dioramas

For other fun, creative and interesting projects including how to make a catapult, a trebuchet, a terrarium and even a video game visit his site at:

StormTheCastle.com – Creativity with an Edge

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Organizational Structure, Creativity, Innovation

Organizational structure can inhibit or foster creativity and innovation. The problem with organizational structure though, is that it is resultant of many factors, including history, organic growth, strategy, operational design, product diversity, logistics, marketing, client base, supplier base and so forth. Therefore, what managers need, are not recipes for complete structural change, but insights into the properties of fostering structures that can be adapted into the existing structure.

To start, it is useful to analyse the preferred structures against the not so preferred. There are many definitions of types of organizational structure, but one example is:

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a) Mechanistic structures (generally not preferred) - includes centralised control and authority, clearly defined tasks, vertical communication links, obedience to supervisors, rigidity and inflexibility.

b) Organic structures (generally preferred) - decentralisation of authority, tasks loosely defined, horizontal communications, greater individual authority, flexible, adaptable.

Experience shows that the above can be misleading. For example, flat organisations are generally preferred and hierarchical ones not preferred, however, even flat organisations are in reality hierarchical.

Importantly, if we have a mechanistic structure, what factors allow us to move in the right direction without wholesale change?

Some answers include:

a) Direct communication links to decision makers.

b) Communication and information flow between departments.

c) Tangible progression of ideas from problem to solution, product development to commercialisation.

d) Creative teams working outside but linked into the organization, whose culture, processes etc diffuse into the existing structure.

These and other topics are covered in depth in the MBA dissertation on Managing Creativity & Innovation, which can be purchased (along with a Creativity and Innovation DIY Audit, Good Idea Generator Software and Power Point Presentation) from http://www.managing-creativity.com

Kal Bishop, MBA

**********************************

You are free to reproduce this article as long as no changes are made and the author's name and site URL are retained.

Please rate this article below.

Organizational Structure, Creativity, Innovation


Kal Bishop is a management consultant based in London, UK. He has consulted in the visual media and software industries and for clients such as Toshiba and Transport for London. He has led Improv, creativity and innovation workshops, exhibited artwork in San Francisco, Los Angeles and London and written a number of screenplays. He is a passionate traveller. He can be reached on http://www.managing-creativity.com.

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Beginning Interior Design

Beginning interior design is a challenging, exciting adventure that one must be willing to endure sacrifices and even at times costly mistakes in order to complete this learning successfully.

If interior design is an activity that you are thinking about as a potential career, you owe it to yourself to invest the proper amount of time and energy into educating yourself in the field of creative design. If you are interested in learning about creative design for other reasons, such as designing your own space or home, it is better that you focus your attention on the particular area of design that is pleasing to you.

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This being said, if you have the time and energy and would like to learn more about overall designing, then hey, go for it! You might become so good at it that it might be a potential career for you as well!

In any case, beginning interior design is not for the 'curious' entrepreneur who does not possess the patience to learn the essential elements and makeup of nicely formed design. It is instead, an employment that is mainly composed of educated, prestigious professionals who care greatly about their work and are passionate with their creativity.

A good starting point for beginning interior design is the object of much controversy in the industry. Many professionals moan and groan that there are too many ill-qualified persons out there representing themselves to the consumer as legitimate designers when they do not have a formal education in the subject.

I agree that many people represent themselves as having a grasp or an understanding of the field, while they are clearly incompetent. However, I do not agree that formal education shapes and molds the best designers. The best designers possess the ability to design before they are even able to understand the concept of interior design.

Beginning interior design for these candidates is basically giving them the tools to do what they naturally understand how to do already. These people are blessed with an internal sense of creative design. Beginning interior design to them is a natural process. These are the designers that seem to outperform and outshine all other designers.

If you feel as if you are not part of this group of gifted individuals and still have a yearning or driving force to learn about this growing industry, then beginning interior design is a very doable activity as long as you are open minded and dedicated to improving your knowledge and understanding of design.

Begin with the basics and propel yourself upwards on the journey to understanding the creative process.

A very bad reason for beginning interior design are money related motivations. I have heard countless people comment on their interest in interior design due to the income potential associated with the industry.

Remember, if you're not good at something, the likelihood of getting paid well to do it is not very high. The higher salaries in this business are almost always associated with talented, well-established designers who have made interior design their life's work. Talent and knowledge are keys to success in any industry and one should apply these rules when considering interior design as an income earning activity.

Interior designers come in many forms, backgrounds, and experience levels. Hard work, dedication, and creativity are values that you will find in any successful interior designer. Keep this in mind when beginning interior design work of any kind and it will aid in your ability. Work of any kind is exactly as described...work. Finding something that you enjoy and love to do is what makes work rewarding.

Beginning Interior Design


Rosemary Leake is an Independent Consultant with Southern Living at Home. Inspired by Southern Living magazine, our exclusive home d├ęcor line brings warmth and style to every room of your home! Visit Rosemary's Interior Design website for more articles and resources - http://www.interiordesignprofits.com. Also get your FREE Mini-Report: "A Complete Guide To Interior Design."

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Using Unpromising Source Material To Build Powerful Creative Tools

One of the defining characteristics of creativity is its transformational power, the fact that glorious works of art can be created from the most unpromising and unlikely of materials. Those materials don't get more unlikely than the states of ignorance and disillusionment - two concepts that come ready packaged with strong negative associations. And yet, when treated with positive creativity, these states can both produce extremely powerful creative results. Want to know how to turn them around to your creative advantage?

Let's start with the phrase 'I don't know'. Admitting your ignorance can be such a hard thing to do. It's often easier to you pretend you do actually know, to save face, save extra research, save time, effort, discussion... And yet, when it comes down to it, being prepared to say 'I don't know' empowers you far more than pretending that you do.

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I'm not just talking about those situations where you don't know some piece of factual information, so you make something up and then worry about getting found out. Those situations often crop up when you're keen to impress, or to meet the expectations of others. (The boss at work in my own past experience!)

I'm talking about not knowing as a state of mind - a state of mind that springs from authenticity, honesty and openness. That makes it a powerful state to be in. And, of course, an extremely fertile state to create from.

Anything is possible when you don't know.

Think about it... when you believe you already know everything there is to know about something, what are your chances of learning more about it? Or learning more about yourself in relation to it? Or getting creative with it?

When you are open to not knowing, you are also open to learning and to growth. This is a way of creating space in your life and space for your creativity. It's certainly not always a quick fix... sometimes you have to say 'I don't know' for quite some time before the knowing arrives quietly, often via your gut or your heart, rather than your brain.

The combination of not knowing, plus having to wait 'til you do know, is rarely an easy place to rest. It's outside of your comfort zone.

But if you stop and think about where you were in relation to your comfort zone at some of the most important, creative and wonderful moments of your life, you'll probably find that you were outside of your comfort zone then too.

So I encourage you to think where, in your life, you can bask in not knowing and embrace the potential of that powerful state. Allow yourself a positive dose of ignorance and let the creativity flow.

And what about disillusionment? A word that usually conjures up feelings of disappointment and regret. Yet why would you want to live in a world of illusions? Would you not prefer to see and know things the way they truly are? To give yourself the opportunity to make up your own mind about them and choose your response to them appropriately?

I believe disillusionment is something to be celebrated. Something to value when that moment of truth arrives. Of course, it's not comfortable. Most often the moment of truth takes you into unfamiliar territory - an immediate leap out of your comfort zone. But, as we've already discovered, the really big, creative, exciting stuff always happens in that place outside of your comfort zone.

One of the ways to disillusion yourself, without needing anyone else to 'let you down', is to let go of some of your cherished dreams. I certainly don't mean that you should let go of the dreams and goals that motivate you - the ones that you're actively working towards now. But what about that list of ambitions and aspirations that, frankly, you've outgrown but which still eat at you?

These are frequently to do with personal definitions of success which don't apply any more. Actually they're often not even personal... they're measures of success which society has laid down and somewhere along the way you've accepted them as your own. Sometimes they're childhood dreams that aren't relevant now you're an adult. Perhaps you've simply found a new direction and the old dreams don't fit any more.

Whatever the story, these cherished, but never-to-be-acted-upon, dreams can take up a lot of your energy. How about thanking them and letting them go gently?

Don't go letting go of your imagination along with the illusions though please! Notice the difference between those unreal things that you believe are real (illusions), and the fantastic imaginings that fire your creativity. Get real AND get fabulous!!

Using Unpromising Source Material To Build Powerful Creative Tools


Mary McNeil of Create a Space is a professional, ICF-certified life coach, natural born planner and declutterer extraordinaire! She works with her clients on a variety of decluttering, success and creativity projects. Her 30-day e-course is jam-packed full with the knowledge and experience she's gained over years of one-to-one coaching with her clients on their clutter issues. Click the link now for your chance to Declutter Your Way To Creativity

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The Importance Of Reading

It is a well-known fact that when there were no televisions or computers, reading was a primary leisure activity. People would spend hours reading books and travel to lands far away-in their minds. The only tragedy is that, with time, people have lost their skill and passion to read. There are many other exciting and thrilling options available, aside from books. And that is a shame because reading offers a productive approach to improving vocabulary and word power. It is advisable to indulge in at least half an hour of reading a day to keep abreast of the various styles of writing and new vocabulary.

It is observed that children and teenagers who love reading have comparatively higher IQs. They are more creative and do better in school and college. It is recommended that parents to inculcate the importance of reading to their children in the early years. Reading is said to significantly help in developing vocabulary, and reading aloud helps to build a strong emotional bond between parents and children. The children who start reading from an early age are observed to have good language skills, and they grasp the variances in phonics much better.

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Reading helps in mental development and is known to stimulate the muscles of the eyes. Reading is an activity that involves greater levels of concentration and adds to the conversational skills of the reader. It is an indulgence that enhances the knowledge acquired, consistently. The habit of reading also helps readers to decipher new words and phrases that they come across in everyday conversations. The habit can become a healthy addiction and adds to the information available on various topics. It helps us to stay in-touch with contemporary writers as well as those from the days of yore and makes us sensitive to global issues.

The Importance Of Reading

Reading provides detailed information on Reading, Home Reading, Reading Glasses, Reading Comprehension and more. Reading is affiliated with Educational Games.

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Creative Communities - 7 Ways A Creative Community Can Boost Your Creativity Today

Do you often feel you're creating alone in a silent abyss?

Do you sometimes wonder if your creative work is like that riddle of the tree in the forest - "If a tree falls in a forest and there's no-one around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

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Applied this to your creative life and you may wonder - if I'm creating beautiful work but no-one's experiencing it and able to appreciate it, have I actually been creating at all??

There's no need to continue to feel this isolated. These days there are many opportunities to become a part of a thriving creative community and end these kind of doubts and fears.

Here are 7 of the top ways a creative community can support and boost your creativity to new levels:

1. You get to collaborate with others. Whatever amazing work you produce alone, there's something special about being part of a group project. Making your unique contribution to larger creative projects is a great way to bond with other creative people AND feel your work is making a difference.

2. You share the struggles of creating. There are times when we all find it hard to create. Knowing that other people are going through similar blocks and struggles, and learning how they get through them, gives a great boost and comfort.

3. You can share resources. Maybe there's a particular book, course or website that's helped you or someone else be more creative, or been the catalyst for a major creative breakthrough. In a creative community you can share these resources for the greater benefit of everyone.

4. You share and celebrate the joys of creating. Finishing a creative project then having no-one to share it with can put a serious dampener on your celebrations. Having a community where everyone can share and praise each other's creative achievements is a major incentive for all to be more creative.

5. You get to support others and make a difference to their creativity. A part of the creative life that's often overlooked is supporting other people in reaching their creative ambitions. Knowing you've made a real difference to someone's creativity is a unique and highly rewarding feeling.

6. You can challenge and motivate each other. Once you've been in a group a little while, people get to know you and what you're capable of. Gentle challenging and encouragement within a supportive environment leads you to raising your creative game to new levels.

7. You become inspired by other people's work. There's an almost infinite number of talented creative people out there. Seeing how others create and what they create day in day out can be tremendously inspiring in increasing your own creativity.

These are 7 of the best reasons why joining a creative group or creative community can enhance your creativity.

Creative Communities - 7 Ways A Creative Community Can Boost Your Creativity Today

I’d like to invite you to CoachCreativeSpace, a thriving interactive creative community space for you to learn how to be as creative as you've always known you can be.

You'll find Creative Forums, Groups, Artwork and Blogs to share in and contribute to, and supportive like minded creative people who are experiencing some of the same challenges and triumphs you are. Check it out now, at:

http://www.CoachCreativeSpace.com

From Creativity Coach Dan Goodwin - http://www.CoachCreative.com

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Kids Room Decorating Ideas - Creative, Fun, and Practical Decorating Ideas for Kids Rooms

These creative, fun, and practical kids room decorating ideas will help to create the perfect sanctuary for your youngster. When decorating kids bedrooms, you need to keep in mind that although the bedroom should be playful and fun to be in, your kid's bedroom also needs to nurture creativity, safety, self-esteem, and self-expression -- a tall order!

These ideas for decorating kids rooms are all you need to know to empower your child and build his or her self-confidence:

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  • Kids (especially introverts) need their own space. By letting children help decorate their own room, you allow them to create a sacred space where they can feel safe to be themselves and explore and develop their own identities. Let your youngster help choose the theme, paint colors, accessories, and artwork for her bedroom.

  • Use this opportunity to foster personal expression and creativity. By encouraging your child to create artwork and other meaningful personal objects, you will actually help your child to develop his or her own sense of identity. It can be simple things like making a collage, decorating a lampshade or painting a mural.

  • Resist the temptation to use primary colors -- they tend to make children hyperactive. Instead, choose warm pastels and rich colors to create peace and calm.

  • Choose a motif that feels tranquil and safe -- that means to limit art and decorative items that portray flying, falling, driving, running, etc.

  • Bolster your child's self esteem by hanging his or her artwork and awards. Bulletin boards are a great way to display your child's achievements.

  • At nighttime, store "active" games out of sight and keep out comforting toys like stuffed animals.

  • Add photos of family to give a sense of love and security.

  • If your children share a bedroom, make sure they each have their own space.

  • Finally, offer plenty of storage that is easy to access.

If you need some ideas, check out this fantastic collection of pictures of girls' bedrooms and boys' bedrooms.

Kids Room Decorating Ideas - Creative, Fun, and Practical Decorating Ideas for Kids Rooms

Jessica Crawford invites you to view more detailed information at www.free-home-decorating-ideas.com. Here you can see examples and look at pictures.

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Creative Wedding Cake Stands

So you are getting married and have decided to make your ceremony and reception a unique reflection of you and your spouse to be. You've come up with some pretty good ideas for decorations, flowers, music and the wedding cake.

Now let's figure out a creative way to display the wedding cake. One easy way to create a stand yourself is to take an inexpensive round or square base and cover it. You could choose a beautiful satin fabric or use real or imitation flowers and leaves. Browse through you local fabric or arts and crafts store for ideas. You may be pleasantly surprised at all of the different ways there are to change an ordinary cake platform into a special work of art.

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Browsing the internet will also give you many great ideas for wedding cake stands that you don't see every day. If you have some money to spend, there are some pretty specialized and elaborate cake stands out there. You can find stands that revolve slowly or that have an actual water fountain in them. There are now stands that have 10 cascading tiers. Perhaps you could have a different type of cake on each level!

If you would prefer not to spend too much money on the stand for your cake, you still have many options available. Use your imagination to come with ideas that are related to either the theme of your wedding or some of the interests that you and your partner share. One couple that enjoyed surfing displayed their wedding cake on a miniature-sized surfboard. Another couple used a tree trunk for a natural themed stand for their cake.

Some of the simpler types of cake stands lend themselves to further decoration. Purchase a ceramic pedestal stand and find a creative family member to paint the stand for you. The same idea would work well for many of the platform stands that are easily found online. You could also check with the cake designer to see if they will decorate a stand to coordinate with the design of your cake.

This is your special day and you can express yourself in any of the wedding details that you choose to. With a little thought and a look online, you should be able to find or create a beautiful and unique wedding cake stand that will add a special touch to the display of your cake.

Creative Wedding Cake Stands

Check out unique cake stands for more creative ideas or browse through wedding cake stands for advice on finding the perfect stand for your wedding cake.

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12 Sales Contest Ideas For Your Sales Team

Incentives work. I have been trying monthly sales contests ideas lately and they are working - even if only to light some fires and charge up the team a little. Try some version of them with your sales team if you don't already. Notice some of these sales contest ideas are designed for group rewards for total sales while others are designed for rewarding individual achievement. Also, the contests are designed for various goals that should be kept in mind throughout the year anyway so another function of these contests is to remind salespeople what is important.

The prize does not need to be giant; just something interesting and worthwhile. You might even offer a list of rewards (or a grab bag) they can choose from. I also listed some sales contest reward ideas at the bottom.

Creative

In case you were wondering, "why twelve?" it's because (A) I resent even-numbered lists where the last two were obviously forced and (B) for my case I am using monthly contests and years happen to be broken down into 12 fairly equal parts.

12 Sales Contests Ideas - Reward Given to...

#1: All if total sales are above $X at a minimum of X% margin.

#2: Salesperson with greatest month to month sales increase.

#3: Salesperson with highest sales volume from NEW customers.

#4: Salesperson who revives the most PAST customers. I love this one.

#5: All if each salesperson on the team meets or exceeds sales goals.

#6: Salesperson with highest single sale or shipment (choose and be clear).

#7: Salesperson who sells the highest PRE-PAID order.

#8: Salesperson with largest sale in a region.

#9: Salesperson with the highest total Gross Margin (regardless of dollar value).

#10: Salesperson with highest margin on NEW customer.

#11: Salesperson with the highest average margin on an EXISTING customers.

#12: Salesperson with the highest sales in a certain product line/category.

These sales contest ideas might not all apply to your business for a variety of reasons from the type of products or services you sell to how your sales force is structured but hopefully they will spur some ideas for you. I love these ideas for what makes a good sales contest from Simplenomics.

Sales Contest Rewards Ideas

Sales Reward #1: Day(s) off.

Sales Reward #2: Gift certificate for two at a NICE restaurant.

Sales Reward #3: 1 month of 1 free lunch per week.

Sales Reward #4: 1/2 day Fridays for a month.

Sales Reward #5: Movie/park/event tickets

Sales Reward #6: Cash!

Sales Reward #7: Choice of additional training (boondoggle) of their choice.

Give your salespeople some choice in the matter. Let them choose the reward and let them give ideas for the prizes. Listen to them and try to pick up on those little things they say they want and choose gift certificates from places that sell those things. Some say cash is the most effective reward - here is an interesting article from Online Conversion & Beyond about Sales Incentives and ROI.

Have fun selling. Be creative with your sales contest ideas but you don't need to re-invent the wheel.

12 Sales Contest Ideas For Your Sales Team

Chris Denny is the president of Lead Optimize Outsourced Marketing which was created to help small businesses generate more sales leads from their websites and use those leads more effectively. Lead Optimize helps small businesses create sales lead generation and sales solutions.

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Creative Wedding Ideas - Pumpkin Decorations

With Thanksgiving and Halloween on the way, if you are looking for creative wedding ideas for your special day, you can take advantage of the season with pumpkin decorations. Hallowed out pumpkin shells can make a fantastic base for a number of creative decoration ideas, giving your wedding a creative, seasonal atmosphere. You can also use jack-o-lanterns or small pumpkins to make unique wedding decorations.

You can use pumpkins shells for vases in your centerpiece arrangements, adding flowers and greenery for a fall floral arrangement. Deep fall colors in your floral arrangements will bring out and compliment you fall wedding colors. You can surround the base of the pumpkin with greenery for additional accent.

Creative

You can use pumpkin shells as serving dishes on a buffet table or on your guest tables. On a buffet table, pumpkin shells make great serving dishes for sides or salads. On a guest table, a pumpkin shell filled with fresh fruit makes a colorful, tasty centerpiece, giving your tables a uniquely festive feel.

Jack-o-lanterns are always a fun Halloween treat and can be used as centerpieces, especially for night weddings. They can give you candlelight in seasonal style. You can choose to accent the darker side of the holiday with scary jack-o-lanterns for a non-traditional Halloween themed wedding or make happy, celebratory jack-lanterns for a more traditional wedding.

You can use pumpkin shells to hold you wine or champagne selections on your guest tables. If your selections need to be chilled, you can fill the pumpkin shells with ice to keep your wine or champagne cold. If your selections do not need to be chilled, you can fill the bottom of your pumpkin shell with fall-colored potpourri to add fragrance to you decorations.

You can create colorful fake fall leaves or use a silk alternative to decorate the table around your pumpkin centerpiece. If you're very creative, painting leaves on your pumpkins or using fabric paint to paint leaves on your tablecloths can add more color to your table and accent your fall theme.

You can use small pumpkins as seating cards, adding your guests' names to the pumpkins, placing the pumpkins on the tables for guests to find. You can also add table numbers to the pumpkins, placing them on a table outside your reception to notify your guests where they will be seated.

Small pumpkins, which come in a variety of shapes and sizes, can also be a colorful accent for fall floral arrangements. They can also be used to decorate railing or isle, placing them on top of posts or alongside an isle. Depending on the size and shape, you can hang small pumpkins from archways and rails.

Whatever creative pumpkin idea you choose, pumpkins are bright and interesting additions to any fall wedding, providing a variety of do-it-yourself decorating options. Whether you are a more traditional bride or an unconventional bride, one of the many pumpkin possibilities may be just the things to spice up your wedding day.

Creative Wedding Ideas - Pumpkin Decorations

Tanya Garrett of Creative Wedding Ideas [http://www.ecreativeweddingideas.com] grew up surrounded by the bridal business with a grandmother who ran a bridal shop, a mother who was a seamstress, and an aunt who made wedding cakes. As a freelance author, one of her favorite topics is making your wedding day the day of your dreams.

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Creative Birthday Card Ideas

Creative birthday card ideas that you can use to create one of-a-kind birthday cards... Do you remember how many birthday cards you received last year on your Big day? As for me, honestly 2 cards. But both of them were personally made by close family members See I don't have a crafty family, neither do I got a big one, but I'll always treasure those cards because I know the time, thoughts and effort it took to create something personable that was "me"...

Which made me feel loved and appreciated! I'm sure that any recipient of your creative birthday card will also feel the same way I felt when I received my homemade birthday card. Take some time to plan it, if needed...Or if your like me and have so many wonderful ideas running wild in your mind then let it out... be creative! You won't believe the things you could possible create! Don't be surprised if you start having family members, friends and co-workers asking you to create creative birthday cards for them...

Creative

Here are a list of things you'll find helpful When creating a creative birthday card...

* Who are you making it for?

* What are their interests or style?

* What is their favorite color?

* When is their Birthday?

* Do they have a pet?

Above are some of the information you could consider when creating a birthday card for your recipient..

Basic Creative Birthday Card ideas:

* For her: Consider peach, pink and turquoise, Add ribbons or charms to add fashion, Shape cards into a purse, hat or flower. Use beads, fabric and a little glitter, Create cute images of hearts, bears, flowers and animals....

* For him: Add tools for auto lovers, consider black, blue, white and green, create hobby based themes like camping, fishing, paintball, surfing etc...

* For kids: Use images of toys, make a theme of their favorite cartoons or television shows, also consider bright colors, child, hobbies for example flying a kite, playing video games or cute characters like hello kitty and blue bear...

* For Teens: Use spunky paper like polka dots, stripes and patterns, Shape cards like stars, cell phones and iPods, Get images of their hobbies and create a collage, Use reggae based theme or surfing, skateboarding, body boarding, shopping etc...

* For Music lovers: you could create a card using Musical sheets or musical notes, you could create a photo of the instrument he or she plays or why not shape the card of the instrument

* For Outdoor lovers: Use colors and elements that are nature related, Include some elements that are cheerful and uplifting, For example: a flower in a pot for a gardener, a fishing pole for a fisherman

Creative Birthday Card Ideas

Aloha,
For more creative birthday card ideas, please visit: http://www.808-creative-cards.com

Mahalo,
Keshia Fernandez

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4 Creative Curtain and Drape Techniques

A good way to make a house feel like a home is to decorate it like it is your own. Integrating color schemes and themes can make you feel more attached to your house than leaving up old fixtures from the previous owner, such as blinds and drapes.

Once you have already purchased your furniture or decided on your color scheme, you can get started on your window coverings. This can usually be the last step because curtains and drapes are easier to find or make to match your furniture than vice versa. Here are a few creative curtain and drape ideas for your home.

Creative

1) Beads are always a creative option for your windows. If you choose a neutral or solid color for the window curtains you can layer it with tied hanging beads to add pizazz. Simply tie them together loosely about mid-way down the window. Now you can open or close the curtains for sunlight exposure, while leaving the beads in place for decoration.

2) If you've already decided on standard blinds, do not be discouraged! Your windows can still look great. This gives you the opportunity to really focus on the hardware of your drapes. There are tons of beautiful platinum and brass finials, holdbacks, and curtain rods. By choosing beautiful hardware fixtures and a simple neutral or gossamer-like fabric, your blinds are no longer bland.

3) Two or four piece translucent blinds can be beneficial for a larger window or many windowpanes along a wall. Using one basic color for the top and sides, and finding elaborate tiebacks can make a large windowed-room beautiful and cozy.

4) One thing that people often overlook is the effect of a full width covering at the top of a window. The side drapes are important, but the top covering really brings your design together, so this can be even more important. Whether you choose a hanging design, or a modern block style of covering, make sure it matches the rest of the room and the side curtains as it is the link that brings the room together.

4 Creative Curtain and Drape Techniques

If you need to purchase decorative hardware supplies or just want to learn more about decorating, please visit http://www.dhshardware.com

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