Thursday, March 14, 2013

Update to our Loyalty Program

We decided we were due for a central place where we could keep our members up to speed on what’s happening with iNetGiant Loyalty program. Watch this blog roll for information regarding new offers, monthly contests, loyalty updates, and much more.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hearty Lentil Mushroom Soup Story

           
            One of my favorite things to do in the kitchen is cook and prepare meals for my family to enjoy. Actually let me say that is my second most favorite thing to do in the kitchen. The first thing would be eating and enjoying home cooked meals with my family. Over the years I have experimented with many different recipes and various cooking styles. Some have been failures, while others were just so so and the rest have usually become family favorites. They varied from my famous hot chicken wings, carrot-apple-honey bread, stuffed Italian turkey breasts, scallops ala bordelaise, and many many more.

            Lately I have been experimenting with soups and stews. I wanted to come up with a nice vegetarian soup that was high in nutrients and protein. This particular soups origination came from a trip to my local Trader Joes. While I was perusing the vegetable and salad aisle I came across a container of fresh organic lentils. I have never been a big fan of plain old lentil soup but I had recently read that lentils were high in protein and good for you. So I purchased the fresh ready to use lentils and began thinking about how to incorporate them into a hearty vegetable soup.

            I started the soup out with two liters of low sodium vegetable stock. Try to stick with low-sodium stocks and broths for your soup. Most of the regular versions have over 1000mg of sodium per serving. That is a tremendous amount of salt and in my opinion cannot be too good for you. I would rather add salt to taste that way I can control my sodium intake. After heating up the vegetable stock I add a cup of cubed or sliced carrots and a cup of sliced celery. Trader Joes sells a convenient pack with pre-cubed carrots, celery and onions. I then take an onion and basically puree it in my chopper. This is then added to the soup. I also add several bay leaves, pepper, cumin, tarragon, season-salt and sometimes some oregano. At this point I also take some finely chopped garlic (from the jar) and basil (also from a jar). Then I add a large can or organic cubed tomatoes to the mix. While all of this is simmering I fry up some chopped mushrooms, onions, garlic and olive oil in a pan. At the same time in a pot I boil about 7-8 tiny gourmet potatoes. I really like the purple and red ones. I also slice up some baby carrots and add them to the simmering soup.

            After the garlic, mushrooms and onions have browned nicely I add them to the soup as well. This give the soup a nice added flavor and the cooked mushrooms are a very nice addition. At this point I am usually running out of room in the soup pot so I remove some of the liquid and transfer it to a smaller pot. Remember I have to make some room for the potatoes. After cooking the potatoes for about 15 minutes or so I take them out of the pots and slice them into small pieces. They are then ready to add to the soup. Now at this point I add the lentils to the soup stirring them around in the mix. Then the soup is reduced to a simmer and I let it sit for about 1 to 1.5 hours.

            After this time I check the taste to see if it needs any more salt or pepper. It usually does so I add some little by little until it tastes just about right. Then it is ready to be served. This is a great hearty soup to enjoy on those cold winter days. It goes great with some fresh whole-wheat buttered bread and crackers. For a non-vegetarian version you can add pieces of cooked chicken to the soup before serving. Here is a list of ingredients (feel free to increase or decrease amount to your taste):


  • 1-cup of cubed or sliced celery 
  • 1-cup of cubed/diced carrots
  • 1-cup of diced onions 
  • 1 large can of diced organic tomatoes 
  • 7-8 small gourmet potatoes
  • 1 TBSP chopped garlic (fresh or form the jar) 
  • 1 TBSP of chopped basil (from the jar) 
  • 1 container of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 medium sized white onion 
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped 
  • 3-4 bay leaves 
  • 2 1 liter containers of low-sodium vegetable broth 
  • 1 container of cooked lentils (2 cups or so)
  • Pepper, season-salt, oregano, cumin, salt, tarragon etc… add to taste 


 Cooking time 1.5 to 2 hours.

 This article was written by a mom blogger Irene David. She is an author and writer for I love my kids blog Check out my site for more soup recipes, for tips on how to keep kids healthy and germ free in Preschool, Day care, School environment, health tips. We’re all about keeping people in touch with the newest & hottest products. Check us out for reviews, giveaways, freebies, coupons and more!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New changes coming to iNetGiant!

We have made some change to the member's page, which will be seen by all members upon entering our site!

There is now a section called "Earn Points" where members can complete offers from our advertisers and earn bunch of points, that can be redeemed for various gift cards in our "Redeem Points" section. 

We are also working on introducing a great referral program for all of you, our loyal members! That will help you earn even more points, that can be turned into gift cards and cash.

We hope that these new features will help increase your referral earnings and make things easier for members from now on!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Child Safety Tips for Playing with an Electric Car

Technology has given us so much in the past years. It has made our lives easier, better and more fun! Kids also benefit from advances in technology. They now have electric cars or battery operated cars that they can ride and drive. But, how safe are these toys? If you are planning on buying an electric car for your child, read these safety tips to ensure a fun ride with the kids.

Buckle up

First of all, a battery-powered car usually runs at 5 km/h. If you want a fast car, make sure that it has seatbelts. Well, actually, fast cars should not be driven by children. Skip the speed and go for safety.

Skip the streets

The streets are unsafe for your kids. Don’t let them drive on your street as there are many dangers out there that your kid driver may not be prepared for. Go to the park or designate a safe zone in front of your house where they can drive around in. If you do let them on the streets, make sure that you are there to supervise them.

Build their own track

If you have a big backyard, why not build your kids their own race track? This way you can be assured of their safety. You can use a gravel path or have the track paved but that would probably require a small investment on your part.

Watch out for grown up cars

Your kids can’t easily be seen by adults driving a normal-sized car. They are just not high enough. Tell your children to watch out for grown up cars and get out of the way as soon as they spot them. They should also press on the horn until they get the adult’s attention. Cars that are backing out are also dangers to watch out for. When a car is backing out of the drive away, your child can easily be run over because they are not visible in any of the mirrors.

Watch out for pedestrians

Teach your children to stop when there are other kids or adults crossing the street. They should learn to be respectful of pedestrians. An electric kid car won’t cause serious injuries but it can cause some cuts and broken bones.

Don’t chase other cars

Whether they are on foot or in another car, teach your child not to chase or go racing with other cars. This can also cause injury.  

Driver’s Ed

Finally, a toy car is still a car and there are rules of the road to be taught. Teach your child some basic driver’s education so that he can be safe. Teach him what signs mean, what the traffic lights mean and how to respect other drivers and pedestrians.

A toy car can be a fun learning experience for your child when used properly.

 

 

This article was written by mom blogger Norma Brown. For more tips and ideas for Christmas presents for kids, check out my site. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

5 Auto Predictions for the Next 10 Years

When we think back to all those old fashioned science fiction films of the 1950s, we should be driving flying cars by now and dinner should be made by robots. Even as far back as the 1980s, Marty McFly was floating around on a hover board and had self-closing runners. Sadly none of these things made it to the mainstream.

However, here are some exciting predictions relating to cars and transport for the next hundred years or so based on what science believes is possible – no hover boards here.

Software Predicts Traffic Jams

The notion of ending up in traffic jams is one that puts a shiver down most of our spines. However, the roads of the future will come equipped with GPS, roadside sensors and linked to data and algorithms that will predict when things are going tails up. This will mean we may know of an issue hours before it occurs and so can avoid the area, or it can even be prevented.

Electric Cars

Electric cars will increase in prevalence and also in the distances they can do – however, they will still not do nearly as far as traditional cars. One significant improvement to conquer range issues will come with fast charging points that can fuel cars up in minutes, making the electric car a more common sight.

Truly Connected

The car of the near future will be truly connected and this will make the driving experience amazingly easy. These changes will account for a number of things.

  • Cars will communicate with traffic lights
  • Cars will interact with other cars to prevent accidents
  • You will be able to connect with your home network and set up your in-car playlists from your living room
  • Cars will be connected to bank accounts and pay for petrol automatically
  • Cars will inform you if someone dents your car and record footage of the incident.

3D Printing

More and more car parts will be produced using 3D printing. This will make for faster, lower costing parts that can be produced when and as needed. Expect to see these printers first in garages and then in your home. You simply pay and download the part needed and then print in in your home from your own 3D device.

Car Tires and Bacteria

Car tyres are made from natural rubber and this is produced by trees. In the future this will be produced from coli microbes to keep up with the demand. This bacteria produces the rubber as a by-product of metabolising plant sugar and Goodyear are currently testing the results.

The future looks amazing and also bright – so, let’s look forward to a lot more happy driving.

Cormac Reynolds is a car lover and tech nut and writes for First Vehicle Leasing a UK contract hire company

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Managing a Vacation Property from a distance



Well, you have a vacation house on the beach, or at the mountains or maybe in the middle of the city! The point is that even though you took the plunge to purchase it (or maybe you had an unexpected inheritance), you are not quite ready or willing to move in permanently. Still, there are costs for the upkeep and a great way to afford them is to actually rent it as a vacation home.
Now, if the property is so far away from you that it won’t allow you to go there on a weekly or even semi-weekly basis, there are some things you should consider.

Marketing
In order for you to actually rent the place, people need to hear about it! You can advertise it on many websites and even your own social media, word to mouth has always been a great way of connecting. You efforts will depend on how much you want/need to rent the place. Maybe you need to make just enough to cover expenses, maybe you want it as a second yet regular income. If it’s a once-in-a-while type of thing, word to mouth will do. If it’s more of a steady thing, you need to further advertise.

Cleaning
You need someone to keep the place spotless between guests. You might even offer a service of cleaning during the stay, but that’s not usually the case. When people rent vacation homes, it’s just that, another home, so guests do their own cleaning.
A cleaning person or crew can be helpful to keep an eye on the house. They can be the ones to tell you how the place was when the guest left and if everything was in order.

Check in-out
Even if you’re not within driving distance, you can manage the reservations, the rules and the check in and out through e-mail or phone. If your property is within a condominium, there’s probably an office where the key exchange can be made.
A lockbox can be used and the guests get the combination before arrival. When they leave the place, they leave the key as well. The cleaning person or crew can also be in charge checking this.

Emergencies
Even though e-mail is good for the previous steps, once the guests have arrived, there needs to be a contingency plan. Vital things can break (heating, gas, power) and need to be fixed right away. Make sure to keep a list of available and reliable professionals that the guests can contact in case of an emergency. The better the relationship you keep with these professionals, the faster they will respond.

Manager
And if all of this seems like too much trouble to handle yourself, you can always hire a managing company. Generally you can find them locally where the house is. Yes, it will come to a relatively high rate (up to 30% of the rental price) but you will get peace of mind. Having someone to take care of the property and everything that the renting entails, will guarantee that your house and your guests are both satisfied and safe.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Using Distributors for your products



If you are a manufacturer of a product in large amounts, unless you want to go yourself through the hassle of getting it out there and everything that it entails, you will most likely need a distributor.
Doing so will mean that you won’t have to worry about over stock storage, extended sales force, travelling and such.
However, there has always been a bit of a bickering between manufacturers and distributors. Here are a couple of common mistakes and thing to take into account when considering this selling channel.

What’s is it exactly?
A distributor are entities (generally not too large, a couple of branches) that buy stock to then re-sale. They will sometimes choose their market, but most of the time they will be given that instruction by the manufacturer.
They work better for products that do not require technical assistance. The usually deal with products that the customer can take home immediately. If it were, for example, machinery that needs a complex installation by a professional, then selling through a distributor may not be the right choice. The logistics of combining technical service would be far too complicated.

Spreading yourself too thin
A common mistake is to get too many distributors, that way the efforts of selling are useless. Money and time will be better used on the training of the sales force.
Reaching out to too many distributors will result in a lack of background research for each of them. Often times, the distributors are run by people that don’t pay enough attention to detail and are, for example, under stocked. This will, indirectly, damage your image since customers will look for your product where it’s expected to be and by not finding it they will blame you, not the store.

Providing a helping hand
Distributors sometimes lack a powerful sales force. A good way to manage this is to, as manufacturers, offer extensive training on the products. If the cost of getting the people into your premises is high, you should at least develop a program for them to be trained at their own stores.
Another mistake made in marketing efforts. If the distributor needs to make extra efforts to enhance the brand through signs, brochures and advertising, then it won’t be worth their while. These marketing efforts should be done by you and not just assume that they know what to do.

Take care of your distributors
If you do decide to use this sales outlet, you have to make sure you take care of that relationship. You do need them and they will get other offers if you don’t make it worth it. Do this by treating them as a part of the company. Send holiday gifts, newsletters, have conferences.
Another way of nourishing that bond is to respect their margins. Like you, they need to make a profit out of the transaction. Just because you are the one that provides the product it doesn’t mean that you can hold them hostage. They can (and will) change manufacturers.

Make sure you check out the Distributors section of iNetGiant. You will find plenty of options to broaden your sales force.